hook & line
quill & note
space & time
reason & rhyme
yin & yang
* Mallard & Muscovy feathers predominantly
Free speech does not allow you to yell “Fire,” and created a false panic which endangers others. The same applies to eliminating non-essential mass gatherings during a pandemic. You are not allowed to be recklessly stupid & selfish, putting others at greater risk. It’s called being a part of a civilized society, which implies, responsibility towards others. All other animals survive as a species by instinctively sacrificing for the greater good.
But for humans we have a class society, and COVID-19 is proof that it isn’t compatible with survival. For instance, in the governmental matter of shutting down churches, there can be no acceptable argument based on religious freedom. The US Constitution gives everyone the right to express their religious beliefs, but explicitly states that there is separation of church & state.
This means churches are no different that sports arenas & bars, when it comes to considering them as non-essential gathering places which must be shut down during a coronavirus pandemic. If you want electricity, internet & all the rest of the modern conveniences, then you must follow a few rational rules. It’s called being unselfish, which we are told is a Christian ethic.
Of course, the concept of church & state being separated was thrown out long ago, as reactionary arguments have been allowed to take precedent in courts of law, where rulings are tailored to fit specific political agendas. The Reagan-Bush era from 1981-1993, accelerated this trend by appointing fundamentalist-leaning judges across the south & great plains. Scientology, with its anti-abortion & anti-vaxer proponents, now flourish in these regions.
Everywhere from Florida to Oregon, political machinery is in the hands of Christian fundamentalists with ties into corporate America. Florida governor Ron DeSantis (below) allowed churches to be open yesterday, Easter Sunday. Most of them were empty, proving that people realize better than the governor what needs to be done. What does that say about our political leadership?
Why haven’t we seen Joe Biden or Donald Trump on the campaign trail lately, giving speeches before large crowds of supporters? If they aren’t doing that, then we know it isn’t safe for workers to get back to work. Right? Trump & Biden need to go first, to prove it’s safe for the rest of us. That’s called leadership, but there is none of that in the two-party system.
People aren’t going to listen to this “get back to work” rhetoric from fake people who haven’t worked an honest day in their lives. Until this pandemic is under control with PPE, testing supplies, and everything else necessary made widely available to those who need it, those who are quarantined at home should stay put. It’s clearly not safe to be working, and those who are, can only be essential personnel. The US government is ultimately responsible, as it failed to protect its people, so they pick up the bill for workers’ lost wages & expenses. We’ll confiscate the funds from Wall Street billionaires to pay for it.
Anything less, isn’t going to work in an election year. With Bernie Sanders finally dropping out last week, Election 2020 is set, but the campaigns are all on hold. It’s now about political survival, and I still predict that these elections aren’t going to be happening in November. This pandemic will likely still be raging, in its second or third wave by then, and the population will be compelled to take measures into its own hands. This scenario was unimaginable a few months ago, but is easy to envision today. That’s how fast things are moving politically at the moment.
Food dumping (above) needs to STOP at once! This is a capitalist dirty trick to create shortages, from which the 0.1% can profiteer. Medical supplies that have been stockpiled by hoarders, need to be publicly seized and distributed to first responders & hospitals– in order of need. The sooner, the better.
This should have been done months ago, but it wasn’t, and both political parties are to blame. Therefore they both need to be thrown out of office & arrested for their crimes against humanity. This is the time for revolution and that’s what’s going to happen, because we’ve reach a qualitative, dialectical tipping point.
What about US soldiers & sailors who have been cooped-up, in close quarters with their comrades for weeks now? Why are they being ordered to live with others who are infected with COVID-19? If our brave men & women are our greatest heroes, then why are they treated as expendable by Trump & the US high command?
When I was a kid, I always had adults telling me, “You can’t say that.” Those were the mantras of the baby boomer generation, but they never served us well. The point is: do not be afraid to speak out & act as a leader. The world needs revolutionary leadership more than ever now. This is to be done online & out in the streets. You must get out and walk around your local area. While getting necessary exercise, you’ll notice the changes.
Now is the time to notice & discuss these changes. Those who can influence through words & other means, are the most powerful people on social media during this coronavirus era. Decent content is now in short supply, so those who can provide answers & quality content are king & queen. The fake media is only trying to scare & coerce people into getting back to work, so they can maintain their class dominance. The alternative is to support the World Socialist Web Site & Socialist Equality Party in every nation– for a socialist revolution!!
Right now there are no sports going on anywhere, so there is virtually no sports writing. But this is when we need writers & reporters the most. So why isn’t there anything worth reading in the media? The truth is that most sports “journalists” are nothing without their VIP access & being spoon-fed information by the machinery.
I’m going to use three screenshots from ESPN.com, which were all taken on this publication date, to discuss & analyze their content. Let’s start with the NBA, which is supposed to be finishing it’s regular season and starting its play-offs in a few weeks.
Of course the NBA was the first major American sports league to shut down, when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert test positive for COVID-19, only days after conspicuously wiping himself all over press corps tape recorders. He’s been in quarantine & all apologies since.
This was to be the “Kobe season” after Bryant’s tragic death in January. But now it’s the “coronavirus season.” This puts reality in its proper perspective, I say. Too many NBA-ers still want to try to finish the season, which is insane. Too many spoiled rich athletes don’t really understand what it takes to put on one single event, such as a NBA game.
Unless it’s the Lakers-Clippers, it involves one team traveling to another city, which means air travel, ground transportation & hotels. The players are taken care of by their handlers, so they don’t always appreciate the labor involved.
Once at the event, the arena needs service personnel of every type. Players need trainers, medical & coaching staff. The fans expect food & drink vendors, and clean facilities. You need engineers to design these wonderlands, and labor to build them. To maintain them, every skill set from electricians to janitors are essential, and they are needed in numbers.
How is the NBA going to get service personnel back to work under pandemic conditions? There is little-to-no testing for the workers, and no proper PPE. So what’s their incentive to risk their lives to restart these carnivals? I write about sports all the time, and honestly I’m fine without them for now. It’s one less beat for me to have to cover. The point is, I don’t miss them that much, and a lot of other people feel the same way.
If you want to crown a NBA champion in 2019-20, it will only be by fan debate. I don’t follow too closely anymore, but I thought Clippers were going to win it, defeating the Lakers in the Western finals, or something like that. As far as Kobe Bryant goes: he was an all-time basketball great, but his legacy pales in comparison to the importance of what humanity is facing with COVID-19.
The ESPN headlines for the NBA today are the same as yesterday, and the day before, etc. “No decisions until May according to commissioner Adam Silver.” “NBA is eyeing faster testing.” Some no-name Kentucky Freshman guard has declared for the upcoming NBA draft…
ESPN always broadcasts the NBA draft which was to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. But now that’s a pipe dream, as this will have to shifted to a virtual event. Once again, how are you going to get service people to work without protection in a pandemic? They need PPE and hazard pay. The ruling classes scream in unison that this is not feasible. That’s going to be the stand-off. All reporting on the NBA draft & mock drafts don’t discuss these realities and their implications. Makes you wonder.
Coronavirus is changing everything today, and into the future. How are sports leagues going to get fans packed back into stadiums & arenas during a pandemic? I don’t want pay to go, do you? That’s the current unreality of the NBA and its media.
Above is ESPN’s MLB homepage today, with Jeff Passan being left to answer the title: Is it safe to start the MLB season in May? The answer is obviously no, but the current MLB proposal is a 4-and-1/2 month “biodome quarantine” for players, coaches and staff, with all games to be played in the Phoenix area. No contact with family & friends during the season, and no fans in the stadiums. Television, radio & internet broadcast only. I hope that makes sense to you, because it makes no sense to me.
MLB was force to shut down near the end of spring training, so what this comes down to is money, which is why such crazy ideas are being floated. The players are for it, only so they can get paid, Canceling the season means no player paychecks. That’s a lot of families that need to eat, especially for pre-arbitration players with league-minimum contracts. These are the vast majority of younger players which dominate MLB rosters today.
Of course, the minor leagues are cancelled too. MLB owners wanted to scale back MiLB, so here it is. Zero baseball. The truth is that there will be no MLB season in 2020. How these “guaranteed” contracts are to be paid out, will be a contentious labor issue– for sure. It’s still quiet on this front, only because it’s early.
Beyond that, how do organizations scout for amateur drafts beyond 2020, with no baseball being played anywhere this year? The 2020 J-2 international draft probably needs to be cancelled. Any analysis & discussion of this in the sports media? They’re all afraid to ask, much less answer these questions.
One final footnote on MLB 2020. I theorized during the Mookie Betts salary dump saga that MLB would not sanction the Boston Red Sox for their iPhone cheating scandal during their 2018 World Series championship season with manager Alex Cora. It’s clear now that MLB has let their transgressions go. The Houston Astros will be the only MLB organization to be punished for electronic sign stealing, and then thrown to the media. The Astros are still taking heat for this, and the many Red Sox boosters in the MLB commissioner’s office are there to make sure this doesn’t happen to Boston.
[Edit: April 23, 2020] The final penalty for the Boston Red Sox electronically stealing signs is 2018 is the loss of a 2nd round pick in this year’s June amateur draft. Also, the Red Sox video replay system operator, J.T. Watkins, is suspended for two seasons. That’s it. Alex Cora was already fired, so suspending him (& Watkins) for 2020 (which will be cancelled anyways), is an empty gesture.
This punishment is nothing close to what the Houston Astros received for similar transgressions, and now it’s all swept under the rug by MLB. No media attacks on the Red Sox, or calls for players & management to explain themselves to the fans. Just as I analyzed & predicted, months ago. It helps to have friends in high places.
According to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s 15-page report, “I find that the Red Sox front office consistently communicated MLB’s sign-stealing rules to non-player staff and made commendable efforts toward instilling a culture of compliance in their organization… No other member of the 2018 Red Sox staff will be disciplined because I do not find that anyone was aware of or should have been aware of Watkins’s conduct.”
No mention of iPhone watches in the Red Sox dugout in 2018. Everything in Manfred’s report is meant to minimize the impact on the Boston Red Sox, from its language to its actual content. Example: it is footnoted on page 4, that losing a second-round pick may be more meaningful to the Red Sox in 2020, because there may only be 5 rounds to the draft this year. Do you see how the Red Sox suffer? The Houston Astros will also lose their second-round pick this year, so what is that footnote about?
MLB’s final 15-page report spends an inordinate amount of time discussing the actions of a video replay system operator, and not enough about what the coaches & players did with that information & when. No rational baseball fan believes that J.T. Watkins was the sole mastermind, and manager Joey Cora was the sole beneficiary in this scandal. But that’s what MLB wants you to believe, and they have a compliant lapdog media to assist them with their false narrative. This is a despicable cover-up by MLB, proving extreme east-coast bias towards the Boston Red Sox.
The NFL (above) is to start its draft on April 23, broadcast on ESPN & ABC. This is a prime-time annual event on the ESPN calendar, with Mel Kiper Jr & Company ready for analysis on every selection, and then at the end, the “big board” for next year. The NFL confirmed yesterday it will be a virtual draft, with team personnel at their homes.
The draft was originally scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, the new home of the Raiders. Since all the scouting & combines have happened, a NFL draft can be accomplished online. The issue is the upcoming season, which is supposed to begin its training camps on July 15. No way that happens for all the reasons discussed above. What’s the point of draft picks & agents negotiating contracts with teams, if there isn’t going to be a 2020 NFL season?
What about NCAA football? When 2020 gets cancelled, then teams will have no scouting for the 2021 draft. Same with high-school football, and college recruiting.
Do you see how tied-in all this is? This is why Donald Trump conference-called all these league commissioners (& NHL) on Saturday, April 4.
“President Trump said he believes the NFL season should start on time in September, sources familiar with the call told ESPN. ‘I want fans back in the arenas,’ Trump said later in a briefing at the White House. ‘I think it’s … whenever we’re ready. As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air.'”
For reference in Europe, less than a week ago professional tennis cancelled its men’s & women’s tours through the French Open & Wimbledon, which was to run June 29 to July 12. No comment on 2020 US Open, which is scheduled August 24 through September 13 in Queens NY. The site is the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which is currently closed until further notice– due to coronavirus.
The last ATP & WTA major before coronavirus COVID-19 was the 2020 Australian Open in January. That event was affected by wildfires raging across the continent at the time, and this was considered the major world news story of the day. Everywhere except China & their region in Asia. Both these pandemics (wildfires & coronavirus) are linked to global warming.
The tours that have responded best are the ones that have pivoted online. One somewhat surprising example is NASCAR, whose top drivers are now competing in iRacing, which is competitive video game racing online. The top drivers are nowhere near as good as the gamers at this, but racing fans still have interest. Dale Earnhardt, Jr discusses this Kyle Busch here:
The best part is that fans can follow their favorite participating drivers, observe their skills, and see their personalities come out– without NASCAR BS.The ruling establishment connected with every nation needs these carnival tours to recommence in real life, otherwise it’s going to be a revolution on all fronts. That’s what a sportswriter with imagination has to say today.
Today is the first day that Florida is on official lockdown. What this means in Sanford (for now) is that you can still go out for walks, fish on the river walk & go out for “essentials.” That word “essential” is given broad interpretation, and enforcement is kept vague. A few hold-out non-essential business are still trying to do business as usual, mostly using kids for employment, but most small-business owners get it and are home. More & more people are wearing masks.
Ventilators have become an issue to keep patients alive, as they flow oxygen to taxed & infected lungs. To avoid this fate, ventilate daily at home by opening windows & doors to let fresh air in. Direct sunlight kills most microbes & such pathogens, so do this as part of keeping your place clean. Also get out and exercise just enough for your needs, while observing best hygiene & social distancing practices.
I stayed home most days for over two weeks until the quarantine lockdown was finally ordered by Republican governor Ron DeSantis yesterday. I felt I had to lead by example, as I’m conspicuous in my area. Governor DeSantis had to wait so long, despite intense popular pressure, because: 1) he’s a puppet of Trump; and 2) he’s beholden to the Florida state machinery. Donald Trump wants his favorite golf courses to remain available to him. This is just one of a million examples of personal interests affecting Florida politics. The people who live here have no say, and are kept in the dark about everything important.
One group I neglected to mention in my first checklist was homeless people. They get forgotten, even though they exist everywhere. If we as a society are serious about dealing with this coronavirus epidemic, then we need to find homes for all the homeless– so they aren’t spreading more disease. To not do so only kills the economy (& people) even more. Since most people don’t think much about homeless people, maybe presenting this as self-interest will give them pause.
At this point, there is nothing helpful coming from Bernie Sanders, AOC, or any of the rest of the fake left in mainstream US politics. The presumed Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, is a racist, sexist, militarist zombie. The truth is that none of them are significantly better than Trump, and that’s why none are too anxious to succeed him at this point. Every day we get closer to the cancellation of Election 2020.
The primaries haven’t been officially been cancelled. But what about the conventions? Much depends on pseudo-socialist Bernie Sanders, who has been ready to concede to Joe Biden for weeks, except for these extraordinary circumstances. Bernie Sanders knows how to deceive a naive Democratic constituency during regular times, but these are no longer ordinary days. The US is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, which means it’s an epidemic in America. Any answers, Bernie? Hello, anyone home?! He’s gone away, like all the rest of his ilk.
Only a few brave months earlier, Trump boasted that no coronavirus would be getting to America, or into any of his rallies. Now all the rallies have been cancelled, and his daily White House “press conferences” are a tragic farce. Strict censorship by the volatile Trumpster allows no serious issues to be brought up. At this point, any half-serious White House journalist has probably had their credentials revoked by the Trump team, or at least been threatened.
The Commander-in-Chief doesn’t follow the most basic social distancing rules himself, and probably doesn’t even wash his hands, so who can take him seriously? The rational world sees this and wants to vomit. Zombie supporters of Democrats-Republicans normally cheerlead each week’s inane talking points on social media, but I notice they’re mostly quiet now, as we have to “come together” in this time of crisis. This is the sort of sorry-ass BS that losers force themselves to believe every time they don’t want to admit they’ve been wrong all along. The only comfort here is that there will be much more hard reality coming to these formerly-affluent, but still confused upper-middle class liberals, and they need a healthy dose for sure.
What I don’t need any more of is television, and I haven’t watched in weeks. I tried a few times, but it’s all commercials & no content, so it’s off again within a minute or two. Here’s a fact we all know. People learned about coronavirus online. That’s because they know they can’t rely on the MSM. These are generalities that hold much truth about our future.
Many frontline medical workers are making out their wills. This is a grim reality to face, and heavy responsibility to bear. This is what they dedicated their lives to do, and it can be a heroic adrenaline rush on the front line. But now it’s mostly overwork & fatigue, knowing you’re fighting a losing battle. The resources to win aren’t there. The compensation is far too little, and the personal cost is far too high.
Capitalism is responsible for all this. Its puppet-masters have gone into hiding, from the public at least. Where is Warren Buffet, with all his fortune & expertise, to take questions from the public? Answer: He’s too susceptible to talk– until May at the earliest. Where are all the rest who are responsible for this catastrophe? Why is there no public accounting or admission of wrong-doing?
For the rich, this is time for them to watch as COVID-19 is unleashed on the North American continent, with no coordinated preventive health measures in place to protect the population. In the very near future, food and other living essentials will be in short supply, meaning hoarded by the elite, in order to starve the masses into submission & death. That’s their plan. Socialist revolution must be the plan for international youth & the working masses.
Since I live among the many, and right next to a hospital, here are some thoughts to take to the grave. No one can live forever, which is why organizations & institutions exist, as these entities can outlive us. The ones you identify & act with in life, are the ones that will carry your name in death. So be very careful about whom you support, because you give a part of yourself that is hard to take back.
Therefore this is my online will, so to speak. Facebook is to freeze all my pages upon death. No more posting, commenting, or liking allowed. It can then be made available for public viewing to all who wish. YouTube videos are to allow comments into posterity. This allows the original online content to be preserved in it’s integrity, while making room for discussion. These are basically online diaries, which you must (and should) own.
Website content should also be frozen and preserved in its original form. “Some rights reserved” is the 21st-century creative model, and it means available to share, but if money is made, then find a way to pay (or at least credit) the artist.
I’m still an atheist, no thanks to god. Full support always to the SEP/ WSWS/ICFI. Just bury my body anywhere when it’s my time, and remember these songs among others.
If you’re out-of-work due to mass quarantine, then this is the question. All the carnivals & circuses have been shut down, live & on TV. ESPN & all the sports leagues are airing re-runs. Except for the NFL, which is still delusional for its 2020 season. They have just “negotiated” a new CBA with the NFLPA that runs through 2030 which extends the regular season by one game in 2021, and the playoffs to 14-teams in 2020. These fools still act like there is going to be football in the fall. The problem is there isn’t.
Everyone of these megalomaniacs has under-estimated the impact of this pandemic. Two months ago, coronavirus was labeled a conspiracy theory by the “right-wing” mainstream fake news. Here is the first report from the WSWS on coronavirus, published January 24, 2020. It still holds up, and was light years ahead of the rest of the media.
In contrast, Donald Trump with all the resources of the CDC, NHS, WHO, etc, available to him, only reversed himself on coronavirus on Monday, March 16, 2020. Since then he has done nothing to stop the spread, in fact he has allowed it to get worse.
There are too many essential American workers toiling under hazardous conditions due to this willful neglect, which is bipartisan. The political response has been to bail out those responsible (again) with trillions more in cash for the banks, major corporations & elite hedge fund firms– which qualify as “small businesses,” so they’ll be the ones soaking up all that “economic stimulus” money.
That’s what you do if you are rich. You divest all stocks, bonds, derivatives, etc, and cash out. You then stockpile essential supplies & foodstuffs, while setting up electronic billing, delivery service & everything else. Retreat to your hideaway mansion and wait it out in relative comfort & safety.
For those who work, it’s a different set of circumstances & instructions. First, you have to make a decision about working. Am I essential personnel? If no, then you should stay home. That’s what I’ve done. I’ve converted all my bills to credit card. I don’t get unlimited free money from the Federal Reserve Bank, so it costs either 12.5% or 21% depending on how it’s categorized by them. There’s also a few service charges, but having Bank of America pay my bills in the meantime is better than running out of cash. That’s the choice you face when you live paycheck-to-paycheck, or take extended time off, as I had.
I was set to start working again at dentistry in an promising private practice, but March 16, 2020 was my first (and now possibly) my last day. Before coronavirus, this owner dentist needed an experienced associate to keep up with the growth. Now he needs to cut staff, protect himself & stay healthy so he can treat emergencies over the coming period.
Masks, gloves and other PPE are in short supply, with price gouging already in effect. How long he can remain open, and how affordable will he be, are unknowns. Will I see him & his staff again? If yes, then when? I don’t know? I’m just one of millions, soon-to-be billions, who have been thrown into total uncertainty. It makes you wonder.
Being essential labor, and having to work due to economic circumstance, is the worst position to be in right now. Farmers need to work & produce, because we all need food. Water, power & internet need to remain on. The workers who make this happen are our everyday heroes being made to face disease & death due to greed & class hatred.
The elite response is bail out the rich, mobilize the military-police apparatus, and get labor back to work. This must be opposed with a demand for ALL workers to be properly protected, compensated, and cared for. These are serious demands for revolutionary times, and it requires coordinated organizing action among the rank-and-file in all industries.
What to do with all the free time?
In quarantine, I sleep in & nap more– and have no regrets about that. Learn to adapt by needing less. Personal hygiene & fitness are top priorities. So is politically educating oneself. Proper nutrition is essential. Fruits, legumes & vegetables are 90+% of my diet. This is cheaper & healthier than meat. Most weeks, this is the only thing I need to go out for. Food markets are hotspots for contagion, so only go out when needed.
The idea is to avoid spreading disease & going into a hospital as a patient, because too many don’t walk out. Frontline medical workers have been swamped & under-supplied for decades, so they are getting sick here too. There isn’t enough testing, so no one knows who is infected, and how extensive it really is? We’re just getting started here in the US. It’s about to get much worse, because there is no coordinated response from government– on all levels.
Everyday people are voluntarily quarantining themselves to prevent this pandemic from getting even worse, while Donald Trump & the Democrats are cashing in their portfolios, as they let this contagion spread far & wide. They want mass casualties among the working masses, to thin & weaken the poorer ranks. This COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic reveals how every national ruling class uses an unleashed bio-weapon against its own population. These are chilling political realities in our world.
The answer to this criminality must be decisive. Workers need to take action and seize control of workplaces, to either halt non-essential production, or make sure essential services are carried out safely. There can be no reliance on bureaucracies of any sort: union, corporate, or government– who all collude against the workers to keep them enslaved under capitalism. Every capitalist institution must be seized and reorganized by placing labor in control. All bureaucrats, and especially their puppet masters, are to be arrested & tried in court for their criminality.
Since the media tries to manipulate everyone with beauty, here are a few final thoughts on this pertaining to coronavirus. COVID-19 has de-sexualized global society in a sense, as survival is now the primary instinct. This allows human beauty a chance to reveal itself and form its own identity. In becoming better understood by the majority, true beauty opposes business-as-usual which uses sex as a weapon to maintain imperialist authority. Being honest & true to everything only increases one’s influence due to beauty.
This means spending serious time at home, dealing with internal pain to make oneself more beautiful. In the process, you will become more influential, and able to share more intelligently & effectively on social media. That’s what you can do, when you have nothing else to do.