Happy Thursday. I hope this finds you well and good and safe and healthy in these strange, strange times. Below are a couple of stories I’m keeping my eye on that have maybe fallen through the cracks over the past few days, but I also wanted to open the doors for questions and topics for the next subscriber-exclusive Dispatches Mailbag, which will be published here in the next few days. If you have any issues or queries you’d like to hear my take on, whether it’s large-scale important or smaller bits of personal taste, simply reply to this post.
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Washington Post, May 26th, 2021
This article details how a coordinated attempt is underway to not only undermine vaccine mandates, but to swiftly and quietly erode support against any and all efforts to solve the problem of the pandemic, as well as to continue perpetual erosion of public trust in experts, science, and consensus. Like most things with the Right, this is being camouflaged by concerns over “individual rights” and the like, but it is yet another front in the counter-intelligentsia operations that have been used to perpetuate misinformation that benefits the wealthy and powerful.
In this case, it is an old trick. Creating grassroots/individual-level “movements” that appear, upon first blush, to be the actions of concerned citizens and, over time, become larger and more animated. Of course, like the Tea Party and the Reopen Movement, it is almost always funded billionaires and corporations that want to protect their domination of the political and economic systems via faux-populistic projects that are simply manipulative actions.
Unfortunately, these things work. Our media and political bodies are absolutely terrible at digging deeper than surface-level and exposing the machinations beneath the veneer, and, in the worst moments (again, the Tea Party and Reopen Movement) they are seen as entertaining storylines ready-made for TV segments.
And speaking of…
Biden’s Non-Covid Agenda Takes Center Stage
NBC News, May 24th, 2021
There’s always Chuck Todd. And in a recent article with Mark Murray and Carrie Dann, Todd fulfilled his usual role in political discourse when he’s not welcoming on dangerous figures and allowing them to spew propaganda without interruption, and that is serving as a weather-vane for when the politico class in Washington, D.C. has decided the storyline is in need of being replaced.
The piece, expectedly, is devoid of anything approaching actual analysis, but is telling in how it frames politics and truly admits the nature of what Todd, and by extension the political media class, is concerned with. “The dominant storyline,” according to the piece, “has moved from the virus…to the fate of President Biden’s non-Covid related agenda,” and that is, accordingly “a BFD.”
Reading this drivel makes my head spin, but it’s important, once more, to take note. For all of the sighing and eye-rolling when Todd talks or hosts Meet The Press, we have to understand who these people are. They are not serious. They are not interested in whether the country improves or whether people have better lives. They are so divorced from actual reality and so insulated within the Beltway Culture, so predisposed to hobknobbing with politicians, lobbyists, and operators, that they have come to see politics as a big, entertaining game that furnishes them with profits and luxuries.
Remember this. Your being able to afford healthcare, to see a doctor, to afford a home, to give your children a good education, to keep yourself and the people you love safe, even the Coronavirus Pandemic, which in America alone has killed nearly 600,000, and continues to plague the rest of the world in unimaginable ways, is simply a segment to them. A storyline to cultivate, produce, and profit from.
Wall Street Journal, May 26th, 2021
Yet another installment in the ongoing horror story that is Big Tech and massive corporations continually intertwining themselves into our systems and lives until they control everything imaginable. Without an ounce of hyperbole, I cannot stress how slippery of a slope this all is and what it can become when we take the human element out of healthcare and healthcare relationships, begin to base human life on the whims of algorithms, particularly algorithms that are designed by corporations which are both endlessly obsessed with profit and riddled through white supremacy, classist philosophies, and a disturbing anti-human prejudice.
The cartoon above was in reference to Standard Oil, a Gilded Age monstrosity that came to overshadow the economy in totality and slithered its way into every facet of existence. Of course, these were largely economic matters, supply chains, infrastructure and logistics. Imagine the tentacles snaking through the basic components of life and death and making the difference between receiving care and being deemed nonessential.
Of course, we could just have universal care and dispatch of the artificial problem altogether, but I guess that wouldn’t make for very good storylines.