Jun 202020
 
 June 20, 2020  Posted by at 11:06 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Howard Hollem Assembly and Repairs Department Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi 1942

 

Several US States See Coronavirus Infection Spikes (R.)
Mainland China Reports 27 New Coronavirus Cases, Including 22 In Beijing (R.)
US Attorney Berman Refuses To ‘Step Down’ After Barr Asks For Resignation (ZH)
Coronavirus Was Already In Italy By December, Waste Water Study Finds (BBC)
Trump Admin To Name Most Recipients Of Bailout Loans (ZH)
The Crisis Goes Up A Gear (Macleod)
House GOP Leader: Democratic Party Should Change Its Name (JTN)

 

 

I am definitely not in my normal morning rhythm today (hence only 7 articles in today’s aggregator). Part of that may be due to meeting up with some friends in Athens yesterday, but that’s certainly not the whole story. Athens is still mainly deserted, by the way, which is kind of nice and refreshing, but also very obviously hurtful to many people’s incomes.

But what really bumped me off my rhythm is reading the stories, and reactions to them, about AG Barr asking US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geffrey Berman to resign, and the latter refusing to comply. Reading through all the related articles had one notion, one fear, creep up on me: that the US is at a serious risk of becoming ungovernable. And I mean: serious.

Whoever wins on November 4, Trump or Biden(?!), may well be unacceptable and unaccepted by half the country. And what happens then? Are we going to have a civil war? I’ll get back to that soon. It’s not like this is the first time it ever occurred to me, but it has gained a lot of weight -and risk- lately.

 

 

I thought maybe I had erred yesterday when my count of new cases was so much higher than Worldometer. Instead, they are even higher.

Worldometer reports new cases for June 19 (midnight to midnight GMT+0) at + 181,005.

My count 6AM EDT to 6AM EDT based on Worldometer numbers is 184,233. Have we entered a new phase?

 

 

 

 

New cases past 24 hours in:

• US + 30,810
• Brazil + 54,771
• Russia + 7,790
• India + 14,721
• Pakistan +8,466
• Mexico + 5,662

 

 

Brazil was scary:

 

 

Cases 8,786,592 (+ 184,233 from yesterday’s 8,602,359)

Deaths 463,156 (+ 6,354 from yesterday’s 456,802)

 

 

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

I forgot to take a screen shot last night.

 

From Worldometer:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pandemic in the US is very far from over. Forget about that trip to Europe.

Several US States See Coronavirus Infection Spikes (R.)

Troubling spikes in coronavirus infection rates were reported on Friday in several U.S. states, mainly in the South and West, a day before President Donald Trump was due to preside over an Oklahoma campaign rally that will be America’s largest indoor gathering in months. Wall Street jitters over a resurgence in COVID-19 cases as states moved to reopen long-stifled commerce and ease social-distancing measures helped drive down major U.S. stock indexes, reversing earlier gains. Experts say expanded diagnostic testing accounts for some, but not all, of the growth in cases – numbering at least 2.23 million nationwide on Friday – and that the mounting volume of infections was elevating hospitalizations in some places.

“Clearly the cases are rising rapidly. It’s not just a matter of testing more,” said Dr. Murtaza Akhter, an emergency room physician at Arizona hospitals, noting the lag time between a positive test and severe illness or death. “The real concern is what is coming up for us in the next week or two.” He said the latest wave of cases has put Arizona’s major hospitals at or near capacity, and placed the Southwestern state on track to surpass New York at its peak on a per-capita basis. More than 119,000 Americans have perished from COVID-19 to date, according to Reuters’ running tally. Particularly alarming has been the upward trends several states are reporting in the percentage of positive tests among individuals who are screened, a metric experts refer to as the positivity rate.

The World Health Organization considers positivity rates above 5% to be especially concerning, and widely watched data from Johns Hopkins University shows 16 states with average rates over the past week exceeding that level and climbing.

Read more …

Still don’t really understand how they missed this for so long.

Mainland China Reports 27 New Coronavirus Cases, Including 22 In Beijing (R.)

Mainland China reported 27 new coronavirus cases as of the end of June 19, 22 of which were reported in the capital Beijing, China’s National Health Commission said on Saturday. This compared with 32 confirmed cases a day earlier, 25 of which were in Beijing, where local authorities are working to contain a new outbreak at a food wholesale market. Another seven asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, those who are infected with the coronavirus but show no symptoms, were also reported as of June 19 compared with five a day earlier. China does not count these patients as confirmed cases.

Read more …

Berman is a Republican who contributed to the Trump campaign. And, like Bolton, the DNC and MSM’s best new friend.

US Attorney Berman Refuses To ‘Step Down’ After Barr Asks For Resignation (ZH)

Geffrey Berman is refusing to step down as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York after Attorney General William Barr asked him to resign, according to Bloomberg. “I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney,” said Berman, adding “I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. “I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate… …Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption.” Reacting to the news, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said “This late Friday night dismissal reeks of potential corruption of the legal process.”

[..] A Republican who contributed to Trump’s campaign, Berman was considered a highly qualified pick to succeed Preet Bharara, the previous occupant of his Berman’s soon-to-be-former office, which also features heavily in the TV show “Billions” (it’s the position held by the show’s antagonist, a corrupt federal prosecutor). AG Barr didn’t offer much in the way of an explanation, and Berman hasn’t said much either. Then again, we’re only just finding out about this, and it’s 10pmET on a holiday Friday. But even more surprising than the news of Berman’s sudden departure is the news of who will take his place. Following a brief interlude, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton will become the next US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

For those who aren’t familiar, Clayton is the same man who almost allowed Hertz and its creditors to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of stock to unsuspecting Robinhood day traders trying to flip their stimulus checks for quick cash with nary a word from the SEC. But even more extraordinary than his handling of the Hertz situation is Clayton’s decision to allow Tesla CEO Elon Musk walk away from a dispute with the SEC in which the CEO flagrantly and blithely violated basic securities regulations involving disclosures of material information to the public (remember “funding secured?” and the tedious legal melodrama that ensued in which Musk, in full blown tantrum mode, was repeatedly appeased by government regulators seemingly robbed of all willingness to hold him accountable).

Read more …

How many countries are doing similar studies? Could be revealing.

Coronavirus Was Already In Italy By December, Waste Water Study Finds (BBC)

Italian scientists say sewage water from two cities contained coronavirus traces in December, long before the country’s first confirmed cases. The National Institute of Health (ISS) said water from Milan and Turin showed genetic virus traces on 18 December. It adds to evidence from other countries that the virus may have been circulating much earlier than thought. Chinese officials confirmed the first cases at the end of December. Italy’s first case was in mid-February. In May French scientists said tests on samples showed a patient treated for suspected pneumonia near Paris on 27 December actually had the coronavirus.


Meanwhile in Spain a study found virus traces in waste water collected in mid-January in Barcelona, some 40 days before the first local case was discovered. In their study, ISS scientists examined 40 sewage samples collected from wastewater treatment plants in northern Italy between last October and February. Samples from October and November came back negative, showing that the virus had not yet arrived, ISS water quality expert Giuseppina La Rosa said. Waste water from Bologna began showing traces of the virus in January. The findings could help scientists understand how the virus began spreading in Italy, Ms La Rosa said. However she said the research did not “automatically imply that the main transmission chains that led to the development of the epidemic in our country originated from these very first cases”.

Read more …

Go Tyler!

Gee, Barry Ritholtz has no clothes on.

Trump Admin To Name Most Recipients Of Bailout Loans (ZH)

When the government said it would give out thousands of dollars in bailout loans grants under the Paycheck Protection Program, every eligible business – which was most small and medium businesses (that had no access to capital markets) with up to 500 employees, signed up. And why not: it was free money from a government that had launched helicopter money, and was seeking to ram the newly created money into the economy. There was no downside – the grants would be forgiven if used to pay wages or rent, and – at least according to widespread speculation – the loans would remain a secret. Which is why it was so surprising when it emerged that some “asset managers” such as Ritholtz Asset Management, led by Josh Brown and Barry Ritholtz, had also accepted bailout grants to stay in business. In retrospect, Ritholtz is the author of Bailout Nation so it probably should not have been a surprise.

What should have been a surprise is that an asset manager – i.e., a professional collecting generous fees to predict the future and entrusted with billions in capital not only failed to do that, but himself needed a bailout. It just goes to show how important it is to pick very calm and patient clients. Of course, we can’t blame them: like most other recipients, Ritholtz probably expected that his name would never see the light of day, even though technically he used taxpayer money to prop up his company. And since it is taxpayer money, everyone has a right to know how it would be used. Only in the case of just over half a trillion dollars in PPP grants that wasn’t the case, because for nearly 3 months after the PPP program was launched, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin persisted in keeping the names of all recipients secret, much to the growing anger of those who effectively funded the loans.

That all changed late on Friday, when Bloomberg reported that the Trump administration said it would disclose details about companies that received loans of $150,000 or more from a coronavirus relief program for small businesses, following a backlash against its earlier refusal to release data about which firms got billions of dollars in government aid. Eleven news organizations had sued to make details about PPP loan recipients public. Which is bad news for all those “financial advisors” like Ritholtz who will soon be revealed as getting paid to “predict” the future, yet not having the sense to even budget for a short-term crisis, let along have hedges in place for a downside scenario. As for the rest, it’s unclear how willing most small businesses would have been had they known that the very act of requesting a bailout would open them up to eventual public shaming.

Read more …

It has become useless to discuss the Fed at the same time you discuss markets. The former killed the latter.

The Crisis Goes Up A Gear (Macleod)

The early morning of Monday, 23 March was a significant time, marking the top of the dollar’s trade-weighted index. At the same time, gold, silver and copper prices, having fallen in the weeks before turned sharply higher. And while oil initially followed, it was a month before it resumed its uptrend — delayed by the delivery hiatus in the futures markets which briefly drove the price negative. The S&P 500 rallied the following day, ending a near 30% decline before recovering all of it, and then some. Something had changed. Either markets decided that economic growth, both in the US and the rest of the world was going to continue following lockdowns, and growing demand for key commodities was going to be resumed. Or, as the decline in the dollar’s TWI indicated, the purchasing power of the dollar was going to decline, and commodity prices were reflecting an accelerating downtrend for the dollar’s purchasing power.

The performance of the S&P 500 since 23 March, being unhinged from any business conditions, gives us a clue: the flood of money emanating from the Fed is fuelling stock prices. It is also fuelling prices of all other financial assets. The turnaround in silver is a more subtle story, shown in the chart as the reciprocal of the more usual gold/silver ratio. Silver had been ignored, classed solely as an industrial metal. Gold was seen by the financial community as the only metallic hedge against uncertainty in the financial system. That changed on 23 March when the gold/silver ratio peaked at 125 on the previous business day. It is now beginning to outperform gold with the gold/silver ratio currently down to 98. We might look back and pinpoint this time as marking the beginning of a return to some moneyness in silver.

The weeks before had seen the Fed ease monetary policy. On 3 March, the Fed cut its funds rate from 1,5% to 1%. In the accompanying announcement the Fed said that the fundamentals of the economy remained strong, but the coronavirus posed evolving risks to the economy. On 15 March, the Fed cut its funds rate again, this time to zero, but the statement now said the coronavirus had harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the US. On a twelve-month basis, overall price inflation and price increases for other than food and energy were running at below 2%. The Fed announced renewed quantitative easing of at least $500bn of Treasury purchases and $200bn of mortgage-backed securities “in the coming months”. It was “prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.”

Read more …

How many people know the history behind the Democratic Party?

House GOP Leader: Democratic Party Should Change Its Name (JTN)

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy suggested Thursday that the Democratic Party change its name, considering its ties to the Confederacy and segregation laws. The comments by McCarthy, the chamber’s top Republican, follow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying she wants to remove Confederate-era statues from the Capitol, most of which honor registered Democrats. Pelosi, a California Democrat, on Thursday announced the removal of four portraits of former House speakers – three Democrats and one a Whig who later registered as a Democratic. “The speaker has the power to do that,” McCarthy said when asked about the portrait removal.


“If the speaker is concerned about that, should she also start talking about changing the name of her party and actually changing the nominee?” The California Republican also said that Pelosi should be “really concerned about the history of her party and what her party has done so shouldn’t they change the name if they’re going to be different?” McCarthy went further and said the Democrats should consider changing Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential nominee, given his remarks at the funeral of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.), a former member of the KKK who later denounced the group. Biden referred to Byrd as a “mentor” and “dear friend” at his funeral when he was vice president. McCarthy called on Pelosi to apply the “same standards” for the portrait removals to the name of her party and its 2020 nominee. “Shouldn’t they change the nominee if they want to be different?” McCarthy asked.

Read more …

 

 

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Word is Biden is close to picking Rice.

 

 

Steve Keen

 

 

Bob Dylan released his new album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, yesterday. This is where the title comes from.

And these are some of the lyrics of the song Mother of Muses:

4 famous US generals – plus Georgi Zhukov, who led the Soviet Red Army’s assault on Nazi Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime.

 

Home Forums Debt Rattle June 20 2020

This topic contains 42 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  boscohorowitz 3 weeks ago.

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  • #60193

    Howard Hollem Assembly and Repairs Department Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi 1942   • Several US States See Coronavirus Infection Spikes (R.) • M
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle June 20 2020]

    #60194

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Howard Hollem Assembly and Repairs Department Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi 1942

    Interesting picture; definitely a propaganda piece…
    The juxtaposition of the man and woman; his elevated position and the lower female.
    Then there are the uniforms; his, officer garb, and her’s, enlisted…
    …ain’t equality just grand?
    …raised and fed this shit for many decades; finally got over it… 😉

    #60195

    Dr. D
    Participant

    From the people who got everything wrong and killed a whole bunch of people:

    “WHO Chief: “The Pandemic Is Accelerating,” Warns of “New & Dangerous Phase”

    Uh-huh. Like this “acceleration”:

    pg1
    https://www.aier.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/pasted-image-0-7.png

    You could say I’m fed up with sociopathic mathematicians justifying ending the Enlightenment and all human rights with their crackpot theories that never occur. Still 25 Million short of being justifiable. They’re so IYI they don’t realize they’re first against the wall should human rights diminish.

    In other science news, we discover that larger countries have more people than smaller ones:

    “Brazil Coronavirus Total Tops 1 Million, Second Only To US: Live Updates”

    Genius!

    Hadn’t time to post it, but at our hospital, I realized some of the new hospitalizations are incidental. That is, Joe delayed his cancer and heart symptoms for 4 months but now is forced to go to the hospital with worse outcomes. He is given a test at the door, and is now in the Covid ward, although Covid has no symptoms or effects, and he’s really there for a heart stent. However, statistically he is an “increasing rise in Covid hospitalizations”. Nor can anyone do anything about this, it is perfectly true, and must be.

    On the opposite side, as we fight against cures with every fiber of our being, (adequate Vitamin D suggesting to be 80% cure, supporting both city and melanin numbers) they are still barely getting better at it. So there are a number of people NOT on the death numbers, but nevertheless may have long-term injuries, and below 70 too. They are not in the Covid death numbers but arguably should be in some way.

    So still: Covid numbers still always add Influenza et al numbers, number of tests = number of cases, test ≠ test, hospitalizations may be unrelated to Covid injury, and Covid death numbers ≠ Covid severity. Your numbers are garbage. Let’s do higher math on them.

    Oh and let’s just SAY, make up, fabricate, invent, prevaricate, lie, that there is a second wave, and when every number says it doesn’t exist – at all – just write and claim it anyway. We gots elections to rig here!

    Why don’t people trust Science, St. Fauci laments? People are just ignorant, superstitious, and irrational. I mean, just because I LIED, openly, to their faces, getting them killed, on national TV, for MONTHS, invoking science and wrapping myself in the flag of knowledge and truth, then a month later reversed and called them all stupid and unscientific AGAIN….is no reason not to believe me and Science. Science is all things and their opposites now, not just in series, but with nurse-lauded protests, AT THE SAME TIME. That’s logic. Don’t criticize, don’t question. Because asking questions is unscientific. Asking about theories the evidence doesn’t appear to support is unscientific. Believing the people whose theories that were initiall RIGHT instead of catastrophically wrong is unscientific. Submit or die.

    Sound like the sort of science you want to live under? Science of Stalin and
    Pope Urban VIII? How many fingers am I holding up? We were always at war with Estasia. Schrodinger’s mask.

    The problem being of course that Science only works for men of Courage, who are not cowards and pathological liars, toadies, slaves to popular opinion, as ours are, from the Nobel committee to the nurses PPE’d and applauding maskless 10,000 man riots in the streets. That’s good both for the Covid AND the burn unit. Profits are high this quarter. Nurses should be proud.

    Srsly, wtf.

    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams (whose abolitionist statue will be removed shortly)

    If people can’t regulate themselves internally, with #Logos and restraint, they will be regulated externally, with a jack-boot. We know which way the media, corporations, and oligarchs prefer.

    PS “Mother Of Atlanta Cop Charged With Murder Fired For “Creating An Uncomfortable Workplace”

    Being a relative of the accused is now also a firing offense. You need do nothing, simply exist to be purged in the Glorious Cultural Revolution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution 2 Million dead. You know, to re-establish control wavering after the 30 Million dead of starvation a year before.

    Q: What’s the best way to kill communists? A: Communism.

    Give them everything they want and they’ll have a Berlin wall creating, gun-toting, racial segregation-running, free-speech stopping, religion-attacking, slavery-supporting, reporter-beating, no due process dictatorial zone in no time. 5 days actually. The outside can only reflect what’s inside your heart.

    Why do I fight this? Because I can leave them alone to their world and their beliefs, but they cannot leave me alone to mine. No step on snek. No hecken.

    But yeah, Science has a perpetual “Lying to Everyone on National TV Everyday” problem. “Roundup: Safe as Water!”™ Skripals say: “VX: Also safe as Water!”™ C’mon, when have Vioxx, Statins, Thalidomide, or reducing your Vitamin D with illegal, unlegislated house arrest ever kill anyone? Oh, yesterday? RussiaRussiaRussia. They’re under your bed in West Germany. Look!

    Not to fear: we’re not meant to be governable. The People are the government, they must form to govern themselves or perish. And the States are in charge, able to promote their individual character and desire in contrast to the former Federal or world monoculture.

    #60196

    VA, click on the pic and find that she is his superior

    #60197

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    VA, click on the pic and find that she is his superior

    Well, I’ll be damned; shows what I know………………. 😉

    #60198

    Carlos Jimenez
    Participant

    McEnany runs over the fake journos like driving a Cat D11 with one hand on the wheel another holding a beer. It’s the best entertainment I’ve been having since George Carlin left his mortal coil.

    This line also makes for a good LOL:

    “In other science news, we discover that larger countries have more people than smaller ones:

    “Brazil Coronavirus Total Tops 1 Million, Second Only To US: Live Updates”

    Genius!”

    Down here in South Flori-duh I observe the minimum of protective measures: mask on when going into the stores, washing hands when coming home and so do all the people I know and certainly we all avoid large crowds. I know not one person directly that has caught the virus. Did I say not one?
    Friends that were absolutely paranoid and hysterical when I showed up in their backyard 3 months ago, now were having a get together in a water front lawn and didn’t freak out upon seeing me coming.

    I interact with a lot of people because of the nature of my work and my conclusion is that most if not all have normalized the existence of the virus and go on with their lives because… who can stay locked up indefinitely even while having unlimited financial resources? I certainly can’t and don’t. I get the serious consequences of catching this Frankenstein’s lab virus but down here in the land of sprawl and social distancing baked into the monoculture of detached homes and one car per dweller, I fail to match the alarming increase in numbers with the reality of everyday life. Will it happen later? Maybe.

    At the onset of the contagion the Mayor of Key Biscayne, average household income $125k, all white, cheapest house $ 1 mn., put a lock out on all contractors and workers. The resulting traffic jam up at the checkpoint made it unfeasible but the ban remained for 8 weeks. Yet, the BLM protest wildfires reached this toy town, now gone fully woke and a gathering of 100 plus teenagers were allowed to bunch together to protest in the main crossing under police protection. So which is it? The virus doesn’t infect virtue signalers?

    #60199

    zerosum
    Participant

    The picture is an example of subliminal war propaganda
    The picture does not portray reality

    #60200

    The picture is an example of subliminal war propaganda
    The picture does not portray reality

    Zero, referring to “the picture” in an environment with many pictures is pretty much meaningless.

    #60201

    And no, zero, suggestions about the future threat of civil war in the US? Y’all think I was kidding?

    #60202

    zerosum
    Participant

    ” …. the future threat of civil war in the US”

    The “civil war” that you imagine might not be the same as the “civil war” that I imagine.
    The two side might not be as well defined along traditional/past conflicts and might not use the traditional weapons.
    Right vs wrong
    white vs black
    rich vs poor
    oppressed vs free
    democrats vs republicans

    Who could have foreseen that one word, “virus”, could change our social/economic/political system to such an extent.

    #60203

    Kimo
    Participant

    The (Undercover) Epicenter Nurse
    My apologies if this has been shared already.
    This ICU nurse has had experience during the CCP virus pandemic in both NY and FL.
    NY is a case study in what to avoid:
    1. Use the longer 5 day test while admitting to a ward with test positive patients
    2. Ignore negative test results
    3. Aggressively step to maximum ventilation therapy at any minor step down of blood oxygen levels.
    Death was a guaranteed outcome.
    FL was entirely different, but not covered in detail in this interview. Highlights:
    1. Use HCQ + Zinc therapy early
    2. Oxygen, but no ventilator
    Death avoided.
    It’s one brave nurse, and quite a good interview with undercover segments, a bit longer than needed at one hour ten minutes. If it gets popular, expect it to disappear.

    #60204

    Carlos Jimenez
    Participant

    Steve Keen always brilliant but seldom this straightforward with non-academic language talking about the elephant in the room.

    #60206

    Kimo
    Participant

    Hat tip to Bill Still, this Swiss Policy Research seems to be the final word on CCP Virus over-hype, all quite well referenced abet you may need your google translate on some.
    Fetzer list 30 points of contention, often debated here at TAE.
    For example:

    “8. Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.
    16. Contrary to original assumptions, various studies have shown that there is no evidence of the virus spreading through aerosols (i.e. tiny particles floating in the air) or through smear infections (e.g. on door handles or smartphones). The main modes of transmission are direct contact and droplets produced when coughing or sneezing.
    17 There is also no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in healthy or asymptomatic individuals. On the contrary, experts warn that such masks interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers”. Leading doctors called them a “media hype” and “ridiculous”.

    #60207

    You going for the stupidest thing uttered in the virus thing, kimo? Get some fucking sense, would you? jesus fucking christ.

    #60208

    Oh, and Bosco, I did get the saline nasal spray, and used it during the trip. Not sure i liked it better than cocaine, but hey, it was a hell of a lot cheaper.

    #60209

    Sorry Kino, nothing personal, and I always want to let everyone say what they want to say, I try to never get in the way, but the garbage you quoted there prevents us from having a serious conversation, and I think perhaps this is a good moment to draw a line. That face masks serve no purpose whatsoever is actually an idea that kills people, and you should be careful about propagating it. It’s plain stoopid. And spreading such blubber risks killing people. I think perhaps that’s a good spot to cut a line, you know, where free for all comments threaten actual lives, not just theoretical ones. It”s the I‘m sitting here in my safe spot looking at my screen syndrome, and it costs lives, And no, I don’t give a fuck if maybe you elect to have a different opinion., Half a million deaths are not a joke, or some kind of academic exercise,

    #60210

    Kimo
    Participant

    Raul, mahalo for your attention. I don’t discount that you (and others) may disagree with the sources, and those sources may be wrong. And yes, I am more than a messenger, but not by much.

    #60211

    zerosum
    Participant

    What I think, say, and believe, is irrelevant to how the future will evolve.

    @ Kimo, and Raúl Ilargi Meijer

    I looked at the links and found some gems/info, that needs someone that is better qualified/knowledgeable/educated than me to arrive at a definitive conclusion.

    I’m just a rifraf that can read

    SWISS RESEARCH REPORT: Facts about COVID-19

    Some analysts, ( Kevin Ryan ), compared Covid-19 to a psychological operation, ( https://digwithin.net/2020/06/03/coronavirus-scare/ ) that uses the media-induced fear of the virus to bring about political and social change.

    https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200409/chloroquine-zinc-tested-to-block-covid-infection
    Chloroquine, Zinc Tested to Block COVID Infection
    By Karen Weintraub

    Mahir Ozmen, a professor of surgery at the Istinye University, School of Medicine in Istanbul, Turkey, says he thinks the best way to use chloroquine is in combination with zinc and vitamins C and D. He is running a clinical trial, ( https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04326725?cond=COVID&draw=2 ) testing to see whether this combination protects health care workers and their immediate families – including his own.

    #60212

    Also, apart from the Kimo nothingness, I find it very weird that as global new cases have gone up 25% or so in a manner of mere days, there is not a soul here in the Comments that has a single word to say about it.No fucking one. All these allegedly smart people, and not a bleeding soul. Like the virus fatigue has become more urgent than the virus itself. I always hope for more from all of you guys. Always. But lately I haven’t been getting it from you. I know you’re tired of the whole thing, and I surely am too, But half a million deaths can never be a sideshow, or lead to some wanker claiming that face masks may or may not be effective. Thing is, if that’s your thang, you’re pissing on real dead people’s graves.

    #60213

    zerosum
    Participant

    Demonstration test ….. Tulsa test ….. lets wait for the definitive conclusions.
    Come on, Raúl Ilargi Meijer.
    We are not all elite material.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/us-reports-biggest-jump-covid-19-cases-may-1-florida-sees-3rd-straight-record-live

    Update (1435ET): Six staffers working to organize President Donald Trump’s campaignrally in Tulsa tested positive for the coronavirus just hours before what will be the first major indoor event in the entire country since the coronavirus outbreak began. As Press Secretary Kaleigh McEnany said earlier this week, the White House is “leading” on this issue.
    Trump’s campaign said Saturday that quarantine procedures were implemented for the staffers and that neither the aides nor anyone they came into contact with will take part in the event.

    “Per safety protocols, campaign staff are tested for COVID-19 before events. Six members of the advance team tested positive out of hundreds of tests performed, and quarantine procedures were immediately implemented,” Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Trump’s campaign said in a statement.

    “No COVID-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or near attendees and elected officials,” the statement read. “As previously announced, all rally attendees are given temperature checks before going through security, at which point they are given wristbands, face masks and hand sanitizer.”

    Despite evidence that the days of protests around the country didn’t cause meaningful spikes in new cases, critics have scrambled to try and shut down the rally for fear that it could be home to a “super spreader” event. Masks will be distributed to the audience, and hand sanitizer will be doled out as well.

    The event will begin in a few hours, (8pmET, 7pmCT) now that a judge has blocked an order to stop the rally. Temperature checks and precautions for the heat will also reportedly be provided at the rally, which is set to attract some 19k people.

    For the first time since May 1, the US reported more than 30,000 coronavirus cases in a single day as Texas, Florida, Arizona and a handful of other states reported their latest record totals for the 2nd or 3rd day in a row, for some cases. While NY, NJ and a handful of surrounding states see cases continue to decline to negligible levels, following a pattern seen in Europe, roughly 20 states have seen numbers continue to rise, and about half of those are seeing new cases hit record levels well above where they were during the US’s ‘peak’ back in April.

    #60214

    Kimo
    Participant

    Raul, I have been absent as you generally observe, but noticed this morning that DeSantis has an explanation of the cases going up. If testing is going up, I’d watch hospitalizations as a more stable indicator.
    As far as lives lost, I would peg it on suppression of HCQ cocktail at early onset, anti-inflammatory treatment at the hospital, with the possible addition of Ivermectin/Doxycycline.
    In short, most deaths were either political, or with seriously overlying comorbidities. I apologize for not keeping up with discussions here promoting mask use, which I favor if voluntary.

    #60215

    zerosum
    Participant

    Yep!
    I’m glad that I missed out on being a political elite that was trained to lead

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_DeSantis
    Residence Governor’s Mansion
    Education Yale University (BA) Harvard University (JD)
    Rank U.S. Navy O-4 infobox.svg Lieutenant Commander
    Unit Judge Advocate General’s Corps

    #60216

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    We are still here Ilargi. I guess I was not very surprised by the new numbers, which were led by Brazil — no surprise there. The numbers also peaked towards the end of the week, consistent with the trend. US numbers over 30,000 for the first time in weeks. No surprise there, though some will say that is not enough to count as a spike.

    Here in Korea people are very good about masks in the city. Not as much in the rural places. Many people are traveling domestically this summer because international travel is mostly shut down. I read yesterday that it will be necessary to make a reservation to go to the beach. The beaches will surely be packed.

    As for why there have been fewer comments, speaking for myself, I am in a malaise. The virus has been politicized and we are swimming in a sea of propaganda and disinformation. Kimo’s post is Exhibit A. I had hoped that there would be a silver lining, and that the virus would be the pin that popped the bubble and ushered in needed changes, but it looks like that will not happen soon. People are in the streets, which in the only way to bring about change, but now that is being co-opted by dark forces. Meanwhile, the financial looting continues And the system grows more corrupt by the day.

    Like the groundhog, I conclude six more weeks of winter and go back underground.

    #60218

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    As for why there have been fewer comments, speaking for myself, I am in a malaise. The virus has been politicized and we are swimming in a sea of propaganda and disinformation.

    I largely agree and have nothing to add to the conversation except empty words.
    Like Boogaloo, I live in a country (Thailand) that has done a proper job of dealing with the virus; which the western nations have largely fucked up by politicising a health crisis and demonstrable incompetence and corruption…
    Just what the hell am I to do about that? Realistically? Not a damn thing!
    When looking at the numerator over the denominator; it hardly compares to the worst, historic, health crisis’s by a wide margin, IMO.
    I say that now; but also realizing this appears to be far from over. I am not encouraged that any unified program will be put in place to deal with this virus in any meaningful way on a world wide basis…
    So, all I can add is, we’ll see…

    #60219

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “I find it very weird that as global new cases have gone up 25% or so in a manner of mere days, there is not a soul here in the Comments that has a single word to say about it.No fucking one.”

    Overwhelmingly obvious unpleasant facts are why we have tv and internet porn: to help us ignore said facts.

    It’s like Rommel (NAZI general) said about giving orders: “You tell them what you’re going to tell them. You tell them. Then you tell them what you told them.” Only after that can you cash in your ‘I-told-you-sos’. Not before. Of course, hey’re not worth a damn by the time they’re actually redeemable, but that’s how that market works.

    Essentially, the pandemic is like global climate change: universal and global. Like global climate change, all we do as a majority herd is bicker even while summers turn insanely hot and winters either too cold or not enough… just like the original models suggested.

    By the time people are genuinely engaging responsibly with a reality as broad and diffuse as the air, it is already about done dealing with them. The attempt to dismiss covid as a political manipulation, to explain away contagion/illness/mortality statistics as “politics”, is as quaint as humanity’s belief that it can politically manage itself in large numbers in any reliable fashion.

    Reality leads; politics follows. But, being homo saps who tend to believe that “humanity is the measure of all things”, we cling to our belief that we’re in charge, know what we’re doing, and can do what we know. So: a virus of as yet unknown provenance (altho theories of etiology are in ample supply) must of course be political in origina. It can’t be the product of, you know, reality. It must yield to our preferred political understanding of reality. No mere virus, with or without a little government lab juice, can alter the course of human history!!!! We are humanity! I WENT TO COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Plague, as I recall, was deemed by a great many people at that time as a political attack by Jews against Xtians.

    You know: blame anyone or anything but the actual virus and our unwillingness to apply known proven anticontagion methods. Let’s blame the government or some other country or this or that political party or faction or ideology… and if that doesn’t work, deny deny deny!

    Rising death counts are not real! They’re political fudgifications!

    I suggest that we treat as separate categories 1) this virus and known virology, and 2) government/institution responses to same. They really are separate things.

    #60220

    VietnamVet
    Participant

    Yes, the picture of the Catalina Seaplane was posed. Male over female. But I never knew an officer who’d let a draftee stand over them. But it does show that war is a young person’s game. You get a chance to do things that you will never do again, if you survive. It is really addictive to adrenaline junkies and the pathological.

    The US COVID 121,125 deaths has surpassed the total number in WWI; 116,516. 4.1 million Americans served in that war. The 2.2 million American coronavirus confirmed cases are twice as likely to die as in that war. But there is probably a similar number of asymptomatic spreading the virus but not tested. Being infect is almost an identical risk as being in the military during a World War. The average person’s chance of dying from coronavirus is similar to being behind the lines in a war. But if you don’t wear a face mask, attend the crowed indoor Tulsa Trump rally tonight, or are returning to work in a high-rise office without PPE and distancing; you are literally climbing onto a 4 by 4 truck and being driven to the frontlines. The denial is mindboggling.

    There is clearly a battle in the western ruling class between globalists and nationalists. Much like the one between southern plantation owners and northern financiers in the 1850s. When the expansion of slavery was halted by the Compromise of 1850 and California entered the nation as a free state, the freezing of the economic growth of plantation slavery made the civil war inevitable.

    Donald Trump is clearly incompetent. The US federal government failed to protect its citizens from the coronavirus pandemic unlike nations in Eurasia and the South Pacific. Joe Biden is really too old and any attempt to rebuild a new Western Empire is just as futile as the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon. There is no communication across the divides. A bipartisan compromise to end today’s battle between globalists and nationalists for control seems impossible. Unless the future goes Mad Max from the get-go, a regional and class-based civil war is likely.

    #60221

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    My impression is that most photographs are posed. She’s getting a decent view of his crotch bulge while he can’t see her cleavage for the button-down. Most things just happen. LIke me saving my mother’s life by being so bass-ackwards breech they had to do a last-minute crude caesarean to get me out. Doing so, they discovered she had cancer of the ovaries, were able to remove all the tumors, and she lived.

    If I’d come out ‘properly’, she’d’ve died in a few months.

    Mostly forgotten, Ella Mae Morse was rated the WWII G.I.’s fave singer of the era. Here she is a deacde later during peace time:

    Rock Me All Night Long

    Ella and Frank

    #60222

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    While the following is an indulgence with some aspects of ‘vanity publishing’, I think it’s also poetically metaphorical to what’s happening now. Besides, I have no idea how to make it into a proper story rather than a literary tableau vivant:

    Standstill

    Everyone remembers where they were when it happened.

    I was one of the more fortunate ones. When the Freeze hit, I was tossing an orange in the air. The look on my face when it froze was almost flattering if a bit slack-jawed. Not that such superficialities really matter now, or shouldn’t, but one feels sorry for those caught picking their nose or masturbating. As for those caught committing a crime…

    The first few hours were as fascinating as they were horrifying. With the world turned into a global diorama, and with everyone’s soul cut loose, there was a lot to see. But we mostly didn’t stray far from our bodies, for the worst horror was the loss of identity. We knew who we were, but without our bodies, what that ‘who’ was worried our souls. (One of many casualties of the anomaly was the loss of ‘soul’ as a poetic term; it became just another part of anatomy.)

    It is believed by the scientific community that time didn’t literally stand still, but slowed down to something between the speed of glaciers and rust. A temporal Ice Age. For time to stand still, they say, would be impossible. Without time, the cosmos would cease to exist. Makes sense. Time is one of the dimensions. For it to totally stand still would be comparable to the 3rd physical dimension disappearing, turning us all into 2-D flatlanders on a desktop earth. Our world would cease to exist. A balloon without air is not a balloon, it is a round rubber sheet.

    It is a popular debate these days: could the cosmos exist without time? or as a flat universe? Topics that once glazed eyes at table dinners are now emotionally held beliefs.

    I am of the conservative school that believes if time had truly stood still, the world would vanish, at least for us; but I appreciate the poetry of the liberal school. They ask the fundamental riddle of existence: what is left if one removes everything? If time can stop and the universe remains, static and locked, what happens if we remove the other three dimensions? What is nothing made of?

    No one pays much attention to former theories of cosmology, like superstring theory with it’s ten-plus hypothetical dimensions. The four that we know exist are now too much for us to understand.

    This means little compared to the discovery that we really do have ghostly selves, and even more, that these ghostly selves were immune to the standstill.

    We also learned that our souls move differently than our bodies. We could travel almost instantly to anywhere we’d been before. Travel was virtually instantaneous but not entirely; there is an emotional passage one must travel, however briefly, before arriving.

    We disembodied souls experienced this as a disturbing lack of physical motion, replacing it with another sense of motion, the movement of memory: we did not fly above the buildings or trees en route to a destination; we followed the tracks of memory.

    I traveled 2,000 miles, from Chicago to Lake Tahoe, along the memories of a childhood vacation. I traveled along roads that no longer exist to places that scarcely resemble their current appearance. While my physical body was stuck in time, my soul traveled freely through my past. Like dream motion, the difference being the greater sense of conscious control compared to the anarchy of dreams.

    One could get lost. Most of us discovered our power of motion as souls by finding ourselves somewhere vaguely familiar after wandering in thought. Most memories are both vivid and inscrutable: when was this? what happened? where is it? I don’t remember this place but it feels so familiar…

    Eventually, you’d discover a clue, recollection would join memory, and you knew where you were. The easiest movement, of course, was to prowl home turf.

    You’d travel to a friend’s house, then release your memory of last seeing him there and let the house bring you up to date, to when the anomaly hit. You did this by following his memory forward until it stopped where he was frozen, remote in hand, before a video screen’s fantasy battle scene stuck in pixilated time. There was something eerie about TV and other video images; they almost seemed more likely to resume movement than the human being frozen on the couch.

    This effect was much less at a movie theater. The static audience would seem more potentially alive than the huge people on the silver screen. It is thought that this is because video screens emit raw light, whereas movie screens merely reflect light, and light seemed to be the only thing that moved during the anomaly: we could see things, and that would not be possible if light were at a virtual standstill. (Hence the science community’s conclusion that time hadn’t entirely stopped, just slowed down to an incredible degree.)

    Fundamental Relativists say that this proves that C is indeed the universal constant, that no matter what, light moves, and does so at the speed of light.

    I’m not so sure. Even if light were as slowed down as the world was, we would still see its movement, since light travels so much faster than everyday motion. It would be a noticeable stream. There wouldn’t be beams of light frozen mid-path in rooms where a lamp had just been clicked, as a few people reported. It was winter where I was, and I visited a few fireplaces burning wood. Frozen flames are fascinating. They weren’t like photographs of flames. They didn’t dance but they seemed to move. The implications of this are staggering, but so was the anomaly.

    The accepted theory is that this is because of quantum indeterminacy. The fire in a burning hearth is, at any given moment, an inconceivable amount of electrons being excited into motion, emitting photons in the process. That motion is minutely imprecise; electrons decide where to go when bumped into making what we call a quantum leap. This happens instantaneously. Not just very rapidly, but instantly.

    However, with time slowed down to a virtual standstill, as most scientists believe, what was instantaneous perhaps takes a teensy bit of time that we are unable to measure when time moves at it’s normal pace. What is normally timeless — instantaneous — could become “timeful” when time itself is frozen. It moves. It is believed that the one thing that moved during the anomaly, is that thing called quantum indeterminacy, in which an electron is theoretically an indefinite number of places at once within the infinitesimally small area defined by the atom around which that electron orbits, orbiting not as a single object moving in a circle around its atom, but as an indefinite number of paths all occurring at once.

    I know: quantum mechanics doesn’t make any sense. But neither does the anomaly, and so it kind of makes sense that when nothing else makes sense, that which usually doesn’t make sense, would.

    I suppose the scientists are right. If time moved so slowly that one can perceive the motion within an instant, then the light from the lamps I mentioned could appear motionless for a long time. It isn’t like anyone was able to make precise physical measurements at that time. (For once, use of the word time fits. It was only ‘that time’ during the anomaly, that time and no other time existed. Only in memory was there other time.)

    But our memory was anything but frozen.

    Homesickness grew by the hour (souls, we learned, feel time even if time didn’t move). We had never before felt so lost or abandoned in our lives. Many of us traveled to our earliest childhood, to memories we didn’t know we had, driven by the fear of homesickness to infantile terror. We all recalled what it was like to awaken at night in our crib, alone. Or be lost in a supermarket.

    Oh. I forgot to say that our memories, when we arrived at them, moved. We couldn’t interact with them; we couldn’t touch or talk to any person or thing except as we had during the original remembered event, but they tended to fade as they moved forward in time until they became a chaotic jumble of related memories so disorienting that we usually jumped back to the strongest memory associated with the place or to where we’d last been. (We moved backward through time to a given memory, but once there, that memory moved forward, it being of course a memory of normal time.)

    Some of us, including me, learned how to float with a memory, which let us move with it through mnemonic time, retracing our steps, which was disorienting in its own way, because memory isn’t a camera, isn’t just a record of sensory experience, it’s a train of thought. You’d find yourself remembering a memory within a memory as you sat, for example, on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away, wasting time, the old Otis Redding song taking you to other places the way music, that powerful memory aid, does.

    You learned to be a leaf in the wind.

    As the homesickness mounted, we became perceptible to each other. Initially, our souls didn’t see one another. But “over time” (our language fails in the face of these developments), we became visible. Not as wraiths, not as translucent versions of our bodily selves, but as memories.

    Our souls are creatures of memory and light. We didn’t see each other as beings; we saw what the other was remembering — if they were remembering something in the vicinity of what you were remembering. We noticed each other as we traveled more, and a bit of downtown Portland would look wrong because other souls were visiting it in memories older or newer than ours, in winter memories versus our summer recollections. What we perceived moved an awful lot even though it happened in a physical reality frozen in time.

    We attributed the shifting shapes of things to the general weirdness. But after awhile we saw the patterns. We saw the world for what it was, a blending strata of memories, each memory itself a blend of memories.

    The effect was most striking in remote regions where fewer people meant fewer memories. You would revisit a sunset vista of Mt. Shasta and the sunset would blend with someone else’s sunrise from a different angle. You would focus and reclaim your remembered view, but a hint of sunrise would remain so long as the other person remained present. (“remained present” is another expression inadequate for those experiences.)

    In time — ach!!! — let me replace that with words that do not make paradox — eventually, we realized that the world we souls moved in was nothing but memory, and the recognition that we were living in sheer nostalgia while the world passively ignored us, made us feel lonelier than the most tragically beheaded castle. Like a raw heart still beating long after the body has died.

    We began communicating. We gathered at libraries and remembered relevant texts for others to read. We revisited favorite group experiences, like concerts, so that we could share the familiar with each other.

    We experienced love. Sympathetic memories nestled into each other and people would quietly open to each other their most intimate recollections in something almost like sex; and offspring of a sort was born: memories no longer one or the others’ but now blended so much that one could hardly tell them apart. If we could have spoken, instead of saying things like, ‘You have your father’s eyes and your Aunt Rochelle’s dimples,’ we would have said, ‘You have your father’s bah mitzvah and your mother’s summer visits with her Aunt Rochelle.’

    We were, I think, beginning to adjust to, even embrace, our new state of being when the freeze thawed. We fought it at first. It was disorienting now that we’d begun to understand and accept our circumstance. A vast new world had become ours.

    It began as an internal pressure in our souls. Something tugging at our innards. Innards! We began to realize that we were experiencing flashes of actual, not remembered, physical sensations again. It was so disturbing, so newly familiar, that many of us found ourselves remembering being born. We resisted. It was as if something, some dominant, totalitarian memory were taking over ours.

    Our memories, which we had learned to move the way an infant learns to walk, wouldn’t move properly. The shifting hazework quilt that we’d learned to conjointly share as a common dream was becoming resistant to our movements.

    Some of us recognized what was happening. They stopped resisting and found themselves inhabiting their bodies again, albeit in paralysis. But with all sensations.

    Breathing is the most precious sensation and the first movement of resurrection. For all the wonder of living in a land of memory, taking my first new breath, s-l-o-w-l-y but with a delicious sense of fluid motion, like a frozen river beginning to thaw, is to me the most valuable experience of it all. We had our minds and hearts expanded in countless ways during the anomaly, experienced a richness of despair and joy, loneliness and communion, that radically changed what it means to be human, but to experience — in a way we can remember! — the first breath of our resumed lives, was, it seems, the point of the lesson.

    Some of us could by then walk again, and emphatically demonstrated the fact of their resurrection.

    Things snowballed after that, and it is now a point of major contention whether the thaw was the result of our souls accepting their new found state as mnemonic ghosts, and thus, eventually, finding the levers of time stored within our memories, and moving them to dislodge time from its impasse; or if the world itself was regaining the movement of time and we were merely reacting to this. Regardless, there was a point where things rapidly accelerated and suddenly everyone was waking up.

    We were frightened. The world was “real” again. Our eyes looked at each other through real eyeballs not just memories of one another. We had physical power. We could hurt one another. We felt hunger. We could make love. We felt the hideous seductive power of being able to keep secrets again.

    I ashamedly observe that I have neglected to share in my account the existence of the souls of animals. We rarely saw them. Time and memory are different for them.

    To see them, one had to think like a dog, or a crow, or an opossum. One had to slow down one’s mind to almost Buddhist tranquility to share the sense of now in which they mostly live. Plus, the memories were too often painful. For every dog contentedly having his ears rubbed, there were innumerable animals trapped in feedlot cages awaiting slaughter. Even happy memories were often discolored by most animals’ underlying terror of homo sapiens.

    Things have changed because of this, and we are struggling to remove ourselves from the food chain and make enough synthetic food to satisfy us. I say satisfy, not just feed, because eating, one discovers after being something like a ghost, is a huge part of our lives. We are discomfortingly physical creatures. Let’s eat!

    That said, reuniting with our pets, or seeing birds in flight and squirrels in frolic, was even more satisfying than being able to hug children and spouses again, for although we’d been closer to them in some ways during the anomaly than we might ever be again, having our memories of our furry friends merge with their living physical selves was overwhelming. Love between species transcends mere intra-species love, I’ve decided.

    We reexperienced that most intimate communion of the soul with the body: tears. Joy and grief liquefied, rolling down our cheeks in a manner strangely reminiscent of how our memories had flowed around and through each other.

    Already, we have made new children. I can hardly speak of the horrors so many children experienced as disincarnate souls. It was no one’s fault. Adults simply can’t stay very long within such a narrow range of memory as those of a three-year old child, nor can they endure for long the intensity of raw emotions children feel. Things improved once we obtained some understanding of the nature of our new existence and could find ways to bring children together in places of shared memory so that they might not be left so often alone.

    Also, many children have new parents, the neglect of their original parents having become apparent during the anomaly. Those former abusive parents that fight to reclaim their children meet bad ends. No one is fooled. (As for sociopaths… not all of them have been killed or imprisoned. A modest number of them actually impressed us by their adherence to higher ethics for logical reasons despite lacking any emotional desire to play fair or give a rat’s ass.)

    This was another disturbing yet beautiful part of the experience. We learned things about each other. Especially people who have been close and spent much time together. Our egos were crushed time and again by the truth of our petty cruelties to those we claim to cherish most.

    There were riots in the churches. Not over theological differences but over physical space. The anomaly inspired much new or renewed belief in God and things of that nature, and we shared many church memories during the anomaly, people raised as atheists in particular being beggars of those with congregational memories (although too many of those congregational memories reflected poorly on the piety of their rememberers, and we learned that some of the most evil people find churches to be ideal hiding places).

    Restored to our physical selves, we desperately sought churches for comfort, and there were many deaths, not so much from fighting but from crowd-crush. It was not our finest hour. This soon passed, and people are again as likely to find God in a double malt Scotch or a game of cards, but do so now with a confirmed conviction that there is more to life than meets the eye.

    We are especially aware now that we will be remembered, not forgotten, at least by each other if not by God (whose existence is still as ambiguous as before). We do less, sit more, breathe deeply. Now that time has been restored, we appreciate the power of stillness. As disembodied souls, we spent hours in cherished memories. An afternoon’s satori under ancient elm trees long since dead and removed. The sad pleasures of watching your child grow up. The warmth of an adobe plaza on a cool spring evening. The moment you first fell in love.

    The first time ever I saw your face. I lost my wife twice: once in normal life, again during the anomaly. But I met her for the first time many times as well.

    There are countless camps of thought about what happened, not just theories of explanation but philosophies of meaning. Almost everyone agrees that whether or not some supernal intelligence did this to us to teach us something, it is as if it were so: the experience was so earth-shaking (I know, it’s absolutely the wrong expression) that we interpret it as divine intervention even if it was only a hiccup in the local space-time continuum, even if we don’t believe in God. The new saying says, ‘A miracle is proof of miracles not proof of God.’ Whether a person believes in a divine god, everyone now believes in a divine universe.

    Regarding that: we lost the outer planets. Saturn fled, leaving her rings like a trail of diamonds. Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, the Oort Cloud. Jupiter was, apparently, on the right side of the fence.

    So it is almost certain that the standstill was only local. Estimates are that it couldn’t have been more than 300 million miles wide/long and probably less. How thick is anyone’s guess. Long enough for the constellations to be a tad crooked. Measuring this, we conclude that the anomaly lasted for roughly 220 days.

    Hard-headed Rationalists insist that it was not an act of God but of an advanced civilization, which may well be true, although cooler heads (including mine) insist that we not forget that we really have no clue. Perhaps the cosmos is the purse of some woman in (ahem) “another dimension” and we are that slip of paper with the nice guy’s phone number that she couldn’t find until she dumped the old purse’s contents into a new one, noticing a place where the seam of the silk lining had come apart.

    Reaching in, she finds it again.

    For all that we have learned from this cosmic miracle, we still cannot say for sure if the soul lives after death, although it seems very likely, and most of us are now firm believers in an afterlife.

    We have no idea why time stood still; we were unable to make measurements during the event of anything but the extent of our memories.

    We have learned what we have always known: that we would be happier and wiser to be more kind and to take other beings, including non-human beings, into consideration.

    We have also learned that we are not all cut from the same basic cloth, or so we infer from reports of persons (very few) who have no recollection of the event, only the world suddenly going crazy as people suddenly became extremely animated, hugging each other, running from each other, spending hours in front of a mirror, storming churches, restaurants, and grocery stores (the concepts of religion, food, and money will never be the same), and touching, touching, touching. They fear that they may not have souls. We cannot comfort them about this, but we make a point of cherishing them as best we can.

    We have more questions than answers, but this is hardly unusual. But we have the courage of having experienced an undeniable miracle. We have new hope. We have found new reason to care about one another.

    Time moves on. New children are being born, and in time, all those who experienced the event will die. What is now an inescapable miracle that no one will ever forget, will over generations become another myth. Already, the grounds of its fallibility are being laid by groups of people predicting that this is a sign that God or ET will return to do whatever it is that Gods or fantastically advanced civilizations return to do.

    Over time this prophecy will blend with chronicles of the event, and unless God or ET shows their face before too many centuries have passed, the myth will gradually be discredited by association. History of the past grows unreliable over time, especially if it ties itself to predictions about the future. Some day, the existence of the Outer Planets will be dismissed as another myth, and only indulgers of faith will believe.

    Already, lies are told about the event. Lying is fundamental to human consciousness; it is what makes imagination possible.

    I write these notes because people will forget and disbelieve over time. Most everyone has or will record their memories of it. Time capsules of all kind, including satellites in orbit, are being made.

    I close with my own speculations. Let no man quote them as anything but: the ability to think forward and behind is the main component of having a soul. With the advent of human beings and a few higher animals like the cetaceans, elephants, a few others, consciousness no longer fits inside the bodily present. We saw this in the souls of most animals. That they have souls at all was because they have memory. At some point downward on the evolutionary ladder, we find creatures who don’t have memories but simply are memories. Beetles, ants, bees (although some report that beehives have a kind of soul): they appear to be no more than the memory of DNA, not of themselves. Their perception of time is such a narrow slice that the act of self-reflection, which is critical to all forms of sentience, of self-awareness, can’t happen. There is simply no room in them for a soul. For if we’ve learned anything about souls, it is that they are made of memory, which is made of time.

    ****

    Huge dark matter/dark energy lenses responsible?

    #60223

    WES
    Participant

    Notice that China is no longer listed on any of the virus charts! They fell off!

    #60224

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Donald Trump is clearly incompetent. The US federal government failed to protect its citizens from the coronavirus pandemic unlike nations in Eurasia and the South Pacific. Joe Biden is really too old and any attempt to rebuild a new Western Empire is just as futile as the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon. There is no communication across the divides. A bipartisan compromise to end today’s battle between globalists and nationalists for control seems impossible. Unless the future goes Mad Max from the get-go, a regional and class-based civil war is likely.

    Agreed, Usians no longer know how to talk to each other. Usians now talk at each other; if at all…
    I think the civil war has already started and it’s not being fought along clearcut lines…
    What’s going on today is not recognised for what it really is…

    #60225

    John Day
    Participant

    Hi Ilargi,
    Friday is a big work day for me, and Saturday tends to be a big unpaid work day down in Yoakum.
    It’s been like that again.
    Cases in Texas are going up, and so is testing, but our percent of positives has not gone down, and after yesterday, I suspect our percentage of positives at my clinic will go up. Hospitalizations are just creeping up though. Pumping cases in the summer, when people feel ready to be finished with lockdowns might be an ok thing. We don’t know yet. Catch the virus when your vitamin-D level is up? Can we talk about everybody taking it? I sure do. I’ve given away the $350 or more worth of vitamin-D I bought. I’m out. Still, I tell everybody I can about it, and that I bought a bunch and gave it away.
    It has finally sunk in that the case fatality rate is 3 per 1000, not 3 per 100, and it is concentrated in people over 70 and with chronic conditions, especially diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease. That’s a lot of my patients, of course, but it does lighten the fear level of a lot of people. Gardening outdoors in low population-density places feels a lot better to me than even thinking of New York City with subways and elevators, and crowded everything.
    I do think people have bad lockdown fatigue, and it’s summer. Still, jut take the precautions. Go get groceries. Don’t go to bars.
    It will be interesting what the political fights about masks are at the Trump rally, and if there is any viral case spike 2 weeks later.
    Here we go. It’s a big, uncontrolled experiment.

    #60226

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    Trump’s rallies may mark the start of something like leadership. Reading the protocols, they’re making reasonable attempts to allow public congregation while significantly reducing contagion. Despite Trump himself being anything but a role model, contagion-wise, how they’re holding the rally is how we should have proceeded from day one.

    If the numbers don’t spike too much between now and Nov 4, this might mark the reascendance of Herr Golden Floss’s political star.

    In the country of blind people, even the man with one eye peering from his bugnhole can be King. If Biden can be touted as a viable candidate, then the people can be swayed by Trump’s… appeal, I guess you’d call it if he starts responding non-chaotically.

    That is obviously just a rough squint-eyed peripeheral take on the subject. I’ll point out that I don’t recall seeing any BLM protestors not wearing masks, and I suspect a ton of tonight’s rally attendees will pointendly not wear masks…

    …anyone here think the event will be without violence?

    #60227

    We flattened the curve, The Virus is not going to disappear. If you want to protect yourself with masks, more power to you. If you want to avoid gatherings- okay. But if you want to take a chance and catch it and rely on the knowledge that there is a reliable treatment if you think you have caught it, you are adding to the community immunity.
    Masks, ANTI social distancing (as they call it over at The Slog) no parties, no contact, no wooing, no singing, no laughing, no sports, no FUN…’til when? What does that future look like?
    They can do this with the flu, you know. Every fall we will all don masks, stay away from each other when the months are long and dark, cancel Holidays and the fabric of society’s biggest push. We will make fun taboo when fun is needed most. If you think fun is trivial and worth foregoing to prevent death… you haven’t learned about life at all. The very young are taking this in- coming up is a generation of scolders and bitties who are hungry to steal from the future to protect themselves NOW.
    Where else have I seen that? Boomers?? They refuse to retire, and think the fact that their house keeps going up in price is a good thing even as their kids and grandkids scramble for housing. Kids stuck at home and you’re getting A LITTLE TIRED of them? Pooh. Been there done that. Don’t bring them here- it’s dangerous. Didn’t save enough for times like these? Talk to your Uncle Sam.
    The least the “keep the lockdown going” tribe needs to see is that there is another tribe that is willing to take the risks of life and go ahead with NORMAL. Normal is not dead. Normal is what will happen regardless of the anxious, death-phobic, numbers-ignorant folks who think if we just deny living long enough, death might pass us by.
    I’m at a loss. What next for the cocooners? When will they crack out and fly, because that’s what life demands? It’s dangerous out there.
    Thank goodness.

    #60228

    WES
    Participant

    Bosco:. Time Stands Still

    Very good! I wish I could write like that!

    Sadly my writing is mostly of a technical bent!

    As you can probably imagine I repeatedly failed English composition since I can’t write about abstract stuff like william sheakphear!

    But hey, I did see his crypt in some church in London!

    #60229

    That civil war that looms on the November horizon won’t stay in the US. It will be the first World Civil War.
    This is what smart phones and globalism have wrought.
    Hyperbole, yeah, but it’s late.

    #60230

    John Day
    Participant

    Hi Boscohorowitz.
    Thank You.
    Hi WES. I did read your stuff about your friend coming home to no home.
    I think there may be at least one more side to that story.

    #60231

    zerosum
    Participant

    boscohorowitz

    I read “Standstill”
    Your words painted pictures in my cells.
    DNA memories exist even in the virus.
    It knows what to do to replicate/to pass on life by assembling protons/molecules.
    ———-
    WES
    “They fell off!”
    Is China the only one to tell lies?
    —–
    V. Arnold
    “I think the civil war has already started and it’s not being fought along clear cut lines…”
    Yes.
    The weapons of choice are not the same as those used in the “ancients wars”

    #60232

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    I’m at a loss. What next for the cocooners? When will they crack out and fly, because that’s what life demands? It’s dangerous out there.
    Thank goodness.

    Yes indeed…
    Do you remember: “Feel the fear and do it anyway…”?
    My little ditty is: “Fear is a thief; don’t let it steal from you.” 😉

    #60233

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    As a Boomer, I’m amused when we are painted as this unusually selfish stingy bunch. When I was a kid, that designation was reserved for Boomer’s parents, the Greatest Generation. They fucked up the hand they were dealt. (I mean, srsly. They blew it.) Boomers fucked up theirs. Imagine how Millennial/Gen Z kids will feel about their parents.

    Did I forget to mention Gen X? Oh yeah, that bunch always blaming my generation for their problems. Here’s to you, Gen-X.

    Let’s blame people for being conditioned so much by the largest mind control systems in history that they can hardly think without being told what to think about. Silly cocooners hiding from reality. Why aren’t they smart and brave… like me!!!! Be like ME! My ego wills it! If everyone would just be smart and brave like me, we’d be just fine, right? Right?….

    Blaming others soothes one’s ego but doesn’t fix the problems outside that ego. Most of the problems are unfixable anyway. I remind myself what Jesus said as almost everyone He knew turned against Him or merely abandoned Him: “Forgive them, they’re all kinda clueless.” Or something like that.

    Human civilization has been fucked for as long as we can trace it. We’ve had a nice lull recently based on the intersection of technology and fossil fuels. What we call the Enlightenment when it was really just a buncha overwhelmed hoiminids blinded by the light produced by a few aqbnormal mutants here and there, freaks like Newton, etc..

    The Enlightenment is ending because the lamp is running out of fuel, and being what we are, we never thought what to do if that ever happened, even though we knew it would. Rather typical hominid behavior pattern.

    You know that creepy fairy tale snake that told Eve that if she and hubs ate the fruit, they’d be smart like God? That’s the Enlightenment in mythic form. Oh, I love science. But if science tells us anything, it tells us that we may be able to control a few physics, but we can’t do it with a lick of collective wisdom. Instead, we build nuclear missiles. We Monsanto-ize the ecology. We take billions of barrels of oil, each of which contain the energy of 4.5 human work years, and burn everything up almost as soon as we build it. Or just no longer bother to maintain what we’ve built. Currently, we seem bent on destroying all archeological history of human civilization in the Fertile Crescent… just a century after making some of the greatest archological finds in, uh, history. (It gets ironic.) We aren’t nearly as smart as we think we are.

    Maybe we’ll destroy our works so well that, 1,000 years from now, when humanity finally gets enough surplus, hopefully, to start poking around in the sand for more than grubs and salt, they will believe they are the first humans to build cities, and the history of the War of the Gods will be deemed just so much mythology.

    Question: how many people here have missed a meal? Not because they were too busy but because they had nothing to eat? How many have gone a day? 2 days? 3 days? A week? I hear this word normal tossed about, yea, even in CAPS, as if it were a thing rather an abstract statistical concept. HIstorically, normal is dirt and weeds and trees and things you try to eat while not getting eaten. Normal is hunger and thirst and discomfort and pain interspersed with food and water and comfort and felicity.

    For a hundred years or so, normal has been something absurdly, fantastically, incredibly different. So absurd and incredibly different that a great many people actually believed we’d have flying cars in the future, as if it were a natural progression, after which we’d all live cozy in comfy clouds in floating cities.

    What’s been happening recently is quite abnormal compared to a few billion years of terran evolution or even just a few hundred k years of homo sap evolution… even so, it involves chronic war and roving hunger, and we live with closer than not to a thousand nuclear ICBMs ready to go atg a moment’s notice, cuz hey, you never know when we might need to wipe out a few cities and a few million people. Or a whole lotta cities and few billion people. Play it loose. Keep our opytions open. Maybe we all want to murder each other and just get it over with?

    I dunno. Maybe it is a good thing that danger exists out there. I didn’t make the cosmos, and god isn’t talking, so I dunno. But every time danger came my way, it always turned out badly, either for me or the other critter/feller, and often for both.

    It’s NORMAL for people to want to be safe. It’s normal for them to wish to avoid danger, however ill-advisedly or incompetently (and boy are we ill-advised). And it’s also normal for the rest of us to mock and belittle them for wanting to be safe and secure. The pecking order is also normal.

    The trouble with our current consensus definition of “normal” is that it only gets worse.

    A simple concept: there is nothing inherently evil about demanding everyone wear masks and quarantine for awhile to avoid a major pile-up of bodies and inertia. If we allow governments to form and tell us what to do regarding anything, that is the primary evil. So long as we allow that fact to exist (and we always have), governments will do evil things compared to which a bit of quarantine is a blessing… or would be if we’d done it properly in the first place.

    Now we’ve wasted that opportunity. As a result, things will become much more dangerous out there, and not just because viruses can kill, or because a porous misguided public health program was delivered stillborn but made to walk and talk anyway, or because the situation was already fucked in the first place. Things will become become more dangerous most of all because our government has failed its big chance to show that it can govern, period, much less justly or benevolently.

    That governmental collapse, currently plainly in advanced progress, will put we the people on our own, with no more government to blame. We’ll be left with each other to blame. Won’t that be fun?

    If god has a purpose for danger, for building a tiny Terran corner of the cosmos where critters eat critters and are eaten by critters, all processes stringently bound by pain/pleasure dichotomies and fraught with fearful anxiety, all I can imagine as justifying purpose is that this Grind (as I call it) has steadily created more complexly sensitive beings over time. The higher animals are all exquisitely emotional. From one set of fangs eating another set of fangs has evolved felicity, motherly love, paternal loyalty, friendship, period, and this weird need to understand that somehow got turned on in humans (see: apple/Eden for mythic explanation)… apparently too soon, unleashing homo destruktis, ours truly.

    But it indeed arose from constant danger, fear, and pain. So yeah, maybe danger’s good for something… which something appears to be avoiding danger if possible. Danger’s job is to find us goddammit, not us find it. Unless you’re a socio-thrillseeker like Vier Vet mentioned.

    Considering that we’re all products of what Richard Dawkins rightly calls The Selfish Gene, it seems natural, maybe even normal, for people to wish to avoid danger. Their wishes may be futile but, as far as evolution is concerned, it’s both wise and normal. Following the mythonarrative, God apparently didn’t have to tell us to stay away from the big furry toothsome things wanting to eat us, just some damn fruit. We already knew to avopid being eaten and experiencing pain or exposing ourselves to high risk thereof.

    I despair and highly disapprove of our collective behavior but I can only pity us as individuals. If someone isn’t as brave and smart as you, that’s because they’re them not you. Someone else is way smarter and braver than you or me. And they’re almost certainly not smart and brave enough. Everyone’s arse is up for kicks.

    Fearless

    #60247

    zerosum
    Participant

    boscohorowitz
    I read this second page too.
    I assume that there are more inspiring pages of your accumulated wisdom.

    A group of ancients wise men, ( I think the women missed that meeting), put together a book of wisdom and endowed the main character with the ability of expressing their accumulated experiences for achieving a worthy life.
    Unfortunately, only a few of the rifraf could read, and enablers were tasked with the function of reading, and interpreting those concept for achieving a rewarding life.
    Today, we call those books “the holy books” and those wise men “the holy men”.
    Even now, the women, who have been the main teachers of the next generations, have not been able to remove the influence of the holy books which have left the women out of being the central characters.
    However, Women have achieved some small success, (beside being the power behind the thrones)

    Where it is celebrated,
    Mothers day is more important than Fathers day.

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