LATE ADDITION, up-top...
Latest Cyber Music Fest
This just in from FolkWorks...
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More from The Guide, new Saturday...
Covidology 101 for Saturday, August 1st
California just became the first state to report more than 500,000 coronavirus cases, according to a New York Times database. The newspaper made that report in its overnight e-newsletter. They write:
"California locked down its residents relatively early, on March 19, buying time for hospitals and public health workers to prepare for an expected onslaught. The state’s weekly average number of infections in late April was less than 20 percent of what it is today.
"But while the restrictions led to early success in the state, which has the world’s fifth-largest economy, they eventually wore on residents reeling from spikes in unemployment. Resistance mounted to the restrictions."
And here we are, setting the wrong kind of records. We'll take it from here, New York Times.
If we ever want to see music venues reopen -- if we want them to have a chance to survive all these months of ongoing expense and zero income -- we must stand together to insist to the rest of society on what we all know to do.
• Nobody gets to be a maskless MASKHOLE and be around anyone else.
• Nobody gets to congregate in maskless gatherings of BRANCH COVIDIANS then expect to mingle buying toilet paper with the rest of us.
• Nobody gets to be an arrogant jerk and recklessly expose others, or leave anyone wondering if they've been exposed to the Plague of 2020.
The rest of us cannot be expected to risk exposure to any reckless asymptomatic carrier like that covidiot Texas congressman Louie Gomert.
Nobody has the freedom to blow cigarette smoke in your face in any indoor space. Nobody has the freedom to drink and drive or text and drive and endanger everyone else on the highway. Nobody has the freedom to ride a bicycle on the 405 freeway. It's all because everyone, together, has the guaranteed, protected freedom -- and the responsibility that comes with every kind of freedom -- not to be complicit in anyone else's death.
So what is so damn difficult about the concept of freedom here?
Okay, let's put it this way. If someone doesn't want to wear a simple mask now? They need to write their instructions, since they refuse masks, not to have an oxygen mask put on them. They need their little manifesto of personal freedom to clearly say not to put them on a ventilator. They have the freedom to demand those things. And they have the freedom to die because they were so intransigently, willfully, negligently stupid. THAT is their locus of control.
And we can only ask our overworked, exhausted, poorly rested first responders and medical people to risk their own lives and apply their limited time, within the expensive care environments and machines for which they are constantly responsible, to extend treatment and care to what's needed by the ones who at least tried to look out for the rest of us.
Confrontational? We, all of us wearing masks and keeping our distance, are not the ones who confronted a mask-wearing kidney transplant patient in a grocery store and threw her to the ground and broke her leg because she asked them to put on a mask and keep distant from her. We, wearing masks, are not the ones who spit on a store security guard because he told everyone wanting to enter that they must wear a mask. We, wearing masks, are not the ones who fractured the skull of a store greeter who told all at the door that masks are required inside.
But after all that, you're damn right we are ready to be confrontational. As the late Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock character said, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." And nobody can say they "need" to go in a store during a pandemic without wearing a mask. Power to the people to STAY HEALTHY!
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Here's the full edition...
While The Guide has been on hiatus, our editor hasn't had much time off. He's written published pieces for other news outlets. We're doing this because the first two have real immediacy -- so we are sharing them here.
Our hiatus hasn't been just to take a much-needed break. Our editor has undergone surgery as the result of bad treatment by a toxic dental office. Three teeth, subjected to the basic drill-and-fill in late February and early March on the brink of the COVID shutdown, all became horrible infections. One had him looking like a pocket gopher. Collectively, it required over 75 days of high-potency antibiotics, and surgery, and still caused the loss of multiple teeth. All the while, he said he felt like somebody had hit him in the head with a baseball bat. Only in the past ten days has he reported feeling something more akin to normal.
Writers, songwriters, composers, poets, chroniclers, painters, sculptors, instrumental wizards, and other "driven" types, all know the show must go on, in some form.
Just as artists have taken to doing online live performances, writers still write, and journalists still track down facts and quotes and unravel loose ends to get to the truth.
This special edition of The Guide brings you some of the editor's work as published in other media outlets during the past week. We hope you enjoy and find them informative.
☆ "Trump Calls for Postponing Election as Economy Crashes and Deaths Soar"
-- In his most blatant game of diversion and distraction yet, Trump attempts to blunt just-released record-low economic numbers and record COVID deaths by threatening something wholly unconstitutional. Here's what it's REALLY about.
☆ "Biden's pick: would a 'Spiro T. Who' save party unity?"
-- With reference to an iconic piece of music, the Guide's editor -- in his alter ego as a writer elsewhere -- analyzes the importance of Joe Biden's VP running mate in November's election.
☆ "John Lewis and C.T. Vivian passed within hours. Both are giants in American history"
-- written and published within hours of the deaths of two Civil Rights icons, this remains a moving piece.
Our first selection was originally published yesterday -- Thursday, July 30th -- as one of the first US stories on the topic...
The following is a Friday morning follow-up / companion to the story, published July 31:
An election cancelled for a year
by Larry Wines
Friday morning, word comes that "Hong Kong postpones elections for a year 'over virus concerns'" -- in an international story that surprises no one. That full story is on the BBC, and our summary is below.
Hong Kong, which has 4.4 million registered voters, has had more than 3,200 confirmed infections and 27 deaths from the virus. But a new spike there comes after Hong Kong appeared to have contained the outbreak after weeks of few or no local infections. The overall numbers are still lower than those of many other places. Suddenly, for 10 days in a row, Hong Kong has had more than 100 daily new cases with 121 new cases on Friday.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she was invoking emergency powers to postpone the elections. She justified it, saying elections would involve "a large-scale gathering and an immense infection risk", while social distancing measures would prevent candidates from canvassing. Right away, the Beijing government said it supported that decision, saying it was made "in the interests of the public and based on the actual situations in Hong Kong".
Opposition politicians say that, under Hong Kong election laws, the polls can only be postponed by 14 days -- and a longer delay will "trigger a constitutional crisis in the city." Friday's announcement of no election for a year comes after Thursday's ban of 12 pro-democracy candidates who had been on the ballot.
|Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said there were no political motives behind her move –|
but opposition activists disagree.
Note that everywhere else in the world, government officials wear masks.
The BBC report says, "Opposition activists had hoped to obtain a majority in the Legislative Council (LegCo) in September's poll, capitalising on anger at Beijing's imposition of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong, and fears that the territory's freedoms are being eroded." They continue, "Pro-democracy candidates had made unprecedented gains in last year's district council elections, winning 17 out of 18 councils."
"Health experts," says the BBC, told them, "with the reintroduction of social distancing measures, the rate of infection appears to have slowed, and they hope Hong Kong will be back to close to zero local infections within four to six weeks." And, "The city has introduced tough new measures to combat the virus, banning gatherings of more than two people."
Hong Kong had previously enacted draconian measures to eliminate all forms of protest. As a result, its citizens can now be removed to mainland China and subjected to prosecution under laws beyond those previously in place in Hong Kong. Still, hundreds of thousands of people voted in unofficial pro-democracy primaries in July, to demonstrate an ongoing show of support for the pro-democracy movement there.
At issue are seats on the Legislative Council - or LegCo - which "helps" to make and amend Hong Kong's laws. Comprised of 70 seats, only 35 of them are filled by direct vote of the public. Of the other half (35), 30 seats represent "functional constituencies" which are voted on by smaller select groups that represent special interests. Primarily those interests are businesses, banking and trade, and the BBC reports, "Historically these sectors have been largely pro-Beijing."
The last five seats, made up of district councillors who are elected by the public to sit on LegCo, would seem to produce a majority chosen by the people. But "This system, where only a proportion of [The five] LegCo councillors are chosen by the public, has been called undemocratic by critics," but "supporters of the system say it helps avoid populism and protects Hong Kong's business interests," according to the BBC's analysis.
What have other governments done?
While Trump's call on Thursday to postpone US elections proved to be an attempt at distraction from runaway Coronavirus deaths and a record economic collapse, it brought prompt rejection from key political figures of both major parties.
For what has happened elsewhere, the BBC report cites the "Global overview of COVID-19: Impact on elections" updated July 29th and published by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. They say at least 68 countries or territories postponed elections due to Covid-19, while 49 jurisdictions held elections as planned. And most postponements were short-term, to enact safety measures that allowed elections to get past early spikes as the pandemic spread globally.
Lam, during her press conference, argued that "many governments had also postponed elections by a year, including the London's Mayoral elections, and local government elections in Australia's New South Wales."
Journalists present weren't buying it, noting the Hong Kong's outbreak was not severe and her citation of cancelled elections was not true. London now has 35,000 Covid-19 cases, compared to Hong Kong's 3,200. In Australia, elections in Victoria went ahead as scheduled in March, as did a federal election in New South Wales. Singapore held its general election earlier this month -- and had its highest turnout in recent years, said Eugene Tan, a law professor and political commentator at Singapore Management University.
Tan asserted, "There is never a good time for an election during a pandemic." He was talking about Singapore, where the vote went ahead with several safety measures in place. His point applies everywhere. He continues that finding a way to hold an election "demonstrates that it is possible to protect public health even as people go about exercising their democratic right to vote."
There's more! Another feature story is below. It's all about the big VP decision to be announced early NEXT WEEK. Written by The Guide's editor, it ran in another publication a week earlier.
With reference to an iconic piece of music, the Guide's editor -- in his alter ego as a writer elsewhere -- analyzes the importance of Joe Biden's VP running mate in November's election.
would a "Spiro T. Who" save party unity?
By Larry Wines
In 1968, after the shock of assassinations, the Democrats self destructed on the streets of Chicago over blood in Vietnam and whether being there was defending a nation from communist insurgency or upholding American imperialism. Meanwhile, with a secret plan to end the war, comeback kid (or comeback used car salesman) Richard Nixon took the Republican nomination and picked Maryland Governor Spiro T. Agnew, a running mate that had America asking, "Spiro Who?"
|Richard Nixon with his dark horse running mate, Spiro T. Agnew. (Photo, BaltimoreSun.com)|
|Sarah Palin and Tina Fey as Sarah Palin. Which one is which? Palin is uncharacteristically|
on the left. (Photo, theimmoralminority.blogspot.com)