COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

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Posted in: Aichi Prefecture to declare its own state of emergency See in context

When people lose their jobs and income, and the capitalist socioeconomic system faces collapse, the virtues of "socialism" suddenly reveal themselves: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. This principle refers to free access to and distribution of goods, capital and services. Spending in the time of corona must be underwritten by the state by means of drastic cuts to military spending with generous contributions from the coffers of accumulated capital owned by corporations and the military-industrial complex. Tax havens must be turned out mercilessly and the branches of illegal "money trees" aggressively pruned. If we are "all in this together", everyone must make the sacrifices commensurate with their means. After all, many people, front-line workers are paying with their lives.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan records 503 coronavirus infections on Wednesday; biggest daily jump since start of pandemic See in context

The Japanese should not be complacent. The virus is far from having run its course. Nobody yet knows how badly their government could mishandle this pandemic. There has been a report that the number of deaths in the UK may ultimately exceed that of Italy, Spain, France and Germany combined! If this staggering prediction were to come true, only those people acquainted with the social and economic trajectory of the UK since Thatcher announced "There is no such thing as society", would not be surprised by such an enormity.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Sanders quits U.S. presidential race See in context

...can’t wait to see the mental gymnastics AOC and friends will use to justify endorsing Biden.

Given the precarious state of Biden's mental faculties, there is an outside chance that he will be a no-show in November. Then a real contender would be able to enter the arena to do battle with the bloated orange scarecrow.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Sanders quits U.S. presidential race See in context

Bernie is a true American patriot who served the people well. As a Jewish-American social democrat, he was “a prophet not without honor except in his own country" (i.e., among all the right-wing "politically correct" forces that hold the national psyche tenaciously in thrall). The writing is clearly on the wall for all the world to see: e pluribus dufus. Trump vs Biden = a broken democracy, or as the Nobel Bard once sang, America, "bury the rag deep in your face, for now's the time for your tears."

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan records 503 coronavirus infections on Wednesday; biggest daily jump since start of pandemic See in context

From Japanese history we learn that no information, misinformation and disinformation have always been the time-tested the means of controlling the populace. Unfortunately, this does not work with viruses: they can only be controlled by people following the science. So, SHUT THINGS DOWN! The government must then do what they are paid to do: protect lives by all means necessary. The economy can be revived, but not the dead.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Acting U.S. Navy secretary resigns after ridiculing commander of coronavirus-hit ship See in context

Captain Crozier is a real American hero (sad to say, becoming a rare breed nowadays). Trump's nasty tirade accusing the captain of being a wimp because he wrote a five-page letter (that was, at least, four pages too many for Trump to read) asking for immediate assistance to deal with a severe outbreak of the virus on his ship, has to be one of the most despicable public rants of his pathetic presidency. Are there no red-blooded Americans with the cojones to stand up to this joke of a bully-boy Potus. Cashier Admiral Bonespurs! (and make him walk the gangplank!)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Country folk singer John Prine dies at 73 of coronavirus complications See in context

A brave American songsmith and bard. He left us too soon, but his posthumous fame will continue to grow. RIP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Wuhan lockdown ends, but local coronavirus cases rise across country See in context

They have blood on their hands

Very true, but in every country subsequently infected there are others, whose names it would be superfluous to mention, who cannot wash their hands of what they, too, have wrought through ignorance, neglect, incompetence and irresponsibility.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump threatens to freeze U.S. funding for WHO, saying they 'missed the call' on coronavirus See in context

Trump is not just brazen, he's mentally incapacitated. Even Maine Senator, Susan Collins, who gave Trump a pass over his impeachment, now admits that her president may not have learned his lesson. Meanwhile, the Republic burns and the orange hero just goes on playing his accordion. Reality will eventually come, even to Trump and his enablers.

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Posted in: Trump removes head of coronavirus watchdog; widens attack on inspectors general See in context

Quick! Invoke Amendment XXV. We can no longer wait until November when the crazed Trump may attempt to manipulate the election by weaponizing the virus to remain in power. The Republic has never been in such peril since the days of Jefferson Davis.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Trains run as usual, some retailers shorten hours during state of emergency See in context

Starve or get the virus- I’d rather get the virus!

Hmm, and risk giving your virus to others? If you are starving, you'd be safer employing the traditional solution: steal something to eat! Nowadays nobody is hanged for stealing a loaf of bread. Meanwhile, trains remain a necessary evil, mainlining, as they do, the virus in and out of high-density urban centers. To avoid drastic measures, I hope somebody can give you a loan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe declares state of emergency until May 6 for Tokyo, 6 prefectures See in context

Too little, too late. May 6 is a meaningless date if the virus is not contained, and nobody can be certain. The Reiwa Pandemic may enter the history books as Abe's tragic final legacy.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: British PM Johnson in intensive care with worsening coronavirus symptoms See in context

Classicist Johnson will be taking comfort from the Roman adage "Quem di diligunt, adolescens moritur" (whom the gods love die young). There is no need for alarm yet since he's not on a ventilator. With the very best medical care from the NHS he is more likely to live to a ripe old age. After he recovers, I hope he will express his gratitude to the men and women who saved his life with a change of heart and a generous amount of financial support.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: White House pushes unproven malaria drug for virus; doctors wary See in context

Trump's shtick has always been that of a snake oil salesman. I heard a report that he was ordering 29 million tablets with tax-payers' money!? Cui bono? Someone had better follow the money on this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: What will life in Japan under a state of emergency look like? See in context

The virus can't wait for the Golden Week holidays. We'll soon get to see how far "common sense" goes in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Australian court dismisses Cardinal Pell's sex abuse convictions See in context

Difficult to comment on whether justice has been served, but once again we are reminded that any society's powerful always look after their own. Pell most certainly covered up for sex abusing priests and that alone should have warranted dismissal and a lengthy custodial sentence.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care See in context

Ironically, Johnson will get the best medical care from the NHS doctors and nurses who for years have been on the receiving end of the Tories' loathsome austerity cuts. Lacking information on the state of his health there is no point speculating about his recovery. Nobody is wishing him ill, but if he cannot perform his duties as PM, it will make no difference to the outcome of the UK's pandemic crisis: like in the USA, nobody is in charge of this one.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo running out of beds and gear, medical staff say See in context

The chickens are finally coming home to "rock the boat". Now covid-19 will do what viruses do: cull the population. Abe's foolish calculations were governed by purely economic considerations (Olympics), but it now looks like he has lost his chips: the ruling clique's reckless gamble will be paid off with human lives. After the pandemic has run its course, there should be a thorough investigation into the inaction of the Japanese government, but no previous scandals surrounding the Japanese government's devious dealings were ever resolved to the satisfaction of the victims and their families, for "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Many schools in Japan reopen after monthlong coronavirus shutdown See in context

Schools opening today and then Abe announcing a state of emergency on Wednesday will create a situation that is culturally anathema to the Japanese authorities who , following the example taught by Chinese rulers of yore, would rather persist in a wrong decision than admit error and change their decision. Such situations are perceived as a loss of face and a sign of inconsistency or weakness by authority figures in East Asian cultures as expressed in the phrase, 朝令暮改 (choureibokai), "morning order evening change". But as our saying goes, they will have to "bite the bullet". Corona is still calling the shots.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe to declare state of emergency for Tokyo, 6 prefectures See in context

...lockdown is economic suicide.There is more option to simply lockdown...Japan, Sweden and many other countries are trying another option.

Throughout history pandemics have always afflicted human societies and yet most people survived and social and economic activity resumed. Sweden and Japan are not comparable since the denser the population, the better viruses propagate. Central governments play a central role in propping up the capitalist socio-economic model and in times of crisis, such as a pandemic they must temporarily switch to a defensive mode to ensure the viability of the community that many would denigrate as "socialism". Not to worry though, we'll soon be back to "bizness as usual", maybe.

As for Abe's imminent pronunciamento, I can't help but think "a stitch in time...". It's all very regrettable.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. wasted months before preparing for virus pandemic, reports show See in context

There is no proof that "Nero fiddled while Rome burned", but it is incontrovertible that Trump tweeted madly, golfed regularly at tax-payers' expense, watched lotsa trash TV , held rallies and hosted social events with his bizness associates, but was totally disengaged from the urgency of the hour while the virus silently spread throughout the land. This is one for the history books and should be immediately subjected to the scrutiny of a congressional investigation with a view to a second impeachment. The USA has never faced such a crisis in leadership since the Civil War, and that's a fact.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hospitalized with coronavirus See in context

Boris is a poster-"boy who cried wolf", an inveterate liar whose word is of little honor. After his notorious hiding from a journalist in a fridge, I was naturally skeptical of his claim to have corona which came just at a time when his "leadership" was required. If he really got it, I wish him a speedy recovery to face the music arranged and mangled by his incompetent cohorts.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Record 49% proud of Japan's history, traditions: gov't survey See in context

From my experience with "nationalism", or "tribalism", the Japanese, like most other peoples, are proudest of what they know very little about. History as taught in schools has always been viewed suspiciously by governments afraid of "the truth" that would challenge or contradict their official version. In Japan "Don't mention the war" is de rigueur for the ruling right-wing ideology espoused by the LDP, Nippon Kaigi and their ilk. "Pride comes before a fall", is a reliable precept that should guide us through life since we are but the "crooked timber" of humanity. After all, on our deathbed it is not pride but humility we all feel.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo confirms 143 new coronavirus infections Sunday See in context

The official numbers make no sense. The daily rate of contagion is counter-intuitive. The language of government announcements and the demeanor of officials smell of fake news. Or can all these suspicions be simply explained by the "Chinese" virus having mutated benignly to a "Japanese" corona that has adapted to the unique constitutions of the Japanese? It would be wiser to be afraid, very afraid of how this pandemic is being treated by Abenomics. This will be bigger than the Fukushima meltdown which was explained away as being 想定外 (unexpected!)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump says toughest weeks ahead as coronavirus spreads See in context

The only buck that stops with Trump is in his back pocket or under his bed. The Covid-19 debacle is now providing the Dems an even stronger case with which to impeach him a second time after the American people have cleaned up the mess he has created by his criminal fecklessness .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe cautious about declaring emergency despite spike in virus cases See in context

I fear the LDP government's brinkmanship and procrastination will end in a viral Abegeddon. It will be televised, but that'll be no consolation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Environmentalist C W Nicol dies at 79 See in context

He lived a full life doing more good than harm and as a "wannabe Nihonjin" he succeeded better than most. RIP. Nichol-san.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to boost Avigan drug stockpile to fight coronavirus See in context

Avigan to save the day or save face? Sounds more like "Abegan", Japan's "Wunderwaffe", a Hail Mary placebo that is not going to make Covid-19 go away. I've seen Abe's shadow and I'm not coming out for another 6 weeks.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: New York reels as 630 die from coronavirus in a day See in context

The reckless disregard for the real threat of contagion shown by irresponsible politicians in some of the "red-neck" states in the Deep South is endangering the lives of the many vulnerable poor, especially blacks, exposed to the pandemic.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Keir Starmer picked to lead UK Labour Party See in context

"...I will tear out this poison by its roots,”

While Sir Don Starmer valiantly sallies out to tilt at anti-semitic windmills in his party, he will do nothing to fight and defeat the real foes of democracy by removing the venom from the fangs of the English right-wing gutter press, whose daily doses of deadly poison have for decades infected the brains of the electorate and incapacitated rational thinking and public discourse. As a result, they got the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time: the hapless clown prince Boris and his clueless cohorts whose utter ineptitude dealing with a national emergency becomes manifest by the day to all with eyes to see and a brain to think.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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