by William Skink
One of the most disappointing developments in how we as a society are responding to the pandemic and subsequent patchwork of local lockdowns is the near total silence for those who used to worry about losing civil liberties.
At the Off-Guardian this point is superbly made:
“That is today’s political reality in a nutshell — and I’m afraid the situation is much worse than merely ironic. I think it represents a colossal error by which civil libertarians and their normal political allies are abandoning their most valued principles at precisely the moment they’re most urgently needed…
It’s exactly that kind of silence — from a whole range of liberals and progressives — that makes me worry that the COVID-19 epidemic could end up as a graveyard for the American left, an awful tale of a misread civil rights crisis and a tragically lost political opportunity…
But it seems to me that this posture badly misreads the nature of the crisis we’re in. The genuine medical concerns raised by the coronavirus outbreak do not obviate basic issues of civil rights and the limits of government authority — and those are questions all of us, especially on the left, ignore at our peril…
But we also have to stand up for the needs of millions of devastated working people — who are, after all, at the heart of the constituency the left likes to claim for itself — and for principles of personal freedom that are now under the most powerful domestic assault I have witnessed in my lifetime.
If we don’t wake up soon, I’m afraid we may find that we have abandoned a vital field of action (one that should have been our natural environment) to the demagogues and right-wing extremists who are certain to rush into the vacuum we leave behind. Do we really want to let that happen?”
What say you liberals and progressives?
Over at Counterpunch, which has been mostly useless during this pandemic, Brad Evans has a piece today, titled This is Not a Conspiracy, It is a Terrifying Opportunity. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis mine):
Viruses don’t wage war. Humans do. Whilst we should therefore be concerned for the health of the vulnerable, we should also be terrified by the prospect that the whole world has become a giant experimental playground for pharmaceutical companies, who can now override any medical ethics on the basis that cures needs to be found, now and into the future. We should also be terrified by the great acceleration in surveillance tracking, which is revealing a techno-pharma-militarism without rival. We should also be terrified by the eviscerating of all the viable centres for educative and cultured critique, which could hold this system of power to account for its actions. We should also be terrified by armed militia emboldened in places like the United States, looking like some monstrous white supremacist adaptation of the village people thrown into a Mad Max plot, while presenting themselves as libertarians. We should also be terrified by the fact that anybody who now criticises the techno-pharma-militaristic matrix is thrown into the same camp as the Alt-right, often by puritanical liberals who are just as pious and self-flagellating than any orthodox religion we have seen. And we should also be terrified by the claim that technology is the only thing that might save us.
At this point Americans don’t stand a chance of maintaining any semblance of our civil liberties. The ones who used to stand up for civil liberties are too busy convincing us to elect a serial sexual abuser, or mocking right-wingers who don’t want to put masks on their faces, but want to keep women from controlling their own bodies.
Speaking of the latter, isn’t it interesting how liberals and progressives are essentially making the same case right wingers make against abortion? The main difference is one side is saying you MUST do things, like wear a mask, to protect the vulnerable, while the other side is saying you MUST NOT do things, like choosing to kill your vulnerable fetus.
Meanwhile, our sociopath rulers have robbed us blind and are preparing us for all kinds of dystopian plans that have little to do with actually dealing with a pandemic. Just a few days ago Cuomo announced New York would partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to “reimagine” education in the state. This article is from Reuters, not Alex Jones:
New York will work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to “reimagine” the state’s school system as part of broader reforms in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo told a daily briefing on Tuesday.
He outlined plans to work with the foundation of Microsoft Corp co-founder Gates to improve New York’s education system, which includes the largest public system in the country in New York City, with more than one million students.
While he did not provide specifics, Cuomo suggested a fundamental rethink of the classroom was on the table.
“The old model of everybody goes and sits in a classroom and the teacher is in front of that classroom, and teaches that class, and you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms – why with all the technology you have?” Cuomo asked.
While Cuomo “did not provide specifics”, a different Reuters article from 8 years ago gives you an idea of the crazed tech these sociopaths are dreaming up:
DENVER (Reuters) – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has poured more than $4 billion into efforts to transform public education in the U.S., is pushing to develop an “engagement pedometer.” Biometric devices wrapped around the wrists of students would identify which classroom moments excite and interest them — and which fall flat.
The foundation has given $1.4 million in grants to several university researchers to begin testing the devices in middle-school classrooms this fall.
The biometric bracelets, produced by a Massachusetts startup company, Affectiva Inc, send a small current across the skin and then measure subtle changes in electrical charges as the sympathetic nervous system responds to stimuli. The wireless devices have been used in pilot tests to gauge consumers’ emotional response to advertising.
Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out.
Existing measures of student engagement, such as videotaping classes for expert review or simply asking kids what they liked in a lesson, “only get us so far,” said Debbie Robinson, a spokeswoman for the Gates Foundation. To truly improve teaching and learning, she said, “we need universal, valid, reliable and practical instruments” such as the biosensors.
Um, yeah, how about no fucking way. Thanks but no thanks, Billy. Don’t you have some Epstein pedophile money to donated to MIT?
While Bill Gates wants to measure the arousal of all children in all the classrooms around the world, maybe it would be a good time to remind readers that Gates can’t even ensure employees at his OWN HOUSE aren’t child abusers downloading child porn:
A Seattle man previously employed as an engineer at Bill and Melinda Gates’ home, who was caught with a 6,000-image child pornography collection, won’t see prison time for that offense.
Charged in late December, Rick Allen Jones admitted he’d been collecting child rape videos and photos for a decade before police intervened.
Jones quietly pleaded guilty to related charges on Friday and was sentenced to 90 days in King County Jail, as well as two years of probation. Jones is now required to register as a sex offender and to stay away from children unless certain conditions are met.
If you have the stomach to travel deeper down the dystopian rabbit hole where science fiction is quickly becoming our new normal, The Last American Vagabond continues doing phenomenal work, offering this horrifying glimpse into how DARPA is going to save you from Covid-19.
Have a great weekend!