Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 26, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-33

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

---
Other issues:

Syria:

Turkey is finally starting to clear the M4 highway as it was supposed to do for the last two years:
Tension on M4 evolves to fierce clashes between Turkish forces and protesters leaving four dead - SOHR:

> These developments comes in the wake of the escalating tension between Turkish forces on one hand and fighters of jihadi factions led by Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham.

SOHR sources have confirmed that exchange of fire with heavy machineguns erupted between both sides, along with shells hitting Turkish posts nearby Al-Nayrab. Meanwhile, Turkish reconnaissance drones were monitored flying over the area. <

Yemen:

The Southern Transitional Council (STC) confirms its coup against the government of #Yemen by announcing its autonomy and right of self-government over the South. Riyadh agreement, came to an official end.
Week 2 of #Yemen ceasefire: @YemenData recorded at least 34 air raids with up to 164 individual airstrikes - up by almost a third on ceasefire week 1. Air raids in Marib governorate reached a near three-year high.

Hong Kong:

Cleaning up the U.S. sponsored inciters of riots:
Media tycoon Jimmy Lai among 14 from Hong Kong opposition camp arrested over unlawful protests - SCMP

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on April 26, 2020 at 14:19 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Otmar Verschauer ... Today Bill Gates ...
Posted by: Russ | Apr 29 2020 9:30 utc | 195

Perhaps we should rechristen Bill Gates Otmar as Verschauer?

Posted by: BM | Apr 29 2020 11:58 utc | 201

A User | Apr 29 2020 9:49 utc | 198 (murder-by-jail routine)

In 1970 I was told by a credible source that the protocol for US prisons in case of nuclear war called for exterminating the prisoners, presumably with sarin or some similar organophosphorus compound or "agent".

Evidently this inspired plan has developed into a more specific and covert method of political force.

It's a non-logical and immoral matter to call for mass death, many say, and I agree. So the presumably emotional remark "The sooner you are all dead, the better it will be for the rest of us" (A U) might involve not only us, but you - the killing agent(s) might not be politically savvy enough to discriminate, eh?

Posted by: Walter | Apr 29 2020 12:13 utc | 202

Some already know that Wally sometimes writes stories, and has a bohemian or beat view of literature as history. Thus a very fine story by Rapport> "A message about suicide to the pod people wearing masks" (Jon Rappoport) @ nomorefakenews[dot]com

It's fiction man, in fiction truth-telling takes a victory roll, and it does no harm. Sehrkool story.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 29 2020 12:48 utc | 203

Texas Governor Abbott has announced a phased reopening of some businesses in the state. The "lockdown" in Texas was pretty much on the honor system; and beginning May 1st, some retail businesses and restaurants will be allowed to reopen on the basis of 25% occupancy. The second phase begins around May 18th, with restaurants allowed to increase occupancy to 50%.

Texans are urged to continue wearing masks and observing social distancing, but there is no legal mandate which forces them to comply. The mayor of Houston has demanded the wearing of masks in public, under compulsion of days in jail or fines. This is no doubt a response to a higher level of Covid patients in local hospitals. The Governor announced that no jurisdiction was authorized to impose fines or other penalties for not wearing masks.

The State is also putting in place an infrastructure for testing citizens for Covid virus and quarantining those who test positive. The Governor is republican and generally supports Trump's policies. I guess we will see the results of this policy soon enough. Abbott claims that Texas holds third place in terms of recoveries from the disease. He also claims he will scale back if the virus surges again.

Posted by: Copeland | Apr 29 2020 14:21 utc | 205

I mentioned my individual protest for May 1st to my neigbbor, whose eyes lit up as she proceeded to interpret it in her own fashion - "We should all gather at the Towm Hall..." Ah no, thank you very much; that is not my idea at all.

I do trust the WHO, sorry pft and A User! It is insanity to gather in crowds ANYWHERE with infections being more likely to spread in such cases. I will not be "gathering" anywhere on Friday. You will not 'see' my protest. It is going to take place within the confines of my own home, and it will be marked by my prayers for all who suffer in this crisis - all, but specifically for all who have suffered in the months and years leading up to the crisis.

Indeed, we want to have jobs and indeed we want to have solidarity. The way to do that is to fight the virus spread along with making our views known that 'normal' is not good enough. So, if you see crowds of protesters May 1st, be aware those are the crazies. We can protest in our own lockdowns by staying for that day free of this computer observance, phones, tv for the entire day, and meditating upon the world's crisis situation for the day as we garden, or read, or simply observe solidarity with all in addressing our universal intent not to return to the practices that benefit the excessive imbalance in our country and in the world.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. And maybe this won't just be a May Ist observance. Maybe it will, like the virus, be catching.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 29 2020 14:36 utc | 206

juliania | Apr 29 2020 14:36 utc | 204

I myself would never advocate for any unlawful act, but one can see that>

It only takes one person one moment to tag a wall with a protesting statement...or to pour out a can of red paint in an empty street on a quiet night.

Thus I reason that gathering is not essential to public protest, and paint lasts longer. Howard K. Smith used creosote to scrawl "vote labor!", he says, feigning shame...

And on a quiet midnight everyone can beat the pots and pans outside the window.

American might even do the dangerous stuff, like popping off a few rounds on May Day. It happens. And Marxist dogma even supports the idea, it seems "Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary."

(well, it was before my time, they say Marx said that.)

Posted by: Walter | Apr 29 2020 15:11 utc | 207

@Noirette #111
Agreed - we (none of us) really knows precisely how nCOV works. Only time and research will uncover that.

Nonetheless, the overall mortality numbers clearly show that nCOV is a major cause of death above and beyond normal.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 29 2020 15:26 utc | 208

@juliania #118
I agree with what you wrote.

All I will add is that the US government we have now - both federal and state - came into being not by accident but by the gradual erosion of prerogatives and priorities.

It isn't clear to me that there is a counterbalancing force to either gradually or quickly reverse the changes, which is why I've been of the view that things have to get a lot worse before enough people are energized to take action.

Note that the US population, overall, is pathetically unaware and inactive compared to Europeans; the European social net isn't an accident or outcome of liberal philosophy so much as it arose because a huge number of Europeans fought for it. The strikes in France are an extreme example, but all of the Western European democracies have strong working class political activity with the exception of the UK (Thatcher broke them).

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 29 2020 15:35 utc | 209

@john #162
I thought it was funny, actually.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 29 2020 15:44 utc | 210

>The Governor announced that no jurisdiction was authorized to
>impose fines or other penalties for not wearing masks.

That's not a problem for police. There is always some law that a person is violating, like vagrancy, failure to obey a lawful order, creating a disturbance, trespassing, smoking a joint in public, open container of beer, etc., etc., etc. Those laws were created for the express purpose of rounding up troublemakers, and police know how to use them.

I've been hearing poorly-considered calls for "General Strike!!" for decades. The idea seems perverse in the context of the existing General Lockout, something no one has seen before. What does it mean to refuse to work when one is already out of work? Anything at all?

Yes the General Strike can be a useful tactic, but it is only a tactic, and even a brief review of past general strikes shows that they require a huge organizational effort prior to the strike. There has to be provision for food, medical care, transport, etc. Some of that groundwork is being done now, not as preparation for a strike, but simply because people need to eat and the normal routes to obtaining food are broken.

These ad-hoc groups are fertile ground for discussing the class war and how the rich are winning while the rest don't even know they are the targets. I hope there are people using these opportunities to discuss important ideas. How ironic that just as a possible revolutionary moment is arriving, I find myself almost completely homebound due to chronic illness and unable to participate in any way other than tap tap tap on the keyboard.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 29 2020 15:46 utc | 211

Regarding potential meat shortage in US:
It turns out that less than 10% of US food consumption, by weight, is "meat or beans" - at least according to the USDA: USDA food plan details

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 29 2020 15:47 utc | 212

to Uncle Tungsten I was thinking just this morning the same thing. Poss Scenario: Babbling Biden names Killary VP. Babbling Biden announces that his health is fragile and for the sake of the murkans he's withdrawing, leaving Killary in place.
She names the reincarnation of Al Capone as her running mate and bob's your uncle. The sad truth is that most Dims will support this. One of these Anyone-But-Trump moments. So when do you think it will happen?

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 29 2020 16:08 utc | 213

@Miss Lacy #211
Have no fear, a Biden/HRC ticket will assuredly lose against Trump.
The combination of senility and unlikeability is brutal.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 29 2020 16:15 utc | 214

Here's an interesting post which derides Trump but looks at possible "Trumpism" drivers as opposed to the person.


Trump himself is not a thinking person. He operates by instinct and viscera.

...

leave aside his empty governance and his incapacity to build a governing coalition

But notes that Trump - however he did it - tapped into real American concerns as follows:

1) Immigration. The percentage of Americans born abroad is near 15%. Historically, when this percentage has exceeded 14%, anti-immigrant sentiment surged.

2) Trade: While free trade has been a Reagan staple in rhetoric and a post-Clinton standard as well, Trump is not pro-free trade.

3) Financialization of the Economy: $1 of each $40 of GDP was financial in the 1950s. Today it is $1 out of each $12. Trump talked about going after the banks but hasn't actually.

4) Foreign policy: Wars started by Trump = 0. Withdrawals also 0.

5) Political Correctness: this is the most interesting

After the 2016 presidential campaign, mathematician Spencer Greenberg conducted a study indicating that anger over political correctness was the second most reliable predictor of Trump support, behind party affiliation and ahead of social conservatism, protectionism, and anti-immigration sentiments.

anti-PC ahead of anti-immigration!

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 29 2020 16:24 utc | 215

>The Governor announced that no jurisdiction was authorized to
>impose fines or other penalties for not wearing masks....

what court is his excellency quoting? Even His Pope-ness would not be so bold an idiot as to say such a thing.

"Jurisdiction" means, of course, the space where law applies and where the court speaks with power. Governors, being merely the boss of an organization bound by law to enforce faithfully the law, do not decide the loci of jurisdictions.

I hate to judge prematurely, but it seems that His Excellency imagines some magical kingdom wherein His Excellency rules by decree and ukase.

as to the idea than people won't go on strike when they are hungry and locked out... Kuhle Wampe (B. Brecht Scene) on YT.... ('b' ought to know that movie, as he's a Brecht fan, it seems)

Posted by: Walter | Apr 29 2020 17:28 utc | 216

>where the court speaks with power.

And how many divisions does the judge have? About as many as the Pope?

Our governors and president are all kings until their term ends or their men-at-arms quit following orders.

And yes, "Just following orders" is a real thing, said to my face by a state trooper-warrior dressed in camo, face paint, and machine pistol. This happened about 20 years ago during a raid on a punk music festival known as "Fudafest". I was there with my literature table and Pyramid of Capitalism to talk to young working class people about the IWW and all that stuff. I'm sure they learned a lot more from the police raid than they did from anything I might have said.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 29 2020 19:26 utc | 217

Miss Lacey #213

When will the Biden groper name Hillary as VP? - Before June perhaps.

But if the Tara Reade storm gets violent it will be at that point. Then Biden will collapse. Hillary could even make it into a victory lap claiming she 'stands up for women' and all the silent Dem fems will find their tongues and talk of Hillary (but not Tara Reade). It will be tacky for sure.

Expect a veteran for VP to Hillary. These are exceptional times;-)

Could be a fun election if Jesse Ventura starts spanking the frauds.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 29 2020 20:48 utc | 218

karlof1 #179

Thank you, have been reading zeroanthropology for many years - refreshing and intellectually precise. Anthropology is my right hand friend and has been all my life. I use it for political purposes. So does the military. In Iraq and Afghanistan they call it 'human terraine mapping' and have recruited many trained specialists to aid their cause of targeted assassinations and mayhem. I periodically encounter retired military people doing 'it' in civilian politics.

Be warned - be informed!

The professional body is incendiary at this travesty as it has given the profession a bad name. Anthropologists working with international health programs are now targetted for assassination by local warlords etc. SAD.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 29 2020 21:10 utc | 219

Trailer Trash | Apr 29 2020 19:26 utc | 217 (court) We agree, and may have crossed paths,,,my point precisely is that the Courts, the Law, has only whatever power the bailiffs can enforce. At the present instance this approximates, as we agree, to zero. (Though His Pope-ness does have an army...and so do in theory Their Excellencies the esteemed governors, the judiciary has nearly no soldiers...well a few in theory, but nothing of value).

A condition wherein the armed force obeys ukase and decree, and not their oath to constitutional rule, may be many things, but it is not congruent with the western canon of law.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 29 2020 21:15 utc | 220

Posted by: BM | Apr 29 2020 11:58 utc | 201

"Perhaps we should rechristen Bill Gates Otmar as Verschauer?"

In my blog drafts I have a still-unfinished piece which argues that Gates is in some ways the closest thing we have to Hitler, in the sense that he serves as a unifying force between predatory capitalism, militarism, the police state and extreme ideological fanaticism dedicated to totalitarian rule. The ideology's not even different: Human eugenics, with genetic and chemical determinism substituting for the racist concept of "blood" and serving the same pseudo-scientific purpose. It's a damn good thing he has no charisma.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 29 2020 21:39 utc | 221

Gotta read Andrei Martyanov's blog entry from yesterday and review the comments offered, particularly his. IMO, it's relevant to the COVID-19 thread discussion, but I didn't feel like planting it there. I know Walter will find Andrei's argument very sound, as will others. It sorta lends support to the bioweapon hypothesis as the Outlaw US Empire has no other means to confront China aside from hybrid-war methods. Undoing the Dollar-fraud will bring down the house of cards that stands for the once powerful Outlaw US Empire. There's really only one way out of the box canyon the Current Oligarchy is retreating into, and they know what that will do to their standing, so they keep stalling.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 29 2020 21:43 utc | 222

A User #198

The sooner you are all dead, the better it will be for the rest of us.

In defence of those that do struggle to assert human rights throughout our beautiful planet on every continent and island.

There are many who live under various oppressions and in the USA that oppression has been refined to its most gross as well as its most subtle. Same goes for all five eyes lapdogs.

Infantilising media and education is the primary spring of the poison of disempowerment.
Brutal retaliation against dissident voices is another force to be respected as one flows down lifes stream.
Then there are the occasional extreme displays of state violence to witness, just in case you forget who is in charge. The good people of the USA are familiar with this as are the Vietnamese people and others.
Speaking out and organising the defence of the oppressed is difficult when the state has consolidated the forces of arrogance, brutality and oppression.

Remain calm respect the good people who struggle we are allies in your grief and anger.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 29 2020 22:09 utc | 223

c1ue #214

Have no fear, a Biden/HRC ticket will assuredly lose against Trump.
The combination of senility and unlikeability is brutal.

Thank you c1ue but can I suggest BE AFRAID. The class of '86 surrounding Trump is a serious warmongering cabal of belligerents. Just tote up what they say their intentions are.

Either main party spells doom brother not just for their targets, the people of the USA, but for many people who aspire to live in a peaceful prosperous world. WE ALL have an interest in the outcome.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 29 2020 22:40 utc | 224

Trailer Trash #217

WOW, thanks TT that revived old memories of being in similar situations with menacing uniformed state thugs. Once I was bailed up by a gang of US navy heavies on R&R leave who took exception to my placard naming the war in Vietnam as a crime and urging the criminal perpetrators to leave our land. I was a young adolescent then and if it were not for my colleagues who were trade union strong, they would have mangled me. It was a good punch up though. WE were back the next day with reinforcements:)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 3:54 utc | 225

karlof1 #222
Thank you for that link to Andrei Martyanov's blog. A treasure trove of goodies.

Barflies do not miss this brief data video of 55 years of gross energy consumption per country.
STUNNING!

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 4:07 utc | 226

thanks uncle t... @ 226.. i have seen that before!

Posted by: james | Apr 30 2020 17:50 utc | 227

Thanks, c1ue @ 209, yes, worse will probably happen before better. We are not very far along. And yes, trailer trash, a General Strike is probably not on the cards as yet - though we can think deeply about historical antecedents. Plus, special thanks to uncle tungsten for thoughts expressed at 223. Like coming on a deep pool fed by the sliver of a waterfall, after wading through so much pro and anti viral speculations...

Here's somewhat to ponder from my "Dr. Zhivago" penetration so far:

[Zhivago to Lara, early on in their relationship]

"Just think what's going on around us! And that you and I should be living at such a time. Such a thing only happens once in an eternity. Just think of it, the whole of Russia has had its roof torn off, and you and I and everyone else are out in the open! And there's nobody to spy on us. Freedom! Real freedom, not just talk about it, freedom, dropped out of the sky, freedome beyond our expectations, freedom by accident, through a misunderstanding.
And how great everyone is, and completely at sea! Have you noticed? As if crushed by his own weight, by the discovery of his greatness..."
"...Mother Russia is on the move, she can't stand still, she's restless and she can't find rest, she's talking and she can't stop. And it isn't as if only people were talking. Stars and trees meet and converse, flowers talk philosophy at night, stone houses hold meetings..."

It's true, we are a long way from this. And they, the remembered, are a longer way back from what has happened since in Russia. There are only hints of awakenings...

Still, it is springtime...

Posted by: juliania | Apr 30 2020 22:42 utc | 228


"Covid-19 and The Red Dawn Emails" (Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire)


"...A group of personalities, Red Dawn, whose correspondence was revealed by Kaiser Health News and the New York Times website, managed to impose an apocalyptic ideology: China would have declared war on us and we could only protect ourselves by confining all civilians..."

He sees a live exercise I think.

...In other matter, if Sam had done a sober and honest lockdown in a timely way, then we would be pretty sure Sam knew all about it - it's essential to the con that the con man not reveal his prior knowledge, just as it best that the mark blame himself...whoooha. They didn't lockdown, and did ignore facts, so as to create the cloak of innocent surprise and deflect blame onto the marks...which is a large group, not only Mr Chine, but usins too. (a failure to communicate, an Intel failure, whokuda knowed!)

Posted by: Walter | Apr 30 2020 23:04 utc | 229

To whom it might concern.German atlantist news outlet Der Spiegel publishes article written by George Soros,about saving the European Union.Also an interview of german doctor working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York,who states that from 10 Covid-cases on repirators,only one survives.

Posted by: willie | May 1 2020 10:01 utc | 230

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