Aug 252020

Robert Capa Model wearing Dior on the banks of the Seine, Paris 1948


Pelosi Calls Republicans ‘Domestic Enemies Of The State’ (ZH)
UK Lockdown Was A ‘Monumental Mistake’ And Must Not Happen Again (Exp.)
Let’s Follow the History of Science Instead (AIER)
New York University To Implement Racial Segregation In Student Dorms (WSWS)
Is The Euro Living On Borrowed Time? (Brown)
Powell Set To Deliver Speech Changing How The Fed Views Inflation (CNBC)
Exxon Mobil Dropped From The Dow After Nearly A Century (CBS)
1 In 3 Cars Worldwide Is Produced In China (ZH)
Greece, Turkey Heading For New Crisis (K.)
Biblical Travails (Jim Kunstler)
UN World Food Program Seeks To Prevent ‘Famine Of Biblical Proportions’ (ZH)



Calling your political opponents “enemies of the state” is not done even in 2020 America.













Way over the line. There are still things you can’t say even in the 2020 US.

And you thought Biden was dementing…

Nancy, you’re 80. Call it a day.

Pelosi Calls Republicans ‘Domestic Enemies Of The State’ (ZH)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) raged against President Trump and Congressional Republicans on Monday, telling MSNBC that they’re “domestic enemies” of election integrity and “enemies of the state.” Pelosi was speaking right after President Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention, according to the Daily Caller. “We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States. But again, let’s just get out there and mobilize, organize, and not let the President deter anybody from voting. And again, support the postal system which is election central,” said the 80-year-old Democrat. “They’re doing everything they can; suppress the vote — with your actions, scare people, intimidate by saying law enforcement will be there, diminish the role of the postal system in all of this. It’s really actually shameful. Enemies of the state,” she continued.

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Perhaps this guy means well, but to conclude from the UK’s botched version of a lockdown that NO lockdown can work, takes away all his credibility. Phrasing matters.

And besides, buddy, you’re the government advisor here. Own it.

UK Lockdown Was A ‘Monumental Mistake’ And Must Not Happen Again (Exp.)

Lockdown will come to be seen as a “monumental mistake on a global scale” and must never happen again, a scientist who advises the Government on infectious diseases says.Mark Woolhouse said lockdown was a “panic measure” but admitted it was the only option at the time because “we couldn’t think of anything better to do”. But it is a crude measure that takes no accounts of the risk levels to different individuals, the University of Edinburgh professor said, meaning that back in March the nation was “concentrating on schools when we should have been concentrating on care homes”. The professor of infectious disease epidemiology said that the Government must now focus on increasing testing and striving to unlock society safely rather than restricting it further.

Prof Woolhouse OBE, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours that advises the Government, said: “Lockdown was a panic measure and I believe history will say trying to control Covid-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale, the cure was worse than the disease. “I never want to see national lockdown again. It was always a temporary measure that simply delayed the stage of the epidemic we see now. It was never going to change anything fundamentally, however low we drove down the number of cases, and now we know more about the virus and how to track it we should not be in this position again.

“We absolutely should never return to a position where children cannot play or go to school. “I believe the harm lockdown is doing to our education, health care access, and broader aspects of our economy and society will turn out to be at least as great as the harm done by Covid-19.” He said that Sage, the government’s advisory board on dealing with Covid, needed to have members from a wider range of fields.

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And here’s another genius: “..our descendants will mock us for believing masks slowed viral transmission.”

No they won’t, unless they’re as stupid as he is. Lockdowns and facemasks prevent transmission, no science is more basic than that. But you do have to use them wisely.

If you send people out into the street with mandatory masks on, then yes, they don’t prevent anything. Because there is no risk of infection there. But put them in a cramped room for a period of time, and they are very effective.

What is it with these people, is it all just about hearing their own voices, credibility be damned? Some virus got to their brains?

I’m seriously starting to wonder where the virus causes the most damage. And it doesn’t appear to be either in care homes or classrooms, but in much smaller spaces.

Let’s Follow the History of Science Instead (AIER)

Democratic Presidential hopeful Joe Biden is only the most high-profile politician to promise voters that he will “listen to the scientists,” mandate masks, and shut down the economy again if they so advise. Even the humble members of the city council of Milledgeville, Georgia invoke “science” in four pages of “whereas-es” designed to justify a largely toothless mask mandate that directly contradicts a Georgia law against wearing masks in public (except for certain holidays, presumably to deter real crime) and the enforcement of which in some places in the city of 50,000 apparently hinges on the font size of a door notice. Strange times indeed, these. One wonders why we need to elect politicians at all if they will simply defer to “the” scientists. Ah, but there be the rub. Which scientists? They don’t agree on much, especially when it comes to the novel coronavirus and masks and such.

Should we listen only to “the” scientists on the government payroll? But then wouldn’t they essentially be unelected, unaccountable dictators? That sounds vaguely undemocratic. Sticky, this wicket! Plus, last time I checked, “the” scientists have no policy expertise in economics. Perhaps that does not matter as many economists also have no policy expertise in economics. Is that the role of politicians, then? To decide which type of scientists get to dictate in different policy areas? Perhaps Biden will listen to “the” economists on spaceship design or military tactics? I would pay good money to see that! (Seriously, it would be a horribly expensive boondoggle certain to raise my taxes.) Why is it so important to “listen to the scientists” anyway? Are they suddenly less fallible than previously? Is there any science to support that belief? Because let’s face it, “the” scientists have a pretty poor track record overall.

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I’m afraid I simply don’t understand the reasoning. Black students don’t want to explain about racism? But isn’t that sort of the whole point?

New York University To Implement Racial Segregation In Student Dorms (WSWS)

Since late June, the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services at New York University (NYU) has been working closely with a small, student-led task force to make racially segregated housing a reality in undergraduate student dorms. On July 20, Washington Square News, the weekly undergraduate student newspaper of NYU, published an article titled “Student-Led Task Force Calls for Black Housing on Campus,” in which it reported on the university’s willingness to help implement residential communities open solely to “Black-identifying students with Black Resident Assistants.” Since then, the university has officially given the project a green light, aiming to have NYU’s first segregated residential floor established by Fall 2021.

A little over two months ago, a recently organized advocacy group called Black Violets created an online petition demanding that the university “implement Black student housing on campus in the vein of themed engagement floors across first-year and upperclassmen residence halls.” In its petition, the group argues that “Too often in the classroom and in residential life, black students bear the brunt of educating their uninformed peers about racism.” African American students, the group states, desperately require a “safe space” where they can escape from students, staff and faculty of other races. There are over 20 Themed Engagement Communities at NYU, with themes ranging from film, literature and theater to technology, science and foreign languages. All floors are open to all students, who request residency on a specific floor prior to the start of the academic year.

The approval of a Themed Engagement Community open to students based on their race is new at NYU. However, it is not the first time that the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services has considered such a proposal. In 2002, an NYU senior submitted a plan to develop race-based housing for African American students, claiming that “such a housing program would unite African American students on campus” and better combat racial discrimination. This proposal was eventually rejected by the university after a brief review and discussion.

Now, despite signs of minimal support from the undergraduate student body—the online petition has garnered a mere 1,105 signatures out of the 26,733 total undergraduates currently studying at NYU—the proposal for race-based housing has been warmly welcomed by the university administration. There is nothing progressive about the establishment of racially segregated housing at NYU. It is irrelevant whether the segregation being implemented is voluntary or mandatory. Racial segregation, in all forms, is entirely reactionary. The vile argument advanced in the proposal is that all non-African American students, staff and faculty are, to varying degrees, hostile and dangerous to African American students. Their animosity stems from an inherent antipathy towards individuals of different races.

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“Investors” gamble on gold, they gamble on the euro. And they feel confident they’ll be able to get out on time. Basic, really. Pump trillions into “markets” and this is what happens.

Is The Euro Living On Borrowed Time? (Brown)

Given the way the euro has been rallying in the foreign exchange markets over the past three months, you would be forgiven for thinking the currency has become a beacon of stability in uncertain times. You couldn’t be further from the truth. The rebound in the euro is simply the flip side of the US dollar being undermined by growing uncertainty about the upcoming US presidential election in November and how the US authorities are coping with the coronavirus crisis. Global investors are simply taking time out from long dollar exposures, and euro bulls are simply filling a temporary void. It won’t last long. The euro is living on borrowed time and the deepening monetary muddle in Europe won’t help the currency once the dust settles on the US elections.

The euro looks overvalued and a prime target for an ambush later this year. Europe’s monetary pacesetter, the European Central Bank, seems to be fighting a losing battle, struggling to keep the European economy from slipping into a deeper recession. The more policy stimulus the ECB throws into the ring, the greater the damage to its monetary reputation, and to little avail so far. Despite close to 3 trillion euros of assets purchased so far under the ECB’s quantitative easing programme and interest rates steeped in negative territory, the economy of Europe is showing precious few signs of a return to normality. Europe’s three biggest economies, Germany, France and Italy, are all stuck in recession with little chance of output reaching pre-pandemic levels until 2022. Rumblings about throwing too much good money after bad are no surprise. The ECB’s defence is that it has no alternative, otherwise Europe might suffer an even worse fate.

Germany has given up the ghost on trying to control the ECB’s monetary excesses. There seems to be a palpable sense of “if you can’t beat them, join them” for the sake of presenting a united front and avoiding a damaging public row. In the pre-euro days, tough Bundesbank policies and the strong Deutschmark were solid anchors of the European monetary system, implacable yardsticks which helped other European countries govern their own performances. [..] The worry for markets is that the triple-A-rated ECB’s vaults are bursting with a surfeit of lower-quality debt from nations like Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland, countries which have required support in times of market stress in the aftermath of the 2008 crash. Like in the US subprime crisis, it’s fine while the charade lasts, but once confidence begins to wobble, that is where the danger lies.

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The Fed is going to try its hand at Abanomics?! Didn’t work for Japan. Remember, to raise inflation you need to raise the velocity of money. Which today meanns you have to raise the velocity of trillions of added dollars. Good luck with that.

Powell Set To Deliver Speech Changing How The Fed Views Inflation (CNBC)

History will remember Paul Volcker and Jerome Powell as standing on the opposite ends of the inflation canyon, with the former taking desperate actions to try to tamp it down and the latter expected this week to announce an unprecedented effort to crank it back up. Volcker, the Federal Reserve chairman from 1979-87, ushered through a series of inflation-busting interest rate hikes that dragged the country into recession but won the fight against pricing pressures and spurred a powerful economic recovery. Powell, the central bank chief since 2018, is likely to detail a set of measures aimed at pushing inflation higher amid a coronavirus pandemic that has dragged the U.S. economy into one of its darkest hours.

While the average consumer might find it absurd to want to raise the cost of living, central bankers and economists see too little inflation also as a problem. It often reflects a slow-moving economy with a low standard of living. On top of that, the accompanying low interest rates give policymakers little wiggle room when crises happen and there’s a need to loosen policy. That’s why Powell, who will speak Thursday during a virtual version of the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference, will outline what could be the central bank’s most active efforts ever to spur inflation back to a healthy level. The speech is titled “Monetary Policy Framework Review” and wraps up a yearlong examination both among central bank officials and with the public, during a series of open events, on what policy should look like in the future.

“The expectations are pretty high to get something meaningful on Thursday,” said Tom Graff, head of fixed income at Brown Advisory. “This is probably a historic speech.” One phrase Powell is likely to use is “average inflation” targeting. Simply, it means that the Fed, which has pegged 2% as a healthy level, will let inflation run higher than that for a while if it has spent a considerable time beneath that level. The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge has stayed below that level for all but two years since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009. It’s a mirror-image reversal of Volcker’s inflation-busting and sets the stage for a pivotal policy move.

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“In the 1980s, energy companies made up as much as a quarter of the Dow. After Exxon’s exits on Monday, energy will account for just 2% of the index.”

Exxon Mobil Dropped From The Dow After Nearly A Century (CBS)

Exxon Mobil, which joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1928, is being removed from the blue-chip stock market index. Its replacement: enterprise software company Also leaving the index are drug company Pfizer and airplane and defense contractor Raytheon Technologies. They are being replaced by biotech Amgen and manufacturing conglomerate Honeywell. S&P Dow Jones Indices, the company that administers the index, announced the changes, which will take place August 31, on Monday. The index provider said the changes were necessary to make up for Apple’s impending stock split, which becomes effective the same day.

The Dow Jones is a stock-price-weighed index. Apple’s stock split, which will take the company’s shares to roughly $120, from $500, would have cut the Dow’s exposure to the technology sector. Monday’s changes would also help the Dow “add new types of businesses that better reflect the American economy,” the index company said. Energy giant Exxon Mobil joined the Dow 92 years ago as Standard Oil of New Jersey, and it’s the oldest member of the index. The Dow’s last original member, General Electric, was removed in 2018. Exxon Mobil was the most valuable company in the United States for much of the early 2000s and as recently as 2011, when it hit a market value of just over $400 billion. Apple overtook Exxon in 2012, and much of the technology sector followed.

Earlier this month, Apple’s market value topped $2 trillion, making it the first U.S. company to reach that milestone. Meanwhile, Exxon’s market value has sunk to $175 billion. The company has been plagued in part by claims that it deliberately concealed the damage that the oil it has long extracted and refined into gasoline was doing to the planet. [..] In the 1980s, energy companies made up as much as a quarter of the Dow. After Exxon’s exits on Monday, energy will account for just 2% of the index.

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A loss of 40% in 5 years. Wow.

1 In 3 Cars Worldwide Is Produced In China (ZH)

Almost one in three – or 32 percent – of all cars produced worldwide in 2019 came out of China. As shown in numbers by the automobile manufacturers’ association OICA, the world manufactures less cars than it did in 2014, but, as Statista’s Katharina Buchholz notes, several Asian markets actually were able to grow their production volumes. India exhibited one of the biggest increases – almost 15 percent in five years to 3.6 million cars annually.

The biggest decrease in production hit the ailing U.S. car industry, which lost 40 percent of its domestic production between 2014 and 2019. Germany also make less cars at home, but German manufacturers like Volkswagen are a part of the rising Chinese production. In 2019, the Chinese market accounted for around 39 percent of Volkswagen’s total sales. Shifting production sites are only one aspect of the internationalization of the car industry. Know-how also migrates with production [..]

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Erdogan has ever less to lose. His popularity at home is decreasing fast, with the lira in the gutter. Greece’s friends better start raising their voices.

Greece, Turkey Heading For New Crisis (K.)

Just when it seemed that Greece and Turkey were entering a phase of de-escalation, the two countries appeared on Monday to be heading for another crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean. The decision by Ankara for an extension of the duration of exploratory activities by the Oruc Reis survey vessel in areas within the Greek continental shelf prompted a response by Athens with Tuesday’s aeronautical exercise that begins on Tuesday at dawn over a large area from the south of Kassos to the south of Kastellorizo. The exercise will take place in areas included in the navigational advisory, or Navtex, issued by Turkey for the Oruc Reis within the Greek continental shelf. The exercise will last until Thursday night.

Turkey’s move to extend the activities of the Oruc Reis essentially raises obstacles to the German mediation effort which continues on Tuesday with visits to both Athens and Ankara by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Meanwhile, tensions were further augmented on Monday night by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who issued direct war threats against Greece, which he said is being “deceived” by other countries into pursuing the course of action it is taking. “When an issue arises in the future, then these forces will disappear and Greece will be left alone,” he said, adding that “from now on, Greece will be responsible for all conflicts in the region and it will be at a disadvantage.” He also described the aeronautical exercise announced by Athens as “useless” and dangerous for navigation.

Shortly before Erdogan’s remarks, Ankara announced new exercises off southern Crete for Tuesday morning, in an area several miles south of the prefecture of Lassithi. The area is located approximately on the borders described in the Turkey-Libya maritime borders memorandum. At the same time, Athens is building a network of important military collaborations, as joint exercises are also expected with French Rafale jets based in Cyprus.

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Conflicting stories about the violence. Kenosha was a hellhole again last night. At some point, Trump will have to act. And that’s what the Dems are hoping for.

Biblical Travails (Jim Kunstler)

Could the country even stand another full-on political convention after the Democrats’ nauseating extravaganza last week? The nation is so marinated in agitprop, disinfo, and straight-up mendacity that all the intelligence has been leached out of population, perhaps even the will to live. A Republican convention complete with the usual showboating might deplete the remaining oxycontin supply across the land as unemployed millions, mulling over rents overdue and unmet car payments, resort to vodka, Xanax, cough syrup, and airplane glue to quell the pain induced by unbridled political bullshit. As BLM might put it: “Know whum sayin’?

Speaking of BLM, Sunday one Jacob Blake, 29, was apparently shot in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while getting into a car. The incident inspired a night of BLM rioting and looting in downtown Kenosha, with excellent prospects for violence to spread to other cities. Mr. Blake was hospitalized and survives, so far. He was not complying with police instructions in the process of his arrest. He had been previously arrested in 2015 and charged with brandishing a gun in a barroom. Upon his arrest then, the gun was found on the floor of his car. In the latest incident, Kenosha police were responding to a domestic abuse complaint. There was an active warrant out on Mr. Blake.

Also over the weekend, police in Lafayette, Louisiana, shot and killed 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin outside a convenience store he was entering while brandishing a knife. They had followed him from another convenience store in the vicinity where he “created a disturbance with a knife.” Mr. Pellerin apparently refused to comply with police orders to get on the ground. Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer hired to represent the Pellerin family during the investigation into the shooting, said, “His family believes that he was suffering a mental illness crisis and what he needed was a helping hand. But what he got was what looks like 11 bullets.” His mother told the Associated Press that Mr. Pellerin had sought therapy for social anxiety.

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A line used so much people have become immune to it.

UN World Food Program Seeks To Prevent ‘Famine Of Biblical Proportions’ (ZH)

While virus cases and deaths dominate headlines, other humanitarian crises also need attention, that is, an emerging “famine of biblical proportions” that threatens much of the world, United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Director David Beasley told TASS News last weekend in an interview. Beasley said the WFP is requesting $5 billion in emergency funds within the next six months that will help in the effort to thwart a global famine. “All the data we have, including WFP’s forecast of an 80% increase in the number of food-insecure people – from 140 million before the pandemic to 270 million by the end of this year – points to a real catastrophe, a famine of biblical proportions, “he said.

The dramatic rise in the number of people who don’t have the means to feed themselves because of depressionary unemployment, supply chain breakdowns, and crop failures is set to cause long-term economic damage that could prevent a vibrant economic recovery. Beasley said, “it is clear that social tensions will escalate, migration will increase, conflicts will expand, and hunger can affect those who have not experienced it before.” Even in the US, a developed world economy, tens of millions of folks have gone hungry, now relying on government aid and food banks for survival. He noted that countries in the 2008 financial crash with a “stronger social protection system” were less impacted by famine.

WFP projections show significant increases in malnourished people in Latin America, countries in Eastern and Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, had a doubling of the number of people going hungry in a short period. “World hunger is already sky-high, and if we do not act immediately, many will die, children will suffer the consequences of malnutrition for many years to come, and the whole world will be thrown back, having lost all the gains in the fight against hunger of the last decade. Will be incredibly high, we need to act quickly and wisely, balancing immediate relief and long-term recovery,” Beasley said. He added: “WFP’s mission is to provide food to 138 million people in 2020, the largest humanitarian operation in history. And this unprecedented crisis requires an incredible amount of money.”

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Home Forums Debt Rattle August 25 2020

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
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    Robert Capa Model wearing Dior on the banks of the Seine, Paris 1948   • Pelosi Calls Republicans ‘Domestic Enemies Of The State’ (ZH) • UK Lockd
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle August 25 2020]

    V. Arnold

    Robert Capa Model wearing Dior on the banks of the Seine, Paris 1948

    My, used-to-be photographer, snapped into focus; composition is perfect.
    Eiffel Tower perfectly centered on the bridge arch; fisherman and model left of center is just right.
    Depth of field is right on the mark.
    A whole photography lesson in one picture…

    Well played Horse. Well played.

    …is just hilarious…thanks…


    Segregation in universities hey… Weird.
    Kunstler sounds a bit provocative – like the guy deserved it or something – getting shot in the back. Dunno, just threw me – his tone.
    If police can’t be trained to deal with that situation properly they need to get trained in other countries where it doesn’t get to that. American cops just seem like crap cops who don’t really know how to do their jobs or are lazy or unorganised or something. I just can’t get my head around the absolute mind-boggling incompetence of Law Enforcement in the US. Just buy more guns and tech. That’ll work. Not.
    Wouldn’t happen in Russia.

    Dr. D

    Capable Orlov, with a brief on the Russian Vaccine:

    “A: The Soviet Union made a major investment in public health, and eradicated many infectious diseases. The legacy of that is still being used. For instance right now, the plague, bubonic plague, has come back in Mongolia and a neighboring region of the Russian Federation, in Tuva. And the vaccine that was developed by Soviet scientists is being used today to vaccinate the people and stop that epidemic. And there are similar examples. For instance, the Sputnik V vaccine for coronavirus was developed in the Soviet Union in the 80s, and has now been repurposed, basically given a different payload, to develop immunity against the coronavirus.

    There are many similar examples of technology being put to good use to save human lives, and a lot of that was done as public policy as opposed to commercial, privatized medicine, which is what, for example, the Americans are trying to do, rather unsuccessfully.

    Q: So the next question, and I would ask one more thing regarding the Sputnik V vaccine. You said it was already developed in the Soviet Union. It is now reshaped, or a new version, but the formula is older, from Soviet times?

    A: Yes, the technique. It uses the adenovirus, a modified version of it that lacks the ability to replicate within the human body. The vaccine uses the adenovirus as the delivery vehicle. That’s most of what this technology is, and it’s proven, effective, etc.. And the payload is a little bit of the coronavirus genome that’s been chopped out specifically. It’s the bit that generates the spike protein that allows the virus to penetrate human cells. And so the adenovirus is introduced into the body, penetrates cells and releases its payload. The cells then produce the protein—at this point it doesn’t have very much to do with the coronavirus itself except for this one spike protein. That protein then reacts with the immune system and antibodies are generated, which is the end result of the whole process. And since the adenovirus lacks the ability to replicate, it just gets flushed out of the system. So the only new ingredient is the spike protein. It’s not toxic on its own; it doesn’t do anything on its own, really, except trigger an immune response, because the body doesn’t recognize it, which is what it has to do. So that’s the reason that the Russians were able to do this so quickly, and so successfully. Because it’s basically reuse of an existing technique with a slight modification. “

    John Day

    @Eddie: Is your dental practice on Grand Avenue in Round Rock?

    I have a picture of (much convalesced) Jenny at the People’s Clinic vegetable garden in this blog post, and stuff bout coronavirus, but I’m going to highlight the same historical human context as I did last night before I went to bed.
    Why Do Civilizations Collapse? by Samo Burja, looks at the difficulty in transmitting expert knowledge, handing it down as culture, between generations. NASA (under Werner Von Baun, only) sent men to the moon, but now it is mostly a bureaucracy with declining competence. It just can’t do the things it did 50 years ago. The US as a nation has outsourced most industry, due to making higher profits for the global capitalist class. Is it possible to reintroduce industry here? Do the social patterns and human skills exist in the US to do that?
    Why do civilizations collapse? This question bears not only on safeguarding our society’s future but also makes sense of our present. The answer relies on some of the same technē that humanity needed to build civilization in the first place…
    During civilizational collapse, no organization can properly hide its own inadequacy, since the whole interdependent ecosystem of institutions is caving in on itself. States, religions, material technologies, and ways of life that once seemed self-sustaining turn out to have been dependent on the invisible subsidy of just a few key institutions…
    Despite being an excellent epistemic opportunity, civilizational collapse seldom inspires introspection among thinkers living through it. Mayan or Roman thinkers don’t seem to have reflected on their ongoing collapse. As institutions turn to cannibalizing each other, there is little patronage or emotional energy going towards accurately describing the wider process…
    In the West today, we operate under the influence of our own key philosophy, which we can call scientism: the tendency to rely on scientific claims to describe the functioning of society, even when there is no empirical reason to assume that they apply…
    Our organs of economic management do not secretly know how the economy really works. Our systems of political regulation are operating on the fumes of their institutional inheritance from two or three generations ago—the last spurt of institutional growth in Western societies happened roughly during the 1970s…
    Civilizational collapse always looms on the horizon. Though we usually think of collapse as a slow process, it can in fact happen very quickly, as was the case with the Late Bronze Age collapse…
    Our society is dominated by large bureaucracies. These bureaucracies break down the processing of physical goods and information into discrete tasks, such as how a factory worker puts doors on a car, or a stock trader buys futures contracts. These tasks are shorn of their context and executed in a systematized environment whose constraints are quite narrow: put the car door in, increase the portfolio value. Our society is thoroughly compartmentalized. This compartmentalization isn’t driven by the division of labor, but rather by the need to make use of misaligned talent without empowering it. By radically limiting employees’ scope of action, you make office politics more predictable. By fragmenting available knowledge, you can leverage information asymmetries to the intellectual or material advantage of the center. Some of this is necessary for scaling organizations beyond what socially connected networks can manage—but move too far towards compartmentalization, and it becomes impossible to accomplish the original mission of the organization…
    If you want to know, say, why the FBI exists, you can find the answer in the documents of its founder, J. Edgar Hoover…
    It is very difficult, though, to apply this analysis to the construction of society. No matter how large or how small, institutions always coexist in a symbiotic relationship with other institutions… Society is not a single institution, after all, but an ecosystem of interdependent institutions…
    In addition to this complexity, non-functional institutions are the rule. Our institutions today rarely function in accordance with their stated purpose…
    Institutions often become non-functional due to the loss of key knowledge at critical junctures. Take, for example, the recent failure of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to reproduce a niche classified material known as FOGBANK that is necessary for manufacturing nuclear weapons. It took the NNSA ten years and millions of dollars to re-engineer a material that their staff in the 1980s knew how to make…
    Civilizational collapse, then, looks like this dynamic at the scale of an entire civilization: a low-grade but constant loss of capabilities and knowledge throughout the most critical parts of our institutions, that eventually degrades our ability to perpetuate society…
    The key dynamic here is the loss of the subtle social technologies that allow us to solve the succession problem. Running a large and complex institution requires skills which are often difficult to fully pass on. How can a successful founder ensure a successor who leads as competently as they did? The succession problem is the central obstacle to transferring the ownership and knowledge of institutions from generation to generation…
    Often the problem is that the kids “don’t get the joke”: if you create an institution with a false premise in order to mislead society as to your true goals, the people you hire into it might be fooled by the propaganda themselves…
    We can define civilizational collapse as a process wherein most recognizable large-scale institutions of a society vanish, coupled with a drop in material wealth, a drop in the complexity of material artifacts and social forms, a reduction in travel distance and physical safety of the inhabitants, and a mass reduction in knowledge.
    Loss of knowledge is especially damaging, since it accelerates the other aspects of collapse and ensures that they will be long-lasting…
    Such losses of knowledge are a constant throughout human history: as with FOGBANK, or as with the state of New Jersey recently scrambling to find a COBOL programmer with the ability to overhaul their legacy information systems…
    My theory of history is great founder theory: I propose that social technologies do not evolve out of mass action, but rather are devised by a tiny subset of institutional designers. Looking at history, we see that new organizations and social forms often arise within a single generation, showing jumps in social complexity far too rapid to be explained away by collective action or evolution…
    It often takes an exceptional individual with exceptional vision to create a new social or material technology…
    The result is usually one or more institutions, created by the individual to carry out their goals. Institutions are not naturally self-documenting. The descriptions of themselves that they provide can be misleading…
    (Note: Global CO2 production seems to have fallen after 4th quarter 2014, with a bump in much of 2016 and 2017, then gradually declined from 2018 to present.)
    The interesting question for the prospective collapse of our own society is this: if you were a late imperial Roman, and someone told you about the ongoing decline in atmospheric lead, how would you process this information? Today, if we saw a drop in lead pollution, our first assumption might be that this is due to the advent of greener technology. Economic decline wouldn’t naturally come to mind…
    If we compare the roughly twelve identifiable Dark Ages following civilizational collapse on the Eurasian continent—the collapse of the Bronze Age civilizations, the end of Mohenjo Daro, the decline of the Roman Empire, Han China and so on—we always find that nearly all material technology is not self-perpetuating, but rather rests on foundations of social technology. The only material technologies that routinely survive collapse are small-scale agriculture and small-scale metallurgy, likely because the social technologies needed to sustain such smaller communities can arise organically. Since collapse in material technology is always preceded by collapse in the practice of social technology, Dark Ages are always preceded by Intellectual Dark Ages. Knowledge of these social technologies is highly compartmentalized and, as a result, they are not understood explicitly by all parts of society. This means that a society undergoing an Intellectual Dark Age doesn’t realize it is going through one at all —all the people who would notice are long-gone, and those who remain are miseducated, role-playing the forms left behind by their predecessors without realizing that they’ve lost the substance. Often not just the knowledge, but the socioeconomic niche that once fostered the creation of new social technology has been obliterated in all but name…
    But if the Industrial Revolution was over, what would we expect to see? Much as we see a late Roman drop in lead pollution, today we see drops in pollution in the West…
    One could hypothesize the American worker and manager have, over time, lost the social technology that enabled them to run the assembly lines in the first place and that, now, our support for outsourcing isn’t so much due to greed as it is an adaptation to inability… We should seriously consider the possibility that we are a post-industrial society not in a positive sense, but in the sense that in our society the Industrial Revolution has stopped…
    Our society is the product of what were once advanced, rational, self-catalyzing systems of production, but we have now reverted to a more customary system, where things are simply done as they were 40 or 50 years ago. We have the same bureaucratic and economic institutions as we did then, with some marginal tweaks…
    The United States is well-positioned to attempt such civilizational reforms, since it has a remarkable ability to integrate exceptional talent from all over the world and has put that talent to work on some of the most successful institutional projects in history, including the Manhattan Project and the Apollo Program. America is, for now, in an unavoidable period of relative decline, and in 2030 or 2040 the largest economy in the world will almost certainly be that of China. But absolute decline is reversible—2060 is still an open question…
    The solution lies with a small number of people who can independently judge the generative minds behind the facts, rather than merely minding the integrity of the established body of theories and observations… Engineering society to be self-perpetuating is an extremely difficult challenge, and we can devise all sorts of machinery to do so, but this is the bottom line. Such people are extremely rare, but if we create a socioeconomic niche for them, our civilization can rewrite its own future for the better.

    That may seem long, but it is my excerpting of the high points of the short read. The long read is 95 pages, and I spent yesterday understanding and absorbing it. Nore essays by Samo Burja, about the workings of human societies are here.:
    This is the “executive summary” of “Great Founder Theory”:
    Here is the full 95 page treatise of Great Founder theory that I digested yesterday:

    Dr. D

    “UK Lockdown Was A ‘Monumental Mistake’ And Must Not Happen Again (Exp.)”

    I mean, is it enough that we’re quickly headed toward having more people killed by the economic lockdown than the virus? If we have civil war / WWIII, we can kill 800,000 in about twenty minutes, will they be satisfied then? Then suddenly we’ll go: “nobody coulda knowd.” Except everyone. 15 day lockdown, a year later, with curve so flat there are no deaths in NY. But we haven’t killed those last small busineses and had them bought out with Fed money by BlackRock and Bezos, haven’t rigged that last election, haven’t bankrupted those last rural/poor hospitals, haven’t rigged that last election with mail-in voting experts say is unnecessary and the Party themselves says won’t work. AWFLs haven’t killed those last black children and black businesses with love riots and love helping. Not until all the real estate is leveled by 70% white guys, bought by urban developers, and given billions in tax money to rebuild like a bad “RoboCop” movie, will the ‘Rona be done. Dropping 1% a day. And lo! The last day is Nov. 2 !!! But I am a coincidence theorists and that is not suspicious at all.

    “The ‘Rona knows!
    ♪♪ It sees you when you’re sleeping, it knows when you’re awake
    It knows when you’ve been throwing bricks, so throw bricks and you’ll be safe!” ♪♪

    “Lockdowns and facemasks prevent transmission, no science is more basic than that.”

    Clearly this calls for linking the study that shows this. Because both CDC studies and the recent June 6 study from the AAPS says they don’t unless they are N95s used properly, and that would therefore include a pile of gloves, rotated and used properly.

    “Joe Biden says … he will “listen to the scientists,”

    Great! Which ones? The AAPS, the CDC, the WHO, China’s (but I repeat myself) or the Yale epidemiologists that say HCQ is as highly effective and certain against CV as can occur in science. ‘Cause I’m guess he will listen to whatever scientist tells him what he already planned to do anyway, and have Twitter and Facebook outlaw discussions of any scientist who studies otherwise.

    “New York University To Implement Racial Segregation In Student Dorms (WSWS)”

    Ah, how far we’ve come. Thanks to Social Justice, we have re-enacted segregation in progressive colleges and California is repealing Civil Rights / Equal Rights. …Oh and “White Nationalist” (one of the only few) Richard Spenser is endorsing Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. Can’t make it up. Am I a racist now if I SUPPORT equal rights and frown on official segregation? Trick question: every noun, verb, adverb and adjective is racist, so yes, of course it is.

    Powell Set to Deliver Speech Changing How The Fed Views Inflation (CNBC)”

    They are swapping the currency. Right now, they are printing, but to delay inflation, they need to crush the economy…only for outsiders, the people, of course. This is constant: hyperinflations always occur on a terrible, wrecked economies, not strong “overheated” economies as their models demand. Then later, it will flip, and they’ll go “Aw shucks, it got out of hand! All my pals bought up the nation in hyperinflation. Whood a knoowd?” Oh and PS, the Fed’s gold standard gold bug is being nominated to take over, and all the right people don’t want her. Who wants the party to end and responsibility and work to take over again?

    Oh…as illustrated by the picture. Except in our case they smash the lower glasses. And blame us.

    “In the 1980s, energy companies made up as much as a quarter of the Dow. After Exxon’s exits on Monday, energy will account for just 2% of the index.”

    Showing how illusionary, rigged, bizarre and unreal the whole market is, as well known. No doubt Tesla — who doesn’t make any cars, and the cars they do light their owners on fire — is more valuable than Exxon, who powers every car on earth. But at extremes, buy the low, sell the high. And the people buying are really, really high.

    “Greece, Turkey Heading For New Crisis (K.)”

    Turkey is ever-more attacking Greece and Syria, so “go Cheeto.” Good job Brownie.

    “Biblical Travails (Jim Kunstler)”

    Ukrainian model: smash everything, particularly the poor, until the army is called out, then have your private agents shoot both sides with snipers. Blame Cheeto. Repeat until all Black folks are dead. Yay DNC! Helping! Going pretty well actually. I mean, unless you’re poor, a minority, or in a Democratic city; then it’s murder. Now if you STOP black people and businesses from being destroyed, you’re a racist. Obviously.

    “the WFP is requesting $5 billion in emergency funds within the next six months that will help in the effort to thwart a global famine.”

    Money is not food. I don’t know why they think it is. Money is not any “thing” at all: it is a CLAIM on real things. That I don’t have to provide and ain’t gonna. Oh, and they’d already HAVE food if these same “helpers” hadn’t got into the third world and screwed up their previous system. Helping! Po’ little children, unable to think or act for themselves. They need Great White Karen of the UN to show them how to put seeds in soil and milk cows. Although she’s never seen a cow in her life. Helping! Socialism, always helping! Can’t sleep, gotta help! With Help Bricks and Help Fires! If that doesn’t work, Help Bullets and Help Bombs! Can’t sleep now, gotta snort more “Help Meth” and keep helping!

    Civilizations collapse because they keep adding (static) infrastructure, while the underlying energy to support infrastructure waxes and wanes with the seasons. Part of that infrastructure – or most perhaps – is the bureaucracy, class, and traditions of the culture. Look at us: maximum work = minimum reward; minimum work = maximum reward. And you think that society won’t welcome the Visigoths as the new kings? Like they are right now by burning everything? (i.e. other people’s property) It would be worth it just to have the Roman Senate taken down a peg.

    More to the point, how do you avoid it? WHY WOULD YOU??? The system desperately needs to be re-localized, re-simplified, and un-techofied. It desperately needs the non-working “traditions”, i.e. rentiers, monopolies, and oligarchs, to be utterly crushed by fair competition and localism.

    …Which is of course why they are trying MOAR centralization, MOAR infrastructure, more surveillance, force projection, market rigging, more dependence on their system via UBI and Universal (hypercentralized) healthcare. Which everyone is apparently for, being as it destroys themselves and the poorest, weakest, and most vulnerable most broadly and certainly. ANYTHING but families caring for you, ANYTHING but communities you can meet instead of see on your phone and be charged, data-mined, and extracted to use. Okay then, clearly nobody learns anything from history.

    Or as Orlov would say “the Technosphere is trying to erase humanity.” Humanity overwhelmingly applauds and helps it annihilate all friends, families, and neighbors. Which we approve. Because we keep ADDING weighty, tax-gobbling infrastructure, control, centralization, and untouchable oligarchs under their own untouchable legal structure. Yes! National Health Care! National UBI Checks! National Elections! Worldwide Social Credit Scores! STOP. Grow a garden. Stay home. Stop supporting the Technosphere that is killing you and everyone you know. Every day it’s gotten more centralized it’s gotten worse. So every day it decentralizes, then….?

    Despite the ads from experts-who-lie-about-everything, the Dark Ages were incredibly quiet. When you cram wars from 1,000 years of 50 countries into one chapter, it seems like a lot. However wars up to the American Revolution had sides of a mere 500 men. That’s like a sporting event. It wasn’t until “The Calamitous 14th Century” that they really got back to wiping out areas we would call “whole nations.”

    I’m not saying it’s great, it is primitive; however, it had 60 feast holidays and 52 Sundays off, and was hardly ever as bad as advertised by the present system, Progress: godless, inhuman technology, which is its sworn enemy. Sworn to lie, slander, and misrepresent. So how was the nuclear fallout in Eastern Europe and the Pacific under Charlemagne? How was the cod and seal population? Black rhinos? Hey, how were the forests doing worldwide, England, Ohio, even Japan? Did people live with their friends and die surrounded by children and family, not alone in a nursing home, choking on a tube? Gee, sounds horrible. We never want it to be so dark we have our families live with us again. While we’re on the edge of poverty, without access to health care.

    Oh wait: we do now, but WITHOUT 60 feast days and 52 Sundays and WITHOUT our friends, families, and children around. Gosh, certainly wouldn’t want that. Please continue to support a few billionaires in palatial estates on St. James, borrowing your daughters, jailing your whistleblowers and journalists without trial by remote control, while burning your cities and shutting off and/or bombing your water, power, and hospitals, while re-instating slavery in Libya and worldwide. I mean, wouldn’t want to go back to the “Dark Ages” or anything.


    Wisdom doesn’t grow everywhere
    Wisdom cannot be found in bullshit/lies
    Societies are built on lies


    M came before L
    Trump declared an Emergency before M
    How do you spell news …. T-R-U-M-P


    What’s really sad about the Express article is that it isn’t hindsight. It was known at the time it was insane. What else could they have done? They could have done what Sweden did. Or they could have stopped the plane loads of virus coming into the country in the first place. And parliament was useless. Parliament still is useless. Where is parliament? Parliament has gone on ****ing holiday with ****ing face masks on. Not only was lock down a massive mistake, it was highly likely to be illegal. Everything that’s going on now is still illegal and the excuses for doing it are becoming ever more flimsy. Oh it’s to save the NHS, oh no wait, it’s to make the letter R=0, oh no wait, it’s to stop a second wave, oh no wait, it’s time to go to a restaurant with no mask on to try to fix the mess, here’s some free money.

    Our country and our economy is all but destroyed by a whole parliament full of useless incompetent idiots. What’s the point in voting?


    It better be right, because it will kill front line workers who will be the first to get the vaccine.

    The Black

    Isn’t it funny how – after a (too) long career in government, Nancy Pelosi is allowing herself to be defined by Donald Trump? His name will be her epitaph, and she can’t see it.


    John Day re off -label drug use -here is a link to a study by Stanford University citing a lack of evidence for off- label prescriptions: This was posted on WebMD.
    If you want more links I will find them.
    My key point remains that pharmaceuticals, once approved for their intended purpose, get a free pass for use as a physician sees fit, whereas herbal medicine gets no such free pass. This is a double standard.


    ” …. herbal medicine gets no such free pass ….”

    Proof that the USA population has been been properly conditioned.
    What about in other countries?

    John Day

    I read that study. It does not say what you said it says. You say what you want to be true. That’s human. Please read both of my prior responses to you, which are the same response, the same explanation.
    What this report says is that a lot of drugs get used for 3 or 4 things which are not the one thing they were approved for, after lots of time and money was spent to get that approval to get to market.
    All of the cases mentioned here are either moderately or very much things I am familiar with.
    This report does not damn them, but says the FDA has not specifically looked at widespread patterns of current use. Everything that is mentioned has been studied, and I have read a lot of the studies, and I have a little to a lot of experience with most of these drugs and their side effects. I absolutely minimize the use of sedatives in the elderly, for instance, and always have. This is my daily professional life.
    I can advise any patient on how to take herbal remedies. It’s covered under my license to practice medicine and surgery. I have often advised horsetail for chronic bladder irritation, St John’s wort as an option for depression (not to be mixed with certain other specific medicines, and not with Hepatitis-C treatment), butterbur for migraines and allergic rhinitis and skullcap or Sleepy Time tea at bedtime (and melatonin). I have taken glucosamine daily for 20 years for a bad disc and sequellae of that.
    Making medical claims without doing the FDA-approvaldrill is forbidden by US law
    Germany is different. I had the German Commission-E monograph until somebody took it from my office (high street value back then)
    Nobody is a victim in this process, though it DOES serve established corporate pharmacy interests first, and everybody else second. It does offer some protections, and all vaccines should have to go through all of the same approval process as every other drug, but are exempted, because if theyy were not, then a lot of them would qo away, and that’s against some big vested interests.
    I give you Ron Paul and Robert Kennedy Jr.


    The lack of hindsight is another sign of the collapse of civilization. Nancy Pelosi can call others enemies of the state but she is as much of one as the Clinton or Bush families. All became enemies of good government once the Western “free trade” Empire was placed above of the best interests of the American people. They still deny the existence of the Pandemic Depression; let alone, the fall of the Free World. The differences between the Democrats and Donald Trump come down to he has yet to start a war, he is really accelerating deregulation and privatization (the Post Office), and added China to the Cold War 2.0 with Russia that Joe Biden started.

    But the revisionist history of the lockdown is ludicrous. They dismiss reality.

    1) To have avoided the 182,348 American deaths to date, all international flights into the USA and ports would have to have been closed and sealed in January 2020. Simply impossible for the rulers of the Western Empire to do.

    2) There would have to have been an American public health system to test, trace and isolate the infected like in South Korea and New Zealand. Six months later there is still not one. The reason is that absolutely no money is to be mooched by the connected with a government run healthcare system. A conscious decision was made to wait for a for-profit vaccine or treatment next year. The hundreds of thousands of coronavirus deaths are collateral damage and of no concern to the ruling class as long has the hospitals are profitable and they can get treated if needed.

    3) The lockdowns were imposed because the hospital systems in Italy and New York State were overrun by the ill. Texas was at the breaking point, but cornavirus treatment appears to have evolved to keep the system running. The healthcare Industry (20% of the US economy) has one prime objective – to make more money. If anyone is cured it is due to the workers in the system.


    John Day: you said that off-label use is seldom based on anecdotal evidence.
    The report says “it is common for doctors to prescribe drugs for conditions they aren’t specifically approved for, but in many cases there is not enough evidence to justify the practice”. The report goes on to say that, regarding the drugs covered in the study, “many of the most common uses for the drugs have not been adequately studied” and “we are talking about millions of prescriptions a year, and the size and rigor of the studies that have been done may not justify this”. If the studies are not adequate, are you suggesting that “anecdotal evidence” is an inappropriate descriptor?
    I am not commenting on your particular practice – it really confuses things in fact to get in to your particular practice, because no one can know how representative your practice is of the medical community. Based on my own personal experience with my physicians, they have uniformly known zilch about non-prescription alternatives for any of my ailments, but that could be due to many factors. The commentary is on the regulatory system which only provides a “gold star” (FDA approval) for expensive, patentable medical interventions, and herbs will never make it on this list, nor will epsom salts. You say that “Nobody is a victim in this process, though it DOES serve established corporate pharmacy interests first” — really??? Let’s talk about hydroxychloroquine for covid…

    John Day

    @Sumac.Carol, You wrote:
    “John Day: you said that off-label use is seldom based on anecdotal evidence.
    The report says “it is common for doctors to prescribe drugs for conditions they aren’t specifically approved for, but in many cases there is not enough evidence to justify the practice”. The report goes on to say that, regarding the drugs covered in the study, “many of the most common uses for the drugs have not been adequately studied” and “we are talking about millions of prescriptions a year, and the size and rigor of the studies that have been done may not justify this”. If the studies are not adequate, are you suggesting that “anecdotal evidence” is an inappropriate descriptor?”
    Yes, precisely, “anecdotal evidence” specifically refers to findings that were not well studied. Fauci misused the term, when he disparaged studies he did not like, which went against the interests he served. He makes no mention at all of retractions of studies he cites when they are proven to be fabricated. (Fabricated is worse, of course.)
    I gave my own freedom to advise herbal and alternative remedies as an example of the freedom of licensed physicians to do so. Your claim was that it was forbidden. It’s not.
    Doctors not knowing about non prescription treatments is typical. They have to seek out such knowledge at their own expense, and get no CME credit for doing so.
    OK, “talk about hydroxychloroquine for COVID”. What do you want to say?
    I’ll note that nobody is making money off it, and nobody will pay for long US studies to prove it should be approved for this use. The rest of the world operates somewhat differently. The US is the big profit center for big pharma. They don’t care much about India. There is no way that approval could come quickly enough to make a difference in treatment, since formal approval, after prospective randomized studies, would take at least 18 months.
    I am no fan or friend of big pharma, which has captured the regulator, the FDA, and has certainly captured the CDC and NIH, through monetary flows into research grants. Fauci has directed over a half trillion dollars of research money since the mid 1980s. That’s power, and it’s captured.
    The first step, in my opinion, would be to take the massive profits out of the US drug market. Single payer price bargaining, as other nationalized systems use, could do it. The bureaucratic jungles that have grown in the past 60 years are different. Such things can almost never really be reformed to serve a true purpose, after they have long served hidden masters.
    New bureaucracies to replace them would have a chance, with the right heads to start them. A chance…

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