Usher's News & Analysis, Mar. 9, 2020

Is it time to panic? Never. However, it's always time to be realistic about possible scenarios. This is the side not heard in the MSM. It may be vastly more correct than what is being reported by corporate media. We really won't know until after the disease has been stopped or run its course.

Should the government, economy, and other things have been designed to handle this issue without concern for profits and expenses? Of course. That would have been the better path. It always is.

I'm not endorsing everything stated in the linked article. I am saying it's worth reading and seriously considering.

The highest severity analysis, based on the Spanish Flu pandemic, estimated a loss of $9 trillion of global GDP and 68 million deaths. Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases have died while the Spanish Flu of 1918 had a lower mortality rate, estimated by the WHO as between 2 and 3 percent. The contagion rate of COVID-19 is 4 to 7 while the Spanish flu was lower at 1.8.
... the US healthcare system, rules for sick leave and other policy decisions have made the country unprepared for the COVID-19. Robert Urie goes further and describes it as a neoliberal plague. He points out how widespread economic marginalization and a lack of paid time off will result in contagious workers spreading the virus. He describes it as a “public health disaster by design” asking “how would any substantial portion of the 80 percent of the population that lives hand-to-mouth be effectively quarantined when losing an income creates a cascade effect of evictions, foreclosures, starvation, repossessions, shut-off utilities, etc.?"

... scarcity creates profit. This economic logic leads to fewer virus test kits, vaccines, and basic sanitary aids. This approach is consistent with the US healthcare system which is based on profits, not health. A true public health response would make evaluation, testing, and treatment of COVID-19 readily available and free to all regardless of insurance status.

Neoliberalism is coming home to roost in the COVID-19. But, are any candidates for office saying it? Are any Democrats pointing out that COVID-19 is a strong argument for national improved Medicare for all, paid sick leave and a stronger social safety net?

The Coronavirus Is A Plague Of Neoliberalism

AMD processors from 2011 to 2019 vulnerable to two new attacks

Coronavirus: quarter of Italy's population put in quarantine as virus reaches Washington DC

I have yet to see a case where a country became better off for having taken an IMF loan. Were I the decision maker, I would never take one.

IMF deal would spark 'popular revolution' in Lebanon, Hezbollah believes

Hyperbolic or prescient? We'll see.

Saudi Arabia Starts All-Out Oil War: MbS Destroys OPEC By Flooding Market, Slashing Oil Prices

Instead of finding themselves with 72 virgin girls in Heaven, they'll be castrated outcasts.

Pakistani Islamists pelt International Women's Day marchers with bricks

Bernie Sanders goes on FOX and is respectfully asked questions and respectfully answers all of them. What's wrong with that? I'm not saying I agree with every question or every answer. I don't, but still ...

Bernie Sanders shreds Joe Biden in exclusive interview

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joins Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday.'

This one has a transcript: Chris Wallace to Bernie Sanders: How Hard Can You Go After Joe Biden Without Carving Him Up For Trump?

'This isn't going away': Jill Stein warns Biden's 'biggest risk is his obvious cognitive decline'

Over the years, both Republicans and Democrats have accepted about two-thirds of the 1928 Socialist Party platform on economic reforms, advancing capitalism into a more workable system today. Now, nearly all Americans have accepted the Federal Reserve bank, the eight-hour work day, universal healthcare and so many other social and economic benefits.

Many businesses are in fact subsidized ....

Letters to the Editor: If Bernie Sanders is a socialist, then so are most Americans

... boomers associate it with Stalinism, millennials associate it with Scandinavia. In many ways, the S-word is a red herring. The country has not so much warmed to socialism as it has cooled on capitalism. This is hardly surprising when you consider how the latter has failed ordinary Americans. The poorest men in the US have the same life expectancy as men in Sudan. Maternal mortality more than doubled between 1991 and 2014. The middle class has shrunk. People are desperate for an alternative to an increasingly dismal status quo.

Why are Americans warming to socialism? Because capitalism has failed them

The linked article, by Jonathan Chait, is entirely wrong; but, Bernie isn't the problem with it.

(The Socialist Party’s program from a century ago is now largely uncontroversial not only among Democrats but Republicans.) But the divide between democratic socialism and communism is fairly clear. Communism envisions political change occurring through revolution, followed by the establishment of a one-party state, that party representing the sole political organ with a claim to political legitimacy.

Sanders has rejected this theory his entire political life. In a speech 30 years ago, while extolling socialism, he distinguished his creed from communism:

Yes, it is true that a result of the tremendous political ignorance in this country created by the schools and the media, there are many people who do not know the difference between “socialism” and “communism.” Yes, on more than one occasion, I have been told to “go back to Russia.” But, if we maintain a strong position on civil liberties, express our continued opposition to authoritarianism and the concept of the one-party state, I am confident that the vast majority of the people will understand that there is nothing incompatible between socialism and democracy.

Bernie Sanders Is Not a Communist

The problem with it is the conflation of lower-case communism with the Communist Party of Stalin and Mao and the like. Lower-case communism was never even defined by Marx. It's simply synonymous with communal ownership: a commune. Democracy is still required. You don't own something where you don't have say. Owning something entirely equally together, all other things being equal, which they are in full-blown socialism/communism, grants every owner equal control.

This is another mistaken linked-article. Henry Wallace was not a Stalinist. He was a dyed-in-the-wool Bill of Rights person. He also opposed Truman's policies for very serious and well-considered reasons.

As for NATO, it was a bad idea. It's been a fascist, imperial force since conception. Truman was often quite weak-minded and easily duped. The National Security State has also comeback in spades to haunt all of us.

Wallace was a hyper New Dealer. He would have outdone FDR doing FDR-like things (provided the legislature would have gone along). The nation would have been better off. There's no doubt about it. Dumping Wallace was a worse mistake than the temporary rollback of the New Deal that led to the recession right in the middle of the recovery. FDR was in a position to roll back that roll back and did, thank God. However, he obviously wasn't around to reverse Truman.

This is not an endorsement, but Bernie Sanders would make a much better President than would Joe Biden and also better than Donald Trump.

Op-Ed: How Democrats dealt with the Bernie Sanders of 1944

Sunken greenhouse wraps home & feeds suburban antifragile co-op

When Richard Weaver inherited 3 acres in the center of a golf-oriented community developed by his father in Bozeman, Montana, he bucked family tradition and tore out the grass to create a [nearly] self-sufficient urban farm and [partially] underground greenhouse home.

Assad's men don't do this sort of thing. They've never even treated al Qaeda and IS wives and children this way. Erdogan's men couldn't care less. For them, it's all about building a Turkish empire again.

Turkish militia force refugees to leave bus at gunpoint

Turkish militia/police forcing refugees to go to Greece at gunpoint. #Erdogan weaponizing human beings. Interesting break down of origin of refugees:

-Afghanistan, 64%
-Pakistan, 19%
-Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Egypt: 5.4%
-Τurkey, 5%
-Syria, 4%
-Somalia, 2.6%