Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Agrul, Feb 2, 2020.
The US is by far one of the most corrupt countries on the earth, Mugabe/Zimbabwe level
Good luck, America! Alabama’s given up
Jul 02, 2020
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks at the State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., on Friday, May 8, 2020.
Gov. Kay Ivey says she doesn’t want to make people wear masks in public, which is ironic since making people do things they don’t like is pretty much the primary function of government.
She doesn’t want to be the bad guy. What politician does? But Alabama could use a little less nicety right now.
When I was a young reporter, I had the fortune of meeting a former Alabama lawmaker who had spent his career in Montgomery exposing the ineptitude of his colleagues until they drew him out of his district. In exile from the Legislature, Mac Parsons found an elected office that couldn’t be taken from him — a circuit judgeship in the Bessemer district.
Parsons had the disposition of someone who had lived through a war that had been lost. His stories and his pronouncements were witty and jaded, dry and dark. In his courthouse chambers between trials, I drank a lot of coffee and listened to him do something all those folks he left behind on Goat Hill couldn’t do: Tell truths about Alabama politics.
“All these legislators go down to Montgomery,” Parsons used to say. “They put their hand on a Bible and swear to uphold the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and they hadn’t read either one of them things.”
Parsons had read both and could quote both. I never did, but I learned to recite the wisdom of Mac Parsons. He died about 10 years ago, but every so often something he said wheedles its way into my work.
However, there was this one nugget he shared — I wondered whether it crossed a line. Too cynical, even for me.
“When you think about it,” he said, “government exists to do shitty things to people.”
I recall saying something about social services and safety nets. But that wasn’t what he was trying to get at, and if you got into an argument with Mac, you’d probably lost already.
Rather, what would happen if everyone were on the honor system?
Who would pay taxes if they were optional?
Who would pay child support?
Who would drive safely?
Who would keep their hands off their neighbor’s stuff?
The answer is a lot of people, but not everybody. And those few would screw it up for everybody else.
Government exists to balance individual freedom with the collective good. There are times when government must step in and make people do things they don’t want to do. That’s why we have traffic laws, building codes and zoning ordinances. To some degree, government does this every day, but we don’t notice because we’re accustomed to it.
And we need some more of that right now.
When it comes to wearing masks, Alabama is on the honor system. A lot of people are doing their part, but not everybody. As a result, the coronavirus is not under control and we won’t get it under control unless everyone wears one.
We need government to be the bad guy.
On Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey refused to play that role. In a press conference with the state’s health officer, Scott Harris, she said a statewide mask ordinance wouldn’t be effective because enforcement would be too hard.
“You shouldn’t have to order somebody to do what is in your own best interest and that of the folk that you care about, your family, friends and neighbors,” Ivey said.
Speaking to NPR Wednesday, Harris said there is no “appetite” for new public health orders after the stay at home order in the spring.
“We had quite a number of people who were flouting the order,” he said. “We had law enforcement that had stated publicly they were not going to enforce the order. And frankly, it’s very difficult to put health orders in place if they’re going to be flouted.”
Good luck, America! Alabama’s given up.
Ultimately, the trouble with Ivey’s laissez-faire approach and the current “guidelines” (let’s face it — they’re just suggestions) is that it punts enforcement onto businesses. And what business wants to tell its customers they have to do something they don’t want to do? The path of least resistance is to let it slide — and breath by breath give the virus another toehold in our state.
The disease has that toehold now. This approach has not worked and new daily cases are now three times what they were when Ivey began lifting restrictions six weeks ago.
The better option is to good cop/bad cop the problem. Businesses can still handle enforcement, but only with the looming threat of the state shutting them down.
Owners need to be able to tell their customers, “I hate these things, too, and it’s not fair, but if you don’t wear that mask the state is going to shut me down.”
We need government to be the bad guy.
It’s time for Ivey to suck it up and do her job. Same for Harris. Some folks will holler. They’ll call them names and make threats, just as speakers in Mobile did this week when that city enacted its own mask ordinance. They’ll scream about this being a violation of their Constitutional rights, which is nonsense. (If you have a Constitutional right to not wear a mask, then I have a Constitutional right to not wear pants.)
But the alternative is worse — further spread of the disease until we have only worse options, like closing restaurants, bars, churches and schools. And, yes, football stadiums, too.
And who will be the bad guy then?
Trump claims 99% of US Covid-19 cases are 'totally harmless' as infections surge
President’s White House speech capping 4 July celebrations says US coronavirus strategy is ‘moving along well’
4 Jul 2020
Donald Trump has celebrated independence day with a string of false and misleading claims attempting to play down the coronavirus pandemic and warning that China will be “held accountable”.
The US president staged a “Salute to America” jamboree on the south lawn of the White House with flyovers by military jets, parachute jumps and patriotic songs, but little effort among guests to physical distance or wear face masks.
The country has undergone staggering changes unthinkable when Trump hosted the first such event a year ago on 4 July with tanks and other military hardware at the Lincoln Memorial. The coronavirus has infected 2.8m Americans and killed nearly 130,000, the worst tallies in the world.
Saturday’s national celebration was inevitably more subdued, but the president refused to let the pandemic or dismal poll figures rain on his parade, waving with his wife, Melania, from a White House balcony then walking the south lawn to ripples of applause and a cry of: “Four more years!”
“We got hit by the virus that came from China,” the president said, prompting a strange whoop and applause from someone in the audience. “We’ve made a lot of progress. Our strategy is moving along well. It goes out in one area, it rears back its ugly face in another area. But we’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned how to put out the flame.”
The number of infections now regularly tops 50,000 per day, higher than in April when the US was in the first grip of infections. Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, warned this week: “I think it’s pretty obvious that we are not going in the right direction.”
Trump returned to his now familiar and baseless complaint that America has a high caseload because it performs more tests. “Now we have tested almost 40m people. By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless. Results that no other country can show because no other country has the testing that we have, not in terms of the numbers or in terms of quality.”
It was unclear how the president arrived at the “99%” harmless figure.
He also returned to his criticisms of the source of the coronavirus. “China’s secrecy, deceptions and cover up allowed it to spread all over the world. One hundred and eighty-nine countries and China must be held fully accountable.”
There was applause from the guests, but the White House has so far failed to detail what measures it is considering against Beijing, with which it recently struck a major trade deal.
And contradicting Fauci and other public health experts, the president offered a wildly optimistic prediction: “We’ll likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year.” The presidential election is on 3 November.
But the lion’s share of Trump’s remarks were a rehashing of a speech he gave on Friday night at Mount Rushmore, breaking from 4 July tradition by seeking to stoke a culture war and pour salt on America’s racial wounds instead of a unifying message.
“We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing,” he said.
“We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms ... We will teach our children to cherish and adore our country so they can build its future. Together, we will fight for the American dream.”
Trump pointedly said “our way of life” began in 1492 “when Columbus discovered America”. Statues of Christopher Columbus have been toppled along with those of Confederate generals during several weeks of protest against racial injustice following the police killing of George Floyd, an African American man, in Minneapolis.
Some have argued that, instead of America’s familiar birthday in 1776, the nation truly began in 1619 with arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia.
But Trump went on: “In every age, there have always been those who lie about the past in order to gain power in the present ... Their goal is demolition. Our goal is not to destroy the greatest structure on earth, what we have built, the United States of America.”
Trump touted an executive order he issued on Friday for the creation of a national garden of Americans heroes and berated the media for dishonouring, lying and slandering the country’s best. He added: “We will not throw away our heroes. We will honour them and we will prove worthy of their sacrifice ... The patriots who built our country were not villains. They were heroes.”
Following his speech, Trump and the first lady watched a spectacular display of military jets that have taken part in America’s military conflicts from the second world war onwards.
CBS Anchor: Trump Admin Has Stonewalled Us on Dr. Fauci Interview Requests
Jul. 05, 2020
CBS News anchor Margaret Brennan kicked off Sunday’s broadcast of Face the Nation by informing viewers that the White House has been ignoring their requests to interview the administration’s public health experts amid a surging coronavirus pandemic.
“We are committed to bringing you the facts about the virus and the most knowledgeable guests that we can,” she said. “We think it’s important for our viewers to hear from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control. But we have not been able to get our requests for Dr. Fauci approved by the Trump administration in the last three months, and the CDC—not at all. We will continue our efforts.”
Fauci’s last appearance on the CBS Sunday talk show was exactly three months ago—on April 5. A senior White House official recently told CNN that the administration isn’t currently approving TV interview requests for Fauci and other high-profile coronavirus task force experts. Fauci’s last appearance on U.S. TV was June 12—nearly a month ago.
reposting here for serious discussion on whether or not it would work.
we are going to get fucking stomped in the near future
Scale it up, offer something much more substantial - might have to be a private initiative (thinking of legal reasons). Remove the competition part of it so there is a reward for -every- state to meet the requirement.
have ye announce it on Twitter
or we can dismantle everything and rebuild, we definitely can't sustain having a society who hates itself, our intelligence is fully compromised
It truly is
we're not even the most advanced country economically, infrastructurally, or technologically any longer
Yeah, I ain't going nowhere, rebuilding is the only option. I ain't got nowhere to go y'know? I ain't building alliance with any new colonizers either
Been there, Brisbane and Darwin.
I generally don't like Australians, the white ones anyhow. I believe I like all the Australians here except @Skars though, could we go live with the aboriginals? Do they have seals?
The only correct solution is to destroy the US and rebuild it
I'm curious why.
I think it would grate on me if I had to live with one, but the Aussies I know were all fun to hang out with. Annoyingly loud/abrasive at times, but I could appreciate their sense of humor and directness. Like Canadians if you scraped away the politeness and added a better accent.
I couldn't quite place my finger on it honestly, I thought about it a bunch because I love people from New Zealand (although to be fair I know primarily Maori people) but I never quite got along with Aussies in multiple settings and scenarios, like bars/parties/events in America in addition to my time there.
Out of all the Colonial nations, I wonder who they are the most like? SA? I don't know any SAfricans colonizers or otherwise afaik
To be fair, Queensland (Brisbane) and Darwin are the redneck capitals of Australia. In Sydney and Melbourne where most of is live we’re more annoying cappuccino drinking hipsters.
Its crazy how easily the virus has got out of control in Melbourne. The whole state of Victoria, the second biggest in the country, is now shut off from the rest of the country. Seemingly from the virus leaking from guarded hotels.
This is going to take years to get rid of, if ever.
Editorial: Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus leadership falls woefully short
Like President Trump, California’s leader ignored health officials’ warnings as he pushed to reopen the economy
July 4, 2020
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File
Gov. Gavin Newsom loves to hear himself speak and when put in front of a microphone will ramble for an hour without focus – undermining critical warning messages.
Gov. Gavin Newsom bears responsibility for the current surge of COVID-19 cases in California.
Early on, he wisely adopted Bay Area health officials’ strategy for controlling the coronavirus. It was working as the number of cases leveled off in early April. But then the governor, ignoring warnings from some of those same health officials to take it slow, reversed course and opened up the state much too fast.
The result: California is now plagued with a major spike of coronavirus cases. The numbers had been steadily increasing since late April but then started sharply rising in mid-June. Each day now, the state’s seven-day trend line reaches record-high levels.
The increase in cases is not merely due to more testing; it’s also due to a larger percentage of those tested having the virus. The portion of tests that come back positive has increased more than 50% in the past 2½ weeks. Now, about 7% of those tested are infected.
Which helps explain why California hospitalizations for COVID-19 have increased 60% since June 13 and have surpassed the statewide peaks seen in April. Once again, some hospitals are preparing to stop doing elective surgeries so they can open up more beds for virus patients.
This is the scenario health experts — most notably, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody — warned about. While the state is better prepared than back in March, it’s still woefully short on testing and contact tracing needed to stem the spread of the virus.
And, this time, it lacks clear direction from its governor. While Newsom implores us to all do our part — to wear masks, wash our hands and socially distance — he has sent confusing and mixed messages about what constitutes compliance. He has teeter-tottered between warnings about the dangers of the virus and declarations of the urgent need to reopen the state’s economy.
Meanwhile, not even members of his own health department are clear on how the rules differ from county to county. Little wonder people are confused.
Unlike President Trump, Newsom clearly understands the dangers and science of COVID-19. But, like the president, California’s governor loves to hear himself speak and when put in front of a microphone will ramble for up to an hour without focus — undermining critical warning messages.
Like Trump, Newsom keeps trying to push responsibility down to the next-lower layer of government. Trump says it’s up to the states to deal with the coronavirus; Newsom says it’s up to the counties.
Both leaders threatened that if they didn’t like the results, they would step in. Yet, the pushes by Trump and Newsom to reopen have undermined conscientious local health officials’ attempts to hold the line.
Finally, on Wednesday, Newsom acted, seeking to slow the damage created by his own policies. It was billed as a rollback, ordering bars and many indoor businesses in 19 counties to close their doors. But some of the counties on the list, such as Contra Costa and Santa Clara, had not yet reopened those businesses.
To be sure, Newsom shows far deeper understanding of the coronavirus threat than Trump and has modeled responsible behavior. Unlike the president, Newsom is not afraid to be seen in public wearing a mask. He doesn’t claim the virus will suddenly disappear. He’s not disconnected from reality.
Unfortunately, the governor has focused too much time in the past couple of months on the reopening side of the challenge rather than containing the virus. Meanwhile, California COVID-19 deaths have continued mounting, now at nearly 6,300. It’s shameful that nearly half are in senior care facilities and that the Newsom administration was pathetically slow to respond to that part of the crisis.
Until there’s a vaccine, the best treatment is widespread and systematic testing to ensure people don’t return to workplaces or otherwise venture out without first being checked for the virus.
Newsom regularly brags about the state’s increased testing and contact tracing. What he doesn’t mention in his nearly daily spin is that the state is conducting less than half as many tests as needed to reduce the spread of the virus and only about 11 percent of what’s required to reopen the economy, according to an analysis by researchers at Harvard.
For that testing to be effective in stopping the spread of the virus, it must be accompanied by sufficient tracing of those who were in contact with people who test positive for the virus. There, too, California has only about half of what it needs.
Newsom’s leadership has fallen woefully short. In the weeks ahead, we will see how short as the rising number of cases in California are followed by commensurate increases in hospitalizations and then deaths.
Sadly, that will be the ultimate measure of Newsom’s performance.
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