Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Memes’ Category

The unlisted: how people without an address are stripped of their basic rights

leave a comment »

I really like the Tiny Homes initiative seen in several locales as a means of giving the homeless a residence — and a street address. Examples: in Calgary; in Kansas City; and all over. And those initiative are important. Deirdre Mask writes in the Guardian:

In some years, more than 40% of all local laws passed by the New York City council have been street name changes. Let me give you a moment to think about that. The city council is congress to the mayor’s president. Its 51 members monitor the country’s largest school system and police force, and decide land use for one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Its budget is larger than most states’, its population bigger than all but 11 states. On top of that, New York’s streets have largely been named or numbered since the 19th century, with some street names, such as Stuyvesant and the Bowery, dating from when Manhattan was little more than a Dutch trading station.

And yet, I’ll say it again: in some years, more than 40% of all local laws passed by the New York City council have been street name changes. . .

My street address obsession began when I learned for the first time that most households in the world don’t have street addresses. Addresses, the Universal Postal Union argues, are one of the cheapest ways to lift people out of poverty, facilitating access to credit, voting rights and worldwide markets. But this is not just a problem in the developing world. I learned that even parts of the rural US don’t have street addresses.

West Virginia has tackled a decades-long project to name and number its streets. Until 1991, few people outside of West Virginia’s small cities had any street address at all. Then the state caught Verizon inflating its rates and, as part of an unusual settlement, the company agreed to pay $15m (£12.4m) to, quite literally, put West Virginians on the map.

For generations, people had navigated West Virginia in creative ways. Directions are delivered in paragraphs. Look for the white church, the stone church, the brick church, the old elementary school, the old post office, the old sewing factory, the wide turn, the big mural, the tattoo parlour, the drive-in restaurant, the dumpster painted like a cow, the pickup truck in the middle of the field. But, of course, if you live here, you probably don’t need directions; along the dirt lanes that wind through valleys and dry riverbeds, everyone knows everyone else anyway.

Emergency services have rallied for more formal ways of finding people. Close your eyes and try to explain where your house is without using your address. Now try it again, but this time pretend you’re having a stroke. Paramedics rushed to a house in West Virginia described as having chickens out front, only to see that every house had chickens out front. Along those lanes, I was told, people come out on their porches and wave at strangers, so paramedics couldn’t tell who was being friendly and who was flagging them down. Ron Serino, a firefighter in Northfork (population 429) explained how he would tell frantic callers to listen for the blare of the truck’s siren. A game of hide-and-seek would then wind its way through the serpentine hollows. “Getting hotter?” he would ask over the phone. “Getting closer?”

Many streets in rural West Virginia have rural route numbers assigned by the post office, but those numbers aren’t on any map. As one 911 official has said: “We don’t know where that stuff is at.”

Naming one street is hardly a challenge, but how do you go about naming thousands? When I met him, Nick Keller was the soft-spoken addressing coordinator for McDowell County. His office had initially hired a contractor in Vermont to do the addressing, but that effort collapsed and the company left behind hundreds of yellow slips of paper assigning addresses that Keller couldn’t connect to actual houses. (I heard that West Virginia residents, with coal as their primary livelihood, wouldn’t answer a call from a Vermont area code, fearing environmentalists.)

Many people in West Virginia really didn’t want addresses. Sometimes, they just didn’t like their new street name. (A farmer in neighboring Virginia was enraged after his street was named after the banker who denied his grandfather a loan in the Depression.) But often it’s not the particular name, but the naming itself. Everyone knows everyone else, the protesters said again and again. When a 33-year-old man died of an asthma attack after the ambulance got lost, his mother told the newspaper: “All they had to do was stop and ask somebody where we lived.” (Her directions to outsiders? “Coopers ball field, first road on the left, take a sharp right hand turn up the mountain.”) . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

26 March 2020 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Daily life, Memes

The plague of Donald Trump

leave a comment »

I do view Donald Trump as a symptom, though he also is an active agent of destruction. Sarah Kendzior, co-host of the podcast Gaslit Nation and author of coming book Hiding in Plain Sight, writes in the Globe & Mail:

“Life is what you do while you’re waiting to die,” Donald Trump, then a real estate tycoon bound for bankruptcy, told Playboy magazine in 1990. “You know, it is all a rather sad situation.”

“Life?” the interviewer asked. “Or death?”

“Both. We’re here and we live our 60, 70 or 80 years and we’re gone. You win, you win and in the end, it doesn’t mean a hell of a lot. But it is something to do – to keep you interested.”

For his entire life, Mr. Trump has been a self-described fatalist. He has called himself a fatalist in interviews spanning nearly 30 years. This admission is a rare expression of consistent honesty for a man infamous for lying about everything – his fortune, his criminal ties, objective reality. It’s the outlook he hints at when he does things such as retweeting a meme of himself fiddling like Nero, while the novel coronavirus spreads across the United States.

Nothing seems to matter to Mr. Trump – not only in the sense that the things that matter to other people, like love and loss, do not matter to him. Nothingness itself matters: Destruction and annihilation are what he craves. “When bad times come, then I’ll get whatever I want,” he told Barbara Walters in an 1980s interview. His initial reaction to 9/11 was that the collapse of the World Trade Center made his own buildings look taller. His initial reaction to the 2008 economic collapse was joy at his potential to profit. Everything to Mr. Trump is transactional, and you – all of you – are the transaction.

In February, 2014, when asked about the direction of the United States, Mr. Trump rooted for its demise:

“You know what solves it?” Mr. Trump told Fox News. “When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [laughs], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.”

Everything Mr. Trump has done since taking office has served to fulfill this goal, from appointing Steve Bannon, who also called for the collapse of the government, as an adviser; to gutting departments that protect national security and public health; to his disdain for slain soldiers and their widows; to his horrific handling of natural disasters such as Hurricane Maria.

For months, Mr. Trump has done little to stop the coronavirus from spreading . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 March 2020 at 2:49 pm

“Republicans like me built this moment. Then we looked the other way.”

leave a comment »

At least one Republican is accepting responsibility — not Donald Trump, of course. In fact, Donald Trump explicitly refuses to accept responsibility. But Stuart Stevens, a writer and Republican political consultant who has advised a pro-Bill Weld super PAC in the 2020 election, does. He writes in the Washington Post:

Don’t just blame President Trump. Blame me — and all the other Republicans who aided and abetted and, yes, benefited from protecting a political party that has become dangerous to America. Some of us knew better.

But we built this moment. And then we looked the other way.

Many of us heard a warning sound we chose to ignore, like that rattle in your car you hear but figure will go away. Now we’re broken down, with plenty of time to think about what should have been done.

The failures of the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis can be traced directly to some of the toxic fantasies now dear to the Republican Party. Here are a few: Government is bad. Establishment experts are overrated or just plain wrong. Science is suspect. And we can go it alone, the world be damned.

[More coverage of the coronavirus pandemic]

All of these are wrong, of course. But we didn’t get here overnight. It took practice.

Long before Trump, the Republican Party adopted as a key article of faith that more government was bad. We worked overtime to squeeze it and shrink it, to drown it in the bathtub, as anti-tax activist Grover Norquist liked to say. But somewhere along the way, it became, “all government is bad.” Now we are in a crisis that can be solved only by massive government intervention. That’s awkward.

Next, somehow, the party of idealistic Teddy Roosevelt, pragmatic Bob Dole and heroic John McCain became anti-intellectual, by which I mean, almost reflexively opposed to knowledge and expertise. We began to distrust the experts and put faith in, well, quackery. It was 2013 when former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said the Republican Party “must stop being the stupid party.” By 2016, the party had embraced as its nominee a reality-TV host who later suggested that perhaps the noise from windmills causes cancer.

The Republican Party has gone from admiring William F. Buckley Jr., an Ivy League intellectual, to viewing higher education as a left-wing conspiracy to indoctrinate the young. In retribution, we started defunding education. Never mind that Republican leaders are among the most highly educated on the planet; it’s just that they now feel compelled to embrace ignorance as a cost of doing business. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, as an example, denounces “coastal elites” while holding degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School and having served as a Supreme Court clerk.

The GOP’s relationship with science has resembled some kind of Frankenstein experiment: Let’s see what happens when we play with the chemistry set! Conservatives have spent years trying to cut funds for basic science and research, lamenting government seed money for nearly every budding technology and then hoping for the best. In the weeks ahead, it’s not some fiery, anti-Washington populist with an XM radio gig who is going to save folks’ lives; it is more likely to be someone who has been studying this stuff for decades, almost certainly at some point with federal help or outright patronage.

Finally, there is the populist GOP distrust and dislike of the other, the foreign. Yes, it is annoying that the Chinese didn’t come clean and explain everything to us from the start. But it appears that a Swiss company is helping to jump-start us in testing; and it is a German company that American officials reportedly tried to lure to the United States recently to help develop a vaccine for the virus. We talk about how we need to be independent even as we do all kinds of things that prove we aren’t.

What is happening now is . . .

Continue reading.

His book about the Republican Party, It Was All A Lie, will be published next month.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 March 2020 at 11:45 am

How Do You Know Whether You’re Living Through the Death of an Empire?

leave a comment »

Patrick Wyman writes in Mother Jones:

The fall of an empire is supposed to be a dramatic thing. It’s right there in the name. “Fall” conjures up images of fluted temple columns toppling to the ground, pulled down by fur-clad barbarians straining to destroy something beautiful. Savage invasions, crushing battlefield defeats, sacked cities, unlucky rulers put to death: These are the kinds of stories that usually come to mind when we think of the end of an empire. They seem appropriate, the climaxes we expect from a narrative of rise, decline, and fall.

We’re all creatures of narrative, whether we think explicitly in those terms or not, and stories are one of the fundamental ways in which we engage with and grasp the meaning of the world. It’s natural that we expect the end of a story—the end of an empire—to have some drama.

The reality is far less exciting. Any political unit sound enough to project its power over a large geographic area for centuries has deep structural roots. Those roots can’t be pulled up in a day or even a year. If an empire seems to topple overnight, it’s certain that the conditions that produced the outcome had been present for a long time—suppurating wounds that finally turned septic enough for the patient to succumb to a sudden trauma.

That’s why the banalities matter. When the real issues come up, healthy states, the ones capable of handling and minimizing everyday dysfunction, have a great deal more capacity to respond than those happily waltzing toward their end. But by the time the obvious, glaring crisis arrives and the true scale of the problem becomes clear, it’s far too late. The disaster—a major crisis of political legitimacy, a coronavirus pandemic, a climate catastrophe—doesn’t so much break the system as show just how broken the system already was.

Comparisons between the United States and Rome go back to the very beginning. The first volume of Edward Gibbon’s magisterial The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was published in 1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers had a deep appreciation and understanding of classical antiquity, and to some extent, they modeled aspects of their new nation on that understanding of the Roman past. Southern planters retained a distinct fondness for the Roman aristocracy, cultivating a life of high-minded leisure on the backs of chattel slaves.

As at the beginning, so too at the end. If anybody knows anything about Rome, they know that it fell, and they usually have a theory—lead poisoning is a popular one—to explain why. Every scholar working on Roman history has faced the linked questions of whether we’re Rome and where we are in the decline and fall. Those twin queries might come from students, casual acquaintances at a mandatory social function desperately trying to find conversational common ground, some guy at a party ripping massive bong hits to whom you made the mistake of telling your occupation, or, in my case, from podcast listeners and people on Twitter.

I spent the better part of a decade thinking about the end of the Roman Empire in its various manifestations. Academics, being academics, agree on very little about the topic. The idea of “fall” is now passé, for better and for worse; scholars prefer to speak of a “transformation” of the Roman world taking place over centuries, or better still, a long, culturally distinct, and important-in-its-own-right Late Antiquity spanning the Mediterranean world and beyond. If the Roman Empire did ever come to a real end, all agree, it was a long, slow process spanning many lifetimes—hardly the stuff of dramatic narratives. There are still a few catastrophists out there, but not many.

On one hand, this is all beside the point. While the eastern half of the Roman Empire survived in some form for the next thousand years, brought to an end only by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453, the Roman Empire in the west did in fact come to an end. After a certain point, either 476 (Romulus Augustulus) or 480 (Julius Nepos), there was no longer an emperor in Ravenna claiming authority over the vast territory it had encompassed, stretching from the sands of the Sahara to the moors of northern Britain. Supply wagons laden with grain and olive oil for garrisons of Roman soldiers no longer rolled along roads maintained at state expense. The villas everywhere from Provence to Yorkshire in which Roman aristocrats had passed their time, plotting their election to town councils and composing bad poetry, fell into ruin.

Depending on the time, place, and the identity of the observer, this process could look and feel much different. Let’s say you were a woman born in a thriving market town in Roman Britain in the year 360. If you survived to age 60, that market town would no longer exist, along with every other urban settlement of any significant size. You lived in a small village instead of a genuine town. You had grown up using money, but now you bartered—grain for metalwork, beer for pottery, hides for fodder. You no longer saw the once-ubiquitous Roman army or the battalions of officials who administered the Roman state. Increasing numbers of migrants from the North Sea coast of continental Europe—pagans who didn’t speak a word of Latin or the local British language, certainly not wage-earning servants of the Roman state—were already in the process of transforming lowland Britain into England. That 60-year-old woman had been born into a place as fundamentally Roman as anywhere in the Empire. She died in a place that was barely recognizable.

Let’s consider an alternative example. Imagine you were lucky enough to have been born the son of an aristocrat in Provence around the year 440. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 March 2020 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Congress, Daily life, Government, Memes, Politics

Tagged with

We’re not going back to normal: Social distancing is here to stay

leave a comment »

The pandemic may have triggered a mutation in social memes, one that will persist. Gideon Lichfield writes in MIT’s Technology Review:

To stop coronavirus we will need to radically change almost everything we do: how we work, exercise, socialize, shop, manage our health, educate our kids, take care of family members.

We all want things to go back to normal quickly. But what most of us have probably not yet realized—yet will soon—is that things won’t go back to normal after a few weeks, or even a few months. Some things never will.

You can read all our coverage of the coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak for free, and also sign up for our coronavirus newsletter. But please consider subscribing to support our nonprofit journalism.

It’s now widely agreed (even by Britain, finally) that every country needs to “flatten the curve”: impose social distancing to slow the spread of the virus so that the number of people sick at once doesn’t cause the health-care system to collapse, as it is threatening to do in Italy right now. That means the pandemic needs to last, at a low level, until either enough people have had Covid-19 to leave most immune (assuming immunity lasts for years, which we don’t know) or there’s a vaccine.

How long would that take, and how draconian do social restrictions need to be? Yesterday President Donald Trump, announcing new guidelines such as a 10-person limit on gatherings, said that “with several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly.” In China, six weeks of lockdown are beginning to ease now that new cases have fallen to a trickle.

But it won’t end there. As long as someone in the world has the virus, breakouts can and will keep recurring without stringent controls to contain them. In a report yesterday (pdf), researchers at Imperial College London proposed a way of doing this: impose more extreme social distancing measures every time admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) start to spike, and relax them each time admissions fall. Here’s how that looks in a graph. . .

Continue reading. There’s more, including the graph.

It’s going to be hard on extroverts.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 March 2020 at 9:41 am

Coronavirus and the Clash of Civilizations

leave a comment »

Bruno Maçães writes in the National Review (of all places):

I spent the last two months traveling through Asia, all the way from Pakistan to the Philippines, with stops in India, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. These were the months when the coronavirus epidemic grew from a faint echo in our daily news feed into what will likely become the most important story of our lifetimes, already shaping up to be the biggest story in Google trends history.

What most impressed me in my travels was the seriousness with which the outbreak is taken all over Asia. In Europe and America, at least among the political class, the coronavirus has been mostly a matter for jokes and general levity, although in countries such as Italy that mood has now changed and taken a dramatic turn.

Singapore, where a vast and methodic system has been put in place to deal with the emergency, relies heavily on technology, but citizens are asked to do their part. In Vietnam and the Philippines, the response has been less methodical, but the anxiety is evident everywhere. In Nepal and India, even the poorest rickshaw driver and the most otherworldly pilgrim have made drastic changes to their behavior.

In some countries, including China, the SARS outbreak in 2003 was a formative experience. For many it felt like a close call. Even if the number of victims was limited, the impact on the regional economy was severe, and everyone had to wonder: What if this happens again, with a more contagious virus? At peak shedding, scientists say, people with coronavirus are emitting more than 1,000 times more virus than was emitted during peak shedding of the SARS infection. The SARS virus sits deep in your lungs. The coronavirus is in your throat, ready to spread.

The outbreak has exposed other divides. As I traveled in increasingly empty planes, one thought kept returning: How notable that we are all together in this, and yet every society seems to deal with the epidemic in its own distinctive way. One of the main divides was between the developed and the developing world. It explained the seriousness in Asia. If poverty and disease are a daily presence or at most two or three generations behind you, you are predisposed to accept that your world can suddenly collapse. The question that Americans and Europeans ask themselves — How was this allowed to happen? — makes less sense than the question of how to survive and how to protect your loved ones.

The subtle changes of political climate and mores that political thinkers used to write about are suddenly very relevant. I wondered if social mores explained why some countries and not others became hotspots of the infection. As the news from Wuhan started to arrive, I thought of my previous visits to the city: the crowded restaurants serving crayfish, the long meals around the hotpot, the communal living, and the chaos of the wholesale seafood market. But it was not just China. Southern Europeans greet themselves with one or two kisses. Iranians spend time crowded together during daily prayer. Perhaps these were factors, but then the response was no less colored by cultural differences.

At present the most hopeful news about our ability to defeat the epidemic comes from what could roughly be called the Confucian cosmopolis. Singapore flirted with disaster at the beginning but quickly recovered. Vietnam has shown a remarkable ability to contain the spread, and South Korea has proven capable of conducting as many as 10,000 tests per day and has built testing clinics that can detect the coronavirus cases in just ten minutes. Do these facts illustrate the benefits of a moral system that emphasizes duties before rights and places high value on the propriety of customs, measures, and rules as defined by the larger community?

Just yesterday I received an email from a Chinese university informing me that a conference planned for May will still go ahead. The author of the message took the opportunity to make the point that, by the time the conference takes place, China will be much safer than Europe or America. He then concluded with the pronouncement that the coronavirus has shown the Chinese model to be superior to the Western one. . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

See also: “Come on, you live in a society.”

Written by LeisureGuy

17 March 2020 at 3:16 pm

How America got this way

leave a comment »

An excellent Facebook post by Heath Cox Richardson:

Heather Cox Richardson
March 14, 2020 (Saturday)

The reality of the novel coronavirus pandemic is sinking in as our infections continue to rise. Still, a number of people insist that alarm about the pandemic is political, whipped up by the media to weaken the president. When New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez begged people under 40 to stay out of bars, restaurants, and public spaces to keep from spreading Covid-19, Katie Williams, a former Ms. Nevada who was stripped of her title for putting pro-Trump postings on the non-political Ms. America social media accounts, responded “I just went to a crowded Red Robin and I’m 30. It was delicious, and I took my sweet time eating my meal. Because this is America. And I’ll do what I want.”

As Americans either settled into self-isolation or ignored expert advice and hit bars and beaches, the administration’s travel restrictions from Europe, which went into effect today, created chaos in the 13 airports assigned to handle American passengers returning from 26 countries. Those airports were understaffed, leaving passengers at Chicago’s O’Hare to wait for up to six hours for their bags, and then another 2-4 to get through a health screening and customs, all the while packed together. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, finally took to twitter to get Trump’s attention, prompting Pritzker’s political opponents to tell him to fix his own state.

But customs is under federal, not state, jurisdiction. There was nothing Pritzker could do except tweet: “The federal government needs to get its s@# t together. NOW.”

The fight over whether to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously, as well as the administration’s inept handling of it, is the outcome of forty years of assault on the American government. Since 1980, when Ronald Reagan ran for office on the warning that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem,” Republicans have made war on the idea of an expert bureaucracy in charge of our government.

It was a huge shift for the party, which had come out of World War Two with a deep commitment to a conservatism that focused on using the government to promote stability at home and across the globe by fostering equality of opportunity and rising standards of living for all. Those commitments required extending the government regulations, social safety net, and infrastructure development pioneered in the 1930s by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democrats. Republican President Dwight Eisenhower did just that, regulating business to protect labor, expanding civil rights, and passing what was at the time the largest public works program in American history: the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which created our interstate highway system.

But a small group of reactionaries who hated business regulation, civil rights, and the taxes that public works programs require, insisted that the growing government infringed on their liberty. They got little traction because Americans liked the new, active government that enabled people to get educations, make a decent wage, and stop worrying they would have to live off their children or root through garbage cans for food when they got too old to work.

But when the Supreme Court, overseen by former Republican governor of California Earl Warren, unanimously agreed that segregated schools were unconstitutional, and Eisenhower enforced that decision in 1957 with federal troops at Little Rock Central High School, these reactionaries tied racism to their hatred of federal bureaucracy. The growing government of “experts,” they said, was taking tax dollars from hardworking white people and using them to give benefits to people of color. They were redistributing wealth. They were snaking communism or socialism into America and would destroy the very individualism that made America great.

That formulation—that an active government run by bureaucrats trying to regulate business, promote social welfare, and develop our infrastructure is socialism that will destroy us—gradually took over the Republican Party. In 1980, Reagan, who used this rhetoric but in fact governed far more moderately than he sounded, brought this ideology into the White House. He began the Republican addiction to tax cuts. When it became clear the cuts were not, in fact, expanding growth and paying for themselves as promised, but rather were cutting programs voters liked, the Reagan team shored up their support by courting evangelicals, marrying religious dislike of secularism to Republican pro-business individualism.

Over the years since, Republican leaders have continued to cut taxes, regulations, social safety nets, and infrastructure, all in the service of shunning socialism and promoting individualism. Whatever needs to be done, businessmen can do it best, they say. Government bureaucrats are inefficient and wasteful.

As this ideology has increasingly degraded our society, more and more voters have turned against it. So Republican leaders have stayed in power first by suppressing opposition voters, and then by gerrymandering districts so that Republicans have a systemic advantage. In 2012, for example, after states drew new districts after the 2010 census, Democratic candidates for seats in the House of Representatives won 1.4 million more votes than their Republican counterparts, and yet Republicans came away with a 33-seat majority.

Republican leaders have worked to pack the courts. too. As Reagan’s attorney general Edwin Meese put it, the idea was “to institutionalize the Reagan revolution so it can’t be set aside no matter what happens in future elections.” Reagan appointed more judges than any other president before him, including three Supreme Court justices and one chief justice. The rightward swing of the court continued when George W. Bush (who lost the popular vote) appointed two Supreme Court justices, including a chief justice.

That swing has gone on steroids under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). He held up the judicial appointments of Democratic President Barack Obama and finally refused even to consider Obama’s moderate nominee for the Supreme Court. Another Republican elected with a minority of the popular vote, Trump filled that seat and another. McConnell has been rushing through Trump’s judges at an unprecedented pace—almost as many as Obama appointed in his entire 8 years– and vowed this week that the pandemic will not slow down judicial appointments.

So extreme has the court become in the service of the Republican agenda that on Wednesday, former Judge James Dannenberg resigned his membership in the Supreme Court Bar—lawyers admitted to practice before the high court– of which he has been a member since 1972. Dannenberg’s resignation charges that the court is practicing “radical ‘legal activism,’ at its worst.” It is an “extension of the right wing of the Republican Party, he wrote, subverting or ignoring the law “to achieve transparently political goals.”

He accused the court of taking us back to the first Gilded Age and warned, “The only constitutional freedoms ultimately recognized may soon be limited to those useful to wealthy, Republican, White, straight, Christian, and armed males— and the corporations they control. This is wrong. Period. This is not America.”

And so, it seems the reactionaries of the 1950s got what they wanted. We have decimated our government bureaucracy and expertise, slashed taxes and the social safety net, and crippled our infrastructure, all in the name of promoting American business and the individualism that, in theory, encourages economic growth. The president, along with his enablers in the Senate, have tried to cement this ideology onto the country through the courts.

And now, the coronavirus pandemic is putting their system to the test. So far, it is failing miserably.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 March 2020 at 7:15 pm

%d bloggers like this: