No, Donald Trump, Americans are not dying to work – work may cause them to die

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/24/donald-trump-fox-news-sean-hannity-dying-to-work-coronavirus

The president, the Republican party and their Fox News cheerleaders care only for corporate profit


Sun 24 May 2020

Most of Europe and all 50 US states are in various stages of “reopening”. But why, exactly?

The pandemic is still with us. After the first tentative steps to ease the lockdown in Germany – the most successful large European country in halting the spread of the virus, thanks to massive testing – the disease has shown signs of spreading faster.

At least Germany is opening slowly and carefully, as is the rest of the EU.

By contrast, the US – with the highest number of deaths and most haphazard response to Covid-19 of any advanced nation – is opening chaotically, each state on its own. Some are lifting restrictions overnight.

Researchers expect the reopenings to cause thousands of additional deaths.

Two weeks after Texas’ governor, Greg Abbott, began reopening, the state experienced the single-highest rise in cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Since Nebraska reopened on 4 May, Covid-19 cases in Colfax county alone surged 1,390%.

Experts warn that Dallas, Houston, Florida’s Gold Coast, the entire state of Alabama and several other places in the south that have rapidly reopened their economies are in danger of a second wave of coronavirus infections over the next four weeks.

Last Monday, Ford reopened its large North American assembly plants. On Tuesday, it closed and reopened its Chicago Assembly plant twice in less than 24 hours, after two workers tested positive for Covid-19. On Wednesday, Ford temporarily shut its Dearborn, Michigan truck plant after an employee tested positive, then promptly resumed operations.

So why “reopen” so abruptly, when Covid-19 continues to claim lives?

The main reason given is to get the economy moving again. But this begs the question of why an economy exists in the first place, other than to promote the wellbeing of people within it.

Both Ford plants are vital to the company’s profitability, and that profitability is important to jobs in the midwest. But surely the wellbeing of Ford workers, their families, the people of Chicago and Dearborn and others are more important.

A related argument is that workers are clamoring to return to their jobs. “People want to get back to work,” Trump has asserted repeatedly. Fox News host Sean Hannity claims people are “dying to get back to work”, seemingly unaware of the irony of his words.

Polls suggest otherwise. Americans whose jobs require them to leave home express trepidation about doing so: 60% fear exposing their families to Covid-19.

Many Americans must return to work because they need the money, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Rich economies can support their people for years if necessary. During the second world war, America shut down most of its economy for nearly four years.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/24/donald-trump-fox-news-sean-hannity-dying-to-work-coronavirus

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‘Believe All Women’ Is a Right-Wing Trap

I got over the idea that I had to believe everything anyone told me because of who they were by about the age of five or so.  That goes for politicians and professors, advertising and everyone else.  Individuals have varying levels of ethics and honesty.  You have to look at their histories to gauge probable levels of credibility.

Living your life by political slogans means setting aside your personal internal fact check.  People on the left can and often are just as stupid and dogmatic a herd of slogan regurgitating sheep as the Trumpster Tea Baggers.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/18/opinion/tara-reade-believe-all-women.html

How feminists got stuck answering for a canard.

By Susan Faludi
May 18, 2020

Joe Biden has been accused of sexual assault, and conservatives are having a field day, exultant that they’ve caught feminists in a new hypocrisy trap. A woman, with no corroboration beyond contemporaneous accounts, charges a powerful man with a decades-old crime? Hmm, doesn’t that sound mighty close to Christine Blasey Ford’s complaint against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh? Yet this time, many liberals who’ve championed the #MeToo movement seem skeptical?

Gotcha!

Tim Graham, executive editor of NewsBusters: “Where is the #MeToo movement on this story? What happened to their rigid ‘Believe All Women’ boilerplate?”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson: “the infuriating, the sickening hypocrisy of the media and the professional feminist movement. ‘Believe All Women!’ No they don’t.”

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway: “Three magic words, ‘Believe All Women.’ I didn’t hear an asterisk; I didn’t see a footnote, ‘Believe All Women so long as they are attacking somebody aligned with President Trump, Believe All Women so long as they are — have a college degree or better or are — are for abortion in the ninth month.’”

In fact, “Believe All Women” does have an asterisk: *It’s never been feminist “boilerplate.” What we are witnessing is another instance of the right decrying what it imagines the American women’s movement to be.

Spend some mind-numbing hours tracking the origins of “Believe All Women” on social media sites and news databases — as I did — and you’ll discover how language, like a virus, can mutate overnight. All of a sudden, yesterday’s quotes suffer the insertion of some foreign DNA that makes them easy to weaponize. In this case, that foreign intrusion is a word: “all.”

“All” insertion was all the rage during the Kavanaugh hearings. When senators from Kamala Harris to Mazie Hirono had their regard for Dr. Blasey’s credibility elevated by Fox News pundits to universal gender credulity, their actual words, “I believe her,” became believe all women. “That’s literally the hashtag,” former Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus said in February 2019. “There’s a great search function on Twitter, and you can search the #BelieveAllWomen. For those of you who don’t believe that’s what the Democrats had in the case of Kavanaugh.”

Is there “literally” a hashtag? Well, kind of.

Meaningfully tracking hashtags on Twitter is a confounding chore, even for the professional data scrapers I consulted. “It’s a very interesting rabbit hole,” Pablo Morales Henry, digital archivist at Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library, which maintains a collection of more than 30 million MeToo-related tweets, told me.

Nevertheless, let’s take the Ortagus challenge. As she noted, Twitter has a search function that, while hardly “great,” does at least crudely reflect the site’s use — especially by its most popular users who are most likely to spread a hashtag far and wide. For instance, type in #BlackLivesMatter or #MakeAmericaGreatAgain” for 2016, and you get a bottomless well of references. Type in #BelieveAllWomen for 2017, when the #MeToo movement took off in October, and you get several dozen references, followed in 2018 (the year of the Kavanaugh hearings) by many more. But here’s the thing: I found that the hashtag is, by a wide margin, used mostly by its detractors.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/18/opinion/tara-reade-believe-all-women.html