Ku Klux Klan

The Week in Doom: Don’t Drink The Bleach


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964From the keyboard of Surly1
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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on April 26, 2020

"Americans who take any comfort from [Trump’s nightly briefings] were Trump-drunk long ago. The unbesotted see and hear the president for what he is: a tone-deaf showman who regards everything, even a mountain of corpses, as a stage."

 ― Frank Bruni  


This week an out-of-control American president made remarks about using sunlight and disinfectants topically, an improvised medicine show that prompted frantic health warnings from multiple quarters. Since the revisionist right is furiously trying to deny that this ever happened, or happened the way that it happened, let's reproduce Trump's statements word for word here:

“I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that.” 

“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it [to Dr. Birx]. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body.”

One wonders at the anatomical possibilities.

On Friday, Trump said he was speaking "sarcastically." So sarcastically that his administration had to dampen repeated outrage, face calls from poison control agencies nationwide, and endure cautionary calls from Lysol and other manufacturers as they had to issue dont-take-this-stuff denials. No one was buying it, after the aggressive pushback from all quarters. Making one pine for good old days when people merely ate Tide pods. 

Responding to the criticism from public health officials around the country, the president said he was playing a trick on reporters.

Vin Gupta, a global-health policy expert, told NBC News: “This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous. It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves.”

Lysol and Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser said Friday, “Under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route). As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines.”

These are not responses to sarcasm. By week's end, amid leaked stories that aides and advisers were trying to get Trump to reel in his freewheeling, off-the-cuff self-indulgement-fests, Trump announced an end to his daily pressers. He blamed the media for being "fake news" and said they were a "waste of time."  Like dealing with an ex, Trump can reliably be counted upon to let you know that whatever happens is someone else's fault. By week's end, Dr. Deborah Birx sold off what remained of her own credibility in a Fox News interview. Asked if the media in this country had been fair during this pandemic, Birx replied,

“I think the media is very slicey and dicey with the way they put together sentences in order to create headlines.”

"Slicey and dicey." We'll just leave this here to ripen.


With just over four percent of the world’s population, the United States has about one-third of all global coronavirus cases and one-quarter of the fatalities. And the numbers are probably under-reported, since the US has tested only about 1.5 per cent of the population. There are also recording and testing inconsistencies or errors globally. One wonders how India, with 1.3 trillion people, has only recorded 25,000 cases and 780 deaths.

Now we learn that healthy people in their 30s and 40s are dying of covid-induced strokes. Once thought to primarily attack the lungs, the coronavirus has shown that it can affect nearly every major organ system in the body.

Many researchers suspect strokes in novel coronavirus patients may be a direct consequence of blood problems that are producing clots all over some people’s bodies.

Clots that form on vessel walls fly upward so one that started in the calves might migrate to the lungs, causing a blockage called a pulmonary embolism that arrests breathing – a known cause of death in covid-19 patients. Clots in or near the heart might lead to a heart attack, another common cause of death. Anything above that would likely go to the brain, leading to a stroke.

Counting on antibody tests to let you know if you can resume life as usual? Not so fast: WHO Warns You May Catch Coronavirus More Than Once

“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the United Nations agency said in an April 24 statement.

The WHO guidance came after some governments suggested that people who have antibodies to the coronavirus could be issued an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would allow them to travel or return to work, based on the assumption that they were safe from re-infection, according to the statement. 

The truth is that Trump Wants to Reopen the Economy Because He’s Panicking About Reelection Polls. He is running eight to ten points behind Biden in key states that he will need to secure re-election. Even with Joe Biden as good as being held in house arrest. No need for Joe to campaign, when Trump is doing such a good job of self-immolation.

Worldwide we are approaching 3M cases reported. In the US we approaching one million cases with no end in sight, and with minimal testing,  are adding 100K every 3 days. But how good are the official numbers? Since we have tested only about 1.5 percent of the American population, as the federal government has sent a steady, unbroken supply of excuses to the states' governors, the resulting numbers may be less than reliable.  A recent Antibody Study Suggests Coronavirus Far More Widespread Than Thought

A new study in California has found the number of people infected with coronavirus may be tens of times higher than previously thought. The study from Stanford University, which was released Friday and has yet to be peer reviewed, tested samples from 3,330 people in Santa Clara county and found the virus was 50 to 85 times more common than official figures indicated.

The study illustrates how little we really know about the virus. It may be far more widespread and far less deadly than we think. Meanwhile, if that news isn't bad enough, 

UN World Food Program reports that the "Risk of hunger pandemic as COVID-19 set to almost double acute hunger by end of 2020." While poor and working class people in the third world may starve, in the US people are having a hard time finding frozen french fries in  supermarkets because of demand disruption and supply chain issues. 


“Please don't call them protesters… they're terrorists. Protesters don't carry AK47s, wave swastika flags, or block ambulances.”

 ― Daniel Staniforth  

Last week Trump claimed "complete authority" to open the country. The following day, he punted responsibility to the states. He said he was going to close Congress based on some mystical Article 2 power,  Which he can't. Deciding that wasn't good enough, he tweeted: "Liberate Virginia!" "Liberate Michigan" "Liberate Minnesota!" in support of astroturfed right wing protest efforts. And a number of Americans have flocked to answer the call.

Anyone scoring at home knows that absent testing, there is little responsible way for larger and more afflicted states to re-open. But Trump's fans aren't moved by science or evidence. They seem to be moved by oppositional defiance disorder.

These folks are demonstrating in favor of the "herd immunity" stratagem rejected in the UK once Boris Johnson put pencil to paper and calculated the casualties. So members of this death cult are out on the streets in favor of sustaining as many deaths as necessary to restore business as usual. Given that the disease culls the elderly and infirm first,  say goodbye to Granny and Grandpa. Thanks for everything, and you've been great, but we have the quarter to think about and stock portfolios to protect.

These people have always been with us. During the Revolution, they supported the King, and fled to Canada and the Eastern Shore to avoid the insurrection. In the 1840s they emerged as the nativist Know-Nothings who emerged to fight the influx of Irish immigrants fleeing famine. 

During the Civil War, while  secessionists want to war to preserve their "peculiar institution," outrages against American Blacks occurred on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.  There were "anti-Negro" race riots in New York city such that gunboats and federal troops were needed to restore order. After Reconstruction, southerners were able to deny generations of Blacks the legal status afforded in law by a combination of Jim Crow laws and a program of domestic terror via the Klan.. During the same period, we closed the frontier and made the world safe for railroad capitalists by embracing the motto "the only good indian is a dead indian," executing a war of extermination on both native Americans and the buffalo who roamed the plains. Within living memory, as Richard Nixon boarded the helicopter for his one way trip to disgrace, he maintained a 24 percent approval rating.

#Covidiots answered Dear Leader's call to "Liberate" three states with Democrat governors. Overwhelmingly white, they are eager to take credit for an unearned accident of birth and based on an erroneous social construct. Trump rewarded them with an executive order ceasing immigration to the US.

Perhaps even more distressing is Fat Orange's casual capacity for summoning his Bund into the streets, the better to block hospital entrances to ambulances. Look for more of this as the election approaches and Trump continues to sag in the polls.

Ironies abound regarding the flap over social distancing. For the past 15 years, we''ve watched as people became completely disengaged from their partners, families, friends, and children so they could stare raptly into their phones. Now, when social distancing can save countless lives, you can't get people to stay the fuck at home and stare at said phones. They want to die for the right to a haircut. They are, however, a distinct minority.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports in a recent survey,

most Americans (80%) say strict shelter-in-place measures are worth it in order to protect people and limit the spread of coronavirus. Fewer (19%) say the strict shelter-in-place measures are placing unnecessary burdens on people and the economy and causing more harm than good.

Lots of good, recent polling information in this study. Worth a read, while you're sheltering in place.


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

This Week in Doom: A Crack in Everything


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
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2016-results

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on November 13, 2016

"Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in.… "
-Leonard Cohen 1934-2016

 


Many of the bells I listen ring discordantly or not at all this week, as the improbable has occurred, and serial pussy-grabber Donald J. Trump has been elected President-elect. That alone is enough to recommend the reappearance of this infrequent franchise, heralding as it does the apocalypse.

The pervasive story retailed in the weeks leading up to the election was that "Hillary had a durable three to four point lead." Repeated on cable newz and the better boutique websites, like fivethirtyeight.com, where even on election day, they moved a story titled,Final Election Update: There’s A Wide Range Of Outcomes, And Most Of Them Come Up Clinton. Now hiding behind the hedge known as "margin of error," they are pretending that this was not the narrative they marketed, quickly moving to shove all that down the memory hole with stories like, Why FiveThirtyEight Gave Trump A Better Chance Than Almost Anyone Else. You can't make this stuff up. If indeed "The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice", Nate Silver will be stocking shelves at a Wal-Mart by Christmas.

And the punditry of the execrable cable "news product" networks certainly did their part.

Since election day, I have not watched the "news" shows on CNN or MSNBC, which both gave Trump millions of dollars of free advertising over the past 18 months, while constantly preaching, as experts do, that at best he had a "narrow path" to victory. It's funny that Trump keeps lambasting the press; it played a major role in his electoral college victory. With news networks giving him billions in free publicity (Phil Griffin in particular should roast in hell), the Fox "News" entertainment net gave him millions more in sheer advocacy. And let's not allow Les Moonves' quote on Trump to be forgotten: "It May Not Be Good for America, but It's Damn Good for CBS." This is what happens when news becomes entertainment and has to sing for its supper. Shareholders' interest uber alles.

Trump drew 60.1 M votes, compared to Romney's 60.6M in 2012. Clinton underperformed Obama by 9M from 2008 and by 5+M from 2012. Dems stayed home in droves. Michael Moore noted that 90,000 Michigan voters voted a complete ballot but left President blank. Your margin in Michigan was 11,000. In Michigan and Wisconsin, county after county that went twice for Obama went for Trump.  And yes, now we get to enjoy AG Giuliani and Secretary of Interior Palin along with our new retrograde supremes.

I blame the DNC on tipping the scales away from an electable candidate and for their preferred insider. They ran a status-quo candidate in a change election, and turned a continued deaf ear to the plight of people in flyover country. They didn't listen- now we all inherit the wind.  And yes I know about voter suppression, and that remains a problem, but the so-called Obama coalition did not turn out. Putting the lie to "elections don't matter." If you continue to believe they don't matter, prepare to enjoy life under Trump, Pence and Ryan. And lose my number.

 

Perhaps William Rivers Pitt has said it best:

Trump didn't win because your friend criticized Clinton on Facebook, or because your sister likes Jill Stein, or because Bernie sold out to Hillary or because of any of the galaxy of stupid self-destructive pissy pissant excuses I've been hearing and reading today.

Unfuck your brain pans, folks. Trump won because millions of people have been getting jackhammer-fucked for decades by nearly a half century of trickle-down economic thievery. Millions of people live paycheck to paycheck, and pay through the nose for health insurance, and have no equity in their homes any more, and have an expensive degree that can't get them a job, and they think they have no future, and maybe they're fuckin-a right. Economic inequality has been mother's milk for bigotry and hate since before the pharaohs built those big pointy grain silos.

People are justly pissed because America has been a shell game since before Reagan, a long con to extract wealth and resources, and the people never get to find the pea under the pistachio. So along comes this gifted grifter from the TV who tapped into that angst and ran wild with it. THAT'S why he won, because he cannily capitalized on a decrepit system, and millions who don't know where else to look or who to blame after years of trying said fuck it, why not. They're not stupid. They're exhausted and fed up because they've been let down over and over again. It worked.

 


Reaction has occurred in many cities, with people marching in the streets. While mobilization is important, my brief experience with Occupy has taught me that ad hoc assemblies let off steam but do little more without a more extensive agenda. Strategy is what is needed. There will be time for that. Also, let's not forget that we are about to turn over the immense surveillance power of the NSA to a serial tweeter who maintains enemies lists.

There has been some violence, much dramatized by the alt-right. During Occupy. It was pretty obvious that anybody exhorting people to violence was probably collecting a government paycheck. After all, in activist politics, the FBI plant is the guy who offers to get the dynamite. 

They call it "political correctness" when the oppressed tell the privileged they're tired of putting up with their shit.

Marchers and others are amazed that the people of the US voted to elect a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women, and who tweets gleeful posts about deporting families, other examples of casual cruelty, and thinly veiled, dog-whistle racism. Plenty of Trumpeters demand that the unhappy line up behind the new "President of all of us," when they never returned the favor. We are supposed to forget the plotting in a DC steakhouse on Inauguration night of 2009, where R s plotted to obstruct Every. Single. Thing. Obama proposed. And then was the demonization of him and his family, the birtherism. The reflexive racism, the monkey memes… we're supposed to forget all that. I promise a President Rich Asshole the same tender consideration that his fellow travellers offered Barack Obama.

Many survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault awoke on Wednesday morning to the realization that a man who said his accusers were too ugly to assault was endorsed by nearly half the country as a leader. They woke up to newspapers splashed with pictures of a man who said that he could “grab women by the pussy” without their consent because he’s a "big, big star."  Friends of color saw a man elected as their president who was willing to hire as his campaign CEO one of the most vile racists that exists, and who began his campaign by calling them, their friends, and their family members who face racial violence every day “rapists” and “drug dealers.” They watched a man become president who called the first black president “evil” and illegitimate, and heard him tell them they were “living in hell,” accuse them of dupes for voting Democrat for several decades now, and demonize the only movement working toward ending the murders of their sons, mothers, brothers, fathers, and friends at the hands of police. And those that are gay, or Muslim, or Latina, or undocumented fear for their lives and for their children’s safety. The simple fact is that the vast majority of those not part of the one per cent and living off investments or trust funds are hurt and grieving, and the half of the electorate that voted for Trump don't realize what is about to happen to them.

My neighbors, co-workers and family helped elect that man. And we all have to live with that. Some of us are more prepared than others.

Meanwhile, The Fed/Wall Street elite and private military contractors have never been happier and rub their hands together at the feast about to unfold. They have thoroughly divided and propagandized the American public and in Trump have a camera-ready stooge to turn over the keys to the Treasury. Meanwhile, the D vs R, liberal vs conservative divide and conquer techniques continue, and the same interests make off with the boodle. Wash, rinse, repeat.


In other news, Ku Klux Klan announces Trump victory parade in North Carolina. It was on the website of the kkkknights but is no longer on their main page. It was scheduled for December 3 at an undisclosed location in NC. Perhaps they have had second thoughts- or have been encouraged to have them. And I was ready for a road trip.

As Trump puts together a transition team, we receive early word that one of his selects is one Myron Ebell, described as one of seven “climate criminals” wanted for “destroying our future.” This means a reversal of the tepid Obama climate change policies and an unshackling of energy companies' plunder of public resources and public waters. From the NT Times:

In looking for someone to follow through on his campaign vow to dismantle one of the Obama administration’s signature climate change policies, President-elect Donald J. Trump probably could not have found a better candidate for the job than Mr. Ebell.

Mr. Ebell, who revels in taking on the scientific consensus on global warming, will be Mr. Trump’s lead agent in choosing personnel and setting the direction of the federal agencies that address climate change and environmental policy more broadly.

Mr. Ebell, whose organization is financed in part by the coal industry, has been one of the most vocal opponents of the linchpin of that policy, the Clean Power Plan. Developed by the Environmental Protection Agencythe plan is a far-reaching set of regulations that, by seeking to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation, could result in the closing of many coal-burning power plants, among other effects.

Remember the plunder of the EPA, the selloff of national parks to private interests, and poisoning of the nation's fresh water when your grandchildren curse and spit at the mention of your name.

As of this writing, we hear from Trump that that wall thingy might have been a little overreach. Future Secretary of State Newt Gingrich gave us a new term for deception. Describing Trump's now deleted pledge to have Mexico build a wall on its border, he dubbed it a "great campaign device." Trump and his advisers have backed off major campaign pledges, including Obamacare and the wall.

President-elect Donald Trump and key advisers in recent days have backed away from some of the most sweeping pledges that the Republican candidate made on the campaign trail, suggesting that his administration may not deliver on promises that were important to his most fervent supporters.

Trump built his campaign message around bold vows to, among other things, force Mexico to pay for a massive border wall, fully repeal the Affordable Care Act and ban Muslims from entering the United States. But in the days since his upset election victory, he or his advisers have suggested that those proposals and others may be subject to revision.

Trump also avoided answering whether he would follow through on a campaign vow to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state. "It's not something I've given a lot of thought, because I want to solve health care, jobs, border control, tax reform," he said.

That ambivalent tone is a far cry from Trump's sweeping rhetoric on the campaign trail, where he repeatedly vowed to repeal and replace the ACA and led crowds in chants of "Lock her up!" in reference to Clinton. His lack of clarity on these and other issues has added more uncertainty to an already chaotic presidential transition, as he scrambles to build a team.

And in other Gingrich news, Newt Gingrich wants new House Un-American Activities Committee. Put me on record right now that I will be deeply offended if not named on a list.

And in breaking news Sunday night calculated to make one yearn for the good old days of George W. Bush, Trump chose Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff, and Steve Bannon as top adviser. "Draining the swamp" directly into the Oval Office. This is what we get for failing to have hanged 5000 seditionists at the end of the Civil War. Now we have a Republiconfederacy.

What could possibly go wrong?

The passing of the great Leonard Cohen this week reminds us of some of his most poignant lyrics. Those quoted above seem apt. At such a moment of darkness, we are called to remember that there is, indeed, "a crack in everything." And we must remember that the light always gets in. Whether the light can penetrate in time remains to be seen.


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, articles and spittle-flecked invective on this site, and quit barking and got off the porch long enough to be active in the Occupy movement. He shares a home in Southeastern Virginia with Contrary in the triumph of hope over experience, and is grateful that he is not yet taking a dirt nap.

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