Sunday, March 22, 2020


...on Labor Day


  1. The US military would be superb at fighting coronavirus. Let's use it. [Click] “After the 2010 Haitian earthquake, we saw the US military in action as a humanitarian force. They can do this.” The author makes a good argument. I wouldn’t bet on our Dear Leader doing any such thing at scale.

    1. Also: The US could see more deaths than WWII. It's time to deploy the military to hospitals [Click] “America has the strongest military in the world. We need to put it to use.”

    2. I read these articles in light of my experience as an army medic c. 1960. One thing I noticed is the assumption that lockdowns will be largely ineffective and cases will overwhelm the healthcare system. Should that happen, yes, the army's ability to rapidly deploy tent hospitals could be valuable. Although the second article assumes the problem will be a lack of healthcare workers rather than beds. In that unlikely event, field hospital and MASH staff could indeed be sent to civilian hospitals. But I'm not seeing the logistics of trying to train new people in a scenario that implicitly assumes the crisis will be relatively brief.


    As of Sunday, 26,747 has tested positive and 340 people had died, according to a Johns Hopkins tracker.

    Nearly half the infections were in New York, which has quickly become the epicenter of coronavirus in America, trailed by Washington State and California.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cautioned on Saturday that the high number of cases in the state was due to more tests being done. The state had done 45,000 tests, more than California (23,000) and Washington state (23,000) and more per capita than South Korea or China.

  3. Germany's low coronavirus mortality rate intrigues experts [Click] “Some query data methodology while others say high testing rates are giving more accurate picture”

    1. The best mortality data are probably from the Diamond Princess, where everybody was tested so we actually know how many cases there were. That rate was 0.5%, not greatly different from what we see in Germany.

  4. AFL-CIO 🏽 Retweeted
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    Food workers.
    Grocery clerks.
    Delivery drivers.
    Warehouse stockers.

    They were never “unskilled workers.”
    They were always essential.

    And it’s WAY past time they got the respect they deserve w/ a living wage, paid sick leave, guaranteed healthcare, hazard pay, & more.

  5. Minnesota and Vermont Just Classified Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers [Click] “This means the workers hurrying to stock shelves and check out customers in those states will also receive free child care.” Good on Vermont!

    “Without These Workers, Everything Ceases to Exist”: How Coronavirus Is Coming for Your Produce [Click] “US consulates in Mexico are closed indefinitely, stranding a labor source that American farms rely on.” And once the crops die, are overgrown with weeds, or rot in the fields it is too late.

    Florida Official Urges Blowing Hair Dryer Up Your Nose [Click] Republican, of course…

    Rand Paul Tests Positive for Coronavirus [Click] My question: did he shake hands with our Dear Leader recently? [Hope springs eternal…]

    Economic Stimulus Talks Break Down [Click] For now, anyway.

    From The Atlantic:A Historical Lesson in Disease Containment [Click] “Tuberculosis sanatoriums offered patients fresh air, entertainment, and socialization—for those who could afford them.” The author fails to emphasize the value of good nutrition, and of sunlight (which kills TB germs, which can live for months otherwise.)

    1. TB was to a very large extent a disease of the poor. In the big cities virtually everyone was infected, but far fewer developed the disease. No small number of rural children were infected by drinking milk from cattle infected with bovine TB, which could manifest itself when they grew old and their immune systems weakened. I saw what was probably among the last such cases in the United States.

  6. Ohio now has 351 confirmed COVID case and it is reported that the Governor will order a "Shelter in Place" deal tomorrow.

  7. I don't think this will actually change anything for us.  We can still shop for groceries and walk the dogs. Pretty much all we've *been* doing. I guess they decided they had to make it official.

  8. Watch Neil Diamond Transform ‘Sweet Caroline’ Into Coronavirus PSA

    “Hands / Washing hands / Reaching out / Don’t touch me / I won’t touch you”

  9. From The Atlantic: The Right Way to Activate the National Guard [Click] “There are three methods of mobilizing America’s citizen soldiers. Which one Trump chooses will matter a great deal.”

    1. Knowing trump I would bet on him using the most militaristic way possible like Kim Jung Un. Trump will do what makes him feel like a "big tough guy" with a big.....package.

    2. I agree. But in addition, if there's a way to screw this whole thing up, he'll find it.

    3. I thought that went without saying...

    4. Trust yours truly to state the obvious. *wry grin*

  10. From my inbox. Though this is a begging e-mail, it nonetheless gives a salutary reminder.

    Never Forget! Joe Biden: Salesman For War

    Cat —

    Friday marked 17 years since the United States' invasion of Iraq. A war of aggression, sold through blatant lies and grotesque manipulation of grief and fear following the attacks of September 11, 2001. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were the architects of that war, but can you guess who was one of their most effective salesmen?

    Joe Biden. The very same Joe Biden that DNC elites are about to crown as their nominee to oppose Trump in November. This world deserves better than being forced to choose between two warmongers to lead us.

    In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, while countless peace demonstrators gathered around the world to avert bloodshed, Biden shilled for war in the press and in Congress. He claimed the congressional authorization to invade Iraq was not a "rush to war" but instead a "march to peace and security."

    Later, as Barack Obama's Vice President, Biden backed the expansion of war into more countries through constant drone attacks and unaccountable Special Forces operations.

    Neither Biden nor the DNC leadership have learned anything in these 17 years. That might be because, in their eyes, everything went according to plan! They got their time at the steering wheel of US empire while enriching themselves and their financial backers. That's what they care about.

    The Green Party cares about actual democracy, and we have backed up that commitment by rejecting corporate money since our very founding. In order to keep organizing and growing, we depend on amazing people like you. Please give today.

    In Peace and Solidarity,
    Green Party US

    P.S. We hope you are safe and secure during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. Your contribution means so much to us during this time of economic uncertainty. If donating feels challenging for you, consider breaking up your gift over time as a Green Party Monthly Sustainer. $5, $10 or $20 per month —whatever you can support— will make a big difference.

    Green Party of the United States · PO Box 75075, Washington, DC 20013, United States.

  11. Trump axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak [Click] and then blamed China…
    Trump Wants Control of Economic Rescue Funds [Click] Dems object.

    Trump won’t rule out filling his own pockets with bailout funds [Click]
    Paul Stayed at Work Despite Coronavirus Test [Click] Socialized with colleagues.

    “Gee. That’s too bad.”
    — President Trump, when informed by a reporter that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) was in isolation after being in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

    Mitch McConnell May Have an Attendance Problem [Click] So far coronavirus or fear of it seems to be affecting Republican senators rather than Democratic ones. Here’s a list from the Washington Post [Click]

    Governors and Mayors In Growing Uproar. [Click] Trump tweets they “shouldn’t be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings. We are there to back you up should you fail, and always will be!”

    Trump Offers to Help North Korea with Pandemic [Click]

  12. Larry Elliott: The coronavirus crisis may lead to a new way of economic thinking [Click] “If history is any guide, it is the second shock that makes fundamental change possible.” “The 1929 crash triggered a sea change. Ideas such as universal basic income suggest Covid-19 could do likewise.”