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Links April 2020

April 18, 2020

More unconventional thoughts about the coronavirus pandemic in a once again hastily compiled blog post: 

If you’re not an older adult or a person with existing health problems, you might think: what’s the big deal? But you are the lucky one, and you are an exception, because “existing health problems,” caused by a sedentary lifestyle and environmental poisons in air, water, and food are quite common, one could even rightfully declare another parallel pandemic of chronic ailments going on right now.

Half of US adults have high blood pressure, one of the most prevalent pre-existing conditions among Sars-CoV-2 fatalities. Other common illnesses associated with coronavirus deaths include diabetes, which affects 9 percent of US adults, and coronary heart disease, which affects 7 percent. Allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses are also common. Up to half of all non-elderly persons in Western countries have chronic health problems.

If you wondered, what may be the consequences of the pandemic and when things will go back to normal, be assured: There will be no normal and things will never be as they were before the pandemic. Think about these numbers:

2.3 million people have been infected, 1.6 million are currently sick.
160 thousand have died, 40 thousand in the USA alone.
At least 4.5 billion people are in some kind of lockdown across the globe.
601 thousand have recovered, but may have lasting damage of lungs, kidneys, heart, and other organs. (Coronavirus destroys lungs, but a growing body of evidence suggests that the virus invades also other organs and tissues, causing heart arrhythmias, blood clots, and renal failure. Doctors are finding its damage in kidneys, hearts, and elsewhere. Almost half the people hospitalized because of Sars-CoV-2 have blood or protein in their urine, indicating damage to their kidneys.)

If you wonder, why it got that bad, here are some explanations:

The healthcare systems in most countries are underfunded and dysfunctional. Healthcare workers lack sufficient personal protection equipment, they consequently are being infected and incapacitated at an alarming rate, with many deaths.

In Spain, the healthcare workers at one point accounted for 14 percent of the country’s cases, while in Italy, they accounted for 10 percent. The same process is under way in the USA. US media reported that 345 employees of Boston’s four largest hospitals have tested positive for Sars-CoV-2. In New York City, hundreds of health workers have fallen ill. At Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan, 50 percent of the intensive-care staff have been infected.

The result is that in addition to the shortages of hospital rooms, ICU beds, masks, and ventilators, there is a shortage of medical staff and the remaining doctors, nurses, and medics are overwhelmed by the increasing volume of patients seeking medical attention.

Meanwhile, hospitals and healthcare systems are threatening doctors and nurses who make their concerns over working conditions public. An emergency room physician, Dr. Ming Lin, in USA, Washington state, was fired because he gave an interview to a newspaper complaining about inadequate protective equipment. Ruth Schubert, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Nurses Association, told news reporters: “Hospitals are muzzling nurses and other healthcare workers in an attempt to preserve their image.” Nurses who have spoken under conditions of anonymity with reporters said that they have been told they would be fired if they talked to the media.

If you ask, what could have been made better to avoid this catastrophe, here some things which should work to lower infections and death rates:

a. A functioning and appropriately funded health care system.
b. Clean (uncontaminated) air, water, and food.
c. A healthy lifestyle with more exercise, more nature, less screen time.
d. A strict lockdown (which unfortunately contradicts point c.)
e. No travel, no tourism, more telecommuting and video conferences.
f. Massive testing, including antibody tests, and epidemiological research.
g. Wearing masks and gloves.

The “herd immunity” thesis did not work. The idea behind herd immunity was, that the outbreak would stop if enough people got sick and gained immunity. This policy did not work and as mentioned before, with the prospect of lasting organ damage one better shouldn’t get sick. Beside that, new concerns have arisen that getting Sars-CoV-2 confers only short-term immunity (a year or less). As Sars-CoV-2 is mutating, immunity would not protect against new strains. A vaccine would probably also not protect against new strains (just like it happens with the flu vaccines).

Antibody tests are not a panacea. The UK government has already paid for three-and-a-half million antibody tests, but has not yet found one that is reliable enough to be broadly used.
 https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52335210
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01095-0
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/17/roche-coronavirus-antibody-test-uk

The old order is crumbling and there are interesting and trying times ahead.

It is very possible that things will end up getting better in some as-yet unpredictable way. It’s also very possible that things can get worse. The only sure bet is that things never ever will go back to normal, because “normal” is gone for good.

While the natural world gets a much needed relief, the post-coronavirus future for humans is looking grim: economic collapse, martial law, more ailments, more suffering, and the atomization of social relations (because of the lockdowns).

Sars-CoV-2 has caused an almost total overnight cessation of normal healthcare measures. If you are sick right now, unless you can test positive for coronavirus, the healthcare system does not want to know about you. In anticipation of a crisis in public hospitals and a rush on limited ICUs (intensive care units), hospitals were more or less cleared out in preparation for the coronavirus.

All non-urgent surgeries have been delayed until further notice, all non-essential interventions postponed. Cancer treatments are being pared back, as is care for other chronic illnesses.

The numbers of non-coronavirus deaths will inevitably rise, from cancer sufferers and other seriously ill people not getting treatment, from people avoiding going to hospitals (visits to accident and emergency units are down by a third), from an increase in suicides among depressed people forced to self-isolate, and from the effects of increased domestic abuse.

Sars-CoV-2 is threatening the structures of power that form the basis for our way of life — the global industrial economy. Media reported disturbing news about the suspension of pollution limits under the pretense of helping economic recovery. The US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) issued a sweeping suspension of environmental regulations for the indefinite future. Controls of mercury and other toxic pollutants are weakened. China is discussing an easing of pollution rules and a scaling back of climate goals. Politicians in Germany, Poland, and other European countries have called for relaxing pollution rules.

This is a strategic move to block any public perception that the pandemic has dictated positive changes, that the old social, political, and economic order needs to be replaced, and that an intact and healthy environment is more important than GDP growth and corporate profits. 

The Sars-CoV-2 pandemic has caused not only the greatest health emergency since the 1918 flu pandemic, but also the greatest social and economic crisis facing Western countries since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has caused political destabilization on a global scale and the accustomed ways of exercising political power may no longer work. The Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued a warning of “a social bomb,” ready to explode in major Western cities “in a few weeks.”

The old predicaments have not gone away, they are only overshadowed by the pandemic. Western civilization is running at 40 percent above its sustainable capacity. Humans are rapidly depleting the earth’s forests, animals, insects, fish, freshwater, even the topsoil required to grow food.

After the coronavirus pandemic there will be world wide famine, water scarcity, and social unrest. There is a new ozone hole over the arctic, climate change is ongoing, ecosystems (oceans, wetlands, rain forests) are collapsing, air, water, and soil is poisoned. 

The age of globalization is ending and the best avenue which nation-states can take is to gain as much control over their own destinies as possible. That requires a focus on domestic food self-sufficiency, domestic manufactured goods, and independent social and financial services.

Bottom-up strategies could build local resilience through place-based initiatives such as community-supported agriculture and farmers’ markets, neighborhood-scale renewable energy projects, and local business alliances.

Even the New York Times writes: “It’s the end of the world economy as we know it.”

The global economy and the economies of most states have been dramatically weakened, and they will remain relatively weakened and transformed for some years; in many cases for decades. This means that economic deprivation will reach more pervasively down into the mass of society, accelerating the trend of the past decades. Economic hardship will in turn exacerbate the polarization of societies and most likely lead toward forms of nationalism and a fierce rejection of globalization or any other form of foreign interference.

The power of central governments has been dramatically increased during this crisis, and the rights and freedoms of individuals constrained. By late March 2020, the situation in most Western societies had approached a quasi-martial law environment, with little social resistance.

The role of global bodies has been weakened, as have alliances. This will lead to a rethinking of alliance structures and how to manage them. It will, even if only for reasons of fiscal constraints, lead to an increasing momentum toward the bilateralization of trade, even to the point of thinking in terms of structured barter or counter-trade dealings.

There will be crop failures because of droughts or megadroughts (in western USA, Middle East, and northern China), resistant fungi like TR4 (Fusarium wilt Tropical Race 4), rice blast, blackleg, and pests like locusts and fall armyworms. Kazakhstan has banned exports of wheat flour, of which it is one of the world’s biggest sources, as well as restrictions on buckwheat and vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes. Vietnam, the world’s third biggest rice exporter, has temporarily suspended rice export contracts. Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, may also threaten to restrict exports, as it has done before, and the position of the US is in doubt given President Trump’s eagerness for a commodity trade war.

These crop failures and export restrictions will cause food shortages, price gauging, and famine. 

Well, and then there is the loneliness of people locked down in their homes and not allowed to mingel with their fellow humans.

Cathy Thwing:

We stay at home.
For me, it’s easy.
Others thrash, entombed,
forced to stay at home.

I’ve no wish to roam.
I’m like the trees, see.
We stay at home.
For us, it’s easy.

Caitlin Johnstone:

We sit inside and wonder
what the hell is going on
and what the hell is going to happen.
How we’re going to pay the bills
and how the store can still be out of f toilet paper.

What the government is hiding from us
and how they’ll screw us over this time.
If we will be okay when we get sick
or if we will be one of those left to die.

If those we live with will get bored of us
or if they already are.
If we’re going to be okay.
If the world is going to be okay.

If maybe, just maybe,
out of all this chaos and confusion,
in some secret, safe, and sacred space,
something truly good might be birthed.

We sit inside and wonder.
We sit inside and wait
for the lockdown to end
and for the uncertainty to end.

For the latest disturbing news story
and the latest round of disturbing statistics.
For the delivery person
and the video chat ringtone.

For a family member to awaken from sleep
so we don’t feel so alone and afraid.
To again hug our elderly loved ones
and to have block parties with our neighbors.

To again meet a set of eyes and smile warmly
at a stranger across the room in a public space.
For the earth to heal itself.
For humanity to heal itself.

For that primal sanity
which lies dormant in our cells
to finally awaken.

We sit inside and wait.
We sit inside and change
our old habits
and our old assumptions.

Our fear of stillness
and our fear of ourselves.
Our hearts and our minds.
From restless to rested.
From doing to being.

From a posture of sprinting
to a posture of meditating.
From frenzied momentum
to the fan blades fully stopping.
From guardedness with our loved ones
to vulnerability and intimacy.

From war with the world
to peace with ourselves.
From an insane species in an awkward adolescence
to who knows what the hell comes next.

Our eyes crack open.
Our hearts crack open.
Our cells sprout leaves.
We sit inside and change.

Feline news:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52177586 Tigers in a NY zoo were infected.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-zoo/tiger-at-new-yorks-bronx-zoo-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-idUSKBN21N0WV This is a big deal for cat hosts.
https://www.rt.com/news/484629-cat-coronavirus-hong-kong Another infected cat.
https://www.rt.com/news/484280-cat-belgium-coronavirus-pet/ Frightening.
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52204534 Keep cats indoors — that is impossible, my feline companions would go mad.
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2020/03/10/kelso-great-nypd-cat-hunt/
https://anthropocenemagazine.org/2020/03/cat-double-identity/
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2020/03/20/red-cross-spring-kitten-bellevue/
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2020/03/25/cat-lady-bedford-street/ A sad story.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-25/feline-mayor-little-tokyo
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2020/03/27/archangel-kittens-bishop-potters/
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-52096629
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2020/04/03/cat-colony-adams-express/
https://news.yahoo.com/strays-feel-bite-pandemic-spreads-034157374.html
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/07/science.abb7015 The conclusion of this study: Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in cats should be considered as an adjunct to elimination of SARS-CoV-2 in humans!
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-52234128/pets-in-middle-east-abandoned-over-coronavirus-fears.
https://phys.org/news/2020-04-questionnaire-survey-potential-separation-related-problems.html Never forsake your feline friend!

Against all odds:

https://meta.eeb.org/2020/03/12/eu-takes-unprecedented-steps-against-throwaway-economy/ Small steps, one has to say, but better than nothing.
https://aeon.co/essays/we-need-slow-hope-in-a-world-of-accelerating-ecological-change
https://animamonday.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/spring-has-sprung/
https://truthout.org/articles/undemocratic-elections-have-citizens-reinventing-self-governance-worldwide/
https://civileats.com/2020/04/02/the-moment-for-food-sovereignty-is-now/ 

Environmental news:

There is clear evidence that Sars-CoV-2 has cut greenhouse gas emissions drastically. A report published by Carbon Brief found that emissions in China have dropped by at least 25 percent in February compared to the same period in 2019.

https://www.zerohedge.com/health/chernobyl-radiation-levels-suddenly-surge-17x
https://meta.eeb.org/2020/03/02/eu-action-needed-to-tackle-environmental-crime-spree/
https://news.mongabay.com/2020/03/record-high-global-tree-cover-loss-driven-by-agriculture/
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/04/tropical-forests-losing-their-ability-to-absorb-carbon-study-finds
https://www.ehn.org/ecosystems-collapse-2645447028.html
https://www.france24.com/en/20200303-air-pollution-pandemic-shortens-lives-by-3-years-study
https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/pesticides-cause-permanent-and-irreversible-damage-to-baby-bee-brains/ Bumblebees have a hard time.
https://www.ehn.org/food-packaging-dangers-2645361648.html
https://www.dw.com/en/fukushima-how-the-ocean-became-a-dumping-ground-for-radioactive-waste/a-52710277
https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51857722 About Jem Bendell’s Deep Adaptation.
https://jembendell.com/2019/05/15/deep-adaptation-versions/
https://truthout.org/articles/citing-coronavirus-epa-suspends-environmental-rules-indefinitely
Using the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to suspend all environmental regulations. A vicious move!
https://earther.gizmodo.com/we-have-a-new-hole-in-the-ozone-to-worry-about-1842565823
https://earther.gizmodo.com/locusts-are-ravaging-the-horn-of-africa-covid-19-is-mak-1842550657
https://apnews.com/517bb5588fc94403f797a2045095dcac
https://undark.org/2020/04/13/freshwater-mussel-death The mussel die-offs are not a mystery, there is simply too much poison in the water.
https://theferret.scot/toxic-pesticides-salmon-farmers-coronavirus More toxic pesticides are allowed for fish farming to offset the reduction of toxic emissions caused by the coronavirus lockdown.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/04/coronavirus-pandemic-earth-pollution-noise/ A short relief for nature. If our fellow species would be able to figure out what’s happening right now (and maybe there are some who indeed understand the situation), they would hope for more human pandemics to hit.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/03/the-control-of-nature/
https://meta.eeb.org/2020/04/02/the-big-stink-europes-lockdown-uncovers-a-surprising-source-of-air-pollution/
https://meta.eeb.org/2020/04/02/for-the-sake-of-nature-and-the-climate-europe-must-not-cap-its-ambitions/ Two articles from the European Environmental Bureau which explain, why so many people abhor industrial agriculture. For those who have no time to read the articles:
Farmland birds populations have declined by 32 percent since 1990.
Butterflies who live in grasslands have declined by 39 percent since 1990.
Aquatic biodiversity is in decline due to pressures from agriculture among others.
Around half of EU rivers, lakes and coastal waters do not meet legal quality requirements and, in most EU countries, this is because of pollution from agriculture.
Water quality is the lowest in the parts of the EU where agriculture is most intensive: in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, for example, 92 percent of the surface water is substandard.
Agriculture is the second largest user of water, with 12 EU countries reporting that farming is putting a lot of pressure on their surface water resources.
https://truthout.org/articles/covid-19-may-increase-heat-extremes-this-summer/ 

Economic news:

In 2008, the vector of crisis ran from mortgage-backed securities to the rest of the financial sector and then to the real economy. This time, the real economy is being hit directly, and the damage is reverberating back into financial markets. The failing markets, in feedback-loop fashion, further threaten the real economy as corporations find it harder to borrow. As the corporate debt markets sour, major companies will go bankrupt and unemployment will explode. Some analysts expect the economy to contract by an annualized rate of 30 percent and more during the second quarter of 2020.

There are humans who strive to build mutual aid groups which can offer support as Sars-CoV-2 spreads. Others strive to profit from the chaos that the pandemic has created. Profiting from other’s suffering can only be understood in the context of an inherently selfish culture — one that rewards greed. Domination over others is a value innate in such a system.

The value system of neoliberalism, which has become entrenched in global mainstream discourse, assumes that humans are individualistic, selfish, calculating materialists, and because of this, unrestrained free-market capitalism provides the best framework for every kind of human endeavor (Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged).

Neoliberalism increased inequality to unprecedented levels, and the world’s twenty-six richest people own as much wealth as half the entire world’s population. The supreme goal of profit making has led to the ruthless exploitation and subsequent destruction of common goods which the natural world provides (water, soil, forests, wildlife, ecosystems like wetlands, rainforests, and oceans). 

Through their control of government, finance, business, and media, neoliberal adherents have succeeded in transforming the world into a globalized market-based system, loosening regulatory controls, weakening social safety nets, reducing taxes, and demolishing the labour unions.

Neoliberalism needs constant economic growth to function. But the IMF (International Monetary Fond), in its new World Economic Outlook, expects the global economy to shrink by 3 percent this year and global output be reduced by 9 trillion US$ in 2020 and 2021. 

The actual falls could be even steeper than estimated by the IMF, with the forecasts of other organizations pointing to a larger contraction. The UK Office for Budget Responsibility estimates a 34 percent plunge in the second quarter of 2020, if the lockdown of the British economy proceeds for three months.

What a relief for the natural world this reduction of human industrial activity would provide. While economists, bankers, and billionaires would mourn, environmentalists and our fellow animals would rejoice.

For corporations the rising Sars-CoV-2 death toll cannot long be allowed to disrupt profits or their usual industrial operations, for parasitic marketeers the death toll cannot be allowed to disrupt their speculative creation of fictitious capital. Even Western nations enormous bailouts, transferring unimaginable sums to financial institutions and corporations, cannot adequately replace the exploitation of employees (by low wages, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions) and consumers (by fraudulent advertising and high prices for unnecessary or short-lived goods).

So, people have go back to work, the economy has to be restarted.

Media and technology news:

Human health has been degraded by pollution of air, water, and food. Often overlooked is microwave radiation from cellphones (smartphones) WiFi, Bluetooth, radio, and the millions of smart devices who constantly connect wirelessly to a central server or to their home company. 5G will significantly add to microwave pollution.

https://www.jrseco.com/european-union-5g-appeal-scientists-warn-of-potential-serious-health-effects-of-5g/
https://www.naturalscience.org/news/2020/03/coronavirus-and-5g/
https://imhu.org/integrative/5g-impacts-covid-19/

There’s a huge electromagnetic cloud of advertising and propaganda in which we are immersed.
Many seem to believe that extremely wealthy people are supporting genuinely neutral analysis just for the public good. Commercial news sources (like television, radio stations, and Internet sites) frequently cite think tank papers as though they offered facts.


Because the news media are controlled by plutocrats who have a vested interest in protecting the status quo upon which their kingdoms are built, almost everything in the news is useless narrative fluff. It doesn’t tell you what’s really going on, it rather tries to influence what’s going on by manipulating the perceptions of the audience. It does this by either a) distracting from what really matters by focusing on what doesn’t matter, or b) actively working to manipulate how the audience thinks about a given issue.
https://www.medialens.org/2020/can-i-keep-you-safe-your-future-is-uncertain-climate-and-the-fate-of-humanity/
https://www.medialens.org/2020/the-people-have-spoken-bastards-leaked-labour-report-shows-partys-own-senior-staff-acted-to-keep-corbyn-out-of-power/ 

Imperial news:

It will not surprise anybody that this pandemic has only wound up benefiting massive corporations, debt slave owners, government agencies, and the US war machine (they are the real US government, after all).

Millions have just lost their jobs, have no savings, and insurmountable debts. They are flooding food banks across the nation to survive. As many as 30 percent of US inhabitants with home loans (15 million households) could stop paying if the US economy remains closed through the summer or beyond. 

With the economy crashed and now entering a depression, March was a significant milestone in the progression of the crisis, as looting of businesses in California and South Carolina began.

Now the looting is spreading across the country. Stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago are boarding up their windows, preparing for civil unrest. The most targeted establishments by criminals are restaurants, supermarkets, and retail stores.

After all, when 10 million people lose their jobs in two weeks, and unemployment  increases to 22 million, the ripple effect on society is so sudden that there could very well be an outbreak of unrest when the weather shifts to much warmer temperatures, especially in low-income areas of inner cities. Hence why the National Guard has been called up and is now being positioned around and in major metros.

Social unrest could especially unfold across New York City. Households are cracking as hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs in only a few weeks. The city has become the epicenter of the virus crisis, recording 130,000 confirmed cases and 12,200 deaths.

The Wall Street Journal reports an increase in burglaries of commercial establishments across all five NY boroughs from March 12 to 31, coinciding with mass shutdowns coming into effect. The NYPD (New York City Police Department) recorded a 75 percent jump in burglaries of businesses during the period, or about 254 burglaries, compared with 145 over the same period last year.

712,000 infections, 38,000 deaths, the USA is in leading position once again. Why did it turn out that bad?

Privatization and profiteering pervade the US health-care system. Disease prevention is not in the interest of private health care providers. Under the Trump administration’s 2021 budget, spending on the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will drop by 1.2 billion US$.

The US government issued misleading public statements and waited two months before preventative action was taken. Health-care workers and patients had to cope with shortages of tests, hospital beds, personal protective equipment, and ventilators.

Persons suspected of being infected must pay for tests and hospitalizations. Nearly 30 million of them have no health insurance and insurance coverage is inadequate for tens of thousands more. This is the main reason the virus’s death rate in New York City is the highest in the world.

As governors ponder reducing coronavirus restrictions, rallies largely spurred by talk radio and conservative social media reflect frustrations with limits on commerce. Massive crowds, organized by conservative groups, have surrounded Michigan’s state Capitol building. Protestors are angry at Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home public health order during the pandemic.

Supporters of the Michigan Conservative Coalition have requested Whitmer to reopen the economy on May 1 and ease restrictions to return life to normal. WOOD-TV’s Heather Walker provides coverage as people use their cars to lockdown streets around the Capitol building. Walker interviewed several Michiganders, who were fed up with the public health order and wanted the economy to reopen. Many said they could make their own health decisions and didn’t need the government to tell them what to do.

The FBI background check system shows a 41 percent surge in gun purchases year-over-year and a chief economist at Small Arms Analytics said, that handgun sales increased 91 percent while long-gun sales were up 73 percent.

There are nearly 80 million baby boomers who, when retired, will collect benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs that will, on average, exceed per capita GDP. That money has been spent; it’s all gone. Uncle Sam is running the biggest Ponzi scheme in the world, which will one day end in a catastrophic collapse. For now, the printing presses are set on ludicrous speed; bailouts are flowing as the central bank’s mandarins scramble to purchase everything that’s not nailed down. For now, the ride seems smooth, but when (not if) this debt tsunami hits, it’s going to be ugly, really ugly, with massive cuts in boomers’ “guaranteed entitlements,” a dramatic increase in poverty, obscene interest rates, and tax hikes followed by a staggering rise in consumer prices.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176689/tomgram%3A_john_feffer%2C_trump_rex/
https://truthout.org/articles/auto-union-official-fired-for-warning-fellow-workers-about-covid-19
https://truthout.org/articles/trump-admin-says-employers-dont-have-to-record-coronavirus-cases-among-workers
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/13/race-a13.html African Americans suffer from infection and death rates far higher than the black proportion of the total population.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/15/us-threatens-international-criminal-court
https://www.france24.com/en/20180910-usa-trump-threatens-arrest-icc-judges-american-soldiers-afghan-war-crimes
https://www.rt.com/usa/484389-military-underground-bunkers-coronavirus
https://www.ehn.org/environmental-racism-environmental-rollbacks-2645437251.html
https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2020/03/08/peer-review-vs-trial-by-twitter/
I never engaged in discussions about 9/11, because there are more pressing topics (natures destruction, globalization, inequality, climate change, Syria and other US imperial wars). But, taking the conduct of the USA into account from the declaration of independence in 1776 till now, a “false flag” component of 9/11 seems possible. To be clear: The USA is a ruthless empire, not limited by any moral boundaries and with no concern about human lives (including its own population). Under this aspect 9/11 looks very different from the officially approved narrative.
https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/03/05/seeds-of-despair-isolated-and-with-limited-access-to-mental-health-care-hundreds-are-dying-by-suicide/
https://nypost.com/2020/03/19/we-should-blow-up-the-bridges-coronavirus-leads-to-class-warfare-in-hamptons/
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/03/20/why-america-cant-respond-to-the-current-crisis/
https://www.blackagendareport.com/freedom-rider-revolutionary-change-and-covid-19
https://www.blackagendareport.com/us-failed-state-and-covid-19-proves-it
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coronavirus-test-american-government-failing_n_5e7e213fc5b6cb9dc19f199e
https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=11979&cat_id=6
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/03/work-crisis-and-pandemic/ Crush, wind down, and nationalize Wall Street.

Imperial conquest news:

USA: We’re moving more troops to the Middle East.
Middle East: Why?
USA: To protect the troops we already have there.
Middle East: Why were those troops here?
USA: To protect the military bases we have there.
Middle East: And why were those bases here?
USA: Our troops needed somewhere to sleep.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/03/12/team-trump-failed-to-bully-icc-into-dropping-war-crimes-probe/
https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2020/03/02/human-rights-council-statement
http://johnhelmer.net/new-mh17-leak-dutch-prosecutors-have-received-no-us-satellite-evidence-of-the-shoot-down-by-a-buk-missile/
https://theduran.com/us-take-away-ukrainian-aircraft-factory-from-china The USA bullies everyone.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/06/cancer-in-us-navy-nuclear-powered-ships/
https://www.fastcompany.com/90470463/the-massive-environmental-impact-of-americas-constant-readiness-for-war
https://news.antiwar.com/2020/03/09/us-marines-arrive-on-yemens-island-of-socotra/
https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/03/11/the-role-of-israel-and-un-in-saudi-war-of-aggression-against-yemen/
https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/03/12/update-on-the-opcws-investigation-of-the-douma-incident
https://gowans.blog/2020/03/15/is-peace-on-the-korean-peninsula-achievable/
https://gowans.blog/2020/03/07/the-us-ways-of-waging-war-then-and-now/
https://www.rt.com/news/484184-us-justice-department-charges-maduro/
https://www.rt.com/news/484186-us-reward-arrest-conviction-maduro/
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/03/27/trump-bounty-maduro-guaido-plot/
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/04/03/un-narcotics-mob-treasury-running-mafia-venezuela/
https://www.rt.com/news/484178-us-treasury-more-sanctions-iran/ Continuing starvation sanctions during a global pandemic is biowarfare. Iran is a theocracy, with all the unpleasant violations or restrictions of human rights and citizen rights this entails, but it has, at least in theory, a strong socialist component, emphasizing social responsibility and justice. This is another reason why Trump and the whole US political establishment hate Iran so much.
I think I should subscribe Ahlulbayt TV (ahlulbayt.tv), though I don’t know if I ever will have time to watch.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/21-years-since-beginning-nato-aggression/5707389

Coronavirus news:

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/israel-benjamin-netanyahu-mossad-coronavirus-test-kits.html
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-songs/here-comes-the-sun-gets-u-s-hospitals-through-dark-days-of-pandemic-idUSKCN21U0S0
https://mronline.org/2020/03/24/an-often-overlooked-region-of-india-is-a-beacon-to-the-world-for-taking-on-the-coronavirus/
https://truthout.org/articles/trumps-epa-is-unleashing-the-pollution-that-makes-us-vulnerable-to-covid-19
https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/transformation/coronavirus-spells-the-end-of-the-neoliberal-era-whats-next/
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30845-X/fulltext
https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/health-environment/article/3079375/coronavirus-why-theres-no-quick-fix-covid-19-vaccine
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/04/13/regime-change-coronavirus-nicaragua/
https://medium.com/gwpublichealth/epas-failure-to-enforce-environmental-laws-will-amplify-covid-risk-c22cae47a7e2
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52275823 Only virus deaths in hospitals are reported, deaths in care homes and private homes are not included in the official statistics.
https://news.yahoo.com/nursing-homes-deaths-soar-past-163001072.html
https://prospect.org/coronavirus/supply-chain-broken-american-food-supply/
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3079986/does-air-con-help-spread-coronavirus-chinese-study-3-families AC spreads the virus, common sense alone would suggest that (I mentioned this already in the first blog post about the pandemic).
https://www.rt.com/news/485926-france-aircraft-carrier-crew-coronavirus
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/15/elit-a15.html Billionaires retreat.
https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/vietnam-poised-to-be-big-post-pandemic-winner
https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2020/04/15/coronavirus-vaccine-prospects
https://truthout.org/articles/covid-19-may-increase-heat-extremes-this-summer/ Natural systems are out of whack and will need a long time to recover. But any further human interference would make things even worse.

Uncategorized news:

https://www.anti-empire.com/buying-the-official-skripal-poisoning-story-requires-believing-40-absurd-or-implausible-claims-at-the-same-time/
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/immediate-restoration-of-power-to-viome/ 

News from cat land:

The cats are fine, untouched by the pandemic. With the exception of Princess Min Ki they keep away from strangers. I told all neighbors to leave Princess Min Ki alone because she may have been infected by Sars-CoV-2. 

Rosy is now nearly 16 years old. She still has her chronic cold, but she is only sneezing every now and then. She recently joined again our forest walks and seemingly enjoys them.

Victory gardens against the pandemic!

Today it is cold, even with a little bit of rain in the morning. But many bushes and trees got leaves and some already bloom. When I was weeding and planting yesterday, two bumblebees were buzzing around me. A big one and a very small one fo which this is probably the first spring. My garden is among the few places here where early blossoms can be found. I only hope that a late cold spell doesn’t destroy the blooms, because that would mean no fruits this year.

It is cold in the morning but pleasantly warm at noon and afternoon. In the afternoon just wearing a t-shirt is fine, but in the morning you need a pullover and a warm winter jacket.

Freezing is more dangerous now because during daytime the sunlight, barely filtered by a thinned ozone layer, warms the atmosphere significantly and the plants conclude that now the time is right to sprout or bloom. In the freezing cold morning hours the new leaves, sprouts, and blooms will then die.

I cleared two of my little garden ponds to make them more hospitable for toads and frogs and yesterday I discovered the first toad. “Be careful,” I told her, “the cats are terrible, merciless killers.”

A friend, she is a mathematic teacher in secondary school (10 – 14), lamented that she has to conduct the lessons now via computer and she sits on the computer the whole day and has to learn new programs and she couldn’t sleep because the whole situation is overwhelming.

More screen time instead of less — this is not healthy. Teachers and pupils alike will get tense, depressed, and sick. I would suggest garden work and long walks in the forest as an antidote. But the day has only 24 hours. We need to reorganize our whole life and adjust to the new situation.

Right-wing propaganda and its inherent social conservatism, xenophobia, bigotry, nationalism (fascism), is disgusting, and right-wing Russian propaganda is as bad as Western one. But the Russians get one thing right: The importance of family life, of lasting friendship, and of small, close-knitted rural communities.

There are quiet rural places in Portugal, Greece, in the Caribbean, in Uruguay and Costa Rica, in Oceania, Bhutan, Nepal, India (Kerala), Vietnam, and many other countries on all continents who are too remote and without mineral deposits to have attracted corporate looters. Places which have not been pillaged and destroyed by mining industry, industrial agriculture, or tourism. Backward places which escaped modernization.

These quiet backward communities will be our blueprint for a new life with and after the coronavirus pandemic.

One comment

  1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6818554/

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