Jan 012021
 
 January 1, 2021  Posted by at 10:23 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Claude Monet Boulevard des Capucines 1873

 

Pfizer Vaccine First To Receive Emergency Use Authorization From WHO (RT)
New Coronavirus Variant May Have Been In US Since October (G.)
The Mutated Virus Is a Ticking Time Bomb (Atl.)
World Faces COVID19 “Vaccine Apartheid” (IC)
Over 100 Republicans Will Challenge Electoral College Results (SAC)
Pence Asks Judge To End GOP Suit To Expand His Powers (JTN)
‘Keep The Light On,’ Scottish PM Sturgeon Tells EU (RT)
A Festive Message for 2021 (Varoufakis)
The Kafkaesque Imprisonment of Julian Assange (Greenwald)

 

 

 

 

But what does it do? It doesn’t protect you from infection, and it doesn’t protect others around you from your infection.

Pfizer Vaccine First To Receive Emergency Use Authorization From WHO (RT)

The first vaccine against the novel coronavirus approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization is Comirnaty COVID-19 mRNA one produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, the WHO has announced. The world health body announced the emergency approval on Thursday, as 2020 came to a close. Its Emergency Use Listing (EUL) will enable countries to expedite their own regulatory approval of the vaccine, and allow UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organization to buy it for distribution, the WHO said. “This is a very positive step towards ensuring global access to [Covid]-19 vaccines,” Dr Mariângela Simão, WHO’s assistant-Director General for access to medicines and health products, said in a statement. She added that “an even greater global effort” is needed to come up with enough of a supply to meet the needs of “priority populations everywhere,” however. The WHO is “working night and day to evaluate other vaccines that have reached safety and efficacy standards,” said Simão, urging other developers to “come forward for review and assessment.”

Read more …

There are multiple variants.

New Coronavirus Variant May Have Been In US Since October (G.)

A coronavirus variant carrying some of the same mutations as the highly contagious British variant may have been in the US since October and already be widespread, a re-analysis of more than 2m tests suggests. Genome sequencing to confirm whether the variant observed in Americans is the same as the so-called B117 variant currently circulating in the UK is under way. Results are expected within days but the revelations have prompted fresh questions about where the altered virus originated, including a small possibility that it began in the US, not the UK, or elsewhere altogether. The variant has also been found in at least 17 countries, including South Korea, Spain, Australia and Canada.

“It wouldn’t be at all surprising if at least some of the cases were B117,” said Eric Topol, head of Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, who was not involved in the research, but whose team confirmed a Californian case of the B117 variant on Wednesday. “It has probably been here for a while at low levels – but you don’t see it until you look for it.” The existence of a new and highly transmissible Sars CoV-2 variant was announced by the UK’s health secretary on 14 December, after Covid-testing laboratories reported that a growing number of their positive samples were missing a signal from one of the three genes their PCR tests use to confirm the presence of the virus.

Further sequencing revealed that such “S gene dropout” was the result of mutations in the gene encoding the spike protein which the virus uses to gain entry to human cells. The variant is thought to have been circulating in the UK since September. News of the new variant has led to multiple countries restricting travel from the UK – or in the case of the US, requiring travelers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test to be allowed into the country. However, it has been detected this week in Colorado and California, and the suspicion is it may already be widespread. To investigate, scientists at the California-based DNA testing company Helix examined the prevalence of S gene dropout among 2 million of the Covid tests the company has processed in recent months.

They observed an increase in S gene dropout among positive samples since early October, when 0.25% of positive tests exhibited this pattern. This has since grown, hitting 0.5% on average last week – although in Massachusetts, which has the highest number of such samples, it currently stands at 1.85%, although no cases of the B117 variant have been announced in that state yet. Further analysis revealed mutations in some of the same regions of the S gene which are also present in the B117 variant – although full sequencing of the viral genome is needed to confirm whether this is indeed the same variant, or something else.

Read more …

A lot of assumptions.

The Mutated Virus Is a Ticking Time Bomb (Atl.)

A new variant of the coronavirus is spreading across the globe. It was first identified in the United Kingdom, where it is rapidly spreading, and has been found in multiple countries. Viruses mutate all the time, often with no impact, but this one appears to be more transmissible than other variants—meaning it spreads more easily. Barely one day after officials announced that America’s first case of the variant had been found in the United States, in a Colorado man with no history of travel, an additional case was found in California. There are still many unknowns, but much concern has focused on whether this new variant would throw off vaccine efficacy or cause more severe disease—with some degree of relief after an initial study indicated that it did not do either.

And while we need more data to feel truly reassured, many scientists believe that this variant will not decrease vaccine efficacy much, if at all. Health officials have started emphasizing the lack of evidence for more severe disease. All good and no cause for alarm, right? Wrong. A more transmissible variant of COVID-19 is a potential catastrophe in and of itself. If anything, given the stage in the pandemic we are at, a more transmissible variant is in some ways much more dangerous than a more severe variant. That’s because higher transmissibility subjects us to a more contagious virus spreading with exponential growth, whereas the risk from increased severity would have increased in a linear manner, affecting only those infected.

Increased transmissibility can wreak havoc in a very, very short time—especially when we already have uncontrolled spread in much of the United States. The short-term implications of all this are significant, and worthy of attention, even as we await more clarity from data. In fact, we should act quickly especially as we await more clarity—lack of data and the threat of even faster exponential growth argue for more urgency of action. If and when more reassuring data come in, relaxing restrictions will be easier than undoing the damage done by not having reacted in time.

To understand the difference between exponential and linear risks, consider an example put forth by Adam Kucharski, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who focuses on mathematical analyses of infectious-disease outbreaks. Kucharski compares a 50 percent increase in virus lethality to a 50 percent increase in virus transmissibility. Take a virus reproduction rate of about 1.1 and an infection fatality risk of 0.8 percent and imagine 10,000 active infections—a plausible scenario for many European cities, as Kucharski notes. As things stand, with those numbers, we’d expect 129 deaths in a month. If the fatality rate increased by 50 percent, that would lead to 193 deaths. In contrast, a 50 percent increase in transmissibility would lead to a whopping 978 deaths in just one month—assuming, in both scenarios, a six-day infection-generation time.

Read more …

Billions in profits.

World Faces COVID19 “Vaccine Apartheid” (IC)

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla recently heaped praise on “the almost 44,000 people who selflessly raised their hands to participate in our trial.” “Each of you has helped to bring the world one step closer to our shared goal of a potential vaccine to fight this devastating pandemic,” Bourla wrote in an open letter to volunteers who took part in Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine research, which was conducted in Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and Turkey as well as the U.S. His letter was published on November 9, the same day Pfizer announced that the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective at preventing the disease, and Bourla laid this considerable accomplishment at the feet of the medical volunteers: “You are the true heroes, and the whole world owes you a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

But Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, and Turkey will have to be satisfied with Pfizer’s gratitude, because (like most countries in the world) they won’t be receiving enough of the vaccine to inoculate their populations, at least not anytime soon. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Germany — along with Canada and the rest of the European Union — have contracted for enough doses of various Covid-19 vaccines to inoculate their populations several times over. While the U.S. is struggling with the logistics of its vaccine rollout — fewer than 3 million people have received the first dose so far — adequate supplies should eventually be available. The U.S. pre-purchased 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine for $1.95 billion in the summer (and reportedly passed on the opportunity to secure another 100 million doses).

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a deal to buy another 100 million doses of the vaccine by July 2021, and the government has the option to purchase an additional 400 million doses. The U.S. has also purchased 200 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is also extremely effective against Covid-19. Those doses are due by the second quarter of 2021, and the government may buy up to 300 million more doses. And the U.S. has contracts for additional vaccine doses from Ology, Sanofi, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson, whose candidates are in earlier stages of development.

Pharmaceutical companies and individual executives are already profiting handsomely from their medical breakthroughs. On the same day that he sent his open letter, Bourla, whose net worth is estimated at more than $26 million, sold more than $5 million worth of his shares of Pfizer stock. Pfizer has already made an estimated $975 million from the vaccine this year and is expected to earn another $19 billion in revenue from the vaccine in 2021, according to Morgan Stanley. Pfizer’s profit margin on the vaccine is estimated at between 60 and 80 percent. Moderna is projected to make more than $10 billion from its vaccine next year.

Read more …

Of course they will.

Over 100 Republicans Will Challenge Electoral College Results (SAC)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Wednesday he believes more than 100 members of the GOP could challenge the Electoral College results when Congress certifies the electoral votes on Jan. 6. During an interview with Charlie Sykes on “The Bulwark Podcast,” Kinzinger said he thinks “upwards of 100” GOP lawmakers could challenge the Nov. 3 election results. “I hope I’m wrong,” Kinzinger said. “I’m guessing it could be upwards of 100.” He added, “I’m just over the undermining of democracy and the frankly massive damage that’s being done with this.” Joe Biden is expected to be certified as the 2020 presidential winner, but President Donald Trump has not conceded and is encouraging members of the GOP to challenge the results.


There has been an increasing number of GOP lawmakers who have said they will support Trump’s effort in overturning the election results, including most recently Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (R-N.J.)
“Somebody has to stand up here,” Hawley said in an interview with Fox News Wednesday. “You’ve got 74 million Americans who feel disenfranchised, who feel like their vote doesn’t matter, and this is the one opportunity that I have as a United States senator, this process right here, my one opportunity to stand up and say something and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

Read more …

“An 1887 federal law known as the Electoral Count Act has the vice president presiding over the congressional meeting. However the suit led by Gohmert tries to invalidate the law as an unconstitutional constraint on the vice president’s authority..”

Pence Asks Judge To End GOP Suit To Expand His Powers (JTN)

Vice President Mike Pence asked a federal judge Thursday to reject an attempt by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert and other congressional Republicans to expand Pence’s official powers to allow him to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. The lawsuit was filed earlier this week and attempts to expand Pence’s role in Congress’ meeting Wednesday to count states’ electoral votes and certify Biden’s victory over Trump, according to The Hill newspaper. Pence argued in a filing Thursday to U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle that he was not the correct defendant to the suit.


“A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” a Justice Department attorney wrote in the filing, The Hill also reported. An 1887 federal law known as the Electoral Count Act has the vice president presiding over the congressional meeting. However the suit led by Gohmert tries to invalidate the law as an unconstitutional constraint on the vice president’s authority to choose among competing claims of victory when state-level election results are disputed. Republicans in several key battleground states have disputed Biden’s win and offered alternate “slates” of pro-Trump electors to be counted, also according to The Hill.

Read more …

WIll the UK fall apart next?

‘Keep The Light On,’ Scottish PM Sturgeon Tells EU (RT)

Within minutes of Brexit taking effect, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted a message to Brussels that Scotland would be rejoining the EU “soon,” responding to recent demand for another independence referendum. “Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on,” Sturgeon said as the clock struck midnight in Brussels and the UK’s exit from the European Union became official on Friday. The United Kingdom’s divorce from the continental bloc after 45 years of membership was the result of a protracted process following the 2016 referendum, which the Tory government expected would fail. Instead, a narrow majority in England and Wales backed Brexit, while Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain – by 62 percent to 38 percent.

Sturgeon came to lead the Scottish National Party (SNP) after the failure of the first Scottish independence referendum, in 2014. Only 45 percent of Scots voted to leave the UK, with 55 percent choosing to remain, in part due to warnings from Brussels that an independent Scotland would not automatically become an EU member and would have to negotiate entry from scratch. That ratio has now been reversed, according to recent polls. Research by Ipsos MORI in October indicated that support for Scottish independence was at 58 percent – an all-time high. Other polls show support for secession at anywhere between 51 and 59 percent.

Read more …

“Because things are the way they are, things will not remain the way they are.”

A Festive Message for 2021 (Varoufakis)

I am Yanis Varoufakis with a message for the New Year from DiEM25. 2020 leaves behind much debris – pain, fear, broken lives, smashed dreams. But, we also owe a debt of gratitude to 2020: It has helped expose seven fundamental secrets. We used to think of governments as powerless. But since Covid-19 struck we know better: Governments have stupendous powers that they hitherto chose not to use, deferring to the exorbitant power of Big Business. Yes, the money-trey does exist after all. Except, of course, that is only harvested by the powerful on behalf of the oligarchy: Money created by the rich for the rich. Solvency is a political decision because power-politics, not markets, decide who is bankrupt and who is not.

Wealth has nothing to do with hard work or entrepreneurship. America’s billionaires made 931 billion dollars from the pandemic. They got richer in their sleep. Yes, 2020 was a vintage year for capitalists, but capitalism died! Liberated from any remaining competition, colossal platform companies like Amazon own everything. So, yes, during 2020, Capitalism morphed into an insidious Technofeudalism. Our Europe, its civilisation and power notwithstanding, continued to sell its soul in 2020. One word suffices: Moria, the refuges prison camp in Lesbos – a mirror reflecting Europe’s cruelty and lost soul.


Yes, it has been a difficult year. We lost too many people to the pandemic. We saw exploitation flourish, driving so many into the embrace of destitution. Civil liberties took a major hit. But, despite it all, 2020 let us in on a brilliant, hope-inspiring seventh secret: Everything could be different. If this pandemic proved anything, it is that Bertolt Brecht was right when he once said: Because things are the way they are, things will not remain the way they are. I can think of no greater source of hope than this. We must thank 2020 for it. Now, it is up to us to make 2021 a year of radical change in the interests of the many. Everywhere! Happy New Year and Carpe DiEM25!

Read more …

Assange may be in prison for many more years. Monday’s a big day. But after that, appeals are sure to follow.

The Kafkaesque Imprisonment of Julian Assange (Greenwald)

Persecution is not typically doled out to those who recite mainstream pieties, or refrain from posing meaningful threats to those who wield institutional power, or obediently stay within the lines of permissible speech and activism imposed by the ruling class. Those who render themselves acquiescent and harmless that way will — in every society, including the most repressive — usually be free of reprisals. They will not be censored or jailed. They will be permitted to live their lives largely unmolested by authorities, while many will be well-rewarded for this servitude. Such individuals will see themselves as free because, in a sense, they are: they are free to submit, conform and acquiesce. And if they do so, they will not even realize, or at least not care, and may even regard as justifiable, that those who refuse this Orwellian bargain they have embraced (“freedom” in exchange for submission) are crushed with unlimited force.


Those who do not seek to meaningfully dissent or subvert power will usually deny — because they do not perceive — that such dissent and subversion are, in fact, rigorously prohibited. They will continue to believe blissfully that the society in which they live guarantees core civic freedoms — of speech, of press, of assembly, of due process — because they have rendered their own speech and activism, if it exists at all, so innocuous that nobody with the capacity to do so would bother to try to curtail it. The observation apocryphally attributed to socialist activist Rosa Luxemburg, imprisoned for her opposition to German involvement in World War I and then summarily executed by the state, expresses it best: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site.

Click at the top of the sidebars for Paypal and Patreon donations. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime, election time, all the time. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Home Forums Debt Rattle January 1 2021

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #67534

    Claude Monet Boulevard des Capucines 1873   • Pfizer Vaccine First To Receive Emergency Use Authorization From WHO (RT) • New Coronavirus Variant
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle January 1 2021]

    #67535
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Claude Monet Boulevard des Capucines 1873

    Just so damn lovely; I feel the cold just looking at it…
    …but, its just so much more………………

    #67536
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Just…the word for 2021…I mean, it’s just………

    #67538
    madamski
    Participant

    “Wealth has nothing to do with hard work or entrepreneurship. America’s billionaires made 931 billion dollars from the pandemic. They got richer in their sleep. Yes, 2020 was a vintage year for capitalists, but capitalism died! Liberated from any remaining competition, colossal platform companies like Amazon own everything. So, yes, during 2020, Capitalism morphed into an insidious Technofeudalism.”

    Yes, and things like “technofeudalism” require genuine management leadership skills, things of which I see no evidence in our reigning powers that be. One can’t own “everything”. Private property is an illusion sustained by rules of engagement and traditions of cooperation. Lacking, at this point, either, I see this grand balloon of bloated billionaires poised to burst. (I want to see a mash-up of Sagan and Sanders in a rap battle based on billions and billions and billions…) One supposes we will have to endure a major shooting war as part of the popping process.

    %^&

    My. That is the finest Monet I’ve seen. It’s like a virtual hologram. Only really good art can make things like virtual holograms.

    #67539
    madamski
    Participant
    #67540
    zerosum
    Participant

    @ madamski
    You identified those who did not find a reason to complain about 2020.

    I’m not a 1%, nor a 10%, nor a well to do middle class or an enabler for the rich.

    I am grateful that 2020 has not made the conditions of my life worst than 2019.

    If my wishes came true, then everyone would find happiness in 2021.

    #67541
    Doc Robinson
    Participant


    Many front-line workers refuse Covid vaccines as distribution rollout struggles

    About 50 percent of workers in California’s Riverside County have refused to take the vaccine, along with 60 percent of nursing home staff in Ohio.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/many-frontline-workers-refuse-covid-19-vaccines-distribution-rollout-struggles-n1252617

    #67542
    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    France is being criticized because it is the only country insisting that those offered the vaccine give their written consent after being informed of possible contraindications, and there are few takers (only 332 in the entire country, as of Wednesday night, compared to 80,000 in Germany.)

    France started administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Sunday, beginning with staff and residents in care homes and those considered at risk of developing severe symptoms of the virus. It is the only country insisting that those offered the vaccine give their written consent after being informed of possible contraindications.

    However, fewer than 100 people were vaccinated in the first three days. By Wednesday evening, only 332 people had received the vaccine, according to health ministry officials. The ministry has said the aim is to vaccinate 1 million elderly and at-risk people in January, requiring more than 31,200 vaccinations every day.

    The health minister, Olivier Véran, admitted that France was vaccinating more slowly than other countries and suggested this was a deliberate policy to enable an information campaign rather than the result of a lack of vaccines or a logistical failure.

    We have the same number of vaccine doses as our German neighbours, we have the same aims and we will have the same results,” Véran told French television.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/31/covid-france-pandering-to-anti-vaxxers-with-slow-vaccine-rollout

    #67543
    Geppetto
    Participant

    @Zerosum

    “If my wishes came true, then everyone would find happiness in 2021.”

    I’m still riffing on that Oscar Wilde quote from a few days ago. I had a young man that worked for me a few years back. He was troubled and confused. He had a high expectation of ethics and morality from everyone around him and all he *felt* was passive nihilism from them. One day I brought my hair cutting kit in so as to do my homemade haircut that I have been doing to myself for years. I asked if he wanted me to cut his hair. He had fairly long hair that covered his neck. When I cut it off low and behold he had a small crucifix tattoo on the back of his neck. I thought about him the other day and his own cross to bear. I wished for him.

    #67544
    straightwalker
    Participant

    @geppetto
    Thanks for good story. It reminded me of a time when I was nineteen, in the military, and struggling with the feeling that war is wrong. I made a small fuss and was court-martialed. Three or four lieutenants with shiny new bars were there to observe the colonel. I gave my speech.
    The judge listened and said, “I’ll give you a choice: one year at Fort Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, reduction in rank to Airman Basic, and a bad conduct discharge; or, keep your mouth shut, do your job, and I will sentence you to reduction to basic, $500.00 fine, and 30 days in the stockade. What will it be?” He raised his gavel.
    I was stubborn and about to go to Fort Leavenworth, when I heard a voice in my head (that has happened to me twice in crucial moments).
    What are you doing? People kill each other. They have always killed each other. You asshole!”
    I was shocked. Then managed to say, “Thirty days.” He repeated the sentence and bang went the gavel. Two guards grabbed my elbows from behind and marched me out.
    Today I am sad because the world seems to have been taken over by liars, power seekers, and cowards who will not deal with the theft of the election. I don’t have a cross tattooed on my neck, but I can relate to your employee. Pretty soon I’ll remember that there’s me and there’s reality. Deal with it. I’ll feel relieved. I hope your employee is better now.

    #67545
    Geppetto
    Participant

    Yesterday Dr. D started a post with the word ‘anecdotal’. John Day also posted a link to the an article by Samo Burja.

    Thanks for recalling an experience that obviously help shape who you are @straightwaker. I’ll take your word over the alleged ‘experts’ anytime!

    Thanks again

    #67546
    WES
    Participant

    Geppetto:

    Funny your mention of self administered “haircuts”!

    I too cut my own hair and have for years.

    My Father and I used to cut each other’s hair.

    My 24 year old son , now cuts his own hair too.

    I used to cut his hair before he took over. My son has never been to a barber in his life!

    At least we don’t have to pay someone else to get a “haircut”!

    #67547
    WES
    Participant

    Doc Robinson:

    I am assuming France is making vaccine recipients take legal responsibility for vaccine maker’s legal immunity.

    I would guess France’s government is also broke!

    I would guess Germany’s government isn’t as broke!

    #67548
    zerosum
    Participant

    https://futurecrun.ch/99-good-news-2020
    99 Good News Stories From 2020 You Probably Didn’t Hear About

    #67549
    WES
    Participant

    Straightwalker:

    Your brief stay in the military reminds me of a 5 foot tall Texan, that I worked with in New Mexico, who, drafted, served as a NCO during the Vietnam War.

    He had three outstanding traits. He was a born leader, he was absolutely fearless (he didn’t give a dam), and he was smart.

    He spent a good portion of his 2 year military career bouncing back and forth between being AWOL and in the brig, when he wasn’t otherwise hauling bombs for B52s from ports to airfields in northern Thailand.

    He developed his own style of helping the military conduct it’s business!

    When it came to moving bombs, first he made himself totally indispentsable! Being a born leader, his truck crews were totally loyal to him!

    They would work hard for about 3 weeks. Then on a return trip, after unloading the bombs at the B52 air base, he and his truck convoy would then disappear into the jungle!

    You know the work hard, play hard routine! I guess the Thai women were beautiful and the beer good!

    After a few days of being overdue at the port, his officers would then send the military police to search and find out what had happened to them.

    Sometimes it would take the MPs a week or longer to find and round up, him, all his crew, and then find the trucks parked somewhere in the jungle!

    Naturally being the senior NCO, he was arrested, court marshalled to buck private, and thrown into the brig!

    Usually after about a week or two, depending upon how smart or slow his latest port officer was, he would be released from the brig, given back his sargent stripes, and told to get the dam bombs moving again!

    Needless to say he spent his entire 2 years being regularly being busted, promoted, busted, promoted, until he was dis-honorably discharged!

    Needless to say, he greatly enjoyed his vacation in the military!

    #67551
    madamski
    Participant

    Possible double-post warning:

    No one should be conscripted to fight in yet another insane war. But I cannot understand how “but all the other kids are doing it” makes moral sense of unnecessary killing, or assisting in the logistics by which other soldiers unnecessarily kill, people roughly as ‘innocent’ as you or I.

    Whether a year in the pen is worse than, say, a tour of duty in Nam, is a moral question worth considering on its own merits, I would think, not the habits of history: ‘But Dad, all the other kids are killing each other!’

    Now, please don’t feel singled out, any veterans here. All of us here, I presume, pay our taxes to governments more lethally powerful than and at least as brutal as, most governments throughout history. We pay for the wars that soldiers fight. If we don’t pay, we’ll be financially punished or sent to jail. Those of us who were drafted had a uniquely challenging moral dilemma before them, it being their own body, not just their pocketbook and conscience that was being taxed.

    But there it is: we deserve what we submit to. We are usually more willing to submit to mandatory violence demanded of us by others than we are willing to fight those demanding that we fight others on their behalf. I say that no law is worth respecting if one can’t take it into one’s own hands. Those mythically glorified soldiers of the Revolutionary War were breaking the law by opposing British rule.

    But they were a different group of kids, doing what all the other kids were doing, than the British troops conscripted or shanghaied or self-enlisted into King George’s imperial troops. There were enough local colonial kids doing this new independence/whatever thing for them to form a peer group that could place enough peer pressure and offer enough peer camaraderie for them to feel that killing a bunch of British troops (or British loyalist neighbors) for some vague notion of self-governance was worth taking a new law into their hands.

    And so, as too often happens, strangers killed strangers for abstract reasons that no one really understood, reasons about which whose authors (our dear hallowed wax museum Founding Fathers) were less than sincere. A lynch mob has more moral honesty than a standing army, the existence of which stands on a pad of lies as thick as the stack of G-notes and piles of bullion used by the bankster oligarchs who’ve been inciting unnecessary* wars for many millennia in order to divert as much of those financial currencies into their account as they can get away with. * unnecessary as in not directly caused by major resource depletion necessary to two population groups

    ^&*

    As for Wilde on socialism, all the talk of noble selfishness sounds lovely until you confront the Tragedy of the Commons and find yourself fighting for resources because you failed to create a social structure whereby those resources could be shared in a manner adequately beneficial to the group commonwealth. I neither like nor dislike socialism more than any other -ism, all of which have failed miserably in their turn. I am selfish where my self is concerned, and selfless where others are concerned. You take what you need, you give what you can, and for God’s sake don’t kid yourself that you have even a ghost of an answer to these problems at large. You don’t.

    But you do have full grasp on your personal actions and how they affect your moral conscience (and, for the religious among us, I’ll add morTal conscience). Those are yours alone. Sometimes the most selfish thing a human being can do is be selfless if their moral conscience requires it.

    My life is mine to live and to lose. Sadly, I have to consume the flesh of other living beings in order to survive, the Great Circle of Life being what it is. This is inescapable. All other killing… is escapable. Everyone has a price, I learned long ago. I decided that my price is that of my soul, the value of which is immeasurable to me, and worth more than any fool can offer or threaten me with.

    Guys like Buddha and Jesus said the same thing, Jesus actually demonstrating this in action.

    Yes, I pay my taxes. I am not morally superior to anyone here that I know of. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, if only because Caesar will make you pay more money than you would already pay in taxes.

    Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. Saith the gov:

    I.R.C. § 7201 – ATTEMPT TO EVADE OR DEFEAT TAX Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined* not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution. * As to offenses committed after December 31, 1984, the Criminal Fine Enforcement Act of 1984 (P.L. 92-596) enacted as 18 U.S.C. § 3571, increased the maximum permissible fines for felony offenses set forth in section 7201. The maximum permissible fine is $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations.

    Sayeth H&R Block:

    “Moral of the Story: The IRS Saves Criminal Prosecution for Exceptional Cases

    “While the IRS does not pursue criminal tax evasion cases for many people, the penalty for those who are caught is harsh. They must repay the taxes with an expensive fraud penalty and possibly face jail time of up to five years.

    “But if you’re like most taxpayers who make a good faith effort to file and pay their taxes accurately and on time, you won’t end up like John.”

    Give unto God that which is God’s. Saith God: ?????

    Having no knowledge of what God is, only personal hopeful yearnings, I am stumped except to cite my conscience, that thing which, coincidentally, leads people to wonder about and yearn for things like a benevolent deity in the first place. It’s my conscience, and being a selfish being, I’ll hand that conscience over to a (possibly only imaginary) deity before I’ll hand it to what all the other kids are doing. One might say that I am not a socialist in that regard: your right to tell me where to swing my fist ends with it up your ass as I pull your entrails out the old-fashioned way.

    As for the idea that maybe some supernatural demon might offer something otherwise unobtainable in exchange for my soul: I have met the devil, and it is me. The devil and I both learned the hard way what a cold bitch can be.

    Like the man sang:

    Cold Cold Cold

    Like my old man often said: “Well don’t that just frost your ass!”

    I intend to either freeze hell or warm up my cold old ass in heaven, if such things avail, but if not I for sure don’t want to spend my dying days regretting being lukewarm while I lived. And now, if you’ll excuse me, Colonel Sherburn’s ex-wife is here for an especially intimate social call.

    #67552
    VietnamVet
    Participant

    The efficacy and long-term safety of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is unknown at this time. It is apparently not acutely toxic with one Swiss death reported in the millions of first shots. Without functioning public health systems in the West, the only alternative is the vaccines.

    Important people will get funding. Both corporations will do the minimum necessary, fudge questionable results and oversight by the US federal government will be next to nil. Since the states are still reporting COVID-19 deaths, if the vaccines are having any effect on the transmission of the virus and the severity of the illness, it should show up in the state morbidity data. If there are excessive extreme reactions to the second shots or reinfection, it will likely appear in the alternate media.

    Everyone is playing Russian Roulette. Death is about 50/50 risk for me if infected – a two chamber revolver. Going to the doctor’s office is a moderate risk. Say 50/50. So getting jabbed is a four chamber risk. But, being isolated, the only risk is from a virus fomite contaminated resupply which hasn’t happen yet. So, I am stuck at home unless the vaccines work spectacularly in the next three to four months. More likely, things remain fluid, the government does nothing, mail delivery stops, and when the internet goes down, nobody gets paid.

    On January 6th it looks like the Democrats will get one last shot at good governance with Congressional acceptance of the electoral vote. If they replay the first neoliberal Obama/Biden Administration, the heartland will eventually secede from either coast unless a second civil war or third world war destroys it first.

    #67553
    Geppetto
    Participant

    @Madamski

    …..won’t even try to unpack that. All I can say is it took me out of the ballpark into the stratosphere over the moon and back. Pretty damn cool post. Thank you. When I got back from that trip I was mused by a delightful night so many years ago, snowed in, a tiny mountain cabin, warm fire, some fine weed and spirits, a beautiful blonde amazon of a woman, a beautiful svelte brunette of a woman…and my lucky lucky lucky self.

    Enjoy your evening. 🙂

    #67554
    John Day
    Participant

    @Madamski: “Yep, the bomb in the baby carriage was wired to the radio”. that’s where the name came from. Good song, great album.
    And furthermore… You got the Holy Ghost speaking through you today, Sister?!
    I grew up on marine bases during Vietnam. I stayed out of that stuff. “Don’t believe hat they tell you, Kid”, a kindly young Marine once sold me with sincerity.
    I eat the flesh of plants, and eggs, and milk. That’s how far I have been able to go with non-violence.
    Getting in a fist fight is different. I got in lots of them. It might be less violent than letting a bully beat you up. Maybe. Anyway, nobody could catch me running through the forest, and I never said “uncle”.
    Compicated world.

    @John
    Straightwalker. I read about your bamboo chair collapse and look at the sky.
    I recognized Kohala Mtn. Rd. I did that on my bike a lot of times. It is sure fast descending to Waimea.

    @WES
    : That guy sounds kind of like Ross Perot, for whom I once voted. (Not a Bush or a Clinton.)
    I always cut my own hair, too. It’s a pony tail. I was ok cutting the kids hair , too.

    @Zerosum
    : I set the bar pretty low, too, Brother. Hoping things go basically ok(ish) this year for us…
    @Farang-V.Arnold: You live in lovely northern Thailand.

    @Geppetto
    : You might like Straghtwalker’s book. Maybe you know The Road To Dharmsala.

    @Ilargi
    : More COVID tomorrow, but not really anything new..
    Maybe we can all get sick sooner with B117 variant. Take vitamin-D.

    #67555
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    @Farang-V.Arnold: You live in lovely northern Thailand.

    Actually no; I live in west central about 40k from the infamous bridge on the river Kwai and about 40k from the Burmese border (as the crow flies)…

    #67566
    madamski
    Participant

    “a delightful night so many years ago, snowed in, a tiny mountain cabin, warm fire, some fine weed and spirits, a beautiful blonde amazon of a woman, a beautiful svelte brunette of a woman…and my lucky lucky lucky self.”

    Why, Gepetto, you appear to be a lesbian! 😉

    #67577
    Geppetto
    Participant

    @madamski

    “Why, Gepetto, you appear to be a lesbian!”

    You know I have never thought of that until now! It took many years before I realized the big beautiful blond Amazon was never going to be able to be loved……by a man anyway. She skillfully used me as bait to get in the sack with many other beautiful humans of her own gender. Being as thick as I can be I went along for probably too many years. No regrets really, well,maybe the money I spent on drugs, she was a fiend for experience and we had many *adventures*. I remain fascinated by women to this day,large,small,thick, thin,of all hair and skin colors,all ethnicities, I especially like the ones with large……brains. Go figure? A glutton for punishment.

    I thought about your post from last night more than a little. It’s funny the things we leave in the bus of our psyche, some we just move all the way to the back row. The Huckleberry Finn metaphor(?) was not lost to me. I was starting to wonder if perhaps you had been one of my Lit or Econ instructors. You would have to be 85 to a hundred years old though and some of those were men and some of those were women. Hmmmmmmmm. Hahaha!

    But it seems you are all about ‘heat’ and I can get behind that. I can close my eyes and conjure images of men torn asunder by other men in all the myriad ways we machine people do…but I can also close my eyes and conjure images of warmth, softness, innocence and youth…and those are the ones I will hold.

    🙂

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.