May 152020
 


Georgia O’Keeffe Sunflower, New Mexico I 1935

 

A Truth That’s Told With Bad Intent (Ben Hunt)
America’s Chilling Experiment in Human Sacrifice (Parramore)
Want A Fast Recovery? Invest In Tests, Fed’s Kaplan Says (R.)
Novartis CEO Says Any New Coronavirus Vaccine Will Take At Least 2 Years (R.)
United States Might Not Open Up To International Travelers Any Time Soon
One In Four US Workers Claiming Jobless Benefits (BBC)
148,000 In England Infected With Coronavirus In Last Two Weeks (G.)
ECB To Scale Up Bond Buying Next Month (R.)
Critics Turn Up Heat On Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel Investigation (Fox)
Docs From Sham Flynn Prosecution Also Show Broad Russiagate Corruption (IC)
Judge Sullivan Invites Flynn’s Former Lawyers To Enter Case (SAC)
Open Memorandum to Barack Obama (Sidney Powell)
The Sickness in Our Food Supply (Pollan)
Court Files Expose Sheldon Adelson’s Role in US Spying On Julian Assange (GZ)

 

 

• New US cases 26,740

• New US deaths 1,704 (previous days 1,896, 1,894, 830, 776). Total deaths surpass 85,000.

• Russia reports 10,598 new cases, returning to its chain of 10 consecutive days of more than 10,000 new cases with it broke yesterday with 9,974. Russia will in the next few days pass Spain as the no. 2 in total cases behind the US. But it reports “just” 2,418 deaths to date, vs Spain’s 27,321.

 

 

Endcoronavirus.org numbers presented by Hayes. Not sure that’s something to cheer about. But while he’s waxing ominously that the US has 1/3 of all deaths, these countries all still have a worse case fatality rate: Spain, UK, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland

 

 


Ranking of countries by total number of reported deaths from #COVID19, and growth of that in the 24 hours before midnight GMT. Brazil fastest grower in this list. Over half of new deaths reported globally now in US, Brazil, and UK.

 

 

 

Cases 4,546,070 (+ 94,844 from yesterday’s 4,451,226)

Deaths 303,863 (+ 5,343 from yesterday’s 298,520)

 

 

 

From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close-

 

 

From Worldometer

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

“..if these idiots and fools want to take stupid risks alongside other idiots and fools, if their vision of liberty and the pursuit of happiness is to revel in some death cult, but in a way that largely allows us non-death cultists to opt out … well, I believe it is wrong for a government to stop them.”

“I believe with all my heart that if we are to take individual rights seriously, then we must take individual responsibility and agency just as seriously.”

A Truth That’s Told With Bad Intent (Ben Hunt)

[..] I am a full-hearted believer in acting from the bottom-up, in bypassing and ignoring the high-functioning sociopaths who dominate our top-down hierarchies of markets and politics. I still believe that. But it doesn’t work with COVID-19. The core problem with any rights-based approach to public policy is dealing with questions of competing rights. Under what circumstances could your right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness come into conflict with my right to life? Under most circumstances, neither of us is forced to compromise our rights, because we have the choice to NOT interact with each other. If my laundromat requires you to wear a mask to enter, but you think wearing a mask is an affront to your liberty, then the solution is easy: go wash your clothes somewhere else. And vice versa if I think your restaurant does a poor job of enforcing social distancing and food safety: I’ll take my business elsewhere.

Let me put this a bit more bluntly. I think that COVID-19 deniers and truthers are idiots. I think that people who minimize or otherwise ignore the clear and present danger that the biology of this virus presents to themselves and their families are fools. And there’s no perfect way to insulate their idiocy and foolishness from the rest of us. But if these idiots and fools want to take stupid risks alongside other idiots and fools, if their vision of liberty and the pursuit of happiness is to revel in some death cult, but in a way that largely allows us non-death cultists to opt out … well, I believe it is wrong for a government to stop them. Yes, there are exceptions. No, this isn’t applicable on all issues, all the time. But I believe with all my heart that if we are to take individual rights seriously, then we must take individual responsibility and agency just as seriously. Even self-destructive agency. Even in the age of COVID-19. Especially in the age of COVID-19.

There are three common and important circumstances, however, where this choice to NOT interact doesn’t exist, where the rights of yes, even idiots, to liberty and the pursuit of happiness as they understand it will inexorably come into conflict with the right to life of those who understand all too well the highly contagious and dangerous biology of this virus. Only government can provide the necessary resources and the necessary coordination to resolve these conflicts of rights peacefully and without trampling the rights of one set of citizens or another. You have no idea how much it pains me to say that.

Here’s how a legitimate government would deal with the three inevitable and irreconcilable conflicts of rights in the age of COVID-19:

1) Healthcare workers and first responders have no choice but to risk their right to life in caring for all citizens who are sick, regardless of the agency or lack thereof behind that sickness. How does a legitimate government resolve this conflict? By mobilizing on a war-time basis to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to ALL healthcare workers and social workers and first responders and public safety officers and anyone else who must serve the sick.

2) Workers who believe that their employer does not provide sufficient protection against this virus have no choice but to risk their right to life in their return to work, as unemployment insurance typically is unavailable for people who “voluntarily” quit their job. How does a legitimate government resolve this conflict? By providing a Federal safe harbor to unemployment claims based on COVID-19 safety concerns, AND by maintaining unemployment benefits at the current (higher) CARES Act level throughout the crisis.

3) All citizens who use public transit or use public facilities have no choice but to trust that their fellow citizens share a common respect for the rights of others, even if they may differ in their risk tolerance and private beliefs regarding the biology of the virus. How does a legitimate government resolve this conflict? By mobilizing on a war-time basis to provide ubiquitous rapid testing in and around all public spaces, starting today with symptom testing (temperature checks) and required masking to limit asymptomatic spread, and implementing over time near-instant antigen tests as they are developed.

Read more …

Lynn Parramore toches on very valid points here, looking at life vs the economy, and what is valued (more). But the Chilling Experiment in Human Sacrifice is an American tradition, there’s nothing new, other than this time it takes place on American soil. And even then, look at all the people without health insurance all over the US, look at young blacks getting killed by police, or drug epidemics. But mostly, the experiment takes place in far-away lands, and its victims count in the very many millions.

America’s Chilling Experiment in Human Sacrifice (Parramore)

“There is no wealth but life.” — John Ruskin, Unto This Last (1860)

A chilling experiment is underway in America, with plenty of unwilling human guinea pigs. Many parts of the country are reopening for business against the warnings of medical experts, flying in the face of grim predictions of sharply rising body counts. Two-thirds of Americans fear that the restart is happening too quickly, and the President himself acknowledges that by easing restrictions, “there’ll be more death.” Yet he presses on, even as his own White House suffers a viral outbreak. News screens flash with tallies of death and tallies of wealth: New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared that lives must be saved “whatever it costs,” insisting that for Americans the choice “between public health and the economy” is “no contest.”

But he did not ask celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, who some weeks ago expressed his view that reopening schools could give the country its “mojo back,” and perhaps “only cost us 2-3% in terms of total mortality. (2% sounds conveniently small compared to its equivalent in human lives, 6,560,000. Oz later apologized after public outrage). Meanwhile Dan Patrick, lieutenant governor of Texas, offered his own assessment of the trade-off between capitalism and the lives of America’s senior citizens, explaining, “there are more important things than living.” Since the days of Adam Smith, free market capitalists have held that human beings are rational actors who pursue economic gain for self-interested motives. But here is Patrick, a free marketer if there ever was one, talking about a gift-sacrifice economy model in which people – some people, at least – lay down their lives to keep the economic engines revved.

Patrick’s words reveal an unspoken truth about capitalism. For the system to work smoothly, there have always been requirements of human sacrifice — a certain portion of the population was expected to act not as self-serving homo economicus, but self-sacrificing homo communis, focused upon what benefits the collective at their own expense. If these people can’t social distance at the workplace, they are expected to show up anyway. If there isn’t enough safety equipment, they are declared essential workers who must put their lives and that of their families at risk for the greater good. But for whom and for what is this sacrifice intended? How much dying will be figured into state budgets and GDP? When ranked by GDP, the U.S. is the wealthiest economy in the world, but is a country’s wealth something totally separate from, or even contrary to, the health and life the majority of its citizens?

Read more …

“Why not spend hundreds of billions of dollars, or tens of billions of dollars, to avoid spending trillions more? It is clearly the highest priority..”

Want A Fast Recovery? Invest In Tests, Fed’s Kaplan Says (R.)

Even with tens of millions of jobs lost and a historic decline in output projected this quarter, the U.S. economy could still pull off a relatively quick recovery, Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday. “If we made a dramatic national initiative for testing – and I mean dramatic …that could help create the V,” he said in an online interview with local public TV station KERA, referring to a recession characterized by a sharp decline in output followed quickly by a steep ramp back up. “The highest return on equity investment we can make in this country is testing.” The U.S. Congress has committed nearly $3 trillion to shoring up an economy gutted by extended shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus and buying time for the healthcare systems to build capacity to care for the sick.

“Why not spend hundreds of billions of dollars, or tens of billions of dollars, to avoid spending trillions more? It is clearly the highest priority,” Kaplan said in the interview, conducted jointly with Dallas Mayor Eric Kaplan. The United States has conducted more than 10 million tests for the coronavirus since the beginning of the crisis, according to the Covid Tracking Project. But in many parts of the country people can only get tested if they have symptoms, and there is no capacity for the kind of mass testing that China is using to screen Wuhan’s 11 million citizens this week to stamp out a recurrence of infections there. After weeks of shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. economy does need to reopen, Kaplan said.

“We cannot remain shut down indefinitely,” Kaplan said. At the same time, he said, without ubiquitous testing, “people are going to be more hesitant, they are going to be slower to reengage,” and the recovery will be slow and, perhaps, a second wave of infections more likely. [..] “Let’s invest a fraction of what we would have to spend on the second wave in testing, a national approach to it, particularly in dense areas, to prevent that second wave from happening – it will be a fraction of the cost.”

Read more …

There is no vaccine. There may never be one. Take that as the starting point for what comes next, for your acts. A vaccine would be an extra, but it cannot be taken as a given.

Novartis CEO Says Any New Coronavirus Vaccine Will Take At Least 2 Years (R.)

Any vaccine to fight the new coronavirus will not be ready for use for at least two years, the chief executive of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which no longer makes vaccines itself, told a German newspaper. Novartis sold its vaccine business in 2015 to GlaxoSmithKline, one of many companies around the world now racing to make a drug. Some companies are already testing vaccine candidates on humans. “The results of the first clinical studies on the vaccine candidates should be available in autumn,” Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). “If everything goes as we hope, it will take 24 months before we have a vaccine.”


For instance, Moderna Inc has sped up plans for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine and said it expected to start a late-stage trial in early summer. But experts have said no vaccine is expected to be ready for use until at least 2021, as they must be widely tested in humans before being administered to hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people to prevent infection. Narasimhan, who headed development at Novartis’s vaccine business before the Basel-based company concluded it was too small to keep and should be unloaded, said producing enough vaccine for the world would also be a challenge. He said building a new factory usually took three or four years. “That’s way too long,” he told FAZ. “We have to use the existing production network to produce large quantities quickly.”

Read more …

“..people from other countries should not be allowed into the United States if Americans still are not allowed to travel to those nations, the senior U.S. official said.

Who’s going to accept American visitors unless they’ve been tested negative?

United States Might Not Open Up To International Travelers Any Time Soon

The U.S. government largely shut down international travel to the United States in March with a series of rapid-fire moves, but restarting it will likely be a longer, more piecemeal process that could be complicated by rising tensions with China. Even as President Donald Trump pushes for U.S states to begin reopening their economies, U.S. borders remain shut to travelers from China and Europe.Any decision on easing travel restrictions will depend in large part on what safety protocols all countries put in place to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus and whether those countries in turn grant entry to Americans, U.S. officials told Reuters. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last week that Trump and U.S. health officials were examining the issue of international travel but did not provide further details.

Trump implemented a temporary ban on most travelers coming from China, the source of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in January and put similar restrictions on travelers from Europe in March. The United States also halted nonessential travel across its shared borders with Canada and Mexico in March and suspended routine visa services in most U.S. consulates abroad. Some U.S. airlines would like to resume limited service to China – a major market for them – in June, but the possibility of the Trump administration lifting travel restrictions will be complicated by China’s own restrictions on foreign carriers, according to a senior U.S. official who requested anonymity to discuss the matter. China limits foreign airlines to one flight into the country per week, and planes are only allowed to fly with 75% of passenger capacity.

The discussions within the Trump administration on how and when to reopen the United States to international travel have not yet crystallized into a plan, U.S. officials said, as the situation is still fluid and there are still fears of a resurgence of the virus in countries now reporting lower caseloads. But Washington is clear on one thing – people from other countries should not be allowed into the United States if Americans still are not allowed to travel to those nations, the senior U.S. official said. However, with the virus still rampant in the United States, which has the highest number of cases in the world, some countries may be hesitant to accept U.S. travelers any time soon. The European Union on Wednesday pushed to reopen internal borders and restart travel, but recommended Europe’s external borders remain closed for most travel at least until mid-June.

Read more …

Time for an honest worst-case scenario.

One In Four US Workers Claiming Jobless Benefits (BBC)

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped by almost 3 million last week as virus shutdowns continue to weigh on the US economy. The filings brought the total number of new jobless claims since the middle of March to more than 36 million. That amounts to nearly a quarter of the American workforce. The weekly figures have been falling since the end of March but remain massive by historic standards, eclipsing the prior record of 700,000.


“Today’s unemployment claims continue their epic ascent on a cumulative weekly basis; not since the Great Depression has the US job market been in such a sorry state,” said Richard Flynn, UK managing director at Charles Schwab. The head of America’s central bank warned this week that the economic recovery is likely to be slower than initially hoped. In April, employers cut more than 20 million jobs, sending the unemployment rate to 14.7% and erasing nearly a decade of job gains. While the losses have fallen hardest on minority and low-income households, they have touched every part of the economy.

Read more …

They have 10,000 new infections per day and can’t even get down to 5,000. Like that is some noble goal.

148,000 In England Infected With Coronavirus In Last Two Weeks (G.)

The first national snapshot of Covid-19 rates has revealed that 148,000 people in England were infected with the virus over the past two weeks. The study, by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), tested 10,705 people in more than 5,000 households and estimated 0.27% of the population in England were currently positive for Covid-19. The analysis suggests about 148,000 people across the entire population would have tested positive on any day between 27 April and 10 May 2020. The findings will inform the government’s next steps as it considers whether it is safe enough to further ease restrictions on socialising, businesses and schools in the coming weeks. Experts suggest the current rates of infection remain “some way off” what would be needed to lift the lockdown.

The results are likely to fuel concerns about the potential of opening primary schools on 1 June to fuel transmission in the community, as no evidence was found of differences in the proportions testing positive between the age categories 2 to 19, 20 to 49, 50 to 69 and 70 years and over. The numbers testing positive in this first release were small – 33 in total – and so this picture could change and the figures are expected to be tracked closely over the next two weeks. The study also reveals far higher infection rates among those working with patients in healthcare and those in social care roles, with 1.33% of these participants testing positive. The figures do not include people in hospital or care homes where rates of Covid-19 infection – and possibly transmission – are likely to be higher.

Sources close to Downing Street say the target for new daily infections is 5,000 before the lockdown can ease, but other more cautious voices in government are understood to be pushing for fewer than 4,000 new cases a day. There is scepticism within the government that the UK will have reached that figure before 1 June, the first possible date for easing the lockdown. The latest figures would suggest a “crude estimate” of 10,000 new cases each day, according to Hunter. However, a more accurate calculation would take into account the average number of days over which a person would test positive and other factors. And unlike the target of 5,000 cases each day, the latest ONS figures exclude hospital patients, meaning the ONS infection rate is a slight underestimate. So it is difficult to assess from the ONS data how far we are from the 5,000 target.

Read more …

Granted, it would be a unique event, but just this once, the Reuters poll of 80 economists may get it right.

ECB To Scale Up Bond Buying Next Month (R.)

The euro zone economy’s worst recession on record will be even deeper than predicted less than a month ago, according to a Reuters poll of economists. They also said the European Central Bank will ramp up bond buying next month. An economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed nearly 300,000 lives globally, will largely depend on the effectiveness of individual governments in preventing a second wave of infections despite easings of lockdown restrictions. “The biggest uncertainty now is around the pace of the reopening of the economy. There is a series of risks that are still to the downside…we may have a more prolonged period of confinement measures imposed by law or just behaviourally,” Giada Giani, European economist at Citi, said.


The May 11-14 Reuters poll of nearly 80 economists marks the third downgrade to the economic outlook in a little over a month and is despite the ECB’s adding hundreds of billions of euros to its balance sheet and governments announcing stimulus worth trillions of euros. The euro zone economy is expected to contract 7.5% in 2020, more than the 5.4% predicted three weeks ago, with the worst of the blow expected this quarter. After contracting 3.8% in January-March, its sharpest quarter-on-quarter decline since 1995, the latest poll showed the economy shrinking by nearly three times that pace in April-June, by 11.3%, more than the 9.6% predicted last month.

Read more …

Mueller is linked to Flynn is linked to Assange is linked to etc. Pandora’s box has opened.

Critics Turn Up Heat On Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel Investigation (Fox)

Critics of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation are turning up the heat amid new revelations in the Justice Department’s handling of the Russian collusion investigation and related cases, like the troubled prosecution of former Trump National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn. “The Mueller probe was launched not to find wrongdoing from the Trump administration, but to cover up wrongdoing by Mueller’s colleagues, by his protege James Comey, by the corrupt Obama administration Department of Justice,” said The Federalist’s Sean Davis on a new episode of Fox Nation’s “Witch Hunt.” Skeptics of Mueller’s investigation have long alleged that the former FBI director knew almost immediately after his appointment in May 2017 that there was no credible evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government.

“Bob Mueller knew the day that he walked in the door there was no evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with Russians,” said Rep. Devin Nunes R-Calif., the ranking Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, in a Fox News interview in May 2019. “We looked at all the intelligence,” continued Nunes in reference to the House Intelligence Committee’s own investigation. “There’s zero evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with Russians — period,” According to Davis, the Mueller probe was never intended to find collusion but had another purpose. “From the beginning, the Mueller investigation existed to not protect the rule of law, but to protect the FBI and DOJ from scrutiny for their crimes,” he argued. Davis said the conduct of the Mueller team suggested that they were hiding something.

“You can actually see it in how it responded to requests for documentation from congressional investigations, both from the Senate Senator Chuck Grassley and from the House from Devin Nunes,” said Davis. In fact, Nunes vowed to send the DOJ a criminal referral on potential obstruction of a congressional investigation. “The House of Representatives… had multiple requests, multiple subpoenas that were out there that effectively were never answered,” said Nunes on Fox Nation, “even though they claim they answered them. Well, now what we learned is that they lied and misled Congress by omission.”

Read more …

Glenn Greenwald.

Docs From Sham Flynn Prosecution Also Show Broad Russiagate Corruption (IC)

[..] the prosecution of Flynn — for allegedly lying to the FBI when he denied in a January 24 interrogation that he had discussed with Kislyak on December 29 the new sanctions and expulsions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration — was always odd for a number of reasons. To begin with, the FBI agents who questioned Flynn said afterward that they did not believe he was lying (as CNN reported in February, 2017: “the FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers. Although Flynn didn’t remember all of what he talked about, they don’t believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say”). For that reason, CNN said, “the FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against” him.

More importantly, there was no valid reason for the FBI to have interrogated Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak in the first place. There is nothing remotely untoward or unusual — let alone criminal — about an incoming senior national security official, three weeks away from taking over, reaching out to a counterpart in a foreign government to try to tamp down tensions. As the Washington Post put it, “it would not be uncommon for incoming administrations to interface with foreign governments with whom they will soon have to work.”

What newly released documents over the last month reveal is what has been generally evident for the last three years: the powers of the security state agencies — particularly the FBI, the CIA, the NSA and the DOJ — were systematically abused as part of the 2016 election and then afterward for political rather than legal ends. While there was obviously deceit and corruption on the part of some Trump officials in lying to Russiagate investigators and otherwise engaging in depressingly common DC lobbyist corruption, there was also massive corruption on the part of the investigators themselves, exploiting and abusing their vast and invasive investigative and prosecutorial powers for ideological goals, political subterfuge, election manipulation and personal vendettas.

[..] the most critical reason to delve deeply into this case is that it reveals one the most dangerous abuses of power a democracy can suffer: the powers of the CIA, FBI and NSA were blatantly and repeatedly abused to manipulate election outcomes and achieve political advantage. In other words, we know now that these agencies did exactly what Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned they would do to Trump when he appeared on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program shortly before Trump’s inauguration:

Read more …

Election time already?

Judge Sullivan Invites Flynn’s Former Lawyers To Enter Case (SAC)

In another strange turn of events, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has invited Michael Flynn’s former defense counsel to appear as interested parties in their former clients ongoing case. Sullivan, who did not agree to drop the charges against Flynn as requested by the Department of Justice, did not specify the purpose for inviting the former lawyers to appear in court. John Hall electronically filed the notice on Thursday, as the legal representative for Covington and Burling, Flynn’s former defense counsel. Sidney Powell, Flynn’s defense counsel, didn’t comment on Sullivan’s invitation to Covington and Burling but she noted in previous filings reported on this news site that the previous counsel provided her client ineffectual representation and unrepresented him in his guilty plea, which was in violation of his 6th Amendment rights.


This turn of events has been just one in a series of bizarre decisions unleashed on Flynn and his defense team by Sullivan. Critics of Sullivan’s strange behavior have accused the judge of acting as a prosecutor and crossing the line of his judicial mandate. “Since Sullivan appears to be so invested in trying to force the government to prosecute Flynn, he should step off the bench and apply for a job as an AUSA,” said Jenna Ellis, a constitutional lawyer and Senior legal advisor to the Trump 2020 campaign. “He clearly wants to be a prosecutor, not a judge, so he’s in the wrong branch of government.”

Read more …

On May 12, I wrote: “I don’t think the DOJ will go after Obama, only Sidney Powell would.”

On May 13, Powell published this letter.

Open Memorandum to Barack Obama (Sidney Powell)

Re: Your Failure to Find Precedent for Flynn Dismissal

Regarding the decision of the Department of Justice to dismiss charges against General Flynn, in your recent call with your alumni, you expressed great concern: “there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.” Here is some help—if truth and precedent represent your true concern. Your statement is entirely false. However, it does explain the damage to the Rule of Law throughout your administration.

First, General Flynn was not charged with perjury—which requires a material false statement made under oath with intent to deceive.1 A perjury prosecution would have been appropriate and the Rule of Law applied if the Justice Department prosecuted your former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for his multiple lies under oath in an investigation of a leak only he knew he caused. McCabe lied under oath in fully recorded and transcribed interviews with the Inspector General for the DOJ. He was informed of the purpose of the interview, and he had had the benefit of counsel. He knew he was the leaker. McCabe even lied about lying.

He lied to his own agents—which sent them on a “wild-goose-chase”—thereby making his lies “material” and an obstruction of justice. Yet, remarkably, Attorney General Barr declined to prosecute McCabe for these offenses. Applying the Rule of Law, after declining McCabe’s perjury prosecution, required the Justice Department to dismiss the prosecution of General Flynn who was not warned, not under oath, had no counsel, and whose statements were not only not recorded, but were created as false by FBI agents who falsified the 302.

Read more …

America has two food chains, and they’re not talking.

The Sickness in Our Food Supply (Pollan)

A series of shocks has exposed weak links in our food chain that threaten to leave grocery shelves as patchy and unpredictable as those in the former Soviet bloc. The very system that made possible the bounty of the American supermarket—its vaunted efficiency and ability to “pile it high and sell it cheap”—suddenly seems questionable, if not misguided. But the problems the novel coronavirus has revealed are not limited to the way we produce and distribute food. They also show up on our plates, since the diet on offer at the end of the industrial food chain is linked to precisely the types of chronic disease that render us more vulnerable to Covid-19. The juxtaposition of images in the news of farmers destroying crops and dumping milk with empty supermarket shelves or hungry Americans lining up for hours at food banks tells a story of economic efficiency gone mad.

Today the US actually has two separate food chains, each supplying roughly half of the market. The retail food chain links one set of farmers to grocery stores, and a second chain links a different set of farmers to institutional purchasers of food, such as restaurants, schools, and corporate offices. With the shutting down of much of the economy, as Americans stay home, this second food chain has essentially collapsed. But because of the way the industry has developed over the past several decades, it’s virtually impossible to reroute food normally sold in bulk to institutions to the retail outlets now clamoring for it. There’s still plenty of food coming from American farms, but no easy way to get it where it’s needed.

[..] When the number of Covid-19 cases in America’s slaughterhouses exploded in late April—12,608 confirmed, with forty-nine deaths as of May 11—public health officials and governors began ordering plants to close. It was this threat to the industry’s profitability that led to Tyson’s declaration, which President Trump would have been right to see as a shakedown: the president’s political difficulties could only be compounded by a shortage of meat. In order to reopen their production lines, Tyson and his fellow packers wanted the federal government to step in and preempt local public health authorities; they also needed liability protection, in case workers or their unions sued them for failing to observe health and safety regulations.

Within days of Tyson’s ad, President Trump obliged the meatpackers by invoking the Defense Production Act. After having declined to use it to boost the production of badly needed coronavirus test kits, he now declared meat a “scarce and critical material essential to the national defense.” The executive order took the decision to reopen or close meat plants out of local hands, forced employees back to work without any mandatory safety precautions, and offered their employers some protection from liability for their negligence. On May 8, Tyson reopened a meatpacking plant in Waterloo, Iowa, where more than a thousand workers had tested positive.

Read more …

Sidney Powell should take Assange’s case.

Court Files Expose Sheldon Adelson’s Role in US Spying On Julian Assange (GZ)

As the co-founder of a small security consulting firm called UC Global, David Morales spent years slogging through the minor leagues of the private mercenary world. A former Spanish special forces officer, Morales yearned to be the next Erik Prince, the Blackwater founder who leveraged his army-for-hire into high-level political connections across the globe. But by 2016, he had secured just one significant contract, to guard the children of Ecuador’s then-President Rafael Correa and his country’s embassy in the UK. The London embassy contract proved especially valuable to Morales, however. Inside the diplomatic compound, his men guarded Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a top target of the US government who had been living in the building since Correa granted him asylum in 2012.

It was not long before Morales realized he had a big league opportunity on his hands. In 2016, Morales rushed off alone to a security fair in Las Vegas, hoping to rustle up lucrative new gigs by touting his role as the guardian of Assange. Days later, he returned to his company’s headquarters in Jerez de Frontera, Spain with exciting news. “From now on, we’re going to be playing in the first division,” Morales announced to his employees. When a co-owner of UC Global asked what Morales meant, he responded that he had turned to the “dark side” – an apparent reference to US intelligence services. “The Americans will find us contracts around the world,” Morales assured his business partner.

Morales had just signed on to guard Queen Miri, the $70 million yacht belonging to one of the most high profile casino tycoons in Vegas: ultra-Zionist billionaire and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. Given that Adelson already had a substantial security team assigned to guard him and his family at all times, the contract between UC Global and Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands was clearly the cover for a devious espionage campaign apparently overseen by the CIA. Unfortunately for Morales, the Spanish security consultant charged with leading the spying operation, what happened in Vegas did not stay there. Following Assange’s imprisonment, several disgruntled former employees eventually approached Assange’s legal team to inform them about the misconduct and arguably illegal activity they participated in at UC Global.

One former business partner said they came forward after realizing that “David Morales decided to sell all the information to the enemy, the US.” A criminal complaint was submitted in a Spanish court and a secret operation that resulted in the arrest of Morales was set into motion by the judge. Morales was charged by a Spanish High Court in October 2019 with violating the privacy of Assange, abusing the publisher’s attorney-client privileges, as well as money laundering and bribery. The documents revealed in court, which were primarily backups from company computers, exposed the disturbing reality of his activities on “the dark side.”

Read more …

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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 15 2020

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  • #58796

    Georgia O’Keeffe Sunflower, New Mexico I 1935   • A Truth That’s Told With Bad Intent (Ben Hunt) • America’s Chilling Experiment in Human Sacrifi
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 15 2020]

    #58797

    Polder Dweller
    Participant

    Russia will in the next few days pass Spain as the no. 2 in total cases behind the US. But it reports “just” 2,418 deaths to date, vs Spain’s 27,321.

    I read that Russia started with mass use of hydroxychloroquine + azitromycine + zinc on 16 April and saw the death rate tumble.

    #58799

    I read that Russia started with mass use of hydroxychloroquine + azitromycine + zinc on 16 April and saw the death rate tumble.

    That would be interesting but we’d need to have it confirmed. The numbers at Worldometer show an upward trend around April 16, not a downward one.

    rus

    #58800

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Georgia O’Keeffe Sunflower, New Mexico I 1935

    A curious painting; I don’t quite know what I think of it…
    I mean, it’s pretty enough; but I think there is more…
    I think it might be a matter of style, not sure…

    #58801

    zerosum
    Participant


    Because nobody is going to where people are sick and dying,

    • United States Might Not Open Up To International Travelers Any Time Soon

    #58802

    Polder Dweller
    Participant

    You’re right the death rate figures from Russia don’t look convincing. In fact I had remembered what I read about Russia incorrectly, it was a tweet by @Covid19Crusher from a couple of days ago which talked about the improvement in the number of recoveries, not a drop in death rate. My mistake.

    #58803

    zerosum
    Participant

    Education systems

    1. A lot of Teachers, professors, employees are old, obese, diabetic, sick.
    2. Impossible to avoid getting within 2 M on the buses, halls, bathrooms, classrooms
    3. Inadequate ventilation and filtration
    4. Disinfecting will be inadequate
    5. distance learning, online learning will not be recognized by other schools, college,university, and employers
    6. Who will want to pay. Who will be able to pay
    7. Who can install a new experimental effective system of learning that can respond to the needs of our different social/economic system.
    8. How are you going to retrain the teachers in the new system. How are you going to pay

    #58804

    Polder Dweller
    Participant

    I don’t know how much you’ve been following the situation with the pronouncement by the German Constitutional Court (Bundesvefassungsgericht Karlsruhe) on the ECB bond buying programme, but this is real dynamite for both the Euro and the EU. It’s very difficult to find good commentary on this, however this article by monsieur Frexit himself, François Asselineau, is well worth your time. I don’t know how good your French is, but there’s always Google Translate.

    The Karlsruhe Shock Wave is Shaking the Euro and the European Edifice

    #58805

    Mr. House
    Participant

    “I believe with all my heart that if we are to take individual rights seriously, then we must take individual responsibility and agency just as seriously.”

    Couldn’t agree more, which is why i have such a hard time with this. What was responsible about the bailouts that just occurred? Is it not the same people in charge of the financial and the COVID response? I love Ben and I love you Illargi. I wouldn’t understand what i do without people like you guys. But you’re losing me on this Covid stuff. All i see is more government overreach and never letting a crisis go to waste. And why are the stats displayed on every website you visit? My favorite was yahoo finance, they added covid stats randomly above the ticker a few weeks back. I feel like we’re being punk’d here. Oh and the states using the color codes for countys feels very 9/11ish. You guys remember those? Terror threat orange today good citizens!

    #58806

    Mr. House
    Participant

    A thought crossed my mind today: Will we be installing plastic shields between bowling lanes when this is all over?

    #58807

    Mr. House
    Participant

    Didn’t some suggest awhile back that 9/11 was a cover up for financial fraud? Something about building seven holding documents with regards to worldcom and others? I mean they also got an endless war out of it, along with the enemy being whoever the flavor of the month was. Feels strangely familiar

    #58808

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    From an article highly recommended for those who are trying to keep an open, rational mind:

    Our narratives of COVID-19 are all lies.
    They are lies of a particular sort, political narratives that have a nugget of truth within them, but are told with bad intent. They are told this way because it works. Because the nugget of truth hides a deeper, unpleasant truth. And a Big Lie.

    Some are narratives of the political left. Some are narratives of the political right.

    They are all narratives of betrayal, meaning that they seek to excuse or promote policies designed for institutional advantage rather than the common good.

    How do you recognize a political narrative of betrayal?

    It’s always based on a model…

    Model-driven Narrative #3
    Flatten the Curve!

    Political goal: COVID-19 threat maximization.
    Truth nugget: Lockdowns prevent a surge in cases which can overwhelm the healthcare system.
    Deep Truth nugget: When we’ve got everyone freaked out about staying alive, there’s no end to the crazy authoritarian stuff we can get away with.
    Big Lie: We can get R-0 down to zero.
    Policy prescription: You’ll find these ankle monitors to be surprisingly light and comfortable to wear!
    Embedded model: Laughably inaccurate models of COVID-19 deaths, malleable enough to serve the political aspirations of both the White House and their opponents.

    …Today, “Flatten the Curve!” has become the narrative rationale for a range of extraordinary executive actions – on both the left AND the right – that would make Lincoln blush. This is the narrative that will propel the Surveillance State into a permanent feature of American life. This is the narrative that will propel the final transformation of capital markets into a political utility. This is the narrative that will propel us into a war with China. If we let it.

    (This article was also linked by Ilargi, above.)
    https://www.epsilontheory.com/a-truth-thats-told-with-bad-intent/

    #58809

    Mr. House
    Participant

    More fuel for my theory

    Evidence Suggests U.S. Financial Crisis Started on August 14, 2019

    Such a convenient time line

    #58810

    WES
    Participant

    The Russians must be feeling a bit stretched beyond their limits.

    They have the fight of their life with the virus, on one hand, then they have to support the Dem’s constant never ending RussiaRussiaRussia theme in American politics, on the other hand.

    Russia’s support for the Dem’s RussiaRussiaRussia theme seems to be wavering!

    #58811

    WES
    Participant

    Zerosum:

    Your list of educational challenges is interesting.

    One thing the educators do not want to see on the table is lower tuition fees!

    I wonder how many students, like my daughter, are questioning the value of online learning?

    #58812

    WES
    Participant

    When it comes to Uncle Joe, I am just waiting for the Dems to introduce virtual Joe!

    At least virtual Joe will be able to repeat what the teleprompter says!

    This shouldn’t be too hard for them to do.

    After all the Dems have successfully elected dead people before!

    However trying to elect a half dead, half alive candidate might prove to be harder!

    However I wouldn’t want to underestimate the Dems!

    #58813

    zerosum
    Participant

    Education systems

    9. How will school encourage students sign up to online education (expecting 30% less)
    10. Foreign student tuition fee don’t apply to online education. (Large loss of students and revenue.)

    Practicum, on hand experience, apprenticeship, retraining, upgrading.

    Students will need to grow up fast and realize that they are responsible to learn and teach themselves, to decide what they want to do with their lives, to stop being lazy,
    Earning money is determined by doing something for someone with money, who is willing to pay you,
    because
    1. they don’t want to do it
    2. they don’t know how to do it.
    Check out

    Questions about #UWaterloo tuition, fees and financial assistance during #COVID19 and beyond? Learn more about our financial FAQ’s: https://bit.ly/2yMqlNw

    https://uwaterloo.ca/coronavirus/
    University of Waterloo information on COVID-19
    Students
    Instructors
    Researchers
    Employees
    Community outreach
    Health and travel
    Modified services look here
    Frequently asked questions
    News

    #58814

    WES
    Participant

    Zerosum:

    My brother, working for GM in Detroit, took mechanical engineering at Waterloo!

    They seem to have skirted all around lowering any tuition fees! Just as I figured!

    #58816

    zerosum
    Participant

    “They seem to have skirted all around lowering any tuition fees!”

    I guess the university elites figure that even if everything is changing around them, It doesn’t mean that they have to change.

    #58817

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Closed schools are a blessing in disguise; children are destroyed by U.S. public “education”.
    A misnomer, if ever I heard one.
    Home schooling: the Summerhill model is more relevant than ever…
    Autodidacts rule…

    #58818

    zerosum
    Participant

    Education systems

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/1-million-students-california-universities-stay-home-next-fall-campuses-go-online-only

    1 Million Students At California Universities To Stay Home Next Fall As Campuses Go ‘Online Only’

    As multiple reports have underscored, this means a total of more than 770,000 students will not return to campus — which will no doubt be a huge blow to school finances, which often relies heavily for daily operations on campus-related fees such as housing, to say nothing of the coming likely massive drop in tuition and other crucial funds.

    ” …. many especially incoming college freshmen are likely to take a ‘gap year’ as they’re not interested in dropping $50K plus for a semester sitting in their living room.”
    Apparently the few programs which will be deemed as essential to conduct in-person involve professions like nursing, bio-research, and medical related disciplines, where access to labs, medical equipment, and patient interaction are crucial.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/11/us/uc-president-suspend-sat-act-for-admissions/index.html
    The University of California president is recommending the suspension of ACT and SAT tests as an admissions requirement until 2024.

    #58819

    zerosum
    Participant

    Education systems
    Info on fees need updating

    https://www.collegetuitioncompare.com/edu/110635/university-of-california-berkeley/

    University of California-Berkeley
    UC Berkeley COVID-19 Update
    University of California-Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is a Public, 4 or more years school located in Berkeley, CA. It is classified as Research University (very high research activity) by Carnegie Classification and its highest level of offering is Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship and professional practice. The 2020 tuition & fees at University of California-Berkeley is $14,253 for California residents and $44,007 for out-of-state students. 57% of the enrolled undergraduate students have received grant or scholarships and the average aid amount is $18,993 at UC Berkeley. The school has a total enrollment of 42,501 and student to faculty ratio is 20 to 1 (5.00%). The average earning after 10 years of graduation is $79,000. The salary range after graduation from UC Berkeley varies by field of study and the average salary range $16,300 to $116,600.

    #58820

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “As COVID-19 deteriorates economic conditions, it could also result in funding cuts to major humanitarian organizations. Upwards of 300,000 people could die every day if this happens,”
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-world-food-programme-warns-at-least-30-million-people-could-die-of/
    GC
    https://2oqz471sa19h3vbwa53m33yj-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/global-food-crisis-2020-1.png

    “How New York Turned Nursing Homes Into ‘Slaughter Houses’
    “Cuomo sounded indignant when a reporter asked if anyone had objected to New York’s policy of forcing nursing homes to admit recently discharged COVID-19 patients. “They don’t have the right to object…”

    “ten states where more than half of all state deaths have occurred in these “care homes”, and in many of them governors actually mandated that these homes take patients who were Covid+…That was an intentional act and meets, handily, the definition of manslaughter…”.
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=239297

    “As we noted earlier this week, ~50% of deaths in Illinois have involved residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, problems that Spain and the UK have also struggled with. And the spike in deaths in the state seen this week has largely been attributed to a surge in managed-care-home deaths as the state’s utter failure to protect those patients becomes more shockingly apparent.’

    Maybe we should have addressed the sick people and not the well people, the way we have for the last thousand years? A fraction of money put only on nursing homes would have dropped rates 50%. So that would be from 86k deaths or 0.02% to 0.005%, or from twice the flu to half the flu.

    It would go some way towards explaining why NY and IL have high rates: essentially on purpose, through criminal negligence.

    Elsewhere, NYT reports some half a million Manhattan are missing…in this case assumed to have flown all over NY, Long Island, and Florida to avoid it, by definition after the quarantine and lockdown. So again, why high rates in non-city New York State? Leak from the high rate city. (Why that 10x the norm, don’t know yet)

    There is a second effect of this, as seen back in October(?) when Cuomo said “We can’t tax the rich”. Why, Andrew? “Because god forbid they should leave.” Like NJ where ONE person leaving blew a multi-million dollar hole in the state budget. Apparently that just happened. I wouldn’t say this is a problem of socialism, that is, some animals being more equal, more taxed than others, but it certainly is a feature of that system that must be dealt with very carefully. Because no one under 50% pays any taxes, and the top 1% pay what, 50% of the taxes? You can look it up. So a single tax donkey leaving can move a substantial percentage of taxes. “Flat” taxes we had previously, tariffs, whatever, with smaller governments and social support being in the community and not the government did not have this weakness. So be aware. If they stay out for the Census, which seems likely, NY will also lose Congressmen. Unfortunately, as seen in CA and OR, when they move they take their terrible policies with them in Blue flight and then collapse the new states they move to. Why, I don’t know, because they should know best what policies they are fleeing, but that’s how it is. Rural people don’t appreciate it much either, as they destroy the culture of the new place in seconds by bringing money from the Fed-DC-Bubble areas. Thanks.

    But things are changing, and nobody listens to me. I just report it.

    I’m sure the German court-Bond thing is big, but don’t know enough Europe to get it.

    Thanks Doc, that an event is being used doesn’t mean it isn’t real. We just have to not be used and punkd by it, not fall for the narrative they try to corral us to. And balancing Rights and Responsibilities is always difficult. That’s why I tend to fall back on 1,000 years of legal history, a system that has seen and internalized a lot of knowledge.

    Education has been a scam for 20 years, only limitless free undefaultable money has allowed it. As seen by the graduates of Harvard, Yale, and Columbia who get everything wrong they can touch and meddle with. RussiaRussiaRussia. Don’t know why they’re so hard-headed as to not be discredited. We love experts, not results, I guess. But that will change right now. Probably the change being held back, fought tooth and nail even by violence will snapback and try to suddenly make up for lost time in order to meet the cycle dates. I don’t prefer it. It’s unwise to hold back the tide to have it rush in as a tsunami. Follow the time and tides and move with them very slowly so everything can adjust. But then how would we get rich on disaster capitalism?

    #58821

    Birdshak
    Participant

    To date, we have not had to dump milk ourselves. Our co-op dumped tractor trailer loads in April. All co-op members pay a fee to cover the cost of dumped milk.

    #58822

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Education has been a scam for 20 years, only limitless free undefaultable money has allowed it.

    Forced public education has been in effect since roughly 1853 (if memory serves); so that makes it 167 years.
    I graduated H.S. in 1963 (57 years ago) and it sucked hind tit then…

    #58840

    zerosum
    Participant

    Education systems – Be a mentor – Teen power

    How will school encourage students sign up to online education (expecting 30% less)
    Foreign student tuition fee don’t apply to online education. (Large loss of students and revenue.)

    Students will need to grow up fast and realize that they are responsible to learn and teach themselves, to decide what they want to do with their lives, to stop being lazy,
    Earning money is determined by doing something for someone with money, who is willing to pay you,
    because
    1. they don’t want to do it
    2. they don’t know how to do it.

    Practicum, on hand experience, apprenticeship, retraining, upgrading.

    Elders can make their end of life better or worst depending on how you mentor the teens.

    #58850

    John Day
    Participant

    Late Entry:
    Max Headroom could be reprogrammed to be a Better Biden!

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