|Out of the Coronavirus Crisis Can Come Efficient Historic Changes for Justice|
|Many of us have heard that the Chinese character for “crisis” is also the character for “opportunity.” During the coronavirus crisis, we have a duty to apply political solutions and emerge much superior than before the pandemic struck an unready country. The time for serious civic reforms is now! Here are five fundamental opportunities for structural reforms and transformations: 1. The U.S. needs a permanent framework of explicit Congressional standards and accountability procedures for gigantic corporate welfare grants, loans, and other guarantees especially during emergencies. Without these standards, the U.S. government has repeatedly bailed out capitalism with “socialism for the rich.” The most recent example is the $2.2 trillion salvation package for big corporations, small businesses, local and state governments, workers, and a little for consumers. The bailout package is nearly 1,000 pages of vague language, loopholes, and other gateways for waste, fraud, and corruption. To put it mildly, Congress is granting the Treasury Department huge discretion to provide more taxpayer welfare to the business community. We know how this is going to turn out in the highly partisan, corporatist, secretive Administration of Donald Trump. The same lack of standards and openness afflicts the corporate “socialism” of the Federal Reserve even more deeply. The Federal Reserve has occult ways of incurring debt and printing money to save the big boys of Wall Street and those in their dependent commercial circles. 2. Congress must be held to a higher standard and must carry out its constitutional duties. Congress is the duly authorized branch of the government to establish clear public missions and exercise prudent oversight of government initiatives. But as constitutional law specialist, Bruce Fein, has testified repeatedly – “Congress is an inkblot,” abdicating its constitutional duties either to the Executive Branch, the courts, or to the ether. Working a 2½ day week, when not on recess, Congress has less time to conduct rigorous appropriations and oversight hearings to be followed by competently drafted legislation. So pathetic is Congress that since 1992, it has allowed the Defense Department to violate the requirement for annual auditable budgets—with impunity. Congress has rubberstamped trillions of dollars for the Iraq and Afghan wars under a special escape from customary Senate and House hearings. The military contracts with giant arms contractors are a wildly out-of-control fleece-fest marked by greased palms and golden handshakes. And most troubling, Congress is complicit in endless wars, neither to be declared since World War II, nor to be evaluated regularly by the most powerful of our three branches of government. 3. We must never allow ourselves to be driven into a state of perilous domestic unpreparedness due to the grotesque misallocation of federal funds behind the warfare state. The Empire’s insatiable demands worldwide has created new enemies and starved funding for domestic necessities. Of the federal government’s operation budgets (excluding self-funded insurance and social security) nearly 70 percent goes to the military budget, interest on deferred debt for wars, the Veterans Administration, and pieces of other Departments such as Energy and Homeland Security. The coronavirus assault finds the mighty, often-forewarned U.S.A. without adequate emergency planning for a pandemic. The U.S. has been unable to ready hospitals, add skilled staff, and conduct critical pandemic medical research. U.S. hospitals even lack basic equipment such as ventilators, facemasks, and – astonishingly, swabs. U.S. readiness requires a social safety net like what citizens in other Western countries have. It means more self-reliant production in the U.S. for pharmaceuticals (now outsourced heavily to China and India) along with the production of all basic necessities. The rules of corporate-managed “free trade,” have left us without a national defense from corporate avarice run amok. The days of abandoning crucial elements of our protective economic sovereignty must be declared over once and for all. Our country must take care of itself right down to producing critical swabs, now rationed by a dominant Italian manufacturer besieged with virus-induced needs in Italy. 4. The media has to be smarter, dig deeper, and not wallow in official source journalism, while ignoring the knowledge and experience of citizen groups. Members of the media spend too much time ditto-heading each other, interviewing their own reporters, and not covering the daily power struggle between the haves and the have nots. Instead, some editors pursue long investigative features in search of prizes. Unfortunately, too many (but not all) journalists are content to rehash the news of the day with establishment talking heads. Like politicians running for public office, the mass media mostly ignores the devastating impact on our country of the devouring, corrosive, burgeoning military-industrial complex (remember President Eisenhower’s warning) desperately looking for enemies abroad to justify their gigantic contracts. 5. The foundation on which all of the above relies— is the citizenry. Focusing on the 535 members of the Congress, a mere one percent or less of citizens forming Congressional watchdog groups over their two Senators and Representatives in every Congressional District can regain command of Congress. Only through citizen action will Congress perform its constitutional duties and turn the ship of state from corporatism to a functioning democracy. In my small paperback, Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier than We Think, I outline specific, modest actions citizens can take to laser-beam focus back home on their legislators. What is needed is a left/right alliance on many fundamental changes. Such a latent, converging alliance, where people live, work, and raise their families, is politically unstoppable. Marshaling decisive public opinion can overwhelm the divide-and-rule tactics of manipulative plutocrats. It happened before in our history and it can happen again in major ways—starting small and building quickly in each District. Wide reaching, predictable crises, such as the coronavirus, invite long-overdue advances in the evolution of democratic societies|
truth today does not align with any party or religious affiliation at the moment a facilitator…
Social distancing: a rational reasonable scientifically proven health related solution to a serious health risk / situation or skull f*ck*ry???
I witness a group of people in a well light top shelf market with a healthy fruit and vegetable section amungst other isles and food & beverage selections. Customers went up to brocalli rabe ( a favorite of mine – just sayin ) lettuce, tomatoes and stood made their choice/selection and reached out their arm and grabbed their item of choice ( I’m going to make the assumption they were breathing as they did such) one person would breath reach out their arm make a selection and move on their way then another customer would stand in , basically, the same spot make a selection and reach out their arm and make a selection. All standing within an arms reach of the item as ( im assuming – aside from the anomaly ex: David Blaine holding his breath through out his shopping spree) the were breathing on or near near all the items within arms reach. Are you following???: they were all standing in front of all of the items at an arms lengths distance – BREATHING-TOUCHING – LIVING (the bastards) and then they go on a line that has tape designated at a distance of 6 feet… Do I need to explain what may not add up here???
Reasonable reaction/soution or skull f*ck$ry???
YOU MAKE THE CALL ??? or roll over and play dead they’ll blow the whistle soon enough or ring the bell and let the students out of detention offer us a prize for good citizenship allow us to walk into Aushwitz’s telecom digital pre- summer camp for your health and recovery from this trying crisis??? Home of the ???? Land of the ?????…
WHY IS THERE IS THERE A FLEET OF VERIZON NATIONAL GRID AND CONSTRUCTION CREWS PUTTING HOLES IN THE GROUND AND WORKING ON SCHOOLS ALL OVER BROOKLYN- IS IT TO PREVENT THE CORONA VIRUS???
A Barman shared this with me – he received it from a Barman that had manned a long gone Brooklyn bar called McSwinney’s – he use to serve polite drinks before sunday mass (for those who rattle the beads) actually to one and all who decorated the ol’ mahogany….
BARTENDERS LET OUT FROM BEHIND THEIR BARS
Bartenders, while normally playful and snarky individuals when viewed in their natural habitats, have recently been let out from behind the bars to forage for supplies with the general public, whom they so passive aggressively hate.
Should you encounter one of these reclusive creatures, please respect the wild animals they can be and treat them as such.
Normally nocturnal creatures, due to COVID19 virus, bartenders have been forced into the daytime in search of food, alcohol, cigarettes and toilet paper. Alcohol, a main staple in their diet is no longer available at their preferred watering hole and while a bartender can live for up to 2 weeks on cigarettes alone, toilet paper is a motivating factor.
Much akin to animals in captivity, they have become reliant on the well meaning regulars to deliver food to them in their respective enclosures. Without these normal feedings, their blood sugar is running low and sarcasm is high, they are assumed to be hangry.
Bartenders seen during the quarantine should not be approached as most are likely ornery, sober and generally not in the mood for your bullshit.
You can easily identify a bartender if they have a disheveled appearance, are wearing sweatpants with no makeup and/or are noticeably disoriented by all the lights.
After years of being behind bars, subjected to the bustling parade of visitors that come to see them, older bartenders have embraced the introverted lifestyle. Therefore making them the most dangerous to encounter.
Keep in mind these older, wiser, keepers of secrets are to be assumed grumpy, sober (until determined otherwise) and most definitely hoping to avoid human interaction.
Younger, less experienced bartenders are more apt to seek attention, be advised they can be skittish, emotionally unstable and down right annoying. You may regret the interaction.
Please do not startle the bartender, nor initiate contact with this fragile, misplaced and often misunderstood creature.
If you think the bartender may be smiling, be aware this is them showing their teeth and should be seen as a sign of aggression.
Slowly back away and fuck right off. If you are lucky enough to encounter one in the wild, please remain calm, be respectful and slowly retreat to the safety of your own kind.
This has been a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT