Political Theatre category archive
The writer of a letter to the editor of The Roanoke Times describes the symptoms and suggests precautions.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell comments on the who-shot-john in Florida over whether or not churches should be subject to shut-down orders in these viral times. He starts out with the story of the mega-church pastor who got arrested for ignoring a shut-down order.
No, that honor went to the pastor’s rationale for why he claimed his congregants they were safe — because he spent $100,000 on some sort of magical electronic system to “neutralize” the virus.
“We have brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place,” the pastor said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “If someone walks through the door, it kills everything on them. If they sneeze, it shoots it down at a 100 mph. It’ll neutralize it in split-seconds.”
I know the Lord blessed us with brains. It’s a shame some of his followers opt not to use them.
Follow the link for the rest.
David Evans, writing at Psychology Today Blogs, discusses the corrosive effects of lies on the polity and explores why lying has become pervasive. Here’s a snippet from his introductory passage:
There is an ebb and flow to the prevalence and power of lies at any particular time in history. But we are currently at a high point in the social acceptant (sic) of lies and dishonest speech. Some people have even said we are living in a “post truth era.”
But a “post truth era” is dangerous for any society. Lies are like high valence chemical ions, that zip around and clump together into “us against them” groups. And we become polarized. We become that “house divided against itself” that Lincoln warned us against. How did we get this way? What can we do about it?
At the Tampa Bay Times, Stephen Buckley, citing John M. Barry’s research, looks back at how news of the 1918 flue epidemic was covered and reminds us that reporting facts is not being alarmist. Here’s a bit:
Barry quotes another historian who noted that Nebraska newspapers showed a “curious reticence” about the disease. In December, after hundreds of thousands of Americans had died, one paper in that state still urged readers “not to ‘get panicky.’”
In North Carolina, some newspapers would not publish the names of the dead.
One newspaper in Phoenix declined to write about influenza deaths there, or anywhere else. The paper, Barry writes, “was utterly silent, saying nothing about influenza anyplace in the country until the news was such that it could no longer keep silent.”
Paul Krug tries to understand the Republican Party’s mass denial of objective reality. Here’s a bit; follow the link for the rest.
Epidemiologists trying to get a handle on the coronavirus threat appear to have been caught off guard by the immediate politicization of their work, the claims that they were perpetrating a hoax designed to hurt Trump, or promote socialism, or something. But they should have expected that reaction, since climate scientists have faced the same accusations for years.
And while climate-change denial is a worldwide phenomenon, its epicenter is clearly here in America: Republicans are the world’s only major climate-denialist party.
Nor is climate science the only thing they reject; not one of the candidates contending for the GOP’s 2016 nomination was willing to endorse the theory of evolution.
What lies behind Republican science denial? The answer seems to be a combination of fealty to special interests and fealty to evangelical Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr., who dismissed the coronavirus as a plot against Trump, then reopened his university despite health officials’ warnings, and seems to have created his own personal viral hot spot.
Writing at the Idaho State Journal, Mike Jones wonders when the stock market became such a big deal that certain politicians have become willing to ask old folks to sacrifice their lives for the Dow-Jones Average. A snippet; more at the link:
Now, if 70-year-old Dan Patrick wants to sacrifice his life to help the economy, I say go for it. But as far as 70-year-old Mike Murphy following Patrick’s advice, I’m not putting my neck on the chopping block so Warren Buffett can make another billion dollars!
I still don’t know much about how the stock market works. Based on the little bit I have studied it, I surmise investing in stocks is a lot like betting on horse races — both are fixed, you just have to be lucky and guess the fix correctly.
And, in more news of taking stock . . . .
Julie Delegal points out that both sides don’t. Follow the link for her reasons.