Article 43

 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Republican Redux 24 - Party of the White Republic

image: purity fish

GOP: Party of the White Republic?

By Bill Fletcher Jr
LA Progressive
September 18, 2021

Something very curious unfolded in the latter days of Trump’s presidency. No, not Trump’s “big lie” about voter fraud and his election victory. Rather, it was a peculiar spin on the future of the Republican Party’s relationship to the working class. Some REPUBLICANS, including TRUMP, began to describe the Republican Party as a WORKING CLASS PARTY standing in opposition to the alleged elitism of the Democratic Party. Conservative INTELLECTUALS, RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS, and THINK TANKS also began to propose a rebranding of American conservatism and the GOP around “pro-worker politics.”

Many observers scratched their heads at this shift, as the platform and practice of the Republican Party have been, historically, anything but pro-worker.

But Trump and his far-right allies in the GOP were not so much announcing that the class composition or policy platform of the Republican Party had shifted. Indeed, the balance sheet of Trump’s labor politics was HORRENDOUS. Rather, they were seeking to forge a particular form of racialized unity among alleged productive members of US society against the alleged unproductive members. Among these alleged unproductive are the so-called coastal and woke elites; sometimes referenced as the “Eastern Elites,” who, supposedly allied with Jews (although often referenced indirectly), racial minorities, feminists, LGBTQIA activists and immigrants from the global South, are challenging the social texture and political viability of the United States.

According to this narrative, it is the custodians of WOKE CAPITAL who are especially to blame for the assault on productive Americans, punishing patriotic workers with a GLOBALIST, SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA, and crushing the “real economy.” While this rhetorical focus on the working class has surprised many pundits, it is hardly new. It is a species of right-wing populism, a longstanding irrationalist political current that bases itself on racism, sexism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism. It is the manure within which neofascist currents sprout.

The right-wing populist movement that has grown in the U.S. since the late 1960s has always positioned itself as an aggrieved white movement countering the advances of the traditionally oppressed and marginalized sectors of the population. In some cases, right-wing populism has been blatant in its racism and white supremacy. In other cases, however, it has been more subtle, offering a carrot to segments of racialized populations so long as they embrace the critical image of the U.S. as a perpetual WHITE REPUBLIC.

The Republican Party’s flirtation with pro-worker politics is both absurd and clever. It allows them to claim that racial and gender diversity and inclusion (not to mention anti-racism and anti-sexism) are somehow ploys of the woke - read ‘Jewish’ - elites to rob the ordinary (white) person of what they supposedly earned through hard work. Further, efforts to oppose racism, even symbolically, are portrayed as an assault on “American” history and the white population - the victims of a woke agenda that OPPRESSES “STRAIGHT WHITE MEN”.

A case in point was the decision of Major League Baseball (MLB) to relocate the 2021 All-Star game. Originally scheduled to have been played in Atlanta, Georgia, MLB made the surprising decision to relocate the game to Denver, Colorado after being pressured to denounce Georgias voter suppression efforts. Immediately, many Republican politicians, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, loudly proclaimed the need to ATTACK the antitrust exemption that has allowed MLB to monopolize baseball since the early 1920s. The fact that Republicans have consistently opposed efforts to overturn the antitrust exemption were ignored. What mattered was that they were taking on “woke corporations.” Senator Mitch McConnell even THREATENED major corporations for taking such stands, hilariously suggesting that corporations should stay out of politics (he quickly reversed himself).

We must be clear. This illusory pro-worker conservatism has nothing to do with labor rights, income inequality, occupational health and safety, or progressive economic development - urgent issues that confront workers every day. Rather, it is an opportunistic attempt to create a united front of the supposedly productive classes and fractions of American society against the supposedly parasitic forces - both elites and “Others” ( foreign-born and domestic) - that are draining the country of its national strength.

Constructing the “White Working Class”

Right-wing claims to speak for the working class should always be taken with a grain of salt, but they also have to be understood historically. Jim Crow segregation in the US was not presented to white people as a policy of the white elite but as something beneficial to all whites insofar as they were productive members of society. Likewise, as fascist movements grew in both Italy and Germany, the right attempted to present itself not as the partisan protector of the rich and powerful but, instead, of the “worker” - though in using that term they were certainly not relying on a Marxist definition of class.

Right-wing populists, including but not limited to fascists, tend to root themselves in the middle strata of capitalist society - at least until they capture political power, at which point an alliance with segments of the capitalist class becomes essential. This middle strata includes small businesses, the professional-managerial sector, the upper crust of the working class (those who must sell their labor power to capitalists to survive), employees in the finance sector, and many self-employed craft workers.

This is a very unstable sector in capitalist society and is regularly threatened with forms of pauperization by the dominant forces; indeed, it is routinely threatened by the manner in which capitalism operates as a system. This middle strata often feels crushed between the rich and the poor, but it especially resents this because it sees itself as the productive, or at least part of the most productive sector of the overall society.

Right-wing populist movements attempt to bridge the gap between the aggrieved middle strata and segments of the elite by constructing the image of a productive segment of society and, as such, defining all productive members of society as “workers” - or, at least, patriotic. It is no accident, then, that the ascendent German fascists called themselves the National Socialist German Workers Party, a propaganda coup to seize the workerist imagery from the Left and redefine the “worker” in racial, chauvinist terms.

The banner of “worker,” as articulated by the Republican Party, is not and never has been about working-class people. It does, however, represent a renewed effort to reach the white middle strata and segments of white workers with several messages, messages that must be understood in the context of the crisis of neoliberalism.

Right-Wing Populism to the Rescue

U.S. capitalism sustained a series of body blows beginning in the late 1960s as a result of the demands of progressive social movements for wealth redistribution and social justice. Along with this came changes in global capitalism as competitor capitalist countries like Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Sweden reemerged. Technological stagnation in the U.S. was also a contributing factor. American capitalism found itself facing a declining profit rate. In the minds of many of its ideological leaders - what Antonio Gramsci would call the “organic intellectuals” of the capitalist class - this posed a threat to capitalism itself. It was in this milieu that the experiment that came to be known as neoliberalism emerged.

NEOLIBERALISM, engineered first among Republicans and later embraced by the leadership of the Democratic Party, brought with it staggering economic dislocation, inaugurating an era of economics and politics that pursued privatization, deregulation, casualization, free trade and the destruction of worker organizations. As the theory to lead the USA out of 1970s stagnation and inflation, it also challenged the notions of collective action among the disenfranchised and the idea of a social contract. One need only remember former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatchers words to the effect that there is no such thing as society; there are only individuals and families.” Neoliberalism, engineered first among Republicans and later embraced by the leadership of the Democratic Party, brought with it staggering economic dislocation, inaugurating an era of economics and politics that pursued privatization, deregulation, casualization, free trade and the destruction of worker organizations. As the theory to lead the USA out of 1970s stagnation and inflation, it also challenged the notions of collective action among the disenfranchised and the idea of a social contract. One need only remember former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s words to the effect that there is no such thing as society; there are only individuals and families.

With the rise of neoliberalism there was the decline of the US worker, and working people more generally. The living standard for the average U.S. worker stagnated or declined beginning in the mid-1970s, and working people became increasingly dependent on credit and multiple jobs to survive. Slowly but surely the promise of the so-called American Dream was vanishing for millions of white Americans - people who had been led to believe that if they played the game, their future would improve. The other part of playing the game, of course, was ignoring or supporting the oppression and marginalization of populations that were not to be considered fully “American” and supporting U.S. foreign policy, regardless of its extensive criminality.

Changing demographics contributed to this growing sense of unease about what was happening in the country. Opportunities were opening up for populations that had been historically, and almost literally, invisible. This represented a crisis. If white Americans, people who saw themselves as working hard and playing by the rules (even if those rules jumped them ahead of racialized populations) were not becoming beneficiaries of the system, then clearly, it did not pay to be white anymore.

In stepped the right-wing populist movement, the articulation of the counterattack or backlash against the progressive, democratic victories that had been achieved by the social movements of the mid-twentieth century. The various components of the RIGHT-WING populist movement increasingly cohered around what has come known as the great replacementӔ conspiracy - or more crudely, around fears of “white genocide.” In other words, good, hard working white people were being displaced by the foreign, unassimilable Other.ђ And the ‘Other’ was populations that did not work as hard; populations that supposedly always had their hands out; populations that were not pulling themselves up; and populations that were worshipping THE WRONG GOD.  One need only look to the most popular right-wing populist media personality, Tucker Carlson, to find this theory blatantly endorsed. In April, he railed that The Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the “Third World.”

The Republican construct of “worker,” then, is not responsive to the demands of working-class people who are being stepped on and crushed on a daily basis by the juggernaut of capital. Rather, it is a call to those who supposedly work hard - whether a white construction worker, a white manufacturing magnate, or even a worker of color who either wishes to deny their heritage or somehow thinks that they are ‘different’ from others - to join hands in restoring to America the pride and strength that it has allegedly lost. These are the true workersӔ who must be represented against the Eastern elites and their supposed puppets among the masses.

Segments of white workers, as well as some racialized workers, are attracted to this banner because they can distance themselves from other segments of the oppressed and marginalized, believing that they are, themselves, different.

This was just as true in the lead-up to the Nazi domination of Germany. In fact, a wing of the Nazi Party focused on trying to win the German working class to Nazism. Known by their leaders, brothers Otto and Gregor Strasser, they called on the Nazi Party to lead a so-called national revolution against both Jews and monopoly capitalists. Though they made little headway, the Nazi Party continued to lay claim to being the party of the German worker. And, through massive preparations for war, the Nazis were able to win considerable support within the German working class as they provided jobs, security, and a perverse sense of imperial national purpose.

Fighting White Supremacist Capitalism

Therein lies the danger. WHITE SUPREMACIST oppression in the U.S., which emerged from settler colonialism, created a sense of white purpose. The mythology connected with whiteness included the view that North America was vacant until the arrival of the Europeans and that hard-working Europeans - later Euro-Americans - turned an uncultivated wasteland into paradise. And they did this with little help, at least so goes the myth. It is this heritage that was supposedly robbed from the average, hardworking (white) American with the rise of “big government” and the emergence of intruder populations who were and are undeserving of the benefits of whiteness. It is Americas settler colonial, slaveholding past that is the connecting thread to today’s reinvigorated pro-worker conservatism.

Defeating right-wing populism will involve far more than debunking the notion that the Republican Party is or will ever be a workers party. It necessitates the construction of an alternative left politics to address the crises brought about by the destabilization of global capitalism and the environmental catastrophe overtaking our planet. Right-wing populism seeks to avoid dealing with the depths of these crises by punching down on scapegoats and convincing whites that they are under threat.

Nor will our confrontation with right-wing populism succeed if it tries to avoid the challenges of racism, sexism, and xenophobia, essential tools of capitalist domination. Rather it is in our ability to take on these oppressions directly, demonstrating through education and through actual struggles that it is the capitalist elites - those who truly dominate the economy - who play working people for fools.

The capitalist class is hoping and praying that white workers, in particular, will value their white “uniform” rather than recognize that they are being crushed - not by the poor, not by immigrants of color, not by people of color, not by those challenging heterosexism, but by those who never seem to be able to squeeze enough wealth out of the bodies of working people.

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Posted by Elvis on 09/28/21 •
Section Dying America
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Monday, September 27, 2021

Capitalism Commodifies Life

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“Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.”
- Noam Chomsky

“If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.”
- Noam Chomsky (1990)

“Genetic engineering has never been about saving the world, its about controlling the world. Nature shrinks as capital grows, The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis that it creates.”
- Vandana Shiva

“Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.”
- Howard Zinn

Capitalism Commodifies Life, and Everything & Everyone is Expendable

By Milke McGowan
Plant Based Diets Rock
September 26, 2021

According to the United Nations, over 811 million people are hungry, and nearly 2.4 billion people lack access to adequate nutrition. In the United States, the wealthiest country in the world, the number of people who do’nt know where their next meal is coming from has risen to over 38 million. In other words, nearly 12% of Americans are food insecure (1 out of 4 US households were unable to acquire enough food to meet their needs in 2020). Wow.

World hunger and food insecurity are at all time highs, and one of the biggest driving forces for our current predicament is war. The United States outspends nearly the rest of the world combined on its military each year, and according to the best estimates, between 2.5 4+ million people have been killed due to the illegal US invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan (the US government has tried to discredit the 2.5+ million figure, but these are the same folks who have told us for decades that the number of people killed in the Vietnam War was between 250,00-300,000, when the actual number far exceeds 2 million as well (and counting btw)). In addition to the emotional and physical trauma of being under assault, Brown University has reported that at least 37 million people are now displaced too as a direct result of the wars that the US has waged since 9/11/2001 (a number that exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900). Displacement for most people means being forced to leave your land and community and having no option to feed yourself and your family (those with less, have even fewer options).

Author Raj Patel had this to say in an EXCELLENT PIECE FROM DEMOCRACY NOW:

“There were forces that were pushing up the number of people and the percentage of people around the world who were going hungry even before COVID. Conflict is driving hunger because it creates displacement. It means that you plant the field, and the war tears through your community; you must move on, and harvests are lost, and livelihoods are lost. So, climate, conflict and, of course, capitalism. Capitalism operates through making sure that you buy low and you sell expensive. And that’s why in the United States seven out of the 10 worst-paying jobs are in the food system. But around the world, the deep irony is that the poorest people are usually the people whose hands touch our food. Now, when you’ve got conflict, climate and capitalism compounded with COVID, you see a really sort of apocalyptic situation.”

And why are there so many US led wars? The great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone once famously said that “All Governments Lie”. This has certainly been the case with the US government since before its inception, and matters only seem to be getting worse. I am not an economic systems scholar, but it is pretty clear that capitalism is the root cause for much of what ails our species, Mother Earth, and all of her inhabitants (e.g., Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry facing our planet today, and the consumption of animal products devastates our health, but rather than inform the public and address these issues properly, the US government subsidizes the meat and dairy industries to the tune of about $40 billion a year, in order to increase revenues by keeping the prices for these types of mega-damaging foods artificially low. In addition, the US government also looks the other way as hundreds of billions of dollars in hidden costs for meat and dairy production/consumption, are offloaded onto society each year in the form of healthcare bills, environmental damage, animal suffering, etc.).

So, why do all governments lie, and why are there so many wars? In the case of the United States, it is all about increasing wealth and power, regardless of the consequences. Greed, arrogance, and entitlement are the names of the game, and the game is called capitalism. From the attempted genocide of Native Americans, to American Slavery (in part, the result of a desire for cheap labor), to the Vietnam War (called the American War in Vietnam), to the illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan (to name just a few), the number of lies, massacres, and the game itself continue to expand. The latest examples can be found with both the US Military and the Biden Administration beating the drums of war against China. Apparently, the US needs a new villain to keep their war machine going, and China appears to be next up (aside from the offensive and immoral implications, can you say “arms race,” and perhaps the” annihilation of our species”?). A US Admiral named Charles Richard recently announced that nuclear employment is a “real possibility” with both Russia and China. According to Daniel Ellsberg, a nuclear war between the US and Russia would wipe out about 90% of the world’s population. The US political & military systems are replete with war criminals/mongers & climate crisis deniers who are without a doubt, the biggest threats to the survival of our species. And nobody blinks an eye. The United States of War? You bet.

And the US war machine continues to rear its ugly head as a new trilateral military partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States has been formed with all of its players saying that it is needed to counter Chinas growing power in the Indo-Pacific region (the only threat that China presents at the moment is economic, as it hasn’t squandered $8-9 trillion in the last 20 years to finance 800 military bases, and illegal invasions and occupations like the US). As part of the agreement, the U.S. has agreed to help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, replacing a previous deal Australia had with France. Once again, the US taxpayers/voters didnt have a say in the offensive and catastrophic dealings of the US government.

As per author David Vine,

“And I really hope and think the Biden administration can be much better than that. We are in no position to be building, to be spending any time, any energy building military alliances at this moment, when we have such grave security threats facing us, from global warming to global pandemics to hunger to inequality, global poverty. Those are the kinds of alliances we should be building. And those are the kinds of alliances that the United States can be building. I think, really, we have a choice now. We have a choice whether we want to firmly and finally turn our backs on war or engage in diplomacy and a different kind of alliance building focused on the real security threats facing us, or whether we want to firmly and finally commit to a new cold war with China that could be catastrophically damaging to the world. I mean, it could make the catastrophe of the last 20 years of war, where, by my estimate, 4.5 million people died in the U.S.-led wars, where we spent $8 trillion, trillion with a T, on war, you know, this new cold war will strip even more funds from the needs that are actually facing us and plow more money into the military-industrial-congressional complex. This is the choice were facing.”

So, not only is the US government’s lying more brazen, but there is zero accountability too. The architects of the most recent neverending wars (George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Joe Biden, and many others) have blamed their mistakes on bad information. It wasn’t bad information. They lied. They knew it then, and they know it now. That is why millions of us took to the streets to protest again, and again. Can you imagine if the situation was reversed, and another country had invaded and occupied the US with the same results (2.5 - 4 million people killed)? Under such a scenario, the number of human casualties worldwide would no doubt be in the billions. As Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and other corporate democrats and republicans continue to antagonize China, and to a lesser extent, Russia, I am reminded again, of the words of Howard Zinn, “How can you have a war on terrorism, when war itself is terrorism.”

The US corporate media (which is hard to distinguish from state media), has long been a cheerleader for these never ending wars, and capitalism drives their behavior too. They are only loyal to profit margins, advertisers, and whoever is in power
(According to John Schwarz of The Intercept, “if you purchased $10,000 of stock evenly divided among America’s top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001, the day President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and faithfully reinvested all dividends, it would now be worth $97,295). They don’t give a bleep about the truth, justice, and our collective future. The US corporate media continues to be a real danger, and a big part of our problems. But it is not just the corporate news outlets, but also the many celebrities in this country who contribute to the continued patterns and repeated crimes of endless US wars and occupations. Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is a funny, and seemingly sweet guy, but he has to stop with the George W. Bush nonsense. By having the former president on his show and yucking it up (I couldnt watch because I was chucking it up), he was once again normalizing the atrocities that were committed by the Bush Administration. George W. Bush seems affable enough, but he is a war criminal. What if our Iraqi brothers and sisters were family? Millions dead, and all because of lies, and the architects of these crimes are making their rounds on the late night talk show circuit? Are you kidding me? But it is not just Jimmy Kimmel. Late night talk show host Seth Meyers is another seemingly nice guy, who recently referred to Barack Obama as the beloved former president, and I was once again chucking it up (thank goodness it was laundry day!). Say what? Among other transgressions, President Obama made campaign promises in 2008 to hold members of the Bush Administration accountable for their actions. Once elected, he conveniently announced that he would not be taking action and that the country needed to ғmove forward and not backward. How has that, and our never ending wars worked out?  And as awful as Trump was, in many respects, it is hard to say that he was any worse than Joe Biden. Joe Biden is a war criminal too. He was not just a supporter of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, but he was also one of its architects. President Biden is also a supporter of the apartheid state in Israel, bloated military budgets, and unlimited corporate money to buy our elections. And oh yes, he is also against universal healthcare or sick-care (despite close to 65% of Americans agreeing that the government has the responsibility to provide health care coverage for all). In other words, he is a disaster too. But you will never hear any of this through the mainstream and corporate media channels. Why? In addition to the financial implications, if they started to hold any of the politicians and corporate/military leaders accountable, they would also have to look in the mirror and hold themselves accountable too.

And that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. In fact, nobody has been held accountable. The very same politicians, corporate media types (including the retired military generals who are affiliated with weapon manufacturers), and the countless war profiteers who are responsible for these disasters in the first place, still have their jobs (or worse, been promoted), still have their platforms, still enjoy their celebrity lifestyles, and still have their power and abilities to influence. Who has been held accountable? Unfortunately, whistleblowers. The same whistleblowers who fight the good fight, and who have proven to be our last line of defense when it comes to exposing corrupt leaders, both in and out of government. And despite their heroic efforts to expose the broken systems, and the lies, corruption, and crimes of our leaders (and doing the job that has long been ignored by the corporate media), it is only the whistleblowers who have served any jail time (and often had their lives ruined).

So, the US has nearly 800 military bases worldwide, and 300 of them surround China. Again, can you imagine if the situation was reversed? Did you know too that the United States has the highest number of billionaires, and that the world’s 26 richest people own as much wealth as 50% of the world’s population? The one country that poses the greatest threat to world peace, and the survival of our species, is the United States of America.

I am reminded of the words of Nick Estes, who wrote the excellent book, OUR HISTORY IS THE FUTURE: STANDING ROCK VERSUS THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE

“They (Native Americans) incarnate the inconvenient truth that the US was founded on genocide and the continuing theft of a continent.”

We can now add 6 other continents to the end of that quote.

Which reminds me of another nugget of wisdom from Mr. Estes’s fine BOOK:

“The Water protectors also ask us: What does water want from us? What does the earth want from us?  Mni Wiconi - water is life - exists outside the logic of capitalism. Whereas past revolutionary struggles have strived for the emancipation of labor from capital, we are challenged not just to imagine, but to demand the emancipation of earth from capital.”

For the Earth to live, capitalism must die. Hecetu welo!

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Posted by Elvis on 09/27/21 •
Section Dying America
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NWO - A Year Into Covid - Part 5

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All rulers who want to impose their vision on others detest diversity. Therefore; SCIENTISTS, philosophers and artists are the biggest enemies of status quo and mind control… They are dangerous enemies, because they do not fit in the mainstream. They question the authority that prevails. They question some facts that are intended to be kept well concealed. Therefore they are labeled and categorized by those with slave minds… Those with slave minds tend to protect what they believe is true, and unconsciously filter out information they don’t want to receive.
- Religious Diversions Part 6

Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power”
- Corporate Fascism: The Destruction of America’s Middle Class (2010)

“Many think the vaccine hesitant are dumb or just misinformed, but thats not at all what I’ve seen… independent of education level, the vaccine hesitant I’ve met in the ER are more familiar with vaccine studies and more familiar with their own C0VlD risks than the vaccinated.”
- Twitter clip on FDA Covid Booster shot

Now that the FDA has given full approval to Pfizers COVID-19 vaccine, policy makers anticipate government agencies, universities, and private companies will start ramping up vaccine mandates… But who is liable for injuries that arise from COVID-19 shots?
- RT - Thousands reportedly harmed by Covid19 vaccines, asking for ‘vaccine court’ August 21, 2021

My son has been in the ICU for myocarditis, chest pain, and elevated troponin from the 2nd dose for past 3 days. Docs say they’ve seen about 60 other boys w the same. Who’s paying for the $100k bill and possible heart damage from this experimental vaccine?
- Covid Vaccine Side Effects, Father Screaming for Vaccinated Sopn in ICU

Since April 2021, there have been more than a thousand reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) of cases of inflammation of the heart - called myocarditis and pericarditis- happening after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) in the United States.
- CDC, September 8, 2021

Last month PRESIDENT BIDEN MAY HAVE GIVEN US A HINT into where HIS SOUL and the SOUL OF THE COUNTRY are at by SCAPEGOATING and demonizing Americans that haven’t been innoculated with one of those MRNA vaccines, as the outcasts of modern time. I can’t help but see the United States winding up as another Nazi Germany - with the new Jews - unvaccinated Americans - pushed into gas chambers - TO THE CHEERS of the American public.

---

The days of full covid coverage are over.
Insurers are restoring deductibles and co-pays, leaving patients with big bills.

Yahoo News
September 18, 2021

Jamie Azar left a rehab hospital in Tennessee this week with the help of a walker after spending the entire month of August in the ICU and on a ventilator. She had received a shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in mid-July but TESTED positive for the coronavirus within 11 days and nearly died.

Now Azar, who earns about $36,000 a year as the director of a preschool at a Baptist church in Georgia, is facing thousands of dollars in medical expenses that she can’t afford.

“I’m very thankful to be home. I am still weak. And I’m just waiting for the bills to come in to know what to do with them,” she said Wednesday, after returning home.

In 2020, as the pandemic took hold, U.S. health insurance companies declared they would cover 100% of the costs for covid treatment, waiving co-pays and expensive deductibles for hospital stays that frequently range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But this year, most insurers have reinstated co-pays and deductibles for covid patients, in many cases even before vaccines became widely available. The companies imposed the costs as industry profits remained strong or grew in 2020, with insurers paying out less to cover elective procedures that hospitals suspended during the crisis.

Now the financial burden of covid is falling unevenly on patients across the country, varying widely by health-care plan and geography, according to a survey of the two largest health plans in every state by the nonprofit and nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in Vermont or New Mexico, for instance, state mandates require insurance companies to cover 100% of treatment. But most Americans with covid are now exposed to the uncertainty, confusion and expense of business-as-usual medical billing and insurance practices - joining those with cancer, diabetes and other serious, costly illnesses.

(Insurers continue to waive costs associated with vaccinations and testing, a pandemic benefit the federal government requires.)

A widow with no children, Azar, 57, is part of the unlucky majority. Her experience is a sign of what to expect if covid, as most scientists fear, becomes endemic: a permanent, regular health threat.

The carrier for her employee health insurance, UnitedHealthcare, reinstated patient cost-sharing Jan. 31. That means, because she got sick months later, she could be on the hook for $5,500 in deductibles, co-pays and out-of-network charges this year for her care in a Georgia hospital near her home, including her ICU stay, according to estimates by her family. They anticipate she could face another $5,500 in uncovered expenses next year as her recovery continues.

Bills related to her stay at the out-of-network rehab hospital in Tennessee could climb as high as $10,000 more, her relatives have estimated, but they acknowledged they were uncertain this month what exactly to expect, even after asking UnitedHealthcare and the providers.

“We still don’t know where the numbers will land because the system makes the family wait for the bills,” said Azar’s sister, Rebecca Straub.

UnitedHealthcare declined to comment specifically about Azar’s situation unless she signed a blanket waiver allowing release of all her health records - which she declined.

“In general, a person with Azar’s type of plan would have an in-network deductible of $1,500 and an in-network out-of-pocket maximum of $4,000,” said UnitedHealthcare spokeswoman Tracey Lempner in an email. Lempner declined to say what a patient’s out-of-network, out-of-state share would be at the Tennessee rehab hospital.

She did not respond directly to a question about why UnitedHealthcare chose Jan. 31 to stop waiving deductibles and co-pays for covid treatment.

“The cost-share waivers were just one piece of our overall response to the covid-19 pandemic,” Lempner said. “We have focused our efforts around helping our members get access to covid-19-related tests, vaccines and treatment, while providing additional support to our clients, care providers and local communities.” UnitedHealthGroup, UnitedHealthcare’s parent company, reported $15.4 billion in profits in 2020, up from $13.8 billion in 2019.

The charges Azar anticipates would be budget-crushers, Straub said. Her relatives are seeking help from the public on a nonprofit patient-fundraising website called Help Hope Live, which says it verifies the circumstances of each patient’s condition with medical providers.

In a Facebook video call from her hospital bed in Chattanooga last week, Azar cited prayer from family and friends for helping her maintain a positive attitude. Although she considers the change in insurance practices unjust for people who get sick this year, she said she harbors no personal animosity toward UnitedHealthcare.

“I got here a year late, huh?” she quipped. “Even though it may not seem fair or seem right, it’s where we are.”

She said her doctors surmised she may have already been exposed to the coronavirus when she received her Johnson & Johnson shot in July.

The lack of uniformity in covid insurance practices across the country this year is striking. In some places, because of differences in health plan policies, covid patients in the same hospitals and in the same ICU units could be facing completely different financial burdens.

“There was no federal mandate for insurers to cover all the costs for covid treatment. Insurers were doing it voluntarily,” said Krutika Amin, a Kaiser Family Foundation associate director who researchers health insurance practices.

Last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 88% of people covered by private insurance had their co-pays and deductibles for covid treatment waived. By August 2021, only 28% of the two largest plans in each state and the District of Columbia still had the waivers in place, and another 10% planned to phase them out by the end of October, the Kaiser survey found. Its survey this year of employer-sponsored plans reflected similar patterns.

“For some people, deductibles can be over $8,000 for a hospital stay,” Amin said. “It will really depend on what plan they have.”

America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s lobbying and trade group, said insurance companies began to reinstate cost-sharing for covid treatment as vaccines became available and in recognition that the coronavirus will be an ongoing health challenge.

“After a year and a half, it’s pretty clear that covid is here to stay, that this is a continuing health condition,” AHIP spokesman David Allen said. “When it comes to treatment, we’re looking at it like we would treat any other health condition.”

The industry says it is not using the return of deductibles as financial incentive for people to get vaccines. To encourage vaccinations, the industry is focused on “carrots, not sticks,” Allen said, with programs targeting education and making sure no one is billed for receiving vaccines.

In Painesville, Ohio, Becky Calderone, a hairdresser and graphic artist, has been contending with a steady stream of bills and collection notices for seven months, she said, after she and her husband were both stricken with covid in February. Her husband was hospitalized; she was not. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which was provided through her spouse’s employer, reimposed patient cost-sharing for covid treatment Jan. 31.

Calderone and her husband did not fit the criteria for early vaccine supplies, which were targeted in January and February toward the elderly. The couple did not get vaccinated until May, well after they got sick.

“We were stuck in this gap,” Calderone said. Thirty days after her husband’s release from the hospital, she said, “the bills started coming in like a flood.”

Calderone described navigating a bureaucratic odyssey of emails and appeals with Anthem as well as contact with state insurance regulators. Now she is receiving letters “up the wazoo” from collections agencies. Anthem agreed to waiver her husband’s deductibles, she said, but the bills from various providers are still inexplicably arriving. Her deductibles remain in place, she said, but she has not been told why.

Calderone said the financial hardships may mount even further. The couple has a new insurance company now, because her husband changed jobs, so they will have to meet another set of deductibles and co-pays this year as they battle long-hauler covid symptoms, including irregular heartbeats and chronic fatigue, she said.

Anthem did not respond to requests for comment specifically about Calderone’s claims. A spokesman said Calderone would need to sign a waiver to release medical information. Calderone declined.

In a general statement, the company said its waivers last year were one of a number of steps it took to help its members manage the impacts of the virus.

“These waivers ended in January as we all had gained a better understanding of the virus, and people and communities became more familiar with best practices and protocols for limiting COVID-19 exposure and spread,” the company said in a statement. “Also, at this time vaccines, which are proven to be the safest and most effective way to protect oneself from COVID-19, were starting to become readily available.”

Anthem took in $4.6 billion in profits in 2020, compared to $4.8 billion in 2019.

The reintroduction of cost-sharing mainly affects people with private or employer-based insurance. Patients with no insurance can have 100% of their expenses covered by the federal government, under a special program set up by the government for the pandemic, with hospitals reimbursed for care at Medicare rates.

Covid patients with Medicaid, the government plan for lower-income people that is paid for by states and the federal government, continue to be protected from cost-sharing, insurance specialists said. Patients on Medicare, the federal plan for the elderly, could face out-of-pocket costs if they do not have supplemental insurance.

For large commercial plans, the pandemic created an unusual dynamic in 2020. Hospitals stopped performing elective procedures, because of the risk of infection and because they were overwhelmed in many communities, so insurance companies had to pay out fewer claims.

“Insurers may have also wanted to be sympathetic toward pains patients, and some may have also feared the possibility of a federal mandate to provide care free-of-charge to COVID-19 patients, so they voluntarily waived these costs for at least some period of time during the pandemic,” the Kaiser Family Foundation report said.

Nationally, covid hospitalizations under insurance contracts on average cost $29,000, or $156,000 for a patient with oxygen levels so low that they require a ventilator and ICU treatment, according to data gathered by the national independent nonprofit FAIR Health.

“Insurers wanted to encourage people to get treatment. And this was something that, almost more than any illnesses and health conditions, was something that you have no control over,’’ said Jack Hoadley, research professor emeritus at the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “The insurers probably had a sense that there was a moral obligation to not put patients on the spot for this kind of thing.”

Insurance companies participating in Affordable Care Act marketplaces also faced the prospect of having to pay rebates to the government if their profit ratios exceeded certain levels.

“The calculus in place in 2020 changed with the advent of vaccines, which now makes most hospitalizations preventable,” Hoadley said.

In some cases, the patchwork of policies and plans is creating stark differences in circumstances for individual patients in the same facility.

Hospitals along the Connecticut River, the border between Vermont and New Hampshire, draw patients from both states. Vermont health plans are waiving deductibles and co-pays into 2022. In New Hampshire, where Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has a dominant presence, insurance companies have reinstated cost-sharing.

Marvin Mallek, a doctor who treats covid patients from both sides of the river at Springfield Hospital in Vermont, said New Hampshire covid patients are now facing business as usual from insurers, suffering the same sort of financial stress that routinely affects patients with cancer, heart disease and other serious ailments.

“The inhumanity of our health-care system and the tragedies it creates will now resume and will now cover this one group that was exempted,’’ he said. “The U.S. health-care system is sort of like a game of musical chairs where there are not enough chairs, and some people are going to get hurt and devastated financially.”

Hospitals also are in the position of having to resume billings and collections for individuals who may have been laid off because of the pandemic or been too sick to work, experts said.

“If you ever wanted a study in differential treatment, this is it,” said Ray Berry, chief executive officer of his own company, Health Business Solutions, in Cooper City, Fla., and a member of the North Broward Hospital board. “You can have people in beds right next to each other, and one can pay $3,000 and one can pay nothing. . . . The folks who do pay it are going to get sticker shock.”

SOURCE

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10 Current Trends of Operation Coronavirus as of September 2021

By Makia Freeman
The Freedom Articles
September 26, 2021

COVID Trend #1: Outright Denial of Natural Immunity

This has of course been a colossal issue right from the start. Sensible people have asked: “What happened to natural immunity? Did it suddenly vanish since the advent of COVID?” No authority figure has ever been able to give a satisfactory answer to that question, with some claiming that this is a “once in a hundred years” event to try to justify the blatant power grab. Dr. Anthony Fraud-ci in a recent CNN interview even VICE even put out some blatant clickbait propaganda stating that

“there’s no such thing as natural immunity” - and even if you’ve been lucky thus far, Delta could change that.” In a stunning display of biological denial, their article further states that experts emphasize that if you’ve made it this far without contracting the virus, its because you’ve been lucky - not because you’re invincible or have natural immunity, which doesn’t exist.”

Meanwhile, a recent ISRAELI STUDY found that natural immunity was way more likely to protect you against COVID than the COVID fake-vaccine; the vaccinated were 13 times more likely to develop an infection than the unvaccinated.

The theme of natural immunity is key because it busts the official narrative. It is their weak point. They have no argument against it. With the realization of this, the whole house of cards can come crashing down, because governments all this time have tried to justify their powers based on protecting people and protecting public health, when we have never wanted nor needed such protection.

COVID Trend #2: Replacement of Those Refusing the Vax with Immigrants

I have noticed this trend happening in the US, but it may be happening in other Western nations, too. With widespread protest against coercive vaccine mandates, people are quitting their jobs (or allowing themselves to be fired) rather than submitting to the shot. This includes many people such as nurses, policemen, firemen and other first responders. In some cases, entire departments have quit, leaving some organizations drastically understaffed. For those who refuse the vax and refuse to leave their job, guess what the tyrannical political class is now threatening? To replace them with foreigners or immigrants. ZERO HEDGE QUOTES THE NEW FASCIST GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK:

“To those who won’t [get vaxxed], we’ll be replacing people. And I have a plan that’s going to be announced very shortly” she said. We’ve identified a whole range of opportunities we have to help supplement them. Hochul said state officials were “working closely” with various hospital systems to find out where we can get other individuals to come in and supplement places like nursing homes. “We’re also reaching out to the Department of State to find out about visas for foreign workers, on a limited basis, to bring more nurses over here,” she said.

This brings to mind the 1969 predictions of Dr. Richard Day (which I covered in my 2013 article NEW WORLD ORDER BLUEPRINT REVEALED WITH STUNNING AND SHOCKING ACCURACY where he stated one of the NWO objectives was to displace people and encourage mass migration so as to dilute cultures, cut people off from their roots, destroy stability and create chaos.

COVID Trend #3: De-Licensing and Arresting Those Who Prescribe Ivermectin

I don’t know how many nations are doing this, but its already started in France. Dr Jean-Paul Theron was ARRESTED by the gendarmerie (the French military police) for prescribing ivermectin to his COVID patients. The NWO have again shown their cruel hand in this move which reeks of desperation. This is yet another low in Operation Coronavirus, as doctors who are actively helping people recover or heal are being targeted because they are not playing ball with the Big Pharma vaccine agenda.

COVID Trend #4: System Begs People to Stop Doing Their Own Research

Hat tip to Chris Menahan at INFORMATION LIBERATION for identifying this pattern. Numerous MSM outlets, such as CNN, the NYT, Forbes and USA Today, are warning and begging people to not do their own research. Why? The ostensible reason is because it may lead you down a rabbit hole of misinformation. The real reason is because they want to reinforce a dull, unquestioning and obedient public and keep them in a hypnotic suggestible trance, too afraid to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

Hey you! Stop doing your own research! Its bad for you!

COVID Trend #5: Further Entrenchment of Segregation and Discrimination

This one is such a clear and obvious trend that it hardly bears pointing out. Everywhere we turn, pressure is exerted upon the unvaccinated to cave in and comply. Unlawful threats of employment termination, travel bans, restaurant bans and more are being hurled at the dirty, selfish “vaccine hesitant”, in blatant disregard for long-established legal precedents which forbid segregation and discrimination. Amazingly, there are some people so fast asleep they can’t even see this point. It still remains to be seen whether tyrants like VICTORIAN PREMIER DAN ANDREWS will be able to get away with implementing a “vaccinated economy.”

COVID Trend #6: Under-reporting and Cover-up of COVID Vax Injuries and Deaths Continues

One of the principal and hypnotic mantras of the official narrative has been trust the science, trust the science, trust the science. But what science exactly? The fake science that will say whatever it has to in order to push the agenda? Real science would carefully track and record vaccine reactions for analysis. Real science would carefully run rigorous safety trials for years before rushing a product to market. WHISTLEBLOWER after WHISTLEBLOWER is coming forward to say that there is massive under-reporting going on so that the millions of COVID vax injuries and deaths in the US alone are not reported to databases like VAERS. This is a genocide in the making.

COVID Trend #7: Attitude of “Rules For Thee But Not For Me” Comes Out into the Open

Throughout the entire COVID scamdemic, countless misleaders have been caught breaking their own stupid rules, MET GALA in New York and the EMMYS in Los Angeles. In both cases, the famous celebrities walked around maskless while the serfs in attendance (waiters, servants, photographers, etc.) were forced to wear masks. The pictures of the events are truly symbolic and reveal the hideous agenda for what it is. The NWO controllers and their favored lackeys were never meant to permanently wear masks (aside from during their Satanic rituals) - that’s only for the slave class who is very much meant to permanently wear masks.

COVID Trend #8: Police Must Now Honestly Ask Themselves: What Do I Do if Following Orders Comes Into Conflict with Doing What’s Right?

The NUREMBURG TRIALS made famous the classic excuses of I’m just following orders and “I’m just doing my job.” Nowadays, these lines are instantly recognizable as a key way through which the rank-and-file members of a hierarchy attempt to defer and escape responsibility. The Nuremburg Courts, though imperfect, rejected that argument because in the end, if you hurt and kill someone, or deprive them of their rights, you can’t avoid ultimate responsibility for your actions, even if some president, prime minister, chancellor, fuehrer, governor, premier, sheikh or viceroy told you to. That doesn’t remove your culpability.

The following EXCGANGE BETWEEN AN AUSSIE COP AND A PROTESTER in Melbourne, Australia is very significant. While the cop didn’t defect and join the ranks of the protestors, he did admit that he believed in their cause and that he was only policing the lockdown for money. You can look at this cop as a coward for not quitting his job and doing what he believed in, and ultimately, if we are to end the scamdemic, many cops will need to do that, however it does show that the NWO manipulators are losing control over the narrative. They would much prefer to have their enforcers believe they are doing the right thing terrorizing people, rather than only doing it for a pay check, because sooner or later, that may cease to be sufficient motivation for people.

COVID Trend #9: Citizens Resist by Installing Tables Outside Restaurants

I will end this list with 2 positive trends. People are waking up all over the word and refusing to go along with the nonsense. In France and Switzerland, for example, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GETTING CREATIVE IN SIDESTEPPING VACCINE CERTIFICATE REQUIEMENTS by setting up tables and picnic blankets outside buildings, in the streets, so they can still eat out without producing their “papers, please.”

COVID Trend #10: Has Full Scale Resistance and Rebellion Begun?

Lastly, I pose this last trend as a question: has a full scale resistance and rebellion begun? The scenes from the last few days in Melbourne are mind-blowing, with people gathering en masse to walk on and shut down major highways, as well as to endure rubber bullets being fired at them. It is surreal to watch the place descend into chaos and tyranny, and simultaneously heartening to FINALLY UNITE , STAND UP, AND DO SOMETHING in the face of the disgusting amount of oppression that has been dished out to them in the last 18 months. Many eyes are on Melbourne right now.

Let’s hope the people there, and everywhere, continue to find their inner fire, sense of self-respect and knowledge of their inherent rights, and act from that place of power.

SOURCE

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Posted by Elvis on 09/27/21 •
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Sunday, September 26, 2021

NWO - Bidenism

image: big bad biden

“We are currently experiencing what medical professionals have resorted to calling a PANDEMIC OF THE UNVACCINATED.” We know vaccines are safe and effective. We know wearing masks in enclosed areas like schools, washing hands regularly, using sanitizer, and social distancing work. Even so, an alliance of idiots and evil profiteers seek to convince people otherwise. Articles like THIS and THIS spread misinformation, ably backed up by enormously influential media outlets like Fox News.
- Help Us Fight the Two-Front War against COVID-19 and its Allies, Center For Inquiry, August 30, ,2021

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After LISTENING TO PRESIDENT BIDEN’S SPEECH last week DEMONIZING THE UNVACCINATED (from covid-19) Americans:

We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.

I’m pretty convinced UNCLE JOE is as much to be FEARED as President Trump.  Probably a lot more, but I’m TRYING TO BE OPTIMISTIC.

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Liberty Vs Fascism: Your Choice

By Austin Craig
Seeking Alpha
September 9, 2021

Summary

A President preaches sedition against states and the elected leaders.

We are at a cross roads. Liberty & religious freedom of choice, vs the nanny state (ah la 1984).

Employment blackmail.

The vax is safe and effective. so much so that we all need to be forcefully jabbed.

I’m going to go on a bit of a rant here and if you are not inclined to read about liberty and freedom on choice I would urge you to stop reading now. This is going to get political (and poorly worded). Politics impact investments and they impact our lives but more so this is a post about liberty and freedom of religion.We are at a cross roads as a nation. Do we go down the road of fascism or do we maintain the Republic of the United States? Do we descend further into 1984 or do we draw the line as PICARD WOULD SAY?

Covid Hysteria as a Power Play

Covid mania has impacted our society. Yet once you look at the numbers it is fractionally more lethal than the common cold (.026 of 1% vs .01 for the cold). Obviously this ramps up as you age but so do comorbidities. So what is all fuss about? Power. It is all about power and control.

A President Preaches Sedition Against The States

sedition - NOUN conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.

In Biden’s speech he actually called out state governors who are trying to protect the rights of its citizens. He stated that employees, guilty of rebellion (by disreguarding the law), should continue to disreguard the law) and that if any state educator has lost wages for continuing to ignore the law of the land he shall pay them the lost wages “100%” because he has their back. Never mind the American citizens stuck in the everexpanding disaster that is called Afganistan might disgree on how much of your back Joe has.The point is Joe is preaching sedition against the states.

Blackmail

No jab, no job. Biden is unable to legally force everyone to get the jab hence he is going after the power of the purse in a bid to try to make those that refuse the jab to become unemployed. Yet he has the nerve to call state governors who tell employees “You have a choice to wear a mask and so do your students”. He labels them “bullies” yet in a moment of irony is guilty the same in blackmailing workers. No jab, no job.

Lawsuits

I suspect we are going to see a virtual storm of lawsuits across America and thankfully so but these will take time and by then you will have employees fired for refusing to deny liberty and engage in religious discrimination. If you have endured this much then you deserve a reward. Abott (ABT) might be a play here based on home test kits.

The Natural Vax & Fascism

After some debate with a friend you can call covid a flu or a cold. Maybe something inbetween. I’m sure someone smarter can try to define the chimera virus but for simplicity I’ll call it a cold.Colds mutate, hence jabs do not fully work. To make maters worse according to the Israelies the jab only offers diminishing protection. By 6 months it is only at 16% ... hence the CDC is wanting to jab not at a year as previously stated or 9 months but now we are down to 6 months much over the protests of the FDA.No where in Joes speech did he once mention the superior natural vax… which simply getting the cold.So enjoy the circus, enjoy the power play, enjoy the madness. Never would I have thought we would be at the door of fascism. Do we close this door or step though it?

Disclosure: I/we have a beneficial long position in the shares of ABT either through stock ownership, options, or other derivatives.

SOURCE

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Biden’s Vaccine Fiat Forges a Fascist Pharma Corporate State

By Connor Mortell
Mises Institute
September 9, 2021

About six months ago, I wrote an article here explaining that STATE PREEMTIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ARE A BAD THING - EVEN WHEN RON DESANTIS DOES IT. I vehemently stand by these principles. However, it is now time for Ron DeSantis to take that principle of decentralized control and run with it - against the Biden administration. Just as it is acceptable to see local governments passing laws in defiance of their state, it is now time for the states to pass laws in defiance of the federal government. This is because on September 9, 2021, President Joe Biden announced that all employers with one hundredplus employees will be required to mandate vaccines or weekly negative covid tests.

Never in my lifetime has something occurred that was so egregiously opposed to Misesian concepts of liberalism and freedom. In fact, this is directly in line with perhaps the most opposite ideology to liberalism: fascism. Benito Mussolini said himself that “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” In today’s political discourse, people abuse the word fascism and sometimes even cite this definition of corporatism while stretching it somewhat from the truth. However, the state requiring that businesses require the vaccine from one of three large corporations that were propped up by the state is undoubtedly the merger of state and corporate power that Mussolini dreamed of.

In my earlier-mentioned piece criticizing DeSantis’s intervention remitting fines passed by local governments in regard to local covid regulations, I had two main issues with the order. First, was a preference for localism, citing the president of the Mises Institute, Jeff Deist, who claimed that Insisting on universal political arrangements is a huge tactical mistake for libertarians.Ӕ This concern is even more true as it relates to Bidens newest announcement, as this is simply another universal political arrangement, now expanding to the national level. My other concern was that the a sweeping universal political arrangement like this - even in the best-case scenario, when the decision is hypothetically good for everyone with no costsets a precedent that the central state now has authority over that issue.

Right now, take a moment to think of the issue that is by and far most important to you. We all have one. Then think of the politician that threatens that more than anything. Do you want that individual to have this precedent to rely on when he or she takes power one day?

Luckily, the solution to this was described by the great TOM WOODS:

Nullification is the Jeffersonian idea that the states of the American Union must judge the constitutionality of the acts of their agent, the federal government, since no impartial arbiter between them exists.

Many businesses across the country will act in civil noncompliance, but that is simply not enough. If one wants to see this end, states across the country will have to undoubtedly reject this. I am not here to make any criticisms of the vaccine. I still stand by my initial piece that these bans on mom-and-pop shops wanting not to run the risk of interacting with unvaccinated individuals is a dangerous threat to liberty. However, I’d argue that any act of nullification at this point has little or nothing to do with the vaccine or the pandemic. We are now facing one simple question: Will we accept or reject a precedent for the merger of state and corporate power? If we choose to reject it, then the governors of the free state of Florida as well as New York, the governors of Texas as well as California, all these governors alike must stand firm against this tragedy.

SOURCE

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This is Why Biden’s Presidency is Failing
Even Joe Biden Doesn’t Seem to Know What Bidenism Is - And the Result is a Mess

By Umair Haque
Eudamonia
September 23, 2021

In case it’s not obvious - and don’t kill me for saying it - Joe Biden’s in a mess. His agenda’s in a mess. And his approval ratings in freefall as a result. His fanbase of liberals notwithstanding - who regard him as something of a saint, above questioning and criticism, which is deeply unhealthy - the average American, and the average person around the globe seems to be thinking, saying: what happened joe? We expected better than this.

Let me first outline how Biden’s agenda is a mess, and then explain why.

On the domestic front, all of Biden’s big initiatives are stalling. Social spending, pharmaceutical reform, immigration reform, antitrust - they’ve all hit the shoals. The Democrats cant seem to discipline the two thorns in their side, SINEMA AND MANCHIN, Senators who’ve stopped progress on all these fronts dead - and that’s before we even get to the Republicans.

On the global front, Biden’s had a disastrous summer. Chaos ensued in Afghanistan - whether or not leaving was the right decision, leaving this way PROVED TO BE CATASTROPHIC. Then Biden proceeded to alienate, well, all of Europe, by signing an arms deal with Australia and the UK, behind Europes back. Meanwhile, Covid still rages around the globe, not to mention in America, and “climate change,” aka global warming, intensifies by the season.

The world’s confidence in Biden has been badly, badly shaken. And so has Americas. Biden’s losing the confidence of, to name just a few, key allies, leaders, institutions, and people around the world. That is not a good thing. Because you know where this ends: Biden could end up being a one-term President.

So. Is Biden’s summer of doldrums an anomaly, or trend? To ask that question another way, why is Biden’s agenda in a mess?

The answer to that question is deceptively simple, and painful to have to say out loud. Bidens agenda is in a mess because BidenҒs agenda is a mess. What do I mean by that? Its incoherent. ItҒs inconsistent. It’s flatly illogical, in many places. And it’s not nearly brave, bold, or daring enough - at least at this juncture in history. The world needs a much more visionary America, and America needs to be that country, too.

Every President has - or ends up having - a governing philosophy. Even if they dont say so, it can be clearly discerned from their actions. What was GWBҒs? Shoot first, ask questions later. Clintons? Compromise with the Republicans to the point that many policies were indistinguishable. ObamaҒs? A kinder, gentler version - on the surface - of free markets and American capitalism.

So what is Bidenism?

The problem is that Bidenism is itself inconsistent. It wants to achieve big goals - which means, formally, in this arena, structural socio-economic transformation, without institutional reform and revolution. But thats probably not possible. Hence, Biden is ending up mired in a maze of inconsistencies and incoherences - from which there’s probably no way out, unless his fundamental governing philosophy changes.

Let me explain, with an example.

Biden recently GOT UP IN FRONT OF THE UN, and preached, if not outright demanded, more global cooperation, on issues like global warming and inequality and so forth - all the great Existential Challenges of the 21st century. The world was baffled by this. Why? Well, it was Biden who just SIGNED AN ARMS DEAL with Australia and the UK, alienating Europe and China. Guess who the two most crucial parties are in fighting global warming and inequality and all the rest? That’s right, Europe and China.

So theres Biden, demanding more global cooperation on the one hand - and yet not demonstrating or leading by example with the other, in fact doing the very opposite, not cooperating globally. In case itҒs not obvious, global cooperation at this juncture in human history doesn’t mean more arms deals. You can’t drop a nuclear bomb on climate change. It’s fruitless.

The world was BEWILDERED by Biden because of this weird level of inconsistency. The lack of self-awareness about it, too. People around the globe and their leaders don’t hate Biden, or scorn him, the way they did Trump. They like him. But they’re baffled. How can he not see that his own agenda is badly inconsistent? How can you demand global cooperation on common problems the week - literally - after you just alienated half the world… for missiles and bombs? What the?

So after Biden gave this speech, mostly, the world shook its head. What to make of this President? He doesn’t seem to be a bad guy, a fascist, a megalomaniac, like Trump. ButsomethingŒs wrong. Is he really so oblivious he doesnt see the mismatch between his words҅and his actions? And why is that glaring mismatch there in the first place?

Let me give you another example, to make my abstract point about not being able to socioeconomic transformation with institutional reformation and revolution much more concrete.

Biden says that he wants to stop Covid. Hell agree that weҒre not doing a good enough job as a world on it. And yet Americas still right there at the WTO enforcing vaccine patents.

This is badly, badly inconsistent. America is the most powerful country in the world. If Biden really wanted to stop Covid, heҒd tell Americas WHO delegation to stop enforcing vaccine patents. Sure, heҒd get blowback from Big Pharma. So what?

This goes way further than simply being inconsistent. Its worse: itҒs illogical. Covid vaccines dont deserve patent protection. Why not? Because pharmaceutical companies did not develop them. Who did? They were created - all of them - at public institutions, with public funds, by public officials, by researchers, professors, labs. Covid vaccines are pure public goods. That means that they deserve to be shared as widely as possible, because that is how the most benefit from them accrues to everyone. I benefit when you take a vaccine, and when some poor kid in Africa has one, too. That is how we prevent new, vaccine resistant variants from developing. That is how we eliminate Covid.

Let me say it again. Covid vaccines do not deserve patent protection because pharmaceutical giants did not create them. They only manufacture them. There is a world of difference. It therefore makes precisely zero sense to grant patents for Covid vaccines - all it does is prevent really stopping Covid. It makes even less sense to have an army of well-paid lawyers at the WTO enforcing all this illogic and stupidity.

Now, Americans don’t quite get this. Nobody much teaches it to them. They really believe, most of them, that vaccine patents are good and sensible and so on. But the world sees all this with glaring precision. What does the world see? An America that doesnt care about it at all. That is happy to let it die of a pandemic for no good reason. That wonҒt share vaccines, even though theyre public goods, and instead has created gigantic capitalist monopolies over them.

WhatҒs the net result of all that? The world’s confidence in Biden is plummeting, just like his approval rating in America. Don’t think that just because countries are poor, they dont see hypocrisy, illogic, and stupidity. Of course they do - often more sharply than rich ones. The world sees the rank illogic of Biden’s policy on vaccines, which is so illogical, in fact, let me spell out all the levels clearly now.

Biden wants to stop Covid, but he won’t give the world vaccines, because his administration is paying armies of lawyers a fortune to enforce patents that shouldn’t exist in the first place, since pharma companies didnt create vaccines. Now put yourself in the shoes of someone from, say, Malaysia or Peru or Pakistan. What would you feel? Anger? Disappointment? Disgust? All the above. And then China would step in, and give you vaccines. See how America loses this way?

All those are examples of what I mean by “Bidenism is incoherent and inconsistent.” Why enforce vaccine patents which shouldn’t exist? That trickles down into a larger failure that affects Americans. Why is America wracked by Covid all over again? New variant. Where do new variants come from? Undervaccinated populations. Whos that? The entire rest of the world, apart from rich white nations.

What does all that do? It gives Red Staters a feeling of smug validation, even though they might not know it. The world isnt taking vaccines - so why should they? If vaccines were so great, why isn’t there a push to give them to everyone on earth, like there was for smallpox and polio? Maybe the conspiracy theories are true, they imagine.

Biden reinforces the worst tendencies of Americans through inconsistencies - because Red Staters are looking for the tiniest chink through to place the sword of folly and ignorance. And Bide’s giving them ignorance, licensing it, by pretending that enforcing vaccine patents which shouldnҒt exist is perfectly reasonable. Ignorance is ignorance, and when a President ignores reality - then why shouldn’t Red Staters?

Now let’s come to some domestic inconsistencies. Here we need to speak a little brutal plain English. Biden and the Dems will tell you that their domestic agenda is sweeping and grand. It’s not. What’s grand and sweeping. The New Deal was. How big was it? It was equivalent to 40% of the country’s GDP.

Bidenism isn’t even close to that number. His social spending program is maybe, maybe about 10% of GDP over ten years. That’s 1% a year. The New Deal makes that look miniscule - because it is.

Biden’s great inconsistency domestically is this. You can have socioeconomic transformation without investing enough in it. Without building new institutions to manage and incentivise and ignite it. But… can you?

Let me make clearer what I mean. There was never a better time - never - for America to have finally created an American Healthcare System, like Britains NHS, than during Covid. Millions of people needed vaccines, and still do. Millions need long-term care. Right then - right now - is when there should be a push for a whole new institution - an American Healthcare System.

Yes, I know Republicans will oppose it. I know that people on Biden’s own side will, too. Thats obvious. But the job of a leader is not to back down before the fight. Not to step out of the ring before the bell has even rung.

Let me give you another example. What was the best time in recent history to have created a whole new set of financial institutions? What kind do I mean? Banks get - and this is true - endless free money, simply deposited into their accounts at the Fed. WHY DON’T YOU AND I AND EVERY AMERICAN HAVE ACCOUNTS AT THE FED? Why don’t you and I and every American have accounts at the Fed? Why do we have to use private banks - which have a monopoly over capital? Wouldn’t it be more competitive for them to have to outdo the public one? Maybe then they’d finally have a reason to do their job, instead of plunder everyones savings every decade or so, by needing yet another bailout.

See what I mean? America could have a financial system that really showed the world what was possible, what the future looked like, what reimagination was. Everyone gets an account at the central bank. Zap - money’s deposited into it. You can use it for free, and you get a credit line, too, because “debt” is just you borrowing money from me, with hedge funds in the way.

When was the best time to do all that? When Americans needed to get money monthly from the government, because the economy was shutdown due to Covid. But there was no call - none - in the Biden administration to use that as an opportunity for necessary reimagination. So now Americas right back where it began - crippled and hobbled by an obsolete, predatory financial system, which, among other things, charges people interest rates in the thousands of percent, burdens students for life, makes healthcare unaffordable, and has created a nation of debtors who die in debt.

See the problem here? Biden talks a good game about “Building Back Better."But his team doesn’t really know how. All the stuff I’ve discussed with you is way beyond them. If I sat down with Biden’s economics guys, and sketched out the new financial system above - which Americans desperately need - they’d look at me like I’m from Mars. But I’m not from Mars. I’m from Washington, DC, and most of them are, too. But there’s a difference between us.

Biden’s team is made of consummate INSIDERS. And like most insiders, these ones seem to have severe, severe deficits of creativity, imagination, daring, audacity, and self-awareness. Biden left Afghanistan in chaos because Blinken assured him it would be OK - meanwhile, literally anyone with experience in the region, which isnt Blinken, could have told you that doing it this way would lead to disaster. That theme [ inept insiders, with no little to no real-world experience, and less daring, less boldness - is a continual one.

Hence, Biden preaches “Build Back Better” - but they don’t do it. Because they don’t seem to grasp what it must really mean, if its to work. It can’t just be about roads and bridges or even hospitals and schools - but what creates them. Institutions. No institutional transformation, no socioeconomic renewal. It takes financial systems and public agencies to build roads and bridges - better ones. It takes healthcare systems to make hospitals work - better ones.

Biden’s had golden opportunity after opportunity to really Build Back Better. To spearhead true institutional transformation. A healthcare system like Canada or Britain has (even though both countries are on the cusp of destroying theirs.) A financial system that should be the envy of the world again. A foreign policy that isn’t beholden to corporate interests like the WTO. A whole new set of mechanisms for true global cooperation.

Let me leave you with a final example. Biden could have been remembered as the man who eliminated Covid. He could have sat down with every leader in the world, and said: you’re getting this many vaccines, at this time. Agree? Good, thanks. Then he could have turned to Bezos, Zuck, and Elon Musk, and said: EACH OF YOU COULD END COVID SINGLE-HANDEDLY. Contribute, or face the wrath of my executive pen.

Boom. Covid over. It would have been relatively easy. But Biden lackedsomething. Courage? Stomach? Guts? Skin in the game? Vision? It’s hard to say what that deficit in him was and is, still. But instead, Biden did something else. Something disappointing. Something weird. He enforced vaccine patents which shouldn’t exist in the first place. The world is baffled and bewildered by all this. But it wont be baffled for long. It’s already asking - like many Americans are:

Which Joe Biden is the real one? The one who preaches reformation and transformation and progress? Or the man who, time and again, backs down from it, and backs the status quo instead? Like enforcing vaccine patents instead of vaccinating the world.

Were finding out. The answer, my friend, isnҒt pretty. Theres time yet for Biden to change this disastrous course. But only if he and his team begin to understand that this course is disastrous. Because inconsistency and incoherence, as any engineer, logician, or true leader can tell you, only end in one place. Implosion.

Umair
September 2021

SOURCE

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Biden’s First Year Proves He Is Still a “Corporate Socialist” Beholden to Big Business

By Ralph Nader
Democracy Now
January 20, 2022

As President Biden marks one year in office, we speak with former four-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader and The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel, who say Biden has failed so far to sell his agenda to the American people and bring about the transformative policy he campaigned on - from quelling the pandemic to passing his landmark Build Back Better legislation. The two also critique the U.S. mainstream press for asking “war-inciting questions,” with Nader saying “the self-censorship of the press is overwhelming.”

Transcriipt

AMY GOODMAN: We spend the rest of the hour looking at Bidens agenda so far, after he entered office reeling from the violent January 6th insurrection and in the middle of a deadly pandemic, is now facing a new surge in COVID-19, among other challenges.

We’re joined by two guests. Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic, a four-time presidential candidate, hes the author of many books, including Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think. And continuing with us, Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher of The Nation magazine, columnist for The Washington Post.

Ralph Nader, lets begin with you. If you can respond to what we just heard - to say the least, you’re a critic of how Democrats and Republicans deal with elections in this country - and what happened yesterday, and then move on to, overall, what President Biden said yesterday?

RALPH NADER: Well, the two-hour news conference was deliberate. I think he wanted to show his stamina. And he had a great opportunity to communicate a lot of important things, which he didn’t do.

By the same token, the media did not make itself proud. It had a very narrow range of questions, and huge areas were never asked. They never asked about climate disruption and the Republican opposition to doing anything about it. They didn’t ask about the military budget, where Congress gave Biden $24 billion more than the Pentagon even asked for. They didn’t ask about the drain on the Treasury from hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate welfare, which is a kind of corporate socialism. They didn’t ask about the corporate crime wave that is ripping off consumers and exploiting labor in this country and has been reported around the country. And he didn’t raise those questions, either.

They raised the antitrust issue - he raised it, properly, for meatpacking companies controlling and the pricing of meat products. But no one asked him: Well, if hes so keen on antitrust and anti-monopoly policy, why isn’t he demanding larger budgets? There are very few federal antitrust cops on the corporate monopoly beat at the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice.

Most interestingly, the press didn’t ask about what his attorney general is going to do to prosecute Donald Trump. We’ve written letters to Merrick Garland listing one criminal federal statute after another that he openly and brazenly violated, including political events on the White House lawn, which is a crime under the Hatch Act. No answer whatsoever. No special counsel being appointed to investigate and recommend prosecution of this criminal recidivist Donald J. Trump, who has never seen a law that he hasnt violated.

So, if you look at the big picture, it was a very disappointing press conference from both sides - the issues that Biden didn’t raise and the dittohead-type narrow range of questions from the media.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Ralph, one of the issues that Biden did address was, of course, the pandemic. If you could respond to the comments he did make on the pandemic, and the fact that, you know, what’s happened since last May the Biden administration supported a waiver of the COVID-19 vaccines, and Public Citizen, that has come out with a study showing that within a year, 8 billion doses of an mRNA vaccine could be produced for $23 billion - I mean, what more could the Biden administration be doing?

RALPH NADER: Well, they could be leading an international consortium to spend that modest amount for vaccination throughout the Third World. They could be playing much tougher against the drug companies that are being subsidized to levels of profiteering Pfizer, Moderna - and exerting their patent monopoly rights and blocking wider manufacturing of these medicines. They haven’t done that. The report

AMY GOODMAN: Lets talk about that, Ralph. I want to talk specifically about this. I mean, Public Citizen is one of the groups that you founded

RALPH NADER: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN:  that put out that report, and, interestingly, doesn’t call the Moderna vaccine the “Moderna vaccine.” They call it the “NIH-Moderna vaccine,” like you talk about Pfizer-BioNTech, because NIH that is, the people’s health institute of this country, taxpayer-funded had their scientists working on this, as well, provided enormous amount of resources. So, if you can talk specifically, while President Biden was asked, you know, about providing the vaccines to the world, what he specifically could demand, for example, of Moderna, who got the money at the front end, and Pfizer, that was promised the money at the back end, in terms of sharing the recipe, the formula, with factories and manufacturers around the world that are used to producing drugs but just simply don’t have those recipes?

RALPH NADER: Well, the federal government has long had the authority to break these patents in times of emergency, which is clearly the case. He’s not doing it. The World Health Organization has authority to do it, as well. And as Public Citizen reported, we’re talking about $35 billion, which is only a third of Apple corporations stock buyback last year, $90 billion.

So, there wouldn’t be a vaccine without the National Institutes of Health research over the last 25 years. All the basic research is funded by the taxpayer, and the taxpayer doesn’t get much of a return. The taxpayer is basically funding corporate patent monopolies over these drugs. They’re not just the vaccines here but a whole range of drugs. The taxpayer is funding all kinds of drug research and development, so that the drug companies can export their manufacturing of drugs to China and India. We have a national security problem here: There are no antibiotics manufactured in the U.S. And there’s no penicillin manufactured in the U.S. It’s imported from China and India under very inadequate Food and Drug Administration inspection.

So, yeah, I mean, he should make a - he made a big deal saying he’s not a socialist like Bernie Sanders. He is a corporate socialist, completely. He has always, in his career Joe Biden - supported subsidies, handouts, giveaways, bailouts, without any challenge. And hes continuing to do that.

And the reporters didn’t take him to task there. The reporters, either they’re not doing their homework or they’re full of taboos. I mean, they never raise the corporate supremacy over our country. There isnt a single agency in the federal government that isnҒt influenced maximally by corporate lobbies. And Congress is swarmed by corporate lobbies. You have 500 drug company lobbyists full-time assigned to Congress, and there are 535 members of Congress. And these corporations are strategically commercializing every aspect of our society, commercializing childhood, strategically planning the tax system, the food system, the health system, fighting global warming remedies, the fossil fuel industry, ExxonMobil. Theyre planning our genetic inheritance. Commercializing childhood should be a left-right issue, conservative issue. The press never asks about it. The self-censorship of the press is overwhelming. ThatҒs why we have to have a more independent media.

We have to have I mean, look at the coverage of Ukraine. As Katrina pointed out, if our country was invaded in a span of 40 years from the north, with 50 million casualties, what do you think we would do? Do you think we would just station troops on the northern border? We would have taken over the northern country and annexed it. And thatגs why dictator Putin can get away with what hes doing now, in terms of public opinion of the impoverished Russian people, is because they remember. They have their casualties in their families from the western frontiers, started with Napoleon.

And here we are, expanding a military alliance for arms sales for the military-industrial complex, because, as was pointed out, a condition of joining NATO is to buy the F-16 and other weapons in Eastern European countries. NATO is a military alliance organized against the Soviet Union. And now they’re expanding it in Eastern Europe and putting troops there. It’s, here we go again, a completely preventable conflict. What Putin really wants is Ukraine never to join NATO, no strategic offensive weapons in the Ukraine. He’s asking for ending strategic weapons in Europe that is not going to happen.

But the press asks war-inciting questions. NPR asked it. David Sanger asked it. They asked war-inciting questions. Itגs like Vietnam all over again. Its like Iraq all over again. They donҒt ask peace-inciting questions about diplomacy. And this is a dangerous situation, and the press just isnt doing its job. It isnҒt just Biden.

He can’t communicate how the GOP is opposed to everything that’s defined as human. You don’t make moral appeals to the GOP, like Senator Warnock just did. You show that they are opposed to sending $250 and $300 monthly checks to 65 million children, which has stopped now, and the GOP will not expand it. I mean, that’s a good political item to communicate to the American people. Those 65 million children come from conservative and liberal families who are both deprived. He doesn’t know how to communicate. The GOP knows what it wants. It’s messianic. Its fascistic. It’s driven. And the communication from the Democrats, from the DNC to the White House, is weak. Its anemic. And the public senses that.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, letҒs

RALPH NADER: He doesnגt know how to sell his own program.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to President Biden speaking about the Build Back Better Act and both get Ralph Naders response and, overall, Katrina vanden Heuvel’s response, as well.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Yes. I’m confident we can get pieces, big chunks, of the Build Back Better law signed into law.  I think that we can get - and I’ve been talking to a number of my colleagues on the Hill. I think it’s clear that we would be able to get support for the for the $500-plus billion for energy and the environmental issues that are there, number one. Number two, I know that the two people who have opposed, on the Democratic side at least, support a number of the things that are in there. For example, Joe Manchin strongly supports early education, 3 year and 4 years of age, strongly supports that. There is strong support for, I think, a number of the way in which to pay for these - pay for this proposal. So I think there is - and I’m not going to - I’m not going to negotiate against myself as to what should and shouldn’t be in it, but I think we can break the package up, get as much as we can now, and come back and fight for the rest later.

AMY GOODMAN: So, breaking up Build Back Better. Katrina, if you could start by responding both to Build Back Better and, overall, the rest of the news conference that President Biden held yesterday on this first anniversary of his inauguration?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: On the Build Back Better front - first of all, let’s not forget the American Rescue Plan, which $1.9 trillion. It helped cut poverty, child poverty. And if the child tax credits continued, you could continue 40% reduction in poverty for a long, long time. Bernie Sanders thought that was the most consequential legislation for working people in decades. You had the bipartisan infrastructure plan. But it’s this Build Back Better, of course, that is in play.

There is a move on to come back next week, in the progressive side of Congress, and put back a plan that was laid out in November. I hate to do the numbers, because I think the media did a great disservice by sort of cutting the numbers every day instead of laying out what was in the plan, or maybe saying 1% of GDP instead of, in one New York Times story, “tax and spend,” huge piece of legislation. But I think theyre going to come back with climate, child care and tax stuff, and find a way to move that forward and connect it to the social, racial, economic justice of a voting rights bill and what we’ve seen this past week. So, that seems to me this next week is going to really be a push on trying to put back Build Back together Build Back Better, and not in the way the moderates in the Congress look at it, the House moderates, not piece by piece, but a more transformative bill, not the $6.4 trillion, to use a number.

In terms of picking up on what Ralph said, I do think Biden ח you know, a long press conference, rambling press conference, doesnt make up for maybe speaking to the people every month. I wrote a column a year ago about fireside chats. Maybe thatҒs maudlin. Maybe thats not his form. But the messaging, connecting to people, speaking to people җ not only speaking, but laying out who the villains are, laying out some of what Ralph said, in a maybe more homespun way but itגs surprising that he has failed in that way. You know, he could have, I think, done better. Of course hes not a socialist, but the need to say that is always part of the trope.

And I do think Ralph is absolutely right. In the media, you get җ the media whos in that room, the media in that room, that press room, is, for example, asking war-inciting questions. The questions are leading to the answers they want. And you donҒt get itגs kind of a suffocating consensus of questions in that room. And I remember Helen Thomas on the eve of Iraq, who was kind of mocked by her colleagues because she was asking tough questions of President Bush, who was ready for air balls. And thats really, I think, very sad. And whatҒs not on the agenda are the kinds of questions Ralph asked maybe not as tough as Ralph would ask them, but framed in a way that would really produce some news thatגs needed, necessary news for the American people.

One last thing on the mandate, the mask. With the Supreme Court decision, thats not been reported sufficiently, in my mind, about test җ vaccinated and test, I mean, that is shocking that the Supreme Court itגs not shocking, in the same way President Biden should not be shocked by the Republican Party as it exists today. But that the Supreme Court essentially sided with death, I think, in that COVID decision is something we should think long and hard about.

AMY GOODMAN: And very quickly, Ralph Nader, responding to Build Back Better being broken up.

RALPH NADER: Yeah. There are two major omissions here. He didnt push his tax increases for corporations and the corporate rich, the super rich, which he proposed, because these programs are not supposed to be on the backs of our descendants, in terms of deficits. They should be paid for by restoring the tax system to the level of the prosperous ‘60s, when the corporations paid much higher taxes. And he didn’t take advantage there.

And he didn’t take advantage of - he calls himself a union guy. He should have pushed for the $15 minimum wage through the Senate. He should have showed how the Republicans are against almost everything that he’s proposing that has huge popular polls, left-right support, from the social safety net to rebuilding America in community after community with the support of the local Chamber of Commerce and local unions. He missed that. And he didn’t push the bill that his own Democrats passed in the House, languishing in the Senate, to make it easier for workers to form unions.

And most critically, these programs are going to fail if they don’t deal with audits and anti-corruption efforts inside. The inspector general for the Small Business Administration has been pointing out for years that the big companies are ripping off the payroll protection plan. They don’t deserve it. Some corporate law firms actually got money from the corporate protection plan, which is designed mostly for small business. So, if the press doesn’t want to ask these very fundamental questions, that doesn’t mean that Biden’s advisers shouldn’t have emphasized in his original message at the press conference to highlight these areas.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Katrina, we just have a minute left. His press conference took place at a time when his approval ratings in his first year are extremely, substantially lower than when he began. What are the likely consequences of this for the midterms later this year?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: Not pretty. But he has time to turn it around. A day, you know, a week in politics is a whole other time factor. But he needs to do some things that are both morally and strategically important - student loan debt, some of those issues, use executive actions in ways not to - to speak to a base that is demoralized but could be put back together. A lot of work ahead, but I think it’s possible. Turnout

AMY GOODMAN: Were going to leave it there, but we thank you both so much for being with us, Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher of The Nation magazine, columnist for The Washington Post - we’ll link to her pieces and to The Nation - and Ralph Nader, four-time presidential candidate, consumer advocate extraordinaire.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/26/21 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Privacy And Rights • Section Dying America
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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Senior Community Service Employment Program

image: no job

Over 55, Unemployed and Looking for Work?

For more than 50 years, the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) has provided older adults 55 and older with opportunities to fill entry- and mid-level positions with employers in their local communities. AARP Foundation SCSEP has successfully moved thousands of older job seekers into jobsproviding them with opportunities to use their skills while also offering valuable work experience.

Interested in Becoming a SCSEP Participant?

Call 855-850-2525. 

How it Works

AARP Foundations SCSEP program provides both community service and work-based training.

Working an average of 20 hours a week, older job seekers are paid the highest of federal, state or local minimum wage and are compensated by SCSEP directly. The job seekers are placed in a wide variety of community service activities at non-profit and public facilities like day care centers, senior centers, schools and hospitals. This on-the-job training experience can then be used as a bridge to find employment opportunities outside of the program.

Who’s Eligible?

To participate, you must be:

Age 55 or older

Unemployed

Financially qualified

AARP FoundationҒs SCSEP program (CFDA 17.235) is funded with $77,808,096 million in grants with U.S. Department of Labor funds. This funding provides 90% of the support for SCSEP, with AARP Foundation matching 10% ($8.774,913 million). AARP Foundation operates in 19 states and Puerto Rico.

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Online SCSEP Application Information

Below is the link for you to start your Online Application:

https://www.scsep.org/OnlineApplication

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: A critical part of the application is uploading copies of documents that will be used to determine income eligibility.  Therefore, prior to starting the application, be sure to have copies of your income documents from the last 12 months scanned onto your computer or phone FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER IN YOUR HOME and ready to upload to your application:

1. Pay Stubs or other documents showing earnings received each month for the last 12 months
2. Social Security Statements for the current and previous year
3. Pension Statements
4. Annuities
5. Veteran Payments
6. Disability Statements (Ex. Social Security Disability ..SSDI)
7. Public Assistance documents (Unemployment Compensation, Public Housing, Medicaid, SNAP, Supplemental Security Income)
8. Any other source of family household income for the last 12 months

After you complete the Online SCSEP Application, you will be contacted by an AARP Foundation SCSEP representative from the local office within 5 to 10 business days to discuss and complete your application.  If you have any specific question regarding the documents you need to collect, please writethose questions down ask those questions to the AARP Foundation SCSEP Representative when they call you back.

During the call back, if you are determined to be income eligible, the AARP Foundation SCSEP Representative will continue completing a full application with you.  As part of the full application, you will also need to provide copies of:

A) Driver’s License or State ID
B) Social Security Card
C) DD214 (If you are a veteran)
D) A voided check from your checking account that will be used to set up your Direct Deposit

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Not Eligible-Due to County of Residence

If you reside in a county that is not serviced by AARP Foundation,you can visit the link below to find the organization that offers the SCSEP in your county:

https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/EmploymentAndTraining/find-older-worker-programs.aspx

Click on the link below to see if AARP Foundation Back to Work 50+ can assist you.

https://www.aarpfoundation.org/backtowork

Click on the link below to search for free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more.

https://local.aarpfoundation.org/

Posted by Elvis on 09/22/21 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Job Hunt
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