Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

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Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

crumpart wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 6:07 am

It is one thing to be powerless in the face of a natural disaster, quite another to watch vast power being squandered in real time – wilfully, malevolently, vindictively. It is one thing for governments to fail (as, in one degree or another, most governments did), quite another to watch a ruler and his supporters actively spread a deadly virus. Trump, his party and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News became vectors of the pestilence.
Yep.. Nailed it. Sorry US friends. Time to step up. It is not good enough that you boil like frogs in your own filth. We are a globally connected world and you are the weakest link.

I agree that my own government are a complete pox on humanity when it come to the far greater existential threat of anthropogenic global warming. And I damn them to hell for that. But if your government can't even get its shit together for a thing that happens in the times space of an electoral cycle...WTF is wrong with your political system - and why are you people writing songs and not going out and fixing it?
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Re: COVID-19 freakout thread

Post by Caravan Ray »

...and why am I starting to sound like my avatar? When did i become Bono?
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Re: COVID-19 freakout thread

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 5:47 am
This is an extraordinary event that has taken the world by surprise.

But the worlds largest economy is seeing its people die in massive numbers while a fuckwit talks about injecting bleach.

How does this happen?

As you all know - I complain about my government a lot - but they are not completely retarded. This thing is being managed here. How the fuck did US political system become so completely broken? I have been lulled into a false sense of protection knowing that I have a lot of intelligent American friends. Surely the grown-ups will take charge.

Seriously. What the fuck?!?!?
extremely cynical, slightly leftist but mostly disillusioned American who's lived in the southeast most of my life chiming in

The US political system has been broken for quite awhile now. I can point fingers in either direction -- but I can point a whole lot more fingers at the right and their constant bad-faith political practices. It doesn't help that we basically have a completely broken mass media as well, with Fox blatantly lying and shilling whatever conservative talking points/conspiratorial ideas happen to be in vogue (or rather amplifying them and fanning the flame), while CNN/MSNBC generally tells the truth but delivers it in a fun package of corporate neo-liberal propaganda (let's bury most stories that might possibly bury anything negative about Joe Biden and have every single day's headline be about how much of a fuck Trump is!). Problem is people respond better to anger than shame, so Fox wins - hence Trump.

I'll also point out that my cheat of a governor is probably the one getting the most coverage from a state level (look up the Kemp/Abrams election controversy to get some background, and then just do a search for "Kemp" and "coronavirus" to see his remarkably dumb ideas on the pandemic). Like seriously, bowling alleys, salons, gyms, and massage parlors have reopened here. Why those? I don't fucking know. As I posted the other day, he's also waived the road test for teenagers to get their licenses -- because that was apparently easier and more logical than just telling them to wait? Or are barbers supposed to not social distance, but driving testers have to? I think that's the rationale there.

Maybe I will shoot some bleach. Or at least drink it, I don't like needles.
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Re: COVID-19 freakout thread

Post by Caravan Ray »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 6:36 am
Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 5:47 am
This is an extraordinary event that has taken the world by surprise.

But the worlds largest economy is seeing its people die in massive numbers while a fuckwit talks about injecting bleach.

How does this happen?

As you all know - I complain about my government a lot - but they are not completely retarded. This thing is being managed here. How the fuck did US political system become so completely broken? I have been lulled into a false sense of protection knowing that I have a lot of intelligent American friends. Surely the grown-ups will take charge.

Seriously. What the fuck?!?!?
extremely cynical, slightly leftist but mostly disillusioned American who's lived in the southeast most of my life chiming in

The US political system has been broken for quite awhile now. I can point fingers in either direction -- but I can point a whole lot more fingers at the right and their constant bad-faith political practices. It doesn't help that we basically have a completely broken mass media as well, with Fox blatantly lying and shilling whatever conservative talking points/conspiratorial ideas happen to be in vogue (or rather amplifying them and fanning the flame), while CNN/MSNBC generally tells the truth but delivers it in a fun package of corporate neo-liberal propaganda (let's bury most stories that might possibly bury anything negative about Joe Biden and have every single day's headline be about how much of a fuck Trump is!). Problem is people respond better to anger than shame, so Fox wins - hence Trump.

I'll also point out that my cheat of a governor is probably the one getting the most coverage from a state level (look up the Kemp/Abrams election controversy to get some background, and then just do a search for "Kemp" and "coronavirus" to see his remarkably dumb ideas on the pandemic). Like seriously, bowling alleys, salons, gyms, and massage parlors have reopened here. Why those? I don't fucking know. As I posted the other day, he's also waived the road test for teenagers to get their licenses -- because that was apparently easier and more logical than just telling them to wait? Or are barbers supposed to not social distance, but driving testers have to? I think that's the rationale there.

Maybe I will shoot some bleach. Or at least drink it, I don't like needles.
Yes. I am at a loss as to how this has happened. I am not US bashing - it is "almost" as bad here - but - it actually isn't. Our awful government actually managed this crisis quite well and listened to experts. Because it was a crisis that could be seen in an electoral period. Global warming... - no - thats one for the next government. More than 3 years - it doesn't exist.

But we are seeing in the US this blowhard moron carry on like a pork chop...how the fuck does that happen in a modern democracy? We could never have a Prime Minister like that - because his own party would replace him (as happened in recent times with Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, Turnbull) - how on earth did your country let a single person get so much power? You really seem to have fucked up that whole "revolution" thing.
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Re: COVID-19 freakout thread

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

I didn't vote for Trump. I'm not going to vote for Trump. But I think Trump will be re-elected. This isn't the place for political discussions, imo (there's a board for that) but start preparing now for another four years of a narcissistic, reality TV star as president.
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Re: COVID-19 freakout thread

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:45 am
I didn't vote for Trump. I'm not going to vote for Trump. But I think Trump will be re-elected. This isn't the place for political discussions, imo (there's a board for that) but start preparing now for another four years of a narcissistic, reality TV star as president.
I'm thoroughly convinced he's going to win again. Is it cause we both live in (mostly) deep red states? I just don't see Biden really bringing out the vote, especially cause the whole Burisma thing kind of made him look bad too and almost everyone I know who's really voting for him is mostly just voting against Trump. Ah well. Worse things have happened in US history.
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Re: COVID-19 freakout thread

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 8:19 am
Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:45 am
I didn't vote for Trump. I'm not going to vote for Trump. But I think Trump will be re-elected. This isn't the place for political discussions, imo (there's a board for that) but start preparing now for another four years of a narcissistic, reality TV star as president.
I'm thoroughly convinced he's going to win again. Is it cause we both live in (mostly) deep red states?
I'm basing my opinion on what I'm hearing from my employees and, after some research, on most of the polls of black voters this past winter. It doesn't take a huge amount of voters to stay home to make it a close race and if some of them actually vote for Trump then he'll be hard to beat.

While I'm in a Red state, traditionally, Missouri voted for the presidential winner in most elections. Although the state house and senate have been firmly republican for a long, long time. Also, I'm in Columbia, MO with three colleges and it's a bastion of blue. As a libertarian, this doesn't especially please or displease me.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

I think the outcome of your election is fairly irrelevant. What is scary to the outside world now is how disfunctional the government of the worlds largest economy seems to have become. It appears than an individual is able to wield arbitrary power beyond the normal checks and balances you would expect in a modern democracy. And gross incompetence is somehow tolerated as a matter of political difference. Scary stuff.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Lunkhead »

We have a really weird Stockholm syndrome thing going on here that is terrifying. I posted something to Facebook that is a great visualization about the scale of the wealth of Jeff Bezos and then also the 400 richest Americans, with some discussion of what could be done with a wealth tax putting some of that staggering wealth to the benefit of everybody, all without tangibly impacting the standard of living of the 400 richest people. I got a reply from a friend I went college with that was pretty baffling to me. She starts off with the deeply ingrained American myth that rich people are just like the rest of us! They're not though. They can literally do anything they want within the laws of physics, including making what is nominally supposed to be "our" government act against _our_ interests. They can also own media outlets and influence if not control the general dialogue in the country. Then next she brings out the deeply ingrained American myth that any one of us could be that rich too if we just work hard enough. Of course, it's really not like that. Not saying it's impossible, but the odds are long, especially if you're black. Also Jeff Bezos for example got 250k USD to start Amazon from his parents, so, he was already doing pretty well relative to like >80% of Americans to begin wit. Then there is a mention of how everybody benefits from being a citizen. Sure, but you know, due to things like systemic racism and corruption a few people sure are benefiting a lot more than others. Then she said that instituting something like a wealth tax now that would not grandfather existing wealth into safety would be like "changing the rules in the middle of the game". WTF? If the game is rigged, I think we should change the rules, preferably to unrig them, and I don't care really if it's in the middle of the game. When are we not going to be in the middle of the game anyway? What does that even mean? Anyway, here is an actually smart person (really, college educated, not a dumb person intellectually) who is not one of the richest 400 people in the US yet who is making a bunch of bogus arguments to defend the status quo, because these are things we've all been told and been immersed in for decades. It's really messed up.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

Lunkhead wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 3:03 pm
I posted something to Facebook that is a great visualization about the scale of the wealth of Jeff Bezos and then also the 400 richest Americans
That was very cool.

It is weird, the day I saw you post that, I had just been listening to a BBC History podcast about Mansa Musa, the 14th century Emperor of Mali who was apparently the wealthiest person who has ever lived. Some historian or economist or whatever had (somehow?!?) calculated his wealth in todays terms - and claimed if he were alive today - he would be 4 times wealthier than Jeff Bezos!! The calculations maybe taken with a grain of salt maybe - but that still sounds quite mind-boggling.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47379458
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

Anyway - the main point here is does the USA actually have a plan?

The worlds largest economy is suffering the largest death toll through sheer incompetence. What the fuck are you people doing about this? Where are the grown ups?

Since 1945 - Australia has existed under the USA umbrella. We are part of your Empire. We see you address this matter with complete incompetence.

That is really fucked... Where are the grown ups?
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by owl »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 2:40 pm
I think the outcome of your election is fairly irrelevant. What is scary to the outside world now is how disfunctional the government of the worlds largest economy seems to have become. It appears than an individual is able to wield arbitrary power beyond the normal checks and balances you would expect in a modern democracy. And gross incompetence is somehow tolerated as a matter of political difference. Scary stuff.
THIS is the thing that was freaking me out the most in the earlier days of the Trump presidency (still is, but I’m a bit more numb to it now)—there have been other presidents who I disagreed with politically, but I still had faith in democracy, truth, and I guess at heart I had a naive feeling that there was a general good faith effort to lead our country, even if people were starting with different economic/social principles than me. All of that has been unraveled, and the flimsiness of the checks and balances system in the face of partisan bias, greed, and lust for power has been revealed, and I feel like our country is sliding into fascism and the people in power are systematically dismantling the fundamental aspects of our democracy. It’s not a reassuring feeling.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by owl »

@Lunkhead ahhh, internalized capitalism. Mainstream media pushes this idea so hard though, that you’re just the next Bezos waiting to happen and it’s all just down to your hard work. (See Shark Tank, Kitchen Nightmares, etc.) If you’ve ever seen Undercover Boss, I find that show super interesting, it casts corporate executives in this hidden messiah role that used to be reserved for gods and prophets in old parables.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:38 am
The worlds largest economy is suffering the largest death toll through sheer incompetence. What the fuck are you people doing about this? Where are the grown ups?
And one of the lowest death tolls per capita. And if you look at our states like you would look at a member of the EU then the US has out performed most of the world. Granted this is in spite of Trump and therefore no defense of him, but our governors (even the ones we don't approve of) are doing a pretty decent job as a whole.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by owl »

Well... we're #7 in the world (out of nearly 200 countries total) for deaths per capita according to Johns Hopkins, so I don't know if that is really "one of the lowest", especially considering our number of COVID deaths is probably heavily underreported due to our lack of testing.

I'm sure some states and governors are doing well with their response and some aren't.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by crumpart »

I’ve been really impressed with how well Ireland has been handling this so far. For a country whose systems are mostly made from leftover cardboard and sticky tape, the government has banded together remarkably well in this crisis. Especially considering we had an inconclusive federal election three weeks before shit hit the fan across Europe and still technically don’t have a government. Sinn Fein got most of the vote, but they didn’t back themselves and didn’t run enough members to actually form government, and neither Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil will form a coalition with them because they don’t want to be associated with the RA. Hopefully this crisis will be the kick in the pants the politicians here need to actually make a better society when we come out the other side of this and actually have an official government again. Politics in this country is super weird, and maybe this will reboot it so we don’t have a bunch of random parties that pulled their identities and policies entirely from nationalism, the 1916 uprising and The Troubles.

We had a lot of travel early on from places like Italy (big rugby match that was cancelled, but a lot of people still travelled because everything was changing so fast and no one quite understood the consequences), but as soon as the government really realised what was happening in Italy, schools, many workplaces and pretty much every event were shut down. There are definitely things that could have been done better (especially in regard to policies around nursing homes, which were apparently forgotten about entirely early on...), but we haven’t seen the type of spikes here that have hit other European countries. The government turned a bunch of private hospitals into public hospitals, and so far our intensive care resources haven’t been over capacity. Our testing was low initially because there was difficulty coordinating and sourcing the materials needed, but it has increased rapidly these past couple of weeks and we now have very high testing rates and our reporting of new cases and deaths is as accurate and transparent as possible (here’s an interesting article on death reporting and stats across the country from today).

Edited to add this quote from Fintan O’Toole again in today’s Irish Times:
In a national emergency, closing down one’s critical faculties isn’t patriotic. It’s the best way to guarantee that mistakes multiply and that poor decisions are not reversed.
This is hard to accept if you are trying to manage a pandemic under almost intolerable pressure. When you have your finger in the dyke, it is only natural to give another finger to the onlooker who tells you that some water is leaking through. But it is precisely because of the pressure that scrutiny is more necessary than ever. We are in the hands of human beings who are trying to deal as well as they can with a crisis unprecedented in their lifetimes caused by a virus whose full effects are still unknown. Honest mistakes in this arena are not shameful. They are inevitable.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:20 am
Caravan Ray wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:38 am
The worlds largest economy is suffering the largest death toll through sheer incompetence. What the fuck are you people doing about this? Where are the grown ups?
And one of the lowest death tolls per capita. And if you look at our states like you would look at a member of the EU then the US has out performed most of the world. Granted this is in spite of Trump and therefore no defense of him, but our governors (even the ones we don't approve of) are doing a pretty decent job as a whole.
USA - 215 deaths per million population
Australia - 4 deaths per million population
You probably should rethink that response.
The USA is not doing a pretty decent job as a whole.
Last edited by Caravan Ray on Wed May 06, 2020 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

owl wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 am
Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 2:40 pm
I think the outcome of your election is fairly irrelevant. What is scary to the outside world now is how disfunctional the government of the worlds largest economy seems to have become. It appears than an individual is able to wield arbitrary power beyond the normal checks and balances you would expect in a modern democracy. And gross incompetence is somehow tolerated as a matter of political difference. Scary stuff.
THIS is the thing that was freaking me out the most in the earlier days of the Trump presidency (still is, but I’m a bit more numb to it now)—there have been other presidents who I disagreed with politically, but I still had faith in democracy, truth, and I guess at heart I had a naive feeling that there was a general good faith effort to lead our country, even if people were starting with different economic/social principles than me. All of that has been unraveled, and the flimsiness of the checks and balances system in the face of partisan bias, greed, and lust for power has been revealed, and I feel like our country is sliding into fascism and the people in power are systematically dismantling the fundamental aspects of our democracy. It’s not a reassuring feeling.
Yes - that is exactly the thing that a lot of outsiders to the US are seeing - that dismantling of democracy

And while your current old, rich, white guy is particularly bad - I really don’t think it matters which old, rich, white guy you give the job to next - the rest of the world is still seeing the worlds biggest economy and military power with a badly dysfunctional government.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

owl wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 11:41 am
Well... we're #7 in the world (out of nearly 200 countries total) for deaths per capita according to Johns Hopkins, so I don't know if that is really "one of the lowest", especially considering our number of COVID deaths is probably heavily underreported due to our lack of testing.

I'm sure some states and governors are doing well with their response and some aren't.
re: Deaths per Capita - Yeah, so I was wrong to say in the world. But it's interesting to note that those 6 countries that are ahead of us (most by a lot) in deaths are in western Europe where reporting is quite likely more accurate than some of the other countries like, oh, say China. etc., Still you're point is taken. I should have made my point better.

re: Under Reporting. I find it odd that the NYTimes (and some other outlets) started reporting this in the past week or so. Previously, I had only seen information showing in inflation of death statistics. While their speculation may be correct, I see two problems.
1) The manner in which we count COVID-19 deaths doesn't really matter if it's different than how other countries count. For instance, we are much worse than China according to the data I found. But is there any doubt that China is massively under reporting COVID-19 deaths?
2) According to interviews with several doctors, the CDC has changed how they are assigning cause of death. It's no longer necessary to have a confirmed test result. For instance, From the BBC: "New York City's death count has spiked to more than 10,000 after it reported 3,778 people who likely had Covid-19, but died without being tested."

And another example, On April 23rd a man died from a drug overdose while infected with COVID-19 in Venture County, California and was counted as a COVID-19 death. In the past this would be counted as an overdose death. That's no longer the case. So we can't even accurately compare the COVID-19 virus to previous (or even future) instances because we are changing how we are reporting the deaths.

To be clear, I'm not trying to make the argument that the U.S. has no problem and we should all open up immediately or anything of the sort. I AM saying that the statistics are murky at best, but even at their worse, we aren't nearly as bad off as some sources are making out.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Awfulness of Covid aside, democracy here is indeed flailing. Besides Dear Leader, look at McConnell and the other (mostly) GOPers doing their best to dismantle the country from the inside out. And funny how Big Brother isn't the govt, but, rather, corporations. Amazon, Googel et al.

There's so much to rant about, I can't type it all on this stupid funny phone. But really, look around. As C-Ray points out, perhaps it's easier seen from the outside, but we have become a divided parody of ourselves. Make way for China, next " World Leader". At least they have focus.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 1:55 pm
Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:20 am
Caravan Ray wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:38 am
The worlds largest economy is suffering the largest death toll through sheer incompetence. What the fuck are you people doing about this? Where are the grown ups?
And one of the lowest death tolls per capita. And if you look at our states like you would look at a member of the EU then the US has out performed most of the world. Granted this is in spite of Trump and therefore no defense of him, but our governors (even the ones we don't approve of) are doing a pretty decent job as a whole.
USA - 215 deaths per million population
Australia - 4 deaths per million population
You probably should rethink that response.
The USA is not doing a pretty decent job as a whole.
It is curious that Pigfarmer never responded to this

This is the point

The world largest economy is pretending it is managing this.
It isn't. By any metric - the USA performing terribly

This leaves us in countries in the historic US empire umbrella wondering
WTF?!?!?

That is why I ask:

Are you people in the USA doing something to justify your ongoing position as a dominant economy an military power?

Or are you a bunch of fuckwits that the rest of the world cannot trust?

Simple question really.

I know my friends from the USA are not moronic fuckwits. Yet - I see the leader of their government behave in that manner.
How the fuck does that happen?
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Caravan Ray
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Posts: 8435
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:51 pm
Instruments: Penis
Recording Method: Garageband
Submitting as: Caravan Ray,G.O.R.T.E.C,Lyricburglar,The Thugs from the Scallop Industry
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Contact:

Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 2:24 am
Caravan Ray wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 1:55 pm
Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:20 am


And one of the lowest death tolls per capita. And if you look at our states like you would look at a member of the EU then the US has out performed most of the world. Granted this is in spite of Trump and therefore no defense of him, but our governors (even the ones we don't approve of) are doing a pretty decent job as a whole.
USA - 215 deaths per million population
Australia - 4 deaths per million population
You probably should rethink that response.
The USA is not doing a pretty decent job as a whole.
It is curious that Pigfarmer never responded to this

This is the point

The world largest economy is pretending it is managing this.
It isn't. By any metric - the USA performing terribly

This leaves us in countries in the historic US empire umbrella wondering
WTF?!?!?

That is why I ask:

Are you people in the USA doing something to justify your ongoing position as a dominant economy an military power?

Or are you a bunch of fuckwits that the rest of the world cannot trust?

Simple question really.

I know my friends from the USA are not moronic fuckwits. Yet - I see the leader of their government behave in that manner.
How the fuck does that happen?
And lets just focus this properly if it wasn't entirely clear...I love American people..but why are you allowing the powers of the judiciary and legislature be diminished??1? Stop being stupid cunts.
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