“Even Six Feet Isn’t Covid Safe. New CDC Guidelines to Reopen Schools Could be Dangerous” [Video]

Censorship by corporations has become so rampant, this video by Paul Jay may not be up long on youtube, which is owned by google, which is owned by alphabet…

This is more than just a touchy subject, but it has to be faced if we hope to ever get on the right path to reducing Covid’s spread. Because vaccines have begun to be administered, many people are happy to believe we can start “going back to normal.” Without effective safeguards, it seems clear that will not be possible. Even without the proper safeguards, considering the vaccine plan on its own merits does not pass the smell test. If I understand the goal correctly, the point is to essentially achieve herd immunity; but, according to surveys and polls, 30-40% of people say they will never get a vaccine, which makes herd immunity impossible. This is known as the “free rider problem, ” which will eventually become a commonly known phrase if we continue on our current path.

In the meantime, the virus continues to mutate into more dangerous, possibly vaccine resistant, forms. To say the least, it’s not a recipe for success. For brevity’s sake I will not discuss vaccine hoarding, or the fact that many countries have extremely low vaccination rates and continue to remain part of this planet, which means that greatly affects the life and spread of the virus in the good ol’ u.s. of a. Like capitalists, borders mean nothing to the virus – especially when capitalist’s business is always the priority.

So, the plan of our dear leaders seems to be, ignore what’s worked in other countries, continue to let people die, give massive amounts of money to pharmaceutical corporations, bribe states to force teachers and students back into schools, and bet more lives on a kind of hail mary pass that those 30-40% of the free riding population will eventually change their minds.

The further insanity is that there are entire counties who have all but eliminated infection rates. Every one of them did this without a vaccine. This alone should be enough evidence to prove our so-called leaders have been criminally negligent.

The people nominally in charge of our welfare never did what worked in other countries. That is an incontrovertible fact. Because all of our institutions have been corrupted by corporate capitalists, most decisions have been made by considering the corporation before and above anyone else, especially us lowly “workers.” Profit, and the continuation thereof, has been the preeminent concern of the people in power. This is what they mean when they refer to “The Economy.” If we ignore the half million plus deaths and the immiseration of millions, they have achieved their goal. The stock markets are at record highs, and billionaires are over a trillion dollars richer than they were about a year ago. Until we are able to face the reality of our situation and see it for what it really is, I’m afraid things aren’t “going back to normal” anytime soon.

Private sector is “efficient” only at extracting money from public

There is nothing that capitalists won’t grab if they see a possibility to grab a profit. Not even the most basic needs for human life, such as water, are exempt. A favorite tactic for grabbing what had once been in the public domain and converting it into private profit is the “public-private partnership.” A tactic […]

Private sector is “efficient” only at extracting money from public

Chomsky: “The rich are running wild”

This clip sums up our current state pretty well. It’s nothing new to anyone who has been paying attention, but ideology can blind people. Even people watching this clip who have “trump derangement” symptoms might miss what Chomsky is saying. This is corporate power stealing as much as they can and killing with impunity. Listen to every word and sentence. If you don’t truly understand, a word, concept, or expression of an idea, research it.

For example, Chomsky mentions Greg Palast. Greg has a new book out detailing how trump will steal the 2020 election. What most people don’t know is that Greg has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that trump stole the 2016 election. Is it new that a u.s. election has been stolen? No. But most people are unaware of that fact, and for the strangest of reasons, even most on the left have discussed the trump win as legitimate. Discussing voting and elections is fine, but assuming any aspect of the voting and elections process is not corrupt and at the bare minimum broken (which Chomsky does briefly mention of course) will get us nowhere. In fact, discussion untied to action will get us nowhere. The inextricably connected issue of corporate power run amok, using the state as its play toy and free money machine, killing and decimating the systems we need to live, was here before trump and it will be with us long after he is dead and gone, so it is far from simply an issue of voting the monster out so “everything can get back to normal.”

While the republicans are as dangerous and horrific as Chomsky states, just blaming the republican party for this is disingenuous, or misguided to say the least. Chomsky does mention that we De facto have one party rule: the business party, but then he singles out republicans. It is good and right to point out how unhinged they are, but the Dems should be mentioned in the same breath.

As some might know, Chomsky has angered some on the left for always advocating for the lesser of two evils vote when it comes to the presidential election. He has doubled down on this with biden. It’s hard to take issue with Chomsky personally because he has been consistent in this view his entire life. He holds this view because he doesn’t ascribe all politics to voting. He identifies as an anarchist after all. His assumption is that people who do more politically than just walk into a booth for a couple of minutes every two years will just vote and then get back to being actually politically active. A problem with this message is that people misinterpret it to mean voting is all they have to do. Another issue is that it assumes a “free and fair” voting and elections system and tacitly promotes that idea. Yet another and possibly most obvious flaw in this logic is that when you vote for the lesser of two evils, things keep getting worse.

While it’s true that trump is in unprecedented territory, it is also true that he could not have gotten there or done as well for himself and capitalists without the last 40 years of the Dems enthusiastically implementing the neoliberal project, which is essentially class war by the rich on almost everyone else on the planet. Just in the last four years, the Dems have given this administration essentially everything it wanted, from keeping children in concentration camps, to war, from packing the courts with the federalist society judges Chomsky mentions in the clip, to more money for the military – the list goes on and on…They have not simply acquiesced to republican power, they largely agree with them when it comes to the implementation of u.s. power and because they have largely been purchased and directed by corporate power, they serve the same master: capital.

It’s important to understand everything Chomsky mentions here and it’s important to understand that voting will not “save us.” We are too far gone for that. I address the “what is to be done” question in many posts here. Essentially, in the last 50 years, the left has crumbled from within while being crushed from without. Not only has it been unable to mount a challenge to capital, it has been unable to re-win the fights it won in the past that, for the most part, the bipartisan implementation of the neoliberal project has reversed.

There has been a weak resurgence of the left since around 2011 and it has gained some steam over the years as material circumstances have continued to worsen for the majority of people, but it hasn’t been enough and in many cases it has been on the wrong path. As moribund and weak as the left is, it is our only hope to survive long term. The left has been unable to (and often refused to) organize itself, unify, and internationalize. Without everyday people (as Cornel West calls us) getting involved on the left, joining and forming organizations, and then unifying those organizations (eventually internationally), the corporate assault on everything we hold dear, including the means for life itself, will continue. If people want to see the changes they say they believe in they will have to become radical. Radical just means change at the root. We have to uproot the system of capitalism. The good news is that it will take a relatively small portion of the population to do it. The bad news is that the left has to be turned in to something new and is resisting it in many ways. It’s bleak. It’s up to us no matter what. It’s almost a cliche at this point, but Gramsci said, “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.” And as Chomsky just said again, time is running out.

Good luck to us all.

Five Big Banks Plead Guilty to Rigging Currency Markets,Get Slap on Wrist,Investors are pleased [Video]

“…essentially banking has become a kind of criminal enterprise. And we’re talking about multiple crimes over multiple years, committed by the same institutions under the administration of the same senior executives. So it isn’t a quick case of one or two rogue traders or bad actors here. We have an institutional problem, a real culture of crime and opportunism within these financial institutions.” – James S. Henry

“A contractor fails to follow requirements, leaving unsafe, unfinished, unusable, or unwanted buildings but yet gets paid in full.”

These are comments from a speech given by the SIGAR to a Georgetown audience. If you are unfamiliar with the way “our” wars work, these frank comments will, frankly, blow your mind. To those of you who know (broadly) how the corrupt contracting of private corporations works (and to a certain extent has always worked), this speech offers no surprises, but is well worth reading anyway. Without further ado, your tax dollars – $104 Billion just for the small piece he’s talking about here – at work:

(Click any of the following text to read the full speech)

“Congress created the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction or SIGAR in 2008 to provide independent and objective oversight of the U.S. reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.”

“I was stunned when senior state department officials on my first trip to Kabul suggested how we should write our reports. They even suggested changes to our report titles and proposed that we give them our press releases in advance so they could pre-approve them. Little did they know that by law IGs are independent of the agencies and SIGAR by statute is more independent than all other IGs.”

“There’s no real benefit in setting up projects or programs that the Afghans cannot or will not sustain once international forces depart and international aid declines. Unfortunately, Afghanistan is a case study in projects and programs set up without considering sustainability.”

“Corruption is another enormous inter-agency challenge facing reconstruction in Afghanistan. The consensus among everyone I speak with is that if corruption is allowed to continue unabated it will likely jeopardize every gain we’ve made so far in Afghanistan.”

“Directly tied to corruption is the final inter-agency challenge I wanted to talk about today countering the growth of the drug trade. This challenge is no secret to anyone; the U.S. has already spent nearly $7.6 billion to combat the opium industry. Yet, by every conceivable metric, we’ve failed.”

Continue reading…

John Nichols and Robert McChesney: Progressives Ask for Too Little, Not Too Much in Age of Plutocratic Rule

“One of biggest messages is that most of what people who discuss media policy focus on – cable news, right-wing talk radio, blogging and social media – misses the elephant in the room. Local television news programs remain dramatically influential. And, for the most part, they are dramatically damaging to the discourse. They actual warp the popular understanding of what matters so that people think the weather and crime, for instance, are more important than economic policy and public health. We don’t deny the need to know whether it’s going to rain tomorrow, and we respect that there are stories of crime patterns that really do need to be covered. But local news programs are so skewed toward simplicity and sensationalism that perspectives are warped.”

“If there is an essential point to our book – beyond exposing the extent of the current crisis – it is to suggest that the failure of progressives in recent decades has not been that they have asked for too much. It is that they have asked for too little. Polling tells us that Americans are deeply frustrated with politics as usual, with media as usual. We respect that frustration and propose an alternative that embraces the most powerful tools afforded us by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Tom Paine.”

Click on the text to read the interview

Choice Zealots Take Control of Wealthy Douglas County, Colorado

Diane Ravitch's blog

There are times when reality is zanier than satire.

Read about Douglas County, Colorado, where choice fanatics run the district.

They want students and families to choose schools the way you choose a color for your car or a brand of cereal.

In other words, they don’t believe in public education.

They don’t believe in the democratic ideal of common schooling, where children from many backgrounds learn together. They believe in consumerism.

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Pennsylvania: Cyber Charters Are a Scam

Diane Ravitch is a tireless advocate for public education. Anyone who wants to educate themselves about the current state of affairs should read her – and then do something about it.

In the final analysis, this is about freedom. Freedom from corporate rule, privatization, the commodification of all things, class war from above.

The attempt to destroy public education is a perverted, de facto social engineering that creates profits for the few (out of our pockets) and will end in the manufacture and control of producers and consumers for the profit of the corporate state – which has no use for citizens or human beings, only resources for exploitation in the pursuit of ever more profit.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Pennsylvania is overrun with cyber charters. There are 16 of them competing for customers, sucking money out of real public schools, supplying a terrible education. Some are under investigation. The legislature protects them because of campaign contributions.

Meanwhile public schools are suffering due to budget cuts while these sham schools make profits.

They have extracted $4 billion from the state’s taxpayers in inflated costs, padded enrollment data, and legislative beneficence. This is legal graft.

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