There were snippets on the news yesterday (21/04/20) showing thugs in Michigan - and it might not have been the only State capital - bearing what, to my untrained eye, looked like assault weapons

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God save America – ‘cos they look likely to go to hell in a hand basket, left to their own devices!

There were snippets on the news yesterday (21/04/20) showing thugs in Michigan – and it might not have been the only State capital – bearing what, to my untrained eye, looked like assault weapons, demanding that their Governor lift the Covid-19 movement restrictions.

Then there was the ABC Foreign Correspondent program, interviewing nurses and health care staff, who were risking being dismissed by protesting at the lack of provision of adequate PPE (personal protective equipment), which lack, in turn, was putting their own lives at risk while they were trying to save the lives of others.

And the pictures of refrigerated trucks being filled with bodies.

Has there ever been a clearer example of the abject failure of the capitalist, user pays, approach to government?

And the USA claims to lead the world!

Here in Australia, we were heading towards this approach, with crazy talk about herd immunity being bandied around, but, fortunately, a national cabinet had enough balance to steer more towards the humane and away from the ideological.

Is there a total breakdown of communication in the USA, so that people are not provided enough information for them to understand the need for the lock-down?

Or is their insistence on personal rights so strong that it overrides any means of persuading them that they need to moderate their behaviour in order to save lives – including, possibly, their own?

To me there is something totally alien about a country which claims to be Christian – which the USA does, while tolerating other faiths – which then is so selfish as to put hundreds and thousands of lives at risk by pressuring state governments to end the lock-down and allow freedom of movement when the infection rate is still rising.

And that is on top of having a health system which can barely cope with the current caseload, and which may be placed in the position of refusing help to those who cannot pay, while simultaneously sacking experienced staff for publicly, and understandably, criticising health institutions and their management.

I find it truly mind-blowing!

And the strange thing about American political attitudes is that they accept that the wealthy can be philanthropic, yet the minute anyone tries to persuade them to help other people themselves, they are accused of being communist.

Even the words ‘social welfare’ are interpreted as socialism in a derogatory way!

I have met some charming and thoughtful people from the USA but I would never in a blue fit choose to visit, let along live, there!

The final kibosh is their – IMHO – insane love affair with guns!

I think the developed world is hoping that reasonable arguments prevail and the current President is not given another term to swing his wrecking ball through democracy!

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30 comments

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  1. Terence Mills

    I remember when Trump first came to office and started to dismantle the Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare.

    Trump said he would replace it with something ‘soooo much better’ but at that time we didn’t know Trump and of course he was lying and US healthcare remains one of the most expensive and inefficient systems in the developed world.

    Those people in the photo are the ones Hillary Clinton called the deplorables but who Trump calls his base.

    The coming election isn’t going to be pretty !

  2. HumeAndTwain

    I do believe that more than a little bit of insanity moved into occupy the White House in January 2017 … insanity that has highlighted what is ultimately untenable about the United States.

  3. Andy56

    Its a death cult, guns and freedom. Guess who feeds the hungry mouths? Murdoch’ fox news. Mind you trump is looking decidely insecure, hence any distraction is useable, no matter the cost. And americans havent paid the piper yet, lol. Who knows whats on the other side.
    No wonder zombie movies rake it in, they just feed the frenzy.

  4. Regional Elder

    A jolly song with some changed words, apposite for our times, specifically in the good old U.S. of A.
    The Liar Tweets Tonight
    Good to hear different wholesome American voices, as an alternative to those of Trump, the big networks

  5. RosemaryJ36

    Regional Elder- brilliant! Fingers and toes crossed!

  6. Phil Pryor

    Love the photo.., vertical turds, animated anuses, perpendicular political perverts, upright unmentionables. Seven swollen egos per hillbilly, sagginggutfastfooding southerners, monumental mediocrity, the home of the slave and the land of the flea. The glorious losing confederate spirit lives on everywhere there, as people seek a personal freedom to do what they effing well like, at the expense of everyone and everything else. What is USA freedom except the right to ultimate greed, solo egofixation, intense personal masturbatory magnificence, a chicken in every pot and every man a god or at least a saint. Try telling that photo lot they are wrong…and, President Trump, the orange orifice, can count on these good old boys for support, digesting lies like chicken or burgers. Ain’t shit delicious??

  7. Andrew Smith

    Culmination of several factors during past couple of generations in the US.

    This includes demographic change, white Christians becoming a future minority i.e. losing power and privilege, which has been weaponised by corporate money hijacking political parties to promote a return to 19C economy, master servant labour relations, crashing govt. services (or fewer) and nobbling taxes (none or lower); underpinned by the ‘great replacement theory’, xenophobia and fear.

  8. Phil

    A spokesman for the group named ‘ Scooter ‘ accompanied by his sister Mona Lyn who had a beautiful tobacco stained single tooth in her head and with a boil on her chin ready to burst. Well she looked a picture as she was resting her AR 15,on her swollen stomach from carrying Scooters 3rd child smiled at Scooter when he said, Look we aint very smart but, we can lift heavy weights. ‘

  9. johno

    Vote him away, that is one groundswell I wish for.

  10. New England Cocky

    In the USA (United States of Apartheid) “socialism” is restricted to the undeserving wealthy and corporates by socialising the losses to the state and privatising profits to the rich. Watch the balance sheets of corporations after the pandemic has finished and determine how much of the profits were paid for by government grants. Remember, the only time General Motors made a profit in the 21st century was when it was controlled by a government agency as part of the 2008 GFC survival strategy funded by government.

  11. leefe

    “Or is their insistence on personal rights so strong that it overrides any means of persuading them that they need to moderate their behaviour in order to save lives – including, possibly, their own?”

    You only have to look at the gun issue to know that this is part of the problem. Too many seem unaware of two basic facts about “rights” and “freedoms”: that they come with a commensurate responsibility and that they end when they impinge on the rights and freedoms of others.
    When so many people are convinced that their right to own, carry and use firearms is more important than the lives of children, there is no hope for sense on other issues.

  12. Dave G.

    I spent some time in the USA in the period 1957/1959, other than their obsession with Communism which at times was over the top the people were friendly & generous.I have never been back.From here it looks like dark clouds are looming with armed thugs seemingly able to gather in the streets.Not on subject but I shall always remember having to reply to the U.S. Consul’s question asked of me in London.”are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party”,a naïve 22 yr. old that I was could hardly comprehend what she was on about.

  13. Jack Cade

    Some people – Vietnamese, Iraqi, Afghan, Nicaraguan, El Salvadoran, Laotian, Libyan, to name only a few – would be entitled to consider Americans to be a virus.

  14. Jack Cade

    Dave G.

    In 1966 I was on a cruise ship en route to Australia – from Vancouver in my case – and there were lots of US kids on board. One afternoon a group of 8 or so of them were discussing why they were on board. Most of them – the boys anyway- were presumably fleeing the Vietnam draft, but I heard one girl say ‘I am leaving my country because I don’t believe in what it does.’
    A man aged about 40, crew cut, US marines tee-shirt, stormed up to the group and, trembling, called them all the vilest names he could think of, you know, the unique US epithets like motherflucker etc. He got off the ship in Hawaii. So despite all the really nice yanks I had met in European youth hostels and wandered around the various cities with, that man remains, for me, the archetypal American. I swear that he would have used a gun if he had had one.
    I have always had an interest in Native Americans – my all-time hero is Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. The present Americans are no different from the people who deliberately gave smallpox to the Native Americans, who broke every treaty (790) they made with the various tribes, reneged on agreements with the UK and France after inducing them to share their nuclear science; who broke s treaty with Iran.
    We, Australia, have allowed ourselves to become indistinguishable from Americans in the eyes of the world. A French friend of mine, who lived and worked in SE Asia for the best part of a decade, said to me ‘If you ever travel in (naming a number of countries including the Philippines) don’t ever let them think you are an American. They hate them.’
    I don’t hate Americans. But I hate what they allow their governments to do.

  15. Aortic

    We have been to the USA several times and agree Dave, we found them to be amenable polite and helpful. It must be disconcerting though, to have the thought in the back of your mind, as children go to school or loved ones go to work, will they be subjected to injury or death at the hands of some clown with an easily obtained weapon. The NRA run the political agenda, along with the heavies of Wall Street leaving the majority of ordinary Americans with what they perceive is a beacon of democracy, but is in truth a land for the privileged and uber rich. When your President claims the answer to school shootings is even more guns you can rest assured your country is well along the road to ruin.

  16. Old bloke

    End the lockdown eh? So why are those two blokes wearing masks? Hoping not to be recognised?

  17. paul walter

    Hard right Trump cheer squad.

    Big business will accept no interruption of profits.

    Trump is the monkey on the end of the stick while the organ grinder plays.

  18. margcal

    Maybe I’m wrong but in the two countries, Australia and the US, there are so many ignorant people. But if you worked on all of them to see the light, I’m sure we’d find there are many more STUPID people in the US …. and in an optional voting system, they’re the ones that do.

  19. A Commentator

    I find it interesting that so many make disparaging generalisations about the US.

    It is a particularly diverse country, sophisticated in parts and isolated in others. There are cities in the US that have the redneck population that we find in Queensland and WA.

    But…the USA elected Barak Obama twice, and I don’t think Australia is progressive enough to look for a leader like him.

    Is it racist that so many use generalisations to reflect on Americans?

  20. Matters Not

    Commentator re:

    so many make disparaging generalisations

    Terrible isn’t it! But wait. There’s an ironic surprise.

    have the redneck population that we find in Queensland and WA.

    Would that be an example of a disparaging generalisation that you dislike so much? And perhaps a very selective one? No rednecks in the other States and Territories? Just the two you mention? Perhaps you should get out more?

  21. Phil

    ” I find it interesting that so many make disparaging generalisations about the US.”

    Indeed. I wonder where we got it from? Um it must be that sophistication only drinking Coca Cola can give you and all those nauseating B Grade Movies starring Ronald Reagan.

    Or could it be their history that gives us a jaundiced view of them ? I have a book at home it’s just called America, written by the famous Alistair Cooke of Letters from America fame. There is a picture of two Negroes swinging high in a tree lynched in 1919 they were just two of the ninety that were lynched in that year. The crowd at the bottom were all well dressed whites, having drinki pooh’s as they marveled at the spectacle. Or could it be the fact they sent thousands of men with low i.q. ‘s to die in the jungles of Vietnam? My Lai, And lets not even discuss the American Red Indians. Racist? I don’t think so, I like to think of it as few home truths. Yes I am well aware of our own failures and those of our other cousins in the British Isles.

  22. Spindoctor

    Tuned intro Trump’s live prez briefing today and was horrified he is the mumbling, rambling ego driven defective we’ve seen on the news. What was most interesting was the absolute avalanche of commentary, scorn, derision, abuse, mistrust and fact checking on his every word. There were still believers but they were vastly outnumbered. If that activism is truly represented by voters in November he and the gerrymandering,enabling GOP will in all likelihood be smashed. That Fox and other conservative media continue to twist everything to favor rump is a given but despite the propaganda ( and Fox’s massive own goal downplaying the virus, now plsaying its way through potentially hugely expensive legal action) his 40% supposed base has dropped by 8 points through mishandling of the epidemic. Between now and November there are multiple threats to his electoral chances thru job losses, firm closures, houses repossessed, renters turfed and food charities already stretched beyond capacity. while reopening business, shops poses the risk of another virus tsunami.. What is obvious is the very open and real anger coming from average americans and their determination to vote come November.

  23. Brozza

    So killary had the gall to call them ‘the deplorables’.
    Pot, kettle, black.
    She’s every bit as deplorable as the orange oaf, and those ‘people’ with their assault weapons that turn into banjos (duelling) at the press of a trigger.

  24. New England Cocky

    @Phil: Your accurate commentary on USA (United States of Apartheid) social mores does explain much of the animosity against the US establishment.

    As for redneck Australians, well, visit almost any country town and watch their eyes glaze over and their minds shut down at the first hint of any political talk. Remember that nice Mr Menzies told us that “the reds were under the beds” and would emerge to murder us in our sleep unless we voted for the Liarbrals and their good mates the traditional Nazional$ who would eventually establish a police state to keep law & order.

    @Spindoctor: I think you may be optimistic when suggesting the decline of support for Trumpery. Given the poor education standards, lack of overseas travel and general self-indulgent life style that many American wage slaves need to follow, the political parties will use every possible ploy to make voting impossible for anyone who is not a Republican voter.

    We are witnessing the beginning of the decline of American democracy, indeed, we have been witnessing it since Nixon, only now it is blatantly obvious.

  25. Phil

    ‘ As for redneck Australians, well, visit almost any country town and watch their eyes glaze over and their minds shut down at the first hint of any political talk. Remember that nice Mr Menzies told us that “the reds were under the beds” and would emerge to murder us in our sleep unless we voted for the Liarbrals and their good mates the traditional Nazional$ who would eventually establish a police state to keep law & order.’

    At my very first job after leaving school I remember getting a note in my pay packet extolling the virtues of a Liberal government. I remember the police rounding up Aboriginals in the City limits as these areas were forbidden to them . In the north of South Australia, Aboriginals were treated the same as the black people that lived places like Soweto in South Africa. The worst thing I remember, were the whites in South Australia, with their white shirts short back and sides and a bottle of cheap plonk under their arm, chasing young Aboriginal girls down the road negotiating sexual pleasures with them. Watching Aboriginal children their eyes full of green and yellow pus from the conjunctivitis.

    Yes while I was reading Dickens, Stienbeck and Pilger, the Tories I know were reading Rudyard Kipling. ” The White man’s Burden ” Mate I had a mild stroke three years ago and I only get snippets I can recall from history now but, one thing I haven’t forgotten is, I hate fking Tories and upper class spivs with every fibre of my existence. When I see the pictures at the top of those gun toting half wits, I know I’m on the right team.

  26. Wat Tyler

    On the subject of biological warfare, the Boers apparently did a lot of research into identifying or developing a virus or bacterium that would target ‘inferior’ races. They considered themselves (and probably still do) Gods chosen people. The problem was that their bio-scientists suggested that any racial impurity in any Boer would possibly see them struck down by any virus or bacterium aimed at the Kaffirs or Cape Coloureds, and the Boers suddenly decided that maybe a soupçon of Impure blood might have crept into their heritage by mistake.
    And you don’t need to go back to the early 1900s for US lynching. The ‘strange fruit’ were common on trees in Marttin Luther Kings time. Will be again, if the sister shaggers get another Trump term.

  27. Phil

    “And you don’t need to go back to the early 1900s for US lynching. The ‘strange fruit’ were common on trees in Marttin Luther Kings time. Will be again, if the sister shaggers get another Trump term.”

    Indeed you don’t. I believe the US will go up in flames or Trump will possibly start a war, the other nutter his 2IC would be getting jizzed up just thinking about Armageddon. I think It has just dawned on Trump, he wont be reelected. I said five weeks I have two left. I am an atheist but if there is a God? Help us.

  28. Terence Mills

    RosemaryJ36

    Some I get, some I don’t. I didn’t get this one, for instance.

    This has been a problem for a while, so I just log in to the AIMN website periodically to catch up.

  29. DrakeN

    Rosemary and Terence – iinet seems to have gone downhill rapidly since it was bought out, by TPG I believe.
    It was one of the best, together with westnet when they brought that into their stable.
    I have friends who, like me, have moved to other providers, having been early customers of iinet and accustomed to their erstwhile excellent service.

  30. RosemaryJ36

    Terence Mills and DrakeN- I deleted my shoutout because I discovered the sender’s address in my blocked mail folder! I have removed it and am crossing my fingers that That sorts the matter out!

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