At the risk of dating myself, I am a forty-three year old American woman who has actively lived through what many would call a "global crisis" on a least two occasions; the terror attacks on 9/11 (and the ensuing War on Terror) as well as the 2008 financial crisis and its less well remembered afterbirth, the foreclosure crisis.
Unfortunately, even as we're collectively facing down a massive social and economic disruption caused by increasingly more ominous outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the West, I can claim no special knowledge of how to survive a "global crisis" and even if I could - both the body count and the economic impact of the coronavirus chaos are likely to far exceed the baselines established by those previous moments of crisis.
Things are not good and they're going to get worse.
As an analyst whose desire to expose the corrupt and speak truth to power was largely forged in those two crises however, I can however advocate for the vital importance of remembering, cataloguing and sharing evidence of open malfeasance towards the people by our ruling class.
In the carnage, chaos and crass commercialization of the crisis, our corporate overlords and their political class lackeys are repeatedly forced to "let the mask slip" in their haste to feast like hogs on public coffers
The trick however is that these absolutely galling examples of blatant criminality of our aristocratic establishment and their corporate masters will typically only surface in the public consciousness briefly, before being subsumed into a larger, pro-corporate, pro-establishment narrative once the powers that be settle on a unified theory of history to sell the (largely) gullible "masses."
(For more information about how the media is able to simultaneously report the "truth" while still controlling the narrative even when that truth contradicts the desires of the ruling class, check out this essay: https://www.patreon.com/posts/lying-without-of-23271379
To better understand why there is little to no separation between the for-profit, corporate media and the ruling class, read out this article: https://www.patreon.com/posts/theory-debunking-27191696)
While much of America's attention has been (perhaps rightfully) turned towards the topic of financial relief for workers and a massive corporate bailout that might really just be a final takeover of Main Street, two such stories worth cataloging for later use have already emerged from the coronavirus crisis.
First up we have news that as many as five US Senators, as well as House members and staff aides, almost certainly used inside (and indeed, at the time classified) information to collectively trade millions of dollars worth of stock in the immediate run up to a coronavirus-caused market crash that shaved 30% off the Down (and counting) - would it surprise you to learn the vast majority of that stock was in industries directly affected (positively or negatively) by the coronavirus crisis?
Of particular interest here are the exploits of GOP Intelligence Chair Richard Burr who sold up to $1.7 million worth of stock on February 13th, a mere week before the market cratered: https://www.propublica.org/article/senator-dumped-up-to-1-7-million-of-stock-after-reassuring-public-about-coronavirus-preparedness
And those of GA-R Senator, Kelly Loeffler who sold millions of dollars worth of stock before the crash, beginning on January 27th - the same day she participated in a classified coronavirus briefing: https://www.thedailybeast.com/sen-kelly-loeffler-dumped-millions-in-stock-after-coronavirus-briefing
Amusingly enough, the media has largely seemed happy to absolve Democrat (in name only) Senator Dianne Feinstein because it was her husband who traded millions of dollars in stock around the same time as Feinstein was receiving classified information about the coronavirus outbreak, and he had the good sense not to sell the stock at its peak value - personally, I find this gruel a little thin but your mileage may vary.
Setting Feinstein aside however, what is particularly monstrous and galling about the clearly criminal actions of Burr and Loeffler is that at literally the exact same time as they were dumping market assets to cashing out before a crash their access to classified information told them was coming, both Republicans were actively telling the Americans coronavirus was under control and not a crisis - Loeffler even accused the Democrats of scaremongering for political gain: (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/21/us-senators-accused-coronavirus-insider-trading-are-a-symbol-moral-bankruptcy)
Our second story features a rare bit of quality investigative journalism by the corporate swine at Politico, who have revealed that the US Department of Justice (lead by minion Trump loyalist William Barr) has requested sweeping powers reminiscent of an overtly fascist police state, in response to the coronavirus crisis:
In particular, the DoJ has requested the power to suspend trials, detain prisoners without trial and extend the statute of limitations during a crisis.
Of course as numerous commentators have pointed out, Barr's request is highly unlikely to actually pass in a Democrat-controlled Congress, but it would be foolish to think that fact represents the end of our story because factually Trump's declaration of a national emergency has *already* given his administration terrifyingly broad powers to violate American civil liberties - Downmarket Mussolini just used them close both of America's borders and restrict who can seek asylum in the United States
Additionally, it is instructive to examine the less commonly reported rational by which the Department of Justice requested these powers - in Barr's submission to Congress, the Attorney General is in fact arguing that the Trump administration and a federal judiciary stacked with reactionary whackjobs handpicked by the Federalist Society, already has these powers. In other words, the AG of the United States considers asking Congress to suspend Habeas Corpus because of COVID-19, a mere formality.
What happens when Trump and his own personal Officer McCluskey decide to enact powers the administration insists they already have, over the objections of a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party? Your guess is as good as mine, but after the colossal failure that was the House Democrats impeachment of Trump - I wouldn't waste a lot of energy praying for Nancy Pelosi and the cavalry to swoop in and save the day.
Of course as the various links in these threads demonstrate, neither of these stories are any sort of secret and there has indeed been at least some mainstream media coverage involved here. Despite this however, the relentless churn of the coronavirus news cycle and the class antagonisms involved here have already begun to push these stories far from the spotlight - before most Americans even had time to register their existence in any fundamentally significant manner.
While it would certainly be unfair to suggest that either story has "flown under the radar" the fact that nobody is ever going to be held accountable for these acts of criminal malfeasance all but ensures they'll end up down the memory hole eventually - unless folks like you and I make the effort to remember them and share with those labor class comrades who come to the fight behind us.
@AnarchoNinaWrites When I read this article, I was a little surprised. Didn't the NDAA of 2012 already give them the power to detain anyone anywhere anytime for any duration with no charges? Is this new one for civilian police (whereas the NDAA was military only)?
That having been said; afaict, Barr is right - declaring a national emergency already gives Trump similar powers to what Barr is requesting Congress approve.
@AnarchoNinaWrites So the ACLU is claiming that using the NDAA to hold people in America (overseas is still OK?) would be unconstitutional despite the language in the law? Didn't Chris Hedges sue (and lose eventually) along these lines?
I also get what you're saying - that emergency powers make all of this irrelevant anyway - but I'm just trying to get my head around this situation.
@adz Hedges didn't "lose" - the judge said he had no grounds to sue because he had no reason to fear being detained. Factually, they have to at least accuse you of being Al Qaeda and Hedges wasn't ever accused of that.
Also, yes it's military detention. The DoJ = FBI.
@AnarchoNinaWrites OK thanks,
@adz Again tho - afaict, Barr is right; once Trump declares a national emergency, he can detain you with the National Guard and your rights go right out the Window - as was aptly demonstrated in 67
@AnarchoNinaWrites Remind me, what was the situation that prompted declaring a national emergency in '67?
@adz National race riots.
@adz I think, ultimately, Trump's goal here is to get the Dems to rubber stamp whatever insane fascist shit he's considering doing if the whole economy cratering and nobody having a job makes the peasants restless.
That having been said, I have no idea - these folks are crazy; Barr actually BELIEVES his government is in a war with pinko atheists and trans people.
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