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Reading: Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus – The New York Times

From Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus – The New York Times

Gobsmacked.

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Reading: Georgia’s Republican governor orders cities to stop requiring masks

From Georgia’s Republican governor orders cities to stop requiring masks

Ars reports on Georgia Gov Kemp’s mandate that undercuts local mandates to wear masks:

Kemp also went on a tour of various cities to encourage mask wearing, but he has said, “we don’t need a government mandate to do the right thing.”

Kemp’s executive order attempts to void rules that “at least 15 local governments across the state had adopted even though Kemp had earlier said cities and counties had no power to order masks,” the Associated Press wrote. Kemp has declined to impose a statewide mandate for Georgia,

A mandate that declares we don’t need a mandate, used to undercut a mandate to do The Right Thing. ‘Pataphysics thrives in the time of chaos.

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Reading: Cornish drinkers catch a different kind of buzz as pub installs electric fence at bar • The Register

From Cornish drinkers catch a different kind of buzz as pub installs electric fence at bar • The Register

A friend of ours was interested in a 6’ long cattle prod for social distancing.

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Reading: Donald Trump rushed to reopen America – now Covid is closing in on him

From Donald Trump rushed to reopen America – now Covid is closing in on him

Robert Reich, at The Guardian, is more on top of things than the current admin. We’re not adding jobs; we’re not even catching up to where we were:

The US economy isn’t roaring back. Just over half of Americans have jobs now, the lowest figure in more than 70 years. What’s roaring back is Covid-19. Until it’s tamed, the American economy doesn’t stand a chance

And it’s not getting better:

Brace yourself. Not only will the virus take many more lives in the months ahead, but millions of Americans are in danger of becoming destitute. Extra unemployment benefits enacted by Congress in March are set to end on 31 July. About one in five people in renter households are at risk of eviction by 30 September. Delinquency rates on mortgages have more than doubled since March.

An estimated 25 million Americans have lost or will lose employer-provided health insurance. America’s fragile childcare system is in danger of collapse, with the result that hundreds of thousands of working parents will not be able to return to work even if jobs are available.

This picture is too big for trump.

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Reading: Play This Stuff I Made – @samplereality

From Play This Stuff I Made – @samplereality

Mark Sample posted his recent work. Lockdown, isolation, resistance, despair. All good, but The Infinite Catalog of Crushed Dreams (April 2020) is my favorite – a mid-summer report on the state of the nation.

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Reading: National Mask Mandate Could Save 5 Percent of GDP, Economists Say – Slashdot

From National Mask Mandate Could Save 5 Percent of GDP, Economists Say – Slashdot

Discussion continues – but at 6’ separation, please.

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Reading: US hits 40K COVID-19 cases in a day, experts brace for rise in deaths, Pence delivers an encomium to a virus

From US hits 40K COVID-19 cases in a day, experts brace for rise in deaths, Pence delivers an encomium to a virus

As Ars reports it, Pence’s encomium for a virus stirs up some deep deception.

“As we see the new cases rising—and we’re tracking them very carefully—there may be a tendency among the American people to think that we are back to that place that we were two months ago, that we’re in a time of great losses and great hardship on the American people,” Pence said. “The reality is we’re in a much better place.”

How so?

Pence also noted that though cases are increasing, deaths are decreasing. He noted that treatment and care have improved for severely ill patients and many new cases are seen in people under 35—who are at less risk of developing severe disease and dying.

There’s something both irresponsible and reality-denying about this. It certainly smacks of Trump’s trope, “just lay back and enjoy the ride.” But put a mask on, ok?

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Reading: Poll Highlights Sobering Toll of Coronavirus on Students

From Poll Highlights Sobering Toll of Coronavirus on Students

“Dire” is an understatement. Mn State Universities haven’t yet mentioned how they are going to address the main educational concerns. I trust they are thinking about it, but haven’t mentioned that, either.

The fallback is to trust the faculty for advice and advising. Get students connected with their instructors, face-to-social-distance face, or video call. The faculty can then advise the administration on what to try.

Then there’s 15 Scenarios

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Reading: Trump rally sign-up includes disclaimer about potential COVID-19 exposure | TheHill

From Trump rally sign-up includes disclaimer about potential COVID-19 exposure | TheHill

I have attend caucuses and primaries and city and county meetings and labor strikes and sit-down protests and anti-war and CND and anti-fascist demonstrations w/o a request for a liability release. These rallies must be risky.

Bah. Rally at your own risk. Admission of contagious situation.

The page for guests to sign up for free tickets to the event includes a disclaimer related to the virus.

“By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present,” the statement reads.

“By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.”

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Reading: How to protect your identity while protesting police brutality

From How to protect your identity while protesting police brutality

Hoffman’s “Steal This Book” returns for 2020.