Rent Strike: What Happens If You Don’t Pay Rent On April 1 Because Of The Coronavirus Reply

Our lame-ass “progressive” politicians and media commentators need to be pushing rent strikes, debt strikes, labor strikes, prisoner releases, etc. etc. etc.  Jimmie Dore seems to be one of the few that has stepped up to the plate so far.

By Rachel Martin

Forbes

Topline: As millions of Americans find themselves out of work because of the coronavirus, many are facing a dilemma: how do I pay rent on April 1? Calls for a national rent strike have been gaining momentum in some cities in California and New York. Though there are some federal protections for renters, those measures are relatively narrow, leaving most renters and landlords navigating a patchwork of state and local laws.

  • Do I still have to pay rent at all? Yes—though in some cities, you may be able to delay payment if you can’t afford it. Tenants still have to pay rent because there are currently no federal or local measures freezing rent or waiving rent payments entirely (though some politicians, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are pushing for that). Even in the areas with eviction moratoriums or a prohibition on late fees, landlords will still be able to ask for unpaid rent when the coronavirus emergency is over. In some places renters have anywhere from six months to 180 days to pay back rent after the crisis.
  • What protections do renters have because of the coronavirus? Several states and cities, such as New York and San Francisco, have paused all evictions or rent hikes during the emergency. Here is a map showing those state and local actions. Federally, owners of multifamily units with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eligible for deferred mortgage payments if they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the coronavirus. But that doesn’t apply to all owners, and Lupe Arreola, executive director of California advocacy group Tenants Together, told Forbes there is no way of knowing what kind of mortgage your landlord has unless they tell you.

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The Radical Possibilities of Not Paying Your Student Loans Reply

By Nick Martin

The New Republic

I left college $25,000 in debt, a fact I’m reminded of every month when an email from Great Lakes Borrowers Services informs me that “Your Automatic Payment Will Be Made Soon.” But relative to most American graduates, I got off easy: The average amount borrowed by an undergraduate in the most recent school year was $29,000, and the national debt burden comes in at a staggering $1.6 trillion, a number that feels impossible to fathom on its own. It’s higher than the nationwide total of credit card debt or car loans and second only to mortgages.

For the millions of former students struggling to make their monthly payments, debt was sold to us as the cost of a better life. And its repayment, we would later learn, was the cost of any kind of life at all. I don’t even really read the emails from my creditors anymore, since I know that the money is scheduled to come straight out of my account. My debt feels permanent in this way, unmovable.

But what if it actually wasn’t? What if we, along with millions of others, just stopped paying? The Debt Collective, part of a debt-cancellation movement born out of Occupy Wall Street, wants you to at least consider the possibility. “The power of ordinary people in the grassroots is something that I just think is undeniable,” Ann Larson, one of the co-founders of the Collective, told The New Republic. “What else could be achieved if we work together and collectivized? That’s really to me the lesson here, that big things can happen.”

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Saudis Drop Air Masks Contaminated with COVID-19 Into Yemen 1

By Randi Nord

Geopolitics Alert

Sana’a (GPA) – The Saudi coalition continues weaponizing disease in Yemen — this time capitalizing on the novel coronavirus — in a disturbing and barbaric fashion. Saudi planes have air dropped suspicious face masks and other supplies potentially contaminated with COVID-19 into some of Yemen’s most vulnerable areas.

Speaking to Geopolitics Alert on Monday, Dr. Yosuf Al-Haidari, official spokesman of Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health, said Saudi planes dropped suspicious packages across Yemen’s impoverished Hodeidah province containing face masks and other supplies. Dr. Al-Haidari called the action “strange” and “unrealistic” due to Riyadh’s history of weaponizing disease and destroying Yemen’s healthcare sector through a five-year blockade.

It’s worth mentioning that Hodeidah province is still an active frontline in the war, facing hundreds of Saudi airstrikes and artillery bombardment every day.

Yemen’s Health Ministry urged residents not to touch the masks due to their potential for containing biological weaponry.

It wouldn’t be out of character for Riyadh to contaminate medical supplies with COVID-19 before distributing them to Yemen’s vulnerable populations. In 2017, Yemen suffered a cholera outbreak globally unprecedented in modern times. Over 2 million were infected as of October 2019 with thousands succumbing to the medieval illness.

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What Is a Furlough and What Are Employee Rights During One? Reply

By Eric Reed

The Street

While some are able to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, other people simply don’t have jobs that allow for that.

Many people are in industries that are still working. However, the economic impact of the pandemic has wreaked havoc on many of these industries. And other industries are being forced into temporarily closing to better contain the spread of coronavirus.

What happens to employees in these industries? Some may be laid off, some may still have to work and continue exposure to the virus. But some companies may instead suspend the work of most of their employees, sending them home without pay in what’s called a furlough.

Furloughs have already begun in particularly vulnerable industries. The airline industry has been in freefall as demand has shrunk; Virgin Atlantic has required employees to take eight weeks of unpaid furlough. As many hotel chains close to help contain the spread of coronavirus, Marriott has begun furloughing what could become tens of thousands of employees.

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President Trump’s shots at GM have left company insiders deeply troubled Reply

A falling out among thieves. The only reason GM still exists is because of the last ruling class looting spree from 2008. Is the ruling class fracturing?

Jamie L. LaReau

Detroit Free Press

General Motors and its CEO Mary Barra are in President Donald Trump’s crosshairs more than most other companies and it has many inside the automaker and across the industry pondering why.

In a matter of 72 hours, starting Friday, the president chided GM for dragging its feet in getting lifesaving ventilators to the front lines in the battle against coronavirus.

Then on Sunday, Trump changed course, extolling GM after it announced its plans two days prior to make ventilators with Ventec LIfe System at GM’s Kokomo, Indiana, plant. The FDA-approved ventilators will ship in mid-April. Also, GM will begin manufacturing FDA-cleared surgical masks at its Warren plant next week.

But after Trump castigated GM, then praised it, world headlines exploded.

  • BBC on Friday: “Coronavirus: Trump orders ‘time wasting’ General Motors to make ventilators.”
  • Reuters on Sunday: “Trump’s attack on GM over ventilators quickly turns to praise.”
  • Bloomberg on Friday: “GM’s Ventilator Effort Goes Haywire With Trump Turning on CEO Barra.”
  • Forbes on Friday: “Trump Invokes DPA After Attacking GM CEO Barra Over Ventilator Production.”

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As Coronavirus Spreads, Poll Shows Nearly 60% in US Believe Political System Designed Solely to Serve Rich and Powerful Reply

We’re a majority now, but we need to get our numbers up further.

By Julia Conley

Common Dreams

New polling out Wednesday backdropped by the continuing coronavirus outbreak shows that most of the country believes the U.S. political system works only for the wealthy and elite rather than for working people.

In a survey of 1,002 Americans taken by The Hill/HarrisX, 57% of respondents said they believe the political system serves the interests of the wealthy and powerful versus 32% who said it works for all Americans.

Low-income Americans were more likely than people who are well-off financially to say the system works for wealthy insiders—61% to 55%. Women were 12% more likely than men, and Democratic and independent voters were more likely than Republicans to say the U.S. government is designed to serve elites.

Republicans were the only subgroup in which a majority of respondents said the system works for everyone.

The poll, which had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, was taken between March 22 and 23, as lawmakers debated a relief package amid the coronavirus pandemic. The package contained a $4.5 trillion “slush fund” for powerful corporations while providing a one-time payment of $1,200 for a portion of working Americans and an expansion of some unemployment benefits.

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Despite Calls for Global Ceasefire, Trump Threatens War With Iran Amid COVID-19 3

Medical martial law, a ruling class looting spree, and escalating threats against Iran. The System is on the prowl.

By Andrea Germanos

Common Dreams

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on world economies, claims tens of thousands of lives, and cripples healthcare systems worldwide, President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to threaten to attack Iran and make the country “pay a very heavy price” for any “attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq.”

The threat comes on the heels of the Trump administration crippling Iran’s access to crucial medial supplies as it battles over 47,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 by ramping up a sanctions regime on Iran that leading economists said was “feeding the coronavirus epidemic” and progressive organizations and Democrats said must be eased in light of the deadly disease.

“Unsatisfied with a global pandemic and an economic collapse, Trump wants to add a major war into the mix,” Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War, said on Twitter in response to Trump’s tweet.

Miles detailed “a series of escalations” the White House has taken with Iran since Trump took office, including his 2018 formal departure from the Iranian nuclear deal.

“It’s impossible to say with certainty right now what is happening on the ground that’s leading to this latest talk of war, but one thing is clear, we did not have to be here,” said Miles. “The President chose to put us on this path and he continues to own the consequences of his actions.”

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Alaska’s Remote Villages Are Cutting Themselves Off to Avoid Even ‘One Single Case’ of Coronavirus Reply

By Alejandro de la Garza

Time

With a deadly coronavirus epidemic creeping northward and the nearest hospital 230 miles away, Galen Gilbert, First Chief of Arctic Village, Alaska, knew his 200-person town could not afford to take any chances. A single case of COVID-19 could lead to the virus quickly spreading around the tight-knit community, but anybody who needed hospitalization would likely face an overstretched medevac system. As national infection rates rose, the 32-year-old leader and his village made an agonizing decision: rather than risk a potentially devastating outbreak, Arctic Village cut itself off almost entirely from the outside world.

“It’s a sacrifice we have to do for our people, because it’s such a small community,” Gilbert says. “You gotta do what you gotta do to survive.”

In recent weeks, dozens of villages like Gilbert’s, mainly populated by indigenous Alaskans or Gwich’in and overseen by tribal authorities, have restricted or completely halted travel in order to keep COVID-19 at bay, in addition to instituting social distancing rules within their borders. Barring travel is an extreme measure for such isolated communities, but leaders say it’s better than risking outbreaks in settlements where a lack of local medical capacity means an infection could easily become a death sentence. “They really don’t have any way other than that to protect themselves,” says Victor Joseph, chief and chairman of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, an Alaska Native non-profit corporation that provides social and health services to 37 federally-recognized tribes spread across an area a bit smaller than the state of Texas.

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Federal prisons are fighting coronavirus with home release and a quarantine, but that may not be enough Reply

By Sean Collins

Vox

he Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced late Wednesday that, due to Covid-19 concerns, all of those incarcerated in federal facilities will be under quarantine for the next 14 days.

The guidelines come as a growing number of incarcerated people and prison employees have begun testing positive for and displaying symptoms indicative of the novel coronavirus, and represent the BOP’s latest effort to reduce the rate of transmission in federal facilities.

But while the new guidance is certainly better than taking no action, critics of the policy argue there are better ways to curb prison-based coronavirus cases: namely, improved sanitation and commuting sentences to reduce the number of people in prison.

While all 146,000 federally incarcerated people will be confined to their cells for two weeks, the BOP said they will be allowed into communal areas on a limited — and, as much as is possible, socially distant — basis to eat, do laundry, bathe, access the internet, and use the phone. Incarcerated people will also still have normal access to educational and mental health services. New prison arrivals will be reduced during the quarantine period.

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Innocent Prisoners Are Going to Die of the Coronavirus Reply

“Let my people go.” -Moses

By Barbara Bradley Hagerty

The Atlantic

While millions of Americans shelter in place, one group simply cannot escape the coronavirus: prisoners. Among them are hundreds of people who have plausible claims that they are innocent, whose cases were working their way through the courts—until the coronavirus ground regular court business to a halt. What these stories reveal is the threat the virus poses to prisoners, both innocent and guilty, and to the wider population as a whole.

Walter Ogrod is one of those prisoners. February 28 brought the news that Ogrod had been waiting for ever since he was convicted of killing a 4-year-old girl and placed on death row 23 years ago: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office told a court that Ogrod was “likely innocent,” and that his conviction was a “gross miscarriage of justice” based on evidence that was “false, unreliable, and incomplete.” He should be released. The judge set a hearing for March 27, then rescheduled it for June. Delays happen. Most everyone believed that Ogrod would soon walk out of prison.

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“Shelter in place” is impossible if you can’t afford a home Reply

By Roge Karma

Vox

As of March 31, 270 million people in at least 33 states, 89 counties, and 29 cities across the US have been urged by their government officials to stay home. While these policies often come with seismic life disruptions, the vast majority of Americans are taking them seriously. Most of us don’t even think twice about it: We just stay home.

But “stay-at-home” orders are impossible to follow if you don’t have a home in the first place. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that there are around 550,000 homeless individuals on any given night in America (others estimate that around 2 million people find themselves homeless in a given year).

The coronavirus has exposed the massive weaknesses in our already lacking social support infrastructure for the homeless. Shelters are too understaffed, under-resourced, and crowded to enforce proper social distancing and hygiene measures. Outdoor encampments lack basic sanitation. In some instances, the homeless are being shuttled into empty parking lots and told to sleep on asphalt.

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A new rallying cry among America’s working class: No one should pay rent until the coronavirus pandemic ends Reply

It’s fascinating to see an article like this in the Voice of the Deep State.

By Renae Merle, Heather Long and Patricia Sullivan

Washington Post

After losing his job as a restaurant cook last month, Casey James began contacting his Atlanta neighbors with an idea: No one should pay rent until the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Going door-to-door in some cases, James, 28, estimates he has talked to nearly 200 people. If everyone refused to pay, it would be harder for landlords to evict anyone, protecting those who had recently lost their jobs, he told them. “The reception has been total support; I was really surprised,” James said.

April 1 has loomed as a turning point in the coronavirus economic fallout for the country’s more than 40 million renters and 30 million small business owners. With millions laid off due to the pandemic, some are pulling money from their savings accounts, borrowing money from friends to pay rent or attempting to negotiate deals with their landlords.

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Neoliberals Co-opt AOC with Cultural Leftism Reply

The same pattern the US Left has followed since the 1970s.

A relevant observation from the comments section:

“I never drank the AOC kool aid. 90% of the interest in her derives from the fact that she’s a young woman of color and she’s from NYC, which we’re still supposed to believe is the center of the universe. If she had the same politics but were a white male from South Dakota, hardly anybody would know or care about her.”

Trump shifts tone with grim coronavirus warnings 1

President Trump’s coronavirus task force shared grim projections for the country’s future amid the coronavirus crisis, estimating that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die before the crisis is over. The tone of the press conference marks a stark departure from Mr. Trump’s previous media appearances, where he mostly touted the success of his administration’s response. Weijia Jiang is at the White House where she breaks down the president’s latest message.

Woody Guthrie — I Ain’t Got No Home/Old Man Trump by the Missin’ Cousins Reply

Supposedly, Woody Guthrie wrote a song in 1950 where he lyrically attacked his then-landlord, Fred Trump (Donald Trump’s father). Supposedly, the song was discovered a few years ago, and actually recorded by some contemporary musicians like Ani DiFranco and Tom Morello. I have no idea whether this story is true, a hoax, or an apocryphal tale, but if true, it’s funny as hell.

The ritualistic Trumphate coming from liberals, leftists, professional celebrities, entertainers, media personalities, activists, do-gooders, etc. doesn’t really interest me. They act like the sky fell in 2016 after they sucked off Barack (George Bush III) Obama for 8 years. Anyone who has watched Trump in the media for the last 40 years (like myself) knows he’s just another scumbag plutocrat.

But this is still funny.

 

Tucker: What will higher education look like after coronavirus? Reply

Universities, along with the mass media, are what I call the “New Church,” in the sense of being institutions that are the most responsible for establishing and dissemination the ideology and values of the ruling class, and subsequently using their institutional power to inculcate ruling class ideology in the masses (see the Marxist concept of the relationship between the base and the superstructure). Universities (whether they function as “private” corporations or state-owned industries) are profiteering operations whose purpose is to generate institutional wealth through student loan debt thralldom/indentured servitude.