May Day solidarity vs. the back-to-work campaign

“I don’t take responsibility at all.” March 13, 2020

“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total.” April 13, 2020

COVID-19 is real, and still spreading out-of-control across America because the US government (at every level) has done little-to-nothing to stop it. This is what’s happening everywhere. Therefore, we need to maintain social distancing to slow the virus spread, until testing & contact tracing can be widely done, and a vaccine developed. In the meantime, it’s time for a revolution.

Governments are using this coronavirus crisis (for which capitalism is responsible) to employ more authoritarian measures. Their primary concern is getting us back to work when it isn’t safe, because to them, profits matter more than lives.

If what happened with oil last week, when it plunged to -$27 a barrel was a “pure freak of markets,” then what is milk dumping & plowing harvested crops into the ground about, and why is it still going on? This is nothing less than sabotaging necessary food supplies, which are already needed in many places, in order to keep prices artificially high. This means more taxpayer subsidies for agri-business, and more tax-payer funded profits for speculators. This is all criminal activity, by any rational definition.

Doctors are unappreciated & overworked heroes who are finally getting their due with the public. Those who actually work in it, already knew. For a long time, doctors have been coerced into working at the mandates of insurance conglomerates, hospital chains & big pharma. For example: if insurance doesn’t cover it, then the patient doesn’t get that treatment, due to affordability. Conglomerates take the biggest profits in the field, from equipment & supplies, to office build-out, and billing patient treatment. Patients are now sicker than ever.

Most recent physician & dental graduates owe student loans. Therefore they are coerced to work for these corporate chains as new graduates, since they lack the experience & resources to open up a solo private practice. That’s why independent doctor offices have largely vanished. Most physicians are contracted corporately, and trained (in the real world) to prescribe pharmaceuticals for patient treatment, which can be life-saving, but also creates side-effects, chemical dependency & enabling of disease. And profits.

Today’s doctors & health care staff are mostly working class. They are facing an unprecedented situation, either on the front lines (above), or quarantined because they are non-essential. I’m an independent contractor dentist, and I need the work, but I’m non-essential right now, so I stay home.

There are a few misguided owner doctors with non-essential practices who are pressuring their staff to re-open. They are in the minority, but yell the loudest. We are led to believe there are more of them than there actually are. It’s bottom lines & politics that are driving them. The problem is that an owner risks wiping out staff & patients with a deadly virus, which isn’t a practice builder.

It’s highly risky, with little pay-off, as most people aren’t going out for elective stuff these days. Those who will, are the ones who don’t practice best hygiene & social distancing, so they are more likely to be infected with COVID-19. This is the deadly game business owners play if they attempt to re-open early. It puts the staff in a tough position where they have to choose between ethics & safety, and a job. I professionally recommend staying closed, for the best of all. Everyone is going bankrupt here anyways, so stop your own crying. It’s selfish.

Dentistry is one of the most hazardous professions in the world right now. Practicing dentists go into people’s mouths, and cut on hard & soft tissue to treat diseases such as tooth decay, periodontitis, and occlusal disorders. Dental surgery creates an aerosol contaminated with saliva, blood, bacteria & viruses. The biggest risk typically is hepatitis, HIV, TB, and the seasonal flu.

Unless the operator is wearing a “spacesuit” for protection, that doctor is being exposed to every disease the patient has. The same for the assistants & hygienists. With a novel coronavirus now at a global pandemic level, this means medical & dental surgery have been changed forever. It means one procedure can infect an entire office. The numbers I’ve seen predict a 90+% risk for dental operators, if a patient is infected with COVID-19, without proper PPE. Cutting back on unnecessary procedures is the future of medicine, including dentistry. Tighter medical screening will be another.

Science is rigid for a reason. There are still too many idiots in power who think the laws of science can be mutated for political convenience. The entire ruling establishment is desperate to get workers back to work. It needs us for the surplus value it steals, which is its life-blood. A massive injection of trillions of electronically printed dollars was just handed to Wall Street, but it’s only enough to last a few more weeks– at best.

The oligarchy needs this fake economy to resume. But the problem is, 1) it doesn’t work for the vast majority; and 2) it is unsustainable for human life. In my rough estimation there are currently worker shutdowns in most industries, with about 1/3 of “non-essential workers” still laboring under the whip. This is the number over which the on-going war between capitalists & revolutionists will be fought. May & June will be deciding months.

I’m even more optimistic than before, because it has just been announced that NASCAR plans to be racing again, starting on May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. There are to be seven (7) NASCAR events in May; four Cup Series, two Xfinity, and one Truck Series.

NASCAR had the lead going into this coronavirus shutdown, which I discussed in an earlier piece, due to the fact that it is a technology-driven sport. NASCAR equipped all its top drivers with state-of-the-art simulators in their homes, and encouraged them to join iRacing– for the good of the sport. After a promising first few weeks, the sponsors started getting in on the action, which is never good. First, Bubba Wallace, who isn’t too keen on video games, quit a virtual race early on, and was dropped by his sponsor, Blue-Emu.

Then its brightest, most clean-cut young driver, Kyle Larson, dropped the N-word during an iRace, and he has since been dropped by NASCAR & all his sponsors. Matt Kenseth has popped out of retirement again, and is scheduled to replace Kyle Larson in the #42 car on May 17 at Darlington, SC.

With all the advantages NASCAR had in the early stages of this global coronavirus shutdown, it hurt itself much more than it helped itself. That’s why I’m optimistic about NASCAR failing in May. A lot of people are going to get sick & possibly die, unnecessarily, but that’s a price they are willing to pay. These elitist blow-hards & rednecks never think of the doctors & medical staff that will be expected to take care of them due to their recklessness.

As for every athlete, in every other sport in existence, you are all non-essential workers. What you need to acknowledge is that you need to have fans who care, otherwise there is no prize money or glory. You need service personnel everywhere to maintain your rock-star personas, so maybe you aren’t such rock-stars after all? Maybe it’s the people who have made it possible for celebrities to succeed & stay healthy who deserve the love? But we aren’t getting any in the media. They are our biggest haters.

As for Election 2020, not much new, huh? Except that Trump bankrupted the economy by failing to prepare for coronavirus, and then there was a bi-partisan bailout for only the rich– again. They don’t have to go back to work, but they are the ones behind this campaign to get everyone else to go back to work. They don’t even know what work is. Still no politicians out campaigning in public, so how can we believe that it is safe?

Laurence Olivier: Is it safe?

Ruling class: It’s very safe. It’s so safe you wouldn’t believe it.

Global science: No, it’s not safe. It’s very dangerous. Be careful.

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Coronavirus Times

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!!

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A sportswriter with imagination

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.

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Coronavirus checklists: What to do?

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.

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The Coronavirus Concerts, Part 2

The Coronavirus Concerts deserved a full encore, so here it is. The first Coronavirus Concerts were about breaking new ground & figuring out how to do it– in a new era. With that knowledge & experience already in hand, this follow-up was captured in only a few hours. Part 2 probably flows better as a program from start to finish, because this time I knew what I was doing from the start.

As a production note, you need to be your own cameraman & director to do this. This is about being totally responsible for sound, lighting & your appearance. After the performance is captured, you must upload it to a computer & get it online with everything labeled & thumb-nailed correctly. Then marketing & promotion… Don’t worry, I couldn’t do it all at first either.

For me the performances are the easy part. This time it’s mostly my songs, with only three covers out of the fifteen songs. This shows I can play either way, covers or originals, all night long while keeping it strong. Fugazi used to call it “throwing down.” It’s good to be able to throw down.

I intentionally featured songs that haven’t been made into official videos already. Therefore songs like “Talented”, “Sugarcoat”, “Ridiculous”, “DDSeuss”, “Sun-Wind-Bird”, etc., aren’t covered here. Perhaps if/when I do Part 3. The format is the same, with the video posted above, followed by a description below.

“Self Made” is one of the first songs I ever wrote. When you start songwriting in the rock genre, you’re going for 3-minute rockers & anthems. I throw in a Modern Lovers “Roadrunner” lick at the end in that spirit.

“Problem Solved” is a favorite for women. TomP & I never did any videos for Hwy 19 & Main St, so I’m glad to get this song officially up on YouTube. We were too busy doing Fully Covered.

“Just Because” has a much different feel on Electrified!, with the extra vocals. Here it’s pretty much a straight blues-boogie number, with my lyrical twists.

“You are my Brother” was inspired by the owner of Elijah’s café in Eustis, which doesn’t exist anymore. Back when I had my own dental practice, which also doesn’t exist anymore, I ate there frequently. Elijah would say to me, “You are my brother,” and then he would serve me his delicious food. Absolutely.

“Atheist Psalm” is an ambitious song, from an ambitious album. I deliver it about as well as I can here. People have strong feelings about this one, so I never played it to a live audience. But if provoked, I would have.

The full title to this song is “Crime in the City (Sixty to Zero Part I).” Neil Young was re-energized in the late-1980’s by grunge & alternative, and Freedom was a huge artistic comeback for him. This song is never played on the radio, or covered, but I say it’s the best song on this record. Rust Never Sleeps is my favorite Neil Young album.

“Weird Ideas” is one of my favorite Hwy 19 songs. I played it a few times live at a place called Norm’s in Mount Dora back at that time, and the yuppie audience would go blank on it. But the riff, which I stole from A Tribe Called Quest, gets in you head.

“Rolling Stoned” is always a crowd favorite. Understand that my live crowds consisted mostly of baby boomer classic rockers. My friend & colleague Bill Pelick ran an open-mic jam at a place called Pug’s in Eustis for years. It’s no longer there, but Bill would let me come out whenever I wanted and perform. I got three songs, and that was it. After a few times, I was well-known, so I started trying crazy new stuff like “DDSeuss” & “Haters Step Aside” on them. “Rolling Stoned” always got huge applause from an old-timer audience that typically sneers at originals.

“Working Class” is one of my favorite early songs. It’s tight, with punch, and this is a strong version, save for the fluff at the beginning of the guitar solo. I guess that proves this is really difficult, and the trick is making it look easy.

Being from Wisconsin, I’ve seen the BoDeans live three times, more than any other ‘name band’. “Dreams” was their big single from their second record, but this is from their first album, which are both Americana classics. Other famous Milwaukee bands include the Violent Femmes & Die Kreuzen.

“Anna Rex” is another song that obviously appeals to women. This may be the best song on Electrified!, with the talent we had on it. Here I have to use a slide to simulate Jessica Lynn Martens violin effect.

“The Birth of Song” is one of my favorites from Over & Out. It’s economical & elegant, like this description.

“Obvious” is one of my favorite early rockers from Magnified. I was thinking specifically of the Counting Crows, Hootie & the Blowfish, Dead-Eye Dick (who was being payola promoted on Orlando radio at the time), etc, when I wrote this song.

“Moneybug” is a riff copped from Wire’s “Straight Line.” I had a lot of help with this tight rocker on Electrified! Jessica Lynn Martens on violin & backing vocals. Craig Roy came up with a great bass line, and Tom Pearce hit the beats & then produced it. This is one I re-worked the lyrics on a lot over the years, so I don’t remember them completely here, because I haven’t played it in awhile. I don’t practice much anymore, I just play. That’s how it goes.

This is the first artist I’m repeating on my covers. On Fully Covered, I did “Down Payment Blues.” This one is also from Powerage, which along with Dirty Deeds, is my favorite AC/DC record. Bon & Malcolm are gone, so here’s the best version I can do.

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The Coronavirus Concerts

Here’s my new cover album, self-recorded at home on an Amazon Fire. This is going to be the new (& live) music delivery model for awhile, so of course I’m leading the way. That’s what it means to be a revolutionary artist.

These videos are listed in the order they were recorded, with publishing info on YouTube. One general performance note: I wear sunglasses because these aren’t my songs. It’s impossible to sing someone else’s song completely honestly, hence the dark shades when I do covers for the camera. Each video is presented, followed with a blurb.

I loved this song since high-school, even though I didn’t know what it meant. This is the single from their debut album, released in 1969. Mott the Hoople was a deep band, and are have always been disrespectfully under-represented by classic-rock radio. My style is to keep it simple, so I cut out a lot of the jamming. BTW, if I’m doing MTH covers, then I can’t be credibly accused of anti-gay bias.

It’s really hard to do Eddie & Dave well, but this is a good try, I say. No way I can do Eddie’s guitar wizardry, so I play it as a simple blues number. I mess up the intro, and start again, but who cares– right? David Lee Roth was a genius in so many ways, as this song really isn’t about ice cream. Van Halen through 1984 were the greatest rock super-group ever. If you don’t cover them, then you don’t rock.

This is a really difficult song to barre on guitar and sing as a man, so I shortened it where I could. Being able to mimic the electronica feel is the tricky part. I really loved this song from the first time I heard it. It’s also the first song I ever downloaded on Napster. The rest of the CD wasn’t up to par for the $20 it cost (IMO), and 45 singles weren’t available anymore. That’s how Napster changed the internet back then. Getting back to Madonna, anyone who can get “zephyr” into meaningful song lyrics, is a artistic genius. Take that from someone who knows. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with Madonna on Facebook for a long time now, so I’m paying her my respect. Love

Final production note: This was the only song I recorded with a fan blowing on me. Like I already said, it’s an electronica-type song, so I thought I’d experiment with an electronic device. It mostly kept me cool, so I could sustain the vibe. Anyways, that’s the slight difference in fidelity from all the rest.

Remember when I said this was a cover album? I lied. I took the sunglasses off to perform this song is about payola. “P2P” is fun for me to play live (whenever I can get a show), observing so many blank expressions in the audience. You either get it, or you don’t. I ham it up a bit here, so you can get it easily. This is a punk-pop song.

I reviewed this album here already. This was their MTV single, and every female singer-songwriter today should know & play it. Tanya Donelly uses an androgynous voice in this song, so it’s fairly do-able for men. See & hear more my link.

Liz Phair was the musical girlfriend all us lonely college guys could listen to, back around Exile in Guyville. I’ve listened to her CD hundreds of times. Somewhere around this song, running through “Canary” & “Mesmerizing,” it becomes sublime. This is another songwriter every woman (& man) with a guitar & voice needs to respect. Otherwise you’re fake.

“Kararak” is from Electrified! The riff was copped from “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” with the lyrics turned around.

“Haters Step Aside” is from Hwy 19 & Main St. I’ve done it live a few times, and it always works great. Sometime the club pulls the plug on me before I can get to it, so here it is forever.

Fugazi was perhaps the tightest punk band ever. They were masters of songwriting, sound, production & packaging. I blogged about them here.

“Tubthumping” is a great single, so I have it in my covers playbook. It’s party, as well as defiance. Chumbawumba was much more than a one-hit wonder. They also do a version of “Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire,” which I cover below.

This is from Over & Out, and I’ve thumb-nailed an image from the liner notes. I try to do this as a beer drinking sing-along, so feel free to yell out when cued. I’ve always thought this was a catchy novelty song, so I’m resurrecting it here.

“Millennial Whoop” is our latest single, as Tom Pearce & I extensively collaborated on this one. I delivered the song, while TomP produced the hell out of it. Rachel Decker is the vocalist. We were going for a Beastie Boys feel, if you can dig it. Here, I strip everything away and give you a rap song straight on guitar & vocals.

“Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire” is a soldiers’ song from WWI, so it is public domain. It’s only four verses, but very powerful in it’s economy & accuracy.

This is my favorite Tom Waits song, from my favorite Tom Waits album. You really need sunglasses (& a capo) for a song like this, because there is no way you can completely get to Waits’ abstractions. That’s the kind of artist he is. Someone who relates, but is also unknowable.

There was a time when the only way you were going to hear the Sex Pistols was to go to the record store and buy the album. I remember when I did and put on side 1, and then “Holidays in the Sun” exploded out. “EMI” is the closing track to their classic debut, which never lets up.

I felt obliged to do this song. Woody Guthrie was perhaps the original singer-songwriter. Bob Dylan & Bruce Springsteen also have moving versions of this classic. Everyone from Neil Young to John Fogerty were deeply influenced by Woody Guthrie.

I will end when I began, with “Primary Colors.” The coronavirus concert encore is my latest anthem, recorded & published on March 20, 2020. I believe it caps the show off nicely, delivering a compelling new song for the times.

Program notes: All this was performed & put together in 3 days, from March 20-22, 2020. I never left my home to do any of it. Now that “quarantine” & “social distancing” have entered our lexicon, these performances prove that meaningful music can still be delivered to people everywhere. What it takes is talent & heart.

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Coronavirus & Revolution

The stock & bond markets around the world have crashed. As of this publication, mid-afternoon EDT, Europe is paralyzed due to the coronavirus epidemic. China is starting to recover, but nothing is moving economically yet. Wherever it isn’t an epidemic, it’s a pandemic, waiting to become an epidemic. That’s because the nationalist governments of the world are unable to come up with any kind of scientific & coordinated response to this human disaster. History will remember coronavirus as the pin that popped the bubble of capitalism.

There are several things that are becoming increasingly clear as this global crisis unfolds. First is that our way of life is now changing forever. For those who are still working, many are doing it at home. For most of them, this is the way it should be, as texting, email & video conferencing no longer necessitate that management personnel meet in the same building. We have global warming, and this change for the better will cut down on unnecessary business meetings & travel, which under capitalism are almost always useless.

A second lesson that is being learned is that sports aren’t very important, in the big picture. These were the first activities that were shut down, when this coronavirus was spreading globally. Sports are an integral part of this fake economy which is meant to provide bread & circuses for the masses. But when things get tough, sports & entertainment get put on hold, as history collides with class forces.

Does anyone care what LeBron James or Jennifer Lopez have to say right now? The answer is no, because they have no expertise on the problem. All they know is what they are good at, so their opinions on anything else aren’t any better than anyone else who doesn’t know. So why are celebrities idolized & elevated so much? People staying at home have lots of time to think about stuff like this.

To take it a step further, it’s educational to go onto YouTube & watch any older version of your favorite sport(s), and observe how much better most leagues were in the past. Not that is was perfect back then (it wasn’t), but there were far less commercials, less exploding graphics, and less-annoying announcers. The contests were shorter, and more action-packed. The same holds true for Hollywood television & cinema being better in much of the 20th century, as compared to today. Since the old stuff is more entertaining, so why do we need all this new garbage? It’s progress to have this 24/7 fakery machine shut down.

The final truth here is that capitalism is responsible for this coronavirus pandemic, and unable to meet its challenges. US President Donald Trump has hopelessly poured trillions of dollars into the stock & bond markets to keep them afloat over the past two weeks, but to no avail. Any brief rise in the markets has been a “sugar high” from these injections of trillions, that quickly wears off as reality sets in. There are no markets left to trade in, because the global supply chains have collapsed. Thus it’s futile to throw money at the markets.

All this started in China in December 2019, with the coronavirus COVID-19 mutating in bats, then spreading to humans. The rest of the world’s governments had months to prepare for this contagion, but arrogantly & ignorantly refused to take it seriously. Now what do they have to say? The coronavirus denialists are now being shouted down everywhere, by the facts on the ground, and the workers who are on the front lines.

Every government’s policy is trillions more for the 0.01%, while the rest of us must face this coronavirus without mass testing & protection. Without testing, there can be no tracing, nor effective treatment & quarantine of the ill. It was bipartisan policy for the US government to reject WHO test kits over eight weeks ago, the most essential front-line tool for containing coronavirus.

You can’t fight what you can’t identify. US officials wanted “our” pharmaceuticals to make their own proprietary tests so they could profit handsomely, but the pandemic has spread too quickly. Today, we still don’t have mass testing for coronavirus in America. Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden & Bernie Sanders only make excuses for this colossal failure. That’s how this two-party political system fails all of us.

What these parasites, strawmen & figurines have done to the world is unforgivable, and it won’t take long for the masses to realize this. Workers have bills to pay, with little-to-no reserves, and now no cash flow. When people can’t afford food & rent, that’s when the pitchforks & torches come out, looking for retribution against those responsible.

The biggest shame of all this is the fact there are millions of workers (in America alone) who are skilled & are heroically doing everything they can to contain this virus, while providing essential services to the population, despite the willful neglect of political leadership. These are the true heroes, but they are unrecognized by the media; starved of funding, supplies & necessary protective equipment by a corrupt system. These everyday heroes are forced to work because they care, and also because they live paycheck-to-paycheck. These are the people who live & work in reality, and therefore need to be in charge, not capitalist politicians.

Both US political parties, Dems & Reps, are eventually going to call off Election 2020, due to their inability to deal with this coronavirus. That will be another clear signal for revolution, as maintaining the status quo won’t do for the 90+%. This is now a revolutionary situation, and requires class-conscious leadership within the working class. Workers & youth need to organize amongst themselves. Appeals to the union bureaucracies & the capitalist class are a dead end.

Trump & the Democrats listen closely to the screams of Boeing, and how they need hundreds of billions. Meanwhile angry workers & youth are asking, “Why does this zombie corporation, that knowingly committed mass murder with their MAX 737 crashes, deserve a bailout?” As already stated, it’s not going to take long for youth & workers to put a revolutionary political program together, and it will be led by the Trotskyists of the World Socialist Web Site & SEP/ICFI.

What’s become apparent is that the working population & kids of the world are far ahead of any government. They understand the realities of global warming, social inequality & now the coronavirus better than their elected leaders. Many offices, stores & small businesses closed on their own, before they were ordered to, proving they recognized the risks better than our so-called “leaders.”

In this age of the internet, we now can identify the enemy. They start with all the names you see on Fox, CNN & Yahoo!, then it goes to those behind-the-scenes. It’s Wall Street, silicon valley, Hollywood, the East coast media, the pentagon, CIA, NSA, FBI, White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. This is the criminal capitalist class, which must be ousted, and replaced with a workers government of the world. This is called socialism, and it’s only achievable through an international revolution. Please join us.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 basics

In the healthcare professions, doctors, surgeons & support staff all adhere to “universal precautions,” which means assuming every patient has an infectious disease, even if their medical history is clear. This is because the patient may have an infection without knowing it, or they may be intentionally omitting data.

Therefore frequent hand-washing, gloves, masks, protective eye-wear, et al, are required. All this was recognized & widely adopted as standard practice in the 1980’s, when AIDS came along. This extends to personal hygiene, such as covering coughs & sneezes (into the shoulder), and other courtesy measures that educated & civilized people do to prevent the spread of disease.

The rapid-spread quality of coronavirus COVID-19 means that just about everyone will eventually be exposed to this pathogen. The questions are: Will your body be able to resist it, or will you become infected? If you are infected, then how bad will it be? Will it kill you?

We make ourselves more prone to infections by not sleeping enough, by not getting enough exercise, by not eating right, etc. Alcohol & drug consumption weakens any immune system. Tobacco smoking is a particular risk with any respiratory infection. The deaths from coronavirus COVID-19 have been mostly a result of pneumonia. This is what you need to know to avoid panicking, and making a big mistake for yourself & others.

Professionals don’t politicize the coronavirus COVID-19 into a weapon of fear against the population, as that only increases the spread of contagion. Empty reassurances & ignorance are tools to cover up ruling elite malfeasance. Every nation’s government is currently doing exactly this, by closing off borders, targeting certain ethnicities, and spreading fear.

Putting a backwards religious nut in charge of the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic in the US, should be considered an impeachable offense, a crime against the American people. But not for the fake media, nor for official politics. Vice-President Mike Pence as governor of Indiana endorsed a policy to “pray away” the HIV epidemic. This wasn’t in the 1980’s when HIV & AIDS was new, but from 2013-17. Mike Pence is the exact opposite of a good solution to this coronavirus COVID-19 problem.

Obviously research & testing must be fully funded, publicly, so the people can have input on progress. Leaving it to the pharmaceuticals, who look only at profit, is a recipe for secrecy, monopoly pricing & pushing bad drugs onto the market– out of desperation.

Science has known that coronaviruses have had this potential for decades, with the SARS outbreak in 2002–2004, mainly in China, and MERS in 2012–2014, mainly in Saudi Arabia. Already we know the COVID-19’s RNA code, outer shell & much else that is necessary to develop a vaccine. But there is need for publicly coordinated research & policy, to prevent this from becoming a global epidemic which kills hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. It needs funding, but all that goes to the military these days.

This is NOT being discussed anywhere in the corporate news or official politics. This is just another crisis to be exploited, and another bailout for the rich. The big US stock market losses last week have already been repaired. At ~10:00 AM EST this morning, it was announced that the US Federal Reserve Bank is cutting their rate by 50 base points for overnight bank lending to 1%-1.25%.

It’s not hard to predict what these zombies are going to do, once you know what’s going on. The ruling elites took big losses with this epidemic affecting their global supply chains. They have no serious answers for this global health epidemic, so they decided to print more money for themselves. This is called looking out for #1, which is considered a good thing. Ask any capitalist.

Conclusion: A virus does not distinguish between class, race, sex, or nationalities, It infects anyone & anything it can. It infects silently, and can be extremely mobile & resilient. It’s going to take a combination of ingenuity & resourcefulness to deal with this coronavirus epidemic, and the viral plagues of the future.

What this crisis already proves is that the current global political set-up has no serious answers to meet these challenges, and therefore must go, in the better interest of everybody. It’s now time for the workers of the world to wash our hands of this filth, as science & revolutionary socialism is the only path forward for humanity.

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Super Tuesday Preview

Since yesterday, Pete Buttigieg has dropped out, after blandly saying to his supporters just a few days earlier, that his campaign was going to “shock the world on Super Tuesday.” Hardly anyone was saddened or surprised by this.

Now, Amy Klobuchar’s campaign is under attack from Black Lives Matter, as she’s cancelled a home-state rally. Amy Klobuchar is currently being made to answer for a 2002 conviction of Myon Burrell, over a black girl killed by a stray bullet.

Myon Burrell was sentenced to life in prison. At the time, Klobuchar served as Hennepin County’s head attorney. An Associated Press investigation revealed no gun, fingerprints or DNA recovered, and evidentially questionable police tactics were used.

Make no mistake, this is a full-scale, all-hands-on-deck, deep state campaign to clear the Democratic field for Joe Biden. Mike Bloomberg is their main target, as he stands to reap a few delegates tomorrow.

Joe Biden needs every delegate he can get, so the remaining also-rans are under heavy Party pressure to quit and throw support to him. For example, I’m sure if Amy Klobuchar suddenly dropped out, and kicked her 7 delegates to Joe Biden, all of her pain would go away. Tomorrow will go a long way towards deciding whether there will be a brokered Democratic convention in Milwaukee this summer. The only reason for a brokered convention is to steal the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders.

Above are the latest polling numbers showing Bernie Sanders poised to win the most delegates among Democrats tomorrow. Of course, those counting the votes should be under intense scrutiny when the stakes are this high, so we’ll see. That, and the global economy tanking due to the spread of the coronavirus (Trump’s problem), are the causes of all this media panic.

Breaking News Update: Mon 02 Mar 2020 3:15 PM EST

Less than two (2) hours after publishing this piece, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has bowed out of the race for the Democratic nomination, and will endorse Joe Biden.

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