Categories
Pinboard

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.

Categories
Pinboard

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.

Categories
Pinboard

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.

Categories
Pinboard

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?

Categories
Pinboard

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

Categories
Pinboard

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.”

Categories
Pinboard

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.

Categories
Pinboard

Reading: The Science and Politics of Masks in the Covid-19 Pandemic

From The Science and Politics of Masks in the Covid-19 Pandemic

It’s for you, not for me.

Categories
Pinboard

Reading: Fire, pestilence and a country at war with itself: the Trump presidency is over

From Fire, pestilence and a country at war with itself: the Trump presidency is over

Robert Reich, in The Guardian, on trump’s lack of action:

He tweets bogus threats that he has no power to carry out – withholding funds from states that expand absentee voting, “overruling” governors who don’t allow places of worship to reopen “right away”, and punishing Twitter for factchecking him.

And he lies incessantly.

In reality, Donald Trump doesn’t run the government of the United States. He doesn’t manage anything. He doesn’t organize anyone. He doesn’t administer or oversee or supervise. He doesn’t read memos. He hates meetings. He has no patience for briefings. His White House is in perpetual chaos.

Trump’s nonfeasance goes far beyond an absence of leadership or inattention to traditional norms and roles. In a time of national trauma, he has relinquished the core duties and responsibilities of the presidency.

He is no longer president. The sooner we stop treating him as if he were, the better.

Categories
Pinboard

Reading: Reopening Indiana University? Troubled Reflections of a Wayward Professor

From Reopening Indiana University? Troubled Reflections of a Wayward Professor

Very complete and compelling analysis of IU’s re-opening plan by Jeffrey Isaac, a professor of Political Science at the university. Brings a much-missing public policy perspective to the discussion. Brings, also, the much-needed insider knowledge of how state university system admins make and affirm decisions with limited input and administrative blinders – in this case, a report that assumes comprehensiveness by limiting its scope. A close reading that ought to be taken to all university re-opening plans.

These [pedagogical and financial questions] are the serious questions that IU strategic planning ought to be considering, through a serious deliberative process that incorporates the full range of relevant knowledge in the institution and that is transparent.

Most of the top administrators at IU are also colleagues, fellow humans who once experienced life on campus the way their employees do, and who truly care about the moral issues at stake.

I know that they face great pressure to reopen.

And I hope that they listen to their colleagues, like me, who are asking them to resist this pressure, and to do the right thing, and come up with a feasible plan to keep IU running as a viable and serious educational institution over the coming year without a premature reopening of campus, so that we can reopen at a later and a safer date in a way that is true to the university’s mission as a public institution of higher learning and safe and autonomous human flourishing.