Covid-19 And Civil Rights

There have been many institutions in our society that have been altered by the Covid-19…..including our civil liberties. We have had a lot of back and forth about this virus but the one subject that has been a bit silent is that of civil liberties…..and now it comes to light on IST…….

Philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote, “Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of great fear.” The United States is now in the grip of such a fear. It is prostrating before authoritarians in government who have waited for such a moment and now relish in ordering us indoors.

In loudly applauding the authoritarian shutdown orders of American governments, many seem to be conflating at least a few separate sets of issues that relate to different areas of expertise.

The first area of expertise is the epidemiology of COVID-19. It entails questions of the virus’s contagiousness and deadliness. There are questions on which there are very significant disagreements (with important policy implications) and, importantly, very poor data.

https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/491731-civil-liberties-under-attack-during-covid-19

This paper states that the biggest threat to our civil liberties during the pandemic is ICE….

The editorial board of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, recently insisted in an editorial amid the coronavirus pandemic that “the biggest present threat to public safety” is ICE agents. The editorial board cited a request made by ICE for 45,000 N95 masks to protect themselves while continuing to enforce the U.S. borders during the coronavirus pandemic. The board cites Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s statement it will “continue daily enforcement operations to make criminal and civil arrests, prioritizing individuals who threaten our national security and public safety.” “We would argue that the biggest present threat to public safety would be ICE agents, not undocumented immigrants,” the board responded.

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=14720

The secret police will be available when DC gets its spike of Covid-19 infestations…..did I say “secret police”? Yes I did.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser yesterday ordered a one-month extension of the state of emergency, as cases in the region grow at a rapid pace. Federal officials in the nation’s capital expect a New York-like epidemic in the District, Maryland and Virginia, one that could potentially cripple the government. “No one wants to talk evacuation, especially when there’s nowhere to go,” says a senior military officer working on continuity of government planning; he requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the record. But a little-known military task force charged with evacuating Washington has already been activated, a task force charged with the most sensitive government mission of “securing” Washington in the face of attackers, foreign and domestic—and if necessary, moving White House and other key government offices to alternate locations.

https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-washington-dc-faces-coronavirus-spike-secret-military-task-force-prepares-secure-1498276

Other institutions are under attack….voting comes readily to mind….and I have the feeling it will not stop there.

Any thoughts?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Will This Lead To Social Dysfunction?

The pandemic is causing a lot of things to occur at one time….food shortages, supplies shortages,  confusion and hysteria….but how will all these pressures effect the country?

I recently got a piece by the Geopolitical Futures…and I would like to pass it on to my readers…..

A few weeks ago, I laid out a model for thinking about the coronavirus crisis. I argued that there were four structures operating: medical, economic, social and military, with the political structure attempting to coordinate all four while managing its own disorder. This is an American model, but it maps to other nations reasonably well.

To this point, the medical structure has defined the basic framework. Having no vaccine to prevent the virus, nor proven medications for alleviating symptoms (I stay out of the chloroquine debate, lacking any right to an opinion), the only medical option was a social one: social distancing. Put differently, where quarantines were meant to create barriers to those who were ill with a disease, this was extended to everyone. In its most extreme form, this meant shelter in place: Stay home with your family and don’t venture out. Even the more moderate forms, such as putting six feet between yourself and others, were fairly radical.

The medical solution created an economic crisis. Many cannot go to work. Shopping, eating out and other activities are limited. Unemployment soared, supply chains are strained, demand for goods and services has fallen. The political structure crafted strategies for mitigating the crisis, cushioning unemployment and preventing business failures with stimulus packages and so on. The amount of money committed is about 10 percent of U.S. gross national product, with the assurance that more will be committed. It is not clear that these economic events will cause economic failure, but it is clear that they will cause distortions in the economy on the order of the infusions. The economy will not function as it has before, and the distortion will not rapidly end.

The social consequences are perhaps even more profound. At its core, the social is the family. The functioning of the family assumed that children would go to school, one or both parents would go to work, and all would have periods of being alone, or being in other places with other people. On the broadest level, the social is our mingling with strangers, from going to the movies, to standing in line and chatting, to discussing the purchase of a computer with a salesman. There are a billion kinds of social interactions, and each has its rituals. We know how to find a seat in a movie, and how to excuse ourselves as we pass by those already seated. We know how to appear amiable and unthreatening when standing in line. We understand the rituals when buying a computer, the carefully crafted pretense of knowing what you are talking about.

Human beings mediate their relations with other people through rituals — sometimes called manners and sometimes having no name at all. We know the rituals in our home. We know what will make mom and dad sad, we know how to come to dinner, and we know when we may disappear into our rooms to chat online. When we look at social organization, the family, dysfunctional or robust, is the most intense experience we have, and that experience is filled with safety valves, ritualized opportunities to be free of the family. This may be school, work, parties, whatever.

If social distancing and the economic crisis will have a social impact, it will be sensed first in the most delicate seismograph humans have: the home. Nowhere are the stresses so intense and continuous, nowhere are the safety valves so essential and rigidly prescribed. So when the medical structure requires that families dramatically alter their behavior, and the economic system generates such fear and uncertainty, the pressures are first felt in the family. Outside the family the pressures can be diffused, but now the family is the only sphere there is, and it becomes the sum of all fears, a place whose releases have been closed down.

Human beings mediate their relations with other people through rituals — sometimes called manners and sometimes having no name at all. We know the rituals in our home. We know what will make mom and dad sad, we know how to come to dinner, and we know when we may disappear into our rooms to chat online. When we look at social organization, the family, dysfunctional or robust, is the most intense experience we have, and that experience is filled with safety valves, ritualized opportunities to be free of the family. This may be school, work, parties, whatever.

If social distancing and the economic crisis will have a social impact, it will be sensed first in the most delicate seismograph humans have: the home. Nowhere are the stresses so intense and continuous, nowhere are the safety valves so essential and rigidly prescribed. So when the medical structure requires that families dramatically alter their behavior, and the economic system generates such fear and uncertainty, the pressures are first felt in the family. Outside the family the pressures can be diffused, but now the family is the only sphere there is, and it becomes the sum of all fears, a place whose releases have been closed down.

Family violence, normally man against woman, secondarily either against children, is a constant reality. Individuals who are psychologically dysfunctional, and families that are fractured, cause a constant and predictable level of family violence. When violence surges globally, it is unlikely that the numbers are being cooked, and unlikely that the violence is coincidental. There are two forces at work. First, homes and apartments are frequently built with the expectation that a substantial amount of time will be spent outside. They are not designed for constant occupation by all. The pressure of 24-hour intimacy coupled with a situation that has no clear endpoint can create tension between even the most loving families. And many families are not particularly loving. These are the ones that explode first, most without violence, all with a high degree of rancor that can’t be escaped. In some cases both parents are home without work. The parents must finally face each other, along with their unruly children. The family explodes inside of walls from which there is no escape. Family violence is not the norm. It is simply the first statistically collectible indicator. Many or most families will accommodate with love. But some won’t.

When I look at the pressure on our essential rituals, I note that Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that no one should shake hands now or ever again. It is common for male friends to hug. In Europe, when I greet a woman, I know I must kiss near the cheek but not quite on it. I always forget how many times — whether one or both sides, or even three times — I must kiss in each country. When I was young, a date ended in a kiss. When I was older, it could, with luck, end in more.

Are all these rituals of our life, along with all other rituals of touching that I don’t at the moment remember, to be abolished along with the handshake? The job of the medical community is to protect our health and life. But health is not simply a matter of medicine. It is also a matter of enormously complex and individual rituals. Last week, Jews celebrated Passover, remembering how God freed them from slavery. On Sunday, Christians celebrated Easter. These are communal celebrations of families and congregants who speak, touch and hug.

We are in an enormously difficult position. We cannot accept the death of fellow human beings who might be saved. We also cannot readily live with the restraints required to minimize those deaths. And we must calculate the suffering and death caused by economic depressions — a very real event.

The obvious solution is medical — a medicine that will not require quarantine and will allow us to go back to work. Given the virulence of the virus, the problem is that even lifting the social distancing might allow a return of its spread. I suspect we could take a risk with a poorly proven drug more than we can endure the limited lives we lead. But that is a suspicion. The point is that family violence has surged and it has surged because of the measures we must take to prevent the spread of disease. The rise in family violence is real but not decisive. The other social breakdowns will happen as the economy fails and our lives become crippled. Then choices will have to be made. Perhaps Fauci and his colleagues will find a cure we can live with. I wish them all the best in their quest.

So with all that said….do you see a dysfunctioning of our society?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Can A Pandemic Save The USA?

This pandemic is running through this country like crap through a goose…..will it have an effect on the governing of the nation?

I had cover this a bit on In Saner Thought…….https://lobotero.com/2020/04/09/can-a-virus-save-a-struggling-nation/

Personally, I think it can change the system for the better….but that will depend on the citizens and their collective memories.

Several articles have covered this question as well…..

A big question about the coronavirus pandemic is how much change it will leave in its wake. Are we in the midst of a massive, potentially revolutionary transformation of society? Or are we experiencing an intense shock that will change our society in the short term but leave it fundamentally intact?

Economic historian Walter Scheidel explored the former category — revolutionary transformations — in his influential 2017 book, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century. In that book, Scheidel identifies four classes of events — lethal pandemics, major wars, state failures, and revolutions — that reshape societies by flattening economic inequalities. Each of these events, in their own way, levels the playing field and paves the way for a new order.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/4/9/21174760/coronavirus-covid-19-inequality-walter-scheidel

AS it is now….millions unemployed and millions without any income….millions in hospitals that will owe billions for their care…..and then millions that seem to just not care and do all the wrong things……

The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is devastating the lives, cultures, mass psychologies, and economies of countries around the world. Here, I will not reproduce the damages it has inflicted in various countries. The news media are overflowing with such information. In this article, I will briefly outline the developing politico-economic effects, crises, and consequences of this pandemic.

Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Originally published on imperialismandthethirdworld, Apr. 7, 2020

The US government is being magnanimous…..giving each person 1200 dollars….and corporation millions or billions…..people are being given crumbs for their support of this country and corporations are given billions because of their greed.

Once again the government shows who is important.

The people should now have NO illusions to what type of government we have and who are the important members of that nation.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pain Management–A Personal Story

The new push for the control of the amount of opioids…..for decades the health professionals have been pushing opioids for a cure for just about everything.

We have a new president and a new “windmill” to tilt…….Opioids are the new drug of choice for the government to take on and destroy…you know like they did with weed and crack and meth and…..the list goes on all of which is still available at your underground drug store at the corner of 5th and Main.

Personal story……in 2005 I fell onto concrete and broke my right leg in 4 places….after 2 surgeries and a couple pounds of metal and screws I was sent on my merry way……but first I was turned over to pain management for my injury will have a lasting pain quotient associated with it.

After much trial and error trying to find to best pain reliever (keep in mind these do not eliminate pain just help you manage it) the best cocktail was morphine and oxycodone daily.  These have their side effects and one learns to deal with them as best we can.

Fast forward to 2017……I have been managing pain for 12 years and then another trauma to my right leg….I needed to have 4 toes removed from my right foot.  Pain increased and yet I was still using morphine and oxycodone to manage the pain.

And now enter the president and the government……there is an epidemic of abuse in this country of pain medication…..and the government will wipe it out…..

Are you old enough to remember this ad?

That was so successful that the patrons of the Waffle House grew by 200%…….but drugs could still be found at your local underground pharmacy…..

Back to my saga…….

My last visit to the pain management doctor I had to bring my pill bottles…the pills were counted and I had taken 2 pills too many….I was dressed down for over medication and warned that itf it happens again I would be kicked off the program as being an abuser….that would have made it impossible to get on another program because of the title hung around my neck.

Then we have to take a pee test and it will show all drugs that you take and that you had a beer or a glass of wine which would make it another dress down and another threat of loss of meds.

Nothing I like better than being treated like a 5 year old….but what can I expect when the dude calling the shots has the mental capacity of a 5 year old.

The Task Force has finally come out with a new version of the 1987 “This is your brain on drugs” ad……a total of $385,000 of taxpayers money will be spent to stop this opioid abuse in its tracks.

Sorry I think it is well established that these drugs are addictive…this is a waste of money but hey that is what this government does best…piss away taxpayer money.

Here we have the thoughts of the government and the Speaker of the House……

the House continues its bipartisan work to address the opioid epidemic. By the end of this week, we will have considered more than 50 pieces of legislation to support prevention, aid recovery, and protect our communities.

Chances are, you or someone you know has been affected by the opioid epidemic—whether that means wrestling with addiction, supporting a loved one in recovery, or providing comfort to a friend or neighbor dealing with loss.

https://www.speaker.gov/general/taking-action-against-opioids

It is personal for the Speaker?  What garbage!  Someone gave him the name of someone struggling with addiction…….that is NOT a personal story….that is what we call bullshit….or more politely propaganda.

Me?  I have decided that I will not be treated like a 5 year old.  I will take a break from my pain management program…..yes the pain will be a bit much most of the time but I will make it through….it is either suffer with the pain or stick it out and let these toads treat me any way they like because they can simply because I need some relief from constant pain.

Save Mississippi’s Medicaid

During the regular legislative session, lawmakers did not reauthorize Medicaid funding. Thus, on July 1, Mississippi’s Medicaid program will no longer be funded. This will not only affect individuals covered by Medicaid, but all who are employed in jobs that are funded in full or in part by Medicaid dollars. The defunding of Medicaid will result in thousands of layoffs and firings in the health care field.

 

That’s why I started a petition to Governor Phil Bryant, which says:

 

As July 1, 2013 ticks ever closer, we understand the tremendous impact not funding Medicaid will have on our state. Not only will thousands of children, pregnant women, and the disabled not have the health care they desperately need, but money for sliding fee scale clinics, STD testing, pregnancy prevention, and mental health services will be cut off from the community. This lack of funding will lead to massive layoffs and firings within the Mississippi health care and social services sector.

The health and well-being of Mississippi is not a partisan issue. Call the special session immediately!

 

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

 

Thanks!

 

–Laurie Roberts

 

Time to step up and help the people of Mississippi….we have had enough vague promises and political games……time to get serious about the state’s residents……

 

More Diabetes For The State?

The state is the fattest in the country and in being so has a disproportionate amount of diabetes and with the state being the poorest in the country, that means that the state Medicaid program is hit hard by diabetes and diabetes related diseases…..

On to another subject…the state has raised taxes on tobacco with the hopes that it will cost so much that people will quit smoking and become much more healthy…..and there is the rub of this post….

A study by U.S. researchers found that people who stop smoking have a 70 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first six years without cigarettes as compared to people who never smoked.

The researchers said they suspected the increased diabetes risk comes from extra weight gain common in people who quit.

The researchers found that people who quit smoking had a 70 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first six years after stopping compared to people who never smoked. The risks were highest in the first three years, and returned to normal after 10 years.

Among those who did not stop smoking the risk was lower, but the chance of developing diabetes was still 30 percent higher compared with those who never smoked.

Type 2 diabetes — often called adult-onset diabetes — is a common disease that interferes with the body’s ability to properly use sugar and insulin, a substance produced by the pancreas which normally lowers blood sugar after eating.

Overweight people and those with a family history of the disease have an increased risk of developing it, as do smokers.

Diabetes is reaching epidemic levels, with an estimated 180 million people suffering from it around the world.

Diabetes cases are forecast to triple in the United States in the next 25 years to 44 million with the costs of caring for them rising to $336 billion a year.

So there you are…..will any extra tax money received through the taxes collected on cigarettes be off set by an increase in the number of diabetics that it could possible create?

Could This Be Mississippi’s Future?

All state’s are facing some critical decsions on their budgets and their shortfalls.  As always it is the poor and the elderly that will pay for the problems.  California’s new plan may become a template for other states, and especially Mississippi.  Why?

Mississippi has a large poor community and the programs that are earmarked for them are a huge drain on the state budget, at least according to the politicians.

But the Gov-in-ator has found a new way to deal wuith his budgetary problems.

Proposals to eliminate insurance for needy children, reduce Medi-Cal services for the poor and scale back assistance to the unemployed would choke off millions of dollars to Santa Cruz County and cripple access to health care and other critical services for thousands locally, advocates say.

In addition to the $248 million hit for Healthy Families, the governor has proposed a savings of $34 million in Medi-Cal expenses by eliminating breast and cervical cancer treatment for women over 65 and cutting all non-emergency health care for undocumented residents. The governor also is calling for $92 million of Medi-Cal savings by scaling back treatment and drug options for the mentally ill.

Here are the proposed cuts–it will be interesting to watch the Mississippi side of this to see if any ideas were gleemed from California.


The governor’s plans to reduce the state’s budget shortfall call for big hits to health programs. Among them:

Elimination of Healthy Families Programs ($248 million savings)

Reductions for Medi-Cal mental health programs ($92 million savings)

Elimination of Medi-Cal breast and cervical cancer treatment and non-emergency care for undocumented ($34 million)

Cuts to HIV/AIDS programs ($56 million savings)

Cuts to primary care services in rural areas ($34 million savings)

Reductions to maternal health programs ($10 million savings)

Reductions to CalWORKs programs ($1.3 billion savings)

The poor is being attacked, but what will the wealthy be asked to contribute?

Tobacco Companies Lose Again

The U.S. Court of Appeals has sided with a lower court, finding that cigarette companies set out to deliberately deceive consumers about the dangers of smoking. The court found the defendants, including Altria, violated federal racketeering laws.

I have a hard time with this and other rulings against tobacco companies.  Why?  For 40+ years they have been telling smokers on every pack that the habit is hazardous to their health and will cause death.
Now if the smoker chooses to ignore the warning then how can a company be held responsible for stupidity of a person?  It is the lawsuit lotto, as usual Americans do not want to take responsibility for their actions–someone else is ALWAYS to blame–never the individual and their ignorant choices.

Katrina Is Still Harming Coastians

Almost four years after Hurricane Katrina kicked the crap outta the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the residents are still suffering from its effects.  First it was the extreme damage of property loss and lives lost.  Then it was the unscrupulous contractors.  On to FEMA trailers that were tainted.  A/holes that were defrauding the government even to include some government officials. And now, there is the possibility that an esstential of the rebuilding, drywall, may be dangerous.

The drywall in question has come to us from the country of lead paint, bad dog food and such, China.  A company named,  Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co., Ltd.

Some of the indications of bad or tainted drywall, the people the have used it have complained of respiratory problems, electronic devices inexplicably breaking down and a strong odors in their homes that smell like rotting eggs, which is due to the release of sulfur;  the sulfur smell is usually present, along with black deposits in bare copper wires, black deposits on the HVAC copper, changes to finishes on mirrors, pitting of chrome and other objects, as well as light switches that pop or have visible discharges.

Sadly, Katrina has continued to effect the lives of the Gulf Coast for years after the event and seems will continue that tact for many years to come.

Smokers Now, But Who Is Next?

Beginning April 1, the federal tax will increase 62 cents on a pack of cigarettes, bringing the total federal tax on a pack to $1.01.  Some tobacco companies already have increased their prices to help make up the difference.

I have read a piece that said the at least one million people have stop smoking ahead of the price increase.  Is that the desired outcome?  The higher price will force people to stop smoking or they will have to stop eating.

Has anyone stopped to consider something else?  Cigarette companies are a dying breed in the US….manufacturers.  The tax collect is to offset any future drain on the Medicaid/care system from the results of second hand smoke.  Cool, huh?

Are you ignorant?  Maybe just thick?  But that argument is just stupid!  Okay, let us say that millions of people stop smoking, thus stop buying the product….will not millions go to a US manufacturer that is in dire straits?  A bailout if you will.  So all the cash saved from those not smoking will be eaten up by another bailout of sorts.  Sounds like a sound, logical plan (that is sarcasm, in case you missed it).

So looking for another short term fix, these morons have created yet another failing industry that will most likely need bailing out.  What geniuses we elected!

With smoking eliminated what will be next?  Maybe everyone’s favorite liquor….or maybe those darn pesky fast food outlets.  Afterall, these institutions have and produce unhealthy side effects.

Once again the US government intervenes in the people’s private decisions….congrats morons!  You elected this group of idiots!