Usher’s News & Analysis for Sept. 24, 2020

You are not listening to what the director of the CDC said, that in New York it’s about 22 percent [who have antibodies]. If you believe 22 percent is herd immunity, I believe you are alone in that.

'You are not listening.’ Anthony Fauci challenges Sen. Rand Paul on criticism of New York coronavirus measures


The other side:

Rand Paul on his ... exchange with Fauci over herd immunity

Rand is wrong that there isn't a second wave or surge. Even Sweden says it's too soon to tell whether Sweden will have a wave the way so much of the rest of Europe is having one.


The difference between being anti-Jew and not hinges on the word "some." If one says Jews without any qualifier, one could mean all Jews. If one says some Jews, then that's that. So, when Trump talks about Jews, is he talking about all Jews or some Jews? Of course, if the exception to all Jews is rare enough, then that exception makes the "rule" and means enough Jews constitutes anti-Jew.

As for what Trump really thinks, does he know?

Report: Trump Said Jews Are ‘Only in It for Themselves’

Some Jews are in it only for themselves and only for Jews. Fortunately, there are way too many Jews who are not like that at all to constitute a rarity making an anti-Jew rule.


Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy that does not tolerate any political opposition, but the formation of the National Assembly Party on the anniversary of the kingdom’s founding came amid a growing state crackdown on dissent and freedom of expression.

Past attempts to organise politically in the Gulf state in 2007 and 2011 were suppressed and members arrested.

“We hereby announce the establishment of the National Assembly Party, which aims to institute democracy as a form of government in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

The development is unlikely to seriously undermine the authority of the Arab world’s most powerful ruling family.

I wouldn't bet on that last sentence.

Exiled Saudi dissidents launch opposition party


The government has left us at the mercy of big corporations. It is preposterous to believe that farmers who have small land-holdings will have any bargaining power over private players.

Government officials have said that farmers can sell their produce to whoever they want, whenever they want. How can a small farmer store his produce for months on end? He will not have access to storage facilities. As a result, it is very likely that the produce will be sold at a rate which is unsustainable for the farmer.

Why Indian farmers are protesting against new farm bills


The right direction but way too slow:

California Gov. Newsom executive order bans gas, diesel cars by 2035


... according to Florida's statutes, 'whoever by bribery, menace, threat, or other corruption whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, attempts to influence, deceive, or deter any elector in voting or interferes with him or her in the free exercise of the elector’s right to vote at any election commits a felony of the third degree'.

The statute goes on to say that 'no person shall directly or indirectly give or promise anything of value to another intending thereby to buy that person’s or another’s vote or to corruptly influence that person or another in casting his or her vote'.

Well, the statute is vague enough that it's reasonable to conclude that to break the law, Bloomberg and the others who donated would have to have assumed all or very nearly all those re-enfranchised would vote and would vote Democratic. That's quite an assumption to prove. If Bloomberg was simply doing the math and encouraging other donors with that math, it's not the same thing as influencing even indirectly the re-enfranchised to vote or for whom to vote.

Rep. Matt Gaetz calls for 'vote buying' criminal probe into Mike Bloomberg for paying off $20M in debt for 31,000 Florida felons so that they can cast ballots in November


... sinister forces of communism ....

The ideology of communism is not illegal in the US. In addition, while Trump's pushing freedom of religion around the world, he needs to remember just how many religious orders there are in the world that are communism in principle and practice. Communism and Stalinism are not synonymous. Communism and Marxism are not synonymous either. The sooner the neocons start speaking those truths the better.

I oppose all one-party dictatorships, but I refuse to lump "communism" in under dictatorship. Employee owned and operated businesses in the US where the employees all have one and only one vote and can and do choose and replace their business-management, fellow-employee leaders is not an inherent evil, not even close.

Trump bars Americans from staying at 400+ Cuban hotels believed to be under government control


Krystal and Saagar: Revealing The SHAM Of Fortune 500 Companies' So-Called Commitments To Workers


With more than 54,000 employees worldwide, Salesforce has provided Mr. Benioff a huge platform to advance the tenets of stakeholder capitalism. Overall, the company has performed far better than most in responding to the pandemic and the drive for racial justice, the study finds.

Its principles are not undermined, Mr. Benioff says, by his company’s decision to phase out 1,000 workers the day after celebrating a tremendous earnings report, and shortly after the expiration of a widely touted 90-day pledge to avoid layoffs.

Salesforce is continuing to hire in other parts of its business, he said. Some of the affected employees will be rehired in other areas, while those who depart will leave with severance.
...
“I’ve seen from my own viewpoint a systemic change in how C.E.O.s behave over the last 20 years,” he said. “I never said it’s a revolution, but I said it’s an improvement.”

Stakeholder Capitalism Gets a Report Card. It’s Not Good.


One Nation, Under Finance


Trump overstates his own side's objective position. He apparently completely dismisses sociology. His is a typical libertarian bent. However, I'm not defending "critical race theory" here.

The order adds: "This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans."
...
The order also states that it does not ban the affected institutions from "promoting racial, cultural, or ethnic diversity or inclusiveness" and adds that critical race theory topics are fair game for academic instruction if discussed without endorsement.

That last paragraph is the only redeeming aspect of the order at least in terms of what the article discusses.

Does critical race theory really push the notion that the country is irredeemably racist and sexist? I wouldn't have thought they're precluding redemption but actually looking for it.

Look, in addition to genocide and land appropriation with it, the nation was built on racist slavery and sexism. That doesn't mean the nation didn't fight against those things. It has and still is. However, it is important to remember that white males have often been strong leaders at the forefront of those battles on the right side. The country changes. Will it be redeemed? We shall see.

Trump issues order banning certain types of race training from federal contractors, grant recipients


Fires Turn Brazil’s Tropical Wetlands Into Wildlife Death Traps


US & allies ignore Colombia political assassinations

Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with human rights lawyer Santiago Salinas Miranda about a wave of massacres and political assassinations sweeping Colombia. They discuss the Colombian government's role in the murders and ask why the international community has turned a blind eye to the killings.