Usher’s News & Analysis, Feb. 12, 2020

Martha MacCallum: Leaked Bloomberg audio will be weapon for 2020 opponents

A Marxian view at the oceans under unbridled capitalism:

A rational society … would carefully manage its relationship with the oceans, always applying the precautionary principle and giving top priority to the protection and regeneration of essential ecosystems.

But we don’t live in a rational society. As Michael Parenti writes, capitalism has very different priorities: “The essence of capitalism, its raison d’etre, is to convert nature into commodities and commodities into capital, transforming the living earth into inanimate wealth. This capital accumulation process wreaks havoc upon the global ecological system. It treats the planet’s life-sustaining resources (arable land, groundwater, wetlands, forests, fisheries, ocean beds, rivers, air quality) as dispensable ingredients of limitless supply, to be consumed or toxified at will.”[20]

That is precisely what the blue acceleration represents: a drive to accumulate capital by enclosing, exploiting and commoditising the oceans.

Blue Acceleration: Capitalism’s growing assault on the oceans

This one caught my eye in the linked-article immediately above. We’ve been polluting the oceans as if they are a limitless, toxic dump. We’ve been heating it up via our out-of-control carbon burning. That’s been raising the acid levels. Then, we want to eat the ocean creatures without being poisoned. It’s not bright at all. Now, we (I use the term loosely) want to mine the oceans. What in creation is sacred in the eyes of rabid capitalists?

“You can’t just stick your head in the sand,” says Van Dover, “and hope it will all go away.”

Seabed mining is coming — bringing mineral riches and fears of epic extinctions

Hmmm? Would you by one?

Senate Bill 319 would allow for homes and other inhabitable structures to be built in a dam’s inundation zone – the area that would be flooded if the dam fails – without causing the dam to be recategorized and required to meet higher safety standards. The structures would have to be built to withstand a breach of the dam and receive certification from an engineer approved by the state Environmental Protection Division’s Safe Dams Program.

Georgia Moves Towards Loosening Safety Regulations for Dams Near New Homes

A group of Chinese academics, including Xu, have signed an open letter calling for the government to issue an apology to the deceased doctor, Li Wenliang, and for freedom of speech and rights guaranteed by the constitution to be protected. Over the weekend, a woman was photographed in Shanghai holding a sign calling for freedom of speech.

Xu, who was suspended from his position last year after publishing a similarly critical essay of Xi, does not refer to the leader by name but uses other terms to refer to him. In his essay he urges citizens to call for “five demands”, a reference to anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

The demands he lists relate to freedom of speech and assembly, as well as the right to vote in open elections and an independent body to investigate the response to the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus: outspoken academic blames Xi Jinping for ‘catastrophe’ sweeping China

For now, containment measures are essential. Leung said the period of time when people were infected but showed no symptoms remained a huge problem. Quarantine was necessary, but to ensure people were not still carrying the virus when they left, everybody should ideally be tested every couple of days. If anyone within a quarantine camp or on a stricken cruise ship tested positive, the clock should be reset to 14 days more for all the others.

Some countries at risk because of the movement of people to and from China have taken precautions. On a visit to Thailand three weeks ago, Leung talked to the health minister and advised the setting up of quarantine camps, which the government has done. But other countries with links to China appear, inexplicably, to have no cases – such as Indonesia. “Where are they?” he asked.

Scientists still do not know for sure whether transmission is through droplets from coughs or possibly airborne particles.

Coronavirus ‘could infect 60% of global population if unchecked’

People may be leaving quarantine 10 days too soon.

Medical researchers in China have found the incubation period for coronavirus ranges up to 24 days — 10 days longer than experts previously thought.

Coronavirus could have incubation period of 24 days — 10 days longer than previously thought

Krystal goes on Tucker to combat Chuck Todd smear of Bernie backers