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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/17/20

Welcome to the New Communist Police State, blamed on a virus

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The draconian measures being taken or certainly being talked about - food rationing?!- will end up killing more people than the virus.

2.2 million dead from the corona virus, predicts a study cited by the New York Times.

How many elderly will die because their caregivers can't get to them (bye bye meals on wheels)? How many people already on special diets won't be able to maintain them and get sick as a result? (Me, I eat mostly fresh, unboxed/uncanned food, devoid of extra salt and sugar, instead of the cheap crap that only governments will pay for).

People will die from this too.

Think you can can substitute daily school lunches for actual school and not have the same infection rate? Forget it. It'll slow it down for a couple of weeks at most. And in New York City, 74% of the children in public school are poor. Without school lunch they go hungry. With school lunch, and then a return to home, their parents - or parent, singular, since many come from single parent households - can't work, they can't staff our hospitals, clean our streets, or do any of the hundred things the Departments of Health say are necessary to contain the virus.

People will die from this too.

I'm not usually paranoid, but this seems to be a way of trapping people into a police state. Oh, and yeah, what happens to the actual police who have to enforce this regime of deprivation? Will they use force when someone wants to go for a jog? If they injure someone, who will treat them in the over-crowded hospitals? Supposedly, exercise is fine, but what if you want to go jogging or biking in a group? I am scheduled to lead a 50-person bike group around New York City the end of April. Is that against the laws now? Wait...what law? Expect court challenges...wait, what courts? They are all working remotely or not at all. Our Civil Rights are already gone but we just don't know it yet. Where is the ACLU? They are silent. Rights for LGBT, for voting...wait, long lines at polling stations. That's already forbidden. Ohio postponed its primary for today. A half dozen other states did as well.

And recessions kill. You can't pay your bills. Evictions and utility shutoffs are supposedly illegal in our new communist state, but what happens when the landlord or utility can't pay its bills? Yes I know, record profits for utilities in the last few years. But that went into buybacks. That wasn't against the law and still isn't. It SHOULD be but it wasn't. And corporations are deep in debt now, and bankruptcies will follow in a week or so; it's that close. The economy is being unraveled and government can't, or won't, even pass the first of dozens of mitigating bills in the New Communism. The New Communism includes tax breaks and bailouts for the largest corporations though, $850 billion worth, so the Administration has learned nothing. Worse, actually, the centerpiece of the proposal is to eliminate the payroll tax, which will save corporations many millions, might trickle down to the employee, unless the corporations pocket the extra, and won't help those out of a job or working for tips at all. Even worse, it will gut Social Security and Medicare, already due to start running out of money in a few years, even during Trump's next term - and yes, he will get another term unless Biden or Sanders can distinguish themselves by what they will do differently, AND we have a recession. But, getting back to Social Security and Medicare; Trump has already said he wants to rein in the costs (read: gut or eliminate the programs millions depend upon to survive). Trump wants a permanent underclass, not entitled to any entitlements, even those it earned. He wants the free-to-be-corrupt market to provide for your old age or illness, or to let you die if you don't plan 40 years ahead, or anticipate cancer.

This is permanent. We are giving up our rights supposedly temporarily. But that's what was said after 9/11, and we still have the Patriot Act and a permanent war footing. BTW, presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard wants a $1,000/month guaranteed income for everyone. That would be much more in keeping with our Civil Rights and much more fair. But no one is listening to her in the MSM or debates,where she is excluded.

This is permanent. This will kill more people than the virus ever would.

So, again, more people will die from the measures to contain the virus - which will ultimately fail anyway - than from the virus itself.

 

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Scott Baker Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
http://www.americaisnotbroke.net/

Scott is a former President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)
 

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16 people are discussing this page, with 26 comments

Tom Calarco

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This is frightening to think about, and I am skeptical that it will become this bad. However, I do think there is more to this than the Pandemic, as Baker is suggesting. For one, the virus is not life-threatening to the majority of people. Of the confirmed cases reported, only 3 percent have died, and almost half have already recovered. It seems that control of the disease is what is needed, and we already see things are slowing down in China. The 24-7 news coverage is making things worse than they are and people are in panic mode (including media) when what is necessary is taking reasonable not extreme precautions.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 2:37:33 PM

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lila york

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Hope that is a worst case scenario. Scott, what is our best counter move?

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 3:29:31 PM

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K V Ramani

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Throng the streets with pitchforks and torches, mob the politicians and financial sharks, hoist them all up? Am all for it, but the timing sucks.

If people had the guts to do it, they had plenty of reasons ahead of this crisis. Years, decades ago. Not going to happen now, not after willingly becoming wards of the state and trapping oneself into its charity net.

This is a medical crisis. In a medical crisis, stay focused on medical solutions. Everything else comes after. Even a revolution.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 5:13:18 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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The medical crisis is intentionally being parlayed into a gigantic social crisis. Isolating people and putting them alone near TVs or other propaganda/misinformation media for extended periods of time is guaranteed to f*uck up society. It's a no-brainer. All help is going to propping up large banks and oil companies. That is not a medical problem or solution.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 6:12:33 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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Thank you for pointing out the dead rat that I have been smelling under all the hype. I like the phrase, "the economy is being unraveled..." But why bash communism? This is fascism on steroids. It is all corporate controlled for their benefit; to be enforced by militant thugs.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 6:06:02 PM

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Scott Baker

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Maybe it was the Food Rationing part that got to me this morning, or how our activities will be monitored and controlled. Since I wrote this, the NYC Mayor has said the city might go to Shelter-in-Place rules in 48 hours.

To me, this sounds more like the government taking over the means of production - Communism - than Fascism, when at least you can walk around, only with the proper papers, admittedly.

The government is bailing out the large industries, it's true, but whether they will be allowed to operate in such a reckless matter again after getting away with 12 years ago, remains to be seen. If yes, than Fascism has won over Communism. Neither is a good model for human beings.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 7:33:41 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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In most communist societies I have witnessed, there was an attitude, "Let's work together, I will try to get a larger share of the deal. Everybody gets something, some folks get more. That is not what this looks like to me. The rate of spread determines how long this will last and to some extent, the number of people who were infected during episode. If there is not enough herd immunity after the initial pass through, the virus will pick up again in the fall and all those oldies who survived this one will again be in jeopardy. Plague mathematics are not hard for predicting where this is going. The difference here is that our health care system is corporate run and our plague response will not care a nit the number of deaths compared to the profit to be made from the new vaccines, subsidies, isolation camps, etc. We are but sickly resources to be milked. Capitalist society may become newly defined. We will most certainly be left susceptible, terrified, and dependent upon some expensive, but partially government subsidized medication. What else goes into the max profit model?

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 10:56:17 PM

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Thanks for this writeup.

By each drastic event, more restrictions are placed on people. Peoples' lives are more controlled now than before.

Wars. As of today (March 17, 2020) bombings are in progress. This is NOT a time to bomb helpless people or test military equipment.

Sanctions many of them are illegal and violate international laws and agreements isolating few countries. Sanctions must be lifted in this difficult time of new virus.

GMOs, Roundup (weed killers), pesticides are used to feed people, gradually killing them. Profits not quality is overriding factor(s).

Profits at what or whose expense? In China people are happy for less noise and better air. China had become "factory," for the entire world. Its people suffered and became rich.

Global village has become small. Treat all nations equally rather than bombing them to submission to deplete their natural resources to benefit 1%.

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Michael Dewey

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I'm living proof whose life SSDI can save so am all behind a UBI. Would rather they had still let me drive sober as an IBEW Wirenut, but that whole other story.

Have been a big fan of Arlo Guthrie's Someday album where he sings a few songs about the people making the news by holding hands in cities all over the world. Had thought OWS back in 2011-12 might just do that. Now am hoping this does it. Uniting on peaceful solutions looks like number 1 on the list of things to do. Bottom up empowerment of cities and states looks like direction to head, getting away from most top down authoritarian trash.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 7:55:57 PM

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You seem to be loaded with fear Scott, you're not helping the

situation.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 9:18:03 PM

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Sage

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No... you have it wrong....it's facism/kakistocracy...rule by oligarchs. It's not communism. Human nature isn't high minded enough for communism to work: GREED and self-interest.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 at 9:55:05 PM

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You should've just titled it, "Welcome to the New Police State." The present title just creates a lot of sidebar analysis that detracts from your point, i.e., a Police State is coming.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 1:09:32 AM

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Can anybody name a vaccine which has gotten rid of a virus?

It seems viruses are hard to get rid of them.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 3:35:23 AM

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Patricia 0rmsby

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Smallpox was sorta gotten ridda, I think. Influenza and corona viruses mutate so much vaccines make no dent in them.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 9:37:04 AM

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On the bright side, maybe Bob Dylan music will come back. USA is pretty hollowed out for Woody Guthrie. Madonna's "Material Girl" was trendy for awhile. Not sure about the Beatles.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 5:09:26 AM

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There a bunch of still turned into Woody. Arlo on road for 55+ no one can be sure how large that that Group W Bench is by now. And this time them who sing load enough to end way and the poverty caused by it will get what ever they want?


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Couple typos, many are still turned onto Woody. But not enough "YET" too make them in power listen to us.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 9:04:27 PM

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Scott Baker

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I note that since this article was submitted, the number of confirmed corona virus cases has jumped from ~5,000 to ~6,500: click here

Of course, many of these cases were already out there, but are now confirmed, so it's hard to estimate the actual infection rate from that. The best guess seems to be every 6 days in the U.S. to double.

Until the number of world cases overtook the number of cases in China, it looked like the recovery rate would start to catch up to the diagnosis rate. Now the latter is racing away from the former again, as the world confirmed cases are accelerating while China is pretty much flat now.

I still believe more people will die from the measures put in place to limit the spread than from the virus itself, but our healthcare system is so abysmal and limited that it may be natural immunity, or existing cures, like hydrochloroquine + zinc, that saves more people than anything ramped up for this emergency.

Big Pharma may prevent use of these therapies, even though they are already being used in China and South Korea, partly responsible for them bending the curve. In that way, many more Americans will die needlessly.

Ron Paul also argues the reaction is an over-reaction. It's worth noting that his death stats are already out-of-date, with 114 Americans killed by the virus as of this writing.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 6:55:12 AM

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Patricia 0rmsby

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Scott, I am utterly horrified at what I see going on in the States. It is too soon to tell if there is really any basis beyond political jockeying for what is being forced on America's citizens now. If there really is a dire medical crisis at hand I'm not seeing any proof of it. For the first nine weeks of 2020, deaths from pneumonia decreased in the US, and even in Washington state. (A friend dug up the statistics and presented them.) I'm presuming that hypothetically, the virus could get out of hand in the future, but I think the increase in cases is due to more testing now.

In Houston, an elderly relative says her facility is in lockdown, and not even family can visit. All because someone in town is said to have tested positive. I suppose in the case of elder care, they want to be extra careful, to avoid what happened in Washington State. But now I'm hearing of proposed lockdowns all over the States.

Thank you for writing and giving us a place to voice our concerns, though I suspect we are pretty helpless.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 9:49:02 AM

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Scott Baker

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The latest today is our NYC MTA needs a $4b bailout because ridership is down 60% and 90% for subways and commuter trains respectively. There's talk of going on a weekend schedule or shutting them down altogether.

Local Pols are talking about shutting down construction too, which next to the financial jobs, are probably the second largest employer of middle class income people. The restaurants closed over a week ago.

Compared to that, the one-time $1,000 payment to every man and woman in America - $250b - seems small and insufficient nationwide. The rest of the stimulus is mainly tax breaks for people who still have taxes to pay, which I suppose is great if one was smart enough to cash out of the stock market last year before the crash. And corporate bailouts of various kinds, which will get used up in a few weeks of the economic shutdown. What then?

The Social Distancing and other measures will delay the spread by a few weeks at most. If our inept and corrupt leaders haven't ramped up the hospitals by then - they've already had >2 months - they never will.

I still think the fatality rate is much lower than stated. There are 8 billion examples of humans now, all of us with some unique combination of genes and other factors. Most people will not get sick, or will have a mild case, even if exposed. It's hard to pinpoint why, but there's immunity out there, for whatever reason.

We ought to be administering Hydrochloroquin and Zinc ASAP, as they are in China and South Korea already. I wonder if Big Pharma will allow it since there's no money to be made that way. Trump is in so far over his head that he won't even know of any treatments his advisors from Big Pharma don't tell him about. We'll all suffer, and some will die, from that.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 1:04:21 PM

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Do you believe many people died in China because of the measures they used?

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 9:39:42 PM

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In the beginning, yes, because it was being totally ignored. But later, draconian measures probably saved some lives.

It's hard to tell how many because it's still not clear how many people actually had the disease - it's more than 81,000, but how much?

The population of Wuhan Province, where the outbreak was the greatest is 12 million.

So, you have two choices: either a whole lot of people got COVID-19 and didn't get sick, in which case it is not that serious, OR for some reason only 81,000 people got COVID-19 and the rest were either immune or didn't get it because of the draconian measures, or some combination.

I don't believe the official reactions stemmed the outbreak on their own - also the avg. age of people who died in China was 75. In Italy it is 79.5 - about 1.5 years longer than the average American even lives (Italians live to 84 on average; they have a great healthcare system! It covers everyone!).

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Here we have another crisis and the government's media propagandists have stepped up their program of instilling fear in the masses which make it a prime "perfect storm" of expediting the downward spiral to Third World status for our nation. To make matters worse we have a loose cannon in charge. We are moving closer to martial law being imposed during which time who knows what liberties and rights will be trampled out of existence?

It feels as though the New World Order One Government World is closing in on all of us

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 2:27:46 PM

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Excellent article, Scott - you pegged it. Very hard to make people see the whole picture....perhaps it will sharpen up when the crushing controls start.

Day two from the French trenches

Since noon yesterday everyone in France is required to stay home. If you have a car, you're required to stay home.

If you have a job, you need special permission by the government to go to it..

All stores are closed except drugstores and supermarkets and pizza carry out.

If you need food, you must go online and fill in a form and tell them you need to go to the store for essentials.

Otherwise, it's lockdown,,,,cannot take the car for a ride in the countryside. Can only shop at the closest store to you - won't be getting organic which is two towns away. The police can stop you and fine you. Still better than being shot on sight like in North Korea.

My husband can't do a roadtrip to see his elderly mother.

Everyone is in lockdown for the next two weeks - renewable, of course.You know the happy Italians singing from their balconies? Last night TV filmed the French version - no singing, but YELLING INSULTS!!

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 4:17:59 PM

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They are already calling the military in NY..

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Ron Paul says 'another FalseFlag Hoax' against the U.S.citizens!"

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 at 7:31:17 PM

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