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Celerity

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Gender: Female
Hometown: London
Home country: USA/UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 07:25 PM
Number of posts: 12,637

Journal Archives

A Hospital Forgot to Bill Her Coronavirus Test. It Cost Her $1,980.

Send us your medical bills. We’ll use them to investigate hospital and doctor billing practices.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/upshot/nj-coronavirus-medical-bill.html


Debbie Krebs felt sick in March and went for a coronavirus test. She tested negative, but then the test was omitted from her medical bill, resulting in a major price difference.

When Debbie Krebs got the bill for a March emergency room visit, she immediately noticed something was missing: her coronavirus test. Ms. Krebs, a lawyer who focuses on insurance issues, had gone to the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., with lung pain and a cough. A doctor ran tests and scans to rule out other diseases before swabbing her nose. A week later, the medical laboratory called, telling her it was negative.

Ms. Krebs had a clear memory of the experience, particularly the doctor saying the coronavirus test would make her feel as if she had to sneeze. She wondered whether the doctor could have lied about performing the test, or if her swab could have gone missing. (But if so, why had the laboratory called her with results?)

The absence of the coronavirus test made a big price difference. Congress, Ms. Krebs had heard, barred insurers from charging patients for visits meant to diagnosis coronavirus. Without the test, Ms. Krebs didn’t qualify for that protection and owed $1,980. She called the hospital to explain the situation but immediately ran into roadblocks. “When I called the hospital, they said, ‘You did not get a coronavirus test,’” she said. “I told them I absolutely did.”

Across the country, Americans like Ms. Krebs are receiving surprise bills for care connected with coronavirus. Tests can cost between $199 and $6,408 at the same location. A coming wave of treatment bills could be hundreds of multiples higher, especially for those who receive intensive care or have symptoms that linger for months. Services that patients expect to be covered often aren’t.

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Why Do Liberals Unfriend People Over Politics? Because Conservatives Are Soulless Monsters

You may not be a neo-Nazi, belong to the KKK, or join white power marches but if you still vote Republican, you've consciously chosen to stand with the absolute worst people in America. Why the fuck would any liberal want to associate with you?

https://thedailybanter.com/2018/05/04/liberals-unfriend-because-conservatives-are-monsters/



Every now and then, a new article (or a repost of an old one) makes the rounds on social media discussing how liberals are more likely to unfriend people over politics both online and in the real world. Usually the context of the post is to show how "intolerant" the left is but what is actually driving this trend? The first layer is the dry analysis that shows that conservatives tend to already self select, meaning their circle of friends tend to sound just like them:

And that conservative echochamber isn't limited to conservatives' online interactions: It's a reflection of the lack of ideological diversity in their real life relationships. Two-thirds of consistent conservatives told Pew that most of their close friends share their views on government and politics, compared to just over half, or 52 percent, of consistent liberals. For mostly conservatives, 42 percent of their close friends have the same views, while just 26 percent of mostly liberals respondents who said the same.


In other words, white Republican voters seek out other white Republican voters because that's who they're comfortable with. But the deeper layer is that while conservatives bitch and moan about liberals, only the most brainwashed believe that Obama was working with ISIS and the Mexican drug cartels to set up FEMA concentration camps in abandoned Walmarts. They whine about being persecuted but they know, deep down (and usually not even that deep) that they aren't losing their rights, just their white privilege and while that's terrifying, it's hardly life threatening. On the other hand, liberals look at what conservatives say they want and are absolutely horrified. We're not talking about what they say in public and in front of news cameras; that's playacting so the media can pretend the GOP is a normal party and that conservatism is healthy and chock full of moderates.

No, we're talking about what conservatives say when they think no one is paying attention or when they forget to hide what they really are. When they drop the facade, what's revealed is not a functional human being but a soulless monster fueled by hate. If this strikes you as crazed hyperbole, you are either painfully ignorant or Chris Cillizza. But I repeat myself. The left has been saying for decades that the right was devolving into a cesspool of incoherent rage. Long before Trump came down that escalator, it was screamingly obvious that the path the GOP was on led direct to white nationalism and the fascism that comes it with it. We were told to shut the fuck up by a lazy press pushing a "both sides are always equal" narrative. But when you really listen to what they are saying and really look at what they are doing, what are the core conservative policies?

Hate for the poor - We watched Ron Paul literally say that people without insurance should be left to die if they can't afford the bill for catastrophic illness. The audience of Republicans wildly applauded this. Conservatives despise the poor unless they are one of them. They support cutting food stamps, school lunches, Medicaid, etc. under the moral pretense that the poor are lazy and should be punished. A lot of it is racism but a lot of it is also simply a hatred of the idea of helping those in need.

Hate for immigrants - ............

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Tom Cotton calls slavery 'necessary evil' in attack on New York Times' 1619 Project

a week old, but I could not find this on DU

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/26/tom-cotton-slavery-necessary-evil-1619-project-new-york-times

The Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton has called the enslavement of millions of African people “the necessary evil upon which the union was built”.

Cotton, widely seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2024, made the comment in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published on Sunday.

He was speaking in support of legislation he introduced on Thursday that aims to prohibit use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project, an initiative from the New York Times that reframes US history around August 1619 and the arrival of slave ships on American shores for the first time.

Cotton’s Saving American History Act of 2020 and “would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts”, according to a statement from the senator’s office.


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video which appeared to show a military dog demonstration using a "Colin Kaepernick stand-in"

The US Navy is investigating a video which appeared to show a military dog demonstration using a "Colin Kaepernick stand-in" at the National Navy SEAL Museum in Florida last year

https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedNews/status/1290067061406801920
https://twitter.com/BillyCorben/status/1289979415879798784

Trump Is Rigging The Postal Service To Get Himself Re-Elected

And now with Trump proposing to delay the election itself, the stakes are higher than ever before.

https://thebanter.substack.com/p/trump-is-rigging-the-postal-service



WASHINGTON, DC -- When and if the votes are counted and we have a new president, Donald Trump and his fascist co-conspirators have to be held accountable for the unprecedented and entirely despotic actions they’ve taken since and even before the 2016 election. And now, with Trump proposing to delay the election, the stakes are higher than ever before. As I’ve said repeatedly: the only way we can prevent another Trump is to forcefully slam the door behind this administration -- the “door” in this metaphor being a series of legislative reforms, constitutional amendments, and, yes, prosecutions of everyone who participated in the subversion of our democratic republic in the name of propping up our first presidential dictator. One of the top shelf items on the list isn’t being discussed a lot, but it should be. You may have heard that Trump and his Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, are busily crippling the U.S. Postal Service. Why? Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, second quarter 2020 revenues for the USPS grew by more than $300 million from the second quarter of the previous year, totalling $17.8 billion. Likewise, 2019 revenues for the entire year were up more than half-a-billion dollars over 2018. It turns out, e-commerce from corporations like Amazon has significantly helped the USPS, with operative profits growing every year since 2012. Are people mailing fewer letters these days? Sure. Is it seriously damaging the USPS? Not really.

The major issue plaguing the USPS right now is a good problem to have: and that’s meeting its pension obligations to its retired workers. Solutions, however, include debt forgiveness from Congress and a $25 billion modernization grant. Given Congress’s spending on bailouts and tax cuts, $25 billion to help the USPS isn’t that much of a burden in the grand scheme. However, Trump, responding to the proposal, said, “The Postal Service is a joke.” Back in March, a bipartisan bill to infuse the Postal Service with $13 billion was killed by Trump. So, why then, did DeJoy decide to cut overtime for USPS workers, effectively slowing down mail delivery in the middle of a pandemic in which people rely more on at-home deliveries than ever before? And he did it at a time when the USPS’s profits are growing. It’s all about Trump, of course. First, Trump hates Jeff Bezos, mainly because he’s jealous of Bezos’s ridiculously ginormous wealth. Plus, the Mad King is pissed that The Washington Post, owned by Bezos, is mean to him -- you know, by printing the truth about what Trump is up to. The head of the American Postal Workers Union, Mark Dimondstein, recently observed, “These changes are happening because there’s a White House agenda to privatize and sell off the public Postal Service.” But since the USPS is still quite popular, they’re afraid to do it in one big move. Instead, they’re rigging the game by holding back deliveries and pissing people off. Then, when the time is right, boom. It’ll be fully privatized. Put another way: slowing down service actually hurts profits, and that’s the point. Starve the beast. If people are pissed off about slower-than-usual service, they’re more likely to use non-USPS solutions like FedEx and others. The USPS suffers and the suffering turns to irreparable damage until it’s sold off for parts.

The third and most obvious reason, to me at least, has to do with the election. Every decision made by the administration has to be viewed through the prism of re-election, so it could be deliberate move by Trump and DeJoy to sabotage the mail and, with it, the absentee voting process -- taking a giant cartoon-sized wooden hammer to the entire operation in order to help Trump win re-election. If this is part of DeJoy’s equation, and we have no reason to believe it’s not given the Trump administration’s track record, the president is using his authority to directly disenfranchise American voters by blocking their ability to cast ballots on time. I mean, we only need to see that DeJoy gave Trump $1.2 million in donations for his campaign to know where the Postmaster General’s loyalties are. By the way, prior to running the USPS, DeJoy was tasked with raising money for the ill-fated Republican National Convention this year. He’s also donated millions to the broader GOP. In other words, DeJoy has invested a mountain of cash to re-elect Trump and he’s clearly not about to let something like efficient mail delivery stand in his way. And if they can privatize the entire shmear, too, well that’s a bonus. Strangely, knowing how 34 states, including DC, offer absentee voting without an excuse, Trump is shotgun-blasting the service in a way that’ll also thwart his own fanboys from casting ballots as well. Then again, the lower the voter turnout, the better Republicans tend to do, even if their own people are hindered.

The consequences for the rest of us are grim. What happens to people who use the service for prescription deliveries or paychecks? And knowing the loyalties of the Postmaster, how can we possibly be confident that our ballots will get to where they’re going, and with a reasonable delivery time? We can’t. Trump is spreading his disgusting taint everywhere, meddling in areas that were never mandated by his illegitimate electoral victory. There was no “silent majority” outcry to murder the USPS. Nah, this is another masturbatory Trump revenge project: screwing Bazos and rigging the election, with a little far-right privatization orthodoxy as a side dish. The only way to overcome DeJoy and Trump’s illegal and punishable malfeasance here is to get your absentee ballot and to mail it right away as soon as ballots are made available -- as soon as early voting begins. The sooner ballots are in the hands of your county boards of elections, the sooner they’ll be counted and Donald Trump will, himself, be screwed. We’re not powerless here. Trump can’t stop you from voting unless you wait until the last minute. Don’t. The mail is crippled by Trump’s cheating, but we don’t have to be caught in his trap. Not this time.

The Real Purpose of Trump's Threat to Delay the Vote

The real purpose of the threat by our Twittiot-in-Chief to delay the election is to lay the groundwork for massive challenges of mail-in ballots.

https://www.gregpalast.com/the-secret-purpose-of-trumps-threat-to-delay-the-vote/



Officially, 1,913,369 ballots were challenged and thrown away in 2016—that’s how Trump stole the last election and how he will steal 2020…they will question your mail-in ballot signature, the color of your ink—and if you put an “X” instead of filling in the little bubble—they’ll junk your ballot. Yes, Donald, “The 2020 election will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT election in history” — because your crew is defrauding voters out of their ballots. Whose ballots gets challenged? According to the US Civil Rights Commission which investigated in Florida, the chance of your ballot being challenged and uncounted is 900% higher if you’re Black than if you’re white.

That’s if you get your ballot at all. According to an MIT study, one in ten voters who request a mail in ballot don’t get one at all, or get it too late to count. We saw the test run in Georgia in March where the GOP state government delayed the ballot send-out, meaning thousands of African-Americans never received their ballot. Even the husband of the Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia got his ballot the day after the election. (But yes, he was guilty of attempted VWB—Voting While Black.) Don’t cry; don’t whine: you can, you must, steal back your vote: that is, protect it. We can expose the steal and reverse it. That’s why I wrote, How Trump Stole 2020—it’s not a prediction, it’s a warning. I'm watching CNN right now and they’re telling me that Trump doesn't have the authority to delay the election. They are missing the f**king point.



Trump doesn't have to delay the vote. In America, elections aren't stolen like they're stolen in some right-wing fever dream of a movie. There's no military junta marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, no back alley assassinations like in an episode of House of Cards, no Russians needed. They're stolen in the back rooms of power by men in Brooks Brother suits, they're stolen using Excel spreadsheets, they're stolen by votes simply not being counted. It's really hard to make a true-to-life film version of how America gets stolen. Mind you, we tried. In The Best Democracy Money Can Buy we tried to warn America what was coming. Sadly, it seems that we were too late.

Now three months away from the next Presidential election, Donald Trump is sending out missives to his base: He’s whipping up his army of Boogaloo bozos in Hawaiian shirts into a frenzy over fraudulent mail-in votes. No, we won’t get a million bogus ballots from Bolivia, but the facts don’t matter. So what’s the point? The point is not to intimidate voters; no one’s scared of these Trumpito pinheads. Rather, the point is to place “poll watchers” who will challenge every single mail-in vote. This is what they did in Michigan (See Michigan Michigass) to prevent the counting of 75,355 ballots in Detroit—and that gave Trump a “victory margin” of 10,000 to take Michigan and the White House. Michigan 2016 will be USA 2020 unless we take back our ballots.



related


Trump's call to "delay" the election is a distraction — but it's also a serious threat

Remember, Bill Barr and Mitch McConnell are delighted to stomp on the rule of law to keep Republicans in power

https://www.salon.com/2020/07/30/trumps-call-to-delay-the-election-is-a-distraction--but-its-also-a-serious-threat/

The first thing to understand about Donald Trump's threat to delay the November election — should we call it a public fantasy? — is that it's a distraction, like so many things our president says and does. Around 8:30 Eastern time on Thursday morning, news came down that the U.S. economy saw its worst contraction since the advent of modern economic recordkeeping after World War II, with GDP falling at an annual rate of nearly 33% in the second quarter, 9.5% below where it was the previous quarter. This is a plunge exponentially larger than the fallout from the crash of 2008, and probably the largest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

At 8:46 a.m., Trump let loose with this Twitter turd: "With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" As a distraction, the gambit worked. Immediately, the shift in headlines and cable news focus went from the country's record-setting economic devastation toward this idiotic but deeply troubling question of whether Trump can really get away with delaying the election until such time as he thinks he can win it (which may be never). The second thing to understand about Trump's threat is that it's nonetheless deadly serious. No matter how many reassuring articles come out about how there's no mechanism available to Trump to delay the election, the public should not be complacent about this.

Rule of law, for the people who surround Donald Trump and prop him up, is something to be broken, not respected. Trump is a profoundly stupid man, but he does have a flight of much smarter people around him to do his bidding, especially when it comes to securing power for themselves and shutting down the ability of the American people to vote the bastards out. We should not underestimate what people like Attorney General Bill Barr and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could come up with, if they decide that Trump's harebrained notion of using the pandemic as cover to "reschedule" (read: cancel) the election is the only path to keeping Republicans in power in 2021.

Barr, after all, has spent his time in charge of the Justice Department focused on remaking the institution as one focused on covering up Trump's crimes, instead of dedicated to fighting crime. He started by using his powers to falsely frame the findings of Robert Mueller's report on Russian election interference, claiming that Mueller found "no collusion." That was an outright lie. Mueller found extensive collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian conspiracy, much of it right out in public, even if it fell short of what Mueller felt could be charged as criminal conspiracy. But Barr successfully pushed out the "no collusion" narrative, and the impact of the entire Russia investigation's dwindled to almost nothing, despite Trump's demonstrable guilt in the cover-up.

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FAQs for anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers

The following is satire that is, however, based on actual anti-masker and anti-vaxxer arguments and memes. The fact that this clarification is included speaks to the insanity that pervades our current public discourse.

https://www.nationofchange.org/2020/07/30/faqs-for-anti-maskers-and-anti-vaxxers/



Would Jesus wear a mask?

Definitely not. As a healer, he would have been interested in spreading the disease so that more people would pray to his father. Not Joseph. God. But since Joseph was a carpenter the rise in demand for coffins would have profited the family business and that’s another reason Jesus would not have worn a mask. And finally, as a man supremely wise, he would have recognized that leprosy and spinal condiitons, which he was asked to heal, were really hoaxes and fake news spread by liberal political reformers to make the Romans look bad.

Does government have the right to tell me not to breathe?

Definitely. Already government requires you to have a license to drive a car. It levies tyrannical taxes on you so that you will have smooth highways to drive your cars on. It even posts commands in the form of so-called “traffic” signs and lights that tell you when you have to stop driving and when you can start up again. The government also demands that doctors and nurses, whose job it is to keep us breathing, have to spend years learning SCIENCE in liberal UNIVERSITIES before they can even help us. So yes, it is clear that government has the right to tell you not to breathe and therefore wants you to wear masks, which have been shown to prevent you from breathing.

If you tell me to wear a mask so you won’t get sick, isn’t that the same as telling me to start jogging to help you lose weight?
[Yes, I have seen this posted as if it were the definitive argument against wearing masks].

Yes. It is exactly the same as you jogging to help me lose weight. Your right not to wear a mask is equal to your right to give me a potentially fatal disease. For instance, if you’ve got a big date and you’re afraid the mask makes you look like a lib-loser turn-off and so you head home earlier than planned and you’re hit by a car, then obviously my demand that you wear a mask is as dangerous to you as you not wearing a mask is to me. Now if you go jogging it is very likely I will lose weight as I will be so worried that you are jogging for my sake that I’ll forget to eat and I’ll wind up losing weight. So yes, they are exactly the same.

I support the KuKluxKlan and also believe that wearing a mask violates my First Amendment rights to freedom of expression. Am I contradicting myself?

Of course not. When you wear a hood at Klan functions, you are fully expressing yourself by proclaiming openly that you are a self-loathing racist who is so pathetic you think that your pigmentation somehow elevates you above the 90% of the world whose dermis contains more melanin than yours despite the fact that genetic tests indicate you very likely have African-, Native-, or Latino-American genes in your DNA. The Klan hood is also a statement that you are fully in accord with the violent acts and lynchings performed by the Klan throughout its history. Similarly, by not wearing a mask, you are expressing yourself by saying “I don’t believe in science. I trust the word of our chosen one, Donald Trump, no-nothing veteran of numerous sexual assaults and innumerable ethics violations, over hundreds of thousands of medical personnel. I am an American and if I infect a bunch of folks by being an American, well, that’s the price of freedom.” So I would say you are being wholly consistent in your approach to life and to masks.

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Microsoft Said to Be in Talks to Buy TikTok, as Trump Weighs Curtailing App

The discussions come as TikTok’s ownership by a Chinese company is under scrutiny by the White House and lawmakers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/31/technology/tiktok-microsoft.html



SAN FRANCISCO — TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app that has been under scrutiny from the Trump administration, is in talks to sell itself to Microsoft and other companies as President Trump weighs harsh actions against the business, including forcing TikTok to divorce itself from its parent company, ByteDance, said people with knowledge of the discussions.

The powerful Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or Cfius, has been examining ByteDance’s 2017 purchase of Musical.ly, an app that eventually morphed to become TikTok. The committee has decided to order ByteDance to divest TikTok, and the government is engaged in negotiations over the terms of the separation, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plans, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. White House officials have said TikTok may pose a national security threat because of its Chinese ownership.

On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, who leads the committee, briefed the president on the divestment plan. But it remains unclear what the president will do, including whether the U.S. would apply a divestment order to all of TikTok’s American operations and whether its actions would affect the app’s global business as well. Mr. Trump is weighing several other courses of action, including an executive order that could use the vast powers of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to bar certain foreign apps from American app stores. The Trump administration has also considered whether to add TikTok’s parent to a so-called “entity list,” which would prevent it from purchasing American products and services without a special license, said people with knowledge of the matter. Discussions are expected to continue into this weekend.

In his comments on Friday, Mr. Trump told reporters that there were “a couple of options” with TikTok, including “banning” it. He added, “But a lot of things are happening, so we’ll see what happens. But we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.” It’s unclear how advanced TikTok’s talks to sell itself to Microsoft and other companies are, but changing ownership is crucial for the app. The United States is one of TikTok’s major markets, so continued operations in the country are a priority. TikTok has discussed other scenarios to alleviate concerns by U.S. officials. In one scenario, non-Chinese investors like Sequoia Capital, SoftBank and General Atlantic could purchase a majority stake in the app from ByteDance, people familiar with the discussions have said. Any deal would likely be expensive. ByteDance’s valuation recently stood at around $100 billion, according to the research firm PitchBook.

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These Scientists Are Testing an Experimental COVID Vaccine on Themselves

NOBODY KNOWS IF IT ACTUALLY WORKS OR NOT — BUT THEY'RE PASSING IT AROUND LIKE A PARTY DRUG.

https://futurism.com/neoscope/scientists-testing-covid-vaccine-themselves?ref=thefuturist



An impressive scoop by the MIT Technology Review: Using simple lab tools, a ragtag group of scientists cobbled together their own grey-market COVID-19 vaccine — and instead of jumping through the usual hoops for a clinical trial, they’re testing it on themselves. The group calls itself the Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative (Radvac.) Led by celebrity Harvard geneticist George Church, the team set out to find “a simple formula that you could make with readily available materials,” as Preston Estep, Church’s former graduate student at Harvard and leader of the project, told MIT Tech.

The group came up with a vaccine, which consists of bits of protein that match the coronavirus, but aren’t able to cause disease. They even posted a white paper detailing how to cook it up yourself. Similar approaches have been used to make other vaccines, as MIT Tech points out, including for hepatitis B and HPV. The group quickly found several volunteers who were willing to squirt the makeshift vaccine up their noses using a pump, which they believe could create a local immunity in the tissues of the airway.

Despite not making any claims about the effectiveness of their vaccine, Radvac has now given materials to dozens of friends and colleagues. In fact, Estep told MIT Tech that he’s lost track of how many people have taken it so far. In sum, it’s an extremely deviant approach compared to the staid world of conventional pharmaceutical research. Unsurprisingly, that’s alramed some skeptics.

“It’s not the best idea — especially in this case, you could make things worse,” George Siber, the former head of vaccines at Wyeth, a Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company, told MIT Tech. “You really need to know what you are doing here.” The project could run into trouble with the Food and Drug Administration, according to MIT Tech. Money may not be changing hands and each user has to sign extensive disclaimers, but regulators could still crack down on the group.

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James Lawson is one of the greatest orators of our times, when his voice raises up, it rings down

a righteous anger and clarion call for justice. Magnificent speaker and human.



(John Lewis service, btw)

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