Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 51

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.

We Are Living in a Failed State (from The Atlantic): “Trump came to power as the repudiation of the Republican establishment. But the conservative political class and the new leader soon reached an understanding. Whatever their differences on issues like trade and immigration, they shared a basic goal: to strip-mine public assets for the benefit of private interests. Republican politicians and donors who wanted government to do as little as possible for the common good could live happily with a regime that barely knew how to govern at all, and they made themselves Trump’s footmen.

Like a wanton boy throwing matches in a parched field, Trump began to immolate what was left of national civic life. He never even pretended to be president of the whole country, but pitted us against one another along lines of race, sex, religion, citizenship, education, region, and—every day of his presidency—political party. His main tool of governance was to lie. A third of the country locked itself in a hall of mirrors that it believed to be reality; a third drove itself mad with the effort to hold on to the idea of knowable truth; and a third gave up even trying.”

I’ve reported on war for years. I’m more afraid now than I’ve ever been. (from The Military Times): “I’ve seen episodes like these while reporting on conflict and unrest in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, and elsewhere.

But I never expect to see it in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky, like we have in recent days. Protesters furious with the shutdown orders and social distancing, some waving Trump flags and others bearing swastikas.

For years I kept one eye on the hysteria and extremism that’s been brewing in America while I covered atrocities half a world away.

Now that I spend more time in the states covering the Rust Belt and Appalachia, I must admit: I’m more afraid now than I ever was in a war zone.”

Trump and Fox News want to send their hydroxychloroquine hype down the memory hole (from Vox): “The study, which the National Institutes of Health posted to its website and is the largest of its kind, was not peer-reviewed. The authors concluded more rigorous studies are needed before adopting widespread use of the drug.

Asked about the findings during the White House briefing hours after it was published, Trump dodged, saying “I don’t know of the report,” and tried to distance himself from the drug.”

Is The Federalist Just Straight Up Trying To Kill People? (from Wonkette): “Since the beginning of the pandemic, The Federalist — the conservative op-ed site run by Meghan McCain’s husband, Ben Domenech — has been primarily concerned with two things: referring to the virus in extremely racist ways while insisting they are not racist for doing so, and getting people and the government at large to stop taking it seriously. Of course, Meghan McCain and Ben Domenech are currently self-isolating, but they don’t quite fit the class profile of those who are supposed to “die” for freedoms, do they?”

Anti-Vax Doctor Promotes Conspiracy Theory That Death Certificates Falsely Cite COVID-19 (from Rolling Stone): “One video that has been circulating on social media features a Montana physician named Dr. Annie Bukacek questioning the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States (more than 26,000, as of Wednesday, April 15th).

Brandishing a stethoscope and white lab coat, she argues that the CDC is encouraging medical examiners to erroneously report COVID-19 as a cause of death in many cases, arguing that the actual cause of death in many cases may have been an underlying health condition. “Testing positive for COVID-19 does not mean a person is sick with it or, if the person died, that they died from it,” Bukacek says before concluding with a grand flourish, “based on inaccurate, incomplete data, people are being terrorized by fearmongers into relinquishing … freedoms.””

I’m an E.R. Doctor in New York. None of Us Will Ever Be the Same. (from the New York Times): “The patients keep coming. Beds fill up. Ventilators get parceled out. Quickly, there are many more patients than equipment and space. Doctors can be recruited, or take on more patients than they are usually comfortable with, but what to do about the lack of resources? Who gets the precious few ventilators?

Those deemed too old or too sick don’t get ventilators or have them taken away so that they can be used for patients who are more likely to survive. Duca recalls for me one of the first patients he subjected to this calculation. The man, 68, had transplanted lungs. His oxygen level had dropped; his breathing rate increased. “I knew that he was not doing well,” Duca says. But there were no spots in the I.C.U., because they were filled with younger and healthier patients whose prospects of recovery were greater. Duca made the difficult decision not to give the patient a breathing tube, to save the ventilator for someone more likely to live.”

The 1918 flu pandemic, a cautionary tale (from CBS News): “It was called the Spanish flu. But that was only because Spain, which was not at war, allowed the press to report on it openly. Unlike here.

The first serious outbreak in the United States began at Camp Funston (now Fort Riley) in Kansas. As infected soldiers from across the country made their way to the trenches in France, the virus spread.

But the nation wasn’t told.”

How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes (from Science Magazine): “On rounds in a 20-bed intensive care unit one recent day, physician Joshua Denson assessed two patients with seizures, many with respiratory failure and others whose kidneys were on a dangerous downhill slide. Days earlier, his rounds had been interrupted as his team tried, and failed, to resuscitate a young woman whose heart had stopped. All shared one thing, says Denson, a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Tulane University School of Medicine. “They are all COVID positive.”

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 surges past 2.2 million globally and deaths surpass 150,000, clinicians and pathologists are struggling to understand the damage wrought by the coronavirus as it tears through the body. They are realizing that although the lungs are ground zero, its reach can extend to many organs including the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, gut, and brain.”

A family says a fraudulent Facebook ad for protective masks used a stolen photo to claim all but one died of Covid-19 (from CNN): “The ad then claims the family balked at government warnings and attended a 176-person event and that “Justin,” the youngest son, was the only member of the family to wear a mask. Behind that text, the ad ran video of the British royal family inside Westminster Abbey. The text over the unidentified, smiling, boy, says that he “narrowly escaped death.””

Our Pandemic Summer (from The Atlantic): “Both groups agree that before relaxing the guidelines on social distancing the U.S. urgently needs to expand its ability to test for the virus, and to shore up hospitals with sufficient supplies. These recommendations are sensible, but they hinge on the expectation that the U.S. can recover the ground it lost due to its early inaction. It might not be able to.”

So, You Never Really Were “Pro-Life,” Were You? (from John Pavlovitz): “We suspected that you weren’t really burdened to protect humanity, as you cheered while families were separated at the border, as you ignored yet another bloody school shooting, as you applauded the dismantling of our healthcare system, as you turned away exhausted refugees, as you laughed during his anti-immigrant rally rants. We figured that outside of gun owners and white embryos, that you really weren’t in this to defend the living.

But now, it’s all out in the open isn’t it, friend?

When you’re stopping traffic filled with ambulances and delivery trucks,  and protesting wellness protections designed to keep people from getting sick and dying, and standing opposite nurses in face masks who are literally keeping people breathing (or when you applaud people who do)—you’re showing your hand.”

That’s all for this week. Drop by again for more articles that might make you go, “Hmmmmm.” Until then, happy reading, have a great weekend and stay safe!

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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1 Response to Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 51

  1. DeviceDude says:

    What I can say about some of these articles is that I find the conservative ideology and lifestyle unappealing at all. Going forward I will refer to that as a lifestyle because unlike LGBTQ people, being a ‘conservative’ really is a choice. It’s all the more remarkable given that these people love to emphasize choice, personal responsibility, self-suffiency, etc. that are their prepackaged talking points.



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