Back to Normal? U.S. Lifts Pandemic Measures

The World Health Organization says the number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide fell by 19% last week as many countries in Europe and the Americas saw a sharp drop from record-high levels of infection. Even so, there were 16 million new cases and about 75,000 deaths reported around the globe last week. Here in the U.S., where more than 3,300 new COVID-19 deaths were reported Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said her agency is preparing to issue new guidelines that will suggest loosening public health restrictions.

— source | Feb 17, 2022

Nullius in verba

Neoliberalism a taxpayer-funded bailout

Some people think that “neoliberalism” means a completely marketized society. But that’s never really been the case.

What we’ve really had for forty-five years is what so many economists have called a “bailout economy.” We have the obvious consequences, financial crisis after financial crisis. And every time it comes, there’s a taxpayer-funded bailout.

The TARP [Troubled Assets Relief Program] agreement under George W. Bush, for example, had two elements to it. One was to bail out the perpetrators of the crisis — the people giving out predatory loans. And the other was to provide support for the victims of the crisis — people who had lost their homes, lost their jobs.

You can guess which one of the two was actually implemented.

LF: But Noam, years ago, you couldn’t even say the word “neoliberalism,” let alone “socialism.” We didn’t talk about systems in relation to our economy. Today we are.

NC: We also did sixty, seventy years ago. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was not known as a flaming liberal, said that anyone who doesn’t accept New Deal policies, anyone who doesn’t believe that workers have the right to freely organize without suppression, doesn’t belong in our political system. That was the 1950s. It changed a little bit with Jimmy Carter, then broke with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

— source | Dec 15, 2021

Nullius in verba

How the Koch Network Funds and Fuels the Anti-Lockdown Movement

“How The Koch Network Hijacked The War On COVID.” That’s the headline to a new report looking at how a right-wing network linked to billionaire Charles Koch has played a key role in fighting public health measures put in place by governments during the pandemic, including mask and vaccine mandates, contact tracing and lockdowns. The institutions with ties to Koch include ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council; the American Institute for Economic Research; Donors Trust; the Hoover Institution; and Hillsdale College.

So, we found that this vast, opaque, right-wing network of nonprofits has been funding and promoting anti-lockdown, anti-public health activism, research and messaging. They employed the same model that was used during the — to create the tea party. That model was laid out by Jeff Nesbit, who’s a former communications official at the FDA and in George H.W. Bush’s White House. And that includes an academic network to support the movement intellectually, policy networks in every state, a grassroots alliance, a propaganda arm and a national coordinating group to make it all run smoothly. So, our focus was primarily on the academic network, but we also talked a little bit about the grassroots movement, as well.

So, as early as April 2020, you see groups like FreedomWorks, which was instrumental in the tea party protests in 2009, begin promoting protests against lockdowns. Americans for Prosperity, the American Legislative Exchange Council were calling on Trump to keep the country open. AFP started in March 2020, like really shortly after the virus arrived

— source | Dec 23, 2021

[i doubt, whether they created the virus and making ways to spread it?]

Nullius in verba

Georgian college faculty protest over absence of mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates

College faculty at over a dozen campuses in Georgia started a week-long, daily protest yesterday to demonstrate opposition against the University System of Georgia’s (USG) COVID-19 policies, which are forcing professors, adjuncts and graduate students to lecture in-person and to teach in schools that have no masks or vaccine mandates. The protest in Georgia is an expression of burgeoning anger nationwide over the return to in-person instruction as the Delta variant of the virus is fueling a rise in deaths and hospitalizations. The protests this week in Georgia follow a string of demonstrations that have sprung up in recent days among educators against the back-to-school campaign being promoted in K-12 and higher education, leading to scores of youth dying or becoming severely ill.

— source | 13 Sep 2021

Nullius in verba

Progressives Remember Allende’s Chile

As people reflect on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, progressives drew attention to another horrifying event less well-known in the U.S. but referred to elsewhere as “the other 9/11”: the bombing of Chile’s presidential palace on September 11, 1973 by the nation’s armed forces during a right-wing coup supported by Washington and other capitalist regimes.

Salvador Allende, Chile’s democratically elected socialist president, died during the assault on La Moneda in Santiago, which brought to power Gen. Augusto Pinochet, whose brutal military junta imposed neoliberalism through deadly force, torture, and the “disappearance” of thousands of leftists. Despite its awareness of Pinochet’s human rights abuses, including his execution of political opponents, the U.S. continued to support the pro-market dictator during his bloody, 17-year-long reign.

“On this day in 1973, Salvador Allende’s democratically elected socialist government was overthrown in a military coup led by the U.S.-backed fascist Augusto Pinochet,” Progressive International, a global coalition of social justice groups fighting for a more egalitarian and sustainable world, said Saturday on social media.

— source | Kenny Stancil | Sep 11, 2021

Nullius in verba