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My columns haven’t been very funny recently. This one isn’t going to be any funnier. Sorry. Fascism makes me cranky.

I don’t mean the kind of fascism the corporate media and the fake Resistance have been desperately hyping for the last four years. God help me, but I’m not terribly worried about a few hundred white-supremacist morons marching around with tiki torches hollering Nazi slogans at each other, or Jewish-Mexican-American law clerks flashing “OK” signs on TV, or smirking schoolkids in MAGA hats.

I’m talking about actual, bona fide fascism, or totalitarianism, if you want to get technical. The kind where governments declare a global “state of emergency” on account of a virus with a 0.2% to 0.6% lethality (and that causes mild, flu-like symptoms, or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever, in over 97% of those infected), locks everyone down inside their homes, suspends their constitutional rights, terrorizes them with propaganda, and unleashes uniformed goon squads on anyone who doesn’t comply with their despotic decrees.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism where the police track you down with your smartphone data and then come to your house to personally harass you for attending a political protest, or attack you for challenging their illegitimate authority, and then charge you with “assault” for fighting back, and then get the media to publish a story accusing you of having “set up” the cops.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism where the secret police are given carte blanche to monitor everyone’s Internet activity, and to scan you with their “surveillance helmets,” and dictate how close you can sit to your friends, and menace you with drones and robot dogs, and violently pry your kids out of your arms and arrest you if you dare to protest.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism that psychologically tortures children with authoritarian loyalty rituals designed to condition them to live in fear, and respond to absurd Pavlovian stimuli, and that encourages the masses to turn off their brains and mechanically repeat propaganda slogans, like “wear a mask” and “flatten the curve,” and to report their neighbors to the police for having an “illegal” private party … and to otherwise reify the manufactured mass hysteria the authorities need to “justify” their totalitarianism.

Yeah, that kind of stuff makes me cranky.

And you know what makes me really cranky? I’ll tell you what makes me really cranky. It is people who publicly project themselves as “anti-authoritarians” and “anti-fascists,” or who have established their “anti-establishment” brands and “dissident” personas on social media, or even in the corporate media, either zealously cheerleading this totalitarianism or looking away and saying nothing as it is rolled out by the very authorities and media propagandists they pretend to oppose. I don’t know exactly why, but that stuff makes me particularly cranky.

I’ll provide you with a few examples.

The militant “Portland anti-fascists” who the corporate media fell in love with and made famous for bravely fighting off the Trump-loving Putin-Nazi Menace over the course of the last four years, as soon as the Corona-Totalitarianism began, did what all true anti-fascists do when the state goes full-blown fascist … no, they did not “smash the state,” or “occupy the streets,” or anything like that. They masked-up and started making vegan hand sanitizer.

Popular Internet “anti-imperialists” started accusing everyone opposing the lockdown of being part of some far-right Republican plot to “promote mass death under the banner of freedom” or to “normalize death” to benefit rich people, or being members of a “death cult,” or something. Celebrity socialists took to Twitter to warn that we would “shortly have the blood of thousands of people on our hands,” and call us “anti-vaxxers” and “flat earth fucks.” Indie political and military analysts patiently explained why governments needed to be able to pull people out of their homes against their will and quarantine them. Anarchist anthropologists averred that the lockdown wasn’t damaging the productive economy; it was only damaging the “bullshit economy,” and those complaining about being out of work were people whose work is “largely useless.”

Others simply looked away or sat there in silence as we were confined to our homes, and made to carry “permission papers” to walk to work or the corner grocery store, and were beaten and arrested for not “social-distancing,” and were otherwise bullied and humiliated for no justifiable reason whatsoever. (We are talking about a virus, after all, that even the official medical experts, e.g., the U.K.’s Chief Medic, admit is more or less harmless to the vast majority of us, not the Bubonic Fucking Plague or some sort of Alien-Terrorist-Death-Flu … so spare me the “we-had-no-choice-but-to-go-totalitarian” rationalization.)

 
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There comes a point in the introduction of every new official narrative when people no longer remember how it started. Or, rather, they remember how it started, but not the propaganda that started it. Or, rather, they remember all that (or are able to, if you press them on it), but it doesn’t make any difference anymore, because the official narrative has supplanted reality.

You’ll remember this point from the War on Terror, and specifically the occupation of Iraq. By the latter half of 2004, most Westerners had completely forgotten the propaganda that launched the invasion, and thus regarded the Iraqi resistance as “terrorists,” despite the fact that the United States had invaded and was occupying their country for no legitimate reason whatsoever. By that time, it was abundantly clear that there were no “weapons of mass destruction,” and that the U.S.A. had invaded a nation that had not attacked it, and posed no threat to it, and so was perpetrating a textbook war of aggression.

These facts did not matter, not in the slightest. By that time, Westerners were totally immersed in the official War on Terror narrative, which had superseded objective reality. Herd mentality had taken over. It’s difficult to describe how this works; it’s a state of functional dissociation. It wasn’t that people didn’t know the facts, or that they didn’t understand the facts. They knew the Iraqis weren’t “terrorists.” At the same time, they knew they were definitely “terrorists,” despite the fact that they knew that they weren’t. They knew there were no WMDs, that there had never been any WMDs, and still they were certain there were WMDs, which would be found, although they clearly did not exist.

The same thing happened in Nazi Germany. The majority of the German people were never fanatical anti-Semites like the hardcore N.S.D.A.P. members. If they had been, there would have been no need for Goebbels and his monstrous propaganda machine. No, the Germans during the Nazi period, like the Americans during the War on Terror, knew that their victims posed no threat to them, and at the same time they believed exactly the opposite, and thus did not protest as their neighbors were hauled out of their homes and sent off to death camps, camps which, in their dissociative state, simultaneously did and did not exist.

What I’m describing probably sounds like psychosis, but, technically speaking, it isn’t … not quite. It is not an absolute break from reality. People functioning in this state know that what they believe is not real. Nonetheless, they are forced to believe it (and do, actually, literally, believe it, as impossible as I know that sounds), because the consequences of not believing it are even more frightening than the cognitive dissonance of believing a narrative they know is a fiction. Disbelieving the official narrative means excommunication from “normality,” the loss of friends, income, status, and in many cases far worse punishments. Herd animals, in a state of panic, instinctively run towards the center of the herd. Separation from the herd makes them easy prey for pursuing predators. It is the same primal instinct operating here.

It is the goal of every official narrative to generate this type of herd mentality, not in order to deceive or dupe the public, but, rather, to confuse and terrorize them to the point where they revert to their primal instincts, and are being driven purely by existential fear, and facts and truth no longer matter. Once an official narrative reaches this point, it is unassailable by facts and reason. It no longer needs facts to justify it. It justifies itself with its own existence. Reason cannot penetrate it. Arguing with its adherents is pointless. They know it is irrational. They simply do not care.

We are reaching this point with the coronavirus narrative. It is possible that we have already reached it. Despite the fact that what we are dealing with is a virus that, yes, is clearly deadly to the old and those with medical conditions, but that is just as clearly not a deadly threat to the majority of the human species, people are cowering inside their homes as if the Zombie Apocalpyse had finally begun. Many appear to believe that this virus is some sort of Alien-Terrorist Death Flu (or weaponized Virus of Mass Destruction) that will kill you the second you breathe it in.

This is not surprising at all, because, according to the official narrative, its destructive powers are nearly unlimited. Not only will it obliterate your lungs, and liquidate all your other major organs, and kill you with blood clots, and intestinal damage, now it causes “sudden strokes in young adults,” and possibly spontaneous prostate cancer, and God knows what other medical horrors!

According to all the “scientists” and “medical experts” (i.e., those that conform to the official narrative, not all the other scientists and medical experts), it is unlike any other virus that has ever existed in the history of viruses. It certainly doesn’t follow the typical pattern of spreading extensively for a limited period, and then rapidly dying down on its own, regardless of what measures are taken to thwart it, as this Israeli study would seem to indicate.

Also, “we have no immunity against it,” which is why we all have to remain “locked down” like unruly inmates in a penitentiary until a vaccine can be concocted and forced onto every living person on earth. Apparently, this mandatory wonder vaccine will magically render us immune to this virus against which we have no immunity (and are totally unable to develop immunity), which immunity will be certified on our mandatory “immunity papers,” which we will need to travel, get a job, send our kids to school, and, you know, to show the police when they stop us on the street because we look like maybe we might be “infected.”

Germany (where I live) is way out in front of this. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the federal government plans to introduce a coronavirus “immunity card” as part of its “Infection Protection Law,” which will grant the authorities the power to round up anyone “suspected to be contagious” and force them into … uh … “quarantine,” and “forbid them from entering certain public places.” The Malaysian authorities have dispensed with such niceties, and are arresting migrant workers and refugees in so-called “Covid-19 red zones” and marching them off to God knows where.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, American Military, Coronavirus 
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So the War on Populism is finally over. Go ahead, take a wild guess who won.

I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t the Russians, or the white supremacists, or the gilets jaunes, or Jeremy Corbyn’s Nazi Death Cult, or the misogynist Bernie Bros, or the MAGA-hat terrorists, or any of the other real or fictional “populist” forces that global capitalism has been waging war on for the last four years.

What? You weren’t aware that global capitalism was fighting a War on Populism? That’s OK, most other folks weren’t. It wasn’t officially announced or anything. It was launched in the summer of 2016, just as the War on Terror was ending, as a sequel to the War on Terror, or a variation on the War on Terror, or continuation of the War on Terror, or … whatever, it doesn’t really matter anymore, because now we’re fighting the War on Death, or the War on Minor Cold-like Symptoms, depending on your age and general state of health.

That’s right, folks, once again, global capitalism (a/k/a “the world”) is under attack by an evil enemy. GloboCap just can’t catch a break. From the moment it defeated communism and became a global ideological hegemon, it has been one evil enemy after another.

No sooner had it celebrated winning the Cold War and started ruthlessly restructuring and privatizing everything than it was savagely attacked by “Islamic terrorists,” and so was forced to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, and kill and torture a lot of people, and destabilize the entire Middle East, and illegally surveil everybody, and … well, you remember the War on Terror.

Then, just as the War on Terror seemed to be finally winding down, and the only terrorists left were the “self-radicalized” terrorists (many of whom weren’t even actual terrorists), and it looked like GloboCap was finally going to be able to finish privatizing and debt-enslaving everything and everyone in peace, wouldn’t you know it, we were attacked again, this time by the global conspiracy of Russian-backed, neo-fascist “populists” that caused the Brexit and elected Trump, and tried to elect Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, and loosed the gilets jaunes on France, and who’ve been threatening the “fabric of Western democracy” with dissension-sowing Facebook memes.

Unfortunately, unlike the War on Terror, the War on Populism didn’t go that well. After four years of fighting, GloboCap (a/k/a the neoliberal Resistance) had … OK, they had snuffed both Corbyn and Sanders, but they had totally blown the Russiagate psyop, and so were looking at four more years of Trump, and Lord knows how many of Johnson in the U.K. (which had actually left the European Union), and the gilets jaunes weren’t going away, and, basically, “populism” was still on the rise (if not in reality, in hearts and minds).

And so, just as the War on Populism had replaced (or redefined) the War on Terror, the War on Death has been officially launched to replace (or redefine) the War on Populism … which means (you guessed it), once again, it’s time to roll out another “brave new normal.”

The character of this brave new normal is, at this point, unmistakably clear … so clear that most people cannot see it, because their minds are not prepared to accept it, so they do not recognize it, though they are looking right at it. Like Dolores in the Westworld series, “it doesn’t look like anything” to them. To the rest of us, it looks rather totalitarian.

In the span of approximately 100 days, the entire global capitalist empire has been transformed into a de facto police state. Constitutional rights have been suspended. Most of us are under house arrest. Police are rounding up anyone not cooperating with the new emergency measures. They are pulling riders off of public transportation, arresting people whose papers aren’t in order, harrassing, beating, intimidating, and arbitrarily detaining anyone they decide is “a danger to public health.”

Authorities are openly threatening to forcibly pull people out of their homes and quarantine them. Cops are hunting down runaway grandmothers. They’re raiding services in churches and synagogues. Citizens are being forced to wear ankle monitors. Families out for a walk are being menaced by robots and Orwellian drones.

Counterterrorism troops have been deployed to deal with non-compliant “rule breakers.” Anyone the U.S. authorities deem to have “intentionally spread the coronavirus” can be arrested and charged as a coronavirus terrorist. Artificial intelligence firms are working with governments to implement systems to log and track our contacts and movements. As a recent Foreign Policy article put it:

“The counterterrorism analogy is useful because it shows the direction of travel of pandemic policy. Imagine a new coronavirus patient is detected. Once he or she tests positive, the government could use cell-phone data to trace everyone he or she has been in close proximity to, perhaps focusing on those people who were in contact for more than a few minutes. Your cell-phone signal could then be used to enforce quarantine decisions. Leave your apartment and the authorities will know. Leave your phone behind and they will call you. Run the battery down and a police car will be at your door in a manner of minutes …”

I could go on, but I think you get the picture, or … well, you either do or you don’t.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Neoliberalism, Populism 
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OK, I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some some bad news. The good news is mainly for authoritarians who missed all the fun during the War on Terror. The news is … welcome to the War on Death!

Yes, that’s right, global capitalism (a/k/a “the world”) is now at war with Death … which is great news for authoritarians! No more bothersome critical thinking. The time for questioning our leaders is over. It’s time to shut up and follow orders. We’re in a global state of emergency, folks! We’re talking lockdowns, soldiers in the streets, abrogation of our constitutional rights, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions, round-the-clock media fear-propaganda … the whole totalitarian megillah!

What, you’re probably asking, is the War on Death? Well … for those who remember the War on Terror, the War on Death is just like that, except this time the evil enemy is Death … or, all right, maybe not exactly like that, but there are a number of striking similarities.

For one thing, just like the War on Terror, we didn’t start it. Death attacked us! There we were, peacefully going about our global capitalist business, quelling a worldwide “populist” rebellion orchestrated by Russian-backed Nazis, when Death attacked us with a coronavirus … more or less exactly the way that the terrorists attacked us in 2001.

And, just like after those terrorist attacks, the world has united and forcefully responded. No, we haven’t invaded Iraq again (well, actually, we did bomb them a little), but we have locked down almost the entire planet, virtually shut down the global economy, and are scaring the masses into a state of unprecedented mass hysteria.

Police are patrolling the streets of Europe, checking people’s “permission-to-go-outside” papers. In the U.K., soldiers are standing by to assist with “protecting possible quarantine zones,” or to “cope with the breakdown of civil society.” Israel is tapping its formerly secret collection of everyone’s mobile phone records to identify people who might be infected, and assorted “others who need to be quarantined.”

Macron (now relieved of his Gilets Jaunes problem!) is ready to “rule by decree” if necessary. California is “prepared to enact martial law.” The U.S. military is “prepared to deploy in support of potential extraordinary missions,” including “quelling civil disturbances.”

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking Congress for the power to detain people indefinitely. The British Parliament is on the brink of passing an emergency “Coronavirus Bill” that will (among other unsettling provisions) grant authorities the power to arrest and indefinitely quarantine anyone they deem a “potentially infectious person” … or, in other words, pretty much anyone they want.

As if that wasn’t dystopian enough, according to a report in Politico:

“Counter-terrorism troops have been redeployed across Italy to beef up police forces throughout Italian cities. Patrol cars are now circulating in every major city in Italy with a monotone male voice warning citizens over a loudspeaker not to leave their residences or risk a ticket. ‘GO BACK INTO YOUR HOMES,’ the voice warns.”

But wait, it gets even better than that. In Missouri, prosecutors have charged an idiot who licked some items at Walmart as a “terrorist.” I kid you not, a Coronavirus Terrorist. I could go on, but I think you get the picture (if you need more examples, check this Twitter thread).

The point is, the global capitalist empire (for whatever reasons, real or imagined) has turned on the MINDLESS HYSTERIA machine, and dialed it up as high as it goes. People are in full-blown headless chicken mode. No one (or hardly anyone) is thinking, or listening to dissenting opinions, or paying attention to official statistics, or common sense, or anything else that contradicts the War on Death narrative.

The British tabloids are publishing horror stories about “doctors” standing by and helplessly watching as patients slowly suffocate to death. According to such stories, not only are these “doctors” unable to treat roughly 400 patients with any of the UK’s over 8,000 ventilators, but, apparently, patients whose hearts have stopped (and who are therefore unconscious) are also now capable of “dying in agony” with “terror in their eyes.”

According to The New York Times, the Coronapocalypse has begun in Elmhurst, where the authorities have called in the refrigerator trucks to haul away the mountains of corpses, after 13 people who “had tested positive” died (of something) in the course of one day.

The rest of the corporate media are running moment-by-moment deathometer updates, apocalyptic prognostications of the millions or billions who are possibly going to die, and of course the latest on which celebrities have been infected and are clinging to life, or experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. Greta suspects she might have been infected! Prince Charles! Colton Underwood (whoever that is), Tom Hanks, and even Idris Elba! Just the other night, celebrated playwright Terrence McNally (who was 81, and had a history of lung cancer and COPD) was struck down in the prime of his life!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Civil Liberties, Coronavirus 
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Let’s try a little thought experiment. Just for fun. To pass the time while we’re indefinitely locked down inside our homes, compulsively checking the Covid-19 “active cases” and “total death” count, washing our hands every twenty minutes, and attempting not to touch our faces.

Before we do, though, I want to make it clear that I believe this Covid-19 thing is real, and is probably the deadliest threat to humanity in the history of deadly threats to humanity. According to the data I’ve been seeing, it’s only a matter of days, or hours, until nearly everyone on earth is infected and is either dying in agony and alone or suffering mild, common cold-like symptoms, or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever.

I feel that I need to state this clearly, before we do our thought experiment, because I don’t want anyone mistakenly thinking that I’m one of those probably Russian-backed Nazis who are going around saying, “it’s just the flu,” or who are spreading dangerous conspiracy theories about bio-weapons and martial law, or who are otherwise doubting or questioning the wisdom of locking down the entire world (and likely triggering a new Great Depression) on account of the discovery of some glorified bug.

Obviously, this is not just the flu. Thousands of people are dying from it. OK, sure, the flu kills many more than that, hundreds of thousands of people annually, but this Covid-19 virus is totally new, and not like any of the other millions of viruses that are going around all the time, and the experts are saying it will probably kill, or seriously sicken, or briefly inconvenience, millions or even billions of people if we don’t lock down entire countries and terrorize everyone into submission.

Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for that … this is not the time to be questioning anything the corporate media and the authorities tell us. This is a time to pull together, turn our minds off, and follow orders. OK, sure, normally, it’s good to be skeptical, but we’re in a goddamn global state of emergency! Idris Elba is infected for Chrissakes!

Sorry … I’m getting a little emotional. I’m a big-time Idris Elba fan. The point is, I’m not a Covid-denialist, or a conspiracy theorist, or one of those devious Chinese or Russian dissension-sowers. I know for a fact that this pandemic is real, and warrants whatever “emergency measures” our governments, global corporations, and intelligence agencies want to impose on us.

No, I’m not an epidemiologist, but I have a close friend who knows a guy who dated a woman who dated a doctor who personally knows another doctor who works in a hospital in Italy somewhere, and she (i.e., my friend, not the doctor in Italy) posted something on Facebook yesterday that was way too long to read completely but was a gut-wrenching account of how Covid-19 is killing Kuwaiti babies in their incubators!

Or maybe it was Italian babies. Like I said, it was too long to read.

Also, did you see the story about the baby that was born infected?! Or the stories about the people in their 30s and 40s who were more or less in perfect health (except for, you know, cancer or whatever) who died from (or with) the Covid plague?! And what about all those charts and graphs?! And those pictures of people in hazmat suits?! And those Italians singing Turandot on their balconies?! Doesn’t that just make you want to break down and cry over the sheer humanity of it all?!

No, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Covid-19 is the deadliest global pandemic humankind has ever faced, and that we have no choice but to cancel everything, confine everyone inside their home, wreck the entire global economy, force working class people even further into debt, pour trillions into the investment banks, cancel elections, censor the Internet, and otherwise implement a global police state.

But what if it wasn’t? Just hypothetically. What if this wasn’t the deadliest global pandemic humankind has ever faced? (I’m just posing the question as a thought experiment, so please don’t report me to the WHO, or the CDC, or FEMA, or whoever.) What if this new coronavirus was just another coronavirus like all the other coronaviruses that people die from (or with) all the time? What if the fact that this one is “new” didn’t really mean all that much, or possibly anything at all, because coronaviruses are always mutating, and every year there are a lot of new variants?

Relax, OK? I know this one is different, and totally unlike anything ever encountered by virologists in the history of virology. Remember, this is just a thought experiment. These are just hypothetical questions.

Here’s another hypothetical question. What if all the scary statistics we’ve been seeing (e.g., the death rates, the explosion of “cases,” etc.) weren’t unquestionable scientific facts, but rather, were, like other statistics, based on things like sample groups, and dependent on a host of factors and variables, which you kind of need to know to make sense of anything?

Say, for example, you tested everyone that died of acute respiratory failure on a given day in your Italian hospital, and you discovered that, let’s say, five of those patients had been infected with Covid-19. So you feed that number to the WHO, and they add it to the “total deaths” count, regardless of whether the folks who died had terminal cancer, or heart disease, or had also been infected with the common flu, or some other type of coronavirus. That would probably skew your “death” count, wouldn’t it?

Or, say you wanted to test for the virus to keep track of all the “active cases” and generate an infection rate, but you can’t test hundreds of millions of people, because no one has that many tests So, you test everyone who turns up sick, or thinks they’re sick and demands to be tested, or who touched someone sick who you already tested (though you’re not even sure that your test is accurate) and you come up with, let’s say, ten positive results. So you feed that number to the WHO, and they add it to the “active cases” count, regardless of the fact that everyone knows the real number is likely twenty times higher.

OK, so now you take your “active cases” number and your “total deaths” number and you do the math (keeping in mind that your “total deaths” include those cancer and heart failure people), and you end up grossly underestimating your “infection rate” and “active cases,” and grossly overestimating your “death rate” and the number of “total deaths.”

Just hypothetically, you understand. I am not suggesting this is actually happening. I certainly don’t want to get censored by Facebook (or accidentally censored by some totally innocuous technical glitch) for posting “Covid misinformation,” or tempt the Wikipedia “editors” to rush back to my Wikipedia page and label me a dangerous “conspiracy theorist” … or, you know, get myself preventatively quarantined.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Coronavirus, Disease 
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Pray for me, my friends, because I have the flu. No, not the Chinese Bat Flu, or Pangolin Flu, or Covid-19, or Coronavirus, or whatever it’s called now … just the regular, annoying Winter flu that goes around Berlin every year during flu season.

It’s a particularly annoying flu this year. You get it, recover from it, then you get it again. All you want to do is crawl into bed, or sit around watching garbage on Netflix. When you get it a second time, and sometimes a third time, it’s kind of a low-grade version of itself, maybe because your immune system knows it … or something. I’m not sure how that works. I’m not a professional virologist or anything.

Or, I don’t know, maybe it is the Bat Flu. The more I read the corporate press, the more I’m beginning to suspect it is. My suspicion isn’t based on facts. I don’t have any of the Bat Flu symptoms. It’s just a feeling … like the feelings people had that Saddam had secret WMDs, and that Trump was a Russian intelligence asset, and that the world was going to end in the year 2012.

OK, those feelings turned out to be wrong, but this one feels like an accurate feeling, and not like just the result of being relentlessly bombarded with hysterical headlines, pictures of people in hazmat suits, and obsessively researching ever-changing, wildly-varying statistics on the Internet, which … I really need to stop doing that.

According to my latest Internet research, the Bat Flu will either subside by late April or will infect approximately 5 billion people (i.e., 60 percent of the world population). If my little Windows calculator is correct, at a death rate of 3.4 percent, that’s 157 million dead people, and at a 4 percent death rate (which I just saw somewhere), we’re talking 200 million dead people! If you consider that the 14th Century “Black Death” killed 100 to 200 million people, nearly a quarter of the world population (because there weren’t as many people back then), and if you get hysterical and try to compare them (which I’m finding it increasingly difficult not to do), this Bat Flu plague could kill 2 billion people, or maybe 6 or 7 billion people, which is almost the entire human species … anything is possible, after all!

Plus, even if I just have the flu (i.e., the regular flu, not the Chinese Bat Flu), the statistics on that are pretty scary. I don’t know the numbers here in Germany, but, according to the CDC, since 2010, in the United States, the regular old garden variety flu has resulted in the following, annually:

  • 9 million – 45 million cases
  • 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations
  • 12,000 – 61,000 deaths

When you multiply all those numbers by 10 (because it’s been 10 years since 2010), you get:

  • 90 million – 450 million cases
  • 1,400,000 – 8,100,000 hospitalizations
  • 120,000 – 610,000 deaths

That’s 450 million possible cases and over half a million deaths, and that’s just in the United States! To make it concrete, if you stood all those dead people on top of each other, head to toe, so that everyone was standing on everyone’s head, and used them as an enormous ladder, you could climb to the moon and back four times … or once or twice at the very least.

And that’s nothing compared to this Covid-19!

No, according to The Guardian, Covid-19 is “about ten times more deadly than the seasonal flu,” so that’s 610,000 deaths just this year, and if the CDC tracks it for a full 10 years, that’s pretty close to 6 million dead people, which will make it just as bad as the Holocaust (although the Holocaust only lasted four years, so I’ll have to adjust my math for that).

And, remember, that’s just in the United States, which is only 4.25 percent of the total global population. So you multiply the Holocaust by 95 percent (you can round the numbers to make this easier) and you end up with 7 billion dead people, which is nearly every last person on Earth, except for 700 million people! Which, OK, that sounds like a lot of people (i.e., the 700 million, not the 7 billion), but it’s fewer than there were in the 14th Century, i.e., before the “Black Death” plague killed everybody!

Anyway, whatever I have, or don’t have, and regardless of the fact that I’m under 70 and in fairly good health as far as I know, and notwithstanding my algebraic skills, I’m thinking it’s time to take extreme measures. I recommend you do the same.

The first thing to do to is to arm yourself and go out and load up on toilet paper. The epidemiologists are now predicting a worldwide toilet paper crisis more or less approaching the scale of the deadly Toilet Paper Crisis of 1813! This toilet paper crisis could continue for months, so you will want to purchase (or otherwise obtain) as much toilet paper as you possibly can, and then hoard it in your house or apartment, or your remotely-located toilet paper depot.

Be prepared to fight for your toilet paper. Things are getting rather ugly out there. Gangs of heavily-armed toilet paper bandits are roving through the streets of Hong Kong robbing people of their toilet paper. An Australian man was tasered by the police at the Big W store in Tamworth Shoppingworld after “becoming aggressive” over the lack of toilet paper. In California, where a state of emergency is in effect (and presumably a full-scale lock-down is imminent), shoppers have been running amok at Costco, stripping the shelves of toilet paper, Kleenex, and feminine hygiene products. New York has just declared a state of emergency (possibly toilet paper-related). Italy has locked down the region of Lombardy, although it isn’t clear exactly why, as they mostly use bidets in Italy … but that’s not really important at the moment.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease 
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Break out the pussyhats and vuvuzelas, folks, because the neoliberal Resistance is back, and this time they’re not playing around. No more impeachments and investigations. It’s time to go mano-a-mano with Trump, and they’ve finally got just the bad hombre to do it. No, not Bernie Sanders, you commies. A battle-hardened Resistance fighter. El Caballo Pequeño! El Jefe Mínimo! Subcomandante Michael Bloomberg!

Yes, that’s right, Michael Bloomberg, multi-billionaire Republicrat oligarch, has mobilized a guerilla army of overpaid PR professionals, Wall Street sociopaths, liberal racists, and anti-outdoor-smoking fanatics, and is steamrolling toward the Democratic convention to buy a brokered nomination and save America from “Putinism.” He’s had it with you sugary-soft-drink-drinking, chain-smoking, gun-toting, Oxy-gobbling, Hitler-loving, Putinist peasants and your infatuation with Donald Trump. So he’s decided to transform the entire country into a sterile, upscale, fascist themepark where you can rent a studio for $3,000 a month and the cops keep “the darkies” in their place, like he successfully did to New York City.

Although his campaign seemed to come out of nowhere (and sort of resembles a desperate attempt to prevent a Bernie Sanders nomination), the Resistance have been planning this corporatist Tet Offensive for quite some time. Apparently, Subcomandante Bloomberg and his inner circle of sub-subcomandantes have been hiding out deep in the mountainous jungles of Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side (or in the Hamptons, or London, or in one of El Jefe’s other multi-million-dollar homes) since Trump and the Russians invaded the country, waiting for the perfect moment to start inundating the American people with television commercials and social media posts informing them of his “electability.”

Clearly, that moment has now arrived.

Bloomberg has spent over $400 million on TV, radio, and digital ads, and it isn’t even Super Tuesday yet. He bought the Democratic National Committee and had them change the rules so he could join the debates (which, based on his poor performance in Las Vegas, might not have been the most brilliant strategy). He has been buying politicians, community organizers, journalists, pundits, his opponents’ campaign staff, Instagram and Facebook influencers, and everyone else he can possibly buy to support his campaign to buy the presidency … which is totally legal, and the American way, and is our only hope of overthrowing the Putin-Nazi Occupation Government and regaining our God-given capitalist freedom!

Sure, to some folks, it looks … well, unseemly (not to mention decidedly undemocratic), this Wall Street oligarch attempting to bribe and bully his way into the White House, but, given the stakes, what choice do we have? As the corporate media and intelligence agencies have been telling us for the last three years, the country is under occupation by an evil conspiracy of Russian-backed Nazis personally controlled by Vladimir Putin! More or less any moment now, Putin is going to order Trump to nullify the U.S. Constitution, declare martial law, appoint himself Führer, and start rounding up and murdering the Jews … or investigating Hunter Biden, or the spooks who have been trying to force him out of office.

This Putin-Nazism cannot continue! Trump must be deposed, no matter the cost. As Robert Reich put it in this piece in The Guardian:

“If the only way we can get rid of the sociopathic tyrant named Trump is with an oligarch named Bloomberg, we will have to choose the oligarch.”

There you have it, folks. We’ll have to choose Bloomberg, or else his golf buddy, Literal Hitler, will destroy the fabric of democracy, or whatever.

Another op-ed in The Washington Post, It Might Be Time to Take Bloomberg Seriously, wondered, if it comes down to Bloomberg versus Bernie:

“Do you choose socialism or capitalism? An ideologue or an executive? Are you really going to ask Americans to trade one extreme for the other, or do you want to offer them a certified, electable moderate?”

Vox, in its “Case for Michael Bloomberg — Mike Bloomberg and His Billions Are What Democrats Need to Beat Trump,” observes that, sure, Bloomberg has drawbacks, like his history of racist remarks and policies, abusing women, oppressing the poor, and just generally being an arrogant little authoritarian corporatist creep, but hey, he’s apologized for all that stuff, and he’ll probably never do it again.

Plus, according to this piece in …uh, Bloomberg Opinion (which “does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Bloomberg LP and its owners”), The 2020 Election Is a Choice Between Democracy and Putinism! At the end of the day, once the dust has settled:

“It will come down to rule of law. In November, Americans will decide whether they will fight for the foundation of liberal democracy and democratic capitalism or whether they will accede to Putinism.”

You’ll be hearing variations of this message over and over, and over again, as we approach election day in November … that is, assuming Bloomberg and the rest of the Resistance can buy, bribe, badger, and bamboozle enough Democratic voters into nominating him. First, they need to deal with Bernie Sanders and his swarm of kill-crazy commie terrorists (who rumor has it are also being remotely controlled by Vladimir Putin). To do this, all they will need to do is deny Sanders a first ballot win in Milwaukee, which shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish. Sure, a brokered convention will be ugly, but, as Robert Reich said, they’ll have to do it, or else … well, you know, end of democracy.

Yes, I’m aware that Subcomandante Bloomberg blew his first debate (prompting Twitter pundits to pronounce him DOA) and that millions of “progressive” Democrats hate him, and that the corporate media are running a lot of “Bloomberg’s Nasty Past” pieces now (in order to maintain the appearance of journalism), but, make no mistake, if he secures the nomination, they’ll be lining up to “reluctantly” endorse him, because the alternative will be Russian Hitler!

 
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America just can’t catch a break. After three long years of brutal oppression under Donald Trump’s Russia-backed Nazi Reich, it turns out the only Democratic candidate with a chance of unseating him in November and rescuing the world from the Putin-Nazis is a 78-year-old bloodthirsty Commie with a Khmer Rouge-like army of kill-crazy followers.

Yes, I’m afraid the rumors are true. Apparently, elements of Jeremy Corbyn’s recently-disbanded Nazi Death Cult have regrouped in the United States, formed an alliance with Bernie Sanders fanatics, and together this Mega-Commie Kill Swarm is roaming the Internet with complete impunity, sadistically mass-murdering Sanders critics and defenseless differently-abled persons with vulgar language and vicious poo-memes.

The corporate media are doing their best to alert Americans to the imminent threat. CNN broadcast a special report explaining how Sanders’ “army of supporters” are “bullying” and “frightening” his critics into silence. An “outspoken Elizabeth Warren supporter whose daughter with Downs syndrome is recovering from cancer” was verbally-abused to within an inch of her life. An “activist dying of ALS” was instructed to go “f___” himself. The Working Families Party was subjected to a series of inappropriate adjectives. The Party’s leader, an African American and a personal friend of Bernie Sanders, was taunted with a racist Tweet, which Sanders took to Twitter and condemned, but by that time it was much too late. His Commie Kill Swarm was beyond his control; they started tweeting memes comparing Elizabeth Warren to a snake and Pete Buttigieg to a rat, and otherwise terrorizing the American public.

Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin spoke to several other “victims” of Sanders’ Commie Kill Swarm’s tweets who are recovering from their Internet traumas in undisclosed secure locations and so insisted on remaining anonymous. According to Griffin, these emotionally-traumatized victims are so emotionally traumatized by what they experienced on the Internet that they wouldn’t even let him describe the traumatic “circumstances” surrounding their “attacks.”

And the proof of Sanders’ Commie Kill Swarm’s atrocities isn’t just anecdotal. No, Griffin also spoke to Ben Decker, “CEO” of something called “Memetica” (which appears to be Ben’s Twitter account), whose “Facebook analysis” conclusively proves that Sanders has a lot of online supporters, more than all the other candidates, which creates “the potential for greater harm.” This type of online “bullying-at-scale,” according to Ben, is just … well, “crazy.”

Of course, CNN is not the only corporate media outlet on the case. In the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses (which Sanders would go on to attempt to steal from Buttigieg by winning thousands more votes), a spate of dire warnings were issued. According to The Washington Post, “Sanders supporters have weaponized Facebook” and are terrorizing people with “angry memes.” The New York Times reported that “Bernie Sanders and His Internet Army have forced progressives who refuse to back him into hiring private security details to protect them from “death threats” and off-color jokes. Daily Beast warned of “Toxic Bernie Bros.” NBC likened them to MAGA supporters, who everyone knows are Russia-loving Nazis. SNL writers went even further, painting Sanders as the darling of 4chan … and these are just a few examples.

But by far the most bombastic display of unbridled Sanders-Commie-Kill-Swarm-Panic was MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who totally lost it after the last debate and started sputtering about “socialists” staging public mass-executions in Central Park. Matthews is apparently firmly convinced that Sanders, if he wins the election, plans to dress up like Fidel Castro, march Matthews and his cronies out onto the Great Lawn, and go full-bore Daenerys Targaryen on them. He sat there, trembling, on national television, eyes afire with paranoia, jabbering about the godless “Reds” like a scene from Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove that got cut because it was too over-the-top.

Seriously, though, I doubt he has much to worry about. Regardless of who wins the election this year, the supranational corporatocracy that essentially owns the U.S. government is not about to let Bernie Sanders implement the same basic social programs that most capitalist countries throughout world have provided to their people for decades. Jesus, just imagine the freedomless horror if Americans could go to university, and, you know, maybe raise a child or two, without spending the rest of their lives in debt! Think of the suffering that would inflict on the banks, and insurance companies, and military contractors, not to mention the pharmaceutical industry. God help America, should it go down that road! The next thing you know there’d be high-speed trains, subsidized art, and un-chlorinated chicken … there’s no telling where the nightmare would end.

Look, I don’t normally get invested in the quadrennial Simulation of Democracy, but I’m kind of pulling for Bernie this time. I don’t believe he has a chance, but if he somehow managed to outfox the Democrats and win the nomination this summer, it would be fun to watch as the corporate media and the rest of the neoliberal Resistance react to a Sanders vs. Trump election.

Not that either Sanders or Trump, the men themselves, are a threat to the empire (as we have witnessed over the course of the last three years). But we’re in the middle of a War on Populism, which the global corporatocracy needs to win if it is going to continue to relentlessly destabilize, privatize, and restructure everything, as it has been doing since the end of the Cold War. Sanders and Trump are just symbols, of course, lightning rods for “populist” anger … but they are symbols the empire needs to destroy in order to reestablish “normality.”

 
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I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m a little worried about Donald Trump. I’m worried he may be on the verge of a sudden, major heart attack, or a stroke, or a fatal golfing accident.

Food poisoning is another possibility. Or he could overdose on prescription medication. A tanning bed mishap is not out of the question.

He could accidentally hang himself during autoerotic asphyxiation, or get shot by a lone-wolf white supremacist terrorist trying to start the RaHoWa. The Russians could spray him with that Novichok perfume.

There are any number of ways he could snuff it.

I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but the Resistance is running out of non-lethal options for removing Donald Trump from office. Here they are, in no particular order …

Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 1

Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 1 is winning the 2020 election, which isn’t looking very promising. The Democratic Party is in shambles. According to the polls, their current front-runner is a senile, hair-sniffing, finger-sucking freak who never met a credit card company or a healthcare lobbyist he didn’t like, and who rivals even Donald Trump when it comes to incoherent babbling.

Yes, that’s right, folks, it’s “Smilin’ Joe” Biden, vanquisher of the razor-wielding, swimming-pool-gangster “Corn Pop” to the rescue! As far as I’ve been able to gather, the plan is for Joe to out-“crazy” Trump (and thus win back the “bull goose loony” demographic) by going completely off his medication and having a series of scary-looking petit mal seizures on national television.

That is, unless the impossible happens, and Biden is vanquished by Bernie Sanders (a/k/a “The Magic Socialist”), who Democratic Party bigwigs would sooner publicly immolate themselves than nominate, and who the corporate media are already accusing of being a lying, sexist. communist, crypto-Trump-loving, Jew-hating Jew.

Sanders, it seems, has gone totally “native.” He’s out there, in the heart of the American darkness, like a geriatric Colonel Kurz, operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct. According to the latest reconnaissance, he is building another “revolutionary” army of fanatical, doped-up, hacky-sacking “socialists” that he will lead into the convention in July and deliver to Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, or whichever soulless corporate puppet the party honchos eventually nominate, and then obsequiously stump for them for the next five months. (Or, who knows, maybe Michael Bloomberg will put the Democrats out of their misery and just buy the party and nominate himself.)

The “Crush Bernie” movement is just getting started, but you can tell the Resistance isn’t screwing around. Hillary Clinton just officially launched her national “Nobody Likes Bernie” campaign at the star-studded 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Influential Jewish journalists like Bari Weiss and Jeffrey Goldberg, and Ronald Lauder’s newly-founded Anti-Semitism Accountability Project, have been Hitlerizing him, or, rather, Corbynizing him. Obama has promised to “stop him,” if necessary. MSNBC anchor Joy Reid brought on a professional “body language expert” to phrenologize Sanders “live” on the air … and, as I said, they’re just getting started.

In any event, no matter who they nominate, they have no chance of winning in November. How could they, given the total stranglehold the Russians now have on American democracy? As Adam Schiff just reminded everyone, unless Donald Trump is removed from office, “we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won,” because at any moment Putin could order Trump to pressure the Ukrainian president into investigating Biden’s son’s corruption by refusing to fund the Ukrainian military’s resistance to Putin’s secret plot to occupy the entire Ukraine and use it as a covert base from which to launch an all-out thermonuclear war against the United States (which Putin already controls through his puppet, Trump, and his network of nefarious Facebook bots, which, according to this expert on NPR, are already brainwashing gullible Black people into voting for Bernie Sanders this time, or at least refusing to vote for Biden, like they refused to vote for Hillary last time … which, OK, I know, that sounds kind of racist, but we’re talking NPR here, folks. These people aren’t racists. They’re liberals!)

OK, I got a little lost there … the point is, if the election goes ahead, and Trump doesn’t have an embolism or something, odds are, we’re looking at four more years of Putin-Nazi occupation. Which brings us to …

Non-Lethal Option No. 2

Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 2 is, of course, the current impeachment circus. I don’t even know where to start with this one.

After three and a half years of corporate-media-manufactured mass hysteria and Intelligence Community propaganda designed to convince the American public that Donald Trump is a “Russian asset” (and possibly Putin’s homosexual lover) and also literally the Resurrection of Hitler, the Democrats are trying to impeach the man for something that most Americans either (a) believe is common practice among members of the political class, (b) don’t entirely understand, or (c) do, but don’t give a shit about.

 
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So, 2020 is off to an exciting start. It’s barely the middle of January, and we’ve already made it through World War III, which was slightly less apocalyptic than expected. Forensic teams are still sifting through the ashes, but preliminary reports suggest that the global capitalist empire has emerged from the carnage largely intact.

It started in the Middle East, of course, when Donald Trump (a “Russian-asset”) ordered the murder of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani outside the Baghdad Airport, presumably after clearing it with Putin, which, given Iran and Russia’s relationship, doesn’t really make much sense.

But whatever. According to the U.S. government and the corporate media, Soleimani was a “terrorist,” who had been working with Assad (another “terrorist”) to destroy ISIS (who are also “terrorists”) and elements of Al-Qaeda (who used to be “terrorists”) with the support of the Russians (who are kind of “terrorists”) and doing all sorts of other unspecified but allegedly imminent “terrorist” things.

Apparently, Soleimani had flown to Baghdad on a secret commercial “terrorist” flight and was on his way to some kind of covert “terrorist” diplomatic meeting to respond to a de-escalation proposal from Saudi Arabia (who are definitely not “terrorists”) when the U.S. military preventatively murdered him with a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9B Reaper drone.

Iran (officially a “terrorist” country since January 1979, when they overthrew the brutal Western puppet that the CIA and MI6 had installed as their “Shah” in 1953, after they regime-changed the Iranian prime minister, after he nationalized the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later to be known as British Petroleum) reacted to the preventative murder of their “terrorist” general like a bunch of “terrorists.”

The Ayatollah Khamenei (you guessed it, a “terrorist”) issued a series of “terrorist” threats against the 50,000 U.S. military personnel more or less completely surrounding his country on bases all across the Middle East. Millions of Iranians (currently “terrorists,” except for members of MeK), who, according to the U.S. officials, hated Soleimani, took to the streets of Tehran and other cities to mourn his death, burn American flags, and chant “death to America” and other “terrorist” slogans.

The empire went to DEFCON 1. The 82nd Airborne was activated. The State Department advised Americans vacationing in Iraq to get the hell out of there. #worldwar3 started trending on Twitter.

Freedom-loving countries throughout the region stood by to be annihilated. Saudi Arabia postponed its previously scheduled weekend edition of public head-chopping. Israel dialed up its non-existent nukes. The Kuwaitis posted armed guards on their incubators. The Qataris, Bahrainians, United Arab Emiratis, and other loyal empire outposts did whatever those folks do when they’re facing nuclear Armageddon.

In the U.S.A., it was mass hysteria. The corporate media starting pumping out stories about Soleimani having “blood on his hands,” and being “the number one terrorist in the world,” and having ruthlessly genocided hundreds of American soldiers, who, back in 2003, had preventatively invaded and destroyed Iraq and were preventatively slaughtering and torturing its people to keep them from attacking America with their non-existent WMDs.

Americans (most of whom had never even heard of Soleimani until their government murdered him, and many of whom can’t find Iran on a map) took to Twitter to call for the immediate nuking of Iran from orbit. Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a division of heavily-armed anti-“terror” forces to stand around in New York City with their rifles in the classic “sling-ready” position to prevent the Iranians from swimming the Atlantic (along with their communist killer dolphins), crawling up onto East Hampton Beach, taking the LIRR into town, and committing some devastating “terrorist” atrocity that would be commemorated throughout eternity on key rings, T-shirts, and jumbo coffee mugs.

Trump, disciplined Russian agent that he is, held his nerve and maintained his cover, performing his “total moron” act as only a seasoned Russian operative can. While Iran was still mourning, he started publicly jabbering about Soleimani’s dismembered corpse, bombing Iranian cultural sites, and otherwise bombastically taunting Iran like an emotionally-challenged street-corner drunk. His strategy was clearly to convince the Iranians (and the rest of the world) that he is a dangerous imbecile who will murder the officials of any foreign government that Mike Pompeo tells him to, and then incinerate their museums and mosques, and presumably the rest of their “shithole” countries, if they even think about retaliating.

Nevertheless, retaliate the Iranians did. In a sadistic display of cold-hearted “terrorism,” they launched a firestorm of ballistic “terror” missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq, killing no one and injuring no one, but damaging the hell out of some empty buildings, a helicopter, and a couple of tents. First, though, in order to maximize the “terror,” they called the Swiss embassy in Tehran and asked them to warn the U.S. military that they would be launching missiles at their bases shortly. As the Moon of Alabama website reported:

“The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the U.S., was warned at least one hour before the attack happened. Around 0:00 UTC the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which prohibited civil U.S. flights over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.”

In the wake of the Iranians’ devastating counter-strike, and the mass-non-casualties resulting therefrom, anyone with an Internet connection or access to a television descended into their anti-terror bunkers and held their breath in anticipation of the nuclear hell Trump was sure to unleash. I confess, even I tuned into his speech, which was one of the most disturbing public spectacles I have ever witnessed.

Trump burst through the doors of the White House Grand Foyer, dramatically backlit, freshly “tanned,” scowling like a WWF wrestler, and announced that, as long as he is president, “Iran will never be allowed to have nuclear weapons” … as if any of the events of the preceding week had had anything to do with nuclear weapons (which the Iranians don’t need and do not want, except in some neoconservative fantasy wherein Iran intends to commit national suicide by nuking Israel off the face of the Earth).

 
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