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TomCADem

TomCADem's Journal
TomCADem's Journal
August 22, 2020

BBC News - QAnon, coronavirus and the conspiracy cult

It is interesting to see Europe's perspective on QAnon, a bizarre conspiracy theory has surged in popularity in the US since the pandemic, according to exclusive research seen by the BBC.

August 18, 2020

Vox - Joe Biden's Policy Vision for America

Which American Presidents are widely considered to have been the most progressive in modern times? FDR and Lyndon Johnson. Yet, when they were elected or selected, neither was considered to be overly progressive. FDR was part of the Roosevelt family dynasty. Lyndon Johnon was Southern Democrat from Texas. Indeed, JFK got blowback from progressives for selecting LBJ as his running mate.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/21340746/joe-biden-covid-19-coronavirus-recession-harris

Biden is attempting to take office amid a world-historic crisis, which has already claimed more American lives than World War I, Korea, and Vietnam combined and has produced the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression. By May, advisers were telling New York magazine’s Gabriel Debenedetti that Biden wanted an “FDR-sized” administration.

There are aspects of Biden’s policy agenda that rise to this level of ambition. To tackle Covid-19, he’s promised nationwide testing, a 100,000-person Public Health Jobs Corps, hazard pay for essential workers, massive vaccine stockpiles produced ahead of approval for the speediest deployment, and much more.

His economic recovery plan would pay health insurance costs for newly unemployed people, offer middle-class parents and caretakers $8,000 a year for child or long-term care support, spend $700 billion on manufacturing and R&D to expand jobs in those sectors, and make it easier to organize unions.

His climate plan features $2 trillion in investments in clean energy and a clean electricity standard mandating that electricity production in the US not produce any carbon by the year 2035.
August 18, 2020

Trump Made A Huge Mistake In Drawing Attention to Susan B. Anthony, A Voting Rights Activist!

Trumpsters and Republicans love to bleet the word "Freedom" as though all it stood for was the right to be able to shoot a gun and not wear a mask. Yet, without missing a beat, Republicans happily support efforts to suppress the vote in the midst of a pandemic.

On top of that, Trump has denigrated John Lewis, who was a protester known for getting in "Good Trouble." But before Lewis, Susan B. Anthony got arrested for voting illegally because she was a woman.

After her arrest on charges of voting illegally in the 1872 federal election, Susan B. Anthony undertook a speaking tour . The title for her lecture was "Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?" In her lecture, she explained why the right to vote and exercising that right is essential to freedom. In short, Susan B. Anthony asked how can the consent of the governed be given, if the right to vote be denied?

So, if Trump is going to pardon Susan B. Anthony after her death, why not ask him about why he and Republicans are trying so hard to reverse and to suppress the rights that Susan B. Anthony fought for? How can the consent of the governed be given, if the right to vote is denied?

Susan B. Anthony's words are as true today as they were a hundred years ago:

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/anthony/anthonyaddress.html

Friends and Fellow-citizens: I stand before you to-night, under indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last Presidential election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen's right, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any State to deny.

Our democratic-republican government is based on the idea of the natural right of every individual member thereof to a voice and a vote in making and executing the laws. We assert the province of government to be to secure the people in the enjoyment of their unalienable rights. We throw to the winds the old dogma that governments can give rights. Before governments were organized, no one denies that each individual possessed the right to protect his own life. liberty and property. And when 100 or 1,000,000 people enter into a free government, they do not barter away their natural rights; they simply pledge themselves to protect each other in the enjoyment of them, through prescribed judicial and legislative tribunals. They agree to abandon the methods of brute force in the adjustment of their differences, and adopt those of civilization.

Nor can you find a word in any of the grand documents left us by the fathers that assumes for government the power to create or to confer rights. The Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the constitutions of the several states and the organic laws of the territories, all alike propose to protect the people in the exercise of their God-given rights. Not one of them pretends to bestow rights.

"All men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Here is no shadow of government authority over rights, nor exclusion of any from their full and equal enjoyment. Here is pronounced the right of all men, and "consequently," as the Quaker preacher said, "of all women," to a voice in the government. And here, in this very first paragraph of the declaration, is the assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot; for, how can "the consent of the governed" be given, if the right to vote be denied. Again:

"That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundations on such principles, and organizing its powers in such forms as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
August 16, 2020

Exercise Your Freedom and Vote! Susan B. Anthony Explains Why Voter Suppression Is Anti-Freedom

Trumpsters and Republicans love to bleet the word "Freedom" as though all it stood for was the right to be able to shoot a gun and not wear a mask. Yet, without missing a beat, Republicans happily support efforts to suppress the vote in the midst of a pandemic.

Even before John Lewis was getting in "Good Trouble," there was Susan B. Anthony who got arrested for voting illegally because she was a woman. After her arrest on charges of voting illegally in the 1872 federal election, Susan B. Anthony undertook a speaking tour . The title for her lecture was "Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?" In her lecture, she explained why the right to vote and exercising that right is essential to freedom. In short, Susan B. Anthony asked how can the consent of the governed be given, if the right to vote be denied?

So, exercise your freedom and vote. And, anyone who is trying to suppress the vote is trying to take away freedom from American citizens.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/anthony/anthonyaddress.html

Friends and Fellow-citizens: I stand before you to-night, under indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last Presidential election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen's right, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any State to deny.

Our democratic-republican government is based on the idea of the natural right of every individual member thereof to a voice and a vote in making and executing the laws. We assert the province of government to be to secure the people in the enjoyment of their unalienable rights. We throw to the winds the old dogma that governments can give rights. Before governments were organized, no one denies that each individual possessed the right to protect his own life. liberty and property. And when 100 or 1,000,000 people enter into a free government, they do not barter away their natural rights; they simply pledge themselves to protect each other in the enjoyment of them, through prescribed judicial and legislative tribunals. They agree to abandon the methods of brute force in the adjustment of their differences, and adopt those of civilization.

Nor can you find a word in any of the grand documents left us by the fathers that assumes for government the power to create or to confer rights. The Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the constitutions of the several states and the organic laws of the territories, all alike propose to protect the people in the exercise of their God-given rights. Not one of them pretends to bestow rights.

"All men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Here is no shadow of government authority over rights, nor exclusion of any from their full and equal enjoyment. Here is pronounced the right of all men, and "consequently," as the Quaker preacher said, "of all women," to a voice in the government. And here, in this very first paragraph of the declaration, is the assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot; for, how can "the consent of the governed" be given, if the right to vote be denied. Again:

"That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundations on such principles, and organizing its powers in such forms as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
August 15, 2020

US coronavirus: New CDC guidance says Covid-19 rates in children 'steadily increasing'

Source: CNN

Health experts say children make up more than 7% of all coronavirus cases in the US -- while comprising about 22% of the country's population -- and the number and rate of child cases have been "steadily increasing" from March to July.

The data was posted alongside updated guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for pediatricians that also includes what is known about the virus in children.
"Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings," the guidance states.

Transmission of the virus to and among children may have been reduced in spring and early summer due to mitigation measures like stay-at-home orders and school closures, the CDC says."Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings," the guidance states.

Transmission of the virus to and among children may have been reduced in spring and early summer due to mitigation measures like stay-at-home orders and school closures, the CDC says.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/us-coronavirus-new-cdc-guidance-says-covid-19-rates-in-children-steadily-increasing/ar-BB17ZcJ4?li=BBnb7Kz

August 14, 2020

Record U.S. coronavirus fatalities and 'startling surge' of cases in children and teens

Source: NBC News

The U.S. logged the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in two weeks, a new NBC News tally showed Thursday, but widespread testing shortages raised concerns that the figures coming out of the hardest-hit states might not be presenting a true picture of this deadly pandemic.

The 1,424 fatalities reported Wednesday were the highest since July 28, when 2,218 deaths were reported, the figures showed. And it was the twelfth time in the last 16 days that the death toll exceeded 1,000.

Most of these deaths were in the Southern and Sun Belt states like Florida, Texas and Arizona that began reopening in May and June at the urging of President Donald Trump despite warnings from public health experts that the coronavirus was starting to crest.

"The deaths we see today are a result of infections from four to eight weeks ago," Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health and the Trump administration's testing coordinator, said Thursday on a call with reporters.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/record-us-coronavirus-fatalities-and-startling-surge-of-cases-in-children-and-teens/ar-BB17Vwj6?li=BBnb7Kz

July 25, 2020

Clint Watts "Election 2020: Russia Cares, China Doesn't"

While you see Trump and Pompeo going out of their way to attack China, not surprisingly you hear little mention of Russia's continued efforts to interfere with the U.S. election. Has Russia lost interest in the U.S. election? Clint Watts, who testified to Congress on Russian election interference in 2016, recently posted that Russia continues to the be the most active foreign actor trying to interfere in the U.S. election in support of Trump:

https://www.fpri.org/fie/election-2020-russia-china/

In anticipation of Chinese interference claims ahead of Election Day in November, the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s (FPRI) Foreign Influence Election 2020 (FIE 2020) project included Chinese outlet the Global Times alongside its analysis of the Kremlin’s Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik News. Our analysis of Global Times content from January 1, 2019 to present day shows China has published significantly less English-language content than Russia regarding the presidential election. Chinese state-sponsored articles about the 2020 election, either observed by the FIE 2020 team or viewed on the Alliance For Securing Democracy’s Hamilton 2.0 dashboard, hardly travel into the U.S. audience space when compared to RT and Sputnik News.

Furthermore, an examination of the paltry Chinese election coverage shows they spend remarkably little time seeking to elevate one candidate over another. The trade war, Huawei, COVID-19, and the Hong Kong protests dominate Global Times headlines—not the 2020 election. Of 1,211 mentions of the 2020 candidates over a 15-month period, more than 85% discussed President Trump. Trump’s mentions were far more negative than positive, and most always in the context of China’s foreign policy goals vis-à-vis the U.S. rather than the presidential election. When China discusses the 2020 election, it’s not about capturing a victory, but undermining the integrity of the American democratic process.

Conversely, Russia’s outlets talk about internal U.S. politics and the election all the time, with their state-sponsored news outlets authoring a high volume of stories and mentioning the candidates more than twice as much as China. It is clear the Kremlin prefers a second term for President Trump heading into the fall and strongly opposes the election of former Vice President Biden. Russian President Vladimir Putin has openly said he wanted Trump to win in 2016, and Russia’s overt propaganda portrays Trump far more positively than Biden. Although they’ve soured a bit on the president in recent months, taking the opportunity to bash him with respect to America’s failed COVID-19 response and the administration’s authoritarian response to racial justice protests in D.C., nothing Russia says negatively about Trump compares to how derogatory the Kremlin is toward Biden. Headlines trash Biden continuously, and Russian derision of Biden will hit full swing this summer when a curiously timed movie out of Russia-occupied Donetsk, Ukraine, titled “Alpha R” hits theaters warning of a “New Cold War” if Biden wins the election.

The Kremlin’s strategy since 2016 has remained consistent—“secure the base, split the opposition.” Facebook takedowns of the Kremlin’s troll farm in 2019 showed Russian content promoting President Trump, denigrating Biden and elevating Sanders. In March of this year, Facebook closed a Russian troll farm cutout operation in Ghana that sought to infiltrate American minority groups on Facebook and Instagram, presumably hoping to divide the political left and influence voters headed into Election Day.
July 23, 2020

The Atlantic: The New Jersey Shooting Suspect Left a Pro-Trump Paper Trail

Not surprisingly, the chief suspect in the murder of a Latina Federal Judge's family members was a Trumpster.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/07/judge-esther-salas-shooting-suspect-left-pro-trump-paper-trail/614425/

Roy Den Hollander, the self-described “anti-feminist” attorney who authorities say is the chief suspect in the shootings of the son and the husband of a federal judge in New Jersey, attacked that judge by name in misogynistic, racist writings he wrote over a period of years and posted in bulk on the Internet Archive. Den Hollander, who describes himself as a Trump volunteer in his writings, called the judge an “affirmative action” case who affiliated with those who wanted “to convince America that whites, especially white males, were barbarians, and all those of a darker skin complexion were victims.”

Esther Salas’s 20-year-old son was killed in the attack at their home on Sunday, and her husband was wounded. Den Hollander was later found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Rockland, New York. Den Hollander’s insults toward Salas were included in a 2,028-page collection of writings he posted online in 2019 under the username Roy17den, a handle that mirrored his Twitter account, @roy17den, and the email address he used both in personal letters and in court filings.

“Female judges didn’t bother me as long as they were middle age or older black ladies,” he writes when discussing a lawsuit he filed that went before Judge Salas, the first Hispanic woman appointed a federal judge in New Jersey. “They seemed to have an understanding of how life worked and were not about to be conned by any foot dragging lawyer. Latinas, however, were usually a problem—driven by an inferiority complex.”

Along with the attacks on Salas, Den Hollander’s writings also go after President Barack Obama (who he said has an “obsession to turn America into a banana republic”), Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (who he claimed was “angry that nobody had invited her to her high school senior prom”), Hillary Clinton (whose supporters were “teary-eyed, sad-sack, PC loonies watching their power of intolerance go down the drain”), and an Obama appointee (whom he describes as part of “that Orwellian party of feminists, ethnics, Muslims, illegals and queers who think they are superior to everyone else, especially white males.”)
July 10, 2020

Russia is backing a viral video company (Ruptly) aimed at American millennials

I was noticing a lot of videos of right wing protests being featured by a video channel named "Ruptly." For example, one video is entitled, "USA: Protesters rally for anti-mask protest, chant "We can"t breathe," which features an anti-mask protest headlined by Alex Jones of all people.

What is Ruptly? Well, Ruptly is a media outlet that is owned by Russia Today. Like Russia Today is pushes divisive content and features Russia friendly speakers on both the right and "left" such Glenn Greenwald who attacks the U.S. media ad shares tips for avoiding the NSA.

In short, Russia is back to its old tricks trying to undermine and spread division within the U.S.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/tech/russia-facebook-viral-videos/index.html

New York (CNN)Three online video channels designed to appeal to millennials have collected tens of millions of views on Facebook since September. But the pages pushing the videos do not disclose that they are backed by the Russian government.

The pages are run by Maffick Media, a company whose majority stakeholder is Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT, which is funded by the Russian government. Although Maffick Media has hired contractors and freelancers in Los Angeles in recent months, the company is not registered in the US, it is registered in Germany.

Facebook suspended the pages on Friday, saying it would reach out to the people running them to ask that they disclose where the pages are run from and their affiliation with their parent company in order to get back on the platform.

The move was an unusual one for Facebook. The company does not require users to provide information about parent companies, but it is rolling out ways to try to increase transparency about who runs popular Facebook pages, and it has been taking aggressive steps to tackle covert government-backed information operations on its service. In 2016, a Kremlin-linked troll group ran a network of pages designed to look like they were operated by real American activists.
July 9, 2020

The Spread of Covid-19: Trump States vs. Clinton States - Trumpism Is Deadly

Once again, Trump's biggest supporters are sometimes his biggest victims:



https://aneconomicsense.org/2020/06/25/the-spread-of-covid-19-trump-states-vs-clinton-states/

It has been much noted in the news in recent days that confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been soaring in a number of states in the US, primarily in the south and southwest. But it is of interest to examine how widespread this is, and how it correlates with the politics of the different states. With the politicization by Trump of what should be a matter of public health, states (and their residents) are responding differently in their management of this public health crisis.

One way to look at this is to group the states according to who won there in 2016: Trump or Clinton. This divides the country roughly in half, between more liberal and more conservative areas. The chart above shows what then results for daily new confirmed cases (on a 7-day moving average).

The division is stark. The states won by Clinton (which included New York, New Jersey, the Northeast, Illinois, California, and Washington) were exposed early to Covid-19. These states are generally more highly urbanized and there is more international travel by both residents and visitors. This left them especially vulnerable as the virus that causes Covid-19 started to spread (first with little knowledge of how fast it was spreading, due to blunders in rolling out the necessary testing program in February and into much of March). But after peaking in April, these states brought down the daily number of new cases by over 60%, although with a partial and still limited reversal in the past week.

The pattern in the Trump states is quite different. Confirmed cases rose in the period leading up to April (in part as testing only became broadly available then), but then leveled off in these states through essentially all of April and May. Furthermore, the numbers leveled off at roughly 10,000 cases a day, or less than half the 21,000 cases per day seen in the Clinton states at their peak. The Trump states are often more rural, and there is less international travel (by both residents and visitors), so the lower numbers there were taken by some as indicating they were less vulnerable to this infectious disease.

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