Friday, September 11, 2020

Oh yeah.... it is 9/11

 The pandemic has eclipsed 9/11 not only in the number of dead on that particular day (65 X more than 9-11 as of this moment in time...-- of course if we look at all of the people killed in response to 9-11 the war on "terror" wins as of this moment in time) but if the talking dog is correct (and I have no doubt he is) the economic cost of 19 years of "the war on terror" is already eclipsed by the pandemic.

But I digress... I always turn to my friend the talking dog on 9-11 because he was actually in NY - a block away from the towers.

Once again... where was I? I guess I was trying to point out that our various handlings of September 11th, a catastrophic global war on everyone, everywhere whose "war prize" seems to be holding 40 Muslim men (some were captured as boys) in a Cuban gulag with the occasional "flawed" ersatz judicial proceeding (both military commissions and what passes for habeas corpus), to the financial crisis of 2007-9 (something like zero bankers and those responsible facing actual jail), or of course, the current pandemic (disastrous handling of everything leading to nearly 200,000 American deaths and counting) show that we are damaged goods as a society (I attribute it to American Exceptionalism in my book of that title), and to the point, seem to know the monetary cost of everything, but the value (or in the reverse case, the actual risks) of nothing.

Hence, the pathological focus on a far-off vaccine for no other reason than it will be expensive and money will be made, rather than on developing a population with its own improved immune systems to lower risk at a lower cost (you might try vitamins B complex, C and D, especially D, zinc, selenium and quercetin, with N-A-C and elderberry optional-- at least those are my go-to supplements now). Or of course, "mixed messaging" on mask wearing, even now.

But I digress. This here blog started a week after 9-11. On that day, I was, of course, working a block north of the WTC and got a ringside 16th floor window view of events, which, I confess, have probably traumatized me less than many people who watched it on television. I lost a couple of people I knew, and I lost my job (proximity!) But maybe because it was such a useful event to justify a military action that was already baked into the cake, there seemed to be a consensus that this was "a national moment," as good-wishes poured into NYC from everywhere, all over the country and all over the world.

Read the whole thing here.

From our Friends down under at Justinian...


Reelecting the thief-in-chief

US elections ... Republican plots to steal the outcome ... Supreme Court in the wings ... Declaration of an election "emergency" ... Prospects of state and federal criminal indictments ... Fictions at the Republican National Convention ... Long-term Washington hand Roger Fitch reports 

With eight weeks to go, America is lurching towards electoral disaster. In 15 years covering Washington, Fitch has seen a lot, but the extraordinary crimes of Donald Trump, the institutional damage he has inflicted, go far beyond George Bush's criminal mischief. They threaten the republic itself, at least the part that survived Bush v Gore, the supreme court's notorious intervention in the 2000 election: partisan meddling that could happen again

In the light of Bush v Gore, maybe the eighteenth century republic never made it into the twenty-first: in either one, Trump qualifies as the worst, most dishonest president in American history. Even petty grifts are assiduously pursued. What else can one expect? He assumes everyone is as venal as himself, including political appointees and government hires. As New York Magazine observed in 2018:

"It is hardly a coincidence that so many greedy people have filled the administration's ranks. Trump's ostentatious crudeness and misogyny are a kind of human-resources strategy. Radiating personal and professional sleaze lets him quickly and easily identify individuals who have any kind of public ethics and to sort them out ... Trump is legitimately excellent at cultivating an inner circle unburdened by legal or moral scruples. These are the only kind of people who want to work for Trump, and the only kind Trump wants to work for him."