Jan 202021
 January 20, 2021  Posted by at 10:33 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jean-Léon Gérôme Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896


Can We Stop a Super Coronavirus? (Spiegel)
New COVID Strain Reportedly Emerging Within Brazilian Amazon (ZH)
The New Domestic War On Terror Is Coming (Glenn Greenwald)
Comey Calls For the Republican Party To Be “Burned Down” (Turley)
Baghdad On The Potomac – Welcome To The Blue Zone (Escobar)
Media Cheers DC Under Military Occupation (Tracey)
Biden’s DHS Pick To “Study” Whether To Keep Trump’s Border Wall (PFW) /span>
US Bombs Somalia After Troop Withdrawal (Antiwar)
Pension Funds Plot Move On China’s $16 Trillion Sovereign Bond Market (R.)
Taming The Social Media Monster (K.)
Liberals Traumatized by Agreeing with Mitch McConnell (Borowitz)



Feeling numb this morning, as I’m sure many of you do. Not only because Trump failed to pardon Julian Assange, though that is a major letdown, but also because it’s more obvious than ever that nothing has changed. The same cabal is either still in power or is returning to it. And now they’re going to clean the US from everyone who rejected them and supported Trump. For clickbait, power and revenge. And I’m a bit tired of reading it all.





Tucker Carlson: Mitch McConnell “sent word over to the White House: if you pardon Julian Assange, we are much more likely to convict you in an impeachment trial.”




Julian Assange will get his freedom back this year, pardon or not.



A mutation a week.

Can We Stop a Super Coronavirus? (Spiegel)

Three different new mutants of the novel coronavirus have begun spreading at break-neck speed around the world. They have two things in common: a very specific mutation – and they are far more effective at infecting people than previous versions, with the new variants likely up to 56 percent more infectious. There are also worries that they could prove less susceptible to some vaccines and that people who have already had COVID-19 could get infected again. The cases that have been imported into the country so far demonstrate that it’s likely impossible to seal Germany off from the new variants. It’s probably just a matter of time before the super viruses begin spreading in Germany and Europe. And it’s quite possible that this has already happened.

For a long time, it seemed as if the world knew its enemy – a coronavirus that could be compared with its ancestor SARS and other coronaviruses like MERS. In small steps, we became more familiar with how the disease spreads and what we can do to best protect ourselves. We got to know the virus right down to the last molecule – so well that researchers were able to develop vaccines in record time, promising to help humanity out of the permanent lockdown. We would, it seemed, bring SARS-CoV-2 under control in 2021. Now, though, the virus is mutating – unfortunately in a direction that is likely to lead to many more victims. [..] German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, as a physicist, has an in-depth understanding of numerical models, is deeply concerned about the current developments.

In recent days, she has been calling ministers, scientists and experts she trusts, asking for suggestions about what to do if the new virus mutants also spread in Germany. She doesn’t share the hope of some that the current lockdown can drive the numbers down any time soon. “Germany is facing eight to 10 very tough weeks,” Merkel said last Tuesday. The next day, during a meeting of her cabinet, Merkel discussed what would have happened had France not barred people from entering the country from Ireland. She said it might have become necessary for Germany to set up controls at the border with France.

[..] But the B.1.351 variant discovered in South Africa and the B.1.1.248 mutant found in Brazil and Japan are no less harmful than their British cousin. On the contrary. They contain another mutation in their genetic material – E484K – which could prove to be very dangerous. It’s likely that it weakens the human immune response – and could even render some of the newly developed vaccines less effective. Pharmaceutical companies are currently testing the efficacy of their vaccines against the new mutants. The mutation N501Y that is common to the new variants is located at a central position of the pathogen: on the spikes that are the source of the coronavirus’ name.

SARS-CoV-2 uses the spike protein’s receptor binding domain to latch on to the host cell and invade it. Scientists believe the mutation makes it easier for the virus to latch on to host cells. Once the new variants have infected the host, the disease proceeds just as it has in previous variants: They aren’t more lethal than the original coronaviruses. That, though, is hardly reassuring: Because the mutants are able to infect so many more people, they are capable of causing more fatalities than would a mutant that made people sicker but which was less contagious.

Read more …

“..more infectious, and deadlier..”

New COVID Strain Reportedly Emerging Within Brazilian Amazon (ZH)

As warnings about the hyper-infectious COVID strains first isolated in the UK and South Africa ring out across the US, Europe and, well, the rest of the world, too, at this point, authorities in Brazil fear they may have a new strain on their hands that’s more infectious, and deadlier, than anything the world has seen previously. According to a report published by Brazilian outlet Universo Online, a surge in cases and deaths, particularly among younger patients, in the hard-hit Amazonian city of Manaus (situated in northwestern Brazil, on the banks of the River Negro) has drawn the attention of health professionals working on the front lines of the pandemic in the hard-hit Latin American powerhouse.

Several officials with direct knowledge of the situation told UOL that a new “variant” – a mutated strain of the virus – may be responsible for harsher symptoms, and quicker onset times. But the most alarming shift has been a surge in deaths among younger people, who are dying now in greater numbers than in earlier waves of the outbreak in Manaus, which has long struggled with overburdened health-care resources. According to Manaus death records from the past 30 days cited by ULO, four out of ten deaths during that time involved patients under the age of 60 in the state.

The UOL analyzed the latest data Transparency Portal of the registry offices. There were 710 deaths in the state (since it may still increase), of which 285 were people under 60 years old – or 40.1% of the total. Before that period, this percentage was 36.5%. “Without a doubt many more young people are dying. We are not just talking about a risk group: this is in all age groups, affecting babies, children, teenagers even without comorbidity”, points out the infectologist Silvia Leopoldina, who also works in the state public networks and municipal of Manaus. The doctor says there were changes in the behavior of the disease in the state. “Before, the first symptoms of severity appeared around the tenth day onwards. Now there are patients who, with seven, eight days, are involved in 75% of both lungs.”.

One researcher told ULO that, while he couldn’t say for certain what it is, “something very different” is happening in Manaus right now. “Something very different is happening in Manaus. I don’t know if it is a new strain or if it is something different. But those on the front line are seeing an increase in the severity of the cases,” says infectologist and researcher Noaldo Lucena, who works in popular clinic, home care and public hospitals. The new infection and death numbers are so severe, he says, they go beyond the already known greater contagiousness of the new variant of the virus. “Clearly, we are facing an invisible being that is much more pathogenic and transmissible. Today whole families arrive with the symptoms at the same time, before it was one at a time.”

Read more …

Clickbait dreams.

The New Domestic War On Terror Is Coming (Glenn Greenwald)

The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting “terrorism” that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This trend shows no sign of receding as we move farther from the January 6 Capitol riot. The opposite is true: it is intensifying. We have witnessed an orgy of censorship from Silicon Valley monopolies with calls for far more aggressive speech policing, a visibly militarized Washington, D.C. featuring a non-ironically named “Green Zone,” vows from the incoming president and his key allies for a new anti-domestic terrorism bill, and frequent accusations of “sedition,” “treason,” and “terrorism” against members of Congress and citizens.

This is all driven by a radical expansion of the meaning of “incitement to violence.” It is accompanied by viral-on-social-media pleas that one work with the FBI to turn in one’s fellow citizens (See Something, Say Something!) and demands for a new system of domestic surveillance. Underlying all of this are immediate insinuations that anyone questioning any of this must, by virtue of these doubts, harbor sympathy for the Terrorists and their neo-Nazi, white supremacist ideology. Liberals have spent so many years now in a tight alliance with neocons and the CIA that they are making the 2002 version of John Ashcroft look like the President of the (old-school) ACLU. The more honest proponents of this new domestic War on Terror are explicitly admitting that they want to model it on the first one.

A New York Times reporter noted on Monday that a “former intelligence official on PBS NewsHour” said “that the US should think about a ‘9/11 Commission’ for domestic extremism and consider applying some of the lessons from the fight against Al Qaeda here at home.” More amazingly, Gen. Stanley McChrystal — for years head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and the commander of the war in Afghanistan — explicitly compared that war to this new one, speaking to Yahoo News: “I did see a similar dynamic in the evolution of al-Qaida in Iraq, where a whole generation of angry Arab youth with very poor prospects followed a powerful leader who promised to take them back in time to a better place, and he led them to embrace an ideology that justified their violence. This is now happening in America….I think we’re much further along in this radicalization process, and facing a much deeper problem as a country, than most Americans realize.”

Read more …

75 million voters. Burn them all down?

Comey Calls For the Republican Party To Be “Burned Down” (Turley)

There is an interesting interview this week with former FBI Director James Comey. He states that he now believes that the infamous alleged “pee tape” may be real and makes other surprising statements while pitching his new book. One statement, however, stood out: “The Republican party needs to be burned down … It’s just not a healthy political organization.” Since the Republican National Committee was targeted with a pipe bomb in the recent riots, some could argue that this is incitement to arson or violence. I would not. I would call it free speech and hyperbole. The question is where the line is drawn given the impeachment of Donald Trump based on his speech and the allegations that others who used such hyperbolic language are actually guilty of incitement.

As I have previously stated, I condemned Trump’s speech in a series of tweets while it was being given and I called for a bipartisan vote of censure over his responsibility in the riots. However, I opposed the use of a snap impeachment by the House and raised concerns over the framing of the article of impeachment as an “incitement to insurrection.” Despite the chorus of legal experts insisting that the speech would constitute a strong case for criminal incitement (and the DC Attorney General said he may charge Trump), I believe such a prosecution would eventually collapse on free speech grounds if based solely on this speech and Trump’s other public statements.

Comey is not alone in the use of such rhetoric in today’s super-heated political environment. We previously discussed how conservatives have pointed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) calling for people to confront Republican leaders in restaurants; Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) insisted during 2020’s violent protests that “there needs to be unrest in the streets,” while then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said “protesters should not let up” even as many protests were turning violent. They can all legitimately argue that their rhetoric was not meant to be a call for violence, but this is a standard fraught with subjectivity.

Read more …

“Only satire is capable of doing poetic justice to what is, de facto, the Potemkin inauguration of a hologram.”

Baghdad On The Potomac – Welcome To The Blue Zone (Escobar)

During the 2000s, I came face to face with Baghdad’s Green Zone multiple times. I always stayed, and worked, in the hyper-volatile Red Zone – as you may check in my 2007 book Red Zone Blues. We knew then that blowback would be inevitable. But still, we could never have imagined such a graphic simulacrum: the Green Zone fully replicated in the heart of imperial D.C. – complete with walls, barbed wire, multiple checkpoints, heavily armed guards. That is even more significant because it ends a full “new world order” geopolitical cycle: the empire started bombing – and cluster bombing – Iraq 30 years ago. Desert Storm was launched in January 17, 1991.

The Blue Zone is now “protected” by a massive 26,000 plus troop surge – way more than Afghanistan and Iraq combined. The Forever Wars – which you may now relieve through my archives – have come back full circle. Just like an ordinary Iraqi was not allowed inside the Green Zone, no ordinary American is allowed inside the Blue Zone. Just like the Green Zone, those inside the Blue Zone represent none other than themselves. And just like the Green Zone, those inside the Blue Zone are viewed by half of the population in the Red Zone as an occupying force. Only satire is capable of doing poetic justice to what is, de facto, the Potemkin inauguration of a hologram. So welcome to the most popular president in history inaugurated in secret, and fearful of his own, fake, Praetorian Guard. The Global South has seen this grisly show before – in endless reruns. But never as a homegrown Hollywood flick.

Meanwhile, trapped inside the Blue Zone, the White House has been busy compiling an interminable list of accomplishments. Multitudes will go berserk relieving the appalling foreign policy disasters, courtesy of American Psycho Mike Pompeo; debunking the official narrative partially or as a whole; and even agreeing with the odd “accomplishment”. Yet close attention should be paid to a key item: “Colossal Rebuilding of the Military”. This is what is going to play a key role beyond January 20 – as Gen Flynn has been extremely busy showing evidence to the military, at all levels, of how “compromised” is the new Hologram-in-Chief. And then there’s the rolling, never-ending November 3 drama. Blame should be duly apportioned. Impeachment, digital witch hunts, rounding up “domestic terrorists”, that is not enough. “Foreign interference” is a must.

Read more …

“..everyone with a brain by now should be able to recognize that the government was never at a greater than 0% risk of being overthrown that day..”

Media Cheers DC Under Military Occupation (Tracey)

Downtown Washington, DC is currently under what essentially amounts to military occupation. Streets are locked down, guarded by Army vehicles and blocked off by huge, garish checkpoints. Vehicular traffic is limited to motorists who can show papers demonstrating that, as one Guardsman told me, they are conducting “legitimate business.” (Apparently this includes Uber drivers and food delivery workers.) According to official estimates, 25,000 military personnel are now deployed to the area — on top of countless federal, state, and local law enforcement agents. Troops roam around carrying rifles with no ammo loaded. If you can manage to navigate on foot to the perimeter of the National Mall, you encounter an enormous fencing apparatus, complete with barbed wire.

Question: does anyone with a media job find this situation to be worthy of some further inquiry? Or in other words, worthy of questioning the premise of why such an extravagantly intensive military presence is allegedly necessary? Is it proportionate to the scale of the purported threat? Has the nature of the threat itself — whatever that might be, exactly — been adequately probed to determine whether it is grounded in reality? Already a bunch of purported threats initially trumpeted across the media with the usual five-alarm-five hysteria have dissipated in short order, so there is perhaps some reason for doubt in that regard. Instead of applying a modicum of skepticism to this gigantic show of military force, much of which appears to be “security theater” in its purest form, our vaunted media is doing little other than cheering it on.

And of course, inflating the threats being cited as justification for it. They can repeat over and over again that what occurred on January 6 at the Capitol was an “attempted coup,” and therefore everything and anything is justified to retaliate, but everyone with a brain by now should be able to recognize that the government was never at a greater than 0% risk of being overthrown that day. Fear-inducing terms like “insurrection,” “domestic terrorism,” “seditious conspiracy,” “armed rebellion,” and others have been marshaled intentionally to inure the public to extreme actions such as the swiftly-executed corporate censorship purge and now, the transformation of the country’s capital into a military fortress.

Read more …

Caravans are on their way, programs installed for large scale pardons. In a pandemic.

Biden’s DHS Pick To “Study” Whether To Keep Trump’s Border Wall (PFW) /span>

On the same day Trump extended an emergency declaration at the southern border, Biden’s pick for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, says that he will “study” whether the border wall constructed under the Trump administration will remain in place. “President-elect Biden has committed to stop construction of the border wall. It would be my responsibility to execute on that and I have not looked at the question of what we do with respect to the wall that has already been built,” Mayorkas said Tuesday during his Senate confirmation hearing. “I look forward to studying that question, understanding the costs and benefits of doing so, being open and transparent with you and all members of this committee, sharing my thoughts and considerations and working cooperative with you toward a solution,” he said.

The incoming DHS Sec. says that he plans to work on “harnessing innovation and technology” for future border security as he believes a border wall may not be the most effective way to stop people from entering the country. President-elect Biden has stated that he would not construct “another foot” of border wall between the U.S. and Mexico when he assumes office. “There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration, No. 1,” Biden said in August. “I’m going to make sure that we have border protection, but it’s going to be based on making sure that we use high-tech capacity to deal with it. And at the ports of entry — that’s where all the bad stuff is happening,”

As we highlighted earlier, President Donald Trump on Tuesday extended his declared emergency at the southern border to be in effect until February 2022. The order set in motion funding for the now 453 miles in length southern border wall after congress had folded on devoting money to the project in 2019.

Read more …

Back to normal.

US Bombs Somalia After Troop Withdrawal (Antiwar)

After announcing that the troop withdrawal from Somalia was completed on Sunday, the US carried out multiple airstrikes in the African country on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it launched an airstrike on a compound belonging to al-Shabab and did not report any casualties. On Tuesday, AFRICOM said it carried out two airstrikes in the vicinities of Jamaame and Deb Scinnele, Somalia, that killed three al-Shabab “operatives” with no other reported casualties. AFRICOM usually claims no civilians are killed in its Somalia airstrikes, but whenever journalists or human rights groups make it to the scene of a US airstrike in the country, they tell a much different story.

The airstrikes were likely a message to al-Shabab that despite the troop withdrawal, the US can still carry out airstrikes in Somalia. About 700 US troops were pulled out of Somalia, with many of them being shuffled around East African to neighboring Djibouti and Kenya, where the US drones are based that bomb al-Shabab. President Trump started sending troops to Somalia in 2017 and significantly escalated the drone war by loosening the rules of engagement. In 2020 alone, Trump bombed Somalia more than George W Bush and Barack Obama combined.

Read more …

Unintended consequences of ultra-low rates?! Dutch 10-year bond yields are -0.4%, Chinese 3%.

Under these circumstances, how much newly minted stimulus money will disappear into China?

Pension Funds Plot Move On China’s $16 Trillion Sovereign Bond Market (R.)

China’s $16 trillion sovereign debt market is the proverbial elephant in the investment room. But it’s becoming too big to ignore, even for the most risk-averse Western investors. A large, A+ rated market that pays 3% yields, with minimal volatility? It’s looking increasingly alluring for European pension funds swimming in sub-zero bond yields as aging populations stretch their finances. For some, the benefits are beginning to outweigh the political risks, and they are upping allocations to China, or considering doing so, according to Reuters’ interviews with half a dozen firms that advise and manage money for pension funds.

“Not all our clients invest in China’s bond market, but they are all looking into it,” said Sandor Steverink, head of Treasuries at APG, which manages a third of the assets of the 1.5-trillion-euro ($1.8 trillion) Dutch pension industry. Dutch 10-year bond yields are languishing at around -0.4%, spelling losses for any investor who holds them to maturity, a picture reflected across Europe. Such fund interest is a boon for Beijing, which is seeking to internationalize its financial markets and lure big-ticket overseas investors as its once-mighty trade surpluses dwindle. Europe’s pension industry alone is worth $4 trillion. China’s sovereign debt market is the world’s second-largest after the United States. Yet while foreigners own a third of the U.S. Treasury market, they hold just 9.7% of China’s sovereign debt, according to government data.

Read more …

“But doesn’t the problem run deeper than that? Does it not lie with the social media firms’ business model, which seeks to monopolize users’ attention to the benefit of their clients who advertise on their platform?”

Taming The Social Media Monster (K.)

Western democracies must win back control of the boundaries of public debate from social media giants, Marietje Schaake suggests in an exclusive interview with Kathimerini. Schaake, a former member of the European Parliament, is now international policy director at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center and international policy fellow at Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. She spoke to Kathimerini about outgoing US President Donald Trump, the digital footprint of the European Union, and how public policy can tame the monster that social media has turned into. Trump’s social media ban, Schaake tells the newspaper, “made many people realize the actual power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms.” The companies’ decision raises “many questions,” she says.

“Why, for example, did they ban the American president but not other international leaders that post very controversial or harmful content?” However, Schaake says, “the real question is not whether this was a good or bad decision, but why we allow privatized governance of our democratic debate.” How can the public sphere reassert control over this debate? “We must first of all demand that these firms be much more transparent with the policies on which their decisions are based. These [policies] cannot be a response to pressure or to outcry coming from their own employees. These policies must hinge on international or European standards regarding the freedom of speech and its limitations; and there must be independent monitoring that will certify the degree to which these companies fulfill their commitments.

“I was struck by the fact that Twitter has since January 8 deactivated more than 70,000 accounts associated with the QAnon [far-right conspiracy] – and that this happened after QAnon had been banned.” According to Schaake, this shows how hard it is to monitor a platform’s content on a rolling basis, as offshoots of banned groups keep coming into being. “The governments of democratic states must have a strong say in this,” says Schaake. “They must clarify what the rule of law means in the digital world and make sure that there are mechanisms in place to enforce it,” she says. She says authorities must have access to algorithmic methodologies and decide on clear sanctions against firms that fail to comply. “Regulatory authorities must have the knowledge, the staff and the resources they need to deal with the armies of lawyers that the companies bring to the table,” she says.

But doesn’t the problem run deeper than that? Does it not lie with the social media firms’ business model, which seeks to monopolize users’ attention to the benefit of their clients who advertise on their platform? Schaake does not challenge the claim. However, she stresses that if the situation has spun out of control, it is “due to a long period of basic inaction on the part of democratic governments, particularly in the US.” Bringing the anarchic landscape under control, she says, presupposes immediate action on a series of fronts: anti-trust policy, protection of privacy, personal data, and so on.

Read more …

“..a temporary condition..”

Liberals Traumatized by Agreeing with Mitch McConnell (Borowitz)

Millions of liberals were traumatized on Tuesday when they found themselves in agreement with Mitch McConnell, liberals are reporting. From Santa Monica, California, to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, liberals sought emergency counselling, complaining of a range of symptoms after realizing that they were on the same side as the senator from Kentucky. Carol Foyler, a liberal from Austin, Texas, said that she experienced lightheadedness and nausea after liking a Facebook post that detailed McConnell’s remarks in the Senate. “The room started spinning,” she said. Dr. Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota Medical School said that liberals who are traumatized by agreeing with McConnell should “not be concerned” and should recognize that it is a temporary condition. “They’re not going to wake up tomorrow and start agreeing with Devin Nunes,” he said.

Read more …



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Home Forums Debt Rattle January 20 2021

Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)
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  • #68604

    Jean-Léon Gérôme Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896   • Can We Stop a Super Coronavirus? (Spiegel) • New COVID Strain Reportedly
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle January 20 2021]

    V. Arnold

    Jean-Léon Gérôme Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896

    Yes, this has been posted before; I love the art as much as the theme; our shameful behavior despite the redemtion of the cross…
    …mankind living its nature…


    A fitting work of art for January 20, 2021. Not the least because Trump failed to pardon Assange or Snowden.


    It’s as fitting as the Calvin, I think.

    Mr. House

    Creepy Sea of Flags, American Will to Power

    Creepy Sea of Flags American Will to Power


    Old White Joe über alles

    Old White Joe


    Got that Nuremberg thang going with the spot lights!

    Nuremberg Thang


    So Joe Biden isn’t going to pardon Julian as one of his first 17 executive orders?


    So now that Joe is here, all of America’s problems will disappear!


    Lone Stranger


    The Lone Stranger and Kameo-sahbee shall lead us out of the Wilderness

    Train of Thought

    Dr. D


    This irony in this comic that that the artist was so ultra-far womyn-only super-woke that people actually feared for his sanity. No joke. Yet when you have art, and humor, it can still finally break through. This is why you redeem and not denounce. You heal and not hurt. You extend and not withdraw. As only the good guys can. Despite the new chilling levels recorded by Johnstone.

    Dr. D

    SAT drops subject tests, essay section to ‘reduce demands on students’” –NBC

    Translation: Americans are illiterate and test scores keep dropping so they have once again lowered the test standards. …But not to fear! One day these students will be your doctor. Then they won’t know what 99.97% is. #The Wonderful Power of Lies.

    “UK Authorities Could Force People to Take Selfie Every Day to “Prove” They’re Self-Isolating
    Failure to comply would result in police visit…”

    Brings new meaning to the phrase, “We’re all Assange now.” Yes, we’re all under infinite house arrest and solitary confinement without a crime or any due process of law. Until we are killed by a lawless, overreaching state. And yes, we arrest your kids if we don’t starve them, murder them or give them mental health problems first.


    Truth, coming out of darkness, does not look as good/attractive//sexy/ as in my dreams/or as I’ve been conditioned/and expecting.
    Rule of law
    In the USA, the enablers found a way to lock up people and not have due process, (fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen’s entitlement.)

    Julian Assange will not get a pardon.
    Back to the past.
    Biden and the boys are back and taking over again.

    Making changes is hard
    Trump couldn’t do it in 2020 with +74M votes
    Ross Perot couldn’t do it, (18.9%)
    The future – culling
    • New COVID Strain Reportedly Emerging Within Brazilian Amazon (ZH)
    While researchers are still working to confirm exactly what is causing the surge in deaths and severity in Manaus, the biggest fears remain: that new mutations of COVID-19 might be able to pierce through immunity from past infections, and the vaccine.

    With just hours to go before his swearing-in, Joe Biden and his team have already started Wednesday with a blitz of announcements for Executive Orders that will be issued immediately.
    Of these 17 actions, 9 will involve reversals of Trump-era policies.
    Biden will sign the EOs and other memoranda in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon, his incoming press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
    As we know, roughly half of the country feels differently, but their voices are not as well-represented on the news and the Internet. Most media outlets cannot seem to bear to publish anything that is not one-sided and negative about Trump and his term. This begs for a bit of balance, even if it’s dwarfed by the counter-narrative.

    Built after consulting a variety of experts on the economy, national security, foreign policy and domestic issues, here is a short list that reflects “the other side” of the Trump presidency; one that is not so easy to find within today’s managed information landscape.

    Trump granted pardons to 73 people, and commutations to another 70, according to the White House, which released the full list here.

    Here’s a list of a few other notable names curated by Bloomberg:

    Anomalies in the Capitol Melee

    Somebody needs to get a memo to the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys in charge of arresting and prosecuting the people involved in the January 6 melee at the Capitol. At this point, all I see is that these people are being charged with offenses like trespass, disorderly conduct, and theft. Judging by what leftists are saying and what the mainstream press is reporting, these people should be charged with treason, insurrection, revolution, rebellion, invasion, terrorism, and an attempt to violently overthrow the government of the United States. How come the Justice Department doesn’t realize that, at least not yet?

    In fact, I’m surprised that leftists and the mainstream press aren’t insisting that all the protestors, including those on both the inside and outside of the Capitol, be charged with a gigantic conspiracy to violently overthrow the U.S. government. Maybe they’re concerned about being labeled “conspiracy theorists.”

    One of the fascinating aspects of this supposed attempt to conquer the U.S. government is the small amount of bloodshed. In fact, only one person was shot during the melee. That’s incredible. Wouldn’t you think that revolutionaries would enter the Capitol with all guns blaring, including M-16s, AK-47s, and Glock semiautomatic handguns?

    Well, the left has an explanation for this phenomenon: Washington, D.C.’s, strict gun control laws. You see, the idea is that the reason that the revolutionaries didn’t commit a mass killing in the Capitol, like at Columbine, was because D.C.’s gun-control laws prohibit people from openly carrying guns.

    What about the one person who was shot? That was a woman named Ashli Babbitt, a 14-year Air Force veteran from California. She was shot by a Capitol police officer as she was being hoisted up to the rim of a broken window inside the Capitol.

    Babbit wasn’t armed, and she wasn’t assaulting anyone at the time she was shot dead. She wasn’t threatening anyone, including the person who shot her.

    It’s standard law that law-enforcement officers are permitted to use deadly force only in very limited circumstances, primarily when they are in reasonable fear that their lives are being threatened. Offenses such as disorderly conduct, theft, and trespass don’t justify the use of deadly force (except trespass into one’s home).

    Why did that Capitol policeman shoot Ashli Babbitt? We don’t know. And unfortunately, the left and the mainstream press are not demanding an explanation, much as they do, correctly, when an unarmed black person is shot and killed by the cops. That hypocritical indifference to Babbitt’s life could conceivably give rise to a wider use of the phrase among white nationalists, “White lives matter too.”

    Two other people died in the melee from heart attacks. That’s amazing. Wouldn’t you think that people who were set on a course of conquering the U.S. government would go and get a physical before attempting this monumental feat?

    There was one police officer killed during the melee. He was killed when someone hit him in the head with a fire extinguisher. No doubt that person will be charged with murder. Time will tell whether he actually intended to kill the officer or whether he is guilty instead of manslaughter or negligent homicide.


    What’s with Trump’s swastika marked drum? In all his clumsiness Trump was the president who revealed utter rot of the
    city and those who we hold as as our lawmakers. Career climb to some jobs with lofty names but far cry from real public service. Interwoven fabric where anybody’s nod can elevate or sink somebody’s career is lunacy pot of living in fear, from which we are expecting that decisions made are to benefit us.

    Bombing in Somalia (and elsewhere). Compare that to the map of Europe with Roman built roads posted couple days ago. Austro-Hungarian empire had too, penchant to build roads and rails. Good number of buildings in distant reaches of an empire were of such a quality as if designed for the city of Vienna’s center.

    Covid, of course new, even deadlier strains measured buy the unreliable test. Proles are using a calculator too much and discovering that numbers does not make sense.

    Left leg of a beautiful young woman was deliberately painted not to be as graceful but rather of somebody who is about to a wreck havoc.


    I am struggling today.
    I pinned hopes on Assange being pardoned. I didn’t realize I had invested that much into it. And I knew odds were against it. Nobody in my circle (my meatspace circle) understands it. Nobody has time to think about the implications of it. What his purposely brutal incarceration means for truthtelling, for *actual* journalism (RIP), for the Machiavellian full-press, carte-blanche it implies for bureaucrats and elected officials and the Grima Wormtongues that inform them. The name barely registers with any of my circle. That’s just one topic – I’ve had discussions with two people in the last 24 hours about the mRNA “vaccines.” People read the marketing materials as amplified through the mainstream media. Proven safe and effective. 95%. Full stop, that’s all they needed to hear. wow, new tech! sign me up! then moar teevee and FB and OOOOH LOOK WHAT’S ON AMAZON I NEED ONE. Can’t be bothered to wedge the Overton window wider, just for a moment, and maybe just glimpse the motives behind the marketing. It’s terrifying yes but it’s part of being a good citizen/father/mother/sibling/friend.

    I’m struggling. What do I do next, how do I even process, how do I absorb all this so I can cling to my raft of semi-sanity. So I explained it all to my dog. I don’t think he understands either TBTH, he’s smart but doesn’t speak English, doesn’t keep up on current events. But he’s empathic and he can tell when I’m low. He’s a good listener and that’s what I really needed. It helped.

    I don’t know where this leads. I feel like like I am a minority of one, and not for the first time.

    Dr. D

    Seems like, but that’s the point of incredible, overwhelming, expensive engineering. It cost this much to create the illusion that you’re alone and there aren’t, at least in one country, 75 million people right there on your side, asking questions, fighting censorship.

    One thing you realize most is that all these Ego master plans, all things that work against the Tao, the Way, the Logos, take parbolically increasing energy, and man’s energy is finite. God’s is not. In the end, Nature wins.

    In the meantime, however, we live in the mean-time.

    John Day

    @HerrWerner: Put one foot in front of the other in some useful task when you feel this way. I do. It eventually helps a bit. I will look back and feel that I did get something done despite the oppressive gloom.
    @Dr.D: Nice side you just showed there, Brother!

    Maxwell Quest

    Two posts inspired me to comment today. The first was Dr. D’s Tatsuya Ishida cartoon of a future fascist dystopia, because that seems to be the direction in which we are heading. I see nothing that has hindered the consolidation of both power and wealth into fewer and fewer hands. Note how Trumpism, a poorly run attempt to reinvigorate American nationalism, was immediately under attack from day one and then crushed in a most brazen manner.

    The second, was the post by Mr. House of the article: THE USA AND THE CRISIS: HOW AND WHY THE OLIGARCHS FIGHT TRUMPISM. This, from where I sit, appeared to give the best picture of where we are historically, and what forces are at play. Specifically, a cartel of transnational oligarchs representing international finance who are busy looting the globe.

    I believe that the US has been under their control since WWII, and that Trump was merely a bump in the road which needed to be eliminated. He represented a reactionary movement to their neoliberal, globalist policies. That is why so much energy is currently being poured into destroying and discrediting his movement. That is why Silicon Valley oligarchs are busy purging the information landscape of Trumpism (aka nationalism), under the palatable guise of fighting hate speech.


    I feel your pain. I too feel like a foreigner in my own country, and in my own circle. I don’t think the time is far off where Tatsuya Ishida’s cartoon will come to pass. But instead of flying robots, it will be like East Germany, where a propagandized populace will turn in their neighbor or family member for speaking against establishment policy. Then, it’ll be off to the reeducation camp or Gulag. But who needs a neighborhood snitch when there are millions terabytes of social media postings to sift through to identify anyone that has escaped their matrix of lies.

    In the meantime, have a nice day!

    John Day

    You have already seen a lot of this: https://www.johndayblog.com/2021/01/domestic-war.html

    55 Americans Have Died Following COVID Vaccination, Norway Deaths Rise To 29​ , “Deaths of coincidence”​ keep mounting.

    Chinese health experts call to suspend Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine for elderly after Norwegian deaths

    Vaccine Injury Reporting Systems ‘Utterly Inadequate,’ Independent Researchers Say
    New peer-reviewed study of adverse events following MMRV vaccines highlights the urgent need for independent research on vaccine safety and the importance of informed consent and vaccine choice.
    (Notably, the healthy 56-year-old Florida doctor who recently died after getting Pfizer’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine developed an ultimately fatal form of thrombocytopenia three days after vaccination.)

    Vaccine Injury Reporting Systems ‘Utterly Inadequate,’ Independent Researchers Say

    ​NewSARS-CoV-2 Brazilian variant from Manus​ spreads rapidly and infects lots of people in the area who already had COVID last March.
    ​ ​We have detected a new variant circulating in December in Manaus, Amazonas state, north Brazil, where very high attack rates have been estimated previously. The new lineage, named P.1 (descendent of B.1.1.28), contains a unique constellation of lineage defining mutations, including several mutations of known biological importance such as E484K, K417T, and N501Y. Importantly, the P.1 lineage was identified in 42% (13 out of 31) RT-PCR positive samples collected between 15 to 23 December, but it was absent in 26 publicly available genome surveillance samples collected in Manaus between March to November 2020. These findings indicate local transmission and possibly recent increase in the frequency of a new lineage from the Amazon region. The higher diversity and the earlier sampling dates of P.1. in Manaus corroborates the travel info of recently detected cases in Japan, suggesting the direction of travel was Manaus to Japan. The recent emergence of variants with multiple shared mutations in spike raises concern about convergent evolution to a new phenotype, potentially associated with an increase in transmissibility or propensity for re-infection of individuals


    And now they’re going to clean the US from everyone who rejected them and supported Trump. For clickbait, power and revenge. And I’m a bit tired of reading it all. – Ilargi

    Yes. Reverse, say, McCarthy-ism. The Right as Red Traitors in cahoots with Russkies..fascinating.. While the ‘Deplorables’ or more correctly those who hope to sway, lead them, bleat on about Socialism or cultural Marxism, not USA values, no no.

    As if China-Joe was a ‘communist’ devil and not merely a senile corporate hack with very strong authoritarian impulses (one could say more but I refrain.) Just goes to show that these vague ideological slogans are but cover for underground power struggles.

    It looks like the Duopoly has broken down.

    The oligarchs, that is the their minions the Pols., collectively pretending to adhere to one of two vaguely different “outlooks” or “principled stances” in a narrow band, marginally affecting socio-economic organisation, all grossly resting on prejudice, competition, and tribalism (id.pol. etc.) is now crispy toast as the USA enters…:

    The AGE of the acknowledged UNI-Party. One ‘tribe’ has won and dictates the Agenda.

    After all, Gore (who won imho) conceded, no problem, and I’m not sure now that Kerry won (don’t recall exactly) but that went smoothly. See many of the Repub. pols who now shun Trump, chasing their share of the crumbling cake. Trump quit while not really conceding within the system as was, plainly signalling the election was fraudulent, etc.

    However, the clickbait thing – aka influence and income and deals for the MSM, tv, print and internet and more generally GAFAM as the French call it 1 is not going to work well for them. Trump was and is immensely popular and followers will check out / seek alternative venues, maybe radicalising while doing so.

    As we know, when the UniParty controls the Media and it becomes a subservient organ of the State (to put it in old-fash terms) ppl check out, don’t listen, and make fun. All lies, they sneer. Some spiffed-up gal actress mouthing made-up news on a blue screeeeen with a fake backdrop of fireworks or rainbow asteroids, nope, No. That was pretty much the picture in the ex-USSR peripherals before the Fall of the Wall (.. 1990)

    The ‘power and revenge’ part is fuelled by desperate fear. They – Dem part of the PTB – know the election was ‘stolen’ (effected by computer algos) so they have to anticipate and then deny, drown, kill off, all challenges, objections, which will perforce come from Trump supporters.

    1 Google Apple Facebook Amazon sometimes plus Microsoft

    Dr. D

    Hate to keep piping up today, but in the incredible confusion, several things still stand out here.

    1) The markets. Including Armstrong’s uncharacteristic failure to predict an even on Jan 8. Markets SHOULD (even though completely rigged) be indicating something. Something. Instead they’re the dog that didn’t bark. Bitcoin, a probable Biden hedge? Nothing, up but gyrating around 5%. Dow? Nothing. Continuing rigged range of 31,000. US$? A little but not really. You’d look for a real noteworthy plunge on (another) $2T stimulus OR an executive turmoil OR continuing the planned and executed destruction of the U.S.

    So everybody knew everything and nobody’s changing their mind yesterday, today, next week? With 30,000 expensive troops in an unoccupied zone, with no visitors, completely virtual.

    Now that IS odd. Now there are a lot of odd things and more every day, but don’t you feel it? Nobody in the DoD, nobody watching troop deployments, nobody watching which staff is hired, nobody watching capital flows, nobody knows anything? No tea leaves? Not even any ill-advised wrong-footing?

    Okay, suppose no. If no, how?

    “Dr. Burry? What’s going to happen?”

    “The bonds aren’t going down. They won’t move. It’s possible we are in a completely fraudulent system.”

    “Or you’re wrong.”

    MIKE: “That’s okay. Yes, it’s possible I’m wrong. I don’t know how. But I guess when someone’s wrong they never know how.” –The Big Short


    Pictures of an empire posted by Topcat and reality, best described by an email just received from Sears where I shopped last time that I do not even remember when:
    “Oooops! (that’s how advertisers treat grown person, a potential buyer. Why? It worked in the past.). It looks that we extended (sshhh, only for you) our shop deals. Don’t miss it!”

    a kullervo

    Do you still believe that the ones who have carried really hindering tasks to TPTB kept on living?
    If you do and you consider yourself as a well informed citizen perhaps it’s about time to make a good, hard appraisal of what you think “cognitive dissonance” means to you.

    a kullervo

    Rich clowns & poor clowns, good cops & bad cops, they all get paid anyways (as long as they behave and don’t roll too far astray from the tree.)

    Maxwell Quest

    “The bonds aren’t going down. They won’t move. It’s possible we are in a completely fraudulent system.” – Dr. Burry, The Big Short (2015)

    The hits just keep on coming on TAE!

    I remember laughing through the entire viewing of The Big Short, because already having done my homework there was nothing new, but it was a joy to see others catch up with Wall Street’s empire of fraud and present it on the big screen. My biggest laugh came during the line quoted by Dr. D above, when Burry was expressing his exasperation that the mortgage-backed bonds were increasing in price rather than decreasing, despite all the defaults that were occurring with greater frequency… just as they do in #OppositeLand.

    It was then that he realized he was dealing with a completely fraudulent system. One that is manipulated by powerful men for their benefit. “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it!”


    Watching the cortege -er- motorcade, “live”.
    Saddest, weirdest, grimmest inauguration ever. Even the bunting was strange.


    I see China-Joe says Democracy is back!

    The US Chamber of Commerce is now back in charge of writing all the laws!
    The money pipeline to congress has been restored!
    Selling America to China is back!
    Tearing down the wall will increase the flow of drug cartel money to congress!
    Opening up the border for orphans will increase church kick backs to congress!
    The flow of cheap labor to businesses to eliminate any $15/hr jobs is being done!
    The flow of wealth from Americans to congress and the rich is being increased!
    The capital value of having a seat in congress has gone up greatly!
    The media will make corruption, poverty, homeless, virus, and any other inconvenient problems, disappear!
    Being poorer, Americans will have less to worry about so they will be happier!
    Isn’t Building Back America Better, great!


    my parents said know:

    Maybe you were watching a hologram?


    So did the most popular president ever have the smallest crowd ever?


    Because of the virtual inauguration, thousand of military people are ecstatic with their extra income and a chance to have been on the parade route.

    rose colored glasses
    I don’t know why I keep on believing you need me
    When you’ve proved so many times that it ain’t true
    And I can’t find one good reason for staying
    Maybe by leaving would be the best for you

    But these rose colored glasses
    That I’m looking through
    Show only the beauty
    ‘Cause they hide all the truth

    And they let me hold on to the good times, good lines
    The ones I used to hear when I held you
    And they keep me from feeling so cheated, defeated
    When reflections in your eyes show me a fool

    These rose colored glasses
    That I’m looking through
    Show only the beauty
    ‘Cause they hide all the truth

    So I just keep on hopin’, believin’
    That maybe by counting the many times that I’ve tried
    You’ll believe me when I say, “I love you”
    And I’ll lay these rose colored glasses aside

    These rose colored glasses
    That I’m looking through
    Show only the beauty
    ‘Cause they hide all the truth

    Songwriters: George F. Baber, John W Conlee

    madamski cafone

    Seems to me that Trump did what he always does: make a deal that settles out of court.

    Looks to me like he delivered his mostly right-wing fans to the media jackals and the plutocracy that works with them.

    As for the right wing: they were foolish enough to trust in him.

    As for the GOP, it will probably breed a real populist dictator who wins the election in 2024. It’s what it’s been trying to do since Reagan.

    As for the left, it will suffer the burden of victory.

    As for the DNC, it is even more toast than the GOP. The GOP can now “purge” itself of its Trumpian sins, and run an Obama of its own, some cross-partisan charismatic who takes on the burden of presiding over the final destruction of what’s left of our constitution and the federation built on it.

    For now, let’s see how Uncle Joe does in getting money to the people. It’s all he has to offer, really. Sans that, we’ll see real insurrectional riots.

    As for that deal that I assume Trump made: keeping deals is not his trademark. I assume that some embarrassment will be dished out as revenge when Trump finds the opportunity.


    The irony of Obiden staging a real coup while pointing everyone’s attention to a fake coup!



    I think before running, Trump looked at what happened to previous outsiders who ran for president and the mistakes they made.

    JFK, Bobby, Wallace, Ross Perot.

    The first 3 failed to have their own private security details and got shot for their trouble.

    Ross Perot had private security but ran as a third party in a duoply (unipartyRep/Dem) party system.

    Trump, a life long Democrat (Bill & Hillary attended his 2nd wedding!), realized that Hillary owned the DNC, so he had no choice but try and take over the Republican party.

    We know know Trump was never accepted by the Republican party who opposed him ever step of the way!

    Despite everything being stacked against him, he still managed to make some changes in Washington. Most of these changes will be rapidly undone. Exposing the level of corruption isn’t one of them however!

    But as you have pointed out, Obama (and prior presidents) help set up the conditions that made it possible for the American people to elect an outsider as president.

    Trump found a crack in the uniparty system and successfully exploited it. Using the media! We now know the uniparty has permamentally closed that crack by increasing their control over the media.

    There will never be another outsider elected president again! Trump was the last hope for the American people had to restore democracy to their republic. They failed. Clearly history says things must get worse, much worse, before real change comes.

    Hopefully going forward Obiden and “heels up” Harris will be greeted with “snide comments of disrespect” the way ilegitimate communist leaders were in the past.

    When I worked in Russia in 1983, I frequently heard the following: “They pretend to pay us! And we pretend to work!” It only took 70 years for the communist to crash and burn!


    Joe has made it official now! The virus crisis is over!

    We only need to wear masks for 100 days to make the virus disappear! Until spring arrives!

    Democratic governors are all recinding their state lockdowns and opening up their economies!

    TAE needs to find other new topics to discuss!

    This is going to be especially hard because so many of today’s problems will shortly disappear!

    John Day

    @WES: You had a good day in comments, Man!

    D Benton Smith

    Good Conspiracy Theory Wanted

    I could really use one right now. Hell, I’d settle for a half-baked hypothesis or lame explanation. Whatever it takes to make any kind of sense out of the events of the past few years , and especially the past couple of months.
    I’m not going to itemize some fucking list . You know ’em by heart. But I will mention that the whole damned thing is made up of events that no one from around these parts had ever seen happen before, and so did not really believe would ever happen. And then they happened. One after another, sometimes stacking up two or three deep. A lot of folks are stunned. I sure am.
    Unbelievable ! But when something happens, and becomes part of reality, then you sort of have to believe it, right ?
    Makes ya want to reach out for your nearest copy of “The 5 Stages of Grief” to see if maybe there was another stage tucked in there somewhere . Something between Denial and Anger , maybe , called “Totally Fucking Bewildered.”
    Are all of us just getting ourselves too worked up by scaring each other with tough talk, scary clothes and drama? Or is this joint actually going to tear itself in two?
    Are things going to get way better, way worse, or fumblefuck down the wobbly middle like they usually did? Damned if I know. It feels like I have flipped three coins into the air as a last resort to resolve the dilemmas , and all three coins came down balanced on their edges.
    See ya later. I think. At least, I’m fairly sure, hopefully.

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