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?

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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……

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Those Covid-19 Myths

Closing Thought–01Apr20

Every day as we sit in our homes and shelter ourselves from other people we are bombarded with information on all sides….and not all this info is accurate.

We hear that our pets can give us the virus…..or gargling bleach will kill the virus…..rubbing bleach on skin will protect….and there are so many other myths and misinformation that has most of us pulling our hair out……

Here are some of the more common myths and their validity busted.

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially changed their classification of the situation from a public health emergency of international concern to a pandemic on March 11.

To date, the novel coronavirus — currently dubbed “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2,” or SARS-CoV-2 for short — has been responsible for more than 245,000 infections globally, causing more than 10,000 deaths. In the U.S., the virus has affected 14,250 people and has so far caused 205 deaths.

As ever, when the word “pandemic” starts appearing in headlines, people become fearful, and with fear come misinformation and rumors.

Here, we will dissect some of the most common myths that are currently circulating on social media and beyond.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/coronavirus-myths-explored

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing a great deal of anxiety, we might come to think people are irrational, selfish or downright crazy. We see people showing up to public venues en masse or clearing supermarket shelves of toilet paper.

Experts are often ignored. We hear inconsistent information and arguments filled with fallacious reasoning being accepted by a seemingly large number people.

The answer for the kind of panicked flurry in reasoning may lie in a field of critical thinking called vice epistemology. This theory argues our thinking habits and intellectual character traits cause poor reasoning.

https://theconversation.com/how-not-to-fall-for-coronavirus-bs-avoid-the-7-deadly-sins-of-thought-133069

Please take these to heart…..do not fall victim to lies and misinformation….it can be deadly.

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More Plague History

I know that these times….days locked away in our separation……my thoughts are that while learning stuff about the way to be deal with this pandemic why not learn as well…..and history is always fascinating….that maybe just me.

I posted about the plagues of old and how they fit into the gravity of history………https://lobotero.com/2020/03/28/pandemics-in-history/

That post looked t the Middle Ages in Europe…..but they were not the only region to suffer……

Among the worst infections recorded is the plague which is fairly well documented in the West starting with the Plague of Justinian (541-542 CE) and continuing on through the Black Death (1347-1352 CE). Outbreaks of plague following the Black Death already had a body of literature to draw upon and so, in the West, are also well documented.

The same cannot be said for the plagues of the Near East which claimed millions of lives between 562-1486 CE throughout the regions now known as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt among others. The initial plague is thought to have been a continuation of Justinian’s Plague, although other theories as to origin have been suggested, and the epidemics which followed are considered either a resurgence of this plague or another strain brought to the region through trade or the return of troops from campaign. These outbreaks are sporadically mentioned in histories of the plague owing to a number of factors including:

https://www.ancient.eu/article/1532/plagues-of-the-near-east-562-1486-ce/

Another thought…….How did the Greeks handle the outbreaks of disease in days past……

ith the spread of the coronavirus, the world is becoming pointedly aware of the extent to which human beings are interconnected. The rapid spread of the virus has highlighted how much we are dependent upon one another, not just for basic biological needs, but also for our sense of belonging and even commerce.

There’s nothing novel about this level of interdependence.

As historians of early Christianity, we know that from the sixth century B.C., people in the ancient Greek city-state, or polis, were acutely conscious of this dependence. They dealt with disease spread as a result of living in close quarters.

http://theconversation.com/ancient-greeks-purged-city-states-of-disease-as-they-would-a-human-body-and-it-was-the-most-vulnerable-that-suffered-133670

In other words…..shelter in place or separation has been a good plan for at least 2500 years.

More on the responses in history to a pandemic (plague)……

Throughout history, epidemics and pandemics of plague and other diseases have caused widespread panic and social disorder even, in some instances, when the people of one region were aware of a pervasive infection elsewhere. In the case of the Plague of Justinian (541-542 CE and after), for example, the people of Constantinople were aware of plague in the Near East for at least two years before it arrived in the city but made no provision because they did not consider it their problem.

Once the disease struck, the people felt overwhelmed as it seems as though they believed that what had happened to others elsewhere could not possibly happen to them. Since there was no concept of germ theory, no one understood the cause of these outbreaks or how they spread and so they were attributed to supernatural causes and the wrath of the gods or God.

https://www.ancient.eu/article/1534/reactions-to-plague-in-the-ancient–medieval-world/

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

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Women’s History #6–Margaret Sanger

My closing tribute to women for this month…..afterwards I return to the world of Covid-19…..

Margaret Sanger…….Another woman that does not get much play in our study of history unless you are inn a women’s studies class…..she was an important rights activist for women’s birth control rights…..

The consequences of sexual relations between women and men simply were not fair.

An old double standard dictated that men were rewarded for sexual prowess and women suffered a damaged reputation. Males were encouraged to “sow a few wild oats” while women were told “good girls don’t.”

Most of all, if a relationship resulted in pregnancy, it was the woman who was left with the responsibility. For decades, pioneers like Margaret Sanger fought for contraceptives that women would control. With the introduction of the birth control pill to the market in 1960, women could for the first time deter pregnancy by their own choice.

The fight for reproductive freedoms was intense. Organized religions such as the Roman Catholic Church stood firm on their principles that artificial contraceptives were sinful. Many states in the early 1960s prohibited the sale of contraceptives — even to married couples.

https://www.ushistory.org/us/57b.asp

More on Sanger’s life……

In the early 20th century, at a time when matters surrounding family planning or women’s healthcare were not spoken in public, Margaret Sanger founded the birth control movement and became an outspoken and life-long advocate for women’s reproductive rights. In her later life, Sanger spearheaded the effort that resulted in the modern birth control pill by 1960.

Born September 14, 1879, in Corning, New York, the sixth of eleven children born to Michael Hennessey Higgins, a stonemason, and Anna Purcell Higgins, a devoutly Roman Catholic Irishwoman. Sanger’s life course was shaped by the poverty of her childhood and the death of her mother at age 50, which Sanger understood resulted from the physical toll of eleven pregnancies. Sanger later became a nurse, attending Claverack College and Hudson River Institute in 1896 and completing the nursing program at White Plains Hospital in 1902. That year she married William Sanger, an architect, and moved to Hastings, New York, where the couple had three children

Sanger strongly believed that the ability to control family size was crucial to ending the cycle of women’s poverty. But it was illegal to distribute birth control information. Working as a visiting nurse, she frequented the homes of poor immigrants, often with large families and wives whose health was impaired by too many pregnancies, miscarriages, or in desperation botched abortions. Often, too, immigrant wives would ask her to tell them “the secret,” presuming that educated white women like Sanger knew how to limit family size. Sanger made it her mission to 1) provide women with birth control information and 2) repeal the federal Comstock Law, which prohibited the distribution of obscene materials through the mails, and regarded birth control information as such.

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/margaret-sanger

Another woman that has been pushed aside in favor of BS history that features men over women……Margaret Sanger deserves better than to be forgotten by the masses when she did so much in their name.

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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.
 
 
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Women’s History #5–The Poetic Princess

A little more women’s history to help sooth the nerves in the time of sheltering in place…..

I first came across this woman when I was living in Spain…..she has a fascinating story……and since this is women’s history month what better time to introduce this poet to my readers?

Her name was Wallada bint al-Mastakfi…….

Wallada was born in 1001, the daughter of a noble in the Andalusian city of Córdoba. In 711 an army of Moors coming up from Africa had conquered the city for the Umayyad Caliphate, along with most of modern Spain. Córdoba became the capital of this province on the edge of their empire. Fifty years later, after the Umayyads had been deposed, a prince of their line named Abd al-Rahman fled to Córdoba. Several of the locals had taken advantage of the chaos to declare independence, and he conquered them and welded them together into the independent Emirate of Córdoba. By the time Wallada was born his descendents had declared themselves Caliphs, [1] and Córdoba was a city of half a million people – one of the most advanced cities in Europe.

Unfortunately for the Córdobans, however, by this time the Umayyads had definitely begun to lose their grip on their caliphate. In 976 a ten year old boy named Hisham had succeeded to the throne. In the grand tradition of child rulers throughout history, fierce competition immediately started over the regency (and thus effective control of the caliphate). The eventual winner in this was al-Mansur Ibn Abi Amir, a powerful leader whose victories against the Christian kingdoms clinging to the northern part of Spain earned him infamy as “Almanzor”. He died in 1002, with his son succeeding to the regency.

Wallada bint al-Mustakfi, Poetic Princess

More on her scandalous love affair with ibn Zaydun a prominent poet of Andalusia…..

Although ibn Zaydun was a leading figure in the courts of Cordoba and Seville, he was most famous among the people of his day because of his scandalous love affair with Princess Wallada. They did nothing to hide their passion, and at her literary circle, when the poets began improvising, as was their custom, they would allude to it quite openly. On one famous occasion, Wallada uttered this impromptu verse, as she gazed upon her lover’s face:

“I fear for you, my beloved so much, that even my own sight even the ground you tread even the hours that pass threaten to snatch you away from me. Even if I were able to conceal you within the pupils of my eyes and hide you there until the Day of Judgment my fear would still not be allayed.”

https://www.andalucia.com/history/people/ibn-wallada.htm

Fascinating love story…..

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