May 062020

Harris&Ewing Less taxes, more jobs, US Chamber of Commerce campaign 1939


Now-Dominant Strain Of Coronavirus Could Be More Contagious Than Original (LAT)
New Mutation Indicates That Coronavirus Might Be Weakening (NYP)
Coronavirus Started Infecting People Globally Late Last Year (Hill)
UK COVID-19 Death Toll Rises Above 32,000, Highest In Europe (R.)
Pseudo-Science Behind The Assault On Hydroxychloroquine (ZH)
Goat and Pawpaw ‘Test Positive’ For COVID19 In Tanzania (AlJ)
Pennsylvania Woman Jailed For Refusing To Quarantine After Positive Test (Hill)
White House To Wind Down Coronavirus Task Force, Focus Shifts To Aftermath (R.)
UK Government ‘Using Pandemic To Transfer NHS Duties To Private Sector’ (G.)
K Street Requests Taxpayer Bailout Of Corporate Lobbyists (IC)
US Airlines Burn Through $10 Billion A Month As Traffic Plummets (R.)
After The Covid Rush: Brace For America’s Version Of Saudi Aramco (Cox)
Bluetooth Inventors See Problems For Coronavirus Contact Tracing (IC)
French Beekeepers Look To Lockdown Exit To Sell Bumper Honey Harvest (R.)
Did The Mueller Team Violate Brady and Flynn Orders? (Turley)
China Fires Entire Propaganda Team: US Media Already Does Their Job (BB)



• US #coronavirus deaths rise by 2,333 in 24 hours: Johns Hopkins




Cases 3,744,765 (+ 82,494 from yesterday’s 3,662,271)

Deaths 258,884 (+ 6,137 from yesterday’s 252,747)




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



From Worldometer



From SCMP:








I was reading two things (first two articles in this overview): 1) that a new dominant corona strain appears more contagious, and 2) that it is a weakening strain. Now, that makes perfect sense, it’s a trade-off that’s ubiquitous in nature: when a virus becomes more contagious, it kills fewer of its new hosts. That way the death number remains the same, and enough potential hosts remain.

But that’s not necessarily what people see. The LA Times seems to expect the opposite: “The Los Alamos study does not indicate that the new version of the virus is more lethal than the original.”

It’s of course possible that a more contagious strain is also more lethal, but it wouldn’t seem to be the more logical chain of events.

Now-Dominant Strain Of Coronavirus Could Be More Contagious Than Original (LAT)

Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote. In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, the report warned.

The 33-page report was posted Thursday on BioRxiv, a website that researchers use to share their work before it is peer-reviewed, an effort to speed up collaborations with scientists working on COVID-19 vaccines or treatments. That research has been largely based on the genetic sequence of earlier strains and might not be effective against the new one. Scientists with major organizations working on a vaccine or drugs to combat the coronavirus have told The Times that they are pinning their hopes on initial evidence that the virus is stable and not likely to mutate the way the influenza virus does, requiring a new vaccine every year. The Los Alamos report could upend that assumption.

The mutation identified in the new report affects the now-infamous spikes on the exterior of the coronavirus, which allow it to enter human respiratory cells. The report’s authors said they felt an “urgent need for an early warning” so that vaccines and drugs under development around the world will be effective against the mutated strain. In many places where the new strain appeared, it quickly infected far more people than the earlier strains that came out of Wuhan, China, and within weeks it was the only strain that was prevalent in some nations, according to the report. The new strain’s dominance over its predecessors suggests that it is more infectious, according to the report, though exactly why is not yet known.

The coronavirus, known to scientists as SARS-CoV-2, has infected more than 3.5 million people around the world and caused more than 250,000 COVID-19 deaths since its discovery late last year. The report was based on a computational analysis of more than 6,000 coronavirus sequences from around the world collected by the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza Data, a public-private organization in Germany. Time and again, the analysis found the new version was transitioning to become dominant.

[..] The Los Alamos study does not indicate that the new version of the virus is more lethal than the original. People infected with the mutated strain appear to have higher viral loads. But the study’s authors from the University of Sheffield found that among a local sample of 447 patients, hospitalization rates were about the same for people infected with either virus version. Even if the new strain is no more dangerous than the others, it could still complicate efforts to bring the pandemic under control. That would be an issue if the mutation makes the virus so different from earlier strains that people who have immunity to them would not be immune to the new version.

Read more …

If it would follow SARS, it would die out completely. But that’s a long way away, and wishful thinking.

New Mutation Indicates That Coronavirus Might Be Weakening (NYP)

A new coronavirus mutation discovered by Arizona researchers mirrors a change that occurred as the 2003 SARS virus began to weaken, the researchers announced. Lead study author Dr. Efrem Lim, an assistant professor at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, and his team use a new technology called next-generation sequencing to rapidly read through all 30,000 chemical letters of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, or genetic code. That technology helps researchers determine how the virus is spreading, mutating and adapting over time. Out of the 382 nasal swab samples the researchers examined from coronavirus patients in the state, a single sample was missing a significant chunk of its genome. 81 of the letters were permanently deleted, according to the new study published in the Journal of Virology.

“One of the reasons why this mutation is of interest is because it mirrors a large deletion that arose in the 2003 SARS outbreak,” Lim said in a statement. During the middle and late phases of the 2003 SARS epidemic, the virus accumulated mutations that lessened its strength, according to the researchers. “Where the deletion occurs in the genome is pretty meaningful because it’s a known immune protein which means it counteracts the host’s antiviral response,” Lim told the Daily Mail. A weakened virus that causes less severe symptoms may get a leg up if it is able to spread efficiently through populations by people who don’t know they are infected, the scientists say. However, it’s too soon to say whether the novel coronavirus is beginning to lose its potency, according to the researchers.

“The takeaway is that one virus had a large deletion which demonstrates that it is possible for the virus to transmit without having complete portions of its genetic material,” study co-author Matthew Scotch said in an email. “This was one virus and we do not suggest that this means a ‘weakening’ of any kind.” All of the patients whose samples the Arizona scientists analyzed had some clinical coronavirus symptoms — meaning that even the version with 81 deletions was still strong enough to make the patient at least somewhat sick, the Mail reported. This is the first time such a deletion has been seen in the 16,000 coronavirus genomes that have been sequenced to date, according to the researchers. That’s less than half a percent of the strains circulating, according to the scientists. There are about 3.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide. “This is a drop in the bucket,” Lim told the Mail.

Read more …

This would be a less contagious strain.

Coronavirus Started Infecting People Globally Late Last Year (Hill)

The coronavirus has been circulating among people since late 2019 and appears to have experienced a highly rapid spread after the first infection, according to a new genetic analysis of 7,600 patients around the world. Researchers in Britain wrote in a report published Tuesday in the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution that they examined samples taken at different times and from different places, concluding that the virus first began infecting people late last year. The researchers found evidence of quick spread but found no indication that it is becoming any easier to transmit the virus, which was first identified in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, in December 2019.

“The virus is changing, but this in itself does not mean it’s getting worse,” genetics researcher Francois Balloux of the University College London Genetics Institute told CNN. The study indicated that infections in the U.S. and Europe specifically could have occurred weeks or months before the first official cases were reported in January and February, making it more difficult to find “Patient Zero” in any particular area. The findings shot down hopes from some doctors that the virus had in fact been circulating under the radar for months before it burst onto the scene, which would have indicated that there could be some immunity already built up. But Balloux told CNN at most only 10 percent of the population has been exposed to the coronavirus.

Read more …

I was wondering why the numbers are so different, but one thing at least is that numbers for the UK, which includes Scotland and Northern Ireland, do not include Scotland and Northern Ireland. Curious.

And then there’s more: the UK appears to undercount deaths by some 20,000.

UK COVID-19 Death Toll Rises Above 32,000, Highest In Europe (R.)

More than 32,000 people in the United Kingdom have died with suspected COVID-19, the highest official toll yet reported in Europe, according to data published on Tuesday. The Office for National Statistics said 29,648 deaths had taken place as of April 24 in England and Wales with COVID-19 mentioned in death certificates. Including deaths for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the official toll now stands at 32,313. That is more than Italy, previously Europe’s worst hit country, though its toll does not include suspected cases. Ministers dislike comparisons of the headline death toll, saying that excess mortality – the number of deaths from all causes that exceed the average for the time of year – is a more meaningful metric.


Chris Giles is economics editor at the FT.

Read more …

The case of the “whistleblower”, Rick Bright, is strongly linked to HCQ.

Pseudo-Science Behind The Assault On Hydroxychloroquine (ZH)

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was accepted as a COVID-19 treatment by the medical community in the US and worldwide by early April. 67% of the US physicians said they would prescribe HCQ or chloroquine CQ for COVID-19 to a family member (Town Hall, 2020-04-08). An international poll of doctors rated HCQ the most effective coronavirus treatment (NY Post, 2020-04-02). On April 6, Peter Navarro told CNN that “Virtually Every COVID-19 Patient In New York Is Given Hydroxychloroquine.” This might explain decrease in COVID-19 deaths in the New York state after April 15. The time lag is because COVID-19 deaths happen on average 14 days after showing symptoms. But on April 21, several perfectly coordinated events took place, attacking HCQ’s use for COVID-19 patients.

• The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel of the National Institute of Health issued recommendations with negative-ambivalent stance regarding the use of HCQ as a COVID-19 treatment. This surprising stance was taken contrary to the ample evidence of the efficacy and safety of HCQ and despite absence evidence of its harm. The panel also strongly recommended against the use of hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin (AZ), the combination of choice among practitioners.

• On the same day, a paper (Magagnoli, 2020) was posted on a pre-print server medRxiv, insinuating that HCQ is not only ineffective, but even harmful. This not-yet peer reviewed paper, by unqualified authors with conflicts of interest, received wall-to-wall media coverage, as it if were a cancer cure. It used data from Veterans Administration hospitals, spicing its effects. The paper has shown to be somewhere between junk science and fraud.

• Rick Bright, a government official who was probably more responsible for the low level of preparedness to the epidemic than most others, and had been re-assigned to a lower position earlier, emerged as a “whistleblower.” He claimed he had been demoted for opposing hydroxychloroquine, the claim to be soon debunked by documents bearing his signature. The media also gave him a wall-to-wall coverage.

On April 24, the FDA struck its own blow, issuing a stern warning against use of HCQ for COVID-19 treatment. While these warnings are not binding to doctors, they do produce a chilling effect. Consequently, either patients do not receive necessary treatment, or they receive it with a delay, sharper decreasing its effect. This allows detractors to question HCQ efficacy even more aggressively. Below, I review problems in the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines and other sources, used to wage anti-HCQ propaganda.

Read more …

Not sure if laughing is the best reaction here.

Goat and Pawpaw ‘Test Positive’ For COVID19 In Tanzania (AlJ)

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has dismissed imported coronavirus testing kits as faulty, saying they returned positive results on samples taken from a goat and a pawpaw. Magufuli made the remarks during an event in Chato in northwestern Tanzania on Sunday. He said there were “technical errors” with the tests. The president, whose government has already drawn criticism for being secretive about the coronavirus outbreak and has previously asked Tanzanians to pray the coronavirus away, said he had instructed Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the kits. They had randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from a pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages.

These samples were then submitted to Tanzania’s laboratory to test for the coronavirus, with the lab technicians left deliberately unaware of their origins. Samples from the pawpaw and the goat tested positive for COVID-19, the president said, adding this meant it was likely that some people were being tested positive when, in fact, they were not infected by the coronavirus. “There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation,” Magufuli said, adding the kits should be investigated.

On Saturday, Magufuli announced that he had placed an order for a herbal treatment for the coronavirus touted by the president of Madagascar. “I have already written to Madagascar’s president and we will soon dispatch a plane to fetch the medicine so that Tanzania can also benefit from it,” he said. The herbal remedy, called “Covid Organics” and prepared by the Malagasy Institute for Applied Research, is made out of Artemisia, a plant cultivated on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar. Despite a lack of scientific evidence, President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar claimed that the remedy has already cured some Madagascans of COVID-19. Children returning to school have been required to take it.

Read more …

We can neatly divide the country, if not the world, according to people’s reaction to this.

Problem is even if she wasn’t tested at all, she could still be positive.

Pennsylvania Woman Jailed For Refusing To Quarantine After Positive Test (Hill)

A Pennsylvania woman was jailed over the weekend for refusing to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, officials said Saturday. Erie County President Judge John Trucilla ordered that the woman be kept on electronic monitoring at home for at least a week after she spent a night in jail Friday for repeatedly violating her isolation order, the Erie Times-News reported. County Solicitor Richard Perhacs said the woman, who was unidentified at her Saturday court hearing, attended a party, did some banking and had her vehicle repaired after she tested positive. As a result, 27 people are now in quarantine after coming in contact with her or someone who was in contact with her.

The woman reportedly cried throughout the emergency proceeding as she appeared via a video call from the Erie County Prison, according to the news outlet. She told Trucilla that she did not understand a letter she signed on April 29 saying the county could take legal action if she did not self-isolate. “I want to explain from the bottom of my heart that I apologize,” she told the judge, according to the Times-News. “It was a mistake. I’ve learned from my actions. I want to go home.” Trucilla ruled in a preliminary order that she had to remain at home until she was tested again on Friday but said she could be jailed for longer if she violated the order again. The judge will determine whether her self-isolation period needs to be extended based on that test.

County officials said they explained the letter to her multiple times. The woman first developed symptoms on April 12 and said Saturday that she was no longer experiencing them. Erie County Chief Public Defender Pat Kennedy, who represented the woman, requested she be electronically monitored at her home. “Based on my interaction with her, I don’t think that day in jail was lost upon her,” Kennedy said, according to the news outlet.

Read more …

Shouldn’t Fauci and Birx simply resign? Or do they agree with the re-opening?

White House To Wind Down Coronavirus Task Force, Focus Shifts To Aftermath (R.)

The White House coronavirus task force will wind down as the country moves into a second phase that focuses on the aftermath of the outbreak, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday. Trump confirmed the plans after Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the group, told reporters the White House may start moving coordination of the U.S. response on to federal agencies in late May. “Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job,” Trump said during a visit to a mask factory in Arizona. “But we’re now looking at a little bit of a different form and that form is safety and opening and we’ll have a different group probably set up for that.” Asked if he was proclaiming “mission accomplished” in the fight against the coronavirus, Trump said, “No, not at all. The mission accomplished is when it’s over.”

Trump said Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, doctors who assumed a high profile during weeks of nationally televised news briefings, would remain advisers after the group is dismantled. Fauci leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Birx was response coordinator for the force. “We can’t keep our country closed for the next five years,” Trump said, when asked why it was time to wind down the task force. More than 70,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. The U.S. death toll is the highest in the world. Trump acknowledged there might be a resurgence of the virus as states loosen the restrictions on businesses and social life aimed at curbing its spread. “It’ll be a flame and we’re going to put the flame out.”

Earlier, Pence said Trump was starting to look at Memorial Day on May 25 as the time to shift management of the response to the pandemic. [..] Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn said the Trump administration was committed to accelerating the search for a vaccine, with the goal of producing 100 million doses by the autumn and 300 million doses by the end of the year. “Whether that can be achieved or not, it is realistic,” said Azar. “We would not be doing this if we did not think it were realistic. Is it guaranteed? Of course it is not.” Most experts have suggested clinical trials to guarantee a vaccine is safe and effective could take a minimum of 12 to 18 months.

Read more …

The government is intentionally doing such a shitty job, might as well let the for-profit boys do it.

UK Government ‘Using Pandemic To Transfer NHS Duties To Private Sector’ (G.)

The government is using the coronavirus pandemic to transfer key public health duties from the NHS and other state bodies to the private sector without proper scrutiny, critics have warned. Doctors, campaign groups, academics and MPs raised the concerns about a “power grab” after it emerged on Monday that Serco was in pole position to win a deal to supply 15,000 call-handlers for the government’s tracking and tracing operation. They said the health secretary, Matt Hancock, had “accelerated” the dismantling of state healthcare and that the duty to keep the public safe was being “outsourced” to the private sector. In recent weeks, ministers have used special powers to bypass normal tendering and award a string of contracts to private companies and management consultants without open competition.

Deloitte, KPMG, Serco, Sodexo, Mitie, Boots and the US data mining group Palantir have secured taxpayer-funded commissions to manage Covid-19 drive-in testing centres, the purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the building of Nightingale hospitals. Now, the Guardian has seen a letter from the Department of Health to NHS trusts instructing them to stop buying any of their own PPE and ventilators. From Monday, procurement of a list of 16 items must be handled centrally. Many of the items on the list, such as PPE, are in high demand during the pandemic, while others including CT scanners, mobile X-ray machines and ultrasounds are high-value machines that are used more widely in hospitals.

Read more …

Not sure I can fully incorporate the irony involved here.

K Street Requests Taxpayer Bailout Of Corporate Lobbyists (IC)

K Street may soon have its own taxpayer-funded bailout. Industries as varied as oil refining, construction, fast food restaurants, and chemical manufacturing are seeking federal cash to support their lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Many of the largest lobbying forces are organized under the 501(c)(6) section of the tax code as trade groups. Corporations with similar concerns pool their money together to fund trade groups, which in turn employ thousands of lobbyists to shape elections and legislation on a daily basis. But the Paycheck Protection Program, the centerpiece of the small business rescue program, excluded such trade groups. That could change in the next round of stimulus legislation, which Congress is scheduled to debate later this month.

Lobbyists have stepped up a campaign to make sure professional influence peddlers are eligible for the PPP, or P3, funds. The push also includes a demand for an additional $25 billion for canceled events and other lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic. The American Society of Association Executives, which represents trade group leadership, explained in a letter to lawmakers that trade group lobbyists need federal funding to better advocate for their clients. “These organizations are already relied upon to help coordinate federal resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and they require staff to fulfill this duty,” ASAE wrote. Trade groups, the ASAE letter notes, have faced declining revenue as corporations wind down dues payments and sponsorship fees in response to the economic downturn.

Read more …

So many sectors of the economy are entire bubbles, and we’re going to bail them all out.

US Airlines Burn Through $10 Billion A Month As Traffic Plummets (R.)

U.S. airlines are collectively burning more than $10 billion in cash a month and averaging fewer than two dozen passengers per domestic flight because of the coronavirus pandemic, industry trade group Airlines for America said in prepared testimony seen by Reuters ahead of a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday. Even after grounding more than 3,000 aircraft, or nearly 50% of the active U.S. fleet, the group said its member carriers, which include the four largest U.S. airlines, were averaging just 17 passengers per domestic flight and 29 passengers per international flight. “The U.S. airline industry will emerge from this crisis a mere shadow of what it was just three short months ago,” the group’s chief executive, Nicholas Calio, will say, according to his prepared testimony.

Net booked passengers have fallen by nearly 100% year-on-year, according to the testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee. The group warned that if air carriers were to refund all tickets, including those purchased as nonrefundable or those canceled by a passenger instead of the carrier, “this will result in negative cash balances that will lead to bankruptcy.” Separately, Eric Fanning, who heads the Aerospace Industries Association, will ask Congress to consider providing “temporary and targeted assistance for the ailing aviation manufacturing sector,” in testimony made public by the group. Boeing Co said last week it would cut 16,000 jobs by the end of the year, while GE Aviation plans to cut up to 13,000 jobs and airplane supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc is cutting 1,450 jobs.

Read more …

So much for competition as a model.

After The Covid Rush: Brace For America’s Version Of Saudi Aramco (Cox)

Calamity creates opportunity. That has always been true when it comes to corporate consolidation. Recall how a series of mega-mergers and acquisitions transformed the banking industry after the 2008 financial panic. Wells Fargo snagged Wachovia. Bank of America scooped up Merrill Lynch. Lloyds TSB bought HBOS. BNP Paribas grabbed Fortis. JPMorgan got Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns. And so on. Before the coronavirus has taken its full physical and economic toll, expect more of the same. Strong banks ate the weak, and they were chivvied along by federal and state governments and regulators worried about the sustainability of their financial systems. Governments will play a central role now, too.

Even before the Great Lockdown, leaders were calling for relaxation of antitrust restrictions as a response to the emergence of stronger Chinese competitors. France and Germany railed against the European Commission blocking the merger between the rail businesses of Siemens and Alstom, complaining it would give Chinese giant CRRC free reign. President Donald Trump has tried to encourage telecom mergers to combat Huawei. These concerns have only become more pronounced as China appears to have rebounded from the virus more rapidly than the rest of the world. The political logic of protecting domestic companies through strategic alliances will apply after the pandemic and across a broad range of industries.

Governments will come away from Covid-19 with new priorities, ranging from safer, more domestic, manufacturing and supply chains to less risky balance sheets. If history rhymes, then pre-virus views about competition may take a back seat. As Edward Chancellor argued, this will lead to an unhealthy concentration of power. For the M&A business it opens all sorts of possibilities once considered taboo. Take the oil patch. Sliding demand has combined with efforts by the world’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, to flood the market and nudge U.S. drillers toward bankruptcy. As the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude has fallen below $20 a barrel from $60 at the start of the year, producers have been lobbying Trump for a rescue.

It’s not inconceivable to imagine the largest American producers banding together to squeeze out costs and take a better grip of U.S. oil supply, maybe even aided by government loans and a streamlined regulatory process, effectively creating a potential rival to Saudi Aramco. Merging Exxon Mobil with Chevron would forge a company worth some $350 billion with 35 billion barrels of proved reserves. Heck, they might even fold in BP’s 20 billion of reserves and $75 billion market cap and “ExChevBrit”. It would be a shrimp compared to Aramco’s $1.6 trillion value and 270 billion barrels of proved barrels of oil – and that’s how they would justify a deal.

Read more …

The sytem cannot tell if you’re 2 meters or 20 meters away. Next!

Bluetooth Inventors See Problems For Coronavirus Contact Tracing (IC)

Named for the 10th century king Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson, famous in Scandinavia for uniting (and Christianizing) the Danes, the humble, oft-derided wireless technology included in some form in nearly every portable device from the past decade and beyond is central to coronavirus contact tracing apps pushed by Apple, Google, and governments across the world. Banking on the standard’s ubiquity, and considerably improved reliability since the ’90s, these entities hope to turn billions of Bluetooth-enabled devices into an army of public health automatons that can map anyone who came into contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

Although the exact plans for using Bluetooth vary between governments, the gist is simple: In order for your iPhone to connect to your friend’s Bluetooth speaker, it has to essentially shout its existence into the electromagnetic spectrum, sending repeated radio messages that announce that the device is turned on and willing to pair with another. It’s exactly these short, repeating radio wave bursts that tech companies and public health authorities hope can be used for contact tracing, by collecting an anonymized record of every Bluetooth announcement within a certain range. If one of these “HELLO, I AM BLUETOOTH!” messages ends up coming from an individual who later tests positive for Covid-19, the hope is that anyone else whose phone was able to detect that message could then be alerted and tested (or treated) accordingly.

Read more …

No-one here links the good harvest to less pollution or glyphosate. Odd.

French Beekeepers Look To Lockdown Exit To Sell Bumper Honey Harvest (R.)

Beekeepers in France are celebrating a bumper spring honey harvest after weeks of warm weather but will need a smooth unwinding of the coronavirus lockdown if they are to find a market for their produce. Down an overgrown track near the Chantilly Palace, where the James Bond film “A View to a Kill” was filmed in the 1980s, beekeeper Franck Portefaix says it could be the best season in four decades. “The blossom was almost three weeks early and the harvest is very, very good,” said Portefaix, who followed his parents into beekeeping 30 years ago. Nearby, colleagues in protective suits sprayed smoke over hives before opening them to extract the raw honey, most of which Portefaix’s business sells in markets. Temperatures in the l’Oise, north of Paris, in April hit as high as 30 degrees Celsius, more typical of early summer.

In a mediocre harvest, a beehive can produce 4-6 kg of honey, rising to 10 kg in a good harvest, but this spring Portefaix said the best performing among his 500 hives could produce up to 20 kg each. “1976 was really the year of reference, a very good year. And this year has begun much like that year. But not all beekeepers are cheering 2020. While northern and western regions of France basked in ideal April weather, prolonged dry spells hurt harvests in the south. Unfavourable weather also in the Landes region hurt acacia honey production. “With the upheaval to our climate, harvests are becoming increasingly unpredictable. It’s still early in the season, we need to temper our expectations,” said Henri Clement, a spokesman for the National Union of French Beekeeping.

Read more …

The FBI is above the law.

Did The Mueller Team Violate Brady and Flynn Orders? (Turley)

With the release of the new material from the case of Michael Flynn, an array of experts came forward to assure the public that it was all standard procedure for investigators to conclude that there was no criminal conduct uncovered and then prosecutors creating a crime (including the use of a clearly unconstitutional law never used to convict anyone since the start of the Republic). Many of these same experts who have been espousing untethered (and ultimately rejected) theories for criminal and impeachment charges for years. Yet, what was most striking is how many also rejected any claim that the undisclosed evidence, at a minimum, violated Brady, the case requiring the government to turn over exculpatory information.

Indeed, Ben Wittes, a staunch defender of James Comey, assured readers “while you might not know much about federal law enforcement,” this is all “standard practices.” In fact, this is a clear and flagrant violation of the both Brady and the orders of Judge Emmet Sullivan. The fact that such violations are also dismissed by mainstream media and experts reflects how rage has distorted legal analysis in this Administration. Brady v. Maryland is a 1963 decision of the Supreme Court that prosecutors must under the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments disclose favorable evidence to defendants upon request, if the evidence is “material” to either guilt or punishment. There are also due process rights requiring the disclosure of any evidence that would allow the defense to attack the reliability, thoroughness, and good faith of the police investigation or to impeach the credibility of the state’s witnesses. Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995).

Courts like Judge Sullivan in the Flynn case issue standard orders under this and other cases requiring disclosure of evidence that are exculpatory or material to issues like impeachment. Many of us who work on the criminal defense side have long frustrating histories with courts in dealing with violations of Brady and other cases. Often these violations are exposed after sentencing (unlike in Flynn). Courts often cite cases like Strickler v. Greene to decline to order a new trial unless “the nondisclosure was so serious that there is a reasonable probability that the suppressed evidence would have produced a different verdict.” That is a standard that is difficult to overcome. However, this case exposes a particularly obvious set of violations.

Read more …

Babylon Bee

China Fires Entire Propaganda Team: US Media Already Does Their Job (BB)

The Chinese government has laid off its entire propaganda arm, cutting thousands of jobs at China Central Television and other state-run media outlets as the American media is already doing their job for them. “It seemed kinda redundant for us to have a state-run media when we have the American press,” said President Xi at a press conference Monday. “The American media is carrying water for us. It’s pretty incredible. We unleashed a virus on the world and lied about it for months, and the American press can’t stop praising us. As long as they make their orange leader look bad, they’ll repeat any line we feed them.”

“Really, we Commies could learn a lot from the propaganda of the press over in America,” he added admiringly. The Communist dictator sat the nervous, state-owned journalists down and asked them, “What would you say you do there?” to which they responded, “We take the propaganda and tell it to the people.” But President Xi wasn’t fooled, saying that the American press already does that and the redundancy would be eliminated. Luckily for the state-owned journalists and broadcasters who lost their jobs in China today, CNN was hiring.

Read more …


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A great thread, putting together lots of studies:



Taleb. People often don’t get why you need not median values but extremes, maxima, to build a good model, building, theory, policy.

EVT= Extreme value theory





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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 6 2020

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
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  • #58391

    Harris&Ewing Less taxes, more jobs, US Chamber of Commerce campaign 1939   • Now-Dominant Strain Of Coronavirus Could Be More Contagious Than
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 6 2020]

    V. Arnold

    Harris&Ewing Less taxes, more jobs, US Chamber of Commerce campaign 1939

    A nice flash from the past…
    Jobs; where fore art thou?


    No job, no life
    Your job …. to bend the spoon.
    His job …. to supply the spoon
    The Matrix ….. to supply the life/jobs

    Ben there, don that before
    I’m no longer in the Matrix, I’m retired. I’m at TAE



    Those in authority who try and prevent the use of HCQ in the treatment of C19 should be arrested for manslaughter. They can explain their evidence at their trials.

    We are talking about something serious, it should be treated seriously. Their actions have consequences : death!


    The HCQ+ issue could expose Fauci’s conflicts of interest. Too many positive stories of HCQ+’s success belie his ominous warnings against it, and make it appear he has ties to pharma’s desire to cash in big with high-priced, barely tested (or dodgily tested) new antivirals. Fauci also has ties to the megalomaniacal Bill (“I know about viruses”) Gates with his promise of a vaccine. Coronavirus “vaccines” have an horrific history, and more and more people are aware of it.
    Why else discourage doctors from trying what works in so many cases?
    I watched a video yesterday of a tv show (“The Dead Zone”) from 2003 where a nasty coronavirus was taken down by “Hchloroquin”. Interesting. It was called “Plague”.

    It’s lovely to hear about the bees!

    Dr. D

    Didn’t we just read that Fauci signed off on the HCQ study back in SARS that it was both a therapeutic and prophylactic? That is, HCQ could in once sense BE the vaccine. He’s also in tight with the Pharma and especially Gates and Co. …Because when we need medical advice we always ban ER doctors and listen to incompetent programmers instead.

    But nobody knows nothing. No one can be discredited. No one goes to jail.

    Dr. D

    This is how serious experts are taking it:

    “Scientist Whose Doomsday Models Sparked Global Lockdown Resigns After Breaking Quarantine To Bang Married Lover”

    Along with no masks in the White House, open mic leaks that Covid is a zero, no masks in the Governorships or Media Heads, forays to the hair salons, flights to Florida, non-quarantine trips with the family to Long Island to berate bicyclists, trips to the Brooklyn gym and park, 100,000 people a week to Heathrow. While you’re locked in your 800-foot Harlem apartment with 3 kids, experts in the know taking it seriously indeed. [Stern face]

    Well, we were warned when that article from The Guardian breathlessly questioned what all the London smart set would do when they couldn’t go out to trendy bars and cheat on their husbands. They said it was Handmaid’s Tale stuff. Practically Amish. Honestly, family values, brrrrr, it really is the end of the world. Their answer: You don’t! It’s rules for the and not for me like any psychopath.

    Another article on the known, certain deaths of economy and unemployment:
    “The opponents of the lockdowns, on the other hand, only wish to allow people to exercise their freedom. The burden of proof lies on those who wish to use police powers to coerce others.”

    I think that’s a pretty well-established and well-supported position among humans.

    ” “Where’s The Beef?” – Not on the Horizon!” –Food shortages

    “It is the goal of every official narrative to generate this type of herd mentality, not in order to deceive or dupe the public, but, rather, to confuse and terrorize them to the point where they revert to their primal instincts, and are being driven purely by existential fear, and facts and truth no longer matter. Once an official narrative reaches this point, it is unassailable by facts and reason. It no longer needs facts to justify it. It justifies itself with its own existence. Reason cannot penetrate it. Arguing with its adherents is pointless. They know it is irrational. They simply do not care.

    We are reaching this point with the coronavirus narrative.

    Despite the fact that what we are dealing with is a virus that, yes, is clearly deadly to the old and those with medical conditions, but that is just as clearly not a deadly threat to the majority of the human species, … Many appear to believe that this virus is some sort of Alien-Terrorist Death Flu (or weaponized Virus of Mass Destruction) that will kill you the second you breathe it in.

    The Internet has become an Orwellian chorus of shrieking, sanctimonious voices bullying everyone into conformity with charts, graphs, and desperate guilt-trips, few of which have much connection to reality.
    Corporations and governments are censoring dissent. We’re approaching a level of manufactured mass hysteria and herd mentality that not even Goebbels could have imagined.”

    Virus of Mass Destruction

    And I might add, will have/just had the same result. So…meanwhile, the experts in charge are NOT wearing masks, NOT doing the slightest thing that shows they’re personally concerned. So…they don’t believe it but want YOU to believe it? Conclusions? Discuss?

    The Bare Necessities: Federal Court Rules That Strip Clubs Are Entitled To Pandemic Loans”

    In a nod to Guardian reporters, strip clubs are also open for business, as in Oregon. Meanwhile churches are closed and being arrested. Even if they congregate inside their cars. Central Park is packed. Jews are being arrested. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

    All while they’re shoulder to shoulder in Walmart and Pa’s Hardware is closed. People are alone on the beach being arrested by 5 cops, none wearing masks. Does this tell you anything? Connect?

    Anyway, speaking of charts and data that have no effect, death rate is 0.01%. The increase in national cases is AN INCREASE IN TESTING, a chart that was presented only yesterday, but instantly forgotten because it doesn’t encourage mindless panic and totalitarianism. The U.S. “Worst in the world” has in short order testing 2x more people than the next largest tester, Germany. More testing = more cases. But you notice more testing does not equal more deaths. It equals LESS deaths, because as we discover everybody already had it, we discover we’re already at peak mortality. Thanks, NY Times, you’re a liar. Again. And again and again. Weapons of Mass Destruction and ties to Al-Qaeda.
    And as that would show your lockdown was useless and in fact is about to kill more people than the virus, we cannot allow that think to be thought. It must always be more deaths, more fear, more bad, never good. The minute we see the death rate is very, very, VERY low – as known for 4 months — we turn our eyes away. Surely somebody is dying somewhere! Of Murder Hornets! Tigers? Something.

    “Now-Dominant Strain of Coronavirus Could Be More Contagious than Original (LAT) “

    Although the last one wasn’t dangerous, we promise this one is. Wait, more contagious? Why would I care when it doesn’t kill anyone? Why? Don’t ask why. Fear! We’reAllGonnaDiiiiieeee!!! We can’t stop until we win the War on Death™. Oh, and the mail-in election. That too of course.

    “Goat and Pawpaw ‘Test Positive’ for COVID19 in Tanzania (AlJ)”

    Speaking of facts and evidence, do you think the tests might be faulty? Maybe that’s why Pelosi wanted “testing”? That’s why the CDC tests were faulty and sent back TWICE, all known for months, now we pretend it never happened, we never heard that, all the tests are good, and we just needed to give them says Taleb, except we didn’t have them and they’re bad, will only encourage fear and death. Yay! Data inaccuracy! Then we do schmart math on random data!

    How am I supposed to work in this environment? Can someone please be discredited now?

    Well, they have. No one’s following the quarantine anymore. No one cares. No one respects you. No one cares about your laws and rules. Congratulations.

    “Most Americans Have Serious Doubts About the Official COVID Death Count: Axios-Ipsos Poll”

    I wonder why. 24 million dead by June! Killer bees. Ozone holes. Polar bears. WMDs. RussiaRussiaRussia.

    “Pennsylvania Woman Jailed for Refusing to Quarantine after Positive Test (Hill)”

    Thankfully, we can just look at the legal and personal effects of this, since everybody already has it and nobody dies. Median age of mortality? Again? 81. Omg, how many old people are there that that’s the MEDIAN? Do you have an apartment block of 90-year-olds somewhere? I thought all young people died of strokes and blood clots with it with 8 blood transfusions while they Tik-Tok dance. So: go forth to your court cases. Also, great quarantine when you intentionally send the Covid person into jail with the jailers. And nice use of public resources at $50,000/year to send non-violents in and release violent offenders, out to my house.

    Are we in upside-down #OppositeLand yet?

    “Did The Mueller Team Violate Brady and Flynn Orders? (Turley)”

    This has been “Standard practice” since J. Edgar Hoover. That was the whole POINT of having an FBI. I have no idea what their supposed “reputation” is built on. There’s at least one high-level public railroading or cover up every year of my life. This one’s going well. No one arrested, no one discredited. Never, amen. “Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security,” –FBI Director Mueller 2003, before the boy scout was hired for as Special Counsel for having the highest credibility in government.

    Because of my great respect for Taleb, I’m not going to speak of discrediting him, but not only is EVT famous worldwide for never working – 100 year floods every 5 years, 6-sigma events happen every 20 years and not 200,000 years ago when Neanderthals roamed. Yes, I mean literally. There were a dozen? Score? 100? in ’08, and that was only the last event after ’01, LTCM, 1987, the 70’s, 1941, 1929, and 1909. They STILL claim – with a straight face – that they can do the maths and the rest of us are stupid amateurs.

    No, we know grade-school algebra and that’s STILL better than you quants. I only need to know 200,000 is different than 20. I can do it with a crayon.

    But the Fat-Tail pandemic risk he speaks of is identical. So we’ve had hundreds, thousands of pandemics over history. How many were worth extreme measures or the attempted extreme measures worked? Let’s see: almost never are they needed. 50 years? 100 years? We have maybe 10 examples in 2,000 years that it was both appropriate and effective. Because people being people – also a well-known force — it’s never effective. “But we told them.” Uh-huh. Stalin wasn’t able to get human compliance when he created 12 times zones of gulags, but you’re going to stop it with the common cold. Gotcha.

    So if your data set has no examples since Antonine (165AD), why are you yanking my chain and claiming any legitimacy for worldwide lockdowns now? You’re a joke.

    Okay. So I’m the dummy, having no more common sense than any American dropout. Who was right? Korea, lockdowns worked. Singapore, working lockdown failed. Japan, worked whether lockdown or not. Africa, no lockdown, no news. Sweden, non-lockdown worked. South Dakota, non-lockdown worked. NYC, lockdown seems to have failed. UK, lockdown was pointless: data shows peak before lockdown. Also not locked down. Heathrow is 15 thousand people a day, no scanning. So fake, pretend non-lockdown vs honest admitted non-lockdown? What do your numbers mean? You know, before you do a bunch of math on them. Your data is zero. You’re 25 million deaths short. Random. Wrong. As we see in the media daily.

    But you DEFINITELY shut down the worldwide economy and DEFINITELY killed some 450,000 poorest Americans via poverty and delayed medical care. Was it worth it?

    What does the developing hindsight data tell you then? Your lockdown was a joke: even now the numbers are barely above the flu. To do it fast enough would mean a false alarm shutting down the world and throwing mankind into a depression every third year. It didn’t work even where done properly – and we had pretty good buy-in this year. Humans worldwide also won’t do it properly even when attempted, as any idiot could tell you, and I did. If every doctor, nurse, patient, trucker, farmer, food worker, hardware store, car shop and Walmart employee is at work, you’re not “shut down”. You’re in a fake TV quarantine. It’s the Truman Show. And it had high costs and mixed, essentially random results. All national curves were the same. All this was perfectly predictable if you use grade-school models and not fancy, quant, HFT models.

    Who was right? The dumb people. Again. Or as we call them in a Republic: “The People.” As in “E Pluribus Unum”. Smarter than the politicians. Smarter than the experts. Constantly. And constantly belittled, berated, and jailed for it. This time’s no different. Always trust the abusers, the authorities, the wrong. Never support the people and their right to be left alone. “The burden of proof lies on those who wish to use police powers to coerce others.”


    Great comment, Dr. D- thank you.



    Ontario is easing their lockdown because they know it isn’t working.

    Ontario has to ease their lockdown before voters figure out that the lockdown didn’t work.

    Only about half the people are wearing masks. Most are still maintaning social distancing.

    That is why Ontario’s lockdown didn’t work very well.


    I am always amused when computer models of humans do not account for the changes that humans make when exposed to changing conditions.

    After all computers only understand the difference between “0” & “1”. If they see a condition of neither “0” or “1” they crash! thanks


    This picture showing the US Chamber of Commerce advertising billboard, is a snapshot of the early days of this crime syndicate!

    Today the US Chamber of Commerce is the country’s most powerful crime syndicate that most Americans don’t know about!


    Dr D:

    It is interesting how individuals can be so stupid but collectively they can be so smart!


    Working from home

    I hope that you are doing something that your company can justify your productivity and cost.
    Otherwise, you could be replaced by someone working from home in India.


    Today I finally found a graph (graft?) of Ontario’s covid-19 cases and deaths.

    Sadly both graphs show continuously steeper upwards slope’s.

    There has been no ending the curve never mind flattening the curve.

    That is why Ontario is opening up again.

    They are opening slowly to pretend that this is the safe thing to do.

    If they didn’t start opening up now, voters would soon figure out the lockdown was for nought.


    I should add that since the covid-19 curve will continue to steepen more, lockdown or not, by opening up the economy now, the politicians can then say sadly it is because they opened up the economy and this was to be expected.

    It is all about managing the political narrative!


    What Will Schools Look Like After COVID?
    Here are the guidelines one school has laid out. ZH 6 may 2020
    Me- parents- has added the numbers.

    Schools in Quebec, Canada are reopening on May 19th and one school released its guidelines. This list was submitted by a parent to the Facebook page, Kate for Education. The school was not named for the privacy of the parent.

    1 To minimize movement, we forecast assigning students to classes nearest the Berlin Street entrance (on all 3 floors if needed only);

    2 Once assigned to a class, students will spend their entire day (including lunchtime) in their assigned seats;

    3 Students must expect to be regrouped based on the number of students returning;

    4 Students must not expect to return to their regular class with their classmates;

    5 Your child may not be with the same teachers as before as several members of our staff will not be returning to school;

    6 Teachers not returning to school will continue working and keeping close contact with students remotely from home as recommended by the government;

    7 Activities completed while in school will not be evaluated or graded;

    8 No physical materials will be transported back and forth between home & school;

    9 Students must include a mini garbage and recycling bag with their lunch in order to collect their personal garbage and dispose of it at home;

    10 All students must bring in their personal, labeled, and filled water bottle as water fountains won’t be available;

    11 Sharing of ALL items (pencils, pens, sharpeners, wax crayons, rulers, toys) is not permitted;

    12 When weather permits, recess breaks will be held outdoors and will entail of walking outside safely distanced from one another in a prearranged pattern;

    13 Gatherings (groups of students together) will not be permitted;

    14 Limited travel throughout the school by all during the day;

    15 Bathroom visits will be monitored/escorted so that proper disinfection by our caretakers can follow before another student uses the facilities;

    16 As per government recommendations, masks and gloves will not be provided;

    17 Students are certainly welcomed to bring these items from home. They are also invited to carry their own personal disinfecting wipes with them if they wish;

    18 Lockers will no longer be used. Students will place their spring/summer jackets behind the chair they will be using & their school bags under their assigned desks;

    19 There will be no cafeteria service or Home & School pizza & frozen yogurt days.

    20 There will be no physical activity taking place in the gym, no art classes (although art and craft projects can be promoted as home suggestions), no library periods, and no drama classes;

    21 No fundraisers or after school activities will take place;

    22 Parent volunteers will not be permitted in school;

    23We recommend your child brings a book or two of interest from home to read;

    24 Students with fever or flu-like symptoms will be returned home.

    Okay- this is Daisy of the Organic Prepper Blog, via ZH, but still- it makes a point. Eleven is the creepiest: Sharing is not permitted.
    Tell me: what kind of future are we looking at?
    Deagel Deagel Deagel….. what could possibly make some flee and/or die of depression in the US?

    The soul is bent in isolation
    And the heart grows cold in a lockdown nation.


    Just captured x – military
    Venezuela broadcasts video of captured US mercenary
    The video showed Luke Denman claiming the goal of the thwarted attempt was to capture and bring Maduro to the US.

    Venezuelan authorities on Monday arrested Denman, another US citizen, Airan Berry, and 11 other “terrorists” in what Maduro has called a failed plot coordinated with officials in Washington to enter the country via the Caribbean coast and oust him.

    Here’s the career info for the former Green Berets involved in Venezuela raid debacle
    The Army has provided service histories for three former Green Berets involved in a failed incursion into Venezuela earlier this week, an incident that’s still short on details.

    Former Green Beret turned private security consultant Jordan Goudreau said in a video to announce the raid Sunday that he helped orchestrate the operation. He later identified his two colleagues as U.S. special forces veterans in a now deleted tweet. He did not respond to a request for comment placed at his office Wednesday.


    Good grief- “I- parents- have…”


    I believe Trump. (/s0
    Trump denies ties to Americans linked to Venezuela ‘coup plot’
    Two US citizens among dozens arrested by Venezuela after a beach invasion allegedly aimed at overthrowing Maduro.
    Trump said he had just learned of the detention of the pair, accused by Venezuela of being mercenaries. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said they were part of an operation to kill him that was backed by neighbouring Colombia and the US.


    There is proof of wrong doing.

    Venezuela says eight killed in foiled ‘invasion by sea’
    Interior Minister Nestor Reverol says ‘mercenary terrorists’ launched attack from Colombia.

    The group landed early on Sunday on a beach in the port city of La Guaira, about 20 miles (32km) from the capital Caracas, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said in a televised address.

    But Maduro retains the backing of the country’s armed forces as well as countries including China and Russia, which have harshly criticised the US sanctions.

    Alleged Nicolas Maduro co-conspirator is in US custody: Report
    The US has led a campaign to remove Maduro, increasing pressure in recent weeks by indicting the socialist leader as a drug trafficker and offering a $15m reward for his arrest.


    The servants are angry.
    Spite is a powerful tool.
    00:48 GMT – UK study finds higher risk of virus deaths for ethnic minorities
    The risk of dying from coronavirus is “two to three times higher” for the UK’s black and minority ethnic communities, according to an academic analysis of health service data.

    The study, by University College London (UCL), finds the average risk of death for people of Pakistani heritage is 3.29 times higher, for a black African background it is 3.24 times higher and 2.41 times higher for Bangladeshi.

    Black Caribbean communities are 2.21 times more at risk, and Indian groups 1.7 times.

    In contrast, the researchers find a lower fatality risk for white populations in England.


    My Parents..
    What Will Schools Look Like After COVID?
    Thanks for posting that. That is some major dumbfuckery right there! (shakes his head).
    But this exactly the direction that fear culture must always inevitably lead. The administrators don’t dare risk showing anything other than ultra-extreme risk aversion lest some snowflake criticises them (or worse). The cotton wool straight-jacket ratchets up another couple of notches. And the children internalise the fact the world is a desperately dangerous place and they must always *comply* with wise and beneficent authorities who will always keep them safe.
    The *only* healthy response is to push to reclaim some autonomy – to think, to move, to own, preserve and protect one’s own boundaries.
    I’ve never had much sympathy with libertarians until recently – now it is so completely in our faces that it takes the metaphorical act of closing one’s eyes and ears completely to unsee the tragedy unfolding before us (and that tragedy is sure as shit not the virus)


    UK study finds higher risk of virus deaths for ethnic minorities
    The Swedish stats show the same trend, but its also clear from videos widely circulated that the immigrant/refugee population in Sweden widely ignored social distancing etc.
    I’m curious whether similar things happened in the UK. The UK knife crime figures indicate large sections of the UK “Asian” (eg Pakistanis) are not exactly scrupulous rule observers. To what extent is this anarchic nature a feature of the Covid spread?
    I genuinely don’t know, but I have a strong suspicion that the relationship between correlation and causation in those stats will lead to an interesting story.


    The administrators don’t dare risk showing anything other than ultra-extreme risk aversion lest some snowflake criticises them

    Well, Huskynut, history teaches that first thing you do in a pandemic is close the schools. Russia gambled, electing to skip that step, making school optional and giving parents autonomy to decide whether to send their kids to school. That has not worked out too well, and now they are paying a price. If you are going to reopen the schools, there needs to be a thought-out plan that goes along with that. Maybe not all of the 24 steps will be zealously or equally enforced at all locations, but at least someone has put some thought into how to mitigate the risks once schools reopen. Isn’t that what we want from school officials?


    history teaches that first thing you do in a pandemic is close the schools
    I’d take issue with the idea that history necessarily teaches us valuable lessons. Lessons from previous pandemics may be applicable, then again they may not. Eg in typical flu pandemics, children are quite vulnerable. In the case of Covid, it seems they’re hardly personally vulnerable at all.
    But my bigger point was that the only useful way to approach any risk is in the context of all the other risks which simultaneously exist. The human cognitive inclination is to fixate on a small number of immediate risks, and ignore others that may materialise on a longer time horizon. And there’s some value in that – get off the train tracks before the freight train arrives, or you don;t need to worry about longer term risks at all.
    But in the case of Covid, the data is saying the immediate pressing risk is important, but not one of species extinction. Therefore we need to balance the the costs and consequences we are deliberately and specifically invoking by our choices against the marginal benefits of those choices.
    In the case of that school list above, a large number of those actions could be thrown out with absolutely negligible additional risk. To include them for the sake of “safety” is actually stupid.
    An example from engineering may illustrate. Say we’re designing an aeroplane. We can deliberately over-engineer it, at the cost of fuel economy (on every flight), purchase cost (born by every passenger in airfares) etc. Or we can design it to cope with the stresses we can model + a margin of safety, which will delivery best “bang for buck” whilst still being safe in every reasonably forseeable situation. (btw, please don’t raise Boeing in this discussion – fuckers that they are. That’s a different kind of incentive). That’s practical risk management in the real world. Sure, engineering is more predicable than pandemic management, but the solution is *not* excessive caution. It’s being willing to dial risk management activities up and down situationally to deal with the concrete manifesting risks.


    HI Ilargi,

    “The government is intentionally doing such a shitty job, might as well let the for-profit boys do it.”

    Yes I get irony, but if only the privit corporate sector (deliberate typo – it should be ‘cut’ regularly – in the past ‘corporations were created for a purpose THEN destroyed) could do better. No such luck looking at Rail, Justice and a whole load other areas including the existing privatised sections of so called NHS – optic, orthodontic, real estate, traffic management/storage, drug and equipment provision (Group 4, Carillion, “Big Pharma”?).

    John Gall’s ‘System antics’ points to how systems that are set up to do something, often a noble thing, tend towards becoming self obsessed entities growing uncontrollably. Welcome to corporatocracy. Add in thanatophobia and a denial of death and consultant-ism we have a perfect mix of extremely expensive treatments developed by highly paid consultants – experts in their own ivory towers fields aimed at morbidly sick people, whose suffering and dignity is made all the worse by being paraded on freak show tv that lauds the ‘wonderful genius’ of said freak show proprietors doctors. Elephant Man anyone?
    There is a point in the film where the doctor asks the question: “Are we any different than the Freak Show owner?” … or words to that effect.
    Still, apparently its all about the economy, so I must be stoopid…

    How impossible is it to get basic health care for everyone at reasonable cost with low levels of iatrogenesis – illness caused by the medical system itself – witness knee-jerk reaction of intubating patients that actually causes higher risk of death rather than simply supplying the patient with oxygen. Note: BoJo got oxygen… can we liberate government form the neo-liberal intubation and put it onto to some inspirational oxygen?


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