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Mon, 25 May 2020
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Mr. Potato

South Africa proposes alcohol rationing based on surnames as it eases draconian lockdown

Johannesburg
© REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
FILE PHOTO: A shopper carries a box of alcohol ahead of a nationwide lockdown in Johannesburg, South Africa.
South Africa, which has some of the toughest Covid-19 restrictions, is set to relax them, including a ban on alcohol sales. To avert a feared onslaught of booze buyers, retailers are proposing what seems an outlandish scheme.

Alcohol is expected to rain on the arid market of South Africa from June 1, when the government is set to partially lift its coronavirus-related restrictions. The blanket ban on alcohol and tobacco sales was implemented late in March.

The government draft plan would allow liquor stores to operate from Monday to Wednesday between 8am and 12pm. Retailers, however, fear that the stores might get swarmed (and, potentially, ransacked) by parched and angry clients.

Comment: What did a blanket ban on alcohol and tobacco have to do with the coronavirus farce?

See also:


No Entry

Top economists warn the UK not to repeat austerity after the lockdown

london city
Mariana Mazzucato, Robert Skidelsky, Ann Pettifor, David Blanchflower and others on why the UK must not impose spending cuts in response to higher debt.

Introduction - George Eaton

In 2010, in defiance of advice from most economists, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government imposed austerity on the UK. A decade later, the social cost of this project is clear. Rough sleeping in England has increased by 165 per cent since 2010; life expectancy has stalled for the first time in more than 100 years; and the number of people in poverty in working families has reached a record high. Even before the coronavirus outbreak began, average real wages had once more fallen below their 2008 peak - a lost decade for living standards.

But the surge in government debt - the budget deficit is forecast to exceed £200bn this year, with debt surpassing 100 per cent of GDP - is already prompting renewed demands for austerity. George Osborne, the original author of the cuts programme, has warned of the need for a future "period of retrenchment".

Boris Johnson has insisted that austerity will "certainly not be part of our approach" but can he be trusted to maintain this pledge in face of rising debt and pressure from the free-market right? (The Prime Minister was notably more explicit in rejecting the word austerity - "I've never particularly liked the term" - than he was in ruling out all and any cuts.)

Comment: There's one significant problem not addressed by the authors above: Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes


Yellow Vest

Delingpole: At the anti-lockdown rally I saw the best - and worst - of Britain

police protest london lockdown
© Getty
Police officers frog-march a protester for not following their 'advice' that she stay at home...
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

That's how it felt at the anti-lockdown rally in Hyde Park, London, yesterday, where I was threatened with a fine and arrest for the crime of doing my job. It's also where I got to see Britain at its best - and worst.

There weren't many protestors but those who were made me proud to be British. We were a very mixed crowd, very representative of the melting pot that London has become - and definitely considerably less white and middle class than the crowd you'd find at an Extinction Rebellion rally.

I met a black working-class couple who were both bus drivers; several smartly dressed, well-spoken elderly people; an American former US diplomat and former Democrat voter; a very distressed French-sounding girl distraught that she'd been harassed by police simply for remaining in the same area for more than 45 minutes; a woman who had grown up in 70s Czechoslavakia and recognised the symptoms of Communism all too easily. There were anti-vaxxers, yes, and people who felt that all the world's current ills could be traced back to Bill Gates, yes. But mostly this was a rally about freedom, where everyone present could not quite believe just how easily so many British people had surrendered willingly to the most flagrant assault on liberty in centuries.

This ought not to be a weird, eccentric thing to want to protest.


Comment: Indeed, we foresee a HUGE wave of protests in the months ahead.


Bizarro Earth

UK MPs reject bill that would have banned low standard food imports

cow farming
© jpimedia
An amendment to safeguard the UK's welfare standards was voted down by MPs
The Bill, the biggest overhaul of UK farming policies since the end of the Second World War, returned to the Commons on Wednesday for its third and final reading before it goes before the House of Lords.

It outlines the way agriculture will be funded after leaving the EU, with the introduction of the new "public money for public goods" payment scheme putting the focus on animal welfare, the environment and sustainability.

There have been concerns about the lack of formal requirements in the Bill to uphold British farming standards during trade-deal negotiations, leading to fears over cheap imported food produced to standards illegal in the UK.

Comment: Permitting trade from countries with lower food standards, and thus potentially lower production costs, is likely to threaten the UK farming industry as well as the health of the country's citizens, however, as with the NHS, it would appear that many in government are itching to sell off the country to the highest bidder:


Airplane

The future of air travel sounds miserable: Flying may soon involve on-the-spot blood tests, thermal scanning,and 'disinfection tunnels'

thermal tracing
© SHUTTERSTOCK
Once airports and borders open again and people are able to fly freely — a process already in play as airports of all sizes around the world ready strategies to ensure healthy air travel — how much are you ready to change your flying habits?

As much as was required after 9/11? Less? More?

Considering some of the changes already happening and the many more recommended before airports can reopen safely to commercial routes, experts are referring to the coronavirus pandemic as 'the new terrorism,' triggering the biggest crisis the airline industry has ever faced.

Let's start with the entire process of checking in for flights, which some calculate that it could take up to four hours and involving social distancing, sanitation of passengers and luggage, wider spaces for various lines and waiting to board.

Star of David

Rabbi Weiss: Zionists should return entire occupied lands to Palestinians

Rabbi Weiss
© MNA
Rabbi Dovid Weiss, Spokesman of Neturei Karta International
In an interview with Mehr News Agency, Rabbi Weiss said the Israeli regime was established in Palestine by committing all kinds of crimes against its people, which is a violation of Jewish religious laws towards fellow human beings, adding that the anti-Zionist Jews support "the return of the entire land to the Palestinian people."

His interview was conducted on the occasion of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe) and on the eve of Quds Day when back in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and Israel proclaimed existence. The refugees were forced to seek refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, often without citizenship being granted.

Here is the full text of his interview with Morteza Rahmani:

Morteza Rahmani: 72 years have passed since the Israeli regime's occupation of the Palestinian lands; where is the regime standing today in terms of identity as well as the political and social status?

Rabbi Weiss: Before I answer the question I'd like to state our viewpoint as traditionally Orthodox Jews. We oppose Zionism because it is an anti-Jewish philosophy of building a sovereign homeland for Jews while in a divinely decreed exile, which is forbidden by the Jewish religion. Also, this homeland was established in Palestine by committing all kinds of crimes against its people, which is a violation of Jewish religious laws towards fellow human beings. We don't support "two states for two peoples"; we support the return of the entire land to the Palestinian people. We believe that peaceful non-militant Jews will be able to live under a Palestinian state in peace.

Comment: Refreshing viewpoints based on Torah scriptures, from a rabbi who predicts the failure of Zionist political moves regarding Palestine.


Bad Guys

Bloomberg changes headline YET AGAIN amid backlash over article on why Covid-19 'didn't kill more Russians'

doctor
© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev
Bloomberg has yet again had to correct the title of an article, after rolling out a report about why Covid-19 hasn't "killed more Russians." Moscow has argued that Western media distort Russia's fight against the disease.

US-based Bloomberg News had published the story, originally titled "Experts Want to Know Why Coronavirus Hasn't Killed More Russians," on Wednesday. The news piece was ostensibly about how Russia's relatively low death toll from Covid-19 "puzzles health experts," especially since the nation has the second-highest number of officially-recorded cases of the disease, trailing only behind the US.

The headline prompted a backlash online, with people slamming it as tasteless and "deplorable." Russia's Foreign Ministry didn't pull punches on the publication with a rather click-baity headline either, branding it "horrendous." It also said the article appeared to have been in line with the "disinformation campaign" waged against Moscow's efforts to fight the novel coronavirus.

Bad Guys

UK coronavirus laws created in panic led to unlawful convictions

North Yorkshire police officer
© Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
A North Yorkshire police officer talks to a motorist in March.
Police and prosecutors got the emergency laws on coronavirus wrong dozens of times, leading to scores of people being wrongly charged and convicted, it has emerged.

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service apologised for the errors and said the rushed nature of the laws and the pressure caused by the pandemic were to blame.

Gregor McGill, the director of legal services at the CPS, said 175 people out of 231 had been charged correctly. In the other cases, people were sometimes charged under a law from a different country in the United Kingdom, such as people in England being charged under a Welsh law.

Emergency legislation rushed in by government included regulations limiting movement and how and where people associated with each other.

Attention

Trump economic advisor: Blue states near 'rioting in the streets' if shutdown continues

Protesters Lansing MI
© Getty Images/Jeff Kowalsky
'Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine' demonstration at State Capita, Lansing, MI
'People are not going to put up with the government keeping them in a state of impoverishment, which is what they're doing,' economist Stephen Moore told Just the News.

A key 2016 Trump campaign adviser and current member of the Trump Economic Recovery Task Force said he predicted "almost rioting in the streets," particularly in Democratic-held states, if people are kept in "state of impoverishment" through a continued economic shutdown due to coronavirus.

Stephen Moore, now an informal Trump economic adviser who served during the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, told Just the News on Thursday that the widespread coronavirus economic shutdown should not have occurred at all and that it is dragging on for too long, especially in Democratic-held states.

Comment: Some Americans remember their proud history of defiance and what was achieved by bucking the system. Perhaps not all of us have bought the 'program'.


Stormtrooper

LAPD wants to give rapid-result coronavirus tests to everyone it arrests

LAPD officer
© Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times
Officer Nick Ferara checks the address for his next food donation drop with other officers April 29 at LAPD Harbor Station in San Pedro.
The Los Angeles Police Department wants to give a rapid-result test to everyone its officers arrest to check for the coronavirus and is pushing city officials to secure the equipment to do so.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told the Police Department's civilian oversight body that he has asked City Hall to secure a rapid-result testing system capable of determining within 15 minutes whether people are infected with the coronavirus.

Such systems exist, though their accuracy has been questioned.

Right now, jails are testing all new arrivals, but results take days to come back, Moore said. The delayed results give the department a "backwards look" at exposure, but rapid-result testing would provide real-time data that could help the department isolate sick detainees, keep others incarcerated in local jails safe and quickly alert officers to any potential exposure, Moore said.

Comment: At this point, the issue of privacy and people's rights is not even a question. Got that? If you think this invasion will stop at 'rapid-result tests' for COVID-19, then you haven't been paying attention.