Jul 222020

Ben Shahn for the Farm Security Administration Daughter of Virgil Thaxton, farmer, near Mechanicsburg, Ohio 1938


It Has Become Clear Elimination Of The Virus Is The Best Option (Age)
Antibodies From Mild COVID-19 Infections Could Disappear Within A Year (CBS)
Yale Epidemiologist: Hydroxychloroquine Could Save 100,000 Lives (ZH)
Moderna, Merck Won’t Limit Price Of Coronavirus Vaccines To Company Cost (R.)
Our History Is A Battle Against The Microbes (Roser)
N.Y, N.J, Conn. Expand Travel Quarantine To Over Half Of U.S. States
Democrats Cry ‘Foreign Meddling’ In 2020 Election In Letter To FBI (RT)
House Bill Would Require Feds to Identify Themselves (.)
China’s Shipbuilding Industry Continues Leading Position Globally (Xinhua)
Britain Nears Abandoning Brexit Trade Deal Hope (R.)
Passengers Scramble For Limited Seats On Flights To Australia (G.)
Book Sales Hit Record Highs In 2019, But Publishers ‘Now Need Help’ (G.)
Smithsonian: ‘Rationality’ & ‘Hard Work’ Are Racist (RC)
Judicial Watch Sues DOJ/FBI/ODNI for Records of Obama Oval Office Meeting (JW)
Greta Thunberg Gets €1 Million ‘Humanity Prize’ From Oil Tycoon Foundation (RT)



An Australian hospital doctor writes that the best solution if for the virus to be eliminated from his country. But can that still be done? Is it realistic? Do you really want to isolate yourself from most of the world?



U.S. records over 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for first time since early June.

And the world passed 15 million cases.











Sidney Powell Hillary should be subpoenaed



A doctor in Victoria, Australia. The worries are very understandable, and the problem is clear, but as for the solution, is it possible? Realistic? Or just too late?

It Has Become Clear Elimination Of The Virus Is The Best Option (Age)

The hospital where I work has finally had to use its surge plan for COVID-19 patients, devised months ago but which has until now laid dormant. There is still capacity for more patients, but it is not infinite. People are starting to worry. Concerningly, while patient numbers around the state have climbed, staff numbers have fallen. Many front-line healthcare workers have become infected with the virus, forcing them to take time off work. Many more have been forced into mandatory quarantine following close contact with a known case. This is entirely necessary to stop the spread of the virus, but it is a cost we simply cannot afford. Our already-stretched health system is at risk of being stretched beyond its limit.

We have tried to suppress this virus; to keep infection numbers low enough to allow our hospitals to cope, while not actively trying to stamp it out. In Melbourne, it has failed. We may be seeing the beginnings of a similar story in Sydney, with cases slowly climbing. We may yet see it elsewhere. Many have argued for an explicit elimination strategy, acknowledging that while not without its costs, ultimately it is the best choice for our society and economy. As John Daley from the Grattan Institute wrote in March, this would be the “least-bad” option. We know elimination is possible. New Zealand implemented a harsh lockdown early in the pandemic, prompting some to criticise Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for overreacting. Yet they have not seen a single case of community transmission in months.

Life across the ditch is returning to a “new normal”, and people and businesses are starting to plan for the future with a bit more certainty. There is no reason why Australia – and in particular Victoria – couldn’t follow suit. Yet the current six-week lockdown is unlikely to eliminate the virus, according to new analysis in the Medical Journal of Australia. We must either go harder, or go longer. While it is the best option for Australia, elimination has three important drawbacks: its impacts would be disproportionately felt by disadvantaged and marginalised people; it would require a longer, more intense period of initial lockdown; and it would make us dependent on a vaccine. A longer, harsher lockdown in Melbourne – and anywhere the virus begins to take hold again – would be enormously challenging for many, especially those who are disadvantaged, marginalised, or poor.

But so would repeated lockdowns, which are all-but inevitable under a suppression strategy. Better to do it once (or twice, as in Melbourne) and do it properly, rather than wait for infections to rise again in a few months and have to do it all again. If we succeed in ridding ourselves of SARS-CoV-2, we will make ourselves reliant on a vaccine. Until one is found, our borders will have to remain closed. The virus will become endemic in many other countries – countries who, unlike us, no longer have the option of eliminating it. Opening our borders too early would simply be kicking the can down the road. Things are moving faster than we have ever seen in vaccine development, but there is no guarantee we will have a safe and effective product soon – if at all. Until we do, we will be forced to seal ourselves off from countries where the virus remains.

Read more …

And the antibodies that you do have may attack you. Good luck with that vaccine.

Antibodies From Mild COVID-19 Infections Could Disappear Within A Year (CBS)

Antibodies from a mild case of COVID-19 appear to fall dramatically in the first three months after infection, and could disappear within about a year, according to a small study by UCLA researchers. The study, published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested 20 women and 14 men between 21 and 68 years old who recovered from mild cases of COVID-19. Each participant was tested at an average of 36 and 82 days after they initially showed symptoms. The study found that antibodies in these study participants dropped sharply after the first three months, and decreased by roughly half every 73 days.

At that rate, antibodies would disappear within about a year. The UCLA study was a more detailed look into previous reports that suggested antibodies against the novel coronavirus were short-lived, and the first to estimate the rate at which antibodies disappear. The study’s authors said the role of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 is not known, but the findings should prompt caution regarding antibody-based “immunity passports,” the goal of herd immunity, and vaccine durability.

Read more …

One positive report about HCQ after the other.

Yale Epidemiologist: Hydroxychloroquine Could Save 100,000 Lives (ZH)

Yale epidemiology professor Dr. Harvey Risch told Fox News’s “Ingraham Angle” that he thinks hydroxychloroquine could save 75,000 to 100,000 lives if widely used to treat COVID-19, and that it’s unfortunate that a “propaganda war” has been waged on the commonly prescribed drug which is not based on “medical facts.” “There are many doctors that I’ve gotten hostile remarks about saying that all the evidence is bad for it and, in fact, that is not true at all,” Risch said on Monday, adding that he believes the drug should be used as a prophylactic for front-line healthcare workers, as has been done in India. Researchers at the Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan have found that early administration of hydroxychloroquine makes hospitalized patients substantially less likely to die.

“The study, published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, determined that hydroxychloroquine provided a “66 percent hazard ratio reduction,” and hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin a 71 percent reduction, compared with neither treatment. In-hospital mortality was 18.1 percent overall; 13.5 percent with just hydroxychloroquine, 22.4 percent with azithromycin alone, and 26.4 percent with neither drug. “Prospective trials are needed” for further review, the researchers note, even as they concluded: “In this multi-hospital assessment, when controlling for COVID-19 risk factors, treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with azithromycin was associated with reduction in COVID-19 associated mortality.” -Fox News

“All the evidence is actually good for it when it is used in outpatient uses. Nevertheless, the only people who actually say that are a whole pile of doctors who are on the front lines treating those patients across the country and they are the ones who are at risk being forced not to do it,” Risch added, arguing that the MSM refuses to cover the benefits of the drug, and is actively silencing those trying to address the efficacy of HCQ.

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Not only do they seek to profit from the pandemic, their research was funded by … you.

Moderna, Merck Won’t Limit Price Of Coronavirus Vaccines To Company Cost (R.)

Moderna Inc and Merck & Co on Tuesday told a U.S. Congressional panel that they expect to profit from their coronavirus vaccines once approved, amid concerns the vaccines may not be accessible to all. “We will not be selling our vaccine at cost, although it is premature for us as we’re a long way from understanding the cost-basis,” Julie Gerberding, chief patient officer for Merck, told the House of Representatives subcommittee on oversight and investigations in a virtual, off-site hearing. Merck’s has yet to begin human studies of its experimental vaccine, lagging the leading candidates. Executives from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc testified that they will price their respective potential vaccines at no profit while the pandemic rages on.

Gerberding and a representative from Moderna did not comment on the price they have in mind for their vaccines at the hearing, which focused on efforts to develop a safe, effective and widely accessible vaccine against COVID-19, which has claimed 600,000 lives globally. Pfizer Inc has said the company intends to make a profit from its potential coronavirus vaccine if approved. However, Pfizer Chief Business Officer John Young, testified: “We recognize that these are extraordinary times and our price will reflect that.” Unlike rivals Moderna and AstraZeneca, Pfizer has not received funding from the United States for its vaccine development.

Lawmakers questioned whether Pfizer had declined government funding so it could price the vaccine at a profit. “We didn’t access federal funding solely for the reason that we wanted to move the vaccine faster to the clinic,” Young said. AstraZeneca said its vaccine would be provided at no profit under its agreement with the United States for allocation of some 300 million doses.

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Long history thread at the Twitter link.

Our History Is A Battle Against The Microbes (Roser)

Humanity’s history is a continuous battle between us and the microbes. For most of our history we were on the losing side. It wasn’t even close. We were losing very decisively. Billions of children died from infectious diseases. They were the main reason why child mortality was so high: No matter where or when they were born, around half died as children. We looked at the evidence of child mortality in pre-modern times here. The recurring epidemics of influenza, measles, cholera, diphtheria, the bubonic plague, and smallpox also killed large parts of the adult population. Within just a few years the Black Death killed half of Europe’s population. The epidemics – especially of smallpox, but also measles, typhus and other diseases – that the colonialists brought from Europe with them to the Americas killed often an even larger share of the population in many places.

The world today is obviously very different. Infectious diseases are the cause of fewer than 1-in-6 deaths, and as the world made progress against the microbes our lives became much longer. Life expectancy doubled in every world region and the global average is now 73 years. How is it possible that for millennia we were losing the battle against the microbes so awfully and then turned things around in the span of just a few generations? It was science that laid the foundation for our success. 150 years ago nobody knew where diseases came from. Or more precisely, people thought they knew, but they were wrong. The widely accepted idea at the time was the ‘Miasma’ theory of disease. Miasma, the theory held, was a form of “bad air” that causes disease. The word malaria is testament to the idea that ‘mal aria’ – ‘bad air’ in medieval Italian – is the cause of the disease.

Thanks to the work of a number of doctors and chemists in the second half of the 19th century humanity learned that not noxious air, but specific germs cause infectious diseases. The germ theory of disease was the breakthrough in the fight against the microbe. Scientists identified the pathogens that cause the different diseases and thereby laid the foundation for perhaps the most important technical innovation in our fight against them: vaccines. Vaccines protect us from infectious diseases by offering our body a training session for how to fight the germs that cause the disease. “The fundamental idea of a vaccine is deliberate exposure to a relatively harmless or dead version of a germ. The immune system will then recognise and eliminate that germ rapidly if it is encountered again,” as vaccine developer Richard Moxon puts it.

Read more …

Two countries?!

N.Y, N.J, Conn. Expand Travel Quarantine To Over Half Of U.S. States

As the pandemic continues to surge across America, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut expanded their travel quarantine lists for the fourth consecutive week on Tuesday, adding 10 more states for a total of 31. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut require incoming travelers from the 31 states to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival. New states added to the tri-state list on Tuesday are Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington. Minnesota was taken off the list this week, while Delaware returned after being removed last week. The list also includes Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also issued a rule that out-of-state travelers must fill in a form for state officials to verify they are complying with the rules; failure to submit can result in a $2,000 fine and mandatory quarantine. Gov. Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont launched the travel list last month as parts of the country began to see rising case numbers. New York and New Jersey, in particular, were hit hard early on in the pandemic (New York still has the country’s highest number of deaths) and hope the travel limitations will prevent a resurgence from out-of-state travelers. The quarantine applies to states that report 10 or more new cases per 100,000 residents per day or a 10% rise in daily test positivity over a seven-day rolling period.

Read more …

It’s probably the Russians.

Whatever comes out of any investigation between now and November 3, will be blasted as being political. But Trump has been under investigation his entire first term, and that, too, was political, though it will be vehemently denied. Guess we’ll have to say along with the Dems that nobody is above the law, and that goes for them as well.

Democrats Cry ‘Foreign Meddling’ In 2020 Election In Letter To FBI (RT)

A probe into former VP Joe Biden’s dealings in Ukraine is reportedly the ‘foreign interference’ in US elections that prompted Democrats to demand an urgent defensive briefing from the FBI for all members of Congress. “We are gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November,” says a letter by four Democrats on the congressional ‘Gang of Eight’ that deals with intelligence matters. The letter was dated July 13, but was made public on Monday – the deadline the Democrats set for the FBI to schedule the defensive briefings with all members of Congress.

It was signed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-California), and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner (D-Virginia). The fact that it lacked specifics, and was released a week after it was sent to the FBI, raised some eyebrows in Washington. Former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted that the ‘Gang of Eight’ and others were briefed “weeks ago” and that the letter amounted to a CYA – short for “cover your a**” – adding, “why the panic now?” One possibility is that it provided a pretext for the Democrats’ presidential nominee Joe Biden to announce on Monday evening that he was putting “the Kremlin and other foreign governments on notice” that he would impose “substantial and lasting costs on those who interfere with American elections” if elected.

According to Politico, who cited “two people familiar with the demand,” the letter is about an investigation led by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) into Biden’s dealings with the former government of Ukraine. The most recent FBI briefing on “foreign influence operations” – back in early April – was also prompted by Johnson’s investigation, as Democrats objected to his efforts to subpoena former Ukrainian official Andrii Telizhenko. Ukrainians themselves have been investigating the role of former president Petro Poroshenko in getting corruption charges dropped against Burisma, a gas company that hired Biden’s son Hunter to nominally sit on its board of directors. Members of parliament and former prosecutors have made a case that Burisma paid Hunter Biden millions of dollars for acting as a de facto shield against prosecution, offering as evidence recordings of what they said were Biden and Poroshenko.

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Interesting. All of them? And the rioters too?

House Bill Would Require Feds to Identify Themselves (.)

Following a storm of controversy over arrests by federal agents in Portland, Ore., New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Washington, D.C., Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will be introducing legislation this week that would require federal law enforcement officials to clearly identify themselves, according to a draft bill provided exclusively to The Nation. The bill would require on-duty federal agents to display not just the name of their agency but also the individual agent’s last name and identification number. It would also mandate a new form of oversight for the Justice Department, requiring its inspector general to conduct routine audits to ensure compliance with the legislation. The results of these audits would then be reported to Congress.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) drew scrutiny after federal agents in military fatigues used unmarked vehicles to arrest protesters in Portland. Among these federal agents were members of elite Border Patrol Tactical Units (BORTAC), Custom and Border Protection’s SWAT team equivalent. Despite the mayor of Portland’s demand that federal agents leave the city, DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf refused. “I offered DHS support to help them locally address the situation that’s going on in Portland, and their only response was: please pack up and go home,” he said to Fox News. “That’s just not going to happen on my watch.”

Internal CBP documents obtained by The Nation revealed that these federal agents would be operating indefinitely and in undisclosed locations, with drones “on standby to assist as needed.” The documents describe the DHS’s creation of the Protecting American Communities Task Force in response to President Trump’s executive order “Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Activity.” While this incident was clearly a catalyst for public concern, a spokesperson for Representative Ocasio-Cortez said that her office had been working on this legislation for months.

Provided a copy of the draft legislation, Irvin McCullough, deputy director of legislation at the Government Accountability Project, said, “Lots of lawyers are asking the same thing: Where’s the transparency? Unidentified internal security forces are apprehending American citizens, and accounts allege these apprehension processes are more similar to overseas renditions than traditional arrests. Citizens deserve to know who’s arresting them—or at least what entity—to report any abuses they suffer or witness.”

Read more …

China’s Shipbuilding Industry Continues Leading Position Globally (Xinhua)

China’s shipbuilding industry maintained its leading position globally in the first half of the year (H1) as it held sway in three key aspects, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has said. The completion volume of shipbuilding in China, dropping by 10.6 percent year on year to 17.58 million deadweight tonnes (dwt) in H1, accounted for 37.2 percent of the global market share. New shipbuilding orders, up by 3.4 percent from last year to reach 12.47 million dwt in H1, took up 67.5 percent of the market share worldwide. The volume of holding orders, down by 6.3 percent year on year to 76.54 million dwt in H1, accounted for 48.2 percent of the global market share.

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Blame COVID.

Britain Nears Abandoning Brexit Trade Deal Hope (R.)

Britain and the European Union will fail to sign a post-Brexit trade deal, with only a few days left before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s July deadline, The Telegraph reported. The UK government’s assumption is that there will not be a deal, though it remains possible that a “basic” agreement could be reached if the EU gives ground in the autumn, the newspaper said, citing government sources. The government expects it will trade with Europe on World Trade Organisation terms when the transition period ends, the report added.

Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 and its relationship with the bloc is now governed by a transition arrangement that keeps previous rules in place while the two sides negotiate new terms. Negotiators remain deadlocked on fishing rights, the deal’s governance, the European Court of Justice’s role and so-called level playing field guarantees, the newspaper reported. Britain is pursuing trade deals with other countries and setting up its own sanctions regime, and has previously insisted it should not have to sign up to the bloc’s standards.

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Double the price? Triple?

Passengers Scramble For Limited Seats On Flights To Australia (G.)

International airlines flying into Australia are having to bump passengers, often with little notice, in order to meet strict daily passenger caps set for airports still accepting flights from overseas. The passenger limits introduced to alleviate pressure on quarantine facilities in Australia have meant airports like Brisbane can only accept 70 passengers per day, while services bringing Australians back to Sydney are limited to as few as 30 travellers per flight. While the passenger caps have seen a surge in the cost of airfares into Australia – the cost of a one-way flight from Doha to Sydney on Qatar Airways is $3,729 in economy, a class of seat booked out until 9 August – some economy travellers who are concerned they will be bumped due to their cheaper seats are upgrading to business class tickets.

However airlines including Qatar Airways denied passengers with cheaper tickets would be more likely to be rescheduled, telling the Guardian that passenger lists were based on a range of criteria, including compassionate and medical requests. Originally introduced earlier this month “in order to manage and maintain quarantine arrangements” at hotels, the caps have shrunk from their original limits, now allowing 350 arrivals per day at Sydney, 75 per day at Perth and 70 per day at Brisbane. Melbourne airport remains closed to international visitors, with incoming capacity for Adelaide and Canberra assessed on a case-by-case basis. Between seven to eight international flights are scheduled to land each day at Sydney Airport. However, the cap per flight could increase if some scheduled services do not go ahead.

“The amount allocated to each airline for each flight varies depending on how many flights are operating on each day but within a total daily cap,” a spokeswoman for the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said. “Airlines have the ability to request more than their per-flight passenger allocation on a particular day if there is any spare capacity available on that particular day.”

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You have to love a publication like the Guardian printing a sentence like this, straight-faced:

“In an age of often unreliable sources..”

Book Sales Hit Record Highs In 2019, But Publishers ‘Now Need Help’ (G.)

Book sales in the UK hit record levels in 2019, driven by a surge in audiobook and nonfiction titles, according to new figures released as publishers warn of the huge impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the industry. Book sales rose to £6.3bn in 2019, up 4% on 2018, when sales fell for the first time in five years, and 20% on 2015. According to the latest figures from the Publishers Association (PA), overall print sales were up 3% to £3.5bn in 2019 and digital sales were up 4% to £2.8bn, driven by a 39% increase in audiobook downloads. Digital formats accounted for 44% of the market in 2019, up from 40% in 2015. Strong nonfiction and reference sales, seen in bestsellers such as cookbook Pinch of Nom, Caroline Criado-Perez’s Invisible Women, and Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, saw the sector grow 23.1% to £1bn in 2019, when compared with 2015.

“In an age of often unreliable sources, people are increasingly looking to books for trusted information and are reading nonfiction voraciously across formats,” Hachette chief executive David Shelley told the association. The growth in nonfiction stands in contrast to fiction. Despite the publication of highly anticipated novels such as Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, sales fell to £582m in 2019, down 5.6% when compared with 2015. “Before the coronavirus pandemic, the industry was flourishing, with 2019 being the strongest year in the history of publishing. These robust figures reflect people’s ongoing need and desire for books,” said PA chief executive Stephen Lotinga.

“[The figures] tell a story of pre-Covid success, but they do not reflect the significant challenges that publishers have faced during this pandemic. Despite those difficulties, we know that many people have continued to look to books for solace, enlightenment and entertainment.” Publishers have anticipated declines in revenue of up to 75% as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, with bookshops closed for more than two months, publication dates postponed, orders for books cancelled and author tours called off. One success story was revealed on Tuesday, however, when Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury reported a 28% growth in consumer sales in the four months ending in June 2020. Previously, Bloomsbury had predicted that its print revenues could fall up to 75% due to coronavirus, but print sales actually rose by 9%.

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Yeah, the Smithsonian appears to be woker than the woke.

Smithsonian: ‘Rationality’ & ‘Hard Work’ Are Racist (RC)

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests over police brutality, interest in “anti-racist” education has exploded among educators and advocates. The case that educators should seek to combat racism seems self-evident. What’s less clear is how the admirable cause of “anti-racism” is fueling, in some corners, the inclination to denounce universal virtues and useful skills as the product of “white culture.” Witness last week’s contretemps at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, which bills itself as “the only national museum devoted exclusively” to educating the public on these topics, recently debuted the online guide “Talking about Race.”

The guide included a chart cataloguing the “aspects and assumptions” of “white culture” that “have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practices in the United States.” What are these sinister aspects of “white culture,” you ask? Well, according to the Smithsonian, values like “hard work,” “self-reliance,” “be[ing] polite,” and timeliness are all a product of the “white dominant culture.” Indeed, it turns out that conventional grammar, Christianity, the notion that “intent counts” in courts of law, and the scientific method and its emphasis on “objective, rational linear thinking” are all proprietary to “white culture.”

There are several things that might be said about all this. But the place to start may be by observing just how insidious it is to teach black children to reject intellectual and personal traits that promote personal and civic success — in the U.S. or anywhere else. After all, in what land are students well-served when they’re encouraged not to work hard, make decisions, think rationally, or be polite and on time? Among the extraordinarily accomplished people honored by the museum, those such as Frederick Douglass; Harriet Tubman; Jackie Robinson; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Toni Morrison; John Lewis; Oprah Winfrey; Michael Jordan; Condoleezza Rice; and Barack Obama might be surprised to learn that hard work and rational thinking are somehow alien to black culture.

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104 days till the election?!

Judicial Watch Sues DOJ/FBI/ODNI for Records of Obama Oval Office Meeting (JW)

Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for all records related to the January 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama Oval Office during which the Steele Dossier and the investigation of General Flynn were discussed (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice and ODNI (No. 1:20-cv-01947)). The Oval Office meeting reportedly included President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other Obama administration political and law enforcement officials.

At least two records describing the meeting – a January 20, 2017, memo Rice sent to herself and a set of notes taken by FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok – have been declassified and made public. Sally Yates also detailed the meeting to Robert Mueller’s investigation. Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the DOJ, FBI, and ODNI failed to respond to identical May 20, 2020, FOIA requests for: “All records regarding the January 5, 2017, meeting at the White House between former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director James Comey, President Obama, and others. This request includes all records created in preparation for, during, and/or pursuant to the meeting, as well as any and all related records of communication between any official or representative of the Department of Justice and any other individual.”

“Obama’s infamous January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting is a key moment in the corrupt effort to smear and spy on President Trump and target General Flynn with a malicious prosecution,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Rather than delay and stonewall, it is urgent the FBI, DOJ, ODNI release all records about this malicious, seditious conspiracy.”

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Greta, go to school, don’t fall for being a marketing ploy.

Greta Thunberg Gets €1 Million ‘Humanity Prize’ From Oil Tycoon Foundation (RT)

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has been awarded the first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, in the form of €1 million. Problem is, Gulbenkian was a massive oil industrialist who paved the way for Western states to exploit Iraqi oil. Grand Jury Chair Jorge Sampaio said that “Thunberg has been able to mobilize younger generations for the cause of climate change” and is “one of the most remarkable figures of our days.” He also added that the decision was made by consensus. The Swedish activist, however, declined the opportunity to become a millionaire. Thunberg released an Instagram monologue, accompanied by some ambient spiritual music, in which she said she was “extremely honored” to receive the prize, but pledged to donate the money to various climate causes “as quickly as possible.”

It seems, though, that Thunberg is going to be spending fossil-fuel money to advance her cause. The foundation and the Humanity Prize are named after Calouste Gulbenkian, a British-Armenian oil tycoon who died in 1955. One of the wealthiest people of his era, he was a major shareholder in Royal Dutch Shell, developed many oil companies of his own and is historically credited with being the first person to exploit oil in Iraq, which made the petroleum riches of the Middle East ripe for the taking by the West. “By awarding this Prize, the Foundation highlights its commitment to urgent climate action,” the president of the Gulbenkian Foundation, Isabel Mota, commented.

The irony of an oil magnate of historic proportions financing an anti-oil climate activist, though indirectly, was not lost on the Internet. Both Thunberg’s supporters and detractors caught the humor in her now being sponsored by the money “of the polluters against whom she protests.” The prize money will supposedly be split between projects supporting people enduring the worst of the current “climate catastrophe.” For now, Thunberg mentioned she will donate to causes in countries of the Global South, specifically Brazil’s SOS Amazonia campaign to tackle Covid-19 in the Amazon, and the Stop Ecocide Foundation; each will receive €100,000.

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Home Forums Debt Rattle July 22 2020

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #61377

    Ben Shahn for the Farm Security Administration Daughter of Virgil Thaxton, farmer, near Mechanicsburg, Ohio 1938   • It Has Become Clear Eliminat
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle July 22 2020]

    V. Arnold

    Ben Shahn for the Farm Security Administration Daughter of Virgil Thaxton, farmer, near Mechanicsburg, Ohio 1938

    Great photo…
    The daughter of Virgil Thaxton doesn’t look all that impressed…
    Overall, me too…
    …my avocation has become a renewed interest in reading; blazing through Hesse (my favorite author) and Chuang Tsu (via Thomas Merton) and…so many books and so much time…for the present…
    Oh, and Heller’s Picture This is the next read.
    Got through 1/2 of it and just quit reading…everything…
    Things change………constantly…………..:-)


    I never really mention the Farm Security Administration, because it makes for too long captions with the photos, but many of the Depression era pics I post come from there. A little bit strange maybe for an organization founded to “combat rural poverty”, but today they’re probably best known for those pictures. And they helped many young photographers start their careers, like Jack Delano, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Marion Post Wolcott, Gordon Parks, Arthur Rothstein, John Vachon and more.


    In the USA, Its about money, and me me me

    “AstraZeneca said its vaccine would be provided at no profit under its agreement with the United States for allocation of some 300 million doses.”
    No profit is not the same as FREE.
    The cost have already been paid by grants.
    We at TAE have known this for a long time. This is old news for us.
    ” …. the problem is clear, but as for the solution, is it possible? Realistic? Or just too late?”

    “……Billions of children died from infectious diseases……”

    Gaia way = Population control
    Our way = Birth control


    John Day

    There has been a lot of fearful name calling in political circles in recent years.
    There are others, but those hit the buttons pretty well.
    What are the components that make up a political movement? Let’s call them “Axes” for this exercise, please.
    There’s Left and Right, which are mostly feelings and patterns of social engagement.
    Lefties tend to be more spontaneous, take superficial risks more, engage socially in a “lefty” kind of way.
    Morality may be perceived as more situational than absolute.
    Rightists tend to be more concerned with consequences, and more formal.
    Morality is not a casual thing to rightists, but a serious concern for society, and when it is abandoned, some very bad things happen, especially to children. That’s certainly true.
    I adjust my presentations to people based on whether I’m with lefties or rightists. It’s all valid and useful.
    I seek to avoid offense. It’s possible. It’s more productive. We all have to work together.

    There is Liberal, or Free, vs Illiberal, or Totalitarian.
    I’m kind of bent-outta’-shape about how many ways the term “liberal” is used and misused recently, so I’d prefer “free” and “totalitarian” as an axis. Fascism and Soviet Communism, as Americans know them were both totalitarian, illiberal.
    I might make the argument that Teddy Roosevelt was a right liberal populaist and Franklin Roosevelt was a left liberal populist. Some might well disagree, but I just want to show that such things have existed.

    The next axis, and Americans have a hard time seeing it as independent, is Private vs Social dominant values.
    It’s never one or the other, and we are at the extreme of a swing to private-ownership, including means of production, money creation, and credit-taking. If you own the media, you get the credit for whatever good happens, but not the blame for bad stuff. We admire groups of pioneers, settlers, who raised barns together, and cleared fields to grow crops together. We encourage children to cooperate. Most of what we have accomplished as a species has come from our stellar ability to cooperate.
    Right now the wealth disparity is as high in the US as it has ever been in our history, maybe a tad higher, and it’s absolutely high by the standards of world history.

    Let me argue at this point, that the only way for society to go is to more socialism/populism. The elite owner class absolutely hates this fact, but they also see it. they just want as little safety net action as possible, and they want assurances that they will still get the first drink of all the fresh money that is created, before they pass it through their systems to the rest of us. I don’t think it’s possible for wealth to remain this concentrated without breaking the social order, and I think it is actually broken, and denial won’t be sustainable, even for the elites. I don’t know what will burst that bubble for them, but it will be most unpleasant for you and me, too.

    What about Left and Right? America seems stuck at an impasse between left and right dominant values. It was Left in the “Roaring 20s”, and swung to Right during the “Great Depression”.
    It swung to the left in the 1960s and 1970s, and it seems sort of that way now, but it doesn’t feel real. I think “Limousine Left” is not “left”. I seem to know more and more people who were moral-left in 1960s and 1970s, anti-war, and are now moral-conservative, anti-war.
    The pro-war-left is now a thing that bombs babies to protect them. Weird.
    Clinton did that in Bosnia. It worked for team Clinton-Bush.

    It could/should be that moral-right is the next swing. I’m ready for some real morality in politics. It has been such a looong time…

    We could also get totalitarian-right, which is what a lot of people are afraid of. We call that Fascism, and lack of freedom of speech is a big part of totalitarian-subjugation. Hard totalitarianism is not open to debate. Obey or be branded for prison, torture and death. This is what the American military and covert mercenary armies have been doing throughout the world since 9/11.
    The public was against this immorality in Vietnam, but has been neutered since 9/11.
    No draft. No TV news showing horrors of war, not lately.

    I look around and see a subtle slide into immoral-left already underway. There is no longer full support for freedom of speech. Standing up for freedom of speech is “hate speech”, now, and gets professors fired without recourse. This seems like the early days of the Cultural-Revolution we are seeing.
    People were really hungry, starving and desperate in China’s Cultural Revolution. We are not… Yet.

    We should best pick a healthy path before things get really bad.
    Left and Right are matters of style, and will decide themselves.
    I suspect a swing to the Right will happen as history tightens up, and social leftist identity-politics has played some pretty impractical cards recently.

    Individual is at an extreme swing, and absolutely must give way to Social. We have tremendous changes to make, to recreate a living, working economy, as energy supplies delete, the globe heats up, and the consequences and failures of a system based on infinite growth crash all around us and on our heads.
    Let’s just help each other and be seen doing it. Grow vegetables together. That’s our basic successful social function.
    It’s nice. It feels good, once you get in the groove.

    The threat to us all, including our selfish, parasitic, sociopathic elite owners (no offense intended) is totalitarian SUBJUGATION
    The efforts to extend the current private-ownership-of-the-world paradigm can only be totalitarian-subjugation efforts, because the system has gotten too inefficient and bureaucratic for anything but threats of pin and violence to extend it. Threats of pain and violence are comparatively cheap. They force the systemic costs onto the people complying with the threats. That arrangement is inherently unstable. Working people are already cracking from the stress.
    The last cards of make-believe are being played right now, with the Fed and high-frequency trading manipulating equity markets and bond markets to higher and higher nominal valuations. All investors are getting rich as the real economy simultaneously evaporates. This is the final, manic, fear-of-missing-out phase of financial bubbleism.
    It’s all police state when the happy-lies go POOF!
    Unless we chose FREEDOM.
    The last Moral Candidate for POTUS, that I saw was US Army Reserve Major and Congresswoman , Tulsi Gabbard.
    I would categorize Congresswoman Gabbard as Freedom-loving, Right, Populist/Socialist. You might disagree.
    Bernie Sanders has always been left, “mostly-Socialist” and Freedom-propounding, though he plays-well-with-capitalists, Bernie did accidentally become a “millionaire” through the wonders of inflation and old-age.
    Bernie Sanders would do, but it’s a bit late in the life-cycle for him. Times like this call out for youthful vigor.
    I see the need for a national leader with an independent moral compass as the highest priority.
    The current political system has not let any candidate advance without being controllable by the current elite oligarchs, except for this orange haired Tasmanian Devil accident that happened 4 years ago.
    Weird fluke. It was supposed to be Clinton or Bush again…
    The “You’re-Fired” guy is trying to look moral, but he accidentally held the Bible upside down in that photo-op the Army cleared the crowd for last month. “Grab-em-by-the-…..” He sued the porn-queen-for-snitching-after-he-paid-her-off.
    Donald Trump is none of the categories above. He’s Left-right, Billionaire-populist, too-erratic-to-be-a-hypocrite.

    Trump And Biden Should Debate While Attached To A Lie Detector

    Charles Hugh Smith: Inequality Is America’s Monster Id
    The only possible result of this system is that the wealth of the nation is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few with access to the Fed’s nearly free money, and so the unearned income (interest, dividends, rents, etc.) all flow to them–not because they created value or goods and services, but because they were closest to the Fed’s money spigot.
    The political game is to obscure this source of inequality and distract the unprivileged many with bread and circuses: an extra $600 tossed to the restive crowd of unemployed, $1,200 to the fitful audience, and eventually, some monthly amount of Universal Basic Income (UBI) calibrated to be just enough to get by but not enough to ever own any productive assets.
    As I often point out, the real goal of UBI is to ensure debtors can make their credit card / student loan / auto loan payments, as these monthly payments by the masses are the interest income of the super-wealthy with the privileged position by the Fed’s money spigot.
    The privileged super-wealthy also own the media, of course, and so they’re delighted to virtue-signal their support of purely symbolic actions such as toppling statues and occupying worthless chunks of cities. None of these symbolic actions threaten their privileged position by the Fed’s money spigot, and even better, they distract and divide the exploited populace.
    For if the people never catch on to the source of inequality, that ignorance is all the protection the privileged super-wealthy need.
    The privileged super-wealthy are feeling very confident in their control of the financial system, the source of inequality. They own the wealth, the income streams, the media, Big Tech, and the machinery of political power.
    What they don’t understand is inequality is America’s Monster Id: the more you try to suppress it, the more powerful it becomes. The Monster Id of inequality is already rampaging through the social and political orders, and eventually it will burn through the Fed’s free-money vault with a white-hot intensity that will surprise the privileged super-wealthy and their armies of self-serving toadies, lackeys, apparatchiks and technocrat flunkies.


    ” …. People were really hungry, starving and desperate ….”

    Not in Chicago, Detroit, slums etc. /s
    Not in the gated community
    Not among the highly educated enablers
    Not among the advisors of the elites
    Not in the long term care home
    Not in the retirement communities

    Not among the street people /s


    The professional educated ivy tower elites are going to be going through severe, long lasting, delapidating, withdrawal cause by foreign student staying home.



    Not sure if the UK understands the implications of BREXIT!

    It needs to establish trade relations with the world but seems to be keen to alienate most potential markets.

    The campaign against Russia is well established, but we now have an expanding campaign against China.

    A deal with the EU was never likely, and the EU must take some of the blame for that.

    While Trump has declared a willingness to strike a deal they are likely to drive a hard bargain, and if Trump loses a deal is not guaranteed.

    On top of that the UK will be suffering from the economic disaster of lockdowns, and it already had a large debt before that.

    As a military sidekick to the US the UK is likely to, or already has, alienated other markets. I feel that this militarism will continue even if it harms the economy – the people affected are not the ones in power!

    The future of the UK seems bleak.


    Australia to self-isolate? Good!

    For far too long we’ve been relying on mass immigration to keep the Ponzi scheme operating. It’s about time that reality caught up with us. Infinite, low- or no-cost growth is a thing of the past.

    If one can enjoy anything in this Year of the Plague, it’s watching the staunchly, sociopathically neoliberal Federal government being forced to examine its Market Theology and, if only for a few brief months,

      abandon them

    . It’s actually been giving suffering people a stipend large enough to survive on! Oh, the horror — ! How amazing is that! The subsidy will be reduced soon from $600 to $250 — at least it’s not stopping entirely.

    Sorry, my schadenfreude is getting the better of me.


    The smoking mask pic; I don’t know Raul….. that looks like it might be supporting Dr.D’s position…No?


    John Day, See yesterdays Joe Rogan with Oliver Stone. You will enjoy.

    Not quite ready to abrogate my 1950’s social contract yet:


    Re left vs right, I like the four quadrant model model with Liberal vs Conservative on the horizontal axis and Individualist vs collectivist on the vertical axis. It makes it easier to distinguish for example between anarchist (individualist) leftist vs socialist, and similar within the conservative spectrum between rugged individualists vs, say religious collectivist conservatives.

    Caitlin Johnstone made an interesting assertion recently that I’ve been reflecting on: if you want more of something, the best model is capitalism. If you want less of something, then socialism is better. Her example is health care, where the overarching goal should be less ill-health, but the capitalist model in the US is hell-bent on expanding it’s services and profits, and thus winds up extremely expensive. It’s an interesting thought that I want to reflect more on the applicability of.


    Covid Never More! (Australia.) Elimination is the best option

    It might be possible. But not if one implements cost-benefit analysis, as these rest on ‘coming out a winner, on top’ or ‘not loosing too much money’ or ‘not damaging the economy’, etc.

    The closing off would have to be a mostly-consensual decision taken and organised and enforced with determination, not with jackboots and punishment, but resting on a well-thought plan that does the best for all, to save lives.

    A few transport hubs (sea, air) with triple zonification would be needed, zone 1, nobody passes further (Aus has to import – export to chug along, survive.. this zone would be like the Black Plague Quaranta in Italia, 40 days, 4x times the mini-10 days self-iso the Brits are imposing), zone 2 also has barriers, etc., and then zone 3 is free to roam after checks, etc.

    I know virutally nothing about Aus, sitting on a mountain in CH, but Cov19 and the possible moves to eliminate it are the same all over the world, with islands / isolated continents having an advantage.

    A longer, harsher lockdown in Melbourne – and anywhere the virus begins to take hold again – would be enormously challenging for many, especially those who are disadvantaged, marginalised, or poor. from quoted piece.

    The author is not serious and is blathering about various dodgy concepts. The impact on the poor is not a given, it could easily be managed, compensated, prevented. In the hands of the Aus. Gvmt, the measures are no-brainers. Ex. Ensure retaining present housing, expand it for homeless if needed, basic health care, testing, job support, food stamps type, etc.

    A ‘lockdown’ shouldn’t be implemented because poor ppl will suffer? What kind of hypocritical sleight-of-hand is that?

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