Apr 172020

Dorothea Lange American River camp, Sacramento, CA. Destitute family. 5 children, aged 2 to 17 years 1936


China Didn’t Warn Public Of Likely Pandemic For 6 Key Days (AP)
US Alerted Israel, NATO To Disease Outbreak In China In November (ToI )
Wuhan Death Toll Up By 50% As 1,290 ‘Delayed & Omitted’ Fatalities Added (RT)
Men Are Much More Likely To Die From Coronavirus. Why? (G.)
France Summons Chinese Envoy Over Criticism Of COVID19 response (RT)
Chinese Economy Shrank For The First Time Since 1976 In Q1 (SCMP)
Biophysical Economics and the Coronavirus Pandemic (Fix)
22 Million New Jobless Claims, 9.2 Million Lost Health Care In Past Month (NBC)
43,000 US Millionaires Will Get ‘Stimulus’ Averaging $1.6 Million Each (NYP)
Fed Just Jawboning, Massively Tapered QE-4, Hasn’t Bought Any Junk Bonds (WS)
Cut Military Spending To Fund Human Security – Gorbachev (RT)
Chinese Airlines Poised For Post-Coronavirus ‘Revenge Travelling’ (SCMP)
Greece to Celebrate Easter Under Coronavirus Lockdown (GR)
Russiagate Godfather Obama Promotes NYTimes’ “Putin + Covid-19” (RT)
Roger Stone Denied Bid For New Trial (G.)
Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City (Henderson)



Well, I now know Taleb read my essay. And he likes it. Shame he linked to Yves’ repost, not the original at the Automatic Earth.



• US new cases 29,567

• US new deaths 2,174


• Revised COVID-19 death toll for New York City: 10,367

• Total US military death toll for Iraq War: 4,424.



Note: both cases and deaths jump by a lot today. It’s not just the Wuhan deaths number revised up by 1,290.


Cases 2,193,558 (+ 98,674 from yesterday’s 2,094,884)

Deaths 147,378 (+ 11,809 from yesterday’s 135,569)




From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close- (Note: Brazil and Russia keep climbing fast)



From Worldometer – NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases remains at 21% –



From SCMP:



From COVID19Info.live: (Belgium in first place worldwide of deaths per million at 445, 14.3% CFR, before Spain, Italy, France and UK.)





Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 was already late in the game.

China Didn’t Warn Public Of Likely Pandemic For 6 Key Days (AP)

In the six days after top Chinese officials secretly determined they likely were facing a pandemic from a new coronavirus, the city of Wuhan at the epicenter of the disease hosted a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people; millions began traveling through for Lunar New Year celebrations. President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, Jan. 20. But by that time, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence, according to internal documents obtained by AP and expert estimates based on retrospective infection data. Six days. That delay from Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 was neither the first mistake made by Chinese officials at all levels in confronting the outbreak, nor the longest lag, as governments around the world have dragged their feet for weeks and even months in addressing the virus.

But the delay by the first country to face the new coronavirus came at a critical time — the beginning of the outbreak. China’s attempt to walk a line between alerting the public and avoiding panic set the stage for a pandemic that has infected more than 2 million people and taken more than 133,000 lives. “This is tremendous,” said Zuo-Feng Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient. We might have avoided the collapse of Wuhan’s medical system.” Other experts noted that the Chinese government may have waited on warning the public to stave off hysteria, and that it did act quickly in private during that time.

But the six-day delay by China’s leaders in Beijing came on top of almost two weeks during which the national Center for Disease Control did not register any cases from local officials, internal bulletins obtained by the AP confirm. Yet during that time, from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17, hundreds of patients were appearing in hospitals not just in Wuhan but across the country. [..] The punishment of eight doctors for “rumor-mongering,” broadcast on national television on Jan. 2, sent a chill through the city’s hospitals. “Doctors in Wuhan were afraid,” said Dali Yang, a professor of Chinese politics at the University of Chicago. “It was truly intimidation of an entire profession.”

Read more …

May not be coronavirus, though. In November, Beijing hospitals reported three instances of pneumonic plague (transmitted by fleas, not a virus) in people coming from Inner Mongolia:

US Alerted Israel, NATO To Disease Outbreak In China In November (ToI )

US intelligence agencies alerted Israel to the coronavirus outbreak in China already in November, Israeli television reported Thursday. According to Channel 12 news, the US intelligence community became aware of the emerging disease in Wuhan in the second week of that month and drew up a classified document. Information on the disease outbreak was not in the public domain at that stage — and was known only apparently to the Chinese government. US intelligence informed the Trump administration, “which did not deem it of interest,” but the report said the Americans also decided to update two allies with the classified document: NATO and Israel, specifically the IDF.

The network said Israeli military officials later in November discussed the possibility of the spread of the virus to the region and how it would affect Israel and neighboring countries. The intelligence also reached Israel’s decision makers and the Health Ministry, where “nothing was done,” according to the report. Last week, ABC News reported that US intelligence officials were warning about the coronavirus in a report prepared in December by the American military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence. It was unclear if that was the same report that was said to have been shared with Israel. In its first major step to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Israel announced on January 30 it was barring all flights from China, ten days after Chinese leader Xi Jinping issued his first public comments on the virus and the Asian country’s top epidemiologist said for the first time it could be spread from person to person.

An Associated Press report on Wednesday said Xi’s warning came seven days after Chinese officials secretly determined that they were likely facing a pandemic, potentially costing China and other countries valuable time to prepare for the outbreak. Doctors in Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak in China, are reported to have first tried to have warn about the virus in December, but were censored.

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Many countries should follow suit. Hidden deaths are everywhere, and the incentive to report them is mostly lacking.

Holland just reported the 2nd week in a row with 2,000 more deaths than usual, but their testing is still terribly deficient.

Wuhan Death Toll Up By 50% As 1,290 ‘Delayed & Omitted’ Fatalities Added (RT)

The Chinese city of Wuhan – ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic – has revised its fatality count, increasing the total by just shy of 1,300 deaths, which officials say went unreported due to “delays” and “omissions.” Authorities in Wuhan added another 1,290 deaths to the city’s death toll on Friday, putting the overall figures at 50,333 infections and 3,869 fatalities in the virus’ first epicenter. The revision was necessary to “address incorrect reporting, delays and omissions of cases,” city officials said, with the new numbers increasing Wuhan’s death tally by some 50%. “In the early stage of the epidemic, due to insufficient capacity for admission and treatment, a small number of medical institutions failed to connect with the disease prevention and control information system in a timely manner,” Wuhan health officials said, adding that a “statistical investigation” had been conducted to correct the figures.

Read more …

More things we don’t know.

Men Are Much More Likely To Die From Coronavirus. Why? (G.)

Early on, smoking was suggested as a likely explanation. In China, nearly 50% of men but only about 2% of women smoke, and so underlying differences in lung health were assumed to contribute to men suffering worse symptoms and outcomes. The smoking hypothesis was backed by a paper, published last month, that found smokers made up about 12% of those with less severe symptoms, but 26% of those who ended up in intensive care or died. Smoking might also act as an avenue for getting infected in the first place: smokers touch their lips more and may share contaminated cigarettes. Behavioural factors that differ across genders may also have a role. Some studies have shown that men are less likely to wash their hands, less likely to use soap, less likely to seek medical care and more likely to ignore public health advice.

These are sweeping generalisations, but across a population could place men at greater risk. However, there is a growing belief among experts that more fundamental biological factors are also at play. While there are higher proportions of male smokers in many countries – in the UK, 16.5% of men smoke compared with 13% of women – the differences are nowhere near as extreme as in China. But men continue to be overrepresented in Covid-19 statistics. “The growing observation of increased mortality in men is holding true across China, Italy, Spain. We’re seeing this across very diverse countries and cultures,” said Sabra Klein, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “When I see that, it makes me think that there must be something universal that’s contributing to this. I don’t think smoking is the leading factor.”

Previous research, including by Klein, has revealed that men have lower innate antiviral immune responses to a range of infections including hepatitis C and HIV. Studies in mice suggest this may also be true for coronaviruses, though Covid-19 specifically has not been studied. “Their immune system may not initiate an appropriate response when it initially sees the virus,” Klein said. Hormones can also play a role – oestrogen has been shown to increase antiviral responses of immune cells. And many genes that regulate the immune system are encoded on the X chromosome (of which men have one, and women have two) and so it is possible that some genes involved in the immune response are more active in women than in men.

Read more …

The embassy talked about France leaving elderly patients “to die of hunger and disease.”

France Summons Chinese Envoy Over Criticism Of COVID19 response (RT)

Paris has summoned its Chinese envoy after the embassy published a blistering critique of the West’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, accusing leaders of failing to act and abandoning vulnerable citizens to death and starvation. “Certain publicly voiced opinions by representatives of the Chinese Embassy in France are not in line with the quality of the bilateral relations between our two countries,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement late on Tuesday, calling on Ambassador Lu Shaye to answer for an article published on the Chinese Embassy website over the weekend.

Entitled ‘Restoring distorted facts,’ the lengthy post – which listed no author – tore into the US and European governments for their handling of the pandemic, while defending Beijing from accusations of concealing information and of a sluggish response. “In the West, we have seen politicians tearing themselves apart to recover votes; advocate herd immunity, thus abandoning their citizens alone in the face of the viral massacre.” The article claimed that some nursing homes had been “deserted,” leaving elderly patients “to die of hunger and disease.”

The post also took aim at Western news outlets, “which take themselves for paragons of impartiality and objectivity,” yet appear to care more about “slandering, stigmatizing and attacking China” than covering the raging health crises in their own countries. “Do these media and these experts, so fond of objectivity and impartiality, have a conscience? Do they have ethics?” Responding to the blustery article, the French FM insisted “there is no room for polemics” amid the Covid-19 pandemic, stating he made his “disapproval” clear to Lu and that France and other nations must pursue “unity, solidarity and the greatest international cooperation.”

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What a surprise.

Chinese Economy Shrank For The First Time Since 1976 In Q1 (SCMP)

China’s economy shrank by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, the first contraction since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, confirming the economic damage done by the coronavirus pandemic. Over the first three months of the year, the world’s second largest economy faced an extensive shutdown as it battled to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and has subsequently struggled to fully reopen. New data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday confirmed the slump, which was worse than predictions of minus 6.0 per cent from a survey of analysts’ forecasts by Bloomberg. NBS data also showed that over the single month of March the economy remained under huge pressure, with the industrial sectors, retail and fixed asset investment all shrinking again, following a dramatic collapse over the first two months of the year.

Industrial production, a gauge of manufacturing, mining and utilities, fell by 1.1 per cent last month, after a 13.5 per cent decline over January and February, when the data was combined. This was much better than expectations of a 6.2 per cent decline, according to the Bloomberg survey. Within that, however, manufacturing contracted by 10.2 per cent, suggesting that even as factories reopen, headwinds remain. Retail sales, a key measurement of consumption in the world s most populous nation, fell by 15.8 per cent, following a record 20.5 per cent collapse in the first two months, much worse than forecasts of a 10.0 per cent slump. Fixed asset investment, a gauge of expenditure over the year to date on items including infrastructure, property, machinery and equipment, fell by 16.1 per cent over the first three months, from an all-time low of minus 20.5 per cent in January-February. Analysts had forecast a 15.1 per cent slump.

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Terrible headline, but interesting concept: ..how many jobs can society do without? The answer, it would appear, is an awful lot. David Graeber, pay attention.

Biophysical Economics and the Coronavirus Pandemic (Fix)

[..] there are two constraints on our ability to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The first constraint is money. This gets all the press right now — and rightly so. To slow the spread of the coronavirus, millions of people are staying home from work. Since we don’t want these people to starve, we need to somehow give them money. But where should this money come from? While this appears like a monetary constraint, it’s actually a social constraint. Money is a social fiction that we can create and destroy at will. So at the societal level, ‘not having enough money’ isn’t a real constraint. No, the real constraint is about who has the power to create and distribute money. We usually give most of this power to the private sector. (Banks create the majority of money when they issue credit.) We forget that the government can also create money. Fortunately, many governments of the world are rediscovering this power, and are paying their citizens to stay at home.

While this (apparent) monetary constraint is on the top of our minds, there are also biophysical constraints on how we can deal with the coronavirus pandemic. These biophysical constraints are little discussed, but they’re more fundamental than the lack of money. [..] Two hundred years ago, most people lived in rural areas. This made it easy to keep your distance from other people (if you had to). Now the vast majority of us live in cities, making it hard to stay away from other people. So urbanization has made it more difficult to fight pandemics.

Fortunately, another demographic change offsets the affects of urbanization. To slow the spread of the virus, many of us are being paid to sit at home and do nothing. Two hundred years ago this would have been impossible. Why? Because at the time, most people were farmers. If they didn’t go to work, the population would starve. So a sweeping ‘stay-at-home’ order would have been impossible. Now things are different. As Figure 1 shows, the US has undergone an astonishing
demographic inversion. The vast majority of people now work in the service sector. This means that many of us can simply not work. Sure, without a large service sector we can’t get our lattes or our manicures. But we won’t starve. So the coronavirus pandemic is forcing us to run a vast social experiment. The research question is this: in the short run, how many jobs can society do without? The answer, it would appear, is an awful lot.

Figure 1: The demographic inversion in the US. The sector composition of the US in 1800 (left) and in 2010 (right). [Source: Rethinking Economic Growth Theory from a Biophysical Perspective]

Read more …

Millions losing health care in a pandemic….

22 Million New Jobless Claims, 9.2 Million Lost Health Care In Past Month (NBC)

The number of unemployed Americans continues to climb with another 5 million people filing jobless claims last week, bringing the total number of people applying for unemployment to 22 million in the last month. But an unsettling undercurrent of that number is the amount of people who are also losing access to health insurance because they lost their job. Approximately 9.2 million workers have likely lost their employer-provided health care coverage in the past four weeks, an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute concluded.

Two weeks ago, the nonprofit think tank concluded that nearly 3.5 million among the 8.7 million claims likely lost their employer coverage. An additional 11.4 million people have since applied for unemployment, with the biggest losses of insurance coming from the health care/social assistance, manufacturing and retail sectors. NBC News previously reported that states are bracing for an increase in the number of people who have applied for Medicaid, the public health care coverage option, since the coronavirus pandemic caused states to shutter businesses and caused workers to lose access to their insurance.

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…vs the other side of America…

43,000 US Millionaires Will Get ‘Stimulus’ Averaging $1.6 Million Each (NYP)

At least 43,000 American millionaires who are too rich to get coronavirus stimulus checks are getting a far bigger boost — averaging $1.6 million each, according to a congressional committee. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act trumpeted its assistance for working families and small businesses, but it apparently contains an even bigger benefit for wealthy business owners, the committee found. The act allows pass-through businesses — ones taxed under individual income, rather than corporate — an unlimited amount of deductions against their non-business income, such as capital gains, the Washington Post said. They can also use losses to avoid paying taxes in other years.

That gives the roughly 43,000 individual tax filers who make at least $1 million a year a savings of $70.3 billion — or about $1.6 million apiece, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Hedge-fund investors and real estate business owners are “far and away” the ones who will benefit the most, tax expert Steve Rosenthal told the Washington Post. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) called it a “scandal” to “loot American taxpayers in the midst of an economic and human tragedy.” Sen. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) claimed that “someone wrongly seized on this health emergency to reward ultrarich beneficiaries.” “For those earning $1 million annually, a tax break buried in the recent coronavirus relief legislation is so generous that its total cost is more than total new funding for all hospitals in America and more than the total provided to all state and local governments,” he stressed in a statement.

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And there are the dollar-denominated debts again…

Fed Just Jawboning, Massively Tapered QE-4, Hasn’t Bought Any Junk Bonds (WS)

Since the Fed announced its market bailouts and interventions on March 15, it has printed and handed to Wall Street $2.06 trillion. But here is the thing: This was front-loaded, and over the past two weeks, it has cut its bailouts in half, and it has stopped lending new funds to its SPVs that were expected to buy all manner of securities, including equities, junk bonds, and old bicycles. But those loan amounts haven’t moved in four weeks. What it has bought were Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities – and it’s cutting back on those too. Total assets on the Fed’s balance sheet rose by $285 billion during the week through April 15, reported Thursday afternoon, to $6.37 trillion.

Over the past five weeks, including the partial bailout-week which started March 16 and ended March 18, total assets increased by these amounts. Note the big taper from $586 billion and $557 billion early on to $287 billion in the latest week: • $356 billion (Mar 18, partial bailout week started Mar 16) • $586 billion (Mar 25) • $557 billion (Apr 1) • $272 billion (Apr 8) • $285 billion (Apr 15).

The $6.37 trillion of assets on the Fed’s balance sheet are mostly composed of Treasury securities, mortgage-backed securities (MBS), repurchase agreements (repos), “foreign central bank liquidity swaps,” and “loans” to its Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). We’ll go through them one at a time. The Fed added $154 billion in Treasury securities during the week, down 47% from the $293 billion it had added the week before, and down 57% from the $362 billion it had added two week ago. This is a major factor in the Big Taper of QE-4.

The sharp reduction in purchases of Treasuries confirms for now that the Fed is sticking to its announcement that it would drastically cut QE after the initial blast. Fed Chair Jerome Powell in a webcast on April 10 said that the Fed would pack away its emergency tools once “private markets and institutions are once again able to perform their vital functions of channeling credit and supporting economic growth.” Whatever that means. [..] The Fed has “dollar liquidity swap lines” with [many central banks]. The total on its balance sheet increased by $20 billion from the prior week to $378 billion but has been in the same range all April. Of note: • 83% of outstanding liquidity swaps are with the ECB ($138 billion) and the BOJ ($176 billion). • The Bank of England is far behind ($22 billion). And there no swaps with the central banks of Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, and Sweden.

[..] neither the ECB nor the BOJ need the dollars for trade. They need them to support their banks and companies have large dollar-denominated debts and speculative bets that they need to refinanced with cheap dollars. And those swaps make that possible.

Read more …


Cut Military Spending To Fund Human Security – Gorbachev (RT)

The Covid-19 pandemic shows that governments that think of security in mostly military terms are simply wasting money, Mikhail Gorbachev has said. Defence spending must be cut globally to fund things that humanity actually needs. The former Soviet leader called on the world to move away from hard power in international affairs. He remains especially worried about the kind of military brinkmanship that lately has almost led to a shooting war in the Middle East. “What we urgently need now is a rethinking of the entire concept of security,” he wrote, in an op-ed published by TIME magazine. “Even after the end of the Cold War, it has been envisioned mostly in military terms. Over the past few years, all we’ve been hearing is talk about weapons, missiles and airstrikes.”

The Covid-19 outbreak has highlighted once again that the threats humanity faces today are global in nature and can only be addressed by nations collectively. The resources currently spent on arms need to go into preparation for such crises, Gorbachev said. “The overriding goal must be human security: providing food, water and a clean environment, and caring for people’s health,” he said. The first thing that nations should do after the coronavirus is dealt-with is to make a commitment to a massive demilitarization. “I call upon [world leaders] to cut military spending by 10 percent to 15 percent. This is the least they should do now, as a first step toward a new consciousness, a new civilization.”

Gorbachev, the former leader of the USSR who is credited with de-escalating the Cold War against the US and with negotiating a dramatic reduction in the nuclear arsenals of the two powers, shared his opinions and aspirations as the global number of Covid-19 cases surpassed the two-million benchmark. The pandemic has led to over 130,000 deaths and is projected to plunge the world economy into a recession of a magnitude unseen since the 1920s.

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It should be easy for Xi to prevent this.

Chinese Airlines Poised For Post-Coronavirus ‘Revenge Travelling’ (SCMP)

China’s airlines are poised for a bout of “revenge travelling” in the coming weeks, as soaring reservations ahead of the annual Labour Day holiday and demand by residents returning home from quarantines helped them recover 40 per cent of their traffic. Regional carriers like Guizhou Airlines, Fuzhou Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines’ low-cost unit China United Airlines have added new routes around the country, according to CAAC News, a newspaper run by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). United has added 25 routes, eight of which depart from the new Daxing airport in the Chinese capital.

“Chinese carriers are hoping that they could make a breakthrough on the Labour Day holiday,” said the Institute for Aviation Research’s founder and president Lei Zheng, adding that airlines do tend to make seasonal scheduling adjustments. “If they have decent recovery during May, then they can be well-prepared for summer, one of the two most profitable seasons other than the Lunar New Year.” The recovery in air travel, underpinned by an easing coronavirus outbreak in mainland China, is welcomed news for an industry that has suffered 39.82 billion yuan (US$5.6 billion) in first-quarter losses as air passenger traffic shrank 53.9 per cent.

[..] At the height of the outbreak in China a month ago, the aviation regulator grounded most aircraft, limiting each airline to one weekly international route at 75 per cent capacity. As the daily caseload of coronavirus infections fell to single digits, carriers resumed their services, increasing the average aircraft utilisation to 2.8 hours a day, compared with 9 hours per day before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Flight Master, a Chinese travel intelligence and data company.
China’s Labour Day holiday begins on May 1 and lasts until May 5, an annual weeklong break that usually marks the first peak for travelling and shopping in calendar following the Lunar New Year. Flights are resuming to destinations with lighter caseloads of the coronavirus infections, and where local authorities have either lifted, or are implementing less draconian isolation and quarantine measures than some of the most severely afflicted cities.

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I see people say that Greece was very early in its response. It wasn’t, the second half of March was not ‘very early’. What they did right was to be rigorous when they finally got going.

Greece to Celebrate Easter Under Coronavirus Lockdown (GR)

Greece will celebrate Easter on Sunday, the most important religious holiday of the Orthodox Church, behind closed doors this year after the authorities strictly forbade the traditional spirited celebrations of mass church attendance, firecrackers and large family gatherings. Authorities are desperate to avoid the traditional mass exodus of city dwellers, when hundreds of thousands of Greeks traditionally flock to churches and to their ancestral homes to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. As of Friday, officials reported 2,207 cased and the death toll at 105, one of the lowest rates in Europe. But compliance will be tested over the long Easter weekend.

The government has doubled fines and included removal or car plates for anyone who travels without reason for Greek Orthodox Easter, Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said on Thursday. Extra controls will be in place at toll posts and ports, and only those with a permanent residency in the area will be allowed to travel to prevent trips to visit relatives or second homes in the countryside. “This virus doesn’t distinguish days, whether it’s a celebration or not,” said Hardalias, who spoke extensively of the great majority of Greek citizens who have observed faithfully the lockdown restrictions, and explained the introduction of additional ones, particularly for Easter. As he said, “One in ten Greeks has said directly or explicitly that they will not follow directions. They do not want to change their habits for one day, as if nothing is going on.”

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If anything, RT has been surprisingly calm in its responses. But sometimes there’s a column that is a bit less that. And c’mon, Biden…

Russiagate Godfather Obama Promotes NYTimes’ “Putin + Covid-19” (RT)

What does Joe Biden have in common with a New York Times article even critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin have described as “incompetent”? Both have received ringing endorsements from former US President Barack Obama. “Democracy depends on an informed citizenry and social cohesion. Here’s a look at how misinformation can spread through social media, and why it can hurt our ability to respond to crises,” Obama tweeted on Wednesday – linking to an article published three days prior. Written by William S. Broad, the top science journalist at the New York Times, the piece contains no actual science – merely a laundry list of conspiracy theories blaming Russia and Putin personally for wanting to “discredit the West and destroy his enemies from within.” “Analysts say” that Putin personally “played a principal role in the spread of false information” about vaccines, the coronavirus, and just about anything really, Broad argues.

Which analysts? Well, Broad cites only three professional Russia-baiters by name, uses two entirely unrelated stories from years ago that were in the general “blame Russia for disinformation” ballpark, and cites “sources” such as the infamous “Intelligence Community Assessment” blaming Russia for the 2016 presidential election. Remember that one? The “Trump-Russia collusion” claim that Russia “hacked our democracy” (whatever that means) that the Democrats flogged for four years to explain losing to Donald Trump and attempt to oust him from office – until it imploded last May and they had to scramble to invent a bogus “Ukrainegate” conspiracy to actually impeach him – and the outlets like the Times and the Washington Post leveraged to get Pulitzers?

Or has all this vanished in the mists of time, due to the month-long brain scrambling induced by the coronavirus lockdowns? May 2019, incidentally, is when Broad wrote another hit piece along the exact same lines, only narrower in scope: he accused RT America of doing Putin’s bidding by reporting on theories that 5G wireless networks could be dangerous. No matter that mainstream US news outlets have reported on the issue in the exact same way – Broad saw “RUSSIA” and had to jump in. Then, too, he chose not to interview actual scientists but Russiagate-pushers such as Ryan Fox, CEO of New Knowledge – the notorious outfit that blamed Russia for its own bot campaign in the 2017 Senate election in Alabama. In other words, a literal false-flag perpetrator.

By way of illustration, one of the “experts” Broad quotes has a line about “a cloud of Russian influencers,” which the NY Times journalist then describes thusly: The players, he said, probably include state actors, intelligence operatives, former RT staff members and the digital teams of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a secretive oligarch and confident [sic] of Mr. Putin’s who financed the St. Petersburg troll farm. “Probably!” Also, you left out the kitchen sink.

And Cooper and Gupta sit there listening, serious faces and all, because this is supposed to be their man.

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A very biased hudge decides that a jury frontperson is not biased.

Roger Stone Denied Bid For New Trial (G.)

A federal judge on Thursday denied a bid for a new trial by Donald Trump’s longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone after the veteran Republican operative accused the jury forewoman of being tainted by anti-Trump political bias. Amy Berman Jackson, a US district court judge, rejected Stone’s claim that the forewoman was biased against Trump and therefore could not be impartial in deciding Stone’s guilt or innocence during the trial. “There is zero evidence of ‘explicit bias’ against Stone, and defendant’s attempts to gain a new trial based on implied or inferred bias fail,” Berman Jackson said in an 81-page decision. Stone, a longtime confidant and former aide to Trump, was convicted in November of seven felonies in an attempt to interfere with a congressional inquiry. He was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

In her memorandum, Berman Jackson said the lawyers had not proved the forewoman was biased or that any jurors acted inappropriately. She included details of their juror questionnaires in her explanation. “The assumption underlying the motion – that one can infer from the juror’s opinions about the president that she could not fairly consider the evidence against the defendant – is not supported by any facts or data and it is contrary to controlling legal precedent,” she wrote in denying the new trial. “The motion is a tower of indignation, but at the end of the day, there is little of substance holding it up.” Stone must appear in person “at the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons” within 14 days to serve out his sentence, Jackson ruled. She also released Stone and his lawyers from a gag order.

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“In the cold autumn of 1629, the plague came to Florence, Italy..”.

Notable for the ‘lavish’ provision of food for the poor, backed by the thought that underfed people are more likely to spread a disease.

Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City (Henderson)

The officials of the Sanità, the city’s health board, wrote anxiously to their colleagues in Milan, Verona, Venice, in the hope that studying the patterns of contagion would help them protect their city. Reports came from Parma that its ‘inhabitants are reduced to such a state that they are jealous of those who are dead’. The Sanità learned that, in Bologna, officials had forbidden people to discuss the peste, as if they feared you could summon death with a word. Plague was thought to spread through corrupt air, on the breath of the sick or trapped in soft materials like cloth or wood, so in June 1630 the Sanità stopped the flow of commerce and implemented a cordon sanitaire across the mountain passes of the Apennines.

But they soon discovered that the boundary was distressingly permeable. Peasants slipped past bored guards as they played cards. In the dog days of the summer, a chicken-seller fell ill and died in Trespiano, a village in the hills above Florence. The city teetered on the brink of calamity. By August, Florentines were dying. The archbishop ordered the bells of all the churches in the city to be rung while men and women fell to their knees and prayed for divine intercession. In September, six hundred people were buried in pits outside the city walls.

[..] The Sanità arranged the delivery of food, wine and firewood to the homes of the quarantined (30,452 of them). Each quarantined person received a daily allowance of two loaves of bread and half a boccale (around a pint) of wine. On Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, they were given meat. On Tuesdays, they got a sausage seasoned with pepper, fennel and rosemary. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, rice and cheese were delivered; on Friday, a salad of sweet and bitter herbs. The Sanità spent an enormous amount of money on food because they thought that the diet of the poor made them especially vulnerable to infection, but not everyone thought it was a good idea. Rondinelli recorded that some elite Florentines worried that quarantine ‘would give [the poor] the opportunity to be lazy and lose the desire to work, having for forty days been provided abundantly for all their needs’.

The provision of medicine was also expensive. Every morning, hundreds of people in the lazaretti were prescribed theriac concoctions, liquors mixed with ground pearls or crushed scorpions, and bitter lemon cordials. The Sanità did devolve some tasks to the city’s confraternities. The brothers of San Michele Arcangelo conducted a housing survey to identify possible sources of contagion; the members of the Archconfraternity of the Misericordia transported the sick in perfumed willow biers from their homes to the lazaretti. But mostly, the city government footed the bill. Historians now interpret this extensive spending on public health as evidence of the state’s benevolence: if tracts like Righi’s brim over with intolerance towards the poor, the account books of the Sanità tell an unflashy story of good intentions.

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Home Forums Debt Rattle April 17 2020

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    Dorothea Lange American River camp, Sacramento, CA. Destitute family. 5 children, aged 2 to 17 years 1936   • China Didn’t Warn Public Of Likely
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle April 17 2020]

    V. Arnold

    Dorothea Lange American River camp, Sacramento, CA. Destitute family. 5 children, aged 2 to 17 years 1936

    They’re smiling…

    Sometimes I think bullshit…
    …and then I think…
    …and I still come up with bullshit…
    …it’s all bullshit; but then…what isn’t…


    Coronavirus: five months on, what scientists now know about Covid-19

    As a result, some scientists have proposed a way to speed up the process – by deliberately exposing volunteers to the virus to determine a vaccine’s efficacy.

    Volunteers would have to be young and healthy, he stresses: “Their health would also be closely monitored, and they would have access to intensive care and any available medicines.”

    But deliberately infecting people – in particular volunteers who would be given a placebo vaccine as part of the trial – is controversial. “This will have to be thought through very carefully,” says Professor Adam Finn of Bristol University. “Young people might jump at the opportunity to join such a trial but this is a virus that does kill the odd young person.”


    “how many jobs can society do without? The answer, it would appear, is an awful lot.”

    Aye. Much of the work performed by Euromericans of the Western Empire is non-productive work. At screaming best, neither productive nor destructive. At worst, and much of today’s jobs are, destructive. A shutdown of the Pet Rock factory would be a blessing.

    On the other hand, once the price of energy in the USA is no longer supported by petrodollar geopolitics, many people will find new work doing very hard physical labor for much less reimbursement. INdentureship and similar forms of human bondage will reemerge. (The gig economy is a template for this already happening, but instead of share-cropping we have share-taxiing/share-delivery, etc.)

    To twist a semi-famous quote by William Gibson: ‘The Greater Depression is already here, just not yet evenly distributed.’

    The Great Depression of the 30s/WWII emerged into a world swimming with cheap oil, ore, and a vast new applied engineering sector making thngs that made life easier that we could sell to easch other and abroad. This time, we’ll emerge from a colossal monetary swindle into a world of enormous population overload and rap;idly dwindling physical resources.

    On the other hand, obesity will rapidly be resolved.

    But I’m saying nothing that the likes of James Kunstler haven’t already said, and in Kunstler’s case, with more than enough expressive color.


    “It should be easy for Xi to prevent this. • Chinese Airlines Poised For Post-Coronavirus ‘Revenge Travelling’ (SCMP)”

    I wonder if our topsy-turvy ruling systems haven’t created the kind of self-and-others-destructive pessimistic nihilism that history reports being so common among the victims of war and other devastations? Of the kind described here:

    Molecular Civil War

    See: Anomie


    “Durkheim observed that the conflict between the evolved organic division of labour and the homogeneous mechanical type was such that one could not exist in the presence of the other.[9]

    “When solidarity is organic, anomie is impossible.[10] Sensitivity to mutual needs promotes evolution in the division of labour. “Producers, being near consumers, can easily reckon the extent of the needs to be satisfied. Equilibrium is established without any trouble and production regulates itself.”[10] Durkheim contrasted the condition of anomie as being the result of a malfunction of organic solidarity after the transition to mechanical solidarity:
    But on the contrary, if some opaque environment is interposed … relations [are] rare, are not repeated enough … are too intermittent. Contact is no longer sufficient. The producer can no longer embrace the market at a glance, nor even in thought. He can no longer see its limits, since it is, so to speak limitless. Accordingly, production becomes unbridled and unregulated.[10]

    “Durkheim’s use of the term anomie was about the phenomenon of industrialization—mass-regimentation that could not adapt due to its own inertia—its resistance to change, which causes disruptive cycles of collective behavior e.g. economics, due to the necessity of a prolonged buildup of sufficient force or momentum to overcome the inertia.”



    That is the single most powerful graph describing why a crash is inevitable and why it is poised to be so devastating.

    Dr. D

    Lange. Destitute and happy, unlike us. Rich and miserable.

    N.B.: If nobody works, everybody dies.

    Shut it down Mr. President, shut it down.”

    More people dying, not less.

    The WHO serially pushes vaccines that decimate the population. CDC approves.

    ”The past few months are not a litany of errors and honest mistakes”

    Fed is now owned by the Treasury. They have issued statements that the Treasury makes the plans, the Fed executes them as their fiduciary agent. That being true, we are now on the “American Plan” as outlined by Hamilton. The U.S. loans itself money it can recoup on the productivity it finances. There is not an infinite leak of % interest to outside interests.

    We have 0% interest. So we really are printing it for our projects and people. There really is no need of taxes, since we’re using the inflation tax, as advertised by them cancelling IRS April tax day for now. Perhaps ever, we’ll see.

    Long-term Dow remains safely over 20k. Yes, it’s being manipulated, but is this also seeing something else, telling us what insiders know and think about Wu Flu? Looks like they think it’s a time to churn n burn. From 100% Bull to get people 100% Bear. Which I’m sure they are by now. “If everybody’s thinking the same thing, nobody’s thinking.”

    What are these things telling you? Financial reset. Jubilee, even, of a kind.

    I’ve said this before, just keeping it fresh. The cure was put off a week or two, but so much sturm und drang in the air, can’t tell what’s going on.

    Dr. D

    (Doesn’t like multiple pics per post)
    “7 Midwestern States Release Plan to Reopen Economies May 15” Huh. Opened before they’re even closed. I’m sure Brooklyn will cry although they’ve never been there and have no idea how different it is. 19 people per square mile.

    Dr. D

    Don’t open. Definitely need quarantine. Keep those farmers home and away from those corn seeding machines, since the “job” of “food” that creates the “economy” is so unimportant to everyone.

    Judd, you got within 10,000 acres of Kyle. That’s too close, y’hear?
    Population density:

    That chart tells you that in a democracy only 9 states would ever vote: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia, and within those states only a few cities. The rest of the nation can be run like an African colony, but then it already is, the way Philadelphia or Chicago destroy the rest of their state but NY and SF destroy the rest of the nation. Boring. Rural people, 41 states: who cares? Federalism, blah blah, Hamilton blah blah Law.

    Dr. D
    Dr. D

    More importantly, much higher in non-dollar:
    That’s 50% in 9 months.

    Dr. D

    So still nobody died in China but their GDP is off 10%? Because they’re such nice guys, I guess.

    “there are two constraints on our ability to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The first constraint is money.”

    Oh my loving God, no. Money is a PROXY for actual things. Printing money does not make doctors or masks. We are all going to die if you can’t realize that by now. And here’s a guy talking about “biophysical restraints.” That’s the only restraint there is. Ever. Money is a measuring device. We build houses out of 2x4s, not out of tape measures. He wants to print more tape measures.

    How many jobs can we do without? No one knows. But I wouldn’t get saucy about it: you can say it’s not important to put on roofs or harvest crops for a while until it rains and the granaries are empty. You won’t know those jobs were important until too late. We are drawing on 100% of that warehoused goods and existing infrastructure right now. You could say hanging electric lines is “nonessential” for even many months, until at last the power goes out. Repairing bridges is “nonessential” for decades, until they collapse into the river. Who can tell? Not you, me, or Taleb.

    “22 Million New Jobless Claims, 9.2 Million Lost Health Care in Past Month (NBC)”

    But this was 100% voluntary. “No one will die if only we shut it all down.” Not even if you lose your job, the cupboards are bare, and you have a heart attack. Congratulations, you just killed all those people, either with actual stress, or by taking their jobs, or with the lack of their jobs preventing critical functions from happening, like food. But that’s not counted so it doesn’t exist. Corona is counted, so it’s the only thing that exists.

    “43,000 US Millionaires Will Get ‘Stimulus’ Averaging $1.6 Million Each (NYP)”

    Darn them for keeping small businesses open so they will still exist next year to rehire people!!! Darn you all to heck! We want every one of those sole proprietors dead, dead, dead, so you can only work at Home Depot and Amazon and get hauled out in an ambulance at minimum wage instead.

    It’s “a “scandal” to “loot American taxpayers”?? Listen, those were the only people in the whole U.S. that paid any taxes. The bottom 50% pay zero. GE, Amazon, pay zero. They’re looting Themselves to pay THEMSELVES. Small business, million-scale are also the only people who net hire anyone. Microsoft buys the million-dollar businesses and fires everyone. Xerox collapses whole industries into dust. Only small business does anything in all America besides sucking lobbyist teat, as I’ve posted the charts before. So I know it hurts, but the million-dollar level is where that is now. Why?

    Q: What do you call a millionaire in California? A homeowner. Houses of dual-professionals are $500,000+ even in the POOREST places in America like Louisiana or Michigan. So “Millionaires”? Jesus and the Saints, people, thanks to 100 years of your socialist inflation, a “Millionaire” is a now a Union guy who owns a house and a pension fund. Re-calibrate your radio for the 20th century at least. “Pass-through” means you’re a nobody, since if you were of any size at all you’d incorporate and cut your total risk. Accountingwise it’s akin to being a plumber with one van. A “millionaire” means you don’t even have 5 employees. So do we want small-business support or not? According to the NYC Post, a city where $1M doesn’t EVEN make you a homeowner: Not. “Shut it down, Mr. President, shut those small businesses down!” Why? If you have two nickels to rub together, we need to tax one. You don’t need that “extra” nickel, you might put it to work hiring people.

    Plague was thought to spread through corrupt air, on the breath of the sick or trapped in soft materials like cloth”

    What superstitious jerks: this is exactly what we think today.

    “The Sanità spent an enormous amount of money on food”

    Did they spend 330M x $1,200 = $396,000,000,000.00? In a single month? Gosh, how backward we are not to give money = food = poor. Probably ought to write a check or something. But not plant and harvest that “food” the poor eat. That would be a “job” and help the “economy”, so they’re not important.


    “If nobody works, everybody dies.”

    Good thing that isn’t happening. Good thing that even the most severe quarantine lockdown proposals don’t include “nobody work(ing)”

    It’s kind of like those useless jobs at the Pet Rock Espresso Factory that our economy can shed and actually benefit from losing as we transition from a Plenty Oil to a Peak Oil world in which people have no choice but to do real work or die. Useless, nay, destructive jobs like posting numerous straw dog fallacies day after day after day… but it’s a job, I suppose.


    “Darn them for keeping small businesses open so they will still exist next year to rehire people!!! Darn you all to heck! We want every one of those sole proprietors dead, dead, dead, so you can only work at Home Depot and Amazon and get hauled out in an ambulance at minimum wage instead.”

    (referring to this article): Rentiers Rule, Employers Drool which mentions this:

    “The act allows pass-through businesses — ones taxed under individual income, rather than corporate — an unlimited amount of deductions against their non-business income, such as capital gains, the Washington Post said. They can also use losses to avoid paying taxes in other years….Hedge-fund investors and real estate business owners are “far and away” the ones who will benefit the most, tax expert Steve Rosenthal told the Washington Post.”

    I can’t even disagree with Doc D’s opinbions because there’s so little relation between them and the facts, and I generally don’t bother disagreeing with opinions built from vaporwre. They’re untestable. Like the models Doc and others so deride, said opinions are flawed before they start owing to the data from which they’re extrapolated.

    “But I wouldn’t get saucy about it: you can say it’s not important to put on roofs or harvest crops for a while until it rains and the granaries are empty. ”

    We’re still employing people to raise and pick our fruit:

    Migrant Workers/Covid-19

    I’m curious, Raul. THe above link is to a page of google search results? Is that the kind of linking you complained about me making? I don’t know. Asking for my Invisible Friend. If so, now I know, and won’t do it again.


    Oh and this: “It’s “a “scandal” to “loot American taxpayers”?? Listen, those were the only people in the whole U.S. that paid any taxes. The bottom 50% pay zero. GE, Amazon, pay zero. They’re looting Themselves to pay THEMSELVES. Small business, million-scale are also the only people who net hire anyone. Microsoft buys the million-dollar businesses and fires everyone. Xerox collapses whole industries into dust. Only small business does anything in all America besides sucking lobbyist teat, as I’ve posted the charts before. So I know it hurts, but the million-dollar level is where that is now. Why?”

    is true… but doesn’t fit with this:

    “The changes included in the CARES Act would allow wealthy taxpayers to use losses in certain years to avoid paying taxes in other years. The day after Senate passage of the CARES Act, the JCT published a document estimating that the provisions together will reduce government revenue by $195 billion over ten years. Together, the changes are among the costliest provisions in the bill.” (from this


    Lalaland is a colloquial term for “being out of touch with reality,” usually due to

      bliss or ignorance.

    Too young to remember typing pool
    Too young to remember punch cards


    Wow! So Walter Cronkite, the most trusted man in America, was just another goddamn, POS, corporate media shill. Who’d have thunk it?


    Irrelevant pleasantness (but when is pleasantness ever irrelevant?)

    Birdy Sky Boat


    The hdroxycholoroquine and zinc treatment seems like a miracle cure. A single treatment giving a result in 12 hours or less, and only used if the patient has developed severe symptoms, and without the need for a hospital.

    Both components are cheap and plentiful. While hdroxycholoroquine has side effects, and interactions with other drugs and vitamins, this is minimised by the fact it is only a one-off treatment.

    You would think this would be world wide news!


    My first search on this turned up a few newspaper articles in publications I had never heard of. No MSM. Now any searches shows up some medical websites where the subject is discussed, there are references to a couple of other doctors who are trying it [successfully!] but no widespread use.

    It is almost as if people want the effects of the virus to be as bad as possible to justify a particular agenda!

    The key seems to be the zinc, with the hdroxycholoroquine just helping to get the zinc inside the cells. The zinc prevents the virus replicating in the cell.

    Any virus?

    Any animal?

    Is this a cure for ANY viral infection? A cure for the common flu? A cure for pig ebola? A cure for chicken flu?

    The mechanism doesn’t seem specific to the coronavirus.


    The hydroxycholoroquine and zinc treatment seems like a miracle cure.

    Seems being the key term. There are lots of questions, few confirmations and especially lots of alarm stories. Best thing it has going for it is there’s nothing else. That works miracles when people -think they- are dying.

    Not sure why you say one-off, most advice I’ve seen is based on a five-day regimen, which also includes azithromycin. That also would appear to leave out taking it only when people are gravely ill. The chance of being too late would be too elevated. Doctors like Zelenko and Raoult appear to base their treatments on a five-day (or so) regimen.

    From what I’ve been reading over the past 2+ months, I’d say start a five-day cure the moment you begin feeling symptoms. Don’t wait till you’re half dead. Miracles are much nicer if you don’t have to wait for them.

    Big problem for many of course is they have no access to choloroquines.

    As for a cure against all viruses, given the speed at which they -can- mutate, it seems very unlikely there’ll ever be one. And even if we why found one, it would end up like antibiotics: we’d feed t it to animals, allowing viruses to mutate that much faster.


    From Bosco: Useless, nay, destructive jobs like posting numerous straw dog fallacies day after day after day… but it’s a job, I suppose.

    Thought it needed highlighting.


    Thanx, PlanCit. It’s a msytery to me. Only reason I address it is that new people presumably visit here every day.

    Some are credulous/naive/under/mis-informed. Others are skeptical/wise/well-informed.

    The former are susceptible to those recurrent fallacies. This misinforms them and tends to draw in a certain kind of hyper-ventilating zealot.

    The latter are repulsed by those recurrent fallacies.

    I am all for letting anyone post here so long as they can address the basic issues thematic to TAE and aren’t absolute trolls. ‘Keep the peace’ forum moderation inevitably dumbs a joint down. So I’m all for Doc D/whomever having at it. Likewise, mah seff.


    I have meant to tell zerosum that I enjoy his minimalist approach. Incrementally, it builds to something much bigger than the sum of its parts.



    ‘Like the models Doc and others so deride, said opinions are flawed before they start owing to the data from which they’re extrapolated.’ pls insert ‘lack of matching relationship between’ ‘to the’ & ‘the data’.


    Thank you.
    “I have meant to tell zerosum that I enjoy his minimalist approach. Incrementally, it builds to something much bigger than the sum of its parts.”

    Can I say “hinting” instead of minimalist?
    You are doing the thinking and the building.

    Doc Robinson

    An interesting graph, showing the number of weekly Covid-19 deaths in New York is now much larger than the typical number of weekly deaths from all causes; with a comparison to the “deadliest recent flu season” (2017-2018):

    Covid-19 deaths, starting from March 2. (Covid Tracking Project)

    The 2017-18 flu season: This was the deadliest recent flu season.
    The data begin on October 1, 2017, which the CDC considered the first week of that flu season. (CDC)

    All deaths from all causes for the same period as the 2017-18 flu season. (CDC)



    Positive group sentiments are so dang corny… but we can’t live without ’em. We approach a time soon where the very best thing we can do is hold (well-washed) hands and sing kumbaya.

    This guy is, I think, The One to show us The Way. Anyway, I like the cut of his rig. Talk about a low-rider:

    I Got a Hole in Me Pocket


    Ever feel like it’s just one thing after another?

    Life Can Be a Real Mother

    Same song, but played live by the band, for those who want to see how it’s done:

    Song About Mother


    The Original Folk Song…

    …that the above is an arrangement thereof.


    Sort of a thought experiment in chaos management or something:

    like our closest behavioral relatives, the ants and bees, we build vast networks around enormous hives. Farm, enslave, war, the usual. And like them, we do it all in the service of an enormously bloated central ruler (BCR) whom we occasionally remove, but the BCR often attempts the reverse (which mostly turns out badly for them):

    Queen Ant Will Sacrifice Colony to Retain Throne (a fascinating read)

    We are the next generation of socially regimented large-herd species, however. We have compounded and interlinked our hives and queens (suck it, Bezos) so that almost all the parasites now rule over all the hives in some kind of manifold monstrosity.

    Question: do all the bloated parasites act in concert when things tighten? or do they attack each other? do they sacrifice their colony to save their throne when they hardly rule their own colony, doing so mostly in name and exploitation access alone? do they sacrifice each others’ ? do they even notice when the worker ants start biting and spraying them? or do they remain oblivious until it’s too late?

    “The worker ants weren’t fooled, however, as they could sniff out a selfish queen, the researchers found. The queens that were most fertile had the stronger chemical cues (and thus stronger odors), which made them more likely to be spared execution by workers.

    “Execution of the most selfish ant queens by workers would increase the incentive for queens to be team-players that work hard to help the colony,” Holman said. “This rudimentary ‘legal system’ could have helped ants to evolve their highly advanced societies, just as in humans.”

    Speaking of herds and instincts:

    Ants More Aggressive When in Gangs

    We’re watching the initial traces of gang formation. Right now it’s still in embryonic form, countless eggs still forming their core blastocysts. In a few months they’ll have recognizable features.


    THISis pert near proof positive of why we don’t need a master plan run by a buncha evil rich geniuses to let a runaway virus ruin things for pert near all of us, although there’re always a few lucky dogs somewhere. (Ask Kurt Vonnegut.)

    “Governors Divide By Party On Trump Plan To Reopen Businesses Shut By Coronavirus”

    One can argue that our congressional clowns are able to bark in unison synch to the bouncing ball of lobbyist cash in a way that would serve alleged master plan. It’s possible. But simple corrupt daisy-chains of doing the same old shitty thing the same old way forever and ever amen suffice just as well and fit Occam’s Razor better.

    My marker is on this explanation: things really have gone that far to shit. The CIC can neither sink nor bail out our Titanic. As the stern rises high, they cheer for yet another stock market rally and the rising tide that will sink all boats.

    Stupid is as stupid does. With evil genius like this, who need stupid lazy greed?

    Whatever and Ever Amen

    “Unearned unhappiness
    That’s all right I guess”

    D Benton Smith

    In my humble (well, to be honest, I’m not really all that humble) opinion the baddies made their play, it was evil enough but not big enough, and now they are going to pay. China has noticeably dialed back it’s universally rejected bullshit. Trump is about to repatriate a big chunk of the money they stole (reparations for the viral war crime) while Xi is a deer in the headlights (cross-hairs?) of a vengeful world. Globalist Fortress Europe tells Apple and Google to take their transparently NWO “contact tracing” software off the shelves, and the northern Hemisphere (at least) has traversed the peak of the first wave of the Wuhan virus.
    All in all a pretty good week compared to what it looked like it was going to be (and nearly was ! )
    Now for Act II, in which a world pushed to ( or past ?? ) the brink of economic collapse will teeter on that brink for a while as we watch in fascinated horror. Which way is this sucker is gonna fall? Into the abyss or back onto it’s butt ? I sure as hell don’t know.
    Maybe it will teeter indefinitely in the perpetual cliff hanger that we’ve all gotten incredulously used to. Guess we’ll have to wait for the next exciting episode.


    further on ny state excess deaths: in 2017 ny state deaths from all causes was 155,191 (calendar year, not flu season). 155,191 / 365 = 425 deaths / day.
    for the month of april so far, the average coronavirus death total per day is 663 (this figure doesn’t include the recently announced ‘additional’ 3,778 nyc deaths)

    as far as i know, only in ny and italy have coronavirus deaths exceeding previous all cause mortality. (iran and china may also belong on the list)

    this article also discusses excess mortality (in italy):
    COVID-19: excess mortality figures in Italy

    the death distribution map is very interesting. if anyone is aware of similar maps available for ny, germany or south korea please post a link (excess deaths preferred, as opposed to coronavirus deaths only). tia.


    For those here who might be interested, here is some research on the financial impact to the NZ economy of the current L4 lockdown. nb: he’s not discussing the merit thereof, it’s just raw data that geeks may wish to use: https://croakingcassandra.com/2020/04/18/how-large-a-gdp-loss-under-level-4/

    Doc Robinson

    Some more data about excess deaths, from James Tozer (at The Economist):

    In Spain, data from @SaludISCIII suggest 13,000 excess deaths in March, compared to 8,000 official. Like Italy, Spain’s daily totals rely chiefly on data provided by hospitals, so might miss many victims who die elsewhere, or were not tested.

    In France, we used data from @InseeFr, which show excess deaths of about 8,000 people by April 3rd. The official death toll from hospitals was about 5,000 at that point. Since April 1st, the health ministry has included deaths from care homes, causing a large rise.

    In Britain, data from @ONS suggest excess deaths of about 7,000 in the four weeks to April 3rd. A revised count of covid cases—using death certificates, rather than daily data from hospitals—came to 6,200 in the same period.

    In the Netherlands, data from @statisticscbs show a large undercount: 4,000 excess deaths in the four weeks to April 5th, vs 1,700 official at that point. This might explain why the current official toll of 3,100 is so low.



    “In my humble (well, to be honest, I’m not really all that humble) opinion the baddies made their play, it was evil enough but not big enough, and now they are going to pay.”

    I like that. I like that a lot. I like the cadence of the syntax, the bounce of the prose, I just like it. I think it’s, like, the perfect point spread on the probability range of various interpretations of events.

    I’ll add that it looks to me like Putin gets the catbird seat view of it all. Whatever the bloody plague does to his population etc., the economy whose rebuilding he has strongly presided over will recover much faster than most any nation or region.

    Modern jazz has become ancient dead history. My my:

    RIP Lee Konitz

    D Benton Smith

    Thank you, and wow. Not only do I appreciate the complement but I’m deeply impressed by how squarely you smacked a whole row of nails right on their heads. The cadence and bounce are what I strive for when editing the initial prose. In other words, it’s not an accident, but will quickly add that it’s not vanity or show boating either. I’ve found that discomforting truths are best said (if time allows) with as much style, grace, music and humor as possible. Otherwise they just hurt so much that most people will simply reject the entire communication out of hand.
    For example, “… like, the perfect point spread on the probability range of various interpretations of events.” That’s perfect. It’s literally beautiful and made me aware of something I have indeed been trying to do in my thinking and writing all along, , but without fully comprehending just what that was myself.
    I’ve heard that jazz musicians consider their main audience to be other jazz musicians. I get that a little better now. My word play is partly for fun, mostly for necessity, and completely as truthful as I can make it.



    There seems to be two main treatments based around hydroxychloroquine.

    One in which hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are given for a period of days or weeks in the hope that the patient will be cured.

    The second uses hydroxychloroquine with zinc sulphate given when the patient is seriously ill. The patient is symptom free in about 12 hours! The ‘within 12 hours’ suggests only a single treatment is required. [According to Dr. Cardillo in the States]. I would certainly like to see further confirmation on this treatment.

    My thought about whether it would be effective against all viruses is the claim [by Cardillo] that the zinc inside the cell stops the replication of the virus. My question really is whether it stops ANY virus replicating in the cell. This would mean any mutations or varieties of virus are irrelevant.

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