Coronavirus Update: Dispatches, 10 April 2020
Coronavirus Dispatches: 14 April 2020

Coronavirus Dispatches: 13 April 2020

Another Format Change: One I Hope Will Enhance Readability

YES WANTONLY TARDY BUT this time without regret beyond the need to apologize for any resultant  inconvenience because this late posting is the unavoidable consequence of the unanticipated re-activation of a near-lifelong obsession  as confessed beneath the other reason for this belatedness: a format-redesign suggested by a few readers who tell me that while they regard the present form of Dispatches as vital, they also suspect it may include so many links their sheer number might be off-putting not only to the chronically busy but even to normally preoccupied people. 

Hence -- with thanks to those who verbalized what I sensed but could not put into words  -- the following changes:

(1)-To shorten these contents without sacrificing their relevance -- and also to abbreviate my work here enough I can begin focusing on other essential projects -- I will publish only one daily story-link to news websites that update only once a day. I'll publish more links  -- though still only one per update -- as required by websites that publish multiple news anthologies and commentaries throughout the day. That one link (as in the case of CounterPunch) -- or as many as four or five links (as in the case of Reader Supported News) -- not only get us into their respective websites but position us to scan their full contents and thereby choose what else we might want to read, which in turn relieves me of any need to dare guess what someone else might find relevant. 

(2)-When there is a separate lead story, as there was yesterday and as there is today, there will be no "General News" category; indeed that category will henceforth be reserved for news and comment that seemingly has no connection to the virus pandemic but is at least contextually relevant.   

(3)-While I will (of course) continue to follow the report-selection criteria outlined in the left-hand column, I will publish no more than a half-dozen selections in each category, with each story chosen as the best-available alternative-media exemplification of whatever horror it exposes.

My hope is these changes will make Dispatches more universally useful. Please feel free to comment either in support or opposition.


Apropos last Friday's "Unprecedented" report and last Wednesday's "Risk Drowning in Your Own Snot" analysis of the Wisconsin horror,  New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman addresses  some of  the same frightful probabilities in a report for access to which we should most emphatically thank Reader Supported News (preferably with a donation) and its Founder/Publisher/Editor Marc Ash.


Reliable anthologies of pandemic reports (scroll for whatever you deem relevant):

Virus Outbreak
Updated constantly by the Associated Press.

Black Agenda Report
Updated regularly. In my opinion, the best, most informative, most relevant political website on the U.S. Internet. 

RT - Breaking news, shows, podcasts
Democratic (sic) Party Big Lies and Republican censorship not withstanding, this site provides what is often the most truthful reporting available to us in the United States. Updated often.

TASS Russian News Agency
Just as Propagandamaster Bezos' WaPo gives us the Predatory Plutocrats' perspective, so does this site -- formerly Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (Телегра́фное аге́нтство Сове́тского Сою́за, Telegrafnoye agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza) -- give us, in English,  the often-radically different Russian government's perspective. (It's history, dating from 1904, makes interesting reading for mediaphyles.) Updated often.

Ditto for the news agency of the People's Republic of China. Xinhua's reports are regularly updates and its history is here.

Must Reads from The Washington Post
Useful information listed last because I deplore the arrogant intrusiveness implicit in the notion of "must reads," and because -- as applies to anything originating in  the diverse bailiwicks over which  Propagandamaster Bezos's kings it so imperiously -- we should never forget how he protects himself and his fellow predatory plutocrats with self- censorship1 and warmongering lies.

Indications of the pandemic's true magnitude and consequences:

As COVID-19 death toll mounts, US ruling class demands a more rapid return to work

Cuba enraged over ‘cruel & genocidal’ US blockade impeding anti-coronavirus efforts

The Debate Over a Post Office Bailout, Explained

Oxfam: COVID-19 Could Plunge Half a Billion People Into Poverty
More confirmation of the apocalyptic horrors I addressed Friday in the "Unprecedented" report.

Schwab: Self-dealing, election-fixing bitter pills to swallow
Examples of the pandemic of moral imbecility that is helping the coronavirus pandemic kill us off. (With thanks to William Boardman for sending me this link.)

Edward Snowden: Governments Are Using Coronavirus to Build 'the Architecture of Oppression'

Other pandemic-related indications and/or questions:

COVID-19: Fallout From a Navy Captain’s Heroism: The Possible Emergence of a New Idea of ‘National Security’

Kushner’s team seeks national coronavirus surveillance system

Surgeon General Jerome Adams Tells Black People to Avoid Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs to Prevent COVID-19 Deaths

The Christian Right Is Very Angry That Pornhub is Offering Free Premium Content

A Call To Action: Towards A General Strike

Shifting Gears: The Climate Protest Movement in the Age of Coronavirus

Vindictive vectors (includes countermeasures):

Covid Quackery, Faith and Race - LA Progressive

Censorship and disinformation (includes countermeasures):

The Media’s Loudest #MeToo Champions Are Ignoring Biden Sexual Assault Accuser Tara Reade

Forcible disarmament (includes countermeasures):

Bad Guys & Bad Government Driving Rocketship Gun Sales

Second Amendment Foundation
Rights groups sue New Mexico Gov., Challenging Emergency Order.

Especially for Washingtonians:

Washington state COVID-19 cases reach 10,411.

Decline to sign R-90!

An expression of solidarity I hope we all endorse:

Sign on: Thank a nurse for their service | National Nurses United

Also worth reading:

The Coronavirus Pandemic, Like Other Global Catastrophes, Reveals the Limitations of Nationalism

A New World Is Being Born:  What Will It Be?
A trustworthy source -- a vehemently anti-Trump conservative who ever-more-frequently seems to lean Leftward -- speculates on our probable futures.

Lives Lost: A mismatched pair's love story ends with virus
Held over because it is fine unusually sensitive reporting, the sort of work that proves AP still hires real journalists --  those of us for whom it is a way of life rather than just another job.

A Family’s Fetid Week With Coronavirus
Held over because it  is the most outspoken, most emotionally honest, most implicitly life-supportive and by far the best reporting I have read in many years. Indeed, Reyhan Harmanci is a writer whose talent I'd have recognized with a full-time general-assignment staff-job (way, way) back when "editor" was the key part of my job-title. (For more of her work, click on her "Family's Fetid Week" byline.)

Important stuff to bear in mind:
(All of which helps us understand more about what the PluPreds are doing to us now and what they might intend to do to us in the future.)

How a Network of Ukrainian Ultra-Nationalists Penetrated Canada’s Conservative Party to Lobby for Military Conflict
New: Glimpses of the re-emergent international Nazi Axis: is Mitch the Malignant's NeoConfederacy already a secret member?  

‘Collateral Murder’ and the My Lai Massacre
RLS. Vital to understanding why the U.S. government's response to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic is genocidal rather than protective.  Contrasting the U.S. population's long-ago outage at Vietnam war crimes with its present-day enthusiasm for atrocities against Muslims (and all other peoples of color) reveals how decades of Ayn Rand indoctrination purged the United States of any pretense of humanitarianism and reduced it to a thoroughly Nazified white-racist realm in which self-obsessed moral imbecility is the ruling ethos and revolution (or even effective resistance) is thus rendered psychologically impossible.   Additional details here.

FOCUS: This White House Doesn't Give Two Shits About You
I am no fan of Michael Moore, but in this short piece he speaks bitter truth for us all. 

Trump Admits Easy Voting Would Defeat Republicans
How gerrymandering and methodical voter-suppression have reduced our elections to meaningless charades.

Goldman Sachs warns that curing patients may not be 'sustainable'
Outright acknowledgment from the deadliest Neoliberal predators that curing disease with a single treatment is bad for profits. A report from 2018 that explains what's being done to us  today, hence given knife-edged relevance by the pandemic.

Average U.S. Citizens Have “Little Or No” Influence On Government Policy
Another "old" report given new relevance by what's being done to us today.

The Truth About the United States' "Continuity of Government" Plans & The Coronavirus Perfect Storm
Scroll down to the 12th graf to learn how at least eight million U.S. citizens are on the PPs' enemies lists and will be disappeared.

Military, Trump administration ready plans for domestic crackdown as virus spreads across US
From the report: "'a senior military planner working on coronavirus but not authorized to speak on sensitive planning matters [...] says that deployment of federal troops in support roles is being prepared,' including to conduct traffic stops, home searches and seizures and arrests." Scroll to Footnote2 to learn what atrocities could thus be inflicted on us.

Avenger Planet: Is the Covid-19 Pandemic Mother Nature's Response to Human Transgression?
Excellent question -- though as a (solitary-practice) Gaian Pagan, I would cite the scientific hypothesis that bears the Earth Goddess' name and answer "almost certainly yes."  (One of the innumerable reasons the ChristoNazis so despise us is the majority of our beliefs are based on science -- the ultimate terminator of all patriarchal religion.) 

Useful references:
(No snake-oil sales or medicine-show huckstering allowed.)

How to Make a DIY Mask From a T-Shirt or Bandanna
New; hopefully useful; have not tried it myself.

What you should know about DIY masks and ventilators
From National Geographic.

CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for Freelancers
Useful, potentially lifesaving economic information. (Disclosure: I am a longtime National Writers Union member and co-chaired one of their local writers' workshops c. 2009-2011.)  

COVID-19 Relief by industry

Parents On Childcare And Challenges In Coronavirus Isolation

How to wash your hands to prevent coronavirus — because you're probably doing it wrong

Loss of smell, taste, might signal pandemic virus infection

Tests show new virus lives on some surfaces for up to 3 days

How to clean the bundle of germs that is your phone

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide 

How to Properly Make Sanitizers from Household Ingredients

Handling mail amid coronavirus: Low risk but wash your hands
My practice is to assume everything from outside is potentially contaminated, hence I wash my hands thoroughly after handling any incoming packages and sanitize any surface upon which they might have rested or been unwrapped.


1As to what prompts my sudden skepticism of virus coverage by The Washington Post, note how quickly Bezos or one of his zero-tolerance subordinates imposed paywall censorship on this pivotally important 20 March story (scroll down to "U.S. intelligence reports"), which for only a very few short minutes appeared as part of WaPo's  non-paywalled daily virus report.  Pretending to be real journalists rather than  the Regime's scribes -- a mental downgrading inflicted as much by the clerical drudgery necessitated by computers as by the chief Josef-Goebbels-wannabee Bezos himself -- is a form of moral imbecility I cannot abide.

2Be aware that "home searches and seizures"  could include not only confiscation of all real or potential weapons but -- given the ChristoNazi Regime's anti-marijuana fanaticism  -- confiscation of, and arrest for possession of, all the (still federally illegal) medical marijuana upon which such a huge number of opiate-denied chronic-pain victims are now forced to depend. Too -- given the Regime's even more fanatical hatred of women and female sexuality -- such raids might also be used to confiscate all birth-control devices and criminalize all unwed women who possess them, thereby fulfilling still more of the PPs' ChristoNazis objectives. Thus -- by such mass arrests -- could the Regime give its plutocratic owners the ultimate "gift" of permanently enslaving millions of U.S. citizens for brutally hard, typically deadly labor, thereby granting our Masters' wish of exterminating "surplus workers" while following the German Nazis' model of amassing unlimited profits from mass murder. 


(As always, headlines are reproduced in their original up-style and down-style formats.)



THE "NEAR LIFELONG OBSESSION" I cited in today's lead paragraph is my interest in and fascination with folklore -- especially that which preserves in expertly disguised form the content -- and often the residual power -- of the liturgies that evolved from our ancient relationship with the Great Goddess. 

As most of us know, these liturgies and the ethos they sustained were suppressed -- sometimes violently, sometimes more gradually -- as the disciples of patriarchy continued their methodical destruction of human freedom.  

But never until I happened yesterday upon an English translation of the Norse ballad "I Ridden Så"  lyrics have I known such a movingly exquisite  lament for the passing of the Goddess that tells the less-violent aspect of her usurpation more poignantly. And so I was moved to spend a rather long while polishing the comment-thread contribution that came to me in such a burst of (dyslexia-scrambled) inspiration, it took many hours to move it from the verge of "speaking in (pagan) tongues" into comprehensible prose, paragraphed as it would have been but for limitations mandated by the thread in which it first appeared:

This bardical work and the bard who so exquisitely sings it cannot but evoke the most heartfelt tears of anguish and yearning, at least amongst those of us who know something of how to read the druidical/bardical riddles intended to camouflage the traditional ballads that preserve bits of the ancient yet fully effective liturgies inspired by our original relationship with the Goddess. This is obviously a Dark Ages lament for her passing as a result of the forcible Christianization of the North, no doubt the disguised (maybe-won't-get-you-burned-at-the-stake) version of the sort of musically accompanied poetry that's been traced to its Neolithic origins and conjectural pre-patriarchal forms by the late Duke University folklorist Olof Nygard (spelling correct) and several present-day women of wisdom and skill including Diane DiPrima, the late Barbara Mor and my very dear late friend Helen Farias.

But as we shall see, this lament also embodies an ancient implicit promise -- and with it, reason for present-day hope.

Its story begins by acknowledging the extent to which the ecogenocidal ethos of patriarchy has already been metastasized into the few remaining pagan realms, the acknowledgment expressed in how the Goddess as maiden is brought to the birthing grove not by the Goddess as her loving Mother, as she would have been in the pre-patriarchal past, but now by her conquering Father, where she squats one final time amidst her sacred trees to birth her divine twins, the gods, as she has done so many times before. (One of the twins’ earliest incarnations was as the rival deities of summer oak and winter holly.)

In the past she saw her sons into young godlinghood, but this time one son comes with her to church for their baptism (Freya or Freyia was the Nordic Gaia), the other is sent to Valhalla, there to remain blameless for all that ensues below as he whiles away the millennia, perhaps in mead-drenched oblivion, as he anticipates some “once-and-future” pledge of return.

Now probably 11 or 12 centuries after this song evolved into its present form (and amidst what is obviously the beginning of the Apocalypse), perhaps the Goddess will do as she seems to pledge by the gift of her "tiny gloves" to her brother to bear "everywhere he goes" -- obviously so she might don them again when we the world's human people once more learn -- as learn we must lest we render ourselves extinct -- to "ride gently through the grove with Her."

Beyond which let me repeat again my praise and gratitude for the quality of this performance and its compellingly expressive tape, so movingly well done I can scarcely find superlatives adequate to express its praiseworthiness.

And to which I now add the following:

Performances such as this are rituals of invocatory magic, which our Ivy-League educated Overlords have known at least since Woodstock. But they were loathe to act upon their own fear and loathing (as the late Hunter Thompson so aptly named it), their oppression delayed not by humanitarianism (for as certified moral imbeciles they long ago formally rejected any such restraint), but out of entirely rational suppositions the necessarily radical and therefore blatant expansion of their tyrannies would prematurely end the charade of "exceptionalist democracy"  -- that is, before the federal government completes its militarization of the local police and builds enough concentration camps to contain us all. 

Now however under Trump -- no doubt encouraged by the fact Moron Nation is so pridefully ignorant it has yet to recognize "exceptionalist democracy" as an astonishingly brazen contradiction in terms -- our Masters are losing all restraint. Indeed they seem on the brink of some obscene contest to see which team of the Ruling Class puppets -- Democratic (sic) or Republican -- can out-ecogenocide the other.

LB/13 April 2020 10:19 PDT




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