In defense of the legitimate concerns of the lockdown protesters.

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    • #306208
      Ohio Barbarian
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      • Total Posts: 21,869

      There is a lot of vitriol being thrown about on this topic, so much so that perfectly reasonable concerns about lockdown orders are not even being discussed. Trump and wealthy CEO’s are encouraging anti-lockdown protests, and the people participating in them are often the walking stereotypes of those who are hated by Vichy Democrats, liberals, and socialists for their blind support of libertarian capitalism and right wing persecution of ethnic and social minorities.

      These particular protesters are not helping themselves by parading around with assault weapons and Confederate flags, either. Talk about bad optics.

      They do, however, have some perfectly understandable, legitimate, and even Constitutional concerns over freedom of assembly and association. I’m going to focus on those who Marx called the petit-bourgeois, the true small business owners. These are the owners of restaurants and taverns, movie theaters and live theaters, dress shops and shoe stores, jewelers and barbers, used book stores and shops for pagans. Keep in mind that most of them would never dream of waving an AK or a Confederate flag, but they have the same fundamental economic issues as the protesters which have been seen on TV.

      These people aren’t even properly called capitalists, because they actually perform productive work at their businesses. They don’t hang out in corner offices and boardrooms and wait for their movers of capital to shovel more into their offshore bank accounts.

      They are ordered to close their places of business and are cut off from their livelihoods. Meanwhile, they are not protected from the rentier classes. There’s no rent holiday. There’s no delay in due dates for business loans and credit cards. They are told they have to pay their rent, but can make no money to pay it. In short, they need help, too. And they need it now.

      The temporary UBI proposed by both progressive Democrats and some conservative Republicans, eg Bernie Sanders and the likes of Mitt Romney, would at least enable these people’s businesses to survive the pandemic and their employees to keep getting paid. The fact is, however, that due to Vichy Democrat demands for means-testing, these people aren’t getting any help at all. It ain’t right.

      It’s not like they were playing on a level playing field to start with. Small businesses are at an incredible disadvantage when forced to compete with their corporate counterparts, and now it’s even worse because the big boys got bailed out by this monstrosity of a relief package and they didn’t.

      I cannot blame this class of people from protesting when they see their livelihoods being destroyed. Many of them truly are desperate. If they get no relief, many will reopen their businesses in defiance of lockdown orders because they see that as their only chance at avoiding utter destitution and losing everything that they have, including their homes.

      What then? Throw them in prison and increase their chances of getting sick even more? Hope that they get sick and die? I’ve seen posts like that here, and I find them every bit as reprehensible as those who say refugee children deserve to be locked up in cages because they broke the law.

      Both Blue and Red Team cheerleaders are making all sorts of hay over this and engaging in hateful and divisive rhetoric. Liberals are supposed to despise these small business owners while they stay safe in their suburban or exurban homes or on their small farms in the middle of Bumfuck Wherever, conservatives are supposed to own the libs by scaring them with firearms and the threat of infection while cheering on free enterprise and the Greatest Economy Ever. They both seem pretty vicious and petty to me.

      I think the left should be demanding temporary universal basic income, which means for everyone. Even the rich. Anything overpaid to them can be taxed back later.  Other countries are doing this. Our own government is creating trillions of dollars on computer programs to keep Wall Street afloat and larger retailers in business. It can do it for the entire population as well. The beauty of it is the left is not alone on this issue; we have right wing populist allies here. We should cooperate with them, and they with us.

      Leftists need to advocate for help for everyone, and these small business owners need to be shown that their enemies are not socialists or even liberals, but wealthy businesses and their political catspaws, both Democrat and Republican. This hatred and fear being spread helps no one but the ruling oligarchy, unless one thinks one’s own schadenfreude is good public policy, and jeopardizes the rational steps being taken to contain the pandemic itself.

      Even the petit-bourgeois deserve better choices than either reopening businesses in defiance of authorities in order to maybe survive, and obeying isolation orders intended to insure their own physical safety. What they are facing now is a Hobson’s choice. It is completely unnecessary and, I think, morally wrong as well.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #306209
      MizzGrizz
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,551

      If somehow that happened,no Americans for Prosperity group in the world could get them to assemble clamoring to reopen.They could have sustenance and the rest of us would be safe.

      Though they claim to despise socialism,you can bet they wouldn’t turn down a UBI for themselves.They might not think anyone else needs it,but they know they do.

    • #306216
      N2Doc
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 8,843

      And the media focusses on the worst of the protestors, to minimize their concerns.

      I am really disgusted, but not surprised at all, at how the vast majority of that 2.2 trillion ‘stimulus’ went straight into the pockets of the oligarchs and their companies. And very little investigation on this by our so-called media watchdogs. As someone calculated, we could have given every American adult 2K each month for 5 months with that amount. That sort of UBI would have allowed for a much more measured end to the Quarantine. Now we are going to see a series of openings, followed by surges in hospitalizations, more closings, more openings, cycling on.

      • #306246
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        @n2doc

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #306223
      artytexas
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 78

      I am in unemployment limbo, and nearly broke waiting, but the thought of having to suit up for work any time soon…. I can’t do it. Fortunately my local leaders are sane-ish, but the governor could force things.  I hate all of this so much.

      • #306248
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        @artytexas Neither should your employer. This has been handled very, very badly, as an orangish somebody should say about himself.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

        • #306255
          artytexas
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 78

          We could have both work and containment, but here we are. It just kills me to see my waiter friends advocating to open it all up.  I understand, but ugh, NO!!

    • #306229
      JonLP
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,496

      I want to go back to normal as soon as possible but we need to take necessary precautions to ensure that happens and these assholes are delaying it for the rest of us.

      Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

      Like many public systems, GOP want to rip the battery out + say the whole car doesn’t work, so they can sell it for parts - AOC

      • #306239
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        The prior normality sucked anyway. Should they be closed until this pandemic is under control? Yes. Is it necessary to drive them out of business so vulture capitalists can swoop in and steal whatever is left, and then donate to Nancy Pelosi? No. We can provide income for them in the meantime.


        @jonlp
        Again, if the government doesn’t help them, they will reopen anyway out of desperation and people will patronize their establishments. How is that good for public safety? None of this is being discussed on corporate media, and the liberal media is cheering on hatred using Republican techniques.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

        • #306247
          JonLP
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 3,496

          I don’t see these protests as business owner protests. I see signs like “Live free or die” “my body my choice” (when it comes to face Masks), “rural lives matter”, etc. Not to mention the Confederate flags or Nazi flags (waved ironically according to Greg Gutfeld) which you mention the optics are bad.

          I think this is a situation where we should listen to medical experts and the right wing was all about keeping things open despite how many people will die. The last thing we should be doing is gathering in groups.

          Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

          Like many public systems, GOP want to rip the battery out + say the whole car doesn’t work, so they can sell it for parts - AOC

          • #306249
            Ohio Barbarian
            Moderator
            • Total Posts: 21,869

            Most small business owners aren’t going to act like a bunch of militia nuts, because they’re not, but they are all really in jeopardy, and need help to insure they won’t reopen out of desperation. That will happen if nothing is done, and the biggest obstacle to doing anything right now is the Democratic Party, led by Nancy Pelosi, whose husband will profit immensely if millions of small businesses fail.

            All that real estate.

            It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

            You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #306230
      NV Wino
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 8,141

      Take a look at the businesses that are open—banks, post office, grocery stores, hardware stores—they are taking precautions that allow them to continue to serve their clientele and remain relatively safe. Is curbside delivery really any safer for restaurants than inside dining—with limited or rearranged seating? You still have interaction with food preparers and servers. Extra caution should be practiced with occupations that involve physical contact such as hair stylists and barbers, dentists and doctors, but it is possible to keep them working.   Events that require large gatherings of people in close proximity probably should be shuttered for the time being. That includes, but is not limited to: concerts; conventions; churches; sports events.

       

      What we need are more readily available and more accurate means of testing for symptoms. Granted we were pretty much taken by surprise by this, but we seem to be working ass-backwards. Closing the barn door after the horse has left. It’s time to be proactive: create a way of testing large quantities of people quickly; make low cost, or free, self testing available; have protocols set in place for mass sequestering if needed, including, but not limited to financial relief; create ways to quickly sterilize businesses on a regular basis.

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

      • #306237
        Cold Mountain Trail
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 12,932

        dunno how it is in the cities, but the churches in our town would actually not have a problem maintaining social distancing as they’re rather large relative to the size of their attending congregations. and wooden pews are easy to wipe down.  hymnals are a problem easily solved with gloves.  ventilation usually not a problem.

        megachurches (typicaly the churches of the aspiring middle/upper middle) might be a different story

        smaller churches are struggling to maintain the membership they have nowadays, to care for their elder members and get younger people involved

         

         

      • #306240
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        @nvwino Thank you.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #306273
        artytexas
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 78

        Yeah you can reduce the number and rearrange tables in some shops, but most restaurants need every penny of every cover on every  table in there to keep going. Half occupancy doesn’t begin to solve the financial problem without rent or payroll assistance available.  My restaurant is all booths and would require major renovation to follow distance guidelines

         

        Speaking as a waiter, dine in is much more hazardous for staff. Waiting on a four top for an hour is way more contact than handing off a bag of to go food. Then factor in picking up stuff that has been in or near people’s mouths over and over again for several hours. Even gloved, the risk is there.

        • #306322
          NV Wino
          Moderator
          • Total Posts: 8,141

          It would seem that pick up is safer for the restaurant crew, but not necessarily enough for the bottom line.

          “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
          “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

          • #306347
            artytexas
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 78

            To go/curbside food will certainly save some places, but others are paying high rent on large dining rooms and/or trying to sell food that doesn’t necessarily travel well or can’t be easily packaged to go, plus limited (to no) alcohol sales. It really sucks for everyone…. worker, owner and guest.

    • #306234
      HassleCat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 7,452

      They are racist sexist Republican swine. All of them. They have no legitimate interests. We refuse to provide them with a basic income. We refuse to give them Medicare for all. We refuse to pay or their spoiled brats to attend college. We refuse to admit they are human. They all voted for Trump. We don’t need them. We only need ourselves, and we know who we are. We are not THEM. Vote blue no matter who. Go Joe!

      • #306243
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        @hasslecat That is exactly what I’m seeing from my liberal Facebook friends. Exactly.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

        • #306378
          Maedhros
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 730

          Any given incident seems to exist solely to elicit harsh remonstrance from one side and effusive praise from the other, with no attempt to comprehend the underlying causal factors that spurred the incident.

          Each side exists only to insult the other.  Even considering a show of compassion or understanding toward The Other Side will result in the vitriol being redirected to the one showing the compassion and understanding.

          Yes, how “liberal” and “progressive” that is.

          His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
          but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
          and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
          more deadly than his right had been.

    • #306236
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,270

      Need to be demanding.  Canada is doing it, Spain is doing it, I have heard rumors (?) That even Russia and Iran are.  No doubt specifics will vary from one Country to another, but…

      The fed needs to just print the damn money.  There is the help for hospitals, the UBI, the money for testing and healthcare and so on.  They absolutely can do it – so far though, they have chosen to supposedly support “small businesses”.

      Very few small (actually none) businesses that I know of have gotten any money.  Small hospitals arent getting any either.  With their revenue crushed, they will eventually have no choice but to close permanently.

      Neither the vichy dems nor the Republicans (a few exceptions) are proposing any of this.  Not Pelosi, Schumer, Trump, Mcturtle, not that flaming thundercunt Mnuchin.

      We have no competent leadership.  For those solutions, I would go out and protest myself.  Get my mask and gloves on, keep my distance, but I would go.

      The solution is simple – and instead of any if these “leaders” proposing it, they are exacerbating the issue and encouraging this mad state of affairs to continue.

      The issue may need to be forced – but at the federal level, not the state.  They want a place to protest?  Surround the gates to the damn whitehouse.

      • #306271
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        @davidthegnome Simultaneous protests demanding UBI in front of both the White House and whatever mansion in which Pelosi keeps her $24,000 refrigerator with its creme de la creme of chocolate ice creams would send a clear message to ordinary people.

        Cable TV would deliberately get it wrong, of course.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #306238
      Earthartist
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,546

      Great post Ohio, the 2 parties love it when we hate each other, cause then that is all we focus on while they dismantle the country.

      Earthartist

    • #306268
      salemcourt
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,991

      Small businesses, even in the high tech industry, will soon start to fail if this keeps up for more than a couple of months.  If you have a contract software firm with about 10 people, you can survive about two months at most without letting your people go.  All the training invested with the employees also disappears.  One of the reasons is that the average insurance premiums for about 10 people are upward of 10K per month.  Even a M4A would help these companies survive a couple of more months!  However, Nancy and Chucky have absolutely no interest in helping small businesses.

      • #306276
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        @salemcourt This entire topic of conversation is about just one part of an entire civilization ruled by a dysfunctional and exploitative political and economic system.

        The abject failure of our institutions to adequately address what is no more, and no less, than a common cold on steroids has ripped the mask off the face of a corrupt and failing Empire.

        The ruling class knows people are angry, and want them to be angry at each other, and not at them. They want to hide the fact that their policies and past decisions made this disaster possible.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #306270
      PolecatHollerer
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,364

      I wish I could rec this twice.

      If you give a man enough rope, it will be six inches too short. This is not the nature of rope- it is the nature of man.

    • #306284
      RufusTFirefly
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,504

      Thanks for putting us back on the right track, @ohiobarbarian!

      The media are willfully perpetuating a caricature in order to make it easier to dismiss legitimate anguish and concerns.

      It’s not all that different from dismissing legitimate questions as “conspiracy theory” or condemning sincere efforts to highlight policy weaknesses or inconsistencies as “attacking.”

       

      • #306339
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        @rufustfirefly Ironically, labeling every rational question that goes against the party line a “conspiracy theory” winds up giving the really looney toons CT stuff credence, because they called this bunch of people who make perfect sense CT nuts as well. You are right, though; for the Vichy Dems, it’s their first line of defense. Republicans just go straight to accusing Democrats of being part of the conspiracy theory they made up.

        Both corporatist parties also use the tactic of crying about “unfair attacks,” while it’s OK for them to say Nina Turner and Briahna Joy Gray are from the Island of Misfit Black Girls. But when I call Clyburne an Uncle Tom, well, I’m being unfair to the old crook.

         

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

        • #306341
          RufusTFirefly
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 2,504

          Interestingly, there’s a similar dynamic at work with the word “socialism.”

          I heard an interview with the authors of the new book, Bigger Than Bernie: How We Go from the Sanders Campaign to Democratic Socialism, where they made the argument (by no means original with them) that the tendency of Fox News to brand everything they disagree with as “socialism” has actually backfired by taking much of the sting and the stigma out of the word.

    • #306303
      Carolina
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 236

      @ohiobarbarian  Excellent post.

      There are some small businesses here in SC that I frequented in defiance of the big, national retailers and also to support brick and mortar versus the Amazon behemoth. The governor here is allowing retail stores and beaches to re-open and while I am torn because I realize the risks,  part of me is also happy for my small business friends.

    • #306315
      xyzse
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,790

      The desperation is palpable.  Many just don’t have the resources to live through this without a paycheck coming in.

      That $1,200 is laughable in comparison to the looting that happened.  It’s just sad.

    • #306349
      not4sale
      Blocked
      • Total Posts: 254

      as soon as you leave the room.  You can bring up as many good points, all valid, as you did but, you lack a basic understanding of the social structure that makes up most of the U.S. which is “I got mine, FU”.  Also, the corruption is so total and complete in the U.S. that the only way anything like UBI would occur is a violent overthrow of the conservative/liberal federal government.  Finally, the racist anti-science states that are currently pretending to care about the small business class are run totally and completely by 1%ers that are, indeed, hoping that and banking on human sacrifice of at least 3% of their populations.

      Try running your reasonable points by them, see what happens.

      • #306377
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        They have no problem with debt holidays and temporary UBI for everybody if that means them now. None of them want to go out of business, @not4sale.

        Of course, I’m in northeastern Ohio. Unlike some people on the internet, I actually talk to people, and I find suburban liberals who oppose Medicare for All more likely to be I’ve Got Mine, Fuck You than Republican family business owners.

        It’s class, not tribalism and not generational selfishness, that drives history.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

        • #306399
          Punxsutawney
          Moderator
          • Total Posts: 2,185

          They may call themselves liberals, but seem to fall on the old conservative canard that whoever gets this didn’t “earn” it.

          Great OP OB.

          In America, “Liberty” means “Free to Die in Service of Capital” - Amfortas the hippie.

          Most of today’s elites have the moral and social reasoning capacities of spoiled toddlers.

          “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage...but the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing c

    • #306380
      sonofspy777
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 6,261

      WHEN THEY FUCKING BLOCK AMBULANCES FROM EMERGENCY ROOM ENTRANCES, ONE SUCCESSFUL ONE NOT…SO FAR….

      FIND A BETTER WAY FOR FUCKS SAKE!

      Nurses stood outside the White House today reading the names of our DEAD nurses doctors and janitors.

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
      ~Samuel Clemens

      • #306390
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        @sonofspy777 Screaming about a few protesters doing stupid shit, implicitly broadbrushing all who might have some empathy for some of their concerns, followed by implying they were somehow responsible for the deaths of doctors, nurses, and janitors. Joy Reid couldn’t have done it any better.

        And, on top of all of that, you missed the entire point and didn’t address my argument at all. Rah, rah, Blue Team.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

        • #306412
          sonofspy777
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 6,261

          @ohiobarbarian I meant they are WELCOME to protest in myriad ways, just don’t block the fucking ambulances!!!

          These people claiming that the virus is a hoax are are doing actual damage to the

          important narrative that the the virus is killing people. In two cities attempts (successful in Lansing

          Michigan) to block ambulances from reaching the emergency room despite Doctors begging them to move

          is a new low for RW instigated  attacks on the policies that are keeping people from dying.  I’m no fucking

          SV cretin. What if it was YOUR MOTHER in the goddamn ambulance? NOT stupid. Insane.

          “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
          ~Samuel Clemens

    • #306391
      jerry611
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,309

      It’s not only about money necessarily. You can give these protesters UBI, insurance, and everything and tell them they have nothing to worry about, just stay home and be safe… and they will still protest. That’s not the main reason they are protesting. Absolutely some are in dire financial situations. But what is driving most of them is the inability to restart their livelihoods and get back to their life. And at this point, these people see the government as a bigger obstacle than the virus.

      After 2008 crash, I was unemployed. The company I was working for went bankrupt and I got laid off. I got unemployment checks. I had some money in savings. I was OK financially, better than a lot of others. But I was not able to shake this feeling of depression. It wasn’t survival. It’s self-worth. My life was now sitting at home every day at the computer filling out online applications and begging recruiters for interviews. That was my life for about 6 months. And I felt like crap. Not because I’m getting unemployment checks. But because I felt like I’m not contributing to society, and I’m not reaching my own potential and my goals. It was a blow to my self-worth and my self-esteem. I felt like I was not accomplishing anything, and I’m wasting my life.

      So these people who lost their jobs and now can’t find any new ones because of the lockdowns….I UNDERSTAND THEM! I know what they are feeling.

      And I think Democrats especially are really underestimating the psychological impact here. Bill Maher actually made a good point the other night when he said the Democrats are in danger of letting the GOP become the optimists. The Democrats are becoming the party of doom and gloom and panic porn. And it’s the optimists that win elections. No one votes for Chicken Little for president.

      • #306400
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,869

        The people sponsoring the protests are only trying to stir up right wing populist shit, as I’m sure you’re aware. That doesn’t mean the issue they are trying to exploit for themselves isn’t real or valid. And some people will bitch if you hang ’em with a new rope, what can I say?


        @jerry611
        Yah, there seems to be quite a bit of panic porn about, and a lot of it is coming from the mouthpieces of the VDP, especially on social media. What are the Democrats for, anyway? Trump, Bad! isn’t going to cut it, but that seems to be their whole strategy.

        Love the line about Chicken Little.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

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