Usher’s News & Analysis for May 22, 2020

How many people will pay attention? How many will grasp it? How many will take it in and hold it rather than have it fade away?

There are two ways to view the COVID-19 lockdowns. One way is that they were way too late and not strong enough concerning the initial pockets where the virus popped up. Another way is that they will usher in forced vaccinations with the manufacturers being immune from law suits for the “side effects.” They are already immune.

I take the first view and couple it with the idea that the government should promote the very best nutrition and other prophylactic measures possible, such as excellent exercise, a clean environment, etc., rather than vaccines, vaccines, vaccines (designed to make the ultra-rich even richer regardless of the proven, negative side effects that are often worse than the disease the vaccines are designed to protect against).

Am I opposed to vaccines? Absolutely not. I’m opposed to bad vaccines, which definitely exist and have existed. The negatives have been deliberately hidden (censored) by the rich and, consequently, powerful.

Let’s have vaccine research, development, and distribution that is all open, honest, and direct. Let’s have total daylight and no censorship or legal protections for bad vaccines. Let’s have the whole thing be transparent and democratic for once.

Behind the scenes, scientists and medical experts are concerned that rushing a vaccine could end up worsening the infection in some patients rather than preventing it.

Studies have suggested that coronavirus vaccines carry the risk of what is known as vaccine enhancement, where instead of protecting against infection, the vaccine can actually make the disease worse when a vaccinated person is infected with the virus.

Hotez said he was surprised human trials were going ahead. “If there is immune enhancement in laboratory animals vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine, that’s a showstopper,” he said.

As pressure for coronavirus vaccine mounts, scientists debate risks of accelerated testing

Did you know?

… there has never been a true placebo-controlled vaccine trial on single vaccines looking at long term side effects, much less on vaccines given in various combinations. Nor have there been CDC-funded studies comparing the highly vaccinated to unvaccinated children for prevalence of chronic disease.

Black in the Age of Autism: A Tale of Two Boys

What I’m seeing are people taking up sides: all or nothing. I side with neither. We are in the midst of life. It’s always been this way. The current situation simply magnifies what’s always going on.

We need to understand that the science is severely lacking. The data collection is poor. The interpretation of the data matches the collection. Does that mean that we should do none of the things the most paranoid and greedy are advocating?

We need to evaluate each thing. To do that, we need transparency. We are lacking transparency. The super-rich prevent transparency on purpose. They know that if we all had the information, we’d not support many of the things the super-rich want and do that further enrich them while the rest are harmed by it.

Rights are a balancing act. They always have been. Nobody has absolute, complete rights to do whatever he or she wants to do, unless what that one wants is perfect. Who’s perfect? You aren’t. I’m not.

The US Bill of Rights reads rather simplistically. They didn’t know how to be more specific without splitting hairs into infinity. All we can do is balance. Our ability to discern things gets better, but life throws new things at us and does so constantly.

With all of that in mind, read the following linked-article. There’s plenty there that definitely needs addressing and keeping in mind while we move forward balancing rights and needs.

We, the People, have every right, even the duty, to demand transparency concerning everything COVID-19 has brought forward.

A Timeline—Pandemic and Erosion of Freedoms Have Been Decades in the Making

The CARES Act—the federal stimulus package passed in late March—was intended to cushion the job losses precipitated by the pandemic. Its expansions of unemployment assistance include an extra $600 tacked onto state unemployment benefits, plus an unprecedented extension of assistance to the self-employed, such as Uber and Lyft drivers and other gig workers.

But Shierholz argues unemployment insurance is not an ideal way to deliver relief to dislocated workers. Mass layoffs, she says, would ultimately slow down the recovery, by requiring businesses to rebuild their workforce from scratch as they reopen. “It’s incredibly better for both workers and businesses to furlough but not lay off,” she says. “But we don’t really have a culture of holding onto workers during a downturn and then just bringing them back online after the downturn is over.”

Several European governments have opted to preserve jobs by subsidizing companies to keep workers on their payrolls. By contrast, the U.S. relief package offered an extremely limited pool of supplementary loans for small businesses to avoid laying off staff (which was quickly exhausted, and hastily replenished), while hundreds of billions of dollars were funneled into massive hotel, retail and supermarket corporations—largely free of any concrete mandates to retain workers.

In other words, lawmakers have opted to make unemployment more bearable rather than compel employers to furlough workers and preserve their livelihoods.

Even workers who receive several hundred dollars a week in unemployment benefits could be devastated by the loss of their employer-sponsored healthcare.

The coronavirus “really lays bare the inhumanity of employer-sponsored health insurance,” says Rebecca Givan, a professor of labor and employment relations at Rutgers University.

Essential Workers Fight for Their Lives

Many of the people we surveyed support the idea of social ratings, probably in the belief that they will, on the whole, deliver a fair and unbiased assessment. Alas, with current technology, that is unlikely.

For one thing, it is difficult to track errors. Current systems are based on neural networks, the operating principles of which are opaque even to the developers, let alone the operators or general public. When lowering or raising someone’s rating, the neural network does not disclose its informational basis for a decision. If the computer says you don’t qualify for a loan, you won’t get one — even if you’re a decent person with a good income.

In the language of medical testing and computer security, the above is known as a “false positive,” the same as when a security solution flags a clean file as infected, or a medical test erroneously identifies a disease in a patient’s sample.

Social ratings: Be careful what you post

Business Continuity Protection Program (BCPP)

The program would allow businesses to purchase revenue replacement assistance through state-regulated insurance entities, including independent insurance agents and brokers, that voluntarily participate with the BCPP. The BCPP would be run by FEMA with limited administrative assistance from private contractors. Businesses would be able to purchase revenue replacement assistance up to 80% of payroll and other expenses through the BCPP. Relief would be automatically triggered and immediately paid following a presidential viral emergency declaration and local closures.

Big ‘I’ Announces Support for Business Continuity Protection Program

… a federal backstop to prevent economic losses from future pandemics. The bill, known as the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA), is modeled on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which was created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Like TRIA, the proposed PRIA would be a public-private partnership where the federal government would serve as a reinsurance backstop in an attempt to maintain marketplace stability and share the burden alongside the insurance industry for future pandemic-related losses.

Pandemic Risk Insurance Act to Be Introduced in House

PDF: Preparing for Workplace Re-Entry During COVID-19

Anecdotal reports indicate speeding, for example, has increased significantly since traffic diminished.

Roads Are Emptier But Riskier During Coronavirus Quarantine. Fatality Rate Up 14%.

The more I see about the meat industry, the more I’m glad I’m a vegan.

“It’s like, ‘Here’s what we’d like you to do. But if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to,’” said Mark Lauritsen, international vice president and director of the food processing and meatpacking division for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

OSHA’s general guidance plainly says the recommendations are advisory and “not a standard or regulation,” and they create “no new legal obligations.”

Workers Worry Over Enforcement of Meatpacking Plant Safety Recommendations

She’s right.

“We need to be very clear,” Whitmer said at a news conference Thursday. “This is a privately owned dam. We can talk about the merits of whether private companies should own critical infrastructure. I don’t think that they should.”

Entire communities in Midland County were flooded by the failure of two dams, escalating tensions with their owner, Boyce Hydro Power LLC. The collapse also renewed debate about whether private ownership of such structures pits the quest for profit against the public good.

“I ran on and have been introducing solution after solution to fix infrastructure in Michigan,” said Whitmer, whose campaign used “Fix the Damn Roads” as its slogan in 2018. “We have underinvested over a period of decades in this state. When you have 500-year events, 100-year events, happening with more frequency, we know that this underinvestment will come with a very big cost if we don’t take this seriously.”

Michigan Flood Puts Privately Owned Dams in Harsh Spotlight

The electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted out of wireless communication modules in various IoT devices (especially used for healthcare applications due to their close proximity to the body) have been identified by researchers as biologically hazardous to humans as well as other living beings. … This paper analyses [analyzes] radiation safety in pre-5G networks and uses the insight gained to raise valuable concerns regarding EMR safety in the upcoming 5G networks.

People should be made aware that the EMR from using day to day cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices are harmful to human health. The levels of radiation observed in most cases such as phone calls, internet browsing on laptops and smartphones, using wireless routers and hotspots, Bluetooth smartwatches and smartphones are unsafe when compared with radiations limits determined by medical bodies. According to the current medical literature, various adverse health effects from exposure to RF EMR have been well documented. For now, wireless technologies must be avoided as much as possible. New and innovative wired solutions which provide the same level of user-friendliness should be encouraged. Intervention of government and medical bodies with the main purpose of protecting human health is of utmost necessity to ensure good economic development without compromising the health of the population. Countries must adopt the guidelines suggested by medical bodies which take into account both thermal and non-thermal effects of EMR. At present, all individuals must take preventive and protective measures to protect themselves from harmful EMR exposure.

Electromagnetic Radiation Due to Cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Technologies: How Safe Are We?

Sweden becomes country with highest coronavirus death rate per capita for last 7 days

YouTube reversed its decision to censor hydroxychloroquine.

“We’ve treated 400 patients and haven’t seen a single adverse event. And what’s happening is because of this fake news and fake science, the true scientific efforts are being harmed because people now are so worried that they don’t want to enroll in the trials.”

YouTube censors video in which medical doctors said hydroxychloroquine might help treat COVID-19

Brazil suffers record daily coronavirus death toll, soon to be world No. 2

“I think the political moment has changed,” she said, pointing to the debate over what constitutes an essential worker during the pandemic. “Turns out it’s not an investment banker. … It’s people who get out there who put their own health at risk in order to keep life going in this country.”

They’re the same people for whom Bernie did the most to advocate.

Warren pivots on ‘Medicare for All’ in bid to become Biden’s VP

The moment the unemployment crisis stops getting worse and bottoms out would signal the beginning of a recovery of the job market. But instead, it’s still getting worse at a gut-wrenching pace.

In the week ended May 16, state unemployment offices processed 2.438 million “initial claims” for unemployment insurance under state programs, bringing the total number of initial claims over the past nine reporting weeks since mid-March to a mind-bending 38.6 million (seasonally adjusted). The claims reported by the US Department of Labor this morning were over three times the magnitude of the prior weekly records during the unemployment crises in 1982 and 2009.

Week 9 of the Collapse of the U.S. Labor Market: Still Getting Worse at a Gut-Wrenching Pace