Trump wants even more far-right Supreme Court


This 23 September 2020 United States TV video is called What Amy Coney Barrett said about filling a Supreme Court seat in an election year.

From UltraViolet in the USA today:

News just broke that Donald Trump is going to name Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court.

We knew the pick would be bad. But this one is truly awful.

Preapproved by the far-right-wing Federalist Society, Barrett wants to dismantle, if not demolish, Roe v. Wade. She opposes birth control.1 She’s even ruled in favor of “separate but equal” accommodations on the basis of race.2

RBG hasn’t even been buried yet. We’re all still mourning her passing.3 But Trump is pushing forward with a stunningly hypocritical power grab just four years after Republicans blocked President Obama from filling a Supreme Court seat that came open in February of an election year. Let’s be clear, Barrett is a disaster for women’s rights and progress, and it’s an insult to the champion we had in RBG to confirm her to the Court.

Barrett would cement a 6–3 majority on the Court for decades, which would give them a generation or more to tear down RBG’s life’s work and take our nation backward. We can’t let that happen.

This is a five-alarm fire. Will you chip in $5 to help organize a massive outcry and stop Trump from replacing RBG with right-wing extremist Amy Coney Barrett?

Mere hours after learning of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Mitch McConnell promised a vote on Trump’s nominee. It’s no surprise from the man who stole a Supreme Court seat from Barack Obama in 2016.

If McConnell and Trump have their way, a conservative majority deeply out of step with the American people could rule for decades, eliminating the right to choose, climate pollution rules, the Affordable Care Act, voting rights, and civil rights. . . the list is long and horrifying. Women will be especially affected, particularly women of color and transwomen. Our literal lives are on the lines.

Most alarming: Trump said earlier this week that he wants his appointee confirmed before Nov. 3 so they could rule him the winner of the election, no matter what the voters say.4 …

–Shaunna, KaeLyn, Kathy, Melody, Lindsay, Sonja, Kimberly, Maria, Katie, Iris, KD, and Elisa, the UltraViolet team

Sources:

1. Planned Parenthood Condemns Amy Coney Barrett Nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Planned Parenthood, October 31, 2017

2. Profile of a potential nominee: Amy Coney Barrett, SCOTUSblog, September 21, 2020

3. All the Details on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Funeral, Town & Country, September 25, 2020

4. Trump says he wants a conservative majority on the Supreme Court in case of an Election Day dispute. The New York Times, September 23, 2020

Greek students strike against schools coronavirus danger


Greek school students march with a banner stating: ‘Masks are not the only protection – give money for education’

From daily News Line in Britain, 26 September 2020:

SEVERAL hundreds of secondary schools throughout Greece remain shut as school students refused to attend classes considering the Covid-19 government guidelines to be ineffective.

Last Thursday in Athens, over 2,000 school students, along with delegations from university students’ unions, marched to the Vouli (Greek parliament) shouting ‘money for health and education, that’s what could protect us from the pandemic’ and ‘masks are not enough’. Marchers demanded the resignation of the Education Ministry.

The march took place as Covid-19 cases and deaths have more than trebled this month as compared to spring, with Athens hardest hit.

The government have imposed draconian rules, prohibiting meetings of more than nine persons, either indoors or outdoors. Over summer, the government voted in a reactionary Bill restricting marches and demonstrations.

But Greek riot police stayed away from the school students’ march.

Greek hospital doctors were also on the march last Thursday in a mass protest meeting at the Health Ministry building as part of their 24-hour national strike demanding the employment of doctors and staff at state hospitals and mass free Covid-19 tests for all.

But a OENGE (hospital doctors federation) spokesperson announced that Health Ministry officials had told their delegation that no government cash is available for hospitals.

At the port of Piraeus, seafarers on ferries staged a solid 100% 24-hour strike against the Greek government attack on wages and rights. Last June, the government annulled all collective agreements for freight ships and oil tankers.

Seafarers’ unions called the strike against this government action and in defence of their rights.

But the PNO (federation of seafarers trades unions) leaders have refused to call a national strike.

At a mass meeting in the Piraeus docks, the President of the PENEN (deck crews) trade union Antonis Dalakogeorgos called for the unification of all the different protests and for the creation of a ‘common centre of struggle’ to fight the government.

The GSEE (Greek TUC) leaders have obeyed the EU and bosses’ diktats and have refused to even call a protest march.

Delakogeorgos stopped short of calling for a new leadership in the trade union and labour movement to organise the overthrow of the current right-wing government.

More restrictive lockdown set for Israel as coronavirus cases soar.

Bezos’ Amazon sells bleach as coronavirus ‘medicine’


This 30 April 2020 video from Canada says about itself:

Amazon workers slam warehouse conditions

Workers for online retail giant Amazon say the company is not protecting staff from the spread of the coronavirus. Five cases of COVID-19 have been reported at the company’s facility north of Calgary.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Industrial bleach is being sold on Amazon through its product pages which consumers are buying under the mistaken belief that it is a “miracle cure” for Covid-19, despite health warnings from the US Food and Drug Administration that drinking the fluid can kill.

The chlorine dioxide solutions are being sold on the Amazon platform under the brand name CD Kit and NatriChlor. …

In comments from Amazon customers under the review section of the pages … users discuss how many drops of bleach they are imbibing and explain they are drinking the chemical which they call MMS to “disinfect ourselves”, a phrase that echoes Donald Trump’s controversial remarks in April that injections of disinfectant could cure Covid-19.

Former NSA chief Keith Alexander has joined Amazon’s board of directors. Alexander was the public face of US surveillance during the Snowden leaks: here.

Violence encouraged in Donald Trump’s USA


This 22 September 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Florida [ruled by Trump’s Republican party] To Legalize Murdering Protesters

This is not an exaggeration. John Iadarola and Emma Vigeland break it down on The Damage Report.

“The American Civil Liberties Union joined Florida Democrats on Monday in condemning a proposed bill by Gov. Ron DeSantis that would newly classify certain forms of protest as felonies and impose harsh penalties on some protesters.

Flanked by Republican lawmakers and law enforcement officials at an afternoon press conference in Winter Haven, DeSantis referred to Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, Oregon as he announced the proposed legislation.

“I look at what goes on in Portland. They’ll have people, they’ll arrest them,” DeSantis said. “They’re all scraggly-looking Antifa-types. They get their mugshot taken, then they get released. It’s like a carousel; on and on it goes.”

“That’s not going to happen in here in Florida,” the governor vowed.”

Read more here.

TRUMP CELEBRATES VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS Trump celebrated violence against journalists during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, mocking a reporter who was injured covering this summer’s racial injustice demonstrations and calling the act “actually a beautiful sight.” The president’s comments are the latest of many attacks on the free press but an overt endorsement of members of the media coming under attack. Trump also recounted racial justice demonstrations in Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd, saying the city had been “cured” after National Guard troops were deployed. [HuffPost]

COVID-19 disaster news update


This 22 September 2020 video says about itself:

Trump mocks 200,000 dead from coronavirus. John Iadarola and Emma Vigeland break it down on The Damage Report.

THE PLAGUE STATES OF AMERICA: 200,000 DEAD More than 200,000 people have now died from the coronavirus in the United States. The U.S. reached the grim pandemic milestone on Tuesday — amid growing concerns among medical professionals of a potential “perfect storm” for both COVID-19 and influenza infections as temperatures begin to dip in the Western Hemisphere. Doctors have been advising that adults and children older than 6 months get a flu vaccine as soon as possible to reduce the risk of catching the flu and to reduce the severity of symptoms if a person does get infected. [HuffPost]

You can get COVID-19 and flu at the same time – and it can be deadly.

PENTAGON GAVE $1 BILLION IN PANDEMIC AID TO DEFENSE CONTRACTORS In March, when Congress allocated $1 billion dollars from its first coronavirus relief package to go to the U.S. Department of Defense, the expectation was that the funds would be spent on essential medical supplies needed for the department to help combat the deadly disease. At the time ― and even now ― the United States was facing a shortage of critical items like N95 masks. A new Washington Post report, however, reveals the Trump administration gave a majority of the Pentagon’s billion-dollar coronavirus aid package to defense contractors to make things like Army uniforms, body armor and jet engine parts. [HuffPost]

How to politely decline social invitations in the pandemic.

‘Significant concern’ about COVID-19 rise in largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in New York City.

Boris Johnson’s early Christmas present to Britain: Six months of coronavirus gloom.

British government conspired against Allende in Chile


A crowd of people marching to support the election of Salvador Allende for president in Santiago, Chile, in 1964

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 22 September 2020:

Documents reveal British government’s covert role in bringing down Allende

Harold Wilson’s Labour government helped the US to meddle in the 1964 and 1970 elections, investigative website Declassified UK reveals

THE British government interfered in two elections in Chile to prevent socialist leader Salvador Allende winning power, declassified Foreign Office papers have revealed.

The documents unveil for the first time Britain’s covert role in preparing the ground for General Augusto Pinochet’s bloody military coup in 1973, according to a report published today by investigative website Declassified UK.

They show that Harold Wilson’s Labour government

Officially, Labour. But helping the far right in Chile.

helped the US to meddle in the 1964 and 1970 elections in an effort to prevent Mr Allende, Chile’s leading socialist, from coming to power.

A secret unit within the Foreign Office called the information research department (IRD) launched a propaganda offensive to smear Mr Allende and lend legitimacy to his main opponent, Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei.

The socialist candidate lost to Mr Frei in 1964 but won the 1970 election.

The report states that the Labour government considered Mr Frei’s election success in 1964 a “landmark victory”, with a minister at the time describing it as a “victory against the communists to press home.”

As support for Mr Allende grew in the run-up to the 1970 election, the Foreign Office escalated its propaganda offensive, deploying a specialist field officer to Santiago who was tasked with thwarting a socialist victory.

A few weeks before voters went to the polls, an IRD officer told British ambassador David Hildyard that “the IRD operation … has been concentrating on preventing an extreme-left alliance from gaining power in the 1970 presidential elections.”

The Chilean military’s overthrow of Allende’s government – with US support – ushered in 17 years of brutal dictatorship under Gen Pinochet, during which 40,000 people were tortured, 3,200 killed or “disappeared” and more than 200,000 forced into exile.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, transphobia, Rolling Stones


British author J.K. Rowling, well-known for her Harry Potter books, recently came also in the news because of transphobic views.

This 16 September 2020 musical parody video from Britain says about itself:

The Rowling Stones – You Can’t Ever Be What You Want

J. K. Rowling’s Rolling Stones tribute band.

Coronavirus disaster in Britain, update


This 22 September 2020 video says about itself:

Europe’s COVID-19 crisis surges

Countries across Europe are declaring health emergencies as coronavirus cases rise.

Al Jazeera’s Neave Barker reports from London.

This is how COVID-19 is spreading in the U.K. right now.

UK COULD SEE 50,000 COVID CASES A DAY WITHIN WEEKS Britain could see 50,000 daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-October and 200 deaths a day by mid-November if the current rate of infection is not halted, Chief Scientific Officer Patrick Vallance said at a public briefing. The news comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that a second wave “is coming” to the U.K. Last week, the R0 rate of the virus, which shows whether the pandemic is growing, jumped to between 1.1 and 1.4. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the country would not return to the full lockdown seen in March. [HuffPost]

The U.K.’s doubling coronavirus cases mean Boris Johnson can’t wake up from his COVID-19 nightmare.

Editorial: We need a zero-Covid strategy – the government must be made to change course: here.

Covid deaths to reach more than 200 per day as Britain heads in the ‘wrong direction’: here.

Neoliberal governments letting coronavirus ‘run amok’, charges Diane Abbott, Labour MP.

Labour publishes ‘file of failure’ detailing Tory mismanagement of £3.9bn during Covid crisis: here.

The government is to blame for the second wave. The government’s complacency, recklessness and utter incompetence have brewed a perfect storm for the virus, argues ZARAH SULTANA.

USA: INFAMOUS COVID-19 DENIER ‘WORKS FOR DR. FAUCI’ A public relations official in Dr. Anthony Fauci’s office has been writing under a pseudonym for the right-wing website RedState, where he pushes disinformation about COVID-19, according to an investigation by The Daily Beast. The official is Bill Crews, an employee of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 2007. But he reportedly goes by “streiff” on Twitter and RedState, where he is secretly the managing editor. [HuffPost]

British Conservative coronavirus testing mismanagement


This 21 September 2020 video from New York City in the USA says about itself:

NYC teacher: “I recommend you join a rank-and-file committee

to prevent premature reopening of schools, endangering health and lives in this COVID-19 pandemic.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain, 20 September 2020:

Families told to travel hundreds of miles for Government’s ‘world-beating’ Covid-19 test-and-trace system

People in England’s north-east directed to South Yorkshire and Scotland for testing

HE government’s “world-beating” Covid-19 test-and-trace system has descended into further chaos with families being told they must travel hundreds of miles to be tested.

In England’s north-east, where new lockdown regulations took effect at the weekend, people applying for tests were directed to Barnsley in South Yorkshire and Dumfries in Scotland.

One couple in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, were told to go to Bolton in Lancashire, the worst-affected town in Britain for new infections. Peter and Gill Hirst had developed respiratory illnesses.

Mr Hirst said today: “Gill was trying for the elusive Covid test the last couple of nights with no success — except we could visit Bolton for a drive-through test.

“Bolton: the town with the highest rate of infection in the country. Oh yes! Let’s go there!”

The north-eastern family asked to make a 200-mile round trip to Scotland from Burnhope in County Durham were Karen Reynoldson, her partner David Smith and their daughters, aged eight and four.

They asked for tests after their eldest daughter developed symptoms — and were directed to Moffat in Dumfries & Galloway for tests.

Ms Reynoldson said: “We must have passed loads of testing stations on the way up there, and I can imagine there were lots of people travelling in the opposite direction to us for tests down here.”

Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck in Northumbria, said: “It’s no flaming wonder the entire north is having additional restrictions imposed on it.

“Only between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of those seeking a test got one. Many of those who did were then forced to take journeys of hundreds of miles to get their children tested.

“All the while, every single one of the children attending Eton were tested, symptomatic or not.

“If it’s good enough for the rich and powerful, it’s good enough for people here in Wansbeck.”

On May 27 Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that a “world-beating” Covid test-and-trace system would begin the next day.

Infections have now risen to more than 4,000 a day.

More new localised restrictions will be imposed from tomorrow in the Midlands and West Yorkshire.

Rock Against Racism on film


This May 2020 video says about itself:

LIVING ROOM Q&As: White Riot with director Rubika Shah and host Mark Kermode

The 13th in this season does something a little different… As well as a live Q&A with director Rubika Shah, Mykaell Riley (Steel Pulse) and Zak Cochrane (Love Music Hate Racism), hosted by Mark Kermode, we’ll also have a live musical performance from rapper Lloyd Luther.

On 19 September 2020, I went to see the film White Riot. It is about the late 1970s Rock Against Racism movement in England.

There was the racist neo-nazi National Front party. There was police racism. And there was racism by established rock musicians like Eric Clapton.

The film is extensively about Temporary Hoarding fanzine of Rock Against Racism. There was no internet then. It helped bring together fans of mainly black reggae and ska bands, and of punk bands, to fight racism together.

At the very first Rock Against Racism concert, punk band 999 played.

It made Jamaican British reggae musicians feel they were not alone in their fight against police brutality.

Punks also benefited. Many English local councils banned punk concerts. RAR concerts were sometimes the only way for punk bands to play there.

Not only African Caribbean people were targeted by racism. So were South Asian immigrants. Punk was sometimes depicted as a purely white movement. Wrong. There was the Pakistani London band Alien Kulture, featured in the film. Their name was derived from a dog whistle racist quote by Conservative party leader Margaret Thatcher. Alien Kulture played a bit Clash-like songs.

This is their 1979 song Asian Youth.

This is their song Airport Arrest, with lyrics.

Also in the film is Somali British singer Poly Styrene and her band X-ray Spex. Very correctly so, as she played a big role in breaking down racist and sexist prejudices.

I had hoped very much to see the London band Verdict in the film. They played scores of gigs for Rock Against Racism all over London. Two girls in that band had been founding members of the first punk band of France, also the first-ever all-women rock band in whatever genre in France: the Lou’s. These two were Eurasian Dutch drummer Sascha de Jong and French saxophone player Raphaelle Devins. In 1981, in Leiden, the Netherlands, Sascha founded the Miami Beach Girls. Raphaelle became saxophone player in Cheap ‘n’ Nasty.

The film concludes with a big anti-racist concert in London, in which Jimmy Pursey of Sham’69 joined the Clash in singing White Riot.

Dutch daily Trouw wished that the film, about the late 1970s in England, had shown more links to 2020 issues. Though the last lines of the film warn that the anti-racist fight cannot be over yet.