Restaurant and bar owners just keep on offering evidence that capitalism is irredeemably evil and must be abolished. They get to pay their workers a mere $2.83 per hour (Pennsylvania tipped minimum wage). They’re capitalists. They exploit their workers. They took a RISK. That’s all part of capitalism. And that RISK means when they lose, they lose.
They deserve to lose especially when they get to pay their workers nearly nothing. Put anybody who defies health orders out of business permanently. Throw them in prison and throw away the key.
I hadn’t realized just how poorly paid restaurant workers are, on a tipped minimum wage. They say they’re bearing the brunt of the reopening and I have to say, a couple times I ate at Burgatory, and I was seated at the bar, immediately across from where a worker washed dishes or prepared drinks. We weren’t even close to being properly socially distanced and it isn’t permitted under the present orders but do I believe the accounts in this story? Hell, yes.
It’s still mostly bars and restaurants where most people are getting infected with the novel coronavirus in Allegheny County, but private parties are increasingly cropping up in contact tracing efforts. From what I can see, driving by, people flatly are not social distancing at these events and are not wearing masks. Period. And hospitalizations, the count of which lags behind that of cases, seem to be spiking.
And as for that insanity about opening schools? Forget it. This is a really, really bad, asinine idea. Because whatever previous research says, you know the research I said to treat with caution, it’s looking more and more like children might be able to spread the novel coronavirus and it’s crucial to remember first, that we aren’t just talking about the kids themselves, but everyone they come into contact with, at home, at school, or anywhere else, inevitably including people who are vulnerable; and second, that if we can’t even get adults to wear masks and socially distance, then we sure as hell aren’t going to be able to get kids to.
The nation currently has 5.4 million job openings, according to the Labor Department, which is not nearly enough for the roughly 18 million Americans who are officially unemployed and the 33 million who are currently receiving unemployment benefits.
I can’t resist noting that I have continued to make all my payments on time throughout the novel coronavirus crisis. But my credit rating still sucks—it is only “fair,” according to the Credit Karma app. I have to wonder if credit ratings are really all they’re supposed to be, because the banks are bracing for a wave of defaults from folks whose credit ratings will often be better than mine.
Case counts are spiking around the country, including in Allegheny County, where according to notifications I’ve received from the Health Department, there were 331 new cases yesterday and 246 today, but the Pennsylvania legislature is still determined to try to strip the governor of emergency powers to try to stem the pandemic.
2. Limbaugh’s praise of the Donner Party as heroic cannibals is not an outlier. He was in fact channelling earlier arguments made along this line by William Bennett & David Frum. As @jholbo1 noted long ago, this exaltation of the Donner flesh-eaters helps us understand the right
3. Earlier, Alex Jones laid out the logical endgame of the right: “I will eat my neighbors…I’m literally looking at my neighbors now and going, ‘I’m ready to hang ’em up and gut ’em and skin ’em.’”
Alex Jones: “I’ll eat my neighbors… I’ll eat your ass.”
4. Cannibalism is, I’d argue, one of the logical endgames of a certain type of libertarian individualism (incest is the other endgame). After all, if it’s survival of the fittest and dog eat dog, why wouldn’t you put your neighbor on the grill?
5. Is cannibalism a good solution for Covid? Spoiler alert: I don’t think so but I explore why cannibalism does provide a model for what is happening: thenation.com/article/politi…
I wonder if that plan to help renters is bottled up in committee for the same stupid-ass reason as the recreational marijuana bill. Meanwhile, time is running out and you know it won’t be the psychopaths who refuse to wear masks and refuse to social distance because they wanna go to bars who wind up homeless.
It’s been a hot and dry few days. But as I’m about to hit publish here, look what just appeared to our west (in eastern Ohio):
Don’t know that it will come our way and suspect it won’t change the pattern much, but there it is.
George Monbiot conflates the situations of the U.S. and the U.K., declines to call that conflation fascism, and distinguishes this conflation from fascism on specious grounds. I’m beginning to sense a pattern: It is not intellectually fashionable to invoke the f-word (“fascism”), so people bend over backwards to explain how our situation is different so they can still style themselves ‘intellectuals.’
I call what is happening in the U.S. fascism because, crucially, it seeks to build political support through violence, whether structural or physical, against subaltern groups, especially nonwhites and the poor, that enables further violence against those groups. That’s different from what Monbiot says is happening in the U.K., but Monbiot is criticizing anti-intellectualism in both countries and this is how he grounds his conflation.
I’m not prepared to call intellectuals a subaltern group in either country, though I certainly feel a temptation. Whether I would call the U.K. fascist depends on its treatment of subaltern groups and, while I’m not prepared to excuse that treatment, I’m also not prepared to say that that treatment is part of a feedback loop. Here is my previous definition of fascism from the previous update on May 16:
Fascism is an ideology that seeks to institutionalize structural and physical violence against some or many subaltern groups on the grounds of bigotry and to increase its own public support through the exploitation of such violence and bigotry. This bigotry may take several forms including nationalism, scapegoating, sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. To the extent that it succeeds, it acts as a self-reinforcing feedback as public support enables further and more extreme violence.
If, on the other hand, I am to consider intellectuals a subaltern group, it cannot be all intellectuals. Some, like economists who enable an intellectually utterly discredited neoliberalism and those who support the political class in other ways, are often richly rewarded. Professors who cling to tenure hardly seem subaltern to me. So I would need a way to distinguish between outcast intellectuals, those who are not sycophants for the ruling class, and those who are.
That’s not as easy as it sounds. It can’t simply be that intellectuals who agree with me are subaltern, but ideological sycophancy might be one distinguishing feature of non-subaltern intellectuals. There are books on my shelf I haven’t gotten to that might help with this and Sergio Caldarella criticizes ideological conformity. There may also be economic considerations: What if the surplus of Ph.D. holders functions, intentionally or not, to undermine intellectuals’ leverage in the marketplace, and therefore intellectualism at large?
For now, I just don’t know. A group I might more easily include as subaltern is that of dissidents. Monbiot criticizes the elite response to intellectual dissent in the U.S. and the U.K., but what if the real objection authoritarian populists and elites have with those Monbiot calls intellectuals isn’t to their intellectualism but rather to their ideas?
So here is how I am further refining my definition:
Fascism is an ideology that seeks to institutionalize structural and physical violence against some or many subaltern groups on the grounds of bigotry and to increase its own public support through the exploitation of such violence and bigotry. This bigotry may take several forms including the repression of dissent or the promotion of nationalism, scapegoating, sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. To the extent that it succeeds, it acts as a self-reinforcing feedback as public support enables further and more extreme violence.
You just can’t stop dipping can you @DebraMessing? Your connotation is racist🤬. 1. Black voters are not owned by anyone. Our vote should be earned every election cycle. 2. We can think for ourselves & don’t need your help. 3. Sometimes it’s best to stay out of family business. https://t.co/RVsqJFDbS4
I think Nina Turner might be missing a point here that Donald Trump himself may have put Kanye West up to this.
Amid a dizzying array of—I’m failing to find an adequate word—bullshit emanating from the White House since Trump took office, there was that visit. Yes, Kanye West visited the White House, gave a speech, appeared with the delusional raging narcissist-in-chief.
[Kanye] West spoke to reporters for nearly 10 minutes in the Oval Office. Wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, he repeatedly complimented [Donald] Trump, who nodded in agreement. . . .
Trump was asked whether he thought West could be a future presidential candidate, and responded “could very well be.”
And we know that Trump may well be planning to retain office even if he loses the election, which is to very strongly suggest that even in his demented condition, Trump realizes he could lose.
Turner’s tweet is righteous and Debra Messing’s tweet might be partisan, but there is an obvious practical consideration here in which West might siphon enough votes that might otherwise go to Joe Biden to deprive the latter of victory. Much depends on the relative popularity of the two men—and, though the ploy is pretty fucking obvious, not just among Blacks. That’s something I honestly can’t assess. Because popular culture just ain’t my thing.
I do wonder what my old formerly favorite professor, the one who had no answer for and resented being asked the question of whether a political system that depends on war crimes should survive, thinks.
I want to say I don’t know what people were expecting. The trouble is, that wouldn’t be accurate. This is absolute, and absolutely inexcusable, reckless disregard.
In an attempt to quell the surge in new cases, Allegheny County officials ordered all bars, restaurants and casinos to halt on-premises dining, expanding an order earlier this week that banned the on-site consumption of alcohol. Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday expanded an order to make masks mandatory in outdoor situations where social distancing can’t be maintained.
Don’t believe me?
“I know that people were angry and frustrated with recent developments including the surge in cases, the prior order and recommendations, as well as the state mask order,” said Dr. Debra Bogen, director of the county health department.
She actually had to say that. The behavior that leads to this increase in cases is criminal. They are psychopaths but lock ’em up anyway and throw away the fucking key.
We are not talking about essential expendable workers here. We are not talking about the unemployed. We are talking about young adults, old enough to know better, who have the funds to go to bars and who just don’t give a damn.
Actually, it’s not one but two “fiscal time bombs” as enhanced unemployment benefits run out and local and state governments run out of money and are forced to lay off more people than they already have.
But due to the same sort of absolute reckless disregard that’s leading Allegheny County to clamp down on bars and restaurants, Catherine Rampell’s plea for more economic relief will likely go unheeded.
There’s no commentary in this issue. I had to take my car into the dealer because the dreaded “Check Hybrid System” indication came on. It looked to me, from what I could see, that the system is in fact still working. I can only hope that that means the battery has not gone bad.
It’d probably cost something like $4,000 to replace that battery. I don’t have it and, frankly, the car isn’t worth it. As of last night, the cost per mile clocked in at 34¢ per mile; this’d likely double that, putting it well past the IRS mileage allowance, even without depreciation.
I’m terrified. And I’m unlikely to hear before the end of the week because it’ll take that long before they even get to it.
Though the data is “proprietary” (really? for a government health agency?), it appears that Pennsylvania is making some progress against the pandemic. The trouble here is that nobody has hermetically sealed borders. The rise in other states remains a serious threat.