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.

Women referees, first in South American football

THis 2014 video is about women’s football in Argentina.

The COVID-19 pandemic is terrible, killing many people and ruining the health of many others.

Still, it has some positive sides, eg, for wildlife.

It has some positive sides for women’s rights as well.

NOS radio reports today that for the first time ever, women have been admitted as referees in (male) Copa Libertadores matches, the highest level international matches for South American football clubs.

At one match, there were supposed to be four male referees. But they all tested positive for coronavirus. So, referee Mariana de Almeida stepped in.

At another match, the same problem. Daiana Milone from Argentina solved it.

Right-winger accuses Black Lives Matter of lesbianism

This 12 June 2020 video says about itself:

Black Lives Matter Protests Around the World

Protesters of all ages, all races, all backgrounds are showing up at Black Lives Matter protests out of love for their fellow human beings. Out of love for George Floyd. Out of love for Breonna Taylor. Out of love for all of the Black people who have lost their lives because of the color of their skin.

You can feel this love when you attend a protest. You can see it on the faces of the people all around you. You can hear it in their voices. Sometimes, it flows through the mass of people like a quiet undercurrent. Sometimes, it’s downright joyful. No matter how it’s expressed, it’s always potent, always powerful. And it’s going to change the world for the better. From New York City to Philadelphia, from Amsterdam to Paris, this is what it is like to attend Black Lives Matter protests.

By Linda Pentz Gunter in the USA, 16 September 2020:

Black Lives Matter accused of heralding a ‘lesbian, anti-family, anti-capitalist Marxist revolution’

The right-wing evangelical political figure Michelle Bachmann‘s outburst accidentally summoned a utopian vision for the US, reports LINDA PENTZ GUNTER

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any wackier, we get the return of Michele Bachmann.

The Minnesota Tea Party Republican, who served in Congress between 2006-2015 and briefly ran for president, likes to extol the virtues of “American exceptionalism”. and claims the US is “the indispensable nation of the world.”

A self-styled evangelical Christian, Bachmann is now painting a rather different vision: the prospect of the country being run by transgender black Marxists.

Bachmann told a televangelist news show, which aired on September 1, that the Black Lives Matter movement consists of “transgender Marxists, transgender black Marxists who are seeking the overthrow of the United States and the dissolution of the traditional family.”

Not to be outdone, Pat Robertson, a bizarre televangelist himself, but apparently determined to give women a fair shake, quickly pronounced that Black Lives Matter would also lead to a “lesbian, anti-family, anti-capitalist Marxist revolution”.

The irony that Bachmann co-owns a mental health care practice with her husband could not escape notice as she uttered one of the crazier conspiracy theories currently in circulation on the right.

Or maybe, unwittingly, she and Robertson had just envisioned a new US utopia.

After all, what could be better than a government led by anti-capitalist lesbians? Or especially by transgender black Marxists?

Wherever they may be lurking in numbers sufficient for such a coup, transgender black Marxists truly understand discrimination. They are discriminated against in triplicate — for their gender, their politics and the colour of their skin.

They know that compassion is essential for a fair and just society. They are anti-racist and support acceptance and equal rights for our LGBT community.

They oppose an economic system based on inequality, believe in unions, condemn the exploitation of working people and want fair wages and an end to capitalist control of profit.

They envisage a world community, not one riven by boundaries and conflict. They want people to be accepted for who they are, what they believe, who they love and what they look like.

The fear-mongering Bachmann has no idea what it is to walk in the shoes of a black transgender person, Marxist or otherwise. Black transgender women are victims of heightened violence in the US.

However, in the US there is as yet “no formal data collection effort that can be used to describe the nature, frequency, or extent of transgender homicides,” according to a paper in the American Journal of Public Health. Most calculations rely on reporting by non-profit groups advocating on behalf of the LGBT community.

However, in that same paper, the researchers concluded that while transgender people overall may not be at greater risk of being murdered than the rest of the population, “young transgender women of colour almost certainly face a higher chance of being murdered.”

According to the US-based Human Rights Campaign, at least 22 transgender and gender non-conforming people — almost all Black transgender women — were killed in the US in 2019.

In June 2019, during her presidential campaign, Senator Elizabeth Warren, tweeted: “The murder of black trans women is a crisis. We’ll fight this, and we will continue to say their names.”

Bachmann claims to belong to the White House “faith advisory group”, which appears to be a figment of her vivid imagination. So, possibly, is her faith, as it is hard to discern a truly Christian sentiment amidst all her volatile hate speech.

Linda Pentz Gunter is a writer based in Takoma Park, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.

Coronavirus disaster, worldwide

This 15 September 2020 video says about itself:

Murder, Corruption, Coronavirus & Death of Democracy: Welcome to Bolsonaro’s Brazil. Glenn Greenwald

“There’s no question, Brazilian democracy’s imperilled”.

BLACK AND HISPANIC KIDS DIE MORE FROM CORONAVIRUS A detailed look at COVID-19 deaths in U.S. kids and young adults shows they mirror patterns in older patients. Of 121 deaths the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined, many had one or more medical conditions. The CDC found 54 were Hispanic, 35 were Black, and 17 were white, even though overall there are far more white Americans than Black and Hispanic. It may reflect many things, including that many essential workers who have to go to work are Black and Hispanic parents. [HuffPost]

There was a college mental health crisis before COVID-19. Now it may be worse.

Trump is less trusted internationally than Putin and Xi after his COVID-19 bungling.

TRUMP ADMIN STIFFED USPS FOR COVID-19 POSTCARD Trump’s administration reportedly has yet to pay the U.S. Postal Service for a postcard it sent out in March prominently displaying the president’s name alongside a series of guidelines for combating COVID-19. The cost of producing and sending the postcards to an estimated 138 million addresses across the U.S. was $28 million, with $4.6 million spent on printing alone. Meanwhile, as the 2020 election approaches, the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, has prioritized budget cuts over getting people their mail on time. This could imperil voting by mail. [HuffPost]

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Schools struggling to cope with ‘out of control’ Covid-19 testing issues, unions warn

SCHOOLS are struggling to cope with “increasingly out of control” Covid-19 testing issues, teaching unions warned yesterday.

NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach called on the government to prioritise the education sector for the allocation of tests in the light of the challenges.

In a letter to Schools Minister Nick Gibb, Dr Roach said the union was aware of around 600 pupils being told to self-isolate in one local authority area, and that the number was growing.

The union leader told Mr Gibb that pupils sent home with symptoms did not know when or where they would be able to access a test.

Delays in testing had meant that some students and staff who were part of a school “bubble” were not being isolated even where there were multiple suspected cases.

“This is putting at risk the health and safety of others within the school and within the local community,” Dr Roach said.

Organisations representing school leaders and governors have also called on PM Boris Johnson to “take charge” of tackling the delays in obtaining Covid-19 tests to ensure that schools remain open.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), school leaders’ union NAHT and the National Governance Association have written to Mr Johnson to express concern about testing.

The letter warns of a “deep sense of foreboding about the potential for the system to become ever-more riddled with delays” as more cases emerge, which would be “increasingly disruptive to children’s education.”

The ASCL said it had received 264 emails from schools and colleges with symptomatic staff and pupils who were struggling to access tests.

Hundreds of schools have been hit with Covid-19 cases since it became compulsory for pupils to return.

Some have closed their doors days after reopening while others have told whole year groups and classes to self-isolate for two weeks following confirmed cases.

COVID-19 pandemic news update

This 12 September 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Trump’s COVID-19 Response Is A 9/11 Every Week

Let us not forget on this day that we memorialize the people lost on 9/11, that, because Donald Trump lied to us about the severity of this virus, we are today losing two 9/11‘s worth of Americans every single week.

As pandemic death toll approaches 200,000, American oligarchs celebrate their wealth. 12 September 2020. According to Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, the super-rich now possess $3.2 trillion, enough to pay for an entire year of public education, health care, nutrition and disaster relief for millions of people: here.

Rented penguins and $300,000 dinners: The wildest holiday requests from the super-rich.

Why did so many poor New Yorkers die of COVID-19? By Josh Varlin, 12 September 2020. Inequality, including in hospital care, determined whether thousands of people in New York City would die of COVID-19.

Smoking in the age of COVID: Some immunological considerations. By Henry Hakamaki, 12 September 2020. Smoking and e-cigarettes are directly associated with increased risk of infection by the novel coronavirus.

NYT REPORTER BOOTED FROM TRUMP RALLY OVER MASKS TWEET A reporter for The New York Times was kicked out of a Trump rally in Freeland, Michigan, on Thursday after noting on social media that many of the president’s supporters were not wearing masks or keeping their distance. Kathy Gray was on site for the airport rally attended by about 5,000 people. Just before Trump’s arrival, the reporter noted it seemed as if only about 10% of those gathered were wearing masks, saying people were “crammed in” as Air Force One landed. About 30 minutes later, Gray said she had been kicked out. [HuffPost]

“I don’t want to be a typhoid Mary!”. Jacksonville, Florida teacher speaks out against deadly school reopenings. By Nancy Hanover and Matthew MacEgan, 12 September 2020. A teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, reached out to the WSWS to speak about the <a href=””>spread of the coronavirus across the state just two weeks into the new school year.

Infected students denounce administration guidelines, amidst rising COVID-19 cases at Southern California universities. By Melody Isley and Emiri Ochiai, 12 September 2020. Infected students report callous treatment from school administration, being thrown into isolation rooms without bed sheets, food or sanitizing equipment.

University of Michigan grad students set to extend strike as opposition grows to the US to back-to-school drive. By Genevieve Leigh, 12 September 2020. Nineteen of the 25 hottest outbreaks in the US are in communities with colleges that have reopened for in-person learning, sparking growing anger over the homicidal back-to-school campaign.

Francy, a University of Michigan striking graduate student-instructor (WSWS photo)

Latin America, epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, on the brink of social explosion. By Tomas Castanheira, 12 September 2020. Latin America this week reached the grim milestones of 300,000 COVID-19 deaths and more than 8 million infections.

Revelation of US government conspiracy on COVID-19 exposes EU herd immunity policy. By Alex Lantier, 12 September 2020. Revelations that US officials conspired to lie to the public about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic also expose the politically criminal role of the EU.

UK government’s “Operation Moonshot”—a trojan horse for herd immunity policy. By Thomas Scripps, 12 September 2020. Under the cover of a non-existent mass testing programme, the government plans to encourage as much intermingling as possible.

Full classes, full buses—German schools are becoming a coronavirus trap. By Marianne Arens, 12 September 2020. With schools re-opening without social distancing and the wearing of masks, new infections are increasing. Throughout Germany, hundreds of facilities have been affected.

Hundreds of new COVID-19 cases raise fears of uncontrolled outbreaks across the Pacific. By John Braddock, 12 September 2020. The surge in cases across the Pacific is causing a deepening health and social crisis, underscoring the global reach of the COVID-19 pandemic.