Mar 262020



1/4 of $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill Devoted to Useless Accounting Gimmick (Tankus)
At Least 13 Patients Die From Coronavirus In One Day At New York Hospital (CNN)
Worker At NYC Hospital Where Nurses Wear Trash Bags As Protection Dies (NYP)
UK Coronavirus Mass Home Testing To Be Made Available ‘Within Days’ (G.)
NHS Could Soon Exceed Capacity – Chief Medical Officer (Ind.)
How Did Spain Get Its Coronavirus Response So Wrong? (G.)
Bahrain, Belgium Report Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Is Working For Patients (JTN)
Gilead Sciences Backs Off Monopoly Claim For Promising Coronavirus Drug (IC)
How Big Science Skipped Clinical Trials After Past Coronavirus Outbreaks (JTN)
Trump’s Deadly Mistake In Comparing Coronavirus To Flu (IC)
Cairo, The City That Never Sleeps, Shuts For Coronavirus Night-Time Curfew (R.)
Crisis Daddy Cuomo Uses Coronavirus For New York Bail Reform Rollback (IC)
California Sees 1 Million Unemployment Claims In Less Than Two Weeks (CNBC)
Pentagon Orders A Stop-Movement For All Overseas Troops (JTN)
Judge Refuses To Release Julian Assange Over Coronavirus Risk (Ind.)
US High Court Rejects Call To Free 736 Detainees At Risk From Coronavirus
Time’s Up Said It Could Not Fund #MeToo Allegation Against Joe Biden (IC)



And we just keep goig. The US had about 53,000 cases 24 hours ago, it is now at 68,000. Not enough to get to 100,000 by tomorrow, but still much faster than China ever was, apart from the day when Beijing did a major calculating correction.

The world will reach 500,000 cases today, little more than one day after 400,000 was passed.

Be very careful out there!



Cases 486,702 (+ 52,134 from yesterday’s 434,568)

Deaths 22,021 (+ 2,959 from yesterday’s 19,062)




From Worldometer yesterday evening (before their day’s close)



From Worldometer -NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases is at 16% !! Still up 1% per day-



From SCMP:











There can be only one conclusion: the US is no longer capable of passing appropriate legislation even in a crisis. Money for the poor? Only if the rich get 1000x as much.

This is an interesting piece. Way beyond the scope of the MSM.

1/4 of $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill Devoted to Useless Accounting Gimmick (Tankus)

Earlier this week I wrote about the Trillion dollar platinum coin. Using the coin to fund government spending is often dismissed as an “accounting gimmick”. Yet, accounting gimmicks are already at the center of the Stimulus Bill being debated in congress tonight. 454 billion of the reported 2 Trillion dollars is going to “make loans and loan guarantees to, and other investments in, programs or facilities established by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System”. This is an accounting gimmick. Yet Larry Kudlow (director of the National Economic Council) points to it as one of the most important provisions in the bill.

“And finally, I want to mention, the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Refund. That will be replenished. It’s important, because that fund opens the door for Federal Reserve firepower to deal a broad-based way throughout the economy for distressed industries, for small businesses, for financial turbulence. You’ve already seen the Fed take action. They intend to take more action. And in order to get this, we have to replenish the Treasury’s Emergency Fund. It’s very, very important; not everybody understands that. That fund, by the way, will be overseen by an oversight board and an inspector general. It will be completely transparent.”

Why does he think it’s important? It’s not exactly clear but it seems that the Trump administration along with the Federal Reserve believe that they do not have the authority to launch the facilities they’ve been launching (partially described in the last post) without special purpose vehicles created by the Treasury. That doesn’t explain why they need money put into a Treasury fund under the discretion of secretary Mnuchin though. Why do they think they need the money? This isn’t clear either but it almost certainly has to do with the Federal Reserve’s net worth. It is a common trope of mainstream economists that it is very important for the central bank to have a positive net worth. If their net worth goes negative, then it should be “recapitalized” by the federal government.

[..] the argument that the net worth of the Federal Reserve matters don’t hold up to very much scrutiny, especially when one is familiar with the legal structure of the Federal Reserve. Yet, this is likely the motivation behind the nearly 500 billion dollars the “stimulus bill” provides the Treasury to support Federal Reserve lending programs. There is no statute, court case or any other binding legal constraint (as far as I can tell at least) that requires the Federal Reserve to have a positive net worth. In fact, it has control over its own accounting rules and as part of its own rules can book its obligation to pay remittances from net income to the Treasury as a “negative liability” (and thus effectively an asset) if its net income falls below zero.

Read more …

First corona case in New York was on March 1. This hasn’t even begun.

At Least 13 Patients Die From Coronavirus In One Day At New York Hospital (CNN)

At least 13 patients have died from Covid-19 at Elmhurst Hospital in New York, a statement from a spokesman said, as one of the hardest hit states sees a surge in cases. The deaths of the patients took place over the last 24 hours, but NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst said in a statement that number is consistent with the number of Intensive Care Unit patients being treated there. “Staff are doing everything in our power to save every person who contracts Covid-19,” the statement said. New York has more than 30,000 of the nation’s more than 65,000 coronavirus cases, and 285 of its residents have died from the virus. The state has called for tens of thousands more ventilators, hospital beds and intensive care beds to meet the needs of their hospitals.

Elmhurst is at the center of the crisis, the statement said, and staff is working to overcome the overwhelming numbers. “The frontline staff are going above and beyond in this crisis, and we continue surging supplies and personnel to this critical facility to keep pace with the crisis,” the statement said. “We are literally increasing the effective capacity of the hospital on a daily basis by sending more doctors, nurses, ventilators and PPE to meet demand.” New York has ordered residents to stay at home to curb the spread of the virus and hopefully ease pressures on healthcare systems. And though Gov. Andrew Cuomo pointed to Westchester County — home to the state’s first severe outbreak in New Rochelle — as a marker for the effectiveness of social distancing, cases continue to climb.

Estimates from Sunday showed coronavirus hospitalizations were doubling every 2 days, he said. But Monday’s estimates showed hospitalizations were doubling every 3.4 days, and Tuesday’s estimates showed hospitalizations were doubling every 4.7 days.

Read more …

Welcome to Bergamo, Lombardy.

Worker At NYC Hospital Where Nurses Wear Trash Bags As Protection Dies (NYP)

The shortage of safety gear at one Manhattan hospital is so dire that desperate nurses have resorted to wearing trash bags — and some blame the situation for the coronavirus death of a beloved colleague. A stunning photo shared on social media shows three nurses at Mount Sinai West posing in a hallway while clad in large, black plastic trash bags fashioned into makeshift protective garb. One of them is even holding the open box of 20 Hefty “Strong” 33-gallon garbage bags they used to cloak themselves. “NO MORE GOWNS IN THE WHOLE HOSPITAL,” the caption reads. “NO MORE MASKS AND REUSING THE DISPOSABLE ONES…NURSES FIGURING IT OUT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS.”

The caption includes such hashtags as #heftytotherescue, #riskingourlivestosaveyours and #pleasedonateppe, with the “ppe” referring to “personal protective equipment.” Meanwhile, staffers at the hospital near Columbus Circle on Wednesday tied the lack of basic supplies there to the death of assistant nursing manager Kious Kelly, who tested positive for coronavirus about two weeks ago. Kelly, 48, was admitted to Mount Sinai’s flagship hospital on the Upper East Side on March 17 and died Tuesday night, the workers said. “Kious didn’t deserve this,” one nurse said. “The hospital should be held responsible. The hospital killed him.”

Another nurse described “issues with supplies for about a year now,” during which it got “to the point where we had to hide our own supplies and go to other units looking for stuff because even the supply room would have nothing most of the time.” “But when we started getting COVID patients it became critical,” the nurse said. The nurse sources said they were using the same PPE between infected and non-infected patients and, because there were no more spare gowns in the hospital, they took to wearing trash bags to stop the spread of infection.

Nurses at Mount Sinai West, where Kelly worked, are being forced to wear trash bags due to the lack of protective gear there.

Read more …

Hot air only?

UK Coronavirus Mass Home Testing To Be Made Available ‘Within Days’ (G.)

Thousands of 15-minute home tests for coronavirus will be delivered by Amazon to people self-isolating with symptoms or will go on sale on the high street within days, according to Public Health England (PHE), in a move that could restore many people’s lives to a semblance of pre-lockdown normality. [..] The UK government has bought 3.5m tests, which the health secretary, Matt Hancock, mentioned on Tuesday with no suggestion that they would be available to the public so quickly, and is ordering millions more. Asked if they would be available in days rather than weeks or months, Peacock said: “Yes, absolutely.” If there was a charge for them, she thought it would be minimal, she said.

Widespread availability of a fingerprick test that produces results in 10 to 15 minutes is a game-changer. NHS doctors and nurses with symptoms will know immediately whether they have – or have recovered from – Covid-19, enabling them to get back to work sooner. The UK is not the only country ordering in the antibody tests. “Tests are being ordered across Europe and elsewhere and purchased in south-east Asia. This is widespread practice. We are not alone in doing this,” said Peacock.

Read more …


NHS Could Soon Exceed Capacity – Chief Medical Officer (Ind.)

It will be a “close run thing” whether the NHS capacity will be exceeded over the coming weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak, chief medical officer Chris Whitty has said. At a press conference in 10 Downing Street, Prof Whitty said that there was not currently “enormous” pressure on critical care beds within the health service, despite a total of more than 8,000 patients testing positive for coronavirus across the UK. But he said that he could not guarantee that bed spaces would not run out within the next three weeks. The NHS has more than 4,000 critical care beds in normal times and efforts are under way to accommodate the expected surge in additional coronavirus patients by using private sector facilities and discharging patients able to go home.

The ExCel exhibition centre in east London is being converted into a field hospital which will eventually be able to take 4,000 patients during the outbreak. Prof Whitty said: “The NHS is increasing supply by a combination of pushing out in time things which can be postponed and increasing the critical care and particularly the ventilated bed capacity over the next weeks.” But he added: “This is going to be a close run thing, we all know that. “And anybody who looks around the world can see this is going to be difficult for every health system.”

Prof Whitty said that the lockdown announced by prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday, requiring people to stay at home as much as they can and avoid social contact, should help relieve pressure on bed spaces by reducing the rate of infection, while the NHS works rapidly to increase capacity. “That is the way that we will narrow this down to the smallest possible gap over the next three weeks,” he said.

Read more …

Time to look at different strains of the virus. Just to be sure. Also, nnext week in the same Guardian: “How Did Britain Get Its Coronavirus Response So Wrong?”.

How Did Spain Get Its Coronavirus Response So Wrong? (G.)

It is one of the darkest and most dramatic moments in recent Spanish history. In the chilling table of daily dead from the coronavirus pandemic, Spain has taken top position from Italy – with 738 dying over 24 hours. Spain is now the hotspot of the global pandemic, a ghoulish title that has been passed from country to country over four months – starting in Wuhan, China, and travelling via Iran and Italy. As it moves west, we do not know who will be next. What went wrong? Spain had seen what happened in China and Iran. It also has Italy nearby, just 400 miles across the Mediterranean and an example of how the virus can spread rapidly and viciously inside Europe.

Yet Spaniards cannot blame that proximity. There are no land borders with Italy, while France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia – all countries that are doing much better – do have them. This may, in fact, be one of the reasons for the country’s late response. Spain thought it was far enough away. “Spain will only have a handful of cases,” said Dr Fernando Simón, the head of medical emergencies in Madrid, on 9 February. Six weeks later he gives out daily figures of hundreds of deaths. The number of dead per capita is already three times that of Iran, and 40 times higher than China. On 19 February, 2,500 Valencia soccer fans mixed with 40,000 Atalanta supporters for a Champions League game in Bergamo which Giorgio Gori, mayor of the Italian city, has described as “the bomb” which exploded the virus in Lombardy.

In Spain, Valencia players, fans and sports journalists were amongst the first to fall ill. The main reason for the quick spread through Spain may be completely mundane. It has been an unusually mild, sunny Spring. In late February and early March, with temperatures above 20C (68F), Madrid’s pavement cafes and bars were heaving with happy folk, doing what Madrileños like best – being sociable. That means hugging, kissing and animated chatter just a few inches from someone else’s face. On 8 March, just a week before the country was closed down, sports events, political party conferences and massive demonstrations to mark International Women’s Day all took place. Three days later, about 3,000 Atlético de Madrid fans flew together for another Champions League match in Liverpool.

[.] The virus has laid bare, too, deep faults in the Spanish care system. Private old people’s homes must turn a profit while charging people prices they can afford – which may be a basic pension of just over 9,000 euros. As a result, these were understaffed, unprepared and quickly overwhelmed, with death rates of up to 20%. The army was sent in, and found some people lying dead in their beds. Spain has a magnificent primary care system, but its hospitals have been hit by a decade of austerity since the financial crisis. It has only a third of the hospital beds per capita that are provided by Austria or Germany. Yet that is still more than the UK, New Zealand or the US.

Read more …

How much of the recent bad rap is coming from Big Pharma, which can’t make a dime on the stuff?

Bahrain, Belgium Report Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Is Working For Patients (JTN)

Bahrain and Belgium report their hospitals are successfully treating coronavirus patients with the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine touted by President Trump as a possible breakthrough in the pandemic. The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Supreme Council of Health chairman said his country was among the first to use the drug and that its impact has been “profound,” according to the Bahrain News Agency. Dr. Shaikh Mohamed, who leads the National Taskforce for Combating COVID-19, was also quoted by the news agency as saying hydroxychloroquine was administered according to the same regimens as those used in China and South Korea. The first COVID-19 case in Bahrain was reported on Feb. 21, and hydroxychloroquine was first administered to patients showing virus symptoms on Feb. 26.

Bahrain has 419 deaths as a result of the virus, behind Croatia with 442 deaths worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center. Hydroxychloroquine is used to prevent and treat malaria and is administered to patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Meanwhile in Europe, another U.S. ally, Brussels, is reporting similar early success with the same drug and is taking steps to ensure its availability for the sickest coronavirus patients. “Using the limited stocks of these medicines for unnecessary or unjustified preventive treatments jeopardizes the availability of these medicines for patients who need them: chronic patients and hospital patients seriously affected by Covid-19,” Belgium’s Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products said this week.

Read more …

What a bit of bad publicity won’t do…

Gilead Sciences Backs Off Monopoly Claim For Promising Coronavirus Drug (IC)

Gilead Sciences on Wednesday announced that it has submitted a request to the Food and Drug Administration to rescind the exclusive marketing rights it had secured for remdesivir, an antiviral drug that shows promise in treating Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. As The Intercept reported on Monday, the FDA had awarded Gilead seven years of exclusive marketing rights to the drug through the Orphan Drug Act, even though the statute was designed to induce pharmaceutical companies to make treatments for rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. Although the new coronavirus will almost certainly infect that many people, Gilead had exploited a loophole that grants orphan drug status if a company files for it before the official number of cases hits 200,000.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 438,000 confirmed cases worldwide, with more than 59,000 in the United States. After a public outcry, Gilead issued a press release stating: “Gilead has submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to rescind the orphan drug designation it was granted for the investigational antiviral remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 and is waiving all benefits that accompany the designation. Gilead is confident that it can maintain an expedited timeline in seeking regulatory review of remdesivir, without the orphan drug designation. Recent engagement with regulatory agencies has demonstrated that submissions and review relating to remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 are being expedited.”

Read more …

It’s all about money, and only about money. Even at this point.

How Big Science Skipped Clinical Trials After Past Coronavirus Outbreaks (JTN)

Equally alarming was the lack of followup after early drug studies found some promising treatments that worked anecdotally during the SARS outbreak in 2003, two smaller coronavirus outbreaks in 2004-05, and MERS in 2012. The anti-malarial drug known as chloroquine was one of a handful flagged as a potential treatment. One such study in 2005 found “chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-Cove infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage.” The 2005 study concluded: “Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection.”

Similarly, in 2009 the University of Leuven in Belgium published “Antiviral Activity of Chloroquine against Human Coronavirus OC43 Infection in Newborn Mice,” which warned of a failure to follow up on possible treatments. “Although coronaviruses have been recognized as human pathogens for about 50 years, no effective treatment strategy has been approved,” the authors wrote. “This shortcoming became evident during the SARS-CoV outbreak and was the start of numerous studies. Nevertheless, 5 years after the outbreak, we are still lacking an effective, commercially available drug. Chloroquine is a clinically approved drug effective in malaria, and it is known to elicit antiviral effects against several viruses.” Such promise and warnings never translated into action, and as a result more detailed clinical trials that could validate or rule out treatments were never carried out.

To understand why, former Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price said, one must understand the economics and psychology of private and government medical research. One-time treatments that have no long-term commercial market don’t excite pharmaceutical companies in the business of making profits. And federal scientists always like jumping to the next big viral fire instead of finishing work on an earlier outbreak that fizzled like SARS, he explained. “One would think that those studies would have been completed before now,” said Price, a doctor himself and a former congressman. “However, the extent of SARS was relatively small and short-lived. Once the threat passed, there was no economic incentive for pharmaceutical companies to complete human trials, and governmental attention, research and inertia moved in a different, seemingly more urgent, direction.”

Read more …

That’s literally what I said last week: “Comparing Covid-19 and flu numbers is a classic case of apples to oranges, according to public health experts and epidemiologists.”

Still, if this is Trump’s deadly mistake, he shares that feat with about a billion other people.

Trump’s Deadly Mistake In Comparing Coronavirus To Flu (IC)

The President of the United States compared the coronavirus to the flu this week, and the new virus that has already stricken more than 55,000 people and killed more than 800 across the country came out looking relatively innocuous. “We have a lot of people dying from the flu, as you know,” Donald Trump told reporters at the White House, as his attorney general, William Barr, stood far less than 6 feet behind him. “It looks like it could be over 50,000,” he said about the current flu season, later clarifying that he was referring to deaths from the flu, “not cases, 50,000 deaths, which is a lot.” But the number Trump cited does not reflect people dying from verified cases of the flu. According to data from the CDC, 7,428 deaths from the flu were confirmed by a lab test for that virus in 2019.

If you add in the 3,771 test-confirmed deaths already tallied in 2020, the total number of deaths that can be definitively tied to the flu is 11,199. The much higher number Trump used comes from the possible range of deaths attributable to flu this season — 23,00 to 59,000 — a number that the CDC estimates in part by including people who die from pneumonia even if they weren’t tested for the flu virus. Trump contrasted the high flu numbers — along with automobile accidents, which he said were “far greater than any numbers we’re talking about” — to the number of Covid-19 cases in part to emphasize his administration’s success in responding to the deadly virus. “I think we’re doing a very good job of it,” he said, going on to describe the number of cases in the U.S. as “pretty amazing.”

Read more …

Maybe some cities should sleep a bit more?

Cairo, The City That Never Sleeps, Shuts For Coronavirus Night-Time Curfew (R.)

Egypt and its capital Cairo, a mega-city home to some 20 million people, shut down on Wednesday evening as authorities launched a night-time curfew to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. In a city that never sleeps where restaurants and cafes are usually open until the wee hours, shop owners were closing shutters and commuters rushing home before the start of the 7 p.m. curfew that runs until 6 a.m. Policemen were posted on key roads to stop any violators. Many streets were already almost deserted by 6:30 p.m. “This is a disease, not a joke. People must stay at home, and should not leave their houses after curfew hours,” Mohamed El-Gabaly, a Cairo resident, told Reuters, as he stood in a major street with little traffic just before the curfew.

Egypt has stepped up measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus – closing airports and gyms, as well as suspending classes at schools and universities until mid-April. Restaurants are restricted to just delivering food. Shops other than supermarkets and pharmacies will be required to close at 5 p.m. on weekdays, two hours earlier than the previous curfew, as well as on weekends. Egypt, a country of 100 million, has reported 456 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 21 deaths.

Read more …

Andrew the Jailer.

Crisis Daddy Cuomo Uses Coronavirus For New York Bail Reform Rollback (IC)

As the coronavirus pandemic grips the United States, prosecutors, sheriffs, and public officials have raced to reduce the populations held in local jails, where it is next to impossible to protect elderly and otherwise vulnerable incarcerated people. In New York, however, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is bucking this trend, pushing for a new law that would roll back newborn bail reforms that went into effect in January and instead expand judges’ power to put defendants in jail. Cuomo has backed this agenda for years, but his evident insistence on including it in the state’s budget negotiations amid a public health crisis is nonetheless remarkable.

“Every other elected official across the country is thinking about how they can reduce their jail and prison population,” Rena Karefa-Johnson, the New York state director for criminal justice reform for the advocacy group, said in an interview. “But in New York, we have elected officials still trying to change legislation that would put thousands more people back in jail and slowing up an emergency budget process to do it. It’s wildly out of step with what’s happening across the country, and it’s wildly at odds with this narrative of New York taking Covid-19 seriously and keeping people safe. It’s bonkers.” The governor’s move comes as his power is ascendant. Cuomo has always wanted to be a crisis governor, engaging in well-documented disaster heroics whenever roadways get slippery.

But that instinct, risible in peacetime, is playing differently in the pandemic. People in New York and around the country are terrified, and the erratic federal response under President Donald Trump has been far from reassuring. Cuomo’s sober, authoritative daily briefings have filled the vacuum. In the last weeks, Cuomo has become America’s Governor, its crisis daddy. In recent days the hashtag #PresidentCuomo has been trending on Twitter. With his popularity soaring, and his constituents preoccupied with looming mass fatalities as the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm the state’s health care capabilities, Cuomo is well positioned to drive through his preferred agenda with hardly anyone noticing.

Read more …

This, too, has only just begun.

California Sees 1 Million Unemployment Claims In Less Than Two Weeks (CNBC)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the state has seen 1 million unemployment claims in less than two weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has led to businesses being shut down across the state. “We just passed the 1 million mark, in terms of the number of claims, just since March 13,” Newsom said. Newsom’s announcement comes one day before a key national data release on new jobless claims for the United States, which some have projected to be in the multimillions. The initial claims data has never before surpassed 1 million, and it was 285,000 last week.

The San Francisco area was the first region in the country to install a “shelter-in-place” order, on March 16. Newsom signed a “stay-at-home” order for the whole state three days later. The governor praised the proposed Senate relief bill to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. California provides up to $450 per week for unemployment insurance, Newsom said, and the proposed Senate bill would add $600 per week for up to four months. “This bill will be very helpful, and it’s very timely,” Newsom said. California and its cities will get $10 billion from a block grant portion of the proposed relief bill in the Senate, not including the benefits to workers and individuals, Newsom said.

Read more …

But don’t be surprised if they invade Iran or Venezuela tomorrow morning. And they call this message a great tactical move.

Pentagon Orders A Stop-Movement For All Overseas Troops (JTN)

The Pentagon on Wednesday issued a stop-movement order for all overseas military personnel and civilians for the next 60 days. The measure, designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, follows a previous order that puts a hold on troop movements within the United States. The newly issued order is meant to protect U.S. personnel, and preserve operational readiness, the Pentagon said. The order will interrupt scheduled exercises, deployments, and other overseas activities. “Approximately 90,000 Service Members slated to deploy or deploy over the next 60 days will likely be impacted by this stop movement order,” the statement read. The order includes exceptions for some personnel, including those who currently are traveling. The order is not expected to interfere with the drawdown of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, according to the statement.

Read more …

When the judge is a murderer.

Judge Refuses To Release Julian Assange Over Coronavirus Risk (Ind.)

A judge has refused to release Julian Assange from prison over the coronavirus outbreak. The Wikileaks founder’s lawyers had applied for him to be freed on bail because he was “vulnerable” to the virus inside HMP Belmarsh. He is being held there while awaiting potential extradition to the US on charges relating to the 2010 Wikileaks publications over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Mr Assange at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by video-link on Wednesday and was represented by Edward Fitzgerald QC, who wore a surgical mask. The court heard that despite coronavirus being confirmed in other jails, there were not yet an known cases in HMP Belmarsh. But Mr Fitzgerald said that 100 prison officers were off work, adding: “We say there’s a very real problem, a very real risk and the risk could be fatal.”

District judge Vanessa Baraitser refused the bail application, telling the court: “As matters stand today, this global pandemic does not of itself yet provide grounds for Mr Assange’s release.” Supporters of Mr Assange said he had a previously reported lung complaint and was in an “already weakened medical condition”. Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor in chief of Wikileaks, said: “To expose another human being to serious illness, and to the threat of losing their life, is grotesque and quite unnecessary. This is not justice, it is a barbaric decision.” American and British authorities class Mr Assange as a flight risk because he skipped bail over Swedish sexual assault allegations to flee to London’s Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.

Read more …

At least 2 prisoners have already died from the virus in UK jails. 350 have been released.

US High Court Rejects Call To Free 736 Detainees At Risk From Coronavirus

The high court has rejected calls to free hundreds of immigration detainees who, lawyers and human rights activists say, are at risk from Covid-19 while behind bars. The ruling, following a hearing over Skype on Wednesday, was handed down in response to an urgent legal challenge from Detention Action. The legal action asked for the release of hundreds of detainees who are particularly vulnerable to serious illness or death if they contract the virus because of particular health conditions, and also for the release of those from about 50 countries to which the Home Office is currently unable to remove people because of the pandemic. The two judges – Dame Victoria Sharp, president of the Queen’s Bench division, and Mr Justice Swift – came down strongly on the side of the Home Office and highlighted the range of measures already being implemented by the home secretary, Priti Patel.

These included the release of more than 300 detainees last week, ongoing assessments of the vulnerability of individual detainees to the virusand a range of “sensible” and “practical” steps the Home Office is taking to make detention centres safer, such as single occupancy rooms and the provision of face masks for detainees who wish to wear them. “It seems likely that the arrangements already in place by the secretary of state will be sufficient to address the risks arising in the majority of cases,” the judges said, adding that “the present circumstances are exceptional”. The court hearing on Wednesday heard that 736 people are still being detained in the UK, while 350 have been released in recent days. It was also confirmed that detainees in three detention centres have displayed symptoms of Covid-19.

Read more …

#MeToo, but not you.

Time’s Up Said It Could Not Fund #MeToo Allegation Against Joe Biden (IC)

Last April, Tara Reade watched as a familiar conversation around her former boss, Joe Biden, and his relationship with personal space unfolded on the national stage. Nevada politician Lucy Flores alleged that Biden had inappropriately sniffed her hair and kissed the back of her head as she waited to go on stage at a rally in 2014. Biden, in a statement in response, said that “not once” in his career did he believe that he had acted inappropriately. But Flores’s allegation sounded accurate to Reade, she said, because Reade had experienced something very similar as a staffer in Biden’s Senate office years earlier.

After she saw an episode of the ABC show “The View,” in which most of the panelists stood up for Biden and attacked Flores as politically motivated, Reade decided that she had no choice but to come forward and support Flores. She gave an interview to a local reporter, describing several instances in which Biden had behaved similarly toward her, inappropriately touching her during her early-’90s tenure in his Senate office. In that first interview, she decided to tell a piece of the story, she said, that matched what had happened to Flores — plus, she had filed a contemporaneous complaint, and there were witnesses, so she considered the allegation bulletproof. The short article brought a wave of attention on her, along with accusations that she was doing the bidding of Russian President Vladimir Putin. So Reade went quiet.

[..] As the campaign went on, Reade [..] began to reconsider staying silent. She thought about the world she wanted her daughter to live in and decided that she wanted to continue telling her story and push back against what she saw as online defamation. To get legal help, and manage what she knew from her first go-around would be serious backlash, she reached out to the organization Time’s Up, established in the wake of the #MeToo movement to help survivors tell their stories. The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund was the recipient of an outpouring of donations over the past two-plus years, and is set up as a 501(c)3 nonprofit housed within the National Women’s Law Center. It was launched in December 2017 and was the most successful GoFundMe in the site’s history, raising more than $24 million.

[..] By February, she learned from a new conversation with Time’s Up, which also involved Director Sharyn Tejani, that no assistance could be provided because the person she was accusing, Biden, was a candidate for federal office, and assisting a case against him could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status.

Read more …



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Home Forums Debt Rattle March 26 2020

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)
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        • 1/4 of $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill Devoted to Useless Accounting Gimmick (Tankus) • At Least 13 Patients Die From Coronavirus In One Day
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle March 26 2020]

    V. Arnold

    That is one awesome picture; no attribution?
    It looks a bit like us; the rifraf, facing the sometimes frightening world we inhabit; only the brave survive; something like that little girl…

    So, Ilargi, how are you? Are you okay? Taking care of yourself, hopefully?
    You’re a true soldier; marching on through all the shell fire of our fractured world.
    Thank you in spades…


    That is one awesome picture; no attribution?

    It’s the cover of an album named The Black by the UK band Asking Alexandria. I couldn’t find anything about the artist.

    Ilargi, how are you? Are you okay? Taking care of yourself, hopefully?

    I think I’m okay, but it’s a bit much at times.

    V. Arnold

    I think I’m okay, but it’s a bit much at times.

    Only you can make the decision; but, we’ll survive no Debt Rattle for a day or…
    Be kind to yourself; this site won’t survive if you don’t…
    We’ll be here regardless… 😉
    We could certainly do an open thread or two, three, four???
    Whatever; no worries…

    John Day

    “The UK No Longer Considers Coronavirus a High Consequence Disease”

    What’s that mean?
    In the UK “High Consequence Diseases” means that patients have to be treated at something like 5 special hospitals. Bottleneck.

    No longer designated as such means: “Treat them wherever you are, with whatever you’ve got. Don’t send them to London. Carry on!”

    I answered the chloroquine question last night when I got home from work. Here it is slightly differently formatted:
    Information on PubMed dried up in the past 2 weeks.
    March 10 review was that “hydroxychloroquine is promising, with lots of clinical trials ongoing in China and elsewhere, and we await the findings”.

    The research paper which showed such good clearing of coronavirus on swabs with hydroxychloroquine, at a higher than usual dose. French investigator Dr Raoult has a good reputation, but this research was carried out at multiple sites in France and Vietnam, by multiple researchers. (Did Raoult sign off too soon?)
    The sad fact is that the graph looked so good because they threw out the data of people who got worse and went to ICU. Throwing out a couple of data points like that in a small study makes all the difference.
    There were a lot of other procedural flaws, and it looks like the data was shaped to something that looks good, but when you look at all of it,… no such thing.

    This link is highly politicized, amounting to a hostile-peer-review, but it’s just what the doctor ordered, in this case.

    Are hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin an effective treatment for COVID-19?

    There is no actual case yet for adding azithromycin to hydroxychloroquine.
    Also, if we are not going to check blood levels, we should probably not push the dose past 200 mg BID in people with good kidneys and normal QT interval, pending good data on large numbers of cases.

    Wikipedia is pretty good on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
    The narrow therapeutic window is like digoxin/digitalis. 1 pill good, 2 pills dead, kind of thing.
    Low end of fatal range blood level is less than twice the upper level of therapeutic range blood level, and it distributes and hangs around a long time. You can’t just get rid of too much quickly.

    John Day

    This article about coronavirus treatments has good information, and no drama.
    There is not really fresh information anywhere, it seems.



    Thank you for keeping track of the global COVID statistics every day. I would like to point out one thing. As a resident of New York state, I need you to understand that it takes SEVEN DAYS for people who have been tested to receive the results. Therefore, the number of confirmed cases in New York City that you quote above as being 30,000 is in reality a snapshot of what the situation was like SEVEN DAYS AGO. Please can someone do the math to figure out a more realistic picture of how many approximate infections there are in New York.

    Also, please bear in mind that many NYC residents are sick and either not getting tested or are unable to be tested. I have friends in the city who have flu-like symptoms yet their doctors are not prepared to test them. They are told to stay home and take over-the-counter medication. And this is supposedly the richest country in the world…


    Yes, I concur, Raul, please be kind to yourself! The work you do each day is enormous without a world-wide virus raging. Do take care.


    I’ve got the time.
    I’m trying to help, with finding info, to fill the blanks in our understanding.
    Its my turn to help some more.
    Shit is hitting the fan for so many people in the world.
    Global responses are similar yet different. Do you believe in coincidence
    When will the experts say the truth,
    All this money is to help the connected rich.
    Later, I’ll explore that approach.
    • 1/4 of $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill Devoted to Useless Accounting Gimmick (Tankus)
    You think that things are bad where you are ….
    Think again
    • California Sees 1 Million Unemployment Claims In Less Than Two Weeks (CNBC)
    (USA claims 3.3 million)

    • Cairo, The City That Never Sleeps, Shuts For Coronavirus Night-Time Curfew (R.)

    Egypt, a country of 100 million, has reported 456 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 21 deaths.
    a two-weeks night-time curfew which ordered by the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cairo, Egypt March 25, 2020.

    Like other countries, Egypt has taken steps to curtail the impact on the economy, including a surprise 3% interest rate cut and an injection of 20 billion pounds ($1.27 billion) to support the stock market.



    We know all those things. We know all numbers are incorrect/doubtful/incomplete, and there is no way to be sure of any of it. This has nothing to do with New York, though seven days is very long. Most localities simply don’t test until someone is on the edge of death and doesn’t really need a test anymore. They do this because a) there are no test kits and b) they don’t want all those big numbers published.

    A conservative estimate would be that there are 10x as many infected people as reported in every single locality. That doesn’t mean 10x as many deaths as well, but I wouldn’t trust a single digit coming from China and Iran and many other places concerning that either.

    The only way to ever find out is to test everyone, and we’ll get there eventually, but it’ll take half a year minimum. The highest number so far appears to be South Korea, where a gigantic 0.6% of people have -allegedly- been tested.

    The best places to be soon might be those where a vast majority is considered infected; at that point social distancing makes less sense.

    Dr. D

    Another day we don’t admit we have a pretty solid cure?

    Another day no one died in China?

    Another day we pretend the official 400,00 cases are deaths and not cold symptoms?

    Always a good day to panic, always time to surrender.

    Never a good day for math.

    37,461 US Traffic / Year = 9,365.25 / 4 months. Corona = 685, making your daily commute 13x as dangerous. Loooooooong way from Obama’s 12,000 H1N1.

    Italy: 6,820 / 60M = 0.0113% and rates are dropping. Average age = 81
    Still half as deadly as cirrhosis of the liver, the lowest cause of death listed.

    Now that we have the election-winning stimulus, can we admit we have a cure now?

    12 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic”
    Trust doctors, trust science, trust experts, right? Nope: Panic! Follow the WHO that told us to keep those airports open!

    At Least 13 Patients Die from Coronavirus in One Day at New York Hospital (CNN)”

    420 people die every day in NYC on average.

    “China Just Sent 150,000 Test Kits to Prague and 80% of Them Didn’t Work”

    Wow, hey, what did I say about trying to provide false tests to cause a panic? Gotta stir that pot!

    Personavirus: Greta Thunberg Says Its “Extremely Likely” She Had COVID-19 Despite Never Being Tested”

    Not only can she see carbon dioxide, but can identify viruses with her naked eyes too. Superpowers! What’s that? She’s in a nation with socialized medicine and can’t get a test, just like everyone in America? Just what I thought to myself, too. If only we had Sweden’s system, we could be ignored by the government and killed in the streets, but with higher taxes and less freedom.

    NHS Could Soon Exceed Capacity – Chief Medical Officer (Ind.)”

    But socialized medicine is infinite and free!

    “Using the coin to fund government spending is often dismissed as an “accounting gimmick”

    49 + 1971 = 2020. We’ve had nothing but accounting gimmicks since 1971. And now you worry? The system is going to cease and reset. Btw, this is classic MMT, print prosperity with no cost or consequences, same as universal health care supposes. Gold rises $100.

    M95 masks: Maybe this is why we need manufacturing and employment in the U.S. with functional borders? But I’m sure the answer to get more mask machines constructed and turned on is Communism. They’re well-known for their material surpluses.

    UK Coronavirus Mass Home Testing to Be Made Available ‘Within Days’ (G.)”

    Antibody tests may be important in a different way altogether:

    How Did Spain Get Its Coronavirus Response So Wrong? (G.)”

    Did they? So you’re saying we know everyone, have infinite material, infinite knowledge, and it’s preventable? In that case, I hereby give all authority over the outbreak to Giles Tremlett, Guardian Reporter. Or perhaps we can ask a different question: since so many places behaved as bad or worse, why haven’t they been affected? Is it for the above Denninger post? Discuss. Because their present, established theory makes less and less sense.

    “How much of the recent bad rap is coming from Big Pharma, which can’t make a dime on the stuff?”

    A: All of it, plus some bonus TDS. Also fewer people will die if it’s easy, quick, and available. That’s always a deep sorrow, right Greta? And if so, we won’t restart the economy, fewer will die, and Cheeto will be re-elected. It’s always worth killing infinite people to unseat Cheeto.

    “Trump’s Deadly Mistake in Comparing Coronavirus to Flu (IC)”

    I’m sorry, what’s the difference except that COVID is much less deadly and we have a cure?

    California Sees 1 Million Unemployment Claims in Less Than Two Weeks (CNBC)”

    Faster and more deadly than COVID. Yet we ache, beg, cajole, harangue, to kill people via the economy. Good work, people! Crime, murder, and suicide rates should spike shortly.

    US High Court Rejects Call To Free 736 Detainees At Risk From Coronavirus”

    As you see, not here, but elsewhere, as they empty the jails onto the public with no jobs and no oversight. Guarantee for crime. The SEP Field, “Somebody Else’s Problem”, the most powerful invisibility cloak known to man. No, Daddy Government, that will make it MY problem as I get stabbed instead. Thanks.

    Staying home: Will kill us all, not the Dow. WE are the ones who turn the economy that WE depend on for our lives. It doesn’t come from a magic Keebler Cookie tree, a magic Ventilator Goose, and a magic Bean that grows refried taco fillings. YOU do that work so if you stay home, YOU will die. And so will all your neighbors. So keep it up, schmarty-peoplez! Farmers will be happy to keep that food in the field, and riggers will be happy to keep heating oil in the wells, since that’s your hope and prayer for the Dow.

    Socialism: “The system where everybody lives at everybody else’s expense.” Killing workers since 1867.


    How is it happening.
    Very little of what I’m presenting has been done by the news medias.

    I’m going to look at Canada and then look how it is coordinated at a Global level.
    Responding to Emergency Events

    Emergencies are managed first at the local level
    Local authorities who need assistance request it from provincial or territorial governments. If an emergency escalates beyond their capabilities, the province or territory may seek assistance from the federal government.

    The Government Operations Centre (GOC) is the principal means by which the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness’ leadership role in establishing an integrated approach to emergency response is exercised. Housed at Public Safety Canada, the GOC, on behalf of the Government of Canada, supports response coordination of events affecting the national interest. It brings all partners into a common environment to harmonize and synchronize collective actions of those partners. The GOC operates 24/7 to provide watch, warning, analysis, planning, logistics support and coordination across the federal government and with its partners, including provincial and territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and international partners.

    Next level
    Emergency Management Strategy for Canada: Toward a Resilient 2030
    The Emergency Management Strategy for Canada (EM Strategy) builds on the foundational principles articulated in the EM Framework and the Sendai Framework in order to establish FPT priorities to strengthen the resilience of Canadian society by 2030.

    Building on past international efforts, an important milestone in aligning the concepts of EM and DRR came in 2015, when Canada joined 187 countries at the UN General Assembly in adopting the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) (Sendai Framework). The Sendai Framework is a non-binding international agreement that establishes international priorities for DRR, and further creates direct linkages with UN climate change and sustainable development efforts. One of the key elements withinthe Sendai Framework is the importance of adopting a whole of society approach, which seeks to leverage existing knowledge, experience and capabilities within EM partners in order to strengthen the resilience of all. The EM Strategy helps fulfill the Government of Canada’s commitment under the Sendai Framework for a pan-Canadian DRR Strategy and aligns with the Sendai Framework’s 2030 timeline.

    Priority 4: Enhance disaster response capacity and coordination and foster the development of new capabilities
    Ensuring that FPT governments are prepared for emergencies is imperative to the safety of the population, and also facilitates more effective response and recovery efforts. To improve preparedness, we first need to focus our actions on improving EM partner training and fostering more educated and engaged citizens, followed by a focus on planning. EM exercises, implemented by the responsible FPT government(s), contribute to the testing of all-hazards plans, and validate their effectiveness. Furthermore, exercises reinforce collaboration between the various EM partners. Communicating with the population contributes not only to preparedness, but to the personal resilience necessary to cope with emergency situations. Even with the best preparedness measures in place, it is critical that the response accountabilities and capabilities of EM partners are coordinated, which cannot be undertaken in isolation. Their effectiveness is dependent upon supporting prevention, mitigation, preparedness, validation through exercising, and ultimately recovery efforts. The actions of all EM partners during the various phases of an event should be coordinated, complementary and supported by modern emergency communication systems.

    Next level

    As the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR convenes partners and coordinates activities to create safer, more resilient communities.
    The Sendai Framework
    is the global roadmap for reducing human and economic loss as a direct result of disasters.
    Where we work
    (see map)
    EU commits €232 million for global efforts to tackle COVID-19 outbreak
    The European Commission is working around the clock to support EU Member States and strengthen international efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

    To boost global preparedness, prevention and containment of the virus the Commission announces today a new aid package worth €232 million. Part of these funds will be allocated immediately to different sectors, while the rest will be released in the coming months.

    “As cases continue to rise, public health is the number one priority. Whether it be boosting preparedness in Europe, in China or elsewhere, the international community must work together. Europe is here to play a leading role,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission.
    Following the developments in Italy, the Commission is stepping up its support to Member States in the context of the on-going work on preparedness, contingency and response planning.

    Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said: “In view of the rapidly evolving situation, we stand ready to increase our assistance. In this vein, a joint expert mission of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organization will depart to Italy this week to support the Italian authorities.”

    Today’s announcement comes after the news that the Commission is co-financing the delivery of more than 25 tonnes of personal protective equipment to China after the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated.

    An Austrian aircraft departed early 23 February morning from Vienna with protective equipment such as masks, gloves, protective clothing, and disinfectant. This comes in addition to over 30 tonnes of protective equipment mobilised by EU Member States and already delivered to China earlier this month via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

    Out of the €232 million aid package:

    €114 million will support the World Health Organization (WHO), in particular the global preparedness and response global plan. This intends to boost public health emergency preparedness and response work in countries with weak health systems and limited resilience. Part of this funding is subject to the agreement of the EU budgetary authorities.
    €15 million are planned to be allocated in Africa, including to the Institute Pasteur Dakar, Senegal to support measures such as rapid diagnosis and epidemiological surveillance.
    €100 million, out of which up to €90 million Public Private Partnership with the pharmaceutical industry and 10 million for research on epidemiology, diagnostics, therapeutics and clinical management in containment and prevention
    €3 million allocated to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for repatriation flights of EU citizens from Wuhan, China.
    Publication date
    How South Korea is suppressing COVID-19
    25 March 2020 Author Denis McClean
    (go read the link)

    The curve peaked at the end of February and started to level off.

    “Phase three started from March 12 till now when we have seen a downward trend in new cases with sporadic new clusters of infections,” he said.

    Dr. Lee pointed out that unlike in China, more women (61.4%) than men (38.6%) were infected and the most infected demographic is aged 20-39 recorded 2,419 infections. These unique statistics were linked to members of the religious organization in Daegu.

    Nonetheless, as in China, most deaths were among older patients with underlying diseases with a mortality rate of 10% for people in their 80s.

    Dr. Lee outlined the Government’s four main policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for Arab States (UNDRR ROAS)
    The UNDRR Regional Office for Arab States provides support to countries and agencies of the 22 members of the Arab League: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, the occupied territories of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia,…


    Why a one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 could have lethal consequences

    Conversation Media Group, the
    22 Mar 2020

    Right now we are facing a choice between more or less drastic measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, a virus which, at time of writing, has yet to claim a life under 10, and claims very few lives under 30, with the risk rising exponentially with age. We are putting in place measures that will lead to malnutrition and starvation for millions of people, and for these horrors, children and especially infants are the most at risk. And very many of those infants are born, and will die, in Africa.

    Yet there is little discussion of the consequences for human health of the measures we are taking. Nor is there discussion of how the major differences between Africa and America, Europe and Asia might matter. The World Health Organisation (WHO) website contains no technical guidance on how African governments should approach their considerably different contexts. The advice is the same globally, but the context is not.
    It is similarly fantastical to expect people who cannot afford food – as will soon be the case for many more – to practice personal hygiene. You can’t eat soap. If you are starving, you won’t buy it.

    Thus the major components of the recommended public health measures – social distancing and hygiene – are extremely difficult to implement effectively in much of Africa. The net effect of measures that seek to enforce social distancing may thus be to prevent people from working, without actually achieving the distancing that would slow the spread of the virus. If that is true, then we must consider whether we would be better off without them.
    (go read the article.)

    Hopefully, I have been helpful with presenting all of this material.

    Doc Robinson

    Regarding chloroquine and Covid-19, last week an article was published by a medical journal, recommending that clinical trials be done for HCQ (hydroxychloroquine) instead of CQ (chloroquine), for reasons including fewer side effects and safety during pregnancy.

    COVID-19: a recommendation to examine the effect of hydroxychloroquine in preventing infection and progression
    Dan Zhou, Sheng-Ming Dai, Qiang Tong
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Published: 20 March 2020

    Gastrointestinal responses, such as vomiting and diarrhoea, are the most common adverse effects of these two drugs. Patients with long-term exposure to CQ suffer from severe side effects, such as retinopathy, circular defects (or bull’s eye maculopathy), diametric defects in the retina and cardiomyopathy. Elderly patients and usage beyond dosage limits are also associated with toxicities of CQ therapy. In contrast, HCQ has a lower level of tissue accumulation, which may explain the fact that it is associated with fewer adverse events than CQ, but still potentially influences the prevention and treatment of malaria to a similar level. Indeed, only high-dose and long-term (over 5 years) intake of HCQ is likely to contribute to the development of retinopathy, which is in agreement with the current preference of HCQ use in therapy. While CQ exerts a number of severe side effects on fetal development, HCQ is strongly recommended for pregnant patients with an autoimmune disease as it prevents the development of congenital heart block due to a potential inhibitory effect of type I interferon production. The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 has placed many pregnant women at high risk of infection (several infected cases have been reported); HCQ, rather than CQ, should be considered as a potential therapeutic solution for these patients, given its safety profile in pregnancy. More importantly, the maximum tolerable dose for HCQ is 1200 mg, which has an antiviral effect equivalent to 750 mg CQ (for which the maximum tolerable dose is 500 mg). This indicates that HCQ can be administered at a higher dosage and may therefore achieve a more powerful antiviral effect.

    Doc Robinson

    Meanwhile, a clinical trial to see whether chloroquine can prevent Covid-19 is slated to begin in May 2020, with the study completion date in May 2022.

    Official Title: Chloroquine Prevention of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the Healthcare Setting; a Randomised, Placebo-controlled Prophylaxis Study (COPCOV)
    Estimated Study Start Date : May 2020
    Estimated Primary Completion Date : May 2022
    Estimated Study Completion Date : May 2022

    John Day
    Bibi Netanyahu makes good personal use of the coronavirus crisis in Israel, at the expense of almost everybody else.
    ​ By a series of moves Netanyahoo has neutralized the courts and the parliament and has thrown the country into a constitutional crisis. Even cabinet sessions are only held by telephone and without the cabinet members receiving the written proposals Netanyahoo wants them to vote on.
    Meanwhile Netanyahoo puts out new emergency regulations every day that steadily get harsher:
    Anyone who leaves their place of residence for reasons not exempted by the emergency regulations is liable to be fined up to NIS 5,000. A person who has gone beyond the permitted distance [of 100 meters] could receive an NIS 500 fine or six months’ imprisonment, while one who operates public transportation in violation of the regulations can be fined NIS 5,000 or be imprisoned for six months.
    The emergency regulations were approved last night by the cabinet.
    In which democracy can a cabinet enact imprisonment penalties without a parliament vote on an applicable law?
    Netanyahoo’s current plan seems to be to go for a fourth election. Every second day he is holding a prime time TV briefing to update the population on the corona crisis. That will likely bring him additional popularity. Even Trump’s approval numbers for handling the coronavirus crisis are at 60% despite his botched response.
    Gantz’s current majority depends on support from the Arab parties. He will have difficulties forming a stable coalitions with them. His only alternative is to ally with Likud and that would likely keep Netanyahoo at the helm. If Gantz agrees to keep Netanyahoo at the top his Blue and White party may well fall apart.
    By blocking the courts and parliament Netanyahoo wins time to make that scenario more likely.
    Meanwhile the novel coronavirus will indiscriminately affect the Jewish as well as the Palestinian population. But the Zionist racism against the Palestinians guarantees that they will get less help. As both populations can not be separated that behavior will likely increase the peak and the consequences of the outbreak for everyone. Additionally the Haredim cult members will protest against the government’s measures of prohibiting religious services and passover festivities. The current mixture of political, racial and epidemic pressure in Israel may well blow up in everyone’s face and cause serious conflagrations.

    How Did Spain Get It’s Coronavirus Response So Wrong?
    (A: By delaying drastic action until it was obviously necessary)

    Scott Ritter has the story of how a critical intelligence agency was sidelined to create a blind spot in US national response to novel coronavirus. The natural question is, “who stood this agency down, when, and why?”
    The U.S. response is something President Trump has likened to a “war,” going so far as to label himself a “wartime President,” leading the U.S. against “the toughest enemy” in a struggle in which he vows “total victory.” If the fight against the coronavirus is a war, then the virus clearly took the U.S. government by surprise. “Certainly we didn’t get an early run on it, Trump noted in a press conference on March 17. “It would’ve been helpful if we knew about it earlier.”
    ​ ​It is the job of the U.S. intelligence community to provide senior U.S. government policy makers, including the president, with advance warning about potential crises. The U.S. taxpayer pays a premium for this service; in 2020, the budget for the National Intelligence Program, which includes all programs, projects and activities of the U.S. intelligence community, was $62.8 billion.
    ​ ​Included in this budget is a small, specialized intelligence unit known as the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), which operates as part of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The mission of the NCMI is to serve as the lead activity within the Department of Defense (DoD) “for the production of medical intelligence,” and to prepare and coordinate “integrated, all-source intelligence for the DoD and other government and international organizations on foreign health threats and other medical issues to protect U.S. interests worldwide.”
    ​ ​For a small agency, the NCMI packs a large punch in terms of the overall impact of its product. For example, in April 2009—two months prior to when the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially declared the global outbreak of H1N1 influenza a pandemic, NCMI published an intelligence product, known as an “Infectious Disease Risk Assessment,” which predicted that a recent outbreak of the Swine Flu (H1N1) would become a pandemic.


    The is something special about the news that is gathered by the bloggers.
    The sky is falling.
    The shit is hitting the fan.
    MMT printing is bad.
    The stock market does not respond, it want to go up and see if the sky is falling.
    There is something special by the news that makes the stock market move.
    I find myself lucky to be reading TAE.

    Dr. D

    “a study released by Oxford finds that perhaps 50% of those in the UK have the virus and the overwhelming number experience it like the normal flu and have little symptoms. The study suggests that fewer than one in a thousand of those infected with Covid-19 become ill enough to need hospital treatment.”

    That matches Denninger. And our determined delay with tests. Because once we have a denominator, we’ll realize everybody has it.


    We passed 500,000 global total cases at around noon EDT today.

    And the US has temporarily overtaken Italy as the number 2 in cases. Soon, maybe tomorrow, maybe Saturday, this will not be temporary anymore.

    Also, the US will overtake China as the number 1 before the day is done. About 6,300 more cases to go.


    I will share this:

    wife is on day 3 of work at home. She gets room service breakfast and l;unch “at work” (spare bedroom) and dinner when she comes home. And the backrubs and the hot pads and the cuppa cuppas throughout the day.

    Her productivity is sky-rocketing.

    Right now I hear her singing (lovely) to her corny Xtian pop music stream (ick). She is losing weight (obesity being the defining bane of her life), eating healthier than she ever has while still getting a bit of cake etc.

    We get to boink on her lunchbreak just like we’re cheating adulterers in the backroom at Wal-Mart.

    Months from now, we may almost envy the refugees on Lesbos (it’s possible). But right now, today, all one ever has outside of memory and speculation, we are very happy, I am taking the day off from the novel-in-progress, and in many ways life has never been better for me than today.

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Hunter S. Thompson

    for my parents:

    Stillest of songs is the night
    Softest of chants is the dark.
    Softest sleepwalker, moonlight,
    Makes indistinct shadow marks.

    Nocturnal sonances seem,
    By contrast, cut-throat and stark.
    Cats’ eyes save their somberest gleam
    For poaching mice in the park.

    For everyone:

    The Best Cure


    “The stock market does not respond, it want to go up and see if the sky is falling.”

    Why, Zero, you’re a poet!

    Doc Robinson

    John Day, your clinic might be able to order “COVID-19 Rapid Test Cassettes” from the UK manufacturer:

    Benefits Of Our COVID-19 Rapid Test Cassette
    Significant time and cost saving over lab methods
    Results within 10 minutes
    Identifies infection even in mild or asymptomatic cases
    Assists in the control of viral transmission
    Screen anywhere
    Ideal as a triage and screening tool
    Accuracy of 97.8% (IgM) and 99.6% (IgG)
    Easy to use and read, with no specialist equipment required

    Get in touch to order your COVID-19 Rapid Test Cassettes: Contact Us
    Please note: Our COVID-19 rapid test is only available to business customers. We are not able to supply to private individuals at this moment.


    As for this thing being a planned, or at least heavily exploited, disaster: seems likely.

    Also seems like a good thing. We bemoan the looming loss of civil liberties, but we are not alone on this planet. The rest of the world might be pleased that we do our necessary reset without having to go nuclear head-to-head with Russia/China/India.

    That rationale is my SOLE reason for preferring bathsit Trump to ratshit Hillary. Trump doesn’t want Big War. Call him crazy (he is) but he doesn’t. (If only, or at least among other reasons, because he knows he’s impulsive when cornered and might well command a ballistic fusillade.) Hillary seemed to be part of a nearly ubiquitous agreement among the brain-drained neo-cons/neo-libs (same coin, different sides) that we can and should corner Russia.

    A Few Words on Trump

    So I for one am glad to see the creeps getting full-bore jiggy with their totalitarian impoulses. It beats dying cold, thirsty, starving, half-charred or eviscerated, in the glowing radioactive dark. Every empire takes its turn in the bucket. We were raised on stories of how Europe (an empire with revolving king-nations), China, and Russia each collapsed into horrific self-destructive totalitarian insanity. We were taught that We Are Better, just like NKoreans are taught they are ruled by divine guidance in an overweight foreign exchange student frat boy.

    It’s our turn, and I’m pleased with how things are going, all things considered, seeing as how I (and most everyone here) agree that collapse is inevitable and highly imminent to the point of being breaking news not quite yet recognized as Major History.

    I may die yet. (My lungs are guava jelly.) But my kids have a better chance without nukes, I’m thinking, and so do the rest of the world’s kids.

    Oh, our poor poor pweshuss widdle Constitution! and the surreal American fever Dream it spawned as it decomposed under its own rising swamp waters! O shining ignis fatus! Oh noes! We’re going to experience at home things like what we’ve done to others since Columbus first came here and cut off aboriginal arms just to make a point.

    Embrace your karma, repent, and get healed. (Does this hairshirt make my beard look fat? What? I have locust legs in my teeth?) And, if you’re lucky, be around to watch the next generation figure it out, occasionally even asking your advice.

    Da Twoof

    Strong instinct for survival
    Romantically insane
    Moving soft along the edge of time
    Like a panther in the rain
    Manipulated rebels
    With a total disregard for the rules
    When pride comes tumbling off the great white stallion
    You move closer to the truth
    And the search continues for the meaning
    They build the cathedrals high
    But we keep our weapons ready
    Looming dark against the sky
    They’re taking down the rain forest
    Changing it to a room without a view
    And the big trees fall like dominoes
    And we move closer
    The eagle watches from the mountain
    As the warriors turn into fools
    And the dice are thrown on sacred ground
    And they move closer to the truth
    And who’s gonna tell the children
    How the rivers used to flow cystal blue
    And we keep leaving scars on Mother Earth
    And moving closer to the truth


    Thanks zerosum, from yesterday. One would think that should work. I have been to many different sites- general and specific to wordpress- all with the same results: the link shows up as html. If I simply type the link, the post doesn’t post, even if I leave off bits. It’s probably something too obvious- but that’s the sort of thing I miss. I’ve even tried different computers.

    We braved the real world today before we are all supposed to stay home here in my state- to buy produce and crickets (I have tortoises, bearded dragons, anoles). The store was crowded and there were no children. No one wore a mask (we don’t have any). Someone nearby coughed, so when we got home we showered, and then took a sunbath. There is one case we know of in our little town.
    My state was shown to be the least concerned of the fifty about The Virus, and I still feel that knowing there is a treatment has made me feel easier. Cuba is having good results with interferon alpha2b, as well.
    That this info is not being used to allay fears means they aren’t done trying to scare us all into submission. Imagine a year ago if someone told you that governments were going to shut down businesses- so many of whom are unlikely to survive. And then stuff billions into the pockets of the already stuffy.
    The Virus is not going to just go away in two weeks. Epidemics come in waves. What happens next?
    The Shadow [government] Knows!
    Ilargi, your stuff scares me; Dr. D, etal., your stuff makes me think something sinister is afoot. I am more afraid of the sinister than the medical.
    Ah, well. Que sera, sera.
    Oh, yeah. F**K Baraitser.


    ” “At Least 13 Patients Die from Coronavirus in One Day at New York Hospital (CNN)”

    “420 people die every day in NYC on average.”

    There is a birth in New York City every 4.4 minutes. 327 people are born in NYC every day.

    There is a death in New York City every 9.1 minutes. Roughly half that.

    About 1 in every 38 people living in the United States resides in New York City.

    “37,461 US Traffic / Year = 9,365.25 / 4 months. Corona = 685, making your daily commute 13x as dangerous. Loooooooong way from Obama’s 12,000 H1N1.”

    There are 102 traffic accidents a day, yes, and it’s way stupid, the entire automotive society is dumb-dumb, but that’s who we are. It’s sad but no one is working to build other means of existence since capitalism has us all working for The Man and The Man says CARS! and the people do what The Man says here just like they do in communist Narnia. It’s a constant. We’ve built large industrial/financial/service industries around keeping that death toll “manageable”. It’s how we think. Cars are “normal”. We’re a society built on shared indoctrinated norms. The Great Melting Pot. Our society is adjusted to it. Just like it is to the constant mutations of what we call “the flu” as if there were only one.

    We are not adjusted to this virus. Apples, you see, are red with crisp white interiors. Oranges are orange with soft juicy orange interiors.

    ” “Personavirus: Greta Thunberg Says Its “Extremely Likely” She Had COVID-19 Despite Never Being Tested”

    “Not only can she see carbon dioxide, but can identify viruses with her naked eyes too. Superpowers! What’s that? She’s in a nation with socialized medicine and can’t get a test, just like everyone in America? Just what I thought to myself, too. If only we had Sweden’s system, we could be ignored by the government and killed in the streets, but with higher taxes and less freedom.”

    A) Greta says it’s extremely likely. It is. She’s been traveling everywhere alla time. During a time when no one thought about contagion much less took measures. We believe people here when they think their spouse has, and might be at severe risk from, the virus. We console them. But we attack Greta, because she is BAD. Like Orange Man=Bad thinking. Russiarussiarussia is as well-supported as the bases for picking on this person as if she somehow weren’t human, as if she were the cause of Peak Oil, pollution (of which anthropgenic global climate disruption is a subset), and the way creeps like Bloomberg, Soros, et al selfishly exploit the climate situation.

    I remember my liberal friends back in the day when they bought the propaganda that Assange was “just a self-serving narcissist”. They sounded just like today’s Greta-bashers.

    B) Greta is not Sweden, and viruses really don’t have a political persuasion. srsly. Some renegade virolgist said so. Even the WHO agrees with him cuz even they’re right some times.

    “But socialized medicine is infinite and free!”

    Straw men are bad enough. Straw teenage girls are worse. But using bullshit to hold the straw together really stinks.

    ““Trump’s Deadly Mistake in Comparing Coronavirus to Flu (IC)”

    “I’m sorry, what’s the difference except that COVID is much less deadly and we have a cure?”

    We don’t have hard numbers, right? So we don’t know, right? Except China is hiding a zillion corpses cuz it’s not as bad as the flu, right? If it’s bad for experts, so-called or otherwise, honest or corrupt, to spew bullshit, maybe it’s bad for to spew bullshit also.

    a) We don’t have a cure, we just have a very powerful therapy that appears able to cut mortality rates way down if properly applied. I’m excited but calling it a cure is not correct except case by case.

    “ “California Sees 1 Million Unemployment Claims in Less Than Two Weeks (CNBC)”

    “Faster and more deadly than COVID. Yet we ache, beg, cajole, harangue, to kill people via the economy. Good work, people! Crime, murder, and suicide rates should spike shortly.”

    The economy is already Dead On Arrival. The train carrying its corpse has just been delayed by devious dubious means. Crime, murder, suicide rates will spike no matter what path we follow into the inescapable facts which are the basis of mutual understanding here at TAE. Meanwhile, and again: hard numbers. Get back to me with discernible death counts based on people forced to spend time together even if only on social media etc. outside of family/roommates rather than also spending time with people at the workplace.

    Get back to me when we’re pouring milk out into the dirt to raise prices like they did in the Depression in true socialist/communist fashion even though it happened entirely under the aegis of capitalism until the gubmint stepped in with socialist concepts in order to keep us from revolting and turning into something communistic or factiously violent rather than the friendly old fascistic capitalism we all now and, for some mysterious reason, love. Stop making this into something it isn’t. Last I heard, that was the WHO’s job.

    “Staying home: Will kill us all, not the Dow. WE are the ones who turn the economy that WE depend on for our lives.”

    I doubt farmers aren’t working. By the time harvest is full on, we’ll have enough people with immunity to harvest enough to do okay although food export sales will suffer. But sales don’t produce anything any more than printing money does. Most of the jobs people are staying home from are nonsensical make-work or more of that same old dumbass car culture/media hypnosis shit that has so impoverished us in terms of genuine physical resources and wise expenditure thereof.

    When a reset happens, a real honest fundamental reset, the price of energy will go ballistic, because USA dollars won’t buy shit-nits’ worth of foreign oil and USA wells are as weak and geriatric as your average Boomer. THEN we will see lots of deaths. Oh, lots. Unless we’re under the control of a genius benevolent dictator, which is perhaps a little more likely than the Return of Jeebus to save us all, and maybe the same thing if you’re an Evangelical Xtian.

    Staying home will increase certain kinds of deaths while decreasing others. For example, traffic fatalities. The roads are a mostly vacant breeze right now. Like lung issues from air pollution, which are taking a break right now from everything but stale roommate farts and a certain virus along with other airborne pathogens. Show me this mysterious math that shows one dominating the other, and I’ll consider this something other than sheer self-indulgent spleen-venting on your part based more on confirmation bias than rigorous data analysis.

    “Farmers will be happy to keep that food in the field”

    Seems to me they’ll cry at all the grain rotting in the dirt while their income also goes tits-up even though they’ve not stayed home and have been working their arses to the tailbone.

    You’re a brilliant man, Doc, but brilliant minds are a dime a dozen here. Honor, as in logical rigor, data hygiene, stuff like that, are what count around here, best I can tell. If I’m wrong, well hush my mouf.

    Dr D Rich

    Here’s a guess.
    Hot war is coming and I give it a 70% chance.
    You know, bombs, bullets and missiles at Venezuela (DOJ just indicted Nicolas Maduro et al for, get this, behaving as a criminal enterprise in support of drug traffickers and terrorists), Iran, Russia or China in no particular order.

    Doesn’t “behaving as a criminal enterprise in support of drug traffickers and terrorists” sound like a description of the CIA or the entire MIC as Maj. Danny Sjursen opined in his recent essay at


    500,000 global cases was at noon EDT. 3.5 hours later there were another 20,000.

    At 12.38 pm the US was 6,300 cases behind China. That is now 1,200.

    Italy temporarily took back no. 2 with 6,200 new cases announced around 1 pm. The US has already moved back to within just 500 fewer cases.

    God’s Own Country will take the definite no. 1 position sometime this afternoon, and then run away with it. The US has many fewer fatalities so far, but there, too, it will come out on top.

    All this is why America pronounced Nicolas Maduro a drug trafficker and narco-terrorist today.


    Coronavirus: Jobless claims surge to 3.3M
    Does that mean that the group life insurance coverage is terminated,and therefore, leaving the employees without health insurance?


    edit : life insurance to health


    Dr. D Rich:

    I feel we are dumb enough to invade Benezuela for the lousy low-grade oil left in its reservoirs. Likewise, I see us hanging on to Saudi Arabia by whatever means so long as we don’t go beyond that, whereupon the Other Boys will likely fence us inside the ARabian peninsula, or even out of the Middle East entirely. But for now, I think they’d welcome us busting open that chocolate Easter egg, to borrow Dimitry Orlov’s description. It’s gonna bust any way, and might as well let us expend our resources making a relatively neutralized mess of it. Or maybe, once Russia has out-pumped and out-profited them, they’ll move in with their nice shiny reactors (like ancient Romans building aqueducts for people tired of recurrent cholera and diptheria infections), in exchange for the oil, which is very handy for some things, I’m told.

    But even those operations look increasingly dicey. I recall the once globally powerful British Empire stooping to the level of engaging with Argentina over some silly islands back in the game-changing 80s, inspiring the famous Borges quote about “two bald men fighting over a comb”.

    Best I can tell, USA political leadership really believed it could rule over Russia for its oil and other resources, which would’ve continued the petrodollar charade for quite some time, I would think. That proving unwise after Trump’s first term stymied those nonsensical plans long enough for us to learn that Russia would’ve clobbered us had we tried, the parasites in power apparently discovered they have no Plan B. Some believe the handling of this virus is Plan B. Others feel that they’re simply exploiting yet another unforeseen problem in the same way the Dubya gang exploited 911 whether they made/allowed it to happen or not. Functionally, the effect is virtually identical in both cases.

    If designating Venezuela as the new neo-terrorism target is how the parasites in power hope to distract us from our current public health concerns and their consequent economic results, I can only marvel at their vacuity. That said, the vacuity of our deeply indoctrinated and conditioned populace is also a marvel. Somehow, I don’t think even the American populace will fall for this one. However, they haven’t failed to disappoint me yet, not that I can blame them. It’s hard to jump the corral, hard to live outside the herd, and jumping back in when you’ve had enough exile tends to make a returned lone wolf all itchy and scratchy, probably because all the sheep wool suits, that the wolves of the American populace wear to convince themselves they’re not part of the biggest global predator pack in known history, are rife with vermin of the soul.

    Our new norm of record-breaking floods, heat tsunamis, chronic forest fires, violent weather, and hurricanes is just now getting started. Many regions will perhaps find nature breaking quarantine for them.

    I note that all of this is entirely self-inflicted. Should the more advanced nations decide to give us grief, perhaps making surgical cyber-attacks under cover of said natural disasters, well, that’s that much more trouble on top of a double flu season, one out of the blue and especially viral. (How virulent remains to be conclusively determined.)

    Over a lifetime of musical exploration, I find this thingie, that I first encountered at age 18, to be my favorite piece of lyrically inclined music. Sort of a desert isle pick:

    Pastorale by Igor Stravinsky

    A miraculous if devastating century, the 20th.



    Long live King Ben!


    “I may die yet. (My lungs are guava jelly.) ”

    EIther I believe I’m potentially immortal, or I meant “during this virus pandemic”. Considering my belief in an afterlife, I guess bof dem’s true.


    “The store was crowded and there were no children. No one wore a mask (we don’t have any).”

    Not even scarves or bandanas? Or family heirloom gorilla masks?

    Dr D Rich

    Bosco, no argument from me.

    Sept 2001, they/we weaponized the law, with the AUMF, Patriot Act, and abusive prosecution of any swarthy, disloyal appearing schmuck who got in our way. Here we go again with Maduro and martial not-martial law.

    Sept 2001, they/we weaponized Medicine. Torture became a higher moral & ethical calling to justice in defense of the nation than the Hippocratic oath and Geneva protections. And we paid Mitchell and Jessen Psych Associates $81 million to torture folk under the Gina Haspel’s leadership. Now , medically, we’re all commanded to hide in our houses.

    Sept 2001 we/they weaponized Anthrax but it only ruined a few lives without causing the Herd to panic. Today we just have at least 5 pathological COVID-19 strains and the herd better panic or else we’re gonna lose the remnants of the lives which were destroyed by economic austerity over the past 12-19 years .

    They turned friend into foe. They turned family against each other. They pathologized generosity and gift giving. In my life, they turned colleague against colleague, inverted the chain of command, and turned groom against best man. They celebrated venality and competition over competency and ethical comportment.



    Someone with a great computer program put in the variable … the answer was 2024.

    Now, they had to find a way to do a jubilee that would save the connected elites.

    The virus was their excuse to print and hide their mistakes.


    This has nothing to do with D or R. or any ISM.


    We are slaves and willing slaves.
    Pompeo is still doing the war talk.
    He has trained troops that are coming home, even tho they are on lock down on their base, as they get infected and die.
    He is announcing all kinds of successful warring actions.
    Even thinking of putting troops on the northern border to keep Canadians in Canada.
    What a dummb ass, look at the border cameras, Canadians don’t want to go to USA.


    It seems the new econimic transitory paradigm has reached Portland area internet. Looking up a youtube thing, I was given an ad for Centrum featuring VITAMIN C! followed by the Taco Bell chiming uncommonly proud as it declared with great social benevolence and patriotic fervor that it’s drive-thru is OPEN!!!!

    Poor advertizing industry. It’s gonna get dizzy and ‘splode at some point not far off, lessen the government hires it on as its new Orwellian Mandate broadcast system beforehand.

    If I’m watching Big Bro watching me, is it more or less kinky than just Him stroking his panopticones as He watches me?


    “and abusive prosecution of any swarthy, disloyal appearing schmuck ”

    Whew! Good thing I’m not swarthy!


    “They turned friend into foe. They turned family against each other. They pathologized generosity and gift giving. In my life, they turned colleague against colleague, inverted the chain of command, and turned groom against best man.”

    Aye, and I sometimes think I smell a Robespierre snoring in the woodplie soon to emerge, hungover and grumpy. They do the above too much, see, and people gets to talking to each other once the $$ bonds that bond them, that let them tolerate each other’s stinky ass, financially evaporate. Or even burn for a bit of winter’s heat.

    The world no longer needs us as a market except by fomal inertia. That form is rapidly changing and soon it’s inertia will become centrifugal angular momentum spinning us away the general world’s newly forming center somewhere in Eurasia between Russia and China.

    Before 911, the Patriot Act, and our re-embrace of torture after a brief lull, it was illegal to write so tortured a metaphor as above.

    But no worries rries, we’re safe: Already irked fans threaten boycott over Marvel’s new Hydra campaign It should’ve been a simple T-shirt promotion, but some fans believe it has harmful political connotations.

    Remember: Obi Wan is coming to save us, with Yoda at His right-sabre hand and the Holy Force on His left. Let us pray:

    Obi-wan-kanobi, Obi-wan-kanobi…


    “Crowded” in this small town still let people keep pretty good distance from each other, but six feet seems silly when the aerosol hangs in the air for three hours. I wore a loose turtleneck fleece shirt, and tucked my face in when the guy coughed. I do that all winter- I am a dark season germaphobe. If someone sneezes in the aisle one over, I forego crackers ’til the next time.
    You probably won’t see this- but I came back to read the late night posts- you were on a roll.

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