Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Global battle of narratives

"Bolsonaro and Coronavirus: A Tragedy Foretold" (Brazil Wire) (also).  For some reason, people always think that right-wing governments are an affordable luxury, and they are until the shit hits the fan.

Tweet (Michael Reid) (parallel to the US, which has an identical problem with its central leadership, but leading to disasters in places without sane governors):
"Brazil: 21 of the country's 27 state governors are co-ordinating amongst themselves as to how to fight covid-19, ignoring the president, Jair Bolsonaro. The confrontation between governors and president has no precedent in Brazil's democracy since 1985."
"Venezuela’s Coronavirus Response Might Surprise You" (Flores).

The Eurotrash are always good for a laugh (it is a shame there is literally no possible way to get rid of them, no matter how much damage they do):  "EU fires warning shot at China in coronavirus battle of the narratives" (Lau).  "Global battle of narratives".

"Deal reached on $2-trillion coronavirus stimulus bill — largest by far in U.S. history" (Wire).  Sounds like the original deal, with a tiny bit of oversight over the 0.01%'s slush/gift fund.

Tweet (Matt Stoller):
"People are not internalizing what is happening. A $6 trillion credit allocation to Wall Street isn't a corporate handout, it's a coup. These numbers are a thorough restructuring of America."
Tweet (The Debt Collective):
"You can thank @LindseyGrahamSC and the GOP for killing the $10,000 debt cancellation in the stimulus package.
Just remember, they can cancel your debt anytime. They are deliberately deciding to keep you in debt & bail out corporations instead."
"‘Helicopter Money’: This Is the Game-Changer Geo-Politically" (Crooke).  The turbo-capitalists are suddenly in favor of MMT, as long as all the product of the printing presses goes to the 0.01%.  I assume this is Assholia's last kick at the can of using the dollar's reserve currency status to finance its enrichment of its 0.01% (the bill to be paid by those outside Assholia who are still foolish enough to be holding dollars), but it's a spectacular flame-out.

Tweet (Caelainn Hogan) (the kind of taking the virus seriously without deferring to the usual turbo-capitalist norms that we should see everywhere, if our 'leaders' weren't such a bunch of tools):
"Ireland has just effectively nationalised its health service in response to the pandemic. Private hospitals are being taken over. Everyone is now promised equal access to treatment, regardless of insurance. A massive change. There should be no going back from this."
"Letter from LA: The homeless are internal refugees — victims on the run from neoliberalism" (Levine):
"The truth is that homelessness is fundamentally a refugee crisis — an internal refugee crisis caused by economic and political warfare. The United Nations has a pretty good bureaucratic term to describe the tens of thousands of homeless here in LA: “internally displaced persons.”
Internally displaced people (IDPs) have not crossed a border to find safety. Unlike refugees, they are on the run at home. IDPs stay within their own country and remain under the protection of its government, even if that government is the reason for their displacement.
Naturally, the UN leaves out economic policies as a driver of IDPs and mostly restricts its definition to wars and natural disasters. That’s expected in our neoliberal world — where economic power has been written out of the everyday realm of politics and remade into an immutable law of nature. But put economics and politics back into the realm of human warfare (where they belong) and there’s just no getting around how well “IDP” fits the homeless.
The fact is our government and our society has been directly responsible for the internal displacement of these people. On just about every level — from local to state to federal to cultural and personal — our establishment has waged a political war against its own society on behalf of corporate and private power. The vast majority of us have been on the losing side and everyone’s been dealing and coping with this assault in whatever ways they can. The poorest and most vulnerable among us are just the most visible casualties of this war. They have nowhere else to flee, nothing to retreat to. So they’re scattered all over the streets here like human wreckage.
The coronavirus is exposing this political war like nothing else I can remember — and it’s gonna simply decimate the homeless.
So the homeless are internal refugees — victims on the run from neoliberalism. But there is one big difference between the homeless and other “accepted” IDPs and refugees: the homeless are not allowed to have a sympathetic narrative.
Soviet Jewish refugees like me, Syrian refugees, Iraqi refugees, Bolivian refugees, and, hell, even Ukrainian Nazi collabos fleeing justice at the hands of the Red Army — all these groups are allowed to be seen as victims of external forces outside their control. But the homeless are given no such privilege. Their homelessness and misery and victimization is supposed to be their own fault. It’s all tied to personal choices they made — choices that exist completely outside of external political forces.
This narrative denial makes sense. Our political elite can’t smugly say that homelessness here is the fault of communism or that it was caused by the undemocratic policies of some bad authoritarian government. It can’t blame it on something foreign and external. And it can’t weaponize the homeless in service of its own ideology and power — like my fellow Soviet Jewish refugees and I were during the Cold War.
Our society is to blame for this disaster. It’s the one that’s waging war against its own people. And those in power today — whether liberal or Trumpist — do not want to stop it."
"The new Cold War with China has cost lives against coronavirus" (Blumenthal):
"Inside China, an already effective coronavirus screening regimen is likely to improve thanks to an innovative test that can be administered in airports, and that produces results in just 40 minutes. The creator of the groundbreaking test, Weihong Tan, was a professor at the University of Florida’s cancer research lab until last year, when the Department of Justice targeted him with a McCarthy-style investigation. Accused by a Cold War-crazed U.S. government of failing to disclose Chinese funding for his department, he returned to Hunan University, where he found ample government support for his lifesaving research."
"Correctly Estimating Coronavirus Infections" (Unz). On the math of too early celebration and guard dropping.

It's starting to look like Assholia, the Exceptional Country, is again going to be #1 in the world, in terms of deaths from the virus, and, needless to say, ahead by a lot.  It could get quite spectacular if Trump opens the country up for Easter.

"World Chloroquine production controlled by Israeli Bio-Terrorism forces".

"Michelle Malkin: Chutzpah—ADL Wants A Federal Bailout".  "ADL Demands that Americans Gibs Them 6 Gorillion Dollars or Else We're all anti-Semites!" (Bacon).

"Viral Coups: Authoritarians like Trump and Israel’s Netanyahu see Coronavirus as Opportunity for Power Grab" (Prosterman).

There is no greater sin than using Holocaust-worshiping iconography for any other purpose, thus risking a comparison of the only tragedy in world history to anything else.

Defending a Torturer For The Jews (of course, he's from The Foundation for Defense of Democracies).

Thread by 'wash your hands, rinse the boss' on the intentional destruction of Canada's unemployment insurance system, and social welfare programs.  This was all done on the pretense of deficit slashing, which suddenly isn't a problem at all (as long as 90% of the spending goes directly to the 1%).

"Coronavirus Stimulus Offered By House Financial Services Committee Creates New Digital Dollar" (Brett).  Spun as the only way to get money to the 'unbanked'.

"The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020”" (Koenig).  All the usual bad guys are trying to pin their bad ideas to the virus.
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