Usher’s News & Analysis for June 21, 2020


No damages or injuries have been reported from the fires.

Arizona Wildfires Bring Heavy Smoke Conditions

Durand Jones & the Indications – Everybody’s Got a Right to Live

Everybody’s Got a Right to Live has been a central message of the Poor People’s Campaign since 1968 when the Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick and Jimmy Collier sang it in Resurrection City. When we launched the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival in 2018, we revived this song and used its power to connect our movement across the country during 40 days of moral fusion direct action. Jimmy Collier once said, “Music is the easiest way to tell the story of what we’re trying to do; [our] songs are one of the best tools for getting people together.” Theomusicologists and artists with the Poor People’s Campaign created exciting new music videos of this campaign song for our June 1st cultural day of action. These recordings highlight the beautiful diversity of our PPC movement family to share a powerful message of strength and unity during these trying times.


“For years, our government has failed to invest in programs that actually keep our country safe and healthy,” said Lee. “By over-prioritizing the Pentagon and military solutions, our country is drastically underprepared for any crisis that needs a non-military solution.”

Time to ‘Reinvest in People’ and ‘Cut Weapons of War’: Barbara Lee Unveils Plan to Cut Up to $350 Billion From Pentagon

The National Institute of Health (ISS) said water from Milan and Turin showed genetic virus traces on 18 December.

It adds to evidence from other countries that the virus may [it was] have been circulating much earlier than thought.

The ISS said the results confirmed the “strategic importance” of sewage water as an early detection tool because it can signal the virus’s presence before cases are clinically confirmed. Many countries are now using the technique.

Coronavirus was already in Italy by December, waste water study finds

The following linked article is pure twisting. At least US House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy is. Anyone with any brains knows full well that it’s not in the name but in the repentance. The Democratic Party lost nearly all of those who were called Dixiecrats to the Republican Party too. The current Democratic Party has repented concerning slavery. Most of the Confederates who’ve been memorialized via statues and portraits never repented. Those who were once racist but denounced it and lived accordingly should be the ones who are celebrated and honored for doing just that, not for having fought for the Confederacy, which was a lost, unrighteous cause before it even started.

House GOP Leader: Democratic Party should change its name given its ties to the Confederacy

Nearly Half Of Americans Consider Selling Home As COVID Crushes Finances

… there is the desperate plight many companies find themselves in, and not just the airlines – Delta warned of a host of existential issues including that revenues collapsed by 90% in the second quarter – or cruise lines – Carnival just reported a revenue collapse of 85% in Q2, generating a $4.4 billion loss, and it is selling some of its ships to shed the expense of keeping them.

These companies are in sheer survival mode, and they’re raising enormous amounts of money by selling junk bonds and shares so that they have enough cash to burn to get through this crisis.

This crisis hit manufacturers whose plants were shut down. It hit retailers and sent a number of them into bankruptcy court. It crushed clinics and hospitals that specialize in elective procedures. It shut down dental offices. It sent two rental car companies into bankruptcy court – Hertz and Advantage. It has wreaked untold havoc among hotels and restaurants, from large chains to small operations. And yet, stocks kept surging.

These are the times of record Federal Reserve money printing. Between March 11 and June 17, the Fed printed $2.8 trillion and threw them at the markets – frontloading the whole thing by printing $2.3 trillion in the first month.

… the superpower [the Fed] that created $2.8 trillion and threw it at this market, and that everyone was riding along with, has stopped propping up asset prices.

I, Who Hates Shorting, Just Shorted the Entire Stock Market. Here’s Why

Cisco has patched a dangerous flaw that allows a hacker to access victims’ accounts from another machine in order to see all meetings, individuals invited, meeting passwords and past meeting records.

The shared memory information leakage vulnerability, found in the Cisco WebEx Meetings desktop app for Windows, allows an authenticated attacker to gain access to sensitive information either locally, or by running a malicious programme.

‘Severe’ Cisco WebEx flaw grants hackers access to meeting data

Likely the hottest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic happened today-100.4 F- What’s happening in Siberia this year is nothing short of remarkable. The kind of weather we expect by 2100, 80 years early.

For perspective Miami has only reached 100 degrees once on record.

Due to heat trapping greenhouse gases that result from the burning of fossil fuels and feedback loops, the Arctic is warming at more than two times the average rate of the globe. This phenomenon is known as Arctic Amplification, which is leading to the decline of sea ice, and in some cases snow cover, due to rapidly warming temperatures.

Over the past four decades, sea ice volume has decreased by 50%. The lack of white ice, and corresponding increase in dark ocean and land areas, means less light is reflected and more is absorbed, creating a feedback loop and heating the area disproportionately.

As the average climate continues to heat up, extremes like the current heat wave will become more frequent and intensify. Scientists say there is only one way to dampen the impact of climate change and that is to stop burning fossil fuels.

Arctic records its hottest temperature ever

I’m still hoping warm and humid weather will stop it or slow it significantly, but I won’t be holding my breath.

A prominent epidemiologist who initially predicted a first and second wave of the coronavirus in the United States, with a decline in between, warned on Sunday that the country was likely instead to experience one long stretch of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

“I’m actually of the mind right now: I think this is more like a forest fire,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director for the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I don’t think this is going to slow down. I’m not sure the influenza analogy applies anymore,” he said, referring to a report he and colleagues authored in April using influenza pandemics as a model for understanding the virus. “I think that wherever there’s wood to burn, this fire is going to burn it.”

He added, “I don’t think we’re going to see one, two and three waves — I think we’re just going to see one very very difficult forest fire of cases.”

He also called for a more unified national structure for dealing with the virus, rather than a patchwork of states using various strategies and reopening plans. “We have not really gotten the message across to the public yet, that this is a very serious issue,” he said. “We can’t shut down the economy, but we can’t suddenly say we’re done with it.”

A top epidemiologist warns of a new U.S. trajectory: not waves, but a ‘forest fire.’

“They’ve practically taken away our soul. Our soul we’ve been treasuring all these years, the rule of law, human rights, they’re taking away all the core values we’ve come to know,” she said.

“From now on, Hong Kong is nothing but just another mainland Chinese city.”

China releases blueprint for Hong Kong national security law

If Putin were to run again, he’d damage not only his own reputation with many decent people but also that of Russia. He believes Russia is more important than he is, and he’s right about that. He should think long and hard about the solid reasons not to run. After all these years, how could Russia possibly not have someone capable of filling Putin’s shoes and capable of having a steady hand on the rudder in turbulent times such as these? I’ve never been for term limits, but ending them should not mean another term for Putin at this point. Putin took one term off as leader. He should at least do that again.

Putin Hints He Could Seek a Fifth Term as President in 2024

Even though its management of the coronavirus crisis has been among the most successful in Europe, Germany has seen repeated outbreaks in slaughterhouses, whose employees are often migrants living in crowded company-provided accommodation.

Bad management comes with the territory? Veganism anyone?

German coronavirus outbreak at abattoir infects more than 1,000

I get it, so I’m fine with removing them. If I were Black, I think I’d feel exactly the way the linked article has expressed it. I never looked at Aunt Jemima from racist eyes, so this is causing me to see more.

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben deserve retirement. They’re racist myths of happy Black servitude.

He was only elected because of coupsters.

Brazil records nearly 50,000 coronavirus deaths as crisis deepens

I see the following as the highlights of Vladimir Putin’s June 18, 2020 article published on The National Interest website.

As my readers know, I consider Putin to be highly intelligent and to very little resemble the utterly monstrous picture painted of him by primarily the neocon and so-called liberal-interventionist West. Some of his policies and practices don’t sit well with me, but he is not unreasonable but is actually vastly more forthright and trustworthy than his greatest public detractors.

His statement for the reason for the veto power at the UN’s Security Council is actually quite interesting. I’d rather see a democratic world, but he has a point (given just how far from democracy we are). He’s a pragmatic thinker. However, the world needs a visionary who can pull the entire planet into world democracy.

Perhaps Putin can still up his game. I wouldn’t be against it.

The League of Nations also failed to prevent conflicts in various parts of the world, such as the attack of Italy on Ethiopia, the civil war in Spain, the Japanese aggression against China and the Anschluss of Austria. Furthermore, in case of the Munich Betrayal that, in addition to Hitler and Mussolini, involved British and French leaders, Czechoslovakia was taken apart with the full approval of the League of Nations. I would like to point out in this regard that, unlike many other European leaders of that time, Stalin did not disgrace himself by meeting with Hitler who was known among the Western nations as quite a reputable politician and was a welcome guest in the European capitals.

Poland was also engaged in the partition of Czechoslovakia along with Germany. They decided together in advance who would get what Czechoslovak territories. On September 20, 1938, Polish Ambassador to Germany Józef Lipski reported to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Józef Beck on the following assurances made by Hitler: “…in case of a conflict between Poland and Czechoslovakia over our interests in Teschen, the Reich would stand by Poland.” The Nazi leader even prompted and advised that Poland started to act “only after the Germans occupy the Sudetes.”

However, Stalin did not do what it would have taken to support the anti-fascists in Spain.

Stalin and his entourage, indeed, deserve many legitimate accusations. We remember the crimes committed by the regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions. In other words, there are many things the Soviet leaders can be reproached for, but poor understanding of the nature of external threats is not one of them. They saw how attempts were made to leave the Soviet Union alone to deal with Germany and its allies. Bearing in mind this real threat, they sought to buy precious time needed to strengthen the country’s defenses.

… here I would like to highlight the following: Western countries, as a matter of fact, agreed at that time with the Soviet actions and recognized the Soviet Union’s intention to ensure its national security. Indeed, back on October 1, 1939 Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty back then, in his speech on the radio said, “Russia has pursued a cold policy of self-interest… But that the Russian armies should stand on this line [the new Western border is meant] was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace.” On October 4, 1939 speaking in the House of Lords British Foreign Secretary Halifax said, “…it should be recalled that the Soviet government’s actions were to move the border essentially to the line recommended at the Versailles Conference by Lord Curzon… I only cite historical facts and believe they are indisputable.” Prominent British politician and statesman D. Lloyd George emphasized, “The Russian armies occupied the territories that are not Polish and that were forcibly seized by Poland after the First World War … It would be an act of criminal insanity to put the Russian advancement on a par with the German one.”

Of course, fear, confusion and desperation were taking over some people during this terrible and bloody war. There were betrayal and desertion. The harsh split caused by the revolution and the Civil War, nihilism, mockery of national history, traditions and faith that the Bolsheviks tried to impose, especially in the first years after coming to power – all of this had its impact. But the general attitude of the absolute majority of Soviet citizens and our compatriots who found themselves abroad was different – to save and protect the Motherland. It was a real and irrepressible impulse. People were looking for support in true patriotic values.

The Soviet Union and the Red Army, no matter what anyone is trying to prove today, made the main and crucial contribution to the defeat of Nazism. These were heroes who fought to the end surrounded by the enemy at Bialystok and Mogilev, Uman and Kiev, Vyazma and Kharkov. They launched attacks near Moscow and Stalingrad, Sevastopol and Odessa, Kursk and Smolensk. They liberated Warsaw, Belgrade, Vienna and Prague. They stormed Koenigsberg and Berlin.

On April 28, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his address to the American nation: “These Russian forces have destroyed and are destroying more armed power of our enemies – troops, planes, tanks, and guns – than all the other United Nations put together”. …

… Almost 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives on the fronts, in German prisons, starved to death and were bombed, died in ghettos and furnaces of the Nazi death camps. The USSR lost one in seven of its citizens, the UK lost one in 127, and the USA lost one in 320. …

… it would be useful to discuss steps to develop collective principles in world affairs. To speak frankly about the issues of preserving peace, strengthening global and regional security, strategic arms control, as well as joint efforts in countering terrorism, extremism and other major challenges and threats.

A special item on the agenda of the meeting is the situation in the global economy. And above all, overcoming the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Our countries are taking unprecedented measures to protect the health and lives of people and to support citizens who have found themselves in difficult living situations. Our ability to work together and in concert, as real partners, will show how severe the impact of the pandemic will be, and how quickly the global economy will emerge from the recession. Moreover, it is unacceptable to turn the economy into an instrument of pressure and confrontation. Popular issues include environmental protection and combating climate change, as well as ensuring the security of the global information space.

Vladimir Putin: The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II

China is being more imperialistic than perhaps ever before. It’s giving the US an opening.

In the current climate in the Indo-Pacific, China is indicating it’s ready to push its claims. For example, in the South China Sea, China has moved aircraft onto the man-made islands it has built up; it has sunk one Vietnamese fishing boat and and rammed another; it has harassed a Malaysian-chartered survey ship and sent one of its own into waters claimed by Indonesia; in the past few weeks alone, Chinese warplanes have been warned off by Taiwanese fighters at least five times.
And in a ironic nod to what’s going on in the East China Sea, Beijing reclassified its island claims in the South China Sea, giving the Spratly/Nansha and Paracel/Xisha islands more prominent status in the country’s governmental hierarchy.

Then there’s the India-China border in the Himalayas. Before and after last Monday’s deadly clash, state-run Chinese media was heavy with stories and images of the the new military hardware Beijing could bring to bear in the mountains.

Choong argues it would be unwise to think the Senkakus/Diaoyus aren’t marked for similar attention at some point.

Why this Japan-China island dispute could be Asia’s next military flashpoint