Mar 022020

John Vachon Big Four Cafe, Cairo, Illinois 1940


China Leaves Asymptomatic Patients off Coronavirus Infection Tally (Caixin)
Epidemic Won’t Spark Financial Crisis In China (Global Times)
CDC Retesting Patient After Testing Negative, Being Released (KSAT)
CDC Testing Limits May Have Delayed Coronavirus Response (HP)
US Agency Investigating Production Of Faulty Coronavirus Test Kits (R.)
Murder Probe Sought For South Korea Sect At Center Of Coronavirus Outbreak (R.)
China Gives Relief to Shield Trillions of Yuan in Bad Debt (BBG)
Australia Warns It Can’t Stop The Spread Of Coronavirus From Overseas (R.)
Indonesia Confirms First Cases, Linked To Japanese Citizen In Malaysia (SCMP)
Japan’s Factory Activity Shrinks At Fastest Pace Since 2016 (R.)
Buttigieg Drops Out Of Democratic Race Two Days Before Super Tuesday (R.)
Klobuchar Cancels Campaign Rally After Protests (Hill)
Tulsi Gabbard Urges Trump: Don’t Drag Us Into War With Russia (ZH)
Assange Enters The Kangaroo Court (MStar)
EU Accepts Greek Demand For Emergency Foreign Affairs Council (K.)




Cases 89,248 (+ 1,616 from yesterday’s 87,632)

Deaths 3,058 (+ 64 from yesterday’s 2,994)


Everyone just dances on. China pretends it’s fine, and the Global Times assures us there will be no financial crisis. As the US CDC is found painfully wanting on multiple fronts. As Super Tuesday draws near, Trump will be criticized heavily for the US response to COVID19, especially now the first US deaths are on the tally. But though he certainly stumbles his way awkwardly through, the CDC would be what it is no matter which party is in charge.

And while western governments, along with China, have no strong desire to perform the best testing they can, because it can only make them look worse, “newly infected” countries like Nigeria (190 million) and Indonesia (260 million), don’t have the desire, and not the means either. This will keep official infection numbers low(er), but does that mean we can all go visit without any worries?


From SCMP:



From Worldometer (Note: mortality rate fell to 6%):



A more complete pic of





“If you don’t have symptoms, it’s not an illness,” he said. “There’s no need to announce it.”

And at the same time, the first lung transplant:

Twitter: “Oh gosh – first lung transplant done for a #COVID19 patient. Hope only a fraction of the 20% severe cases ever need this. Though there is currently 50% 28-day mortality if someone enters ICU (based on China data). But what % or total infected will need ICU? Unclear.”

China Leaves Asymptomatic Patients off Coronavirus Infection Tally (Caixin)

China’s decision to exclude individuals who carry the new coronavirus but show no symptoms from the country’s public tally of infections has drawn debate over whether this approach obscures the scope of the epidemic, with a document received by Caixin showing a significant proportion of one province’s cases show no symptoms. Since early February, the National Health Commission (NHC) has concluded that “asymptomatic infected individuals” can infect others and demanded local authorities to report those cases. However, the commission has also decided not to include these people in its statistics for “confirmed cases” or indeed to release data on asymptomatic cases.

On Feb. 25, in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province there were 104 asymptomatic infected individuals, according to a Feb. 26 Heilongjiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention document obtained by Caixin. That same day the province said it had 480 “confirmed cases,” a tally which did not include the 104 asymptomatic cases. In its Jan. 28 virus prevention and control plan, the NHC demanded the prompt detection and reporting of those with light or no symptoms. According to a document obtained by Caixin, the Heilongjiang CDC confirmed its first asymptomatic individual on Feb. 1 and asked the NHC for permission to leave the case off its public list of confirmed cases.

[..] two days after the fourth edition of the NHC’s Covid-19 guidelines released on Feb. 7 said asymptomatic cases should be reported separately and excluded from the confirmed case tally, Heilongjiang removed 13 asymptomatic infected individuals from its tally of “confirmed cases.” However, multiple studies from both Chinese and overseas researchers have been published, suggesting that individuals infected with Covid-19 can be contagious even if they do not feel ill.

In earlier guidelines, asymptomatic individuals were supposed to be observed and treated at home. But by the fifth edition of the NHC guidlines released Feb. 21, they had to undergo a 14-day quarantine as well as test negative in two separate nucleic acid tests before being released. Health authorities have also developed criteria to determine whether an asymptomatic individual is the source of infection in any given cluster. Nevertheless, at a Feb. 14 press conference, NHC deputy director Zeng Yixin said that the country would only publicize “suspected” and “confirmed cases.” “If you don’t have symptoms, it’s not an illness,” he said. “There’s no need to announce it.”

Read more …

The Party speaks. It’s not feeling well.

Epidemic Won’t Spark Financial Crisis In China (Global Times)

China is not facing a financial system crisis, despite mounting pressure from the coronavirus epidemic on the economy and global stock market routs, but further macro stabilizing measures, including more liquidity injections, might be necessary, analysts said on Sunday. Ominous signals have begun to suggest that the epidemic might have hit the Chinese economy harder than some had expected, which in turn has fueled speculation that China might face a financial crisis. On Saturday, official data showed that China’s manufacturing sector may have experienced a sharp downturn in February worse than during the global financial crisis in 2008.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 35.7 in February, the lowest level on record, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The non-manufacturing PMI plunged to 29.6, deep in contraction territory. The downbeat data followed hefty losses in the Chinese A-share market on Friday amid a worldwide stock market rout due to concerns over the coronavirus epidemic. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plummeted 3.71 percent on Friday to drop below the psychologically important level of 3,000. The index lost 4.87 percent for the week. Although the Chinese stock market fared better than Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 12 percent last week, concerns over a potential downtrend in the A-share market or even a broader financial crisis grew.

“Suggestions that China is facing risk of a financial crisis are just absurd,” Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Sunday. “If anything, China’s A-share market is facing an upward trajectory given the fact that it has been at its historic lows and that the economic fundamentals have not changed.” [..] In light of moves by China’ s central bank to inject liquidity and local governments to support businesses, some argue the potential risks of a spike in non-performing loans among local governments could cause a financial crisis.

But Dong said that China’s government debt level remains significantly lower than those of developed countries and banks are among the world’s biggest and most regulated. “Everything is very much under control,” he said. China’s A-share market might be at the start of a bull run, according to Yang Delong, chief economist at Shenzhen-based First Seafront Fund. “US stocks have reached its top, whereas the A-share market is bottoming out. Therefore I think the A-share market will increase by 20 percent this year,” he wrote in a note sent to the Global Times on Sunday.

Read more …

The CDC is being exposed as a pretty incompetent entiry.

CDC Retesting Patient After Testing Negative, Being Released (KSAT)

A patient released from isolation in San Antonio on Saturday is being retested for the coronavirus at a local health facility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials say the patient met the criteria for release after testing negative for the virus twice. Both of the tests were administered more than 24 hours apart. However, the patient later returned to isolation after a pending lab test came up positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the CDC. The patient was isolated when they were treated at the local medical facility for several weeks after returning from Wuhan, China, on a State Department chartered flight, the CDC says. Out of caution, the CDC says the individual was brought back into isolation at a local medical facility and is getting retested.

The patient did have contact with others while outside of isolation, and health officials are working to trace others that may have been exposed. Metro Health is working to track where the patient went, who they interacted with, the time frames they spent outside of the quarantined facility and who may have been exposed, officials say.“This is an unfolding situation with many unknowns. CDC is making decisions on a case-by-case basis using the best available science at the time. CDC’s priority is to protect both patients and communities,” said the CDC in part, in a press release. Several Texas officials are speaking out after the CDC’s announcement that a patient was released into San Antonio with possible coronavirus exposure. Mayor Ron Nirenberg says it’s unacceptable that CDC officials released the patient and allowed the public exposure.

Read more …

You could be minutes from death, but if you didn’t visit China or French kiss with someone who did, no tests for you.

CDC Testing Limits May Have Delayed Coronavirus Response (HP)

Genetic sequencing of two cases of the novel coronavirus in Washington suggests the disease had been circulating in the state for six weeks — but went undetected because of strict testing restrictions set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a scientist who compared the genetic fingerprints. The study of the coronavirus contracted by a high school student in Snohomish County north of Seattle links the illness to the very first COVID-19 case in the nation, a man who tested positive Jan. 19 after returning to his home in Snohomish county from China. He has since recovered, but the illness was passed on, undetected, via community transmission for “the past six weeks,” noted Trevor Bedford, an associate professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington.

He attributed the lack of earlier detection of an “already substantial outbreak” to the CDC’s “narrow case definition requiring direct travel to China” (or contact with someone known to be ill with coronavirus) before people could be tested. [..] Besides restrictions until recently on when it could be used, the test created by the CDC in early February initially only worked predictably in a handful of labs. Early detection is critical so that people can begin treatment and be isolated before passing on the virus to someone else. As of Friday, fewer than 500 people had been tested in the U.S., according to the CDC, compared with countries like South Korea, where 65,000 have been tested.

[..] Dr. Jeff Duchin, public health officer for Seattle and King County, complained about the testing system Saturday when addressing the first coronavirus death in the nation in Kirkland, Washington. “Testing capacity is so limited,” he said at a press conference. The state public health lab only began testing for COVID-19 on Friday, but officials hope soon to be able to also rely on commercial and university labs. “If we had the ability to test earlier, I’m sure we would have identified patients earlier,” said Duchin. [..] To ease the testing logjam, the FDA announced Saturday that labs and hospitals across the nation will now be able to conduct the test for COVID-19 and won’t have to wait for results from the CDC.

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You can always export them to Africa.

US Agency Investigating Production Of Faulty Coronavirus Test Kits (R.)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Sunday that it is investigating a manufacturing defect in some initial coronavirus test kits that prompted some states to seek emergency approval to use their own test kits. On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state would immediately begin using its own test kit developed in-state after asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday for permission to do so. The FDA said on Saturday it would allow some laboratories to immediately use tests they have developed and validated to achieve more rapid testing capacity for the coronavirus. On Sunday, New York confirmed its first case of coronavirus.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement on Sunday that “upon learning about the test issue from CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), FDA worked with CDC to determine that problems with certain test components were due to a manufacturing issue. We worked hand in hand with CDC to resolve the issues with manufacturing.” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday the United States has 75,000 test kits on hand “and over the next week that will expand radically.” He said over 3,600 people in the United States have been tested to date. Hahn added that the “FDA has confidence in the design and current manufacturing of the test that already have and are continuing to be distributed. These tests have passed extensive quality control procedures.”

Read more …

Also for Chinese government, western governments? They also hid facts.

As for Seoul, they tested only a few 1000 of the 317,320 Shincheonji members and “trainees”..

Murder Probe Sought For South Korea Sect At Center Of Coronavirus Outbreak (R.)

The government of Seoul asked for a murder investigation into leaders of a Christian sect at the center of the country’s deadly coronavirus outbreak, saying the church was liable for its refusal to cooperate with efforts to stop the disease. A large majority of the more than 4,000 confirmed cases of the South Korean outbreak, the largest outside China and still growing, have been linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a secretive movement that reveres founder Lee Man-hee. Park Won-soon, mayor of Seoul, said if Lee and other leaders of the church had cooperated, effective preventive measures could have saved those who later died of the virus. “The situation is this serious and urgent, but where are the leaders of the Shincheonji, including Lee Man-hee, the chief director of this crisis?” Park said in a post on his Facebook page late on Sunday.

Seoul’s city government said in a separate statement that it had filed a criminal complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, asking for an investigation of Lee and 12 others on charges of murder and disease control act violations. The prosecutors’ office said it had received the complaint and was reviewing it. Health authorities said the vast majority of the 3,000 cases confirmed in Daegu, another Korean city, were linked to a branch of the church there, where a person who had tested positive in February attended services twice. [..] Health authorities said they have obtained a list of 317,320 Shincheonji members and “trainees”, but have been told by some local governments that it was not exhaustive.

Read more …

When money is your only answer to all questions.

China Gives Relief to Shield Trillions of Yuan in Bad Debt (BBG)

China’s financial regulators will allow the nation’s lenders to delay recognizing bad loans from smaller businesses reeling from the deadly coronavirus outbreak, giving temporary reprieve to trillions of yuan of debt. Qualified small- and medium-sized businesses nationwide with principal or interest due between Jan. 25 and June 30 can apply for a delay to the end of the second quarter, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory said in a joint statement with the central bank on Sunday. In Hubei province, the center of the outbreak, the waiver applies to all companies, including large firms, according to the statement. Chinese banks are taking extraordinary steps to avoid recognizing bad loans, seeking to protect themselves and cash-strapped borrowers from the economic fallout of the epidemic, as Bloomberg News reported last week.

Regulators told lenders not to downgrade loans with missed payments or report delinquencies to the country’s centralized credit-scoring system before the end of June, according to the statement. The push by banks and regulators to ease the wave of debt going bad is part of a broader effort by President Xi Jinping’s government to shore up the Chinese economy, which some forecasters predict may suffer a rare quarter-on-quarter contraction to start 2020. Gross domestic product may shrink by 2.5% in the first quarter, Nomura Holdings Inc. economists led by Lu Ting said in a report on Saturday, after the country’s manufacturing sector reported record-low activity in February. In addition to pumping billions of yuan into the banking system to make it easier for lenders to extend credit, authorities have cut interest rates, reduced taxes and pledged to adopt more “proactive” fiscal policies.

Read more …

It’s a choice, a trade-off. Close the borders OR get infected.

Australia Warns It Can’t Stop The Spread Of Coronavirus From Overseas (R.)

Australia’s chief medical officer said on Monday it was no longer possible to completely prevent people with the coronavirus from entering the country, citing concerns about outbreaks in Japan and South Korea. Australia, one of the first countries to put restrictions on its borders in a bid to limit the spread of the virus, confirmed its first death from the disease on Sunday. “It is no longer possible to absolutely prevent new cases coming in,” Brendan Murphy, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, told reporters in Canberra. “We have got concerns about Japan and South Korea. They are working hard to control their outbreaks but we are still concerned that people in those countries and other high risk countries may present with an infection.”

The chief medical officer’s comments came as Australian officials confirmed the country’s 30th case of coronavirus, a 40-year old man who arrived in Australia’s second most populated city, Melbourne from Iran. He later travelled to Tasmania. Meanwhile, Australia named the 78-year old man who became the country’s first person to die from coronavirus as James Kwan. He was a passenger on the Diamond Princess ship that was held off Japan’s coast for weeks. Kwan and his wife, who also has the virus, were transferred back to Australia for treatment. Australia barred entry from Feb. 1 to any foreigners who had travelled through China in the two weeks prior to arriving in Australia. It extended that ban to Iran on Sunday. Both bans are in force until at least March 7. Australian citizens and permanent residents are exempted.

Read more …

That country of 260 million with a very sparse health care system. That has neither the desire nor the means to count its victims.

Indonesia Confirms First Cases, Linked To Japanese Citizen In Malaysia (SCMP)

Two Indonesians have tested positive for the coronavirus after being in contact with an infected Japanese national, Indonesian President Joko Widodo revealed on Monday, marking the first confirmed cases in the world’s fourth most populous country. The two had been hospitalised in Jakarta, Widodo told reporters at the presidential palace in the capital. The president said a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter had tested positive after being in contact with a Japanese national who lived in Malaysia and was found to have the virus after returning from a trip to Indonesia. Widodo said an Indonesian medical team had traced the movements of the Japanese visitor before uncovering the cases.

“After checks, they were in a sick state. This morning I got a report that the mother and the daughter tested positive for coronavirus,” said Widodo, who said they were being treated at Jakarta’s Sulianti Saroso infectious diseases hospital. Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto told reporters the Japanese visitor was a friend of the two women’s family and had visited their house. He said authorities were checking who else the Japanese visitor may have come into contact with. The confirmation of the first cases of coronavirus came after authorities had defended their screening processes, with some medical experts raising concerns of a lack of vigilance and a risk of undetected cases in the Southeast Asian country of more than 260 million people.

Read more …

Who could have predicted that?

Japan’s Factory Activity Shrinks At Fastest Pace Since 2016 (R.)

Japan’s factory activity was hit by its sharpest contraction in nearly four years in February, raising a red flag over manufacturing in the world’s third-largest economy as the impact from the coronavirus outbreak spreads. The manufacturing slowdown offers the clearest evidence yet of the epidemic’s damaging effects on global growth and businesses and is likely to ramp up pressure on Japanese policymakers to boost growth. The au Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slipped to a seasonally-adjusted 47.8 from a final 48.8 in the previous month. The February reading was its lowest since May 2016.

The index stayed below the 50.0 threshold that separates contraction from expansion for a 10th month, marking the longest stretch since a 16-month run to June 2009 during the global financial crisis. “Near-term prospects for Japan’s industrial sector appear very bleak,” said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey. “Weakness was driven by the demand-side in a broad-based fashion. Consumer, intermediate and capital goods producers recorded faster declines in demand and overall order books fell at the sharpest rate in over seven years.” The pressure on the world’s third-largest economy has built rapidly during the past weeks as the virus outbreak is dealing a sharp blow to China’s economy, Asia’s biggest.

Read more …

Good DNC boy. All against Bernie.

Buttigieg Drops Out Of Democratic Race Two Days Before Super Tuesday (R.)

Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday, saying he no longer saw a chance of winning, the day after fellow moderate Joe Biden won a big victory in South Carolina. The move shook up the Democratic contest to pick a candidate to take on Republican President Donald Trump in November’s election and came two days before the 14-state Super Tuesday nominating contests that will offer the biggest electoral prize so far. Buttigieg, a 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who gained early momentum after he narrowly won the Iowa caucuses last month and finished a close second in New Hampshire, had sought to unite Democrats, independents and moderate Republican voters.

But he finished a distant third in Nevada and fourth in South Carolina. “Today is a moment of truth … the truth is that the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” Buttigieg told supporters in South Bend on Sunday night. “Our goal has always been to unify Americans to help defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values.” [..] An adviser told Reuters that Buttigieg was dropping out to avoid helping the odds of front-runner Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont and self-described democratic socialist. “Pete was not going to play the role of spoiler,” said the adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Could he have went through Super Tuesday and beyond? Sure. But this was not a vanity exercise.”

Read more …

Klobuchar out today? Place your bets. She has zero chance, but can take away votes from Sleepy Joe. They’ll keep Warren in, so she can dig into Bernie’s support.

And as all the TV clowns talk about Bernie’s support among black voters, check this:

“Klobuchar was the lead attorney in the county at the time of his initial trial, and she later denied a request for him to attend his mother’s funeral after he was imprisoned.”

Klobuchar Cancels Campaign Rally After Protests (Hill)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) canceled a campaign rally in St. Louis Park, Minn., on Sunday after protesters reportedly affiliated with Black Lives Matter and other civil rights groups took the stage at her event for over an hour. In a statement obtained by The New York Times, Klobuchar’s campaign said the senator offered to meet with demonstrators in exchange for them exiting the stage and allowing her rally to proceed, adding that the protesters initially agreed to such terms before reportedly backing out and refusing to leave the stage.

“The campaign offered a meeting with the senator if they would leave the stage after being on the stage for more than an hour,” a spokesperson for the Klobuchar campaign told the Times. “After initially agreeing, the group backed out, and we are now canceling the event.” The campaign did not immediately return a request for further comment from The Hill. Klobuchar has faced calls to suspend her campaign from Black Lives Matter and NAACP activists over her role in the criminal prosecution of Myon Burrell, an African American man who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison while still a teenager. Klobuchar was the lead attorney in the county at the time of his initial trial, and she later denied a request for him to attend his mother’s funeral after he was imprisoned.

Burrell’s case has become a point of criticism for Klobuchar’s campaign, as many including the victim’s father believe he may have been wrongfully convicted. “What I need people to understand is this isn’t about partisanship and this isn’t about politics,” said Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, in January. “This is about justice. … This isn’t just a situation that happened to the Central Park Five alone. This is a situation that happens all around America. This is a situation that happens right here in Minnesota.” “Young people, young adults were given life sentences to rot away in prison,” he added at the time. “This benefits no one. However, it does benefit politicians who use the criminal justice system to benefit their political careers. Enough is enough.”

Read more …

But Tulsi is still running.

Tulsi Gabbard Urges Trump: Don’t Drag Us Into War With Russia (ZH)

Tulsi Gabbard has once again gone on the offensive, skewering Washington mainstream foreign policy and the Trump administration’s refusal to stand up to “dictator” Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Trump reportedly told Erdogan in a phone call last week as the Idlib crisis escalates, now in an open state of war between the Turkish and Syrian armies, and with Russia supporting the latter, that the US “reaffirmed” its support for Turkey in Idlib. Ankara is now demanding greater support from NATO as well, after Russian jets were widely believed behind last Thursday’s massive air strike which killed 33 Turkish soldiers.

Congresswoman and Democratic presidential hopeful Gabbard attacked this stance in a weekend video statement, urging Trump instead to make clear that “the United States will not be dragged into a war with Russia by the aggressive Islamist expansionist dictator of Turkey via NATO.” She also slammed the mainstream media’s efforts to renew holding up al-Qaeda terrorists on the ground in Idlib as mere “rebels” and “freedom fighters” — saying it’s a disgrace to men and women in uniform who signed up to fight terrorists in the wake of 9/11. “Turkey’s been supporting ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists from behind the scenes for years,” she pointed out. “Turkey’s Erdogan wants to create an Islamist caliphate in Syria, reestablish the Islamist Ottoman Empire, and is working with al-Qaeda and other terrorists to achieve his goal.” “He wants to be the caliph,” she added, explaining further he’s not a “friend” of America, but remains one of the most dangerous dictators in the world.

Read more …

A kangaroo court in a banana republic.

Assange Enters The Kangaroo Court (MStar)

The most visually striking aspect of the Woolwich courtroom is where Assange sits — in a box covered by bullet-proof glass. This obviously unnecessary “security” measure was aimed at portraying Assange as a dangerous, violent terrorist who must be restrained at all times. Not only was the bullet-proof box dehumanising and degrading, it also made it impossible for Assange to participate in his own defence — a basic principle of due process. Assange could barely even hear the proceedings, let alone communicate with his legal team. Any communications that did occur in the box were not confidential since he was flanked at all times by at least one security guard. On Wednesday, Assange finally had enough. He stood up and began to address the judge, requesting he be permitted to properly communicate with his own lawyers.

The judge cut him off and sent the court into recess rather than allow him to speak. When the court reconvened, Assange’s lawyer formally requested Assange be permitted to sit with his legal team — a position that astonishingly was supported by the lawyer for the prosecution, who apparently found the whole set-up so gross as to discredit the entire proceeding. Yet still, the judge would not relent and Assange remained caged like an animal. However the abuse in the courtroom pales in comparison to the abuse behind closed doors in Belmarsh prison. The night after the trial opened, prison authorities relentlessly harassed Assange. He was shuffled from room to room all night, stripped naked and handcuffed multiple times throughout the ordeal. His legal papers were also confiscated.

When the defence lawyers complained the following day in court, the judge shrugged her shoulders and said that she had no authority over the prison administration who subjected him to such humiliation. The years of suffering Assange has endured while being persecuted by the US, British and other governments is evident simply from his physical appearance. Assange was clearly exhausted in the courtroom, sometimes slumped over. Even before being subjected to nearly a year of HMP Belmarsh, Assange had to deal with the psychological torment of nearly seven years’ confinement in the Ecuadorian Embassy. At the same time it is clear he still has the will to fight and has not compromised his principles an inch. The trial resumes in May, and will likely be followed by an extensive series of appeals.

Read more …

The pace the EU moves at. As Greece’s borders are being overrun. Erdogan is to visit Putin on Thursday.

Greece swears it won’t let the “migrants” enter, which Erdogan has selected for women and children (photo-ops) and militant youth (severity).

EU Accepts Greek Demand For Emergency Foreign Affairs Council (K.)

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has convened an extraordinary Foreign Council for next week on developments in Syria and the ensuing migration emergency, at the request of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Dendias had formally requested an extraordinary meeting Saturday. In his statement, Borrell says that the EU-Turkey agreement on repatriation of refugees needs to be upheld and confirms EU supports Greece and Bulgaria in addressing the migration issue. Borrell’s statement:

“The ongoing renewed fighting in and around Idlib represents a serious threat to international peace and security. It is causing an untold human suffering among the population, and having a grave impact on the region and beyond. The European Union needs to redouble efforts to address this terrible human crisis with all the means at its disposal. I am therefore calling for an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council next week to discuss the unfolding situation, in particular at the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece. Over the past days, I have been in contact with key actors. I have called for an immediate de-escalation and for a lasting ceasefire, deplored the loss of lives, and offered EU support to mitigate the consequences of the crisis. There is only a political solution to this crisis.

Read more …




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Home Forums Debt Rattle March 2 2020

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)
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  • #54661

    John Vachon Big Four Cafe, Cairo, Illinois 1940   • China Leaves Asymptomatic Patients off Coronavirus Infection Tally (Caixin) • Epidemic Won’t
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle March 2 2020]


    Moments after posting this, there are another 700+ cases added. Iran + 523, South Korea +123, and more


    John Vachon Big Four Cafe, Cairo, Illinois 1940
    Imagine the wages when a full breakfast was only 25 cents.

    Stealing at 7% compound, means doubles in 10 years. That means today, a full breakfast would only be $2.00.
    • Epidemic Won’t Spark Financial Crisis In China (Global Times)

    Think of all the seniors that won’t be there to take care of the grad kids
    Think of all the new home care service jobs that are being created
    • China Gives Relief to Shield Trillions of Yuan in Bad Debt (BBG)
    The USA does it better.
    It lowers interest rates so that you can renew your loans and still continue to pay the lenders.
    The USA does a much better response job, it locks down the first responders.
    The whole world will become a buying opportunity for the bankers.


    Just as I was going to say:

    HA! Zero comments after almost 6 hours, I finally virused out the entire commentariat! comes in and spoils the fun.


    The death rate is going down everyday.
    With better reporting, the dead will be a statistic anomaly.

    Doc Robinson

    25 cent cost of breakfast in 1940 is equivalent to $4.61 in 2020, according to this inflation calculator for the $US.

    According to US census data, the median income for a man in 1940 was $956 per year.


    “Stealing at 7% compound, means doubles in 10 years. That means today, a full breakfast would only be $2.00.
    It hasn’t been that bad zero! other wise:
    1950- .50
    1960- $1.00
    1970- $2.00
    1980- $4.00
    1990- $8.00
    2000- $16.00
    2010- $32.00
    2020- $64.00

    Still can get 2 eggs, bacon, and toast at a greasy spoon for under $10.00 in most parts of the country.
    But your point is correct. Big difference between a quarter and ten bucks. Fwiw, a US quarter was worth only 25 cents in 1940, Today, right now, it’s worth about $13.80 (US)


    About USD3500 for a test that doesn’t work? The nouveau-shoddy American work ethic begins at the top and has trickled down rapidly.


    Lots of people thinking and doing fact checking
    @ seychelles
    “…. USD3500 for a test ”
    I tried to find that number without success
    Gov. will not let the medical industry go bankrupt.
    Therefore, I assume that if people don’t pay then the gov. will step in with that $8 Billion.


    “But though he certainly stumbles his way awkwardly through, the CDC would be what it is no matter which party is in charge.” Wrong…

    The Trump administration fired the U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 to cut costs. (True)

    Ziemer is a well-respected public health leader who was considered highly effective leading the President’s Malaria Initiative under George W. Bush and Barack Obama before joining the NSC last year. While Palladino said he left “on the warmest terms,” an individual familiar with the specifics behind the reorganization said “he was basically pushed out. He struggled to preserve himself and the integrity of his team, and he failed.”

    His exit comes against the backdrop of other administration actions critics say have weakened health security preparedness, including dwindling financing for early preventive action against infectious disease threats abroad.

    Dr. D

    This has a lot of effects, but one is to make Kung-flu look dangerous. If 80k have it with 3k dead, that’s your 3% death rate. If as more likely, 900-1,000 million have it, then your death rate is 0.0003% That is, the flu.

    Again, will someone show me 100,000 dead somewhere? I’ll totally believe it, but if not we don’t have a pandemic, we have a “war of the worlds” scam-and-liefest. It’s one or the other: either people are dying or they aren’t. Either we have a pandemic with a death rate or we have only 3k and a fake media drama feeding-frenzy fantasy scam. 3,000 people is a puff not a pandemic: that’s the number of people who die in TWO DAYS in the tiny U.S. of heart disease alone.

    Produce the body.” Habeus corpus.

    “strict testing restrictions set by the Centers for Disease Control”

    Sounds interesting. WHY did they set the testing levels so high? They get budget if more people happen. They get lambasted if they miss. Yet they want both these things on purpose.
    Since clearly no one is quarantining and people are all over, why doesn’t anyone have symptoms and check into a hospital? Show me the people.

    there are another 700+ cases added.”

    Cases galore, yes, because thanks to these guys, there’s no quarantine at all and we’re all going to get it. Heck I probably have it by now. But is anyone DYING from it? Even in ICU?

    Tulsi Gabbard Urges Trump: Don’t Drag Us into War with Russia (ZH)”

    No comments on Trump ending war in Afghanistan. Me either, he said that about Syria, but it should be said. If someone does right, can we say it? A: not if it’s Trump.

    Gas cost 25c in 1946. That’s 0.18oz. Gas today costs $3.00 and silver is around $17. That’s one silver quarter. No inflation at all. You guys just love taxes and won’t say no.

    Maxwell Quest

    “Libya, more than anyone else’s war, was Hillary Clinton’s war.” ~ Julian Assange

    “And yet Hillary Clinton is out here walking free with gazillion-dollar book, Hulu documentary and podcast deals… While Assange faces 175 years in prison for exposing her crimes and many others.” – Sarah Abdallah

    And yet we live in a just universe, where everything, including man, is ruled by law from top to bottom. In time it will all balance to the penny, a troubling thought for those of us who have debts on our ledger, which includes just about everyone. But don’t worry, there will be plenty of incarnations ahead to give back everything that we’ve taken.

    Oh, I just noticed that my neighbors have returned early this year from wintering in Thailand. I hope they brought me something.


    Hey with the corona virus killing off the old people Tulsi may win by default


    My intention is not to be mean but a silver dollar is worth about 13.80


    Dr D makes some excellent points. Do I have a cold or do I have “the virus”.
    Seems that most of the angst and danger, at least so far, is reaction to the virus (maybe over reaction?). and not the virus itself..Are we still going to quarantine(sorry won’t work with this bug) when it has already spread throughout everywhere?. What’s going to cause more suffering, the virus or reaction to the virus?
    I’ve read that S Korea is considering murder charges against some cult (sounds more like N Korea).
    I’ve heard about increases in hostility towards Asians. We haven’t changed much since black plague days. Well maybe we have, people back then wouldn’t be panicking yet.


    “My intention is not to be mean but a silver dollar is worth about 13.80”

    You are correct lasttwo (typo). I should have caught that before clicking submit.

    PS. I’m thick skinned. I don’t consider a legitimate correction to be mean. Truth is vastly more important than hurt feeeelings.


    Will someone explain why people are stocking up on bottled water? I just heard it again on Bloomberg, and read about it yesterday happening in Hawaii and at Costco’s around the land. Do they think the water will be turned off for some reason? Isn’t this virus getting confused with an EMP?



    If somehow Sanders is sidelined by the DNC then I would think he does have another option : create a new party!

    He could create a Social Democrat Party [SDP].

    Macron did this very successfully in France. Many are fed up with the usual parties so it could prove to have a tremendous attraction.

    Sanders has little to lose by doing this, but younger politicians may have to think hard before risking everything to join him.

    There does seem to be a need for a socialist element in American politics. Most manufacturing jobs were lost to automation, not offshoring. AI will bring about the next wave of job losses.

    While truck drivers are cited as the first to go I think the main losses will be in white collar jobs such as lawyers and traders.

    What happens in a society where almost no one has a job? If no one can afford to buy anything then manufacturing dies. We would move to a pre-industrial society with a small number of the extremely wealthy with a small service class to pander to their needs, and everyone else left to survive as best as they can.

    Do the unemployed just curl up and die? The distribution of wealth will need to be tackled, which is where someone like Sanders will have a general appeal.


    There is not 1 way to look at this, you can “prove” anything you want. Bit of a problem. A media frenzy? There hardly was any MSM attention until 10 days ago. Development now that there is media might be a slightly better way to go. The latest numbers:

    China 80,026 cases 2,912 deaths
    South Korea 4,335 cases 28 deaths
    Italy 2,043 cases 52 deaths
    Iran 1,501 cases 66 deaths
    USA 96 cases 6 deaths

    China: sure, cases could be much higher, but so could deaths. ‘Show me the body’ sounds cute, but a bit less so with all the stories about mobile crematoriums, energy use, air pollution etc. There’s not much of a case to be made by citing the very people who’ve been hiding numbers all the time, BEFORE the media started to report. China may have left the exponential phase, but we can’t really know that either. Xi literally means business.

    South Korea: most cases are in that sect, and they may well be hiding many deaths too. And how open and honest is the government? Cases easier to admit than deaths?

    Italy: only 10 days ago, on Feb 22, when S. Korea cases jumped to 156(!), Italy first became a thing with 30 cases and 2 deaths. 2,000 cases now and a 2.5% death rate

    Iran: what can we say and know? 1,500 cases, 66 deaths. Why would any Iranian tell anyone from the west anything true? ‘Cause “we” deserved it? Watch Pakistan and other neighbors going forward for a better idea.

    US: may have tried to hide disease progress, but those days are gone. The MSM has entered, and pretend they invented it all, when they were 2 months late. From naught to 100 and 6 deaths is right in line with exponential progress for now, looks like Italy, Iran recently.

    There will be many more countries entering phase 0 now, so it’ll be easier to follow. The MSM, wrong and late as they are, do add the quality that hiding things got harder.

    From what I can see, it’s too early for many conclusions. I’ll just keep following events.


    Will someone explain why people are stocking up on bottled water?

    For the same reason they drink bottled water when they can get it out of the tap.

    John Day

    I’ve been real busy, guys. Lots of gardening work. Tulsi Gabbard has a “Town Hall” in Austin tonight, and Jenny and I are gonna’ help out, too, like we worked the banner and pamplets on “the drag” by UT yesterday.
    Professor Anthony Hall has undertaken a 5 part series to investigate broadly and deeply the origins of the 2019 novel coronavirus. I knew he was working on this project, but I had no idea how much work, and how excellent. Many of the sub threads in this long first installment are related to stories I have linked to in the past couple of months, but I am gratified that Professor Hall has really dug around under the floorboards of each story, to present what the strongest and weakest aspects are.
    As shall be demonstrated, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is thought by some experts, including a prestigious group at the South China Technological University in Guangzhou, to be the probable source of the contaminant. As shall be demonstrated below, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its outgrowth, The National Biosafety Laboratory, are thought by some to be integrated with more secretive sites where the military operations of China’s alleged biological warfare program are centered.
    A focus on the kind of procedures that take place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology begs the question of whether an accidental viral escape from this agency forms the primary origin of the epidemic. Another possibility is that some sort of power play within China’s ruling elite might have led to the decision to create and release a bioweapon in the heart of one of the most heavily populated zones on earth.
    Yet another possibility is that the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic is part of some agenda of “hybrid warfare” by the US government against China. Speculation surrounding this scenario emphasizes that hundreds of US soldiers were in Wuhan in late October of 2019 for the World Military Games.

    Reminder: Take 5000U per day of vitamin-D. Start with 10.000U/d for the first month.

    This article from “Tyler Durden” of Zero Hedge continue the proud tradition that got them deplatformed from Twitter for spreading conspiracy theories that are now conventional wisdom. Rough around the edges, then…
    “What Are The Odds?” – A Timeline Of Facts Linking Covid-19, HIV, & Wuhan’s Secret Bio-Lab


    neoh – thanks never know how people will respond

    Anti – IMHO you are 100% correct. Battery assembly mid 90s – a 5 person line could assemble 500 batteries a shift by the mid 2000s automation a 3 person line could make 2000. 80% of the labor force is no longer needed. — what do you do with all the people left over? It maybe time for Bernie. I would rather the money went to a better quality of life for all then a few rich warmongers.

    That said work is important to the ego. People without work often find themselves with other issues(opium and alcohol for example). For most of us our minds need to be occupied. There is a lot that could be done to improve the current reality. Have you have ever been to some of the parks built by the CCC and the work done by the WPA during the depression. Now it could be solar panels on government buildings and more green new deal things. . Not sure where I stand on it but keeping people working and the pride that comes from accomplishment and earning a paycheck means a lot. The other alternative is we could teach people to enjoy learning and exploring and be self motivated. not sure how to do that even with myself some days. sorry for the rambling I know what is currently happening with 1% owning so much is not sustainable. The revolution will happen it can be Bernies or it can be something far less civilized and the rich have no one to blame but themselves (you get a tax cut and you get a tax cut.)


    John Day thank you for helping Tulsi Gabbard – the best Candidate in my opinion. Maybe a Bernie Tulsi ticket. Tulsi – Bernie would be even better. thanks again


    Okay, I have to admit that I buy bottled water sometimes, too- in those really flimsy little bottles that crumple enough to fit in my back pocket. Hunting mushrooms is very thirsty business (I can hardly wait until May!) I reuse them until they leak.
    Speaking of leaks, the market-balloon today kept getting pumped up but continued to leak until just before the close, whereupon someone figured out how to patch latex under pressure.
    Costco is up 10%.
    (For no reason other than that it just popped into my head: Depravity, depravity; reliable as gravity.)
    Grammar correction from my post above: Aren’t people getting the virus confused with an EMP?


    Printing makes everywhere a Lalaland
    No country wants to be left out.
    Even Canada is talking about joining a tele-conference for tomorrow to lower interest.
    Lowering interest only helps
    1. those who have loans with interest that they got trouble paying by re-financing their loans
    2. carpetbaggers who use cheap money to buy out those who cannot get cheap money
    3. those owners who will keep getting a paycheck while setting up for a bankruptcy.
    4. the bankers
    5. the accountants
    6. the lawyers
    7. the government

    I guess that is a good reason for the markets to be flying high.
    Even the stocks of the drug companies that had a meeting with Trump are flying high.
    (The promise of getting some of that $8 Billion)
    I’m spitting distance from the disclose virus outbreak.
    I went to the food court to eat oriental.
    I’m in contact with grade 1 and grade 3 kids
    I hug a person with a virus.

    Bye bye life
    Bye bye happiness
    Hello loneliness
    I think I’m gonna die


    When the House decided $8 billion, not $2.5 billion, was just the right amount required to fight the coronavirus, the first thing that popped into my mind was graft!

    With only $2.5 billion, the House critters would be hard pressed to create enough kickback paths to keep them properly lubricated for their trouble and effort! $2.5 billion divided by 525 House members is a tad less than $5 million each with a 10% kickback amounts to only about $500K each. Not going to get rich doing small potatoes!

    Now with $8 billion, the House critters will get about $20 million each to play with! With the usual 10% kickback fee, they will now get $2 million each! Now were talking some serious change!

    What’s that you said? It’s supposed to be about helping the people? You got to be kidding!


    Up here in Canada, woke Trudope refuses to cancel direct flights with Iran even though most of Canada’s recent coronavirus cases stem from Iran. We are doomed!

    Trump may have to jerk Trudope’s chain by threatening to close US/Canada border!


    My parents said know:. In a prior life, I used to work for a company that made the machines and molds used to make many of these plastic water bottles worldwide.

    Supposedly, after making the plastic bottles, the bottles are supposed to be left to sit for a week to let the remaining gases escape.

    It used to amuse me to no end, when I would over hear other company service reps say they would never drink water out of a plastic bottle, if they could help it! They thought tap water was likely safer!


    Raul:. Well, you have finally done it! Julian is being tried in a Kangaroo court!

    The deep state will never let Julian talk or their hoax Russian narrative goes up in smoke!

    Speaking of kangaroos, in 1981/2, I was driving around in NSW and Queensland, an Australian made Holden car, adorned in the front with “good for one roo” plastic kangaroo bars! Thankfully I never hit a big red!


    Zerosum:. Regarding your #1 to #7 list. Shakespeare almost had it right! “First we kill all the lawyers!”


    Test kits
    They are talking about having 1 million test kits ready this week.
    It doesn’t matter if they work.
    What matters if what will be the cost of production and how much will they charge for the kits.
    If the gov. pays for the test kits then the test kits should be free.
    The experts administering the test, are charging who and how much.
    Again, if the invoice is to the gov. then it should be free.

    The virus is the oil for the printing press
    print print print print print print print print


    Anticlimactic:. The DNC will kill off Bernie Sanders! That is a given from the start! It is part of the plot!

    Hillary in is the DNC’s theatre director.

    This is the DNC’s theatre production and Bernie is just one of the 20 or so political actors hired to perform in staging this public spectacle!

    First, notice Bernie isn’t complaining! He never complains!

    Each actor is paid by allowing them legally divert 15% of all campaign contributions to themselves. That is why they can afford to have such a big cast!

    Notice the DNC is now starting to kill off more members of the cast! Just like TV actors getting voted off the island!

    Now we wait to see who the DNC director’s real nominee will be!


    Zerosum:. Graft! You got that right!

    When I was in high school, taking electrical lab, I made the mistake of labelling one of my electrical graphs, “graft”! My wise Quebec teacher circled the word “graft” in red and in the margin wrote “Quebec’s favorite indoor sport!”

    Since then, I have never confused the use of these two words, graft/graph!


    I just read on Mercola website that optimizing vitamin and mineral levels (ie re mention of vitamin D, plus liposomal vitamin C, zinc, beta glucan) helps the body fight flu. Note that this is different from/in addition to using pathogen destroyers (ie garlic) which will reduce the work required of the body to fight the disease.


    Dr. D. Agree, we will probably never know the true death rate in China especially after the CCP sent their most ruthless security person to Wuhan. Now we hear crickets!

    But Iran may soon give us a clue as to what really happened in Wuhan.

    Adrian Day:. Hope your gardens are doing well. Enjoy the rally!

    Up here in Toronto the ground is still covered in a foot of snow! I can only dream of a green spring!

    I sure did enjoy my time living in Gallup, New Mexico and Window Rock, Arizona.


    On a totally different path, but pertinent, I think, to the virus: can anyone imagine a [mathematical] model without boundaries? I play “Bayesian” bridge, for example- much to the consternation of my fellows- but I think that modeling the virus needs to consider this sort of thing: par[a/i]meters expand; results may vary. Humans are sooooo boundary-obsessed. What does the math look like on the boundaries of a model?
    By the way, I usually only get here after a bottle of wine. Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico 2010, to be exact. Good-night, all.


    Dr. D asks where are the bodies? I ask where is the smoke?
    The air has not been this clean in central China for years:

    John Day

    Hi WES,
    Tulsi shook my hand when she came out, and listened to me say that the US needs 6 billion doses of chloroquine to treat everybody (assuming a high infection rate, eventually)
    My wife, Jenny took a picture, and Tulsi hugged her and said she was glad to see her there.
    I can’t figure out how to post the picture Jenny got of us talking.
    Hmmm… Maybe I did it.

    John Day

    Nope, can’t load the picture.
    Here, I posted it on the blog.

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