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Old 22nd February 2021, 12:24 PM   #601
dann
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If the rich created what exactly? Covid-19? They didn't!
But they helped spread the infection as tourists, bar owners and local authorities catering to business interests at the beginning of the pandemic (see OP!) and later on as employers, who let people work and live under conditions that help spread the virus among (primarily) poor people. The conditions of meatpackers in the John Oliver video mentioned in post 597 are grotesque - with or without Covid-19!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd February 2021, 05:55 PM   #602
xjx388
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
But doesn't.
Which has little to do with Capitalism and everything to do with factors unique to America itself. No one is saying we are perfect and should never change.

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Of course, there are substitutes for capitalism! That you don't like them doesn't mean that they don't exist.
Ok, what are they. And no, I don’t like textbook socialism or communism or Marxism or whatever.
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There are even capitalist substitutes for neo-liberal versions of capitalism, but I guess people who suggest this in Texas will probably be considered to be communists or Antifa.
A capitalist substitute for ... capitalism? Makes no sense. Capitalism is capitalism; you didn’t specify “Texas Capitalism,” or “neo-liberal” Capitalism in your OP. And this Texan is all for learning from other countries and doing things differently.

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There are also alternatives to neo-liberal pandemic response, like TeTrIs or face masks, for instance.
Sure, but you are referring to sociocultural factors and not economic factors.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 06:20 PM   #603
theprestige
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Of course, there are substitutes for capitalism!
There really aren't, though. Every time a substitution has been attempted, people just do capitalism anyway. The Soviet Union evolved a whole black market to do capitalism with.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 10:06 PM   #604
dann
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Every time a substitution has been attempted, the leading imperialist state at the time, be it England or the USA, is doing its utmost to get rid of it instead of letting 'people' do what they wanted. Much like Sweden trying to force its neo-liberal approach to the pandemic onto its neighbors. (Just a reminder that this is the thread about capitalism & Covid.)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd February 2021, 10:25 PM   #605
dann
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Which has little to do with Capitalism and everything to do with factors unique to America itself. No one is saying we are perfect and should never change.

So why don't you?! By the way, for some reason similar arguments never seem to occur to neo-liberals whenever other societies are discussed, like: 'Chernobyl had little to do with socialism and everything with factors unique to Russia itself.'

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Ok, what are they. And no, I don’t like textbook socialism or communism or Marxism or whatever. A capitalist substitute for ... capitalism? Makes no sense. Capitalism is capitalism; you didn’t specify “Texas Capitalism,” or “neo-liberal” Capitalism in your OP. And this Texan is all for learning from other countries and doing things differently.

Tell us about "textbook socialism or communism or Marxism or whatever". Can you present us with the titles of the textbooks you have read on the subject? Why did you replace "neo-liberal" with "..."? So why don't you learn from other countries? Until recently, your argument for maintaining your state's pandemic response was that Texans just wouldn't put up with pandemic restrictions, and I guess Texans also love deregulation of energy. Your lie that nobody could have foreseen winter storms is duly noted:
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In 2011, Texas faced a very similar storm that froze natural gas wells and affected coal plants and wind turbines, leading to power outages across the state.
Texas leaders failed to heed warnings that left the state's power grid vulnerable to winter extremes, experts say (TheTexasTribune, Feb. 17, 2021)
It was just as predictable as the pandemic was when you wrote about how well Texas was doing: It was already there!

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Sure, but you are referring to sociocultural factors and not economic factors.

So your textbooks don't say anything about how economic factors and sociocultural actors are interconnected?!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd February 2021, 08:58 AM   #606
xjx388
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Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus

Originally Posted by dann View Post
So why don't you?!
Mostly because not enough of us want to. But that’s changing, slowly.
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By the way, for some reason similar arguments never seem to occur to neo-liberals whenever other societies are discussed, like: 'Chernobyl had little to do with socialism and everything with factors unique to Russia itself.'
I can only tell you what arguments occur to me.
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Tell us about "textbook socialism or communism or Marxism or whatever".
Sure. It sucks. Everywhere it has been attempted has seemed to lead to cults of personality and abject failure.
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Can you present us with the titles of the textbooks you have read on the subject?
Here’s what I do know: I’ve heard a lot about what socialism is not: it’s not the Nordic countries, it’s not the NHS, it’s not all the things that people who don’t get it have labeled “socialism.” But I’ve seen very little about what it actually is.

I’ve seen lots of countries that call themselves Communist, but I’ve also heard about how they aren’t really Communist -not really. They aren’t doing what Karl Marx wrote.

So, while I can’t be bothered to read any actual textbooks specifically about these ideas, I can read about history and other commentary and see that whatever has been labeled socialist or communist, isn’t really those things. Real-deal socialism/communism hasn’t actually been implemented in the real world. And the ersatz attempts at the ideology have either outright failed or had to scale back whatever real-deal Marxist/Maoist/Whoeverist (always associated with a particular writer or dictator) ideals they may have espoused to get them in power.

I think the original idea had something to do with Socialism being the next stage after Capitalism, then naturally evolving to the Utopia of Communism where there are no classes and everything is commonly owned. But it always ends up being a, as I said, cult of personality where the leader/party becomes the elite ruling class and everyone else is the working class -same thing as Capitalism, really but totally unsustainable. Capitalism has the distinction of being, at the very least, sustainable.

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Why did you replace "neo-liberal" with "..."? So why don't you learn from other countries? Until recently, your argument for maintaining your state's pandemic response was that Texans just wouldn't put up with pandemic restrictions, and I guess Texans also love deregulation of energy. Your lie that nobody could have foreseen winter storms is duly noted:

It was just as predictable as the pandemic was when you wrote about how well Texas was doing: It was already there!
Blah, blah, blah. You are really good at pointing out the flaws with Capitalism (and America, specifically) and you are really good at spouting terms; but, you are terrible at illustrating a viable alternative.

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So your textbooks don't say anything about how economic factors and sociocultural actors are interconnected?!
Of course they do! But I didn’t need a textbook to know that societies with different cultures might have different priorities and ways of thinking that are reflected in their economic policies.
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Old 25th February 2021, 04:35 AM   #607
dann
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Mostly because not enough of us want to. But that’s changing, slowly.
I can only tell you what arguments occur to me.
Sure. It sucks. Everywhere it has been attempted has seemed to lead to cults of personality and abject failure. Here’s what I do know: I’ve heard a lot about what socialism is not: it’s not the Nordic countries, it’s not the NHS, it’s not all the things that people who don’t get it have labeled “socialism.” But I’ve seen very little about what it actually is.

So all your stories about "textbook" socialism, communism, and Marxism are as made up as The Big Dog's stories about the Atheist Bible. That's what I thought. Even before Trump, the political system of the USA was a textbook example of cults of personality. Oh, the things that capitalism leads to ...

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I’ve seen lots of countries that call themselves Communist, but I’ve also heard about how they aren’t really Communist -not really. They aren’t doing what Karl Marx wrote.

Tell us more about what Karl Marx wrote. There's gotta be textbooks, right?!

Quote:
So, while I can’t be bothered to read any actual textbooks specifically about these ideas, I can read about history and other commentary and see that whatever has been labeled socialist or communist, isn’t really those things. Real-deal socialism/communism hasn’t actually been implemented in the real world. And the ersatz attempts at the ideology have either outright failed or had to scale back whatever real-deal Marxist/Maoist/Whoeverist (always associated with a particular writer or dictator) ideals they may have espoused to get them in power.

Yes, "writers" are very suspicious dudes. Tell us about "real-deal socialism/communism": What is that? You are the one who always wants to talk about that instead of the theme of this thread.

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I think the original idea had something to do with Socialism being the next stage after Capitalism, then naturally evolving to the Utopia of Communism where there are no classes and everything is commonly owned. But it always ends up being a, as I said, cult of personality where the leader/party becomes the elite ruling class and everyone else is the working class -same thing as Capitalism, really but totally unsustainable. Capitalism has the distinction of being, at the very least, sustainable.

Cult of personality again. Interesting, coming from a guy who lives in a country that turns each and every election into a contest between different cults of personality with all of the personalities representing "the elite ruling class".
If there is one thing capitalism isn't, it's sustainable. It's an absurd statement, coming from a Texan.

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Blah, blah, blah. You are really good at pointing out the flaws with Capitalism (and America, specifically) and you are really good at spouting terms; but, you are terrible at illustrating a viable alternative.

Thank you. Yes, I am good at pointing out the flaws of capitalism. You haven't seen me "illustrating a viable alternative." Why on Earth would I do that?!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 25th February 2021, 04:38 AM   #608
dann
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The Daily Social Distancing Show (Feb. 25, 2021):
Black Vaccine Inequality - If You Don’t Know, Now You Know
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 25th February 2021, 11:20 AM   #609
xjx388
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
So all your stories about "textbook" socialism, communism, and Marxism
What stories? I used a common phrase and shared my understanding of those thing. Now, maybe my understanding is flawed and you are free to correct me about that. But I doubt you will. Like I said; you are very good at complaining but terrible at solving.
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are as made up as The Big Dog's stories about the Atheist Bible. That's what I thought. Even before Trump, the political system of the USA was a textbook example of cults of personality. Oh, the things that capitalism leads to ...
Trumpism is a cult of personality, I will grant that much. But to say that the US was a textbook example of such before Trump? That’s a terrible take.

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Tell us more about what Karl Marx wrote. There's gotta be textbooks, right?!
Tell us more about cults of personality. There’s gotta be a better textbook than Wikipedia, right?
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Yes, "writers" are very suspicious dudes.
You said “suspicious” not me. My position isn’t so much about the “writers” but about the architects. Lenin. Trotsky. Mao.
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Tell us about "real-deal socialism/communism": What is that? You are the one who always wants to talk about that instead of the theme of this thread.
I happy to drop socialism/communism if that’s not what you are pursuing as a solution. What I’d like to elicit from you is a solution. Socialism/communism is usually presented as the solution to Capitalism’s flaws, but if you have something else in mind, I’m all ears. It seems though that you’d like to dictate the terms of the discussion. You’d like this to be endless complaining about Capitalism, apparently, and nothing else. Not solutions. Well, I’d like to see the conversation turn from complaints to solutions. If you don’t want to engage that, well that’s fine. I do and it’s within the topic of the thread so I’ll continue pressing the issue, thank you very much.

In my view, the solution is to reform Capitalism. I think your argument is entirely too simplistic, fundamentally, “Capitalism sucks.” We get it. What’s the solution.

There comes a time when a complainer has to present a way to resolve the complaint. We are way past that time in this discussion.

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Cult of personality again. Interesting, coming from a guy who lives in a country that turns each and every election into a contest between different cults of personality with all of the personalities representing "the elite ruling class".
What a ridiculous statement. It comes from a guy who obviously can see things only on the very surface. There isn’t one person whose ideas dictate everything about our economy and government. In the modern world, I’m thinking Cuba, where Fidel Castro established and enshrined into the very Constitution of Cuba his ideas as unalterable. His face and likeness is everywhere in Cuba. He made it so no one would ever dare challenge him, even when he’s dead! That’s a cult of personality.
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If there is one thing capitalism isn't, it's sustainable. It's an absurd statement, coming from a Texan.
Ridiculous. Capitalism has been the engine of growth and sustainability of every major nation in the world. Even China had to abandon the ideas of Mao and embrace some capitalistic ideas to keep up. Capitalism may evolve and reform but it isn’t going anywhere. Especially since not even you, a fierce critic, can present a coherent and viable alternative.

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Thank you. Yes, I am good at pointing out the flaws of capitalism. You haven't seen me "illustrating a viable alternative." Why on Earth would I do that?!
Because complaints without solutions are just so much tedious uselessness. And because you don’t have an alternative.

You sound like the Republicans in the US.

“The ACA is horrible and we have to repeal and replace it!”

“Ok, with what?”

“Errr...ummm...repeal and replace!”

Ad nauseum.
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Old 25th February 2021, 12:46 PM   #610
dann
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As always, bloody boring and based on hearsay and no real knowledge of anything. Common phrases and vague ideas. Truly ad nauseam!

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
What stories? I used a common phrase and shared my understanding of those thing. Now, maybe my understanding is flawed and you are free to correct me about that. But I doubt you will. Like I said; you are very good at complaining but terrible at solving. Trumpism is a cult of personality, I will grant that much. But to say that the US was a textbook example of such before Trump? That’s a terrible take.

The two political parties in the USA serve one purpose only: to choose a personality, the prime specimen of the American Dream to compete for the post as the leader of the country for the next four years, be it Obama, Hillary, Trump or Biden, presented with more or less meaningless slogans that each and every voter can interpret to mean whatever they want it to.

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Tell us more about cults of personality. There’s gotta be a better textbook than Wikipedia, right?

You are the one who brought up cults of personality. You just have a hard time recognizing them in your own backyard, which is not Wikipedia's problem.

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You said “suspicious” not me. My position isn’t so much about the “writers” but about the architects. Lenin. Trotsky. Mao. I happy to drop socialism/communism if that’s not what you are pursuing as a solution. What I’d like to elicit from you is a solution. Socialism/communism is usually presented as the solution to Capitalism’s flaws, but if you have something else in mind, I’m all ears. It seems though that you’d like to dictate the terms of the discussion. You’d like this to be endless complaining about Capitalism, apparently, and nothing else. Not solutions. Well, I’d like to see the conversation turn from complaints to solutions. If you don’t want to engage that, well that’s fine. I do and it’s within the topic of the thread so I’ll continue pressing the issue, thank you very much.

Yes, what something is usually "presented as" is good enough for you. And writers or dictators, they're all the same to you. What I like isn't really the question. What this thread is about is the point. And you would like to turn it into a thread where you present your complaints about whatever you imagine is socialism, communism, Marxism, instead of sticking to the point, which is how capitalism has mismanaged the pandemic response. The worse your Neo-liberalist state Texas is doing, the more disinclined you become to discuss its coronavirus strategy, which is why your posts are one long line of attempts to derail the thread.

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In my view, the solution is to reform Capitalism. I think your argument is entirely too simplistic, fundamentally, “Capitalism sucks.” We get it. What’s the solution.

Yes, capitalism sucks at responding to the pandemic, but I have actually been more specific than that, and the more laissez-faire the version of capitalism is, the worse it is at fighting the pandemic. You don't get it because you are not interested in getting it.

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There comes a time when a complainer has to present a way to resolve the complaint. We are way past that time in this discussion.

You're the complainer. I am the critic of the way capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, have spread the virus and are still doing what they can to get first in line for vaccines instead of letting it go to the people who need it the most.

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What a ridiculous statement. It comes from a guy who obviously can see things only on the very surface. There isn’t one person whose ideas dictate everything about our economy and government. In the modern world, I’m thinking Cuba, where Fidel Castro established and enshrined into the very Constitution of Cuba his ideas as unalterable. His face and likeness is everywhere in Cuba. He made it so no one would ever dare challenge him, even when he’s dead! That’s a cult of personality.

You seem to confuse cult of personality with dictators, which is probably part of the reason why you don't recognize the U.S. version of cults of personality. I doubt that Fidel Castro enshrined much into the Cuban Constitution. Could you at least come up with a quotation to illustrate your point? Doesn't it say so in one of your textbooks?

Yes, there is a cult of personality in Cuba surrounding Fidel Castro. He was the leader of the Cuban revolution, so it's no surprise, really. There is a cult of personality surrounding Lincoln in the USA - "even when he's dead." There's a Kennedy cult as well even though he never freed any slaves. But that's not a cult of personality in your opinion because cults of personality in your opinion only occurs when they are cults of people you don't like.
By the way, Castro disapproved of any attempts to worship him, one of the reasons why you find big murals of Che and Camilo (and a memorial to Martí) at the Plaza de la Revolución, but so far none of Castro. Otherwise, Cuba is so pleasantly free of cults of living politicians that you probably don't even know the name of the present head of state.

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Ridiculous. Capitalism has been the engine of growth and sustainability of every major nation in the world. Even China had to abandon the ideas of Mao and embrace some capitalistic ideas to keep up. Capitalism may evolve and reform but it isn’t going anywhere. Especially since not even you, a fierce critic, can present a coherent and viable alternative.

Yes, China is capitalist! And you actually seem to be proud of it! Mao probably knew as little of Marx's analysis of capitalism as you do. And no, I'm not going to provide you with any kind of alternative. You have already pretended to know all about it based on your "textbooks", which turned out to be nothing at all.
However, it is very obvious that China's "embrace some capitalistic ideas" didn't go all the way in their response to the pandemic, which I bet the Chinese are quite content with:
USA: 1,563
China: 3

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Because complaints without solutions are just so much tedious uselessness. And because you don’t have an alternative.

Then stop complaining.

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You sound like the Republicans in the US.

“The ACA is horrible and we have to repeal and replace it!”

“Ok, with what?”

“Errr...ummm...repeal and replace!”

Ad nauseum.

Yes, ad nauseam. I guess reminding you of the theme of this thread will be in vain, but if you have any comments about the current vaccine inequality, feel free to share.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st March 2021, 02:48 PM   #611
xjx388
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
As always, bloody boring and based on hearsay and no real knowledge of anything. Common phrases and vague ideas. Truly ad nauseam!
Excellent summation of your little thread here.

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The two political parties in the USA serve one purpose only: to choose a personality, the prime specimen of the American Dream to compete for the post as the leader of the country for the next four years, be it Obama, Hillary, Trump or Biden, presented with more or less meaningless slogans that each and every voter can interpret to mean whatever they want it to.
LOL, so not cults of personality but run-of-the-mill politicking.

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You are the one who brought up cults of personality. You just have a hard time recognizing them in your own backyard, which is not Wikipedia's problem.
Your complete misapprehension of what exactly a cult of personality is is your own problem. It seems you didn't even read the very article you linked to which is in perfect synch with what I'm talking about:

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The term came to prominence in 1956, in Nikita Khrushchev's secret speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, given on the final day of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In the speech, Khrushchev, who was the First Secretary of the Communist Party – in effect, the leader of the country – criticized the lionization and idealization of Joseph Stalin, and by implication, his Communist contemporary Mao Zedong, as being contrary to Marxist doctrine. The speech was later made public and was part of the "de-Stalinization" process in the Soviet Union.
And it's interesting that once "de-Stalinaztion" began, it ultimately led to the end of the Soviet Union itself.
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Yes, what something is usually "presented as" is good enough for you. And writers or dictators, they're all the same to you.
Nope. I specifically said I didn't have a problem with the writers as much as I did the dictators.
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What I like isn't really the question. What this thread is about is the point. And you would like to turn it into a thread where you present your complaints about whatever you imagine is socialism, communism, Marxism, instead of sticking to the point, which is how capitalism has mismanaged the pandemic response. The worse your Neo-liberalist state Texas is doing, the more disinclined you become to discuss its coronavirus strategy, which is why your posts are one long line of attempts to derail the thread.
It's not a derail to ask naturally-arising questions that spring from the topic of the thread. If Capitalism is the problem, what's the solution? This is all an elaborate dodge on your part to avoid having to show your hand. I can infer what's in your hand based on your body of work on this forum. It's very interesting to me that you refuse to answer a simple question about solutions.

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Yes, capitalism sucks at responding to the pandemic, but I have actually been more specific than that, and the more laissez-faire the version of capitalism is, the worse it is at fighting the pandemic. You don't get it because you are not interested in getting it.
I get it. I have the same complaints. Now what? What does that get us? Absolutely nothing! What would be important to do next is to talk about how we resolve the problems we both agree exist.

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You're the complainer. I am the critic of the way capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, have spread the virus and are still doing what they can to get first in line for vaccines instead of letting it go to the people who need it the most.
Who do you think was/will be first in line for the vaccine in Cuba? You don't think Raul Castro and his lackies will get the first doses?

And let's talk about this country you brought up who has handled the pandemic so well, Cuba. First of all, I don't trust their numbers given the history of hiding multiple human rights violations and the state-controlled media. But let's grant that they've done better than the US. Wonderful. What about the bread shortages and the fact that the people there can't even get access to the basic goods and services we take for granted? What about the fact that they have no access to a free press or even the freedom to criticize their government? You have to ignore their record on basic human rights to praise them for their (dubious) success in handling the panemic. Ask a Cuban refugee living in Miami if they would trade places with their former countrymen.

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You seem to confuse cult of personality with dictators,
No sir -you seem to forget that the term was coined to refer to exactly those dictators.
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which is probably part of the reason why you don't recognize the U.S. version of cults of personality. I doubt that Fidel Castro enshrined much into the Cuban Constitution. Could you at least come up with a quotation to illustrate your point? Doesn't it say so in one of your textbooks?
If you'd like to live in the fantasy world in which Fidel Castro didn't have much to do with the 1976 Cuban Constitution or his brother had nothing to do 2019 Constitution . . . well, I hope you have a cool pet unicorn there.

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Yes, there is a cult of personality in Cuba surrounding Fidel Castro. He was the leader of the Cuban revolution, so it's no surprise, really. There is a cult of personality surrounding Lincoln in the USA - "even when he's dead." There's a Kennedy cult as well even though he never freed any slaves.
Holy Moley. This is such a bad take ... yeesh.
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But that's not a cult of personality in your opinion because cults of personality in your opinion only occurs when they are cults of people you don't like.
Nope. I understand what a cult of personality is; I'm sorry you don't.
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By the way, Castro disapproved of any attempts to worship him, one of the reasons why you find big murals of Che and Camilo (and a memorial to Martí) at the Plaza de la Revolución, but so far none of Castro. Otherwise, Cuba is so pleasantly free of cults of living politicians that you probably don't even know the name of the present head of state.
Raul Castro.

Quote:
Yes, China is capitalist! And you actually seem to be proud of it! Mao probably knew as little of Marx's analysis of capitalism as you do. And no, I'm not going to provide you with any kind of alternative. You have already pretended to know all about it based on your "textbooks", which turned out to be nothing at all.
Nothing but a dodge. You simply don't have an alternative, or if you do, it's (based on some other of your posts, if I'm remembering correctly) "Let's give real-deal Marxism a try!"
Quote:
However, it is very obvious that China's "embrace some capitalistic ideas" didn't go all the way in their response to the pandemic, which I bet the Chinese are quite content with:
USA: 1,563
China: 3
Yay! They did pandemic good! Now, if they would just allow a free press, stopped "silencing" dissidents, stopped torturing ethnic minorities . . . you get the idea.



Quote:
Then stop complaining.
This dodge is nowhere as good as your last one.
Quote:
Yes, ad nauseam. I guess reminding you of the theme of this thread will be in vain, but if you have any comments about the current vaccine inequality, feel free to share.
That's better!
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Old 18th April 2021, 08:54 AM   #612
Collin237
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Of course, that's nothing new. The only thing that's new is who says so:
Not surprising. It takes someone as closed-minded as a pope to still insist that Neoliberals want an unfettered free market.

It's because of us Neoliberals and our insistence on the carbon industry being sanctioned for producing global warming and pollution, that the canard of "the environment will improve when everyone is forced to change their lifestyle" is finally falling out of favor.

The reason Coronavirus has caused some improvements in the environment is because some of the supply chains of pollutants have been cut. And the way to hold onto the improvements is to cut them further.

We believe that production is the first half of the market and can be reshaped however is best for the world. Only the second half, consumption of whatever is left to be allowed to be produced, do we believe should be free.
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Old 24th May 2021, 10:50 PM   #613
dann
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This one is pretty old measured in pandemic time:
There was never any lockdown. There was just middle-class people hiding while working-class people brought them things.
And upper-class people were hiding on yachts in the Caribbean.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd July 2021, 06:49 AM   #614
dann
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Another one from Sweden, but it appears to be much the same everywhere:

Quote:
* According to the Swedish tax authorities, Sweden’s top paid business leaders doubled their bonuses and variable fees during the pandemic.
* Professor of Economics, Daniel Waldenström, is surprised by the new study.
* "We thought that there would be a decline. It could be that people worked harder during the pandemic and were rewarded because of that," says Daniel Waldenström to Swedish Radio.
The rich got richer during the pandemic - Top paid leaders doubled their bonuses and variable fees (RadioSweden, June 29, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd July 2021, 08:49 AM   #615
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I hire a guy to run a company, I'm especially dependent on his skills in times when running a company is hard. Say, in the middle of a major pandemic, when the economy is in a slump. Costs are up, productivity is down, morale is low and getting lower. If my guy can shepherd the company through times like this, without taking a major retention hit, and without losing too much money, then hell yeah I've got a fat bonus for him. Times like this are what you hire the best managers for. Times like this are exactly when you need them earning that bonus.
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Old 3rd July 2021, 11:22 PM   #616
dann
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Man, you're killing me! This is actually a very fine description of the way stockholders are thinking during a pandemic:
'People need to be laid off, the unions are demanding PPE (= expenses), so "my guy" will receive "a fat bonus" for making sure that it is all about the money. My money! It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. My man. Otherwise, how would I be able to enjoy myself on my yacht in Caribbean?! Thank God, my other man in Washington is helping. He'll receive a fat bonus, too.
It's the way it should be. It's the natural order of things.'

Quote:
The secretive titan behind one of America’s largest poultry companies, who is also one of the President’s top donors, is ruthlessly leveraging the coronavirus crisis—and his vast fortune—to strip workers of protections.
How Trump Is Helping Tycoons Exploit the Pandemic (TheNewYorker, July 13, 202)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 3rd July 2021 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 5th July 2021, 02:45 PM   #617
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Three cheers for a regulated market economy, one in which all assets are eventually traceable to individual taxpayers, and more cheers for the understanding that corporate charters are there for a purpose, and that like any other right, property rights cannot be used to undermine basic principles or to justify retaining accumulated earnings in idle hands via generational dynasties based on tax-sheltered wealth and income.

The reason for this policy approach is that having 85% wealth in the hands of 10% of the population, as is the case in the USA, is an aggregate demand collapse begging to happen, with pre-collapse run-ups in private debt creating the boom-bust cycles. Government investment and spending based on taxation of income and wealth is a sane, capitalism-friendly, counter-cyclical, and essential component of the economy. The nature of such spending is subject to due diligence, but the fact of such spending should not trigger a revolt. Given that, the starvation of public tax revenue resulting from unreasonably tax-averse public policy, coupled with transnational tax evasion by organizations and individuals, are particularly disloyal and eventually self-defeating acts.
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Old 12th August 2021, 05:30 AM   #618
dann
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The Looooong Covid Edition

For those of you who did not manage to avoid the SARS-CoV-2 infection on their yachts in the Caribbean:
What's the point of going to Bermuda on your private jet if you have to go through customs with the plebs? Now, see where it got you!

Quote:
Luxury wellness brands are rushing to offer services to rich people suffering the effects of long covid, and Stephen Colbert's lifestyle brand Covetton House is leading the way with Covetton Med. #Colbert #Comedy #CovettonHouse
Covetton Med Has Luxury Therapies For Long Covid Sufferers (The Tonight Show with Stephen Colbert on YouTube, Aug. 12, 2021)

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th September 2021, 11:43 PM   #619
dann
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Corona Capitalism's Beneficiaries

Quote:
There’s no such thing as free money, right? Wrong. At the start of the COVID pandemic last year, the federal government had to take urgent action to avoid economic oblivion. It came up with the JobKeeper scheme; a great success that gave struggling businesses billions of dollars to pay their workers. 700,000 jobs were saved, but more than 150,000 companies that weren’t in trouble – many of them actually thriving – still stuck their hands out and received 13 billion taxpayer dollars. They didn’t need it; it was money for nothing. What the businesses were doing wasn’t illegal and they’re allowed to keep the cash, but is it fair?
Is this the biggest cash grab in Australian history? (60 Minutes Australia on YouTube, Sep. 5, 2021)

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 10th February 2022, 02:43 PM   #620
dann
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Coronavirus infections and deaths by poverty status: The effects of social distancing (NCBI, Dec 23, 2020)

Quote:
Although the stay-at-home order was one of the most effective methods to contain its spread, residents in lower-income neighborhoods faced barriers to practicing social distancing.
(...)
Mobility of the most disadvantaged counties was least impacted by stay-at-home implementation and relaxation compared to counties with the most resources; however, disadvantaged counties experienced the largest relative increase in COVID-19 infection after both stay-at-home implementation and relaxation.
Differential impact of mitigation policies and socioeconomic status on COVID-19 prevalence and social distancing in the United States (NCBI, June 14, 2021)
It is no surprise that social distancing doesn't really work for poor people, who have to deliver the packages and food to the people working from home.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 16th February 2022, 03:31 PM   #621
xjx388
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I hire a guy to run a company, I'm especially dependent on his skills in times when running a company is hard. Say, in the middle of a major pandemic, when the economy is in a slump. Costs are up, productivity is down, morale is low and getting lower. If my guy can shepherd the company through times like this, without taking a major retention hit, and without losing too much money, then hell yeah I've got a fat bonus for him. Times like this are what you hire the best managers for. Times like this are exactly when you need them earning that bonus.
I quit my job about a month after you made this post partly because my employers did not recognize the hard work I did in keeping the clinic not just solvent but successful (less than a 10% revenue loss 2020-vs-2019; 2021 was shaping up to be our best year ever) when other clinics in our area were suffering. No loss in employees. No actual loss in profit due to cost-savings I implemented. We kept our revenue up because I basically built a low-cost telemedicine solution for them and very carefully read and understood the new rules being put in place to allow for such solutions to begin with.

Well, it's not fair to say they didn't recognize my hard work. They told me I did a good job.

I'm beginning to realize that too many business owners/CEOs/etc do not truly appreciate the work the people under them do to make their businesses successful. Too many have this attitude that it was really them that did it, through their brilliance/leadership/whatever and they don't have to share "their" profits with anyone else. But this is a problem with the human trait of selfishness and greed, which exist in any economic system. What these upper-level people have to understand is that we are selfish and greedy too! We want our piece of the pie and if you aren't willing to split it with us, then we aren't willing to work for you any more. Thus, the Great Resignation and the difficulty in hiring people right now. This is a mini-correction of Capitalism -employers are starting to realize they have to be good employers or they won't be employers any more.
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Old 16th February 2022, 03:47 PM   #622
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
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I see nothing wrong with a company who takes advantage of a government program that offers distributions of money. As long as they follow the rules, should be no problem. Many medical clinics in the US are starting to learn that taking the Provider Relief Funds came with certain reporting obligations. So many of my colleagues took that money without thinking; well, they did think . . . "Free Money!" Ain't no such thing when it comes to government funds.

Let's take my former employer as an example: I advised my clinic NOT to take any money from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) because the strings attached were not well defined at the time they were giving out the money AND we had already taken funds from the Paycheck Protection Program. The clinic owners decided to go ahead and take the money anyway and contracted a third-party to do this for them. I got the PPP funds fully-forgiven because those forgiveness guidelines were known in advance and easy to meet. Now we know that, for PRF money, you have to demonstrate certain losses due to the pandemic, which my former clinic did not have (because I kick ass as a manager). After I quit, they were freaking out because the audit hit for the PRF money. They called me and all I told them was: "I told you not to take that money! You better get on the line with the third-party company you hired. Good luck!" They are now on the hook for $75k. Feels good to be right.
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Old 11th April 2022, 06:16 AM   #623
dann
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A Poor People’s Pandemic: Report Reveals Poor Died from COVID at Twice the Rate of Wealthy in U.S. (Democracy Now!, April 5, 2022)

Quote:
The newly released “Poor People’s Pandemic Report” shows poor people died from COVID at twice the rate of wealthy Americans and that people of color were more likely to die than white populations. “Our country has gotten used to unnecessary death, especially when it’s the death of poor people,” says Rev. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
A Poor People’s Pandemic: Report Reveals Poor Died from COVID at Twice the Rate of Wealthy in U.S. (Democracy Now! on Youtube, April 5, 2022)
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Quote:
Key findings include the following:
During the pandemic, people living in poorer counties died at nearly two times the rate of people who lived in richer counties: After grouping counties by median household income into ten groups with equal population size (deciles), the report shows that death rates in the highest income group are half the death rates in the lowest income group.
During the deadliest phases of the pandemic, poorer counties saw many times more deaths than wealthier counties: A recent Pew study that broke the pandemic up into six phases shows that the deadliest phases of the pandemic to date were in winter 2020-2021, and the Omicron period. Except for the first phase in March 2020, death rates were many times higher in poorer counties than in richer counties.
Vaccination status cannot explain all the variation in death rates across income groups: In almost every income group, county vaccination coverage rates range from nearly full coverage (85%+) to almost no coverage (under 5%). Average vaccination rates are generally higher in high income counties than in middle- and low-income counties; however, these differences do not explain variations in death rates in the later waves of the pandemic.
• Characteristics of counties with the highest death rates: Counties with the highest death rates are poorer than counties with lower death rates, and have higher percentages of people of color.
• Characteristics of the poorest counties: In counties in the poorest decile, more than half of the population lives under 200% of the poverty line and people of color are over-represented.
A Poor People's Pandemic Report: Mapping the Intersection of Poverty, Race and COVID-19 in the US (UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, April 6, 2022)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th April 2022, 06:22 AM   #624
The Great Zaganza
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The System works as intended.
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Old 11th April 2022, 06:27 AM   #625
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The mishandling of the pandemic is in large part due to neoliberalism and corrupt capitalism.
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Old 12th May 2022, 12:09 PM   #626
dann
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Quote:
The biggest players in the U.S. meat industry pressed “baseless” claims of beef and pork shortages early in the pandemic to persuade the Trump White House to keep processing plants running, disregarding the coronavirus risks that eventually killed at least 269 workers, according to a special House committee investigating the nation’s pandemic response.
(...)
“Meatpacking companies knew the risk posed by the coronavirus to their workers and knew it wasn’t a risk that the country needed them to take,” according to the report by the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis. “They nonetheless lobbied aggressively — successfully enlisting [the U.S. Agriculture Department] as a close collaborator in their efforts — to keep workers on the job in unsafe conditions, to ensure state and local health authorities were powerless to mandate otherwise, and to be protected against legal liability for the harms that would result.”
The report alleges the nation’s largest meatpackers and industry trade groups repeatedly misled the public when they warned that a slowdown in their operations posed an imminent threat to the nation’s meat supplies. But “these fears were baseless,” investigators wrote.
Meatpackers hyped ‘baseless’ shortage to keep plants open amid covid (Washington Post, May 12, 2022)

Why waste money on PPE for workers?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th January 2023, 10:37 AM   #627
dann
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Always Prepared!

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Even wealthy people without a yacht tend to fare much, much better than the working poor in the corona crisis:
Thank you for the stunning revelation that rich people are faring better in this crisis, just like they do in every other crisis. I was beginning to think this corona thing was going to be a socio-economic anomaly.

The pandemic is only a minor part of this, but I didn't know where else to put it:
Quote:
Stephen Colbert's newest segment looks at how billionaires are using their riches to lay plans for surviving the apocalypse.
Rich, Please! How The Hyper-Wealthy Are Prepping For The End Times (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Oct 26, 2022)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th January 2023, 11:50 AM   #628
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The pandemic is only a minor part of this, but I didn't know where else to put it:

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A two month old event in reply to a two year old snark? Why put it anywhere?
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Old 8th January 2023, 04:39 AM   #629
dann
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It might have worked better in response to this:
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Quote:
Sunset last night...isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus. I'm hoping everybody is staying safe.
Coronavirus: Billionaire David Geffen blasted for his Instagram-perfect isolation on a luxury yacht (South China , March 31, 2020)

At that location, at least he isn't spreading anything worse than awful Instagram messages ...

But don't worry about the age of my link. Stories about how the hyper-wealthy try to save themselves and nobody else never get old. And unlike your old snark, Stephen Colbert's jab at the hyper-wealthy is actually funny and to the point.

More here:
Quote:
Tech billionaires are buying up luxurious bunkers and hiring military security to survive a societal collapse they helped create, but like everything they do, it has unintended consequences
(...)
Eventually they edged into their real topic of concern: New Zealand or Alaska? Which region would be less affected by the coming climate crisis? It only got worse from there. Which was the greater threat: Global warming or biological warfare? How long should one plan to be able to survive with no outside help? Should a shelter have its own air supply? What was the likelihood of groundwater contamination? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system, and asked: "How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?" The event. That was their euphemism for environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, solar storm, unstoppable virus, or malicious computer hack that takes everything down.
The single question occupied us for the rest of the hour. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from raiders as well as angry mobs. One had already secured a dozen Navy Seals to make their way to his compound if he gave them the right cue. But how would he pay the guards once even his crypto was worthless? What would stop the guards from eventually choosing their own leader?
The super-rich 'peppers' planning to save themselves from the apocalypse (Guardian, Sep 4, 2022)

And this one is even older. Pre-pandemic, actually: How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse (Guardian, July 24, 2018)

As for the unstoppable virus, I recommend face masks (at least N95/hhp2) and HEPA filters, but I hope that social unrest will be what gets them. And I hope that the Navy Seals will be in on it!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 19th January 2023, 03:31 PM   #630
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Forum testing centres
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– Medical staff will give the required test kit to each participant and explain the process.
– The participant will proceed to a designated booth to take the test.
– Tests should take no more than a few minutes to conduct; medical staff are at the participant’s disposal at every testing centre.

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Participants will be informed about the result of their COVID-19 test by email and text message within 24 hours via the contact details provided in the health portal. For privacy reasons, test results are not displayed in the body of the email, but will appear on the certificate that can be retrieved through a unique link sent via email or text message. By using the provided link and the date of birth (Format YYYY-MM-
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In the case a participant contracts COVID-19, the participant’s badge will be deactivated and will no longer be granted access to the meeting venues.
To request support, participants can contact the COVID-19 hotline provided in the email with the positive result. The Forum’s Health Measures team can also be contacted by email at health-safety@weforum.org.
(...)

Protect your health during the Annual Meeting

Rapid antigen self-tests

Rapid antigen tests will be available free of charge at all Forum testing centres and at the Registration Centre. If you do not feel well, please take a self-test. These tests do not replace the requirement to take a test at one of the official Forum testing centres.

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Masks – surgical and FFP2 – will be provided and are easily available throughout the meeting’s venues, on Forum-provided transport and at Forum testing centres, at your convenience. Participants are encouraged to recycle their used masks in designated bins.
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Inside the Annual Meeting’s venues, areas will be cleaned, disinfected and ventilated several times a day. Additional state- of-the-art ventilation systems have been installed in areas with restricted air circulation. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be widely available throughout the meeting venues.

I thought all that testing and ventilation and masking up had been abolished at this point! Don't these guys know that the pandemic is over???

HEPA Filters! What's wrong with you guys?!
Haven't you learned to live with the virus yet?!
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 19th January 2023 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 26th January 2023, 02:39 PM   #631
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 16,967
New COVID-19 mitigation rule: What would Davos billionaires do?!

Quote:
The WEF published its Guidance for Health Measures document, listing all the protocols in place and guiding participants through the arrival and testing process in advance. Free masks and rapid tests were available throughout the venue. New state-of-the-art ventilation system and HEPA purifiers were installed ahead of the event.
These protocols led to a Twitter thread called #DavosStandard that trended in multiple languages. Some tweets were derogatory, inferring these precautions were in place only because of the VIP nature of the attendees. Experts however, pointed out these measures are available to all and should be in place for any type of gathering.

At Convening Leaders, the annual convention of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), SafeExpo was set up right outside The District, as the trade show floor at this gathering is called, with free masks, Covid tests, and information.
Everything that is being done at Davos, is readily available. People have to demand it,” said Patty Olinger, Executive Director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC).
(...)
In addition, she isn’t surprised by the protocols that are in place in Davos. “They are setting an example for the rest of the world. It is not just hygiene theater. They are doing their best to keep their attendees healthy and are in a no-win situation. People would have complained either way if they did or did not take these steps.”
All Eyes on Davos and Its Covid Mitigation Practices (Skift, Jan 20, 2023)

Free masks, rapid tests, new state-of-the-art ventilation systems and HEPA purifiers??! And "these measures are available to all"???
Not in any movie theatre near YOU!!!!! They may have the usual bottle of hand sanitizer because it makes you believe that you don't get Covid-19 from airborne aerosols.
These measures should be available to all, obviously, but it is just as obvious that they aren't.

The billionaires at Davos protect themselves from COVID-19, while declaring the pandemic “over” for working people (WSWS. org, Jan 20, 2023)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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