• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 5/30 – America Plunges Into Crisis, The Unexpected Side Effect Of Covid-19

    by Daily Digest

    Saturday, May 30, 2020, 6:01 AM


Nearly Half of Small Business Owners Expect to Close Down Permanently (Adam)

There are all kinds of reasons to doubt the quick economic recovery narrative. We’ve reported on the number of over-leveraged zombie companies, skyrocketing household debt, the battered labor market, and a potential cash-flow crisis even after the economy gets moving.

Now we have another sign of long-term economic trouble. A survey conducted by financial services company Azlo found that nearly half of small business owners think they will eventually have to close their businesses for good.

Gripped by disease, unemployment and outrage at the police, America plunges into crisis (Sparky1)

America’s persistent political dysfunction and racial inequality were laid bare this week, as the coronavirus death toll hit a tragic new milestone and as the country was served yet another reminder of how black people are killed by law enforcement in disproportionately high numbers. Together, the events present a grim tableau of a nation in crisis — one seared by violence against its citizens, plagued by a deadly disease that remains uncontained and rattled by a devastating blow to its economy.

500+ MN National Guard soldiers activated amid protests, looting after death of George Floyd (Sparky1)

“It is time to rebuild,” Walz said in a statement. “Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they’re charged to protect. George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction. As George Floyd’s family has said, ‘Floyd would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people.’ Let’s come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd.”

New Footage of George Floyd’s Arrest Emerges | NowThis (Sparky1)

In US news and current events today, a second camera angle shows George Floyd’s arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which eventually led to the 46-year-old Black man’s death and prompted protests calling for justice for George Floyd across the country.

Surveillance camera footage from a nearby restaurant shows what appears to be the first contact between George Floyd and Minneapolis police officers. George Floyd died shortly after his contact with the officers.

Where freedom dies and the world watches (tmn)

Since the handover in 1997, Hong Kong residents have enjoyed freedoms unknown elsewhere in China. Except when it comes to defense and foreign affairs, Hong Kong essentially runs itself, in an arrangement known as “One Country, Two Systems” that is supposed to last until 2047. But the city’s liberties have already diminished at a dizzying speed: pro-democracy lawmakers booted out of office, a foreign journalist expelled, a political party banned, major activists jailed, all in the last three years.

Lab escape theory of SARS-CoV-2 origin gaining scientific support (Kevin V.)

Casting further doubt on the “zoonosis” (jump from animal to human) theory of the virus’s origin is that samples taken from the Huanan market in Wuhan were found to contain viruses that were genetically identical to human SARS-CoV-2. According to Dr Chan, “This makes it unlikely for the Huanan market isolates to have come from an intermediate animal host; likely from SARS2-infected humans who visited the market.”

4-star quarantine: At a Milan hotel, guests don’t get room keys (Sparky1)

Italy, like the United States, has made little attempt to provide out-of-home quarantine facilities, apparently figuring the idea would be logistically difficult or appear heavy-handed in a liberal democracy. But in Italy, the virus has spread through families, even as an eight-week lockdown helped the country get better control of the virus.

What Should You Say When Someone You Know Is Grieving? (tmn)

But what if the grieving person is someone who has appeared in your feed for years but you haven’t talked with since high school? What if he or she is just a casual acquaintance or a former co-worker? What if you exchange likes on each other’s posts but haven’t met in person?

I repeat: Recognize the loss. And let the person have his or her grief.

The unexpected side effect of Covid-19 (tmn)

In mid-March hospitals began to cancel elective surgeries both to protect patients and to provide surge capacity, following guidance from the American College of Surgeons. This not only halted hernia repairs and joint replacements, but also surgeries for low-risk cancers — specifically, early stage breast and prostate cancer.

Overdose Deaths Have Skyrocketed in Chicago, and the Coronavirus Pandemic May Be Making It Worse (jdargis)

“This is going to make it so much worse,” said Kathleen Kane-Willis, a researcher with the Chicago Urban League who has studied the opioid epidemic for more than a decade, adding that the true impact of the pandemic on drug overdoses likely won’t be known for some time.

“It’s going to wear on people. It’s going to make them more anxious and depressed,” she said. “Being thrust into poverty is such a stressor, and people do turn to substances to get through that stress.”

COVID Infects World Nuclear Plants (newsbuoy)

They call themselves essential services, despite a glut of electricity priced well below what the nuclear industry can match. In many countries, taxpayers are paying billions for mal-investments in nuclear power. In America, the private operators and their investors demanded the federal government top up user bills in order to compete with electricity from cheap wind and natural gas. They want safety regulations cut back, inspections and rules developed after major nuclear accidents to be relaxed.

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One Comment

  • Sun, May 31, 2020 - 5:25am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2064


    Taibbi’s excellent takedown of the accelerating censorship campaigns to throttle free speech


    The campaign to remove Michael Moore’s new documentary from the Internet – led by Moore’s erstwhile progressive “allies” – is a significant advance in the censorship revolution

    On April 21st, 2020, just before the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, Oscar-winning director/producer Michael Moore released a new movie called Planet of the Humans. Directed by Jeff Gibbs, the film is a searing look at the ostensible failures of the environmentalist movement, to which Moore and Gibbs both belonged.

    “Jeff and I were at the first Earth Day celebrations,” Moore laughs. “That’s how old we are.”

    Distributed for free on YouTube, the film’s central argument is that the environmentalist movement, fattened by corporate donations, has become seduced by an industrialist delusion.

    “The whole idea of the film was to ask a question – after fifty years of the environmentalist movement, how are we doing?” recounts Moore. “It looks like, not very well.”

    Moore and Gibbs challenged the idea that both the planet and humankind’s current patterns of industrial production can be saved through the magic bullet of “renewable energy.” The film shows lurid examples of various deceptions, like the oft-used trick of replacing coal plants with new natural gas plants, which are then called “clean” or “green,” or the hideous trend of describing the burning of trees as a “renewable” energy source.

    Environmentalists denounced the film as riddled with “lies” and “misinformation,” claiming among other things that Moore used old data to discredit green technology. A campaign to remove the film from circulation immediately took shape.

    “Within 24 hours of it going out on YouTube, people got to work on trying to take the film down,” explains Moore. He immediately started hearing about emails denouncing the film that were being circulated to what seemed like “everyone on the left.”...

    ...The significance of the Moore incident is that it shows that a long-developing pattern of deletions and removals is expanding. The early purges were mainly of small/fringe voices on either the far right or far left, or infamously fact-challenged personalities like Alex Jones. The removal of a film by Moore – a heavily-credentialed figure long revered by the liberal mainstream – takes place amid a dramatic acceleration of such speech-suppression incidents, many connected to the coronavirus disaster.

    A pair of California doctors were taken off YouTube for declaring stay-at-home measures unnecessary; right-wing British broadcaster and trumpeter of shape-shifting reptile theories David Icke was taken off YouTube; a video by Rockefeller University epidemiologist Knut Wittknowski was taken down, apparently for advocating a “herd immunity” approach to combating the virus. These moves all came after the popular libertarian site Zero Hedge was banned from Twitter, ostensibly for suggesting a Chinese scientist in Wuhan was responsible for coronavirus.

    In late April, the World Socialist Web Site – which has been one of the few consistent critics of Internet censorship and algorithmic manipulation – was removed by Reddit from the r/coronavirus subreddit on the grounds that it was not “reliable.” The site was also removed from the whitelist for r/politics, the primary driver of traffic from Reddit to the site. Then in early May, at least 52 Palestinian activists and journalists were removed from Facebook for “not following community standards,” part of a years-long pattern of removals made in cooperation with the Israeli government.

    On May 13, human rights activist Jennifer Zeng noted that YouTube was automatically deleting Chinese-language references to terms insulting to the Chinese government, like gongfei, or “communist bandit.” Congressional candidate Shahid Buttar complained an interview with Walker Bragman about Democrats supporting surveillance powers was removed by YouTube. Evan Greer of the speech advocacy group Fight for the Future had a post flagged by Facebook’s “independent fact checkers”—in this case, that noted pillar of factuality, USA Today – dinging him for a “partly false” claim that the Senate had voted to allow warrantless searches of browsing history.

    These and many other incidents came in addition to a slew of moves aimed at right-wing speakers accused of varying degrees of conspiratorial misinformation and/or hate speech, from a decision by Twitter to begin “fact-checks” of Donald Trump to wholesale removals from Facebook of “anti-immigrant” sites like VDare and the Unz Review.

    One problem is the so-called “reputable” fact-checking authorities many platforms are relying upon have terrible factual histories themselves. There’s an implication that “misinformation” by foreign or independent actors is somehow more dangerous than broadly-disseminated official deceptions about U.S. misbehavior abroad, or manufactured scandals like Russiagate. We now expect libertarian or socialist pages to be zapped at any minute, but none of the outlets which amplified the bogus Steele dossier have been put in Internet timeout...

    ...Maybe Moore is wrong about the environmental movement, but these new suppression tactics are infinitely more dangerous than one movie ever could be, and progressives seem to have lost the ability to care.


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