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  Saturday 15th of May 2021 07:11 AM


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Thanksgiving in America: Massive food lines and evictions as benefits expire – WSWS

As this weeks Thanksgiving holiday approaches, a social catastrophe is unfolding across America on a scale not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

As of Sunday, there were more than 12.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US and nearly 257,000 deaths. The past week has seen an average of more than 170,000 cases per day, an increase of 59 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

Hospitals are being overrun by the surge of cases. Thousands of nurses at hospitals across the country are coming down with the virus, leaving hospitals short-staffed and placing patient care in extreme danger. In El Paso, Texas, a unit of 36 National Guard troops has been mobilized to work through a backlog of close to 240 bodies, victims of COVID-19, at the county morgue. The bodies will be loaded onto refrigerated trucks.

The Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism website, reports that as of November 17 at least 197,659 inmates in state and local prisons had contracted the virus and 1,454 had died, a likely undercount due to poor reporting.

As the rise of hospitalizations continues unabated, working-class families across the country are facing a crisis of hunger and poverty alongside the sickness and death from the pandemic. Tens of millions of workers have lost their jobs or been hit by cuts in pay or work hours.

Food lines that already stretch for miles, evictions and foreclosures, and the loss of health benefits are set to increase exponentially when what remains of government assistance runs out immediately after Christmas.

The hunger relief organization Feeding America warns that some 54 million US residents, or one in six, currently face food insecurity. Many families with children were already facing hunger before the pandemic hit.

In Arlington, Texas, 6,000 families arrived for a distribution of frozen turkeys outside a sports stadium on Friday. On November 14, people in Dallas waited up to 12 hours to receive a turkey, 20 pounds of nonperishables, 15 pounds of fresh produce and bags of bread. Photos of the lineup at the food bank showed thousands of cars backed up across four lanes, spanning several miles.

On Saturday in Los Angeles, some 1,000 people lined up on foot for a food distribution at a church.

The moratorium on evictions imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expires on December 31. Since the order does not cancel or freeze rents, all back rent will come due January 1. An estimated 11 to 13 million renter households are at risk of eviction, according to investment bank and global advisory firm Stout.

As no actual relief dollars have been provided by the government to help families with their rent, landlords have used unscrupulous tactics to illegally evict tenants. They have allowed conditions in rental units to deteriorate, leaving renters a choice between leaving or living with mold or infestations of bed bugs, roaches and maggots. Families forced out of their apartments face living on the streets, doubling up with relatives or friends or sleeping in sheltersall of which increase the danger of contracting COVID-19.

Many families struggling with paying for food and housing face the cutoff of remaining COVID-19 relief funds by the end of the year. Long gone is the $600 federal benefit to boost weekly unemployment benefits. According to the Century Foundation, 12 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits on December 26 when two major pandemic programs expire. Another 4.4 million will have already exhausted these benefits before they expire.

The two programs set to lapse are the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits to self-employed individuals not eligible for traditional state programs, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which extends an extra 13 weeks of benefits to people who exhaust state benefits. Both were established by Congress as part of the CARES Act, which doled out trillions of dollars to corporations and banks.

President Donald Trump makes no secret of his contempt for the US and world population facing death and impoverishment. Focused entirely on his plot to nullify the election and establish a presidential dictatorship, he says nothing about the rising toll of sickness and death or the inability of millions of families to pay the rent and put food on the table. On Saturday, he skipped a discussion on the pandemic at the G20 summit in order to play a round of golf at his Virginia resort.

A week ago, Trump made his first public statement in days to reiterate his opposition to a lockdown of the economy to contain the pandemic and save lives. Days later, Democratic President-elect Joe Biden gave a press conference and declared that a Biden administration would never impose a national lockdown. This followed the call by Michael Osterholm, a member of his own coronavirus advisory board, for a six-week nationwide lockdown and full pay for affected workers.

Both parties have conspired to block any congressional action to provide a new round of jobless benefits and other relief measures for workers and small businesses following the July 31 expiration of the minimal benefits provided under the CARES Act.

The public health disaster and the social crisis are two sides of a human catastrophe that is the result of deliberate policies carried out by the Trump administration and, in all essentials, backed by the Democrats. The bipartisan response to the pandemic is driven not by the goal of saving lives, but by the economic interests of the ruling corporate-financial oligarchy. The sole concern is to protect the wealth of the billionaires through government handouts and free money from the Federal Reserve, ensuring a record rise on the stock market.

The antisocial interests of the financial elite are the main obstacle to any effective measures to contain the pandemic and save lives. Nothing is permitted that infringes on the self-enrichment of moguls such as Amazons Jeff Bezos, who has doubled his personal fortune to $200 billion in the course of the pandemic.

And to pay for the bailout and explosion of corporate and government debt, workers are being forced into factories and workplaces that are rife with the virus so as to continue the flow of corporate profit. This is the dirty secret behind the back-to-work and back-to-school drive, the centerpiece of the deadly policy of herd immunity openly pursued by Trump and tacitly supported by Biden and the Democrats.

Workers are deliberately being driven to the edge of destitution and homelessness in order to force them back into the factories, workplaces and schools.

The corporatist trade unions are fully supporting the back-to-work and back-to-school drive, while covering up virus outbreaks in the factories and schools and policing the workplaces to block opposition by workers.

There is growing anger in the factories and among teachers. Many are following the lead of the Socialist Equality Party and the World Socialist Web Site and forming rank-and-file safety committees independent of the unions and the Democratic Party to coordinate action in defense of workers health and lives.

Only the independent intervention of the working class in opposition to both capitalist parties and the profit system they defend can produce a progressive and humane solution to both the pandemic and the social crisis.

The struggle to save lives and livelihoods is a struggle against the capitalist system. It requires the expropriation of the corporate oligarchy and utilization of its vast wealth to shut down all nonessential production until the pandemic is contained, provide full wages and income protection for laid-off workers, ensure safe working conditions for essential workers and marshal the resources needed to rebuild the health care system and provide free health care for all.

Workers and educators should establish rank-and-file safety committees at every workplace and school to enforce safe working conditions, organize strike action where necessary, and prepare the ground for a political general strike to halt the destruction of workers lives and livelihoods.

Economic life must be reorganized along socialist lines through the nationalization of the health care industry, the banks and the major corporations under the democratic control of the working class, so as to base the economy on social need, not private profit.

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Thanksgiving in America: Massive food lines and evictions as benefits expire - WSWS

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VaLegalAid.org – A guide to free and low cost civil legal …

What does Virginia law say about bed bugs in rental housing?

Virginia law does not specifically mention bed bugs. The law does not explicitly say whether landlords or tenants are responsible for getting rid of bed bugs. Virginia law does require all landlords to follow building and housing codes affecting health and safety, and to make all repairs needed to keep the place fit and habitable. Because bed bugs make rental housing not habitable, this generally means landlords are responsible for getting rid of bed bugs.

Under Code of Virginia 55-248.16 and 55-225.4 a tenant must do three things.

Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes affecting health and safety.

Keep that part of the premises the tenant occupies free from insects and pests.

Promptly notify the landlord of the existence of any insects or pests.

No. Under Virginia law Code of Virginia 55-248.16(A)(14) and 55-225.4(A)(14) the tenant shall be financially responsible for the added cost of treatment or extermination due to the tenants unreasonable delay in reporting the existence of any insects or pests and be financially responsible for the cost of treatment or extermination due to the tenants fault in failing to prevent infestation of any insects or pests in the area occupied.

Under Virginia law, fault means the omission of some duty which the tenant ought to perform, and is almost the same thing as negligence.

Yes. Since July 1, 2018, this new law applies to all tenants. You are a tenant if you pay regular amounts of rent during regular time periods, such as once a month or once a week. You also are a tenant if you have lived in a hotel or motel for more than 90 days, or you are subject to a written lease for a period of more than 90 days. You are not a tenant if you have lived in a hotel or motel for less than 90 days.

A tenant is responsible for cost of treatment only in two situations.

The added cost of treatment or extermination due to the tenants unreasonable delay in reporting the existence of any insects or pests.

The cost of treatment or extermination due to the tenants fault in failing to prevent infestation of any insects or pests.

Many landlords do not understand the law, and believe they may bill tenants for the cost of bed bug treatment in all situations. However, other than the two situations listed above, there is no legal authority that allows a landlord to require a tenant to pay for the cost of bed bug treatment. Anything in the lease that says otherwise cannot be enforced by the landlord against the tenant.

If a landlord does bill a tenant for the cost of bed bug treatment, the tenant should not ignore the bill. The tenant should write the landlord a reply letter. The letter should say the tenant denies owing the bill because the tenant has no responsibility to pay for the cost of bed bug treatment. The letter also should say that none of the future payments (rent or otherwise) to the landlord may be applied to the bill for the cost of bed bug treatment.

In addition, when the tenant makes future payments (rent or otherwise) to the landlord, the tenant should write a letter with each payment. The letter should say exactly how the payment is to be used (for example, for July rent). The letter also should say that none of the payment may be applied to the bill for the cost of bed bug treatment. Finally, if the landlord files a lawsuit against the tenant because the tenant did not pay for the cost of bed bug treatment, the tenant should get legal help right away.

Under Code of Virginia 55-248.13 and 55-225.3, a landlord must do two things.

Comply with applicable building and housing codes affecting health and safety.

Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.

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Bed Bug News Reports Bed Bugs in Virginia

Just like the Oscar awards ceremony and the SuperBowl, once per year its time for the annual Top 50 Most Bedbug Infested Cities competition. Can I have the envelope? please. These are the cities that will get the most local TV and newspaper coverage of the Bedbug Wars, in the next few months, on the BedBugNewsReports.com

Im MrBedBug, Chief SpokesBug for FLfresh.com and EcoBugFREE, the BedBug Eliminator. I am a TV star on MrBedBug-TV on YouTube and Editor of the BedBug News Reports.com

Here is the List by Ranking [and if they moved UP+ or DOWN- from last year]

#1 Chicago Il. [Congratulate our 2-time winner] #2 Los Angeles Ca. (+1) #3 Columbus, Ohio (+3) #4 Detroit Mi.(-2) #5 Cincinnati Oh. #6 Cleveland/Akron/Canton Oh. (+2) #7 Dayton Oh. (+4) #8 Washington DC. (-1) #9 Denver Co. (-5) #10 Indianapolis In. (+6) #11 Richmond/Petersburg Va. (+1) #12 Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, NC. (+3) #13 Dallas/Ft. Worth Tx. (-4) #14 Syracuse NY. (+7) #15 Atlanta Ga.(+14) #16 Houston Tx. (+2) #17 New York City NY. (-7) #18 Seattle/Tacoma Wa. (-5) #19 San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose Ca. (-5) #20 Boston Ma. (+2) #21 Milwaukee Wi.(-2) #22 Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Fl. (+3) #23 Nashville Tn. (+17) #24 Pittsburgh Pa. (+12) #25 Charlotte NC. (+18) #26 San Diego Ca.(+6) #27 Baltimore Md. (-7) #28 Phoenix Az. (+7) #29 Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa (+4) #30 Charleston/Huntington, W.Va. (+1) #31 Knoxville, Tenn. (-4) #32 Louisville, Ky. (-2) #33 Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, Mich. (+5) #34 Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (-8) #35 Champaign / Springfield, Ill. (+13) #36 Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, S.C. (+11) #37 Omaha, Neb. (-20) #38 Buffalo, N.Y. (-10) #39 Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, []

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Bed Bug News Reports Bed Bugs in Virginia

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Virginia Bed Bug Hotel and Apartment Reports …

Bed Bug Hotel and Apartment Reports. Click on the city below to find our latest bed bug reports in Virginia on hotels. To report a new bed bug incident, navigate to our city page below to see further details.

Recommended tips after hotel check-in: 1. Pick up the mattresses in the rooms and look under it. Check around the edges of the box springs. 2. Check under the box spring. 3. Lift up each headboard an lay it on the bed. Carefully inspect the hole where the headboard was lifted out of. Also, inspect all niches and corners of the headboard. 4. If you decide to stay in the hotel, do not put any clothes in dressers. Keep them in your luggage and your dirty clothes in plastic bags.

On March 10, 2020, Checked in around 8:30 PM. The room was okay and went to the bed and woke up around 1 am with about 8 bed bug bites on my wife's right eye, face and neck area. Reported to info desk...

We checked into the hotel on 2/15/2020 for a 1 night stay. At approximately 1030pm we pulled the covers back on the bed to find several visible bedbugs. I called the front desk to report and was told...

This happened Saturday January 18, 2020. This was bed bugs. I woke up with 9 bites. This was at the Wyndham Oceanfront hotel. I wrote a review on their website & it was deleted the next day. I called ...

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Virginia Bed Bug Hotel and Apartment Reports ...

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15 Bugs In Virginia That Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine

According to InsectIdentification.org, a site that lists species of insects, arachnids and other creepy crawlies by state, there are more than 300 well-documented species of bugs (a term I will use to include anything that crawls around and isnt obviously a mammal) in Virginia. However, entomologists andresearchers estimate more than 20,000 species of bugs and buggy-like creatures call Virginia home. Thats a LOT of bugs. Obviously, I am not going to list them all here. Instead, Im going to show you a few that I find particularly disturbingand a few that you may not be familiar with. So here goesenjoy!

This lovely lady was photographed in Dyke Marsh and was close to 2-3" in width. The Wolf Spider of Virginia is actually called the "Carolina Wolf Spider" and is the largest of its kind in North America. Although the only threat they present to humans is that they may make your heart stop beating if you encounter one unexpectedly, they hunt their prey by waiting at the mouth of their burrow by day or in active hunting "expeditions" at night. And word to the wise, you might want to keep the Barry White CDs to a minimum as these bad boys tend to wander inside during mating season.

Photographed in Markham, this Differential Grasshopper seemed rather attached to his apple. These "little" fellows grow to be nearly 2" long, so even with their brownish yellow coloring, they don't always blend in to the woodwork.

Despite their cute name, these creepy crawlies are just.well, creepy. Also known as Harvestmen, they are completely harmless to humans. Speaking of which, it's time to dispel a rumor about these long-legged bugs. It's been commonly cited that they are the most venomous insects around, but that their mouths are too small to bite humans. In fact, none of the known species - and there are more than 6,500 worldwide - are venomous. Instead of fangs, they actually have grasping claws, but in keeping with the myth, those are, in fact, too weak to break human skin. So we're safe. For now.

From a distance, a Daddy Longlegs might not be so badbut this? No thanks.

I've tried to identify this onebut I can't seem to find it anywhere! Any bug experts out there know what this is? These guys creep me out beyond belief. I'm hoping they're called "The Great North American Care Bear Bug" or something equally soothinganything to overcome that exterior. This photo was taken in Centreville, so this"thing"clearly lives in our state.

Ugh. These stealthy little bugs are known to lurk in dark, damp spaces (and that can often mean your basement) and are identified by their abdominal pincers. They are mostly nocturnal and shy, coming out to feed at night. I now realize that the last sentence just made them sound even creepier than they are..which is pretty creepy. So let's go ahead and cross every boundary and talk about their name. An old wives' tale says that they climb through the human ear canal to burrow into the brain and lay eggs. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be a common trait of earwigsbut I'll be sleeping with earplugs just in case.

Although the tail looks pretty scary, it's actually not a stinger. Found on females, the Pelecinid Wasp uses it to deposit her eggs on the backs of grubs living underground. So there's that. No stinging, just underground, egg-carrying grubs. Hmmmmm.

Ok, sure, it sounds like something out of James Bond. But these guys are the real deal. They may be little, but they are vicious. They use their strong beaks to stab their prey to deathrepeatedlyand violently..then they suck their body fluids out. And, while they are non-venomous, they can leave a pretty uncomfortable bite on humans. The photo here is of a nymph of the Wheel Bug Assassin. So, yes, it gets bigger. Good luck with that.

I have to admit - I kind of like this guy. No, they are not small. Yes, they are a little intimidating. Oh, and the males have pincers on their heads and like to fight each other with them. But fear not, they are harmless to humans. As part of the Rhinoceros Beetle family, they can be found in hardwood forests in the Eastern U.S. This one was photographed at the Mattaponi Wildlife Management Area.

This bug has remarkable color, but it's a bit of a snake in the grass. Only recently added to the ever-growing list of destructive tree-killers, the Emerald Ash Borer has made its way to Virginia from its native Asia. This invasive species reproduces quickly and poses a serious threat to our state's native ash trees.

YUCK. That's all I, personally, have to say about this creature. But given that my job is to provide actual information, I'll follow up with a few facts. Fact 1: Camel Crickets are gross. Fact 2: They feed after dark. My guess is on the hopes and dreams of unsuspecting humans, but the fact book says they're actually just after plants and maybe some other insects. Fact 3: They are known to come inside during the fall and winter, usually to basements and other low-lying areas. Fact 4: They are grossand like other crickets, they are very, very bouncy. Fact 5: You probably shouldn't go in your basement during the fall and winter.

I swear I didn't make this name up. But go figure, it's another type of assassin bug. And like the others, they can leave painful bites on humans. But wait! There's good news. The Masked Hunter usually feeds on bed bugs. So if you find them in your houseoh wait, that means you have bed bugs. Hmmm

They're harmless for the most part. I know this. You know this. But given that the females lay their eggs in piles of their own feces, they are a little gross. Add to that, some species are toxicso, you probably shouldn't eat them. They tend to hang out in dark, damp space, so you're most likely to encounter them under vegetation like dead leaves in wooded areas.

Every bit as dangerous as her name sounds, the female of this species is very venomous. Identified by the red hourglass on her belly, this tricky lady isn't shy about spinning her webs in populated placesso be on the lookout. Males, on the other hand, lack venom AND the hourglass, although they also have red markings.

Anyone who knows me knows my aversion to this bug. It's probably an unhealthy phobia stemming from some forgotten childhood trauma, but seriouslythese are the nastiest bugs I know. However, I have been told they are harmless. As the largest cockroaches in Virginia, they are not overly common (as they are in some of the more southern states.) Not indigenous to the United States, they mostly likely came from Africa aboard cargo ships, but have thrived in humid and tropical climates in the U.S.

The list wouldn't be complete without these pesky little guys. They are harmless, except for the foul odor they emit when squashed -- or even just touched. But they are EVERYWHERE. The Brown Marmorated Stinkbug (Virginia's most common), was only first discovered in the Eastern United States in 1998. For a relatively recent arrival, they have flourished, invading homes in droves in the cooler months. If you've been in Virginia the past few years, you know what I'm talking about.

So now that you know a few of my biggest fearsI mean, bugs that I find the creepiest, tell me about yours! Clearly, this cannot be the full list of bugs in Virginia, so I would love to hear about a few that your find particularly bothersome in the comments below!

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15 Bugs In Virginia That Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine

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