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What you want to say – 8 April 2020 April 8, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

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1. Joe - April 8, 2020

I can’t wait for the new FF/FG+ government to be formed and to get going.
We’re going to have a single tier health service; state childcare; and the housing crisis sorted. It’s in the papers.

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sonofstan - April 8, 2020

Socialism in our time!

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Tomboktu - April 8, 2020

And public sector pay cuts to help pay for the covid-dole.

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2. Alibaba - April 8, 2020

Sorry to learn that John Prine has passed on due to complications following virus infection. Yet heartened to know he would had liked it to happen in his characteristic twisted and sharing manner. As noted previously:

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnprine/pleasedontburyme.html

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3. tomasoflatharta - April 8, 2020

RISE TD Paul Murphy has issued the press statement below about the spread of the CoronaVirus through Irish Nursing Homes.

Stop the spread of Coronavirus through old peoples homes
Simon Harris must instruct HIQA to enforce HSE Guidelines
“On the day when Simon Harris signed orders to restrict movement, he must also act to stop the rampant spread of Covid-19 through old peoples homes, which now account for 86 clusters,” says Paul Murphy https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/08/stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-through-old-peoples-homes-health-minister-simon-harris-must-instruct-hiqa-to-enforce-hse-guidelines-paul-murphy-td-rise/

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4. makedoanmend - April 8, 2020

Time to ditch the Euro?

“EU fails to reach deal on Covid-19 bailout plan”

https://www.rte.ie/news/europe/2020/0408/1129232-europe-bailout-fund-talks/

So much for the nine EU countries, including Ireland, who initially wanted Eurobonds to be issued to allow capital investment by individual countries using the strength of the entire EU economy as surety.

“In the ‘northern’ view, the idea that there will never be any conditions to the ESM money, and the mutualisation of debt, is a bridge too far,” said an EU diplomat.”

Basically we have a Euro based upon the entire European economy (for the most part) but each country must borrow based upon its own percieved strength or weakness. A country like Italy can’t borrow on the European based surety and this rises costs of borrowing. Also, the ESM mechanism has plenty of strings attached and fiscal constraints. The ESM is almost austerity by another means according to some. Given that so many Euro nations are going to need to borrow, we can assume interest rates are going to rise – ergo the price of money rises and our fiscal freedom is further constrained by ESM and other fiscal legal constraints as interest payments increase each year.

Apparently the charge against commonly issued Eurobonds is lead by the Netherlands, Germany and Austria, with the Netherlands adamant that such a contingency can never, ever happen. I suspect the German position is pretty much set in concrete as well.

At best, countries being forced to access the ESM mechanism will only temporarily paper over their slumping economic conditions as they develop across Europe during the next six months to a year – and beyond.

Germany is taking up leadership of the EU next month and if they are not careful they might just oversee the demise of not only the Euro but the EU as we know it. The Italian economy has been particularly hard hit by the constraints of the Euro. Given how hard the virus has hit Italy, I suspect they are in no mood to have Germans or any other country trying to constrain their efforts to resurrect their economy. The Italians, Spanish and Greeks (and us?) must seriously consider leaving the Euro. If that happens, will other European countries see the Euro as dysfunctional and also believe the fiscal restraints set by a subset of EU nations as too onerous in which to continue their participation?

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2020

Not quite time yet. But… if the lack of solidarity continues then one would have to wonder how long the EU project can keep afloat, or at least the Eurozone project and why should states that have been so grievously damaged by an event beyond their control have to carry all the weight in a union?

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5. makedoanmend - April 8, 2020

Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the USA presidential race. So the dysfunctional duopoly continues in decline.

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Dermot M O Connor - April 8, 2020

Watching american ‘liberals’ and ‘progressives’ line up obediently behind the senile prick Biden is going to make the back half of this year every bit as puketastic as the first. Skinner rats falling for the old two card money again.

Their gnashing of teeth and rending of garments when Biden loses in November will however, offer a few moments of grim amusement.
And should Biden by some miracle win, his continuing descent into dementia would also offer dark comedy.

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2020

No fan of Biden but… that’s a very personalised sort of attack and stuff about dementia and senile is on dodgy ground. Not sure there’s any entertainment in Trump winning again.

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makedoanmend - April 9, 2020

A laugh right now is to be cherished and “puketastic” delivered. I’ll be adding it to my vocabularly immediately. (Hopefully it’s not copywrited by some boutique investment banker for the next 7501 years.)

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6. tomasoflatharta - April 8, 2020

https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/08/sanders-corbyn-a-consolatory-daydream-of-a-small-begining-rather-than-a-not-so-big-end/ The Corbyn-Sanders phenomena has reached its conclusion. The road to socialism is not a short cut through the softer alternative ruling party firmly in the grip of well-connected politicians and apparatchiks

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7. tomasoflatharta - April 9, 2020

The Bernie Sanders Campaign to win the Democratic Party Nomination for President in the November 2020 General Election is Dead. Over. Extinct.

Radical left activists in the USA are debating where to go next. Let’s hope they achieve something worthwhile – the Biden V Trump contest is a miserable dead-end – unfortunately Bernie Sanders is choosing TweedleBiden instead of TweedleTrump. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/debate-how-can-we-continue-the-bernie-revolution-and-build-a-new-political-party/

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8. yourcousin - April 9, 2020

I am literally flabbergasted by conflation of Trump and Biden. Much like the defamation of Hillary as equally abhorrent as Trump. If the last few years have shown us anything it is that Trump is infinitely worse than any other adult in the room.

There is a global pandemic sweeping the globe. The man in charge of the US response belittled it and denied it was coming after gutting the CDC. Now that it is ravaging the US he is touting an anti malarial drug as a cure as well as actively undermining the voices of medical professionals within his own administration.

This is well beyond virtue signaling.

Folks who bemoan the failure of entryism seem to think there’s some shortcut to salvation. Hate to say it but, “build movements, not candidates”.

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yourcousin - April 9, 2020

I should note that disappointment is reasonable and expected.

But that disappointment should’ve registered when Bernie went back to designating as an independent after the ‘16 election.

He never seriously tried to change the Democratic Party from within. If you want parliamentary social democracy you better focus your battles on school boards, PTAs (parent, teacher associations), city councils, state legislatures etc. If Sanders brand of social democracy can’t take root there then it was always doomed to failure.

Not poo pooing folks who backed him, just saying the outcome was to be expected.

Let’s keep taking care of each other during these trying times, and keep fighting for what we know is right. Politicians will not deliver us unto utopia, but they can sure fast track us on the road to hell.

I will fully embrace any sort of damage control at this point. Knowing it’s just that, damage control.

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makedoanmend - April 9, 2020

Well, two thoughts spring to mind. One is that the USA has become a text book duopoly where the differences between the two parties is superficial and in name only, and as a result the actual power of representative democracy is thwarted. Cui bono?

The other is that there is only a choice with regard to the office of president between bad and worse. As to which label to pin to each presidential candidate, I don’t think it matters.

Bankers have their tentacles wrapped virtually around the USA govt. and the two parties have their tentacles virtually wrapped around all federal power apparatatuses. Add in a goodly dollop of solid right-wing political political philosophy and the result is a toxic stew as far as I can see. The scary part is the USA is an imperial power.

From my political point of view, the only hope is Ocasio-Cortez and her small cohort of like minded Fed politicians. But that is one massive responsibility to heap on the head of one politician, no matter how talented they may be. The imperial appartatus is so massive and encompassing that I really don’t hold out much hope for a change any time soon, if ever.

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oliverbohs - April 9, 2020

Biden rules out Medicare for All, still. Trump, if he had to, could outflank him from the left on that. Biden has spent his political career doing bad things just to keep hanging around where the power is. The world looks on at USA at two old gropers (or worse) who can’t finish their sentences competing for presidency of a corrupt declining superpower. And wonders which of them wd provide the next distraction war

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2020

I’m 100% in agreement with you MDAM and don’t have any faith in US Presidents making things much better, but.. I do think we’ve had an object example of them making things worse. To take just this crisis the closure of the Global Health Security and Biodefense unit of the NSC in 2018 which was explicitly charged with pandemic responses. Personnel were reassigned to other areas of the NSC and some had a role in pandemic response but the central role of that was diminished. It’s a small example. There’s a lot more in relation to the judiciary, funding cut or eliminated for health programmes, for International aid, for a range of areas etc. Now all this impacts directly on the lives of US communities and workers, as we see during the present crisis.

So for me it actually does matter marginally even between the worst and less worse because the space for the left to organise and develop is greater in a context where people aren’t scrabbling as they are under Trump and where there’s even residual influence of unions and so on as there is within the Democratic Party.

Indeed surely a party that has been enthused by Sanders is precisely the party to be putting Biden’s feet to the flames to follow a more radical path?

There’s no guarantees in that working but it seems to me to be more plausible approach, building up a radical consensus from communities, activists and so on than just saying, it’s all over, there’s no difference between the parties with all that that implies for the future for communities and workers in the next four or eight or whatever years.

In a way this has moved beyond the proximate point, which Tomboktu addressed in a different context re Boris Johnson by quoting the following tweet the other day:

“From a locked account on twitter

If I read “no matter your politics” one more time. Actually, politics do matter. Always. I wish him well. But that’s because of my politics, not in spite of it. It matters to me if people die from governmental negligence. Every life counts. Politics is very much the matter.”

I may not much like Biden but there’s a political critique and criticism and then there’s something else. This site has always attempted to avoid the something else, in fact that’s precisely why smiffy, mbari, myself and a few others stepped back from Politics.ie in the mid 2000s.

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makedoanmend - April 9, 2020

I wasn’t aware of the NSC situation – but it fits the ultra-right philosophical profile of President Trump. One could be forgiven that these true-belief capitalists are trying to lay the narrative groundwork to make death from poverty and disease seem “natural” and necessary – issues over which we will be told we have no real control. Hence the attack on fundamental and very sound medical science from the right during this pandemic.

As for the other points, I’d pretty much concur.

As for Pie – peeyew – toxic – wouldn’t dream of going near it – about as far from politics as politics can git

But you seem more like a glass half full type WBS – me not so much 🙂

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2020

Ah it was terrible. smiffy and I were at a P.ie event, and one of their worst anti-immigrant crew was there and stuck out his hand to shake, and smiffy just said ‘no, can’t do it.’. And he was right. it was impossible.

Agree completely, there’s a dystopian tinge to the capitalist crew where the economic value is everything and all else is near enough irrelevant.

That’s an interesting point you raise at the end. I was wondering about that in regard to the pandemic. I’m surprised but not shocked by it because I’m actually very pessimistic in a low level way. I feel that it’s not so much barbarism or socialism but what you describe, what these guys want, a sort of modernised feudalism – the company shop, people as another raw product, either consumers and/or producers. I don’t think that’s inevitable. I’m not even sure that all forms of capitalism point in that direction, though I think most/many do. But that’s my prevalent concern and I think about the next generation and the next generation and where things will be in fifty or a hundred years and I wonder.

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Dermot M O Connor - April 9, 2020

WBS, one problem with Biden (or any DNC/clinton/obama type Democrat) winning is that it doesn’t give space for people on the left, it closes them down. It gives the illusion of a supporting party, which then eats the people who join it.

I remember back in 2003, the ‘anti-war’ movement was quite visible. You’d see people out protesting (probably a waste of time, but there they were). It went away overnight when Obama beat McCain. As it turns out, the vast majority of that supposedly ‘left’ group was merely pro-democrat anti-bush partisans.

https://jacobinmag.com/2018/05/anti-war-movement-democratic-party-iraq

IIRC according to one study the ‘movement’ lost over 80% of its supporters. The Dems act as a lure / bait and switch for people who are genuinely left, many if not most of whom will now be tricked into voting Biden.

I was hoping in 2008 that McCain won, because for a certain % of people to snap out of it, they need to go over the cliff, to break the spell that the system will save them, or that it can be made to work for them. But that would take one party to rule solo for 20 years, so won’t happen. The tweedles will keep the illusion going until the country finally collapses – each side living in permanent Hope that just ‘one more push’ and the promised land will be here. Like WW1 soldiers, just one more attack and we’ll be in Berlin by xmas.

The alternative reading of Pandora’s box (hope is in the box as a salve) is that hope was the worst of the monsters, because it’s false hope. My fear would be that people year on year keep sinking vast amounts of hope (falsely) into a path that simply cannot deliver any meaningful systemic change.

I’m moving more and more away from any hope in parliamentarian politics; the recent shit-show in the UK and what the DNC has done to the Sanders movement suggest that it’s closed off – indeed, the recent window of opportunity for SF seems also to have been squashed, so five more years of FFG+.

Not an excuse for not voting (when I do get home I’ll vote PBP/SF/etc), but definitely I’d warn any young person from sinking too much of their energy / money / time into having faith in voting to trying to improve a system that’s in a death-grip. Maybe better to work on non-parliamentary approaches, like barter economies, local syndicates, that sort of thing.
Horrible, boring economics, ugh.

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CL - April 9, 2020

“Noam Chomsky reflects on the significance of the Bernie Sanders campaign, calling it “an extraordinary success” that “completely shifted the arena of debate and discussion” in the United States….
If Trump is reelected, it’s a indescribable disaster…
Suppose Biden is elected. I would anticipate it would be essentially a continuation of Obama — nothing very great, but at least not totally destructive, and opportunities for an organized public to change what is being done, to impose pressures….
https://www.democracynow.org/2020/4/9/noam_chomsky_bernie_sanders_campaign

“Joe Biden isn’t about to become Bernie Sanders, but he’s signaling that there’s potential for more common ground on issues such as health care, student debt, climate change and more in the weeks ahead….
As Biden courts Sanders’ endorsement, their teams will hold policy discussions in the next few weeks with the expectation that Biden will incorporate some elements of Sanders’ agenda.”
https://www.axios.com/sanders-biden-negotiations-2020-5617bd6a-2700-4b48-8398-64d8f80bc9c8.html

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2020

I’ve got to be honest, I’m not a big fan of ‘to save the village we had to burn it down’. So hoping for, the election of a more extreme candidate over a less one seems to me to have three key problems. Firstly it’s impossible to predict where a system will go subsequently, secondly allied to that there’s no guarantee that it will arrive at the hoped for place, third and perhaps most importantly in the immediate we can be guaranteed negative outcomes will stack up for workers and communities. I suppose it is possible some on the left cheered on the arrival of the Tories in 2010, but ten years later of unbroken and seemingly unbreakable Tory dominance that seems like a bet no one would have want to have made. Or nine years, count ‘em nine, of FG. Similarly with McCain. Immediate impacts, the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, and so on. Less immediate an approach by the Republicans that would across federal and state level see a consolidation fo their power etc. etc. The problem with going over cliffs is that the descent is uncontrollable and the outcome doesn’t lend itself to positive outcomes. And all this before one gets to whether a McCain presidency whether one term or two term would have inevitably led to a more pacific Democrat party? But you yourself point to twenty years of unbroken rule? How much misery would that entail for people? That has to be worked into the equation, it can’t simply be that workers and communities are there to be eaten up simply to arrive at an endpoint that may not, given the structural political and economic aspects, achievable and which in the process may see, as we have seen in the last four years a further attrition of organised labour rights, voting rights, etc, etc. perhaps we’ll see a revolutionary situation emerge on foot of all this, but I’d not bet on it.

And in a way we have a bit of control in this too. We’ve had four years of Trump. There’s been a mildly left wing (even by our standards here) potential nominee. At the end of the process Biden is who has been voted for by the Dem base. Again there’s no guarantee that people will swing more leftwards (You say it yourself, those ‘left-wingers’ were pro-democrats. Well of course they were, that’s sort of a given, most in the US are not leftwing and of those who are they’re mostly moderately left and of those who are left they’re a small group. And they were going to find Obama a better bet than McCain, or indeed any democrat better than a republican because for all the obvious flaws the Democrats are somewhat less dismal than the Republicans and they’re the only formation capable of functioning however poorly at national level). And there’s the broader question as to how a nominee will appeal more broadly than the Democrats, because that has to be factored in.

One doesn’t even have to have illusions that things are going to break in a progressive direction in any event. I’ve noted that above. And I’d strongly agree that placing faith in individual politicians however good isn’t going to cut it. Systemic change has to come from forces that move beyond individuals. For the US I’ve no great hopes, perhaps on a state level at some point. For here, some hopes but we’ve never had a left wing govt so no change there. For the UK? I can’t stop feeling that the sheer embedded nature of aristocracy there provides such a societal counterweight to any serious radicalisation that it is all but impossible short of aboition of the monarchy allied with a wholesale change in media added to a serious whittling away of middle and in particular upper middle class privilege in respect to private education etc and other areas to achieve the sort of ends we want. That’s a massive menu of change.

But I’d have reservations with the idea spaces can’t open up. And even fi they don’t I think that on a political level it is feasible to organise from below, in fact I’d entirely agree that that is a better focus much of the time than parliamentary/national politics, though the latter is important. Barter etc are great ideas, and the political is crucial too. First up, unions, local community groups, local political organisations which may be more open to radical ideas and so on.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2020

CL I think and not for the first time Chomsky is spot on. I also think now is the time for Sanders and those who support him to push for Biden to incorporate tranches of the progressive programme. Biden needs them. No question.

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9. makedoanmend - April 9, 2020

” I’m not even sure that all forms of capitalism point in that direction, though I think most/many do.”

Public controlled capital put to use for the entire society possibly transforms capitalism into something else? Capital as a public utility.

When we demistify capital and reveal that an elite is not necessary for its creation or control through debt and interest, the people who now use it control society in order to enrich themselves will need to invent a new form of social control in order to hoard wealth and hence power?

And believe you me where I mentally reside, you seem much more like a half glass full type – not a bad thing a’tall

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EWI - April 9, 2020

Public controlled capital put to use for the entire society possibly transforms capitalism into something else? Capital as a public utility.

Once upon a time, a third (public) banking was mooted. Not only was this buried by the PDs and PD-ish FFers, but the very earth it was to stand on (ACC, ICC and An Post) has been comprehensively salted since. During the banking crisis, even An Post’s ability to take in consumer savings was deliberately nerfed to advantage the private banks.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2020

That was a disgrace the way that idea was let wither. A third public banking force would be a crucial element of a progressive mix.

MDAM, I know what you mean I think. And in times like this half empty is even a sort of as optimal as it can be place!

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10. tomasoflatharta - April 9, 2020

Highly Recommended – Watch Out for the Reference to Leon Trotsky!
The play has won an Irish Times Award, which is Extremely Well Deserved. Bread Not Profits was A rare example of Performance Theatre 🎭 drawing in the audience very close; there was very little alienated feeling that the performers were talking down to you from the top stage. This is a big problem with the conventional theatre format, and all kinds of lectures – especially the big rally/meeting format beloved of political control-freaks! I attended the play on my last visit to Limerick. The way life has turned, I wonder will I I ever be able to visit again? Still, memories stimulate! – John Meehan https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/mike-finns-bread-not-profits-celebration-of-the-1919-limerick-soviet-online-for-48-hours-starts-thursday-april-9-1-00pm/

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11. tomasoflatharta - April 9, 2020

The workers’ movement, and all progressive forces, have a duty to resist the Covid-19 Assault, and put forward practical proposals which will work at local, national, and international levels. The full text of a Fourth International Declaration is here : http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article6517 Key extracts are below. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/faced-with-the-covid-19-pandemic-our-lives-are-more-worth-than-their-profits-fourth-international-european-declaration/

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12. CL - April 9, 2020

““And zinc, they say zinc. You should add zinc,” Trump said. It’s unclear who “they” is. He also claimed that people should ask their doctors for the zinc, which is available as a vitamin at the local pharmacy.”
https://www.rawstory.com/2020/04/doctor-calls-trumps-comments-on-zinc-mystifying-after-msnbc-host-is-forced-to-break-in-for-a-fact-check/

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13. Tomboktu - April 9, 2020

A useful 32-tweet thread from Emma Clancy this afternoon

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EWI - April 9, 2020

Notable in the Irish and US media landscapes has been the sudden aversion to austerity and so-called balanced budgets – it seems that maximising the re-election chances of conservative parties is more important than deficits for our corporate journo culture in the IT and elsewhere. Who knew?

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14. CL - April 9, 2020

“Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday criticized the lack of a “robust system of testing” for coronavirus in the US.
“Social distancing bends the curve…But in order to shift off current policies, the key will be a robust system of testing and monitoring – something we have yet to put in place nationwide,” Obama tweeted.
The US is well behind other nations in terms of testing for coronavirus per capita.”
https://www.businessinsider.com/obama-calls-out-lack-of-robust-system-of-testing-coronavirus-2020-4

“Germany is to carry out Europe’s first large-scale coronavirus antibody testing in an effort to help researchers assess infection rates and monitor the spread of the virus more effectively….
The aim of the Sars-CoV-2 antibody test programme is to find out how many Germans are immune to the virus and “how large the proportion of asymptomatic cases is — that is of people who were infected by the virus but didn’t know it”…
Establishing how far the virus has spread and how many of those infected died will help authorities decide when they can allow people to return to normal life.”
https://www.ft.com/content/fe211ec7-0ed4-4d36-9d83-14b639efb3ad

“Dr. Anthony Fauci says…that the American public’s embrace of physical separation and other restrictions is sharply reducing projections of the death toll from the respiratory virus….
Fauci, America’s leading expert on infectious diseases and a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, also said that antibody tests have been developed and will be available “very soon.”..
People who have been infected will likely have protection from the coronavirus in the future, he said, while adding that further tests are needed to ensure that is the case with COVID-19.

“You may have a cohort of people who are actually protected, who have more of a chance at getting back into the normality of society,” Fauci said.”
https://www.npr.org/2020/04/09/830664814/fauci-says-u-s-coronavirus-deaths-may-be-more-like-60-000-antibody-tests-on-way

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15. EWI - April 9, 2020

Latest in the Trump crime syndicate’s seizing advantage of the current crisis:

For all the confusion, what is clear is that the federal government is demanding that states, localities and hospital systems find their own supplies while systematically interdicting those they do purchase and rerouting them in other directions while providing no explanation of what standards are being used to distribute them. At the same time, Republican officeholders keep turning up announcing windfalls of medical supplies courtesy of the President. In many cases, like Gardner, they’re Republicans within blue or purple states.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/ppe-and-ventilators-becomes-patronage-in-trumps-hands

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16. EWI - April 9, 2020

Thankfully Sutherland is burning in hell, too.

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Tomboktu - April 10, 2020

Dudley Edwards doesn’t recognise a pardoy account when she sees one, then.

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Tomboktu - April 10, 2020

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Bartholomew - April 11, 2020

Surely ‘absolute wagon’ was the giveaway?

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17. gypsybhoy69 - April 10, 2020

Ding Dong….

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18. tomasoflatharta - April 10, 2020

USA : Bernie Sanders Campaign for President Over, Dead, Extinct. November 2020 Main Candidates TweedleTrump & TweedleBiden. Does Radical Left propose Credible Presidential Campaign for November 2020? Sanders sits on 100 million $$$ – TweedleBiden SlushFund??? https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/10/undaunted-sanders-supporters-announce-theyll-continue-presidential-campaign-without-candidate/

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19. CL - April 10, 2020

“For some time now, the cult of the individual and the hollowing out of government, the better to strip away any impediments to the optimisation of profit, has been riding high. The global trauma of the pandemic may well move things in the opposite direction, towards a greater acceptance of government intervention, a trend which can either become baleful — as it already has in the illiberal authoritarianism just instituted in Hungary — or benign, with policy, both preventive and reactive, based on the authority of knowledge.”- Simon Schama.

https://www.ft.com/content/279dee4a-740b-11ea-95fe-fcd274e920ca

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20. ar scáth a chéile - April 10, 2020

Lots of good Zoom interviews on Diem25TV . My membership contribution being put to good use. Here’s one with Jeremy Scahill on C19 in New York and its disproportionate impact on low paid workers

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21. CL - April 10, 2020
22. Tomboktu - April 11, 2020

Locusts in east Africa
Bush fires in Australia
Coronavirus
Radiation spike near Chernobyl
And now Krakatoa is joining in.

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WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2020

Also Iceland – lava on peninsula Rekayivak is on

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23. CL - April 11, 2020

“I think the economists globally are of a view that austerity isn’t the way to deal with this crisis — the opposite actually,” said Mr Martin. “Keynesian economics are back in fashion to a certain extent, that this is the time that you use your welfare system and that you use your public services to drive on the economy.”
https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/equal-split-of-cabinet-seats-for-fianna-fail-and-fine-gael-993502.html

“I am skeptical about these latest “return of Keynes” stories. This is partly because there has been no principled repudiation of austerity, and partly because most of the new converts simply equate Keynes with budget deficits. In fact, Keynesian arithmetic can also point to surpluses.
For starters, there is nothing Keynesian about Sunak’s £350 billion package to protect the economy against COVID-19: Any government will spend freely to protect its people against such disasters.”
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/keynes-how-to-pay-for-war-against-covid19-by-robert-skidelsky-2020-03

“The key thing to realize is that we aren’t facing a conventional recession, at least so far. For now, most job losses are inevitable, indeed necessary: They’re a result of social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus. That is, we’re going into the economic equivalent of a medically induced coma, in which some brain functions are temporarily shut down to give the patient a chance to heal.
This means that the principal job of economic policy right now isn’t to provide stimulus, that is, to sustain employment and G.D.P. It is, instead, to provide life support — to limit the hardship of Americans who have temporarily lost their incomes.”-Krugman, April 2, NYT.

“Normal recessions happen when people choose to cut spending, with the unintended consequence of destroying jobs. So far this slump mainly reflects the deliberate, necessary shutdown of activities that increase the rate of infection….
The bottom line is that this isn’t a conventional recession, which calls for broad-based economic stimulus. The immediate mission, beyond an all-out effort to contain the pandemic itself, should instead be disaster relief: generous aid to those suffering a sudden loss of income as a result of the economy’s lockdown.”-Krugman, April 6, NYT.

“The bottom line is that this isn’t a conventional recession, which calls for broad-based economic stimulus.”-
This is ‘conventional’ Keynesianism; The use of govenment deficit spending to stimulate aggregate demand in times of recession.

Government intervention is obviously needed, but Micheál Martin misconstrues the current economic problem; a severe economic slump that as Krugman points out ‘mainly reflects the deliberate, necessary shutdown’ of economic activity to suppress the infection.

Government disaster relief to those suffering a sudden loss of income should not be confused with conventional Keynesian macroeconomic demand management.

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24. ar scáth a chéile - April 11, 2020

Pasolini’s The Gospel.according to St Matthew is available in full on YouTube

…for the weekend that’s in it.

Liked by 1 person

25. tomasoflatharta - April 11, 2020

Spacers, many of them religious groups in the USA, have placed themselves in grave danger by defying Covid-19 social distancing advice. One group of spacers, studied here by Louis Proyect, is politically motivated. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/the-swp-and-social-distancing-a-study-in-abnormal-political-psychology/

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26. roddy - April 11, 2020

Run of the mill catholics here tend to take the virus more seriously.Was in a hardware shop today and he owner was only allowing 2 customers in at a time.He had hand wash on the counter and confided in me that he douses the counter with holy water every time he gets a chance!

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Joe - April 11, 2020

I’ve checked the science Roddy. Stick with the poteen.

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27. roddy - April 11, 2020

Thing is Joe,up here “holy water” is code for poteen.So the man behind the counter could have been speaking out the side of his mouth!

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Joe - April 11, 2020

Poteen softened with a small drop of holy water. To be sure to be sure.

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28. CL - April 11, 2020

“I had a lot of sympathy with the British Government’s adoption of the herd mentality policy, which seemed rational to me, but was booed and laughed off stage after a campaign of unremitting media alarmism….
I’d like to think that if Sweden – which adopted the herd immunity policy and has avoided lockdown – proves to be in the right, that all those who bullied the UK Government into a change of mind by accusing it of callousness and recklessness will admit they were wrong…..
That formidable lawyer Lord Sumption has pointed out that whatever scientists say about clinical consequences, it is for the public to decide if we should wreck our economies because we are so afraid of having more old, sick people die, and by doing so, kill many others.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/ruth-dudley-edwards/its-for-public-to-decide-if-were-to-wreck-our-economies-to-stop-more-old-and-sick-dying-39104726.html

“Greek chief epidemiologist, on being asked “why make a fuss over old and sick people”, broke down.
“They’re our mothers and fathers; grandmothers and grandads. This is my answer: We honour and respect everyone – them especially. Without them we have no identity; we don’t exist.”
https://theintercept.com/2020/04/10/trumps-ridiculously-political-briefings-pandemic-unique-democratic-world/

Liked by 1 person

makedoanmend - April 12, 2020

Thx CL, I bookmarked the Greek’s response.

It’s phenomenal how the Greek person was able to not only show compassion and empathy but also to inherently understand the interconnectivity of life – the necessity of valuing what came before so that we better know the present and can prepare for the future. If we, because of capital or any other demented human construct, demean and devalue the individual or groups of individuals, we show our profound ignorance of our place in this world and the necessity of comradeship and solidarity for our survival as a biological species. This pandemic concretely shows how we depend on each other.

Of course, Lord Mucky Muck’s viewpoint is shared in many a parish across this globe. His cognitive dissonance is a belief that Sweden or any other individual country’s economic is affected by the pandemic in isolation. Of course, our economies are interconnected in so many ways and have been for centuries. Supply lines alone, if the were to breakdown due to a catastrophic viral increase in one population node, could prove harmful to all economies. The infection rate, by individual vector, is thought to be in the order 2x+. That is, each infected individual infects two or more people. If the infection magnitude falls below 1, the virus will fizzle out. If the magnitude increases, the exponential affect can be catastrophic.

Plus we are only coming to grips with the physical means to slow down cross contamination rates. We have learned to reduce infection rates via social distancing; better face masks and the necessity for everyone to wear one in public; but most importantly by the ability to quickly test people and isolate them. The last point is key.

We are as much on a learning curve as a disease growth curve. We needed the time to learn and still do.

People such as Mucky only seem to be more worried about the magnitude increase of their “own” capital and are seem to be willing to sacrifice lives in their quest. Vile.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2020

Yes it’s fantastic that response from Greece. Thanks CL.
And the madness is we don’t know if the virus reinfects those who have caught it, or rather how long immunity may or may not last. What I’m hearing is in some cases (mentioned in a post today) it seems to cause significant damage to lungs and other organs. But the sheer heartlessness of the Lord Mucky Muck line is something to wonder at. It’s something along the lines of people who are older are just resources for the economy. In fact everyone is just a resource for the economy rather than the economy being something owned for people. It is truly demented to hold that former view – the apotheosis of a certain form of capitalism. And as for RDE. Words fail yet again.

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WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2020

Actually they don’t fail me. I think that’s a fascist mentality she displays akin to the ‘useless eaters’ attitude of the Nazis:

“Noun. useless eater (plural useless eaters) (politics) In the ideology of Nazi Germany, a person with a serious medical problem or disability, seen as requiring help from society but giving nothing back.”

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29. ar scáth a chéile - April 12, 2020

Surprise, surprise , it was anti Corbyn stich up all along:

https://news.sky.com/story/labour-antisemitism-investigation-will-not-be-sent-to-equality-commission-11972071

Not to worry, mission accomplished

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EWI - April 12, 2020

And it was all too obvious at the time, as well (ffs, the Israeli embassy was caught on tape handing over large bags of money).

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ar scáth a chéile - April 12, 2020

Sir Keir effectivley continued the smear in his acceptance speech, showing how responsible and credible he is, to George Osborne’s satisfaction

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30. Paul Culloty - April 12, 2020

After the Greens supposedly being on the brink of entering coalition the weekend after the election, it’s the Soc Dems turn this week – Hugh O’Connell practically turning a statement that the framework document will be read and analysed into a political wedding!

Liked by 1 person

31. CL - April 13, 2020

“an antigen test, detects the presence or absence in the body of the new coronavirus, which causes the disease Covid-19…. an antibody test, looks for signs that someone has been infected in the past by searching for an immune response.
Antibody tests are being prioritised by governments including the UK and Germany because they will be essential to informing individuals whether they can return to mixing safely in society without passing on or picking up infection. When carried out in a representative sample of the population, they will also answer key epidemiological questions — including about how many people were infected with mild or no symptoms…..
antigen diagnosis is done mostly in the public sector, with private companies providing test components such as chemical reagents and swabs for patient samples — some of which have been in short supply. But in recent weeks there has been a huge mobilisation of private sector resources as businesses around the world race to enter a rapidly expanding market, rolling out automated PCR kits that process samples much more quickly than conventional labs….
The private sector has played an outsized role in the development and manufacturing of antibody tests, though its products still have to be validated by public health authorities before use…..
The presence of Chinese companies has stood out in the effort to boost the supply of both types of test. Of 202 companies around the world producing commercialised Covid-19 test kits, 92 are from China, where the outbreak originated and an innovative medical technology sector is thriving….
South Korea, the country that got going first with extensive Covid-19 testing, has so far carried out 394,000 (equivalent to 770 per 100,000 people). Iceland has done 4,160 tests per 100,000…
over the past two weeks US has ramped up testing rapidly.”
https://www.ft.com/content/0faf8e7a-d966-44a5-b4ee-8213841da688

““As we get to the point of considering opening the country,” Dr. Fauci said, “it is very important to understand how much that virus has penetrated society.” Immunity certificates, he said, had “some merit under certain circumstances.”….
Because the antibodies come up so late, these tests are not helpful for diagnosing an early infection…..
Governments around the world are also hopeful that serology tests can tell them which people are protected from re-infection and can safely go back to work. Knowing the full scope of the pandemic would help them decide when to end social isolation measures and allow businesses and schools to reopen…..
But simply having antibodies is no guarantee of immunity….
no way of knowing exactly how long immunity to the virus will last.” NYT

“The PCR test takes a swab from the back of the nose and throat and looks for presence of the virus itself…..A shortage of lysis buffer and other reagents or ingredients used in the test has caused a testing bottleneck, and research labs around Ireland are looking at ways to make the required materials…
The other looks at a blood sample for antibodies generated in the body in response to the virus, showing whether or not the person tested has been exposed to it in the past….
Antibody tests are being developed and tested but have yet to be approved for use in Ireland.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/pcr-versus-antibody-tests-what-s-the-difference-1.4227381

“Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.”
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-27/abbott-launches-5-minute-covid-19-test-for-use-almost-anywhere

‘Home to nearly 3,000 employees across 9 sites, Abbott in Ireland marks the company’s dedication to developing the highest-quality products and finding lasting solutions to the unique health challenges across the region.’-https:/www.ie.abbott

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32. Alibaba - April 13, 2020

A gentle reminder that:

‘Crises always create winners as well as losers. The bank bailouts of 2008 should have taught us that state intervention is not necessarily progressive. Back then, the state assumed the liabilities of finance capital and ordinary citizens ultimately footed the bill. Now, we are seeing a very similar story play out again …’

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/13/britain-coronavirus-bailout-rich-

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33. CL - April 13, 2020

Death rates from COVID-19, per 100,000 population-April 12

U.S.- 6.73

Ireland- 6.88

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

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WorldbyStorm - April 13, 2020

Could that be a bit skewed? US states aren’t counting deaths in care homes even where there’s an outbreak of Covid-19 if those who died haven’t tested positive for the virus.

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CL - April 13, 2020

Could be. But JHU seems to be the ‘go-to’ site for stats.

Also deaths per 100,000 in the U.S. varies considerably by state, and by city.
NY, NJ, Louisiana would be much higher than the national average.
The numbers are changing so rapidly daily that its difficult to gauge accuracy of published metrics.

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CL - April 13, 2020

Also this:

“New York City officials will begin to count suspected COVID-19 deaths in addition to cases confirmed by a laboratory, following a WNYC/Gothamist report revealing a staggering increase in the number of people dying at home but not included in the official tally because they hadn’t been tested for the novel coronavirus”
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/08/829506542/after-deaths-at-home-in-nyc-officials-plan-to-count-many-as-covid-19

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WorldbyStorm - April 13, 2020

Ah yeah, that makes sense re the variation. That would certainly account for a lot.

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CL - April 15, 2020

April 14, 2020
“New York City added thousands of people to its coronavirus death toll to account for victims who died in recent weeks without a confirmed diagnosis.
The additional deaths — totaling 3,778 — pushed the city’s total to more than 10,000. Almost 60% of them died as they awaited care inside hospital emergency rooms, the city reported.”
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-14/nyc-adds-3-700-to-death-toll-to-count-victims-not-hospitalized

March 1, 2020:
“First case of coronavirus confirmed in New York City”
https://nypost.com/2020/03/01/first-case-of-coronavirus-confirmed-in-manhattan/

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