Feb 192021
 February 19, 2021  Posted by at 9:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ito Shinsui Snowy night 1923


Mutations Made Coronavirus 8 Times More Infectious Than Original (RT)
Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Make 3x Less Antibodies vs South African Strain (RT)
130 Countries Have Not Received A Single Covid Vaccine Dose (G.)
Florida Ranks 11th Lowest In Covid Deaths Per Capita Among Seniors (Blaze)
FBI, US Attorney In Brooklyn Probing Cuomo Admin On Nursing Homes (TU)
The Myth of Andrew Cuomo the Competent, Steady Statesman (Jac.)
De Blasio Says Threatening Phone Call To Lawmaker Is ‘Classic Andrew Cuomo’ (F.)
Texas Was “Seconds And Minutes” From Complete Disaster (ZH)
The Failure Of The Texas Power Grid Is Worse Than You Think (Fed.)
Beleaguered Texas Hospitals With No Water Evacuate Patients (Fox4)
The Slippery Slope from Censoring ‘Disinformation’ to Silencing Truth (RI)
Trump’s Former Fixer Cohen Interviewed By Manhattan DA’s Office (R.)
Biden Privately Tells Governors: Minimum Wage Hike Likely Isn’t Happening (Pol.)
Greece in Talks with the UK to Create Tourism Corridor (GR)
Why Vitamin D Probably Still Can’t Cure Covid-19 (Gideon)





Our daily good news segment.

Mutations Made Coronavirus 8 Times More Infectious Than Original (RT)

New research has found that a mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, present in variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil, can make the virus up to eight times more infectious than the original. The new research into the D614G mutation on the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, present in all the latest variants currently plaguing healthcare systems the world over, was led by researchers at New York University, the New York Genome Center, and Mount Sinai. “Confirming that the mutation leads to more transmissibility may help explain, in part, why the virus has spread so rapidly over the past year,” said Neville Sanjana, assistant professor of biology at NYU, who added that the mutation has reached “near universal prevalence” among the coronavirus variants spreading across the globe.

The Mount Sinai researchers injected a virus with the D614G mutation into human lung, liver, and colon cells and compared it against cells from the original strain detected in Wuhan at the start of the pandemic. They found a whopping eight-fold increase in transmissibility between the two strains, with the mutated spike protein making the virus more resilient to being split by other proteins in the human immune system, highlighting the importance of continued vaccine research and development to combat this hardier version. “…[O]ur experimental data was pretty unambiguous – the D614G variant infects human cells much more efficiently than the wild type,” said Zharko Daniloski, a postdoctoral fellow in Sanjana’s lab at NYU and the study’s co-first author.

Thankfully, however, the mutation has not yet been linked to more intense progression of Covid-19 leading to more severe forms of the disease or an increase in hospitalization. On the other hand, this does pose another issue: the current generation of vaccines were developed based on the original Wuhan-variant spike protein structure, highlighting the need for booster vaccines or even annual vaccination programs to halt the spread of the coronavirus for good.

Read more …

More good news.

Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Make 3x Less Antibodies vs South African Strain (RT)

Vaccines developed by US companies Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are producing fewer antibodies against the coronavirus mutation that has emerged in South Africa, according to studies reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. A lab study jointly conducted by Pfizer/BioNTech and researchers at the University of Texas in Galveston showed that the neutralization of the South African strain “was weaker by approximately two thirds,” but concluded that it was “unclear what effect” that would have on protection the vaccine provided from the disease. This is according to the letter by the researchers published on Wednesday in NEJM, the oldest US medical journal.

Another study conducted by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – whose head, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is the Biden administration’s “coronavirus czar” at the moment – showed “reductions by a factor of 2.7” in the titers of neutralizing antibodies against the variant known as the B.1.351 – and by a factor of 6.4 when pitted against the full range of South African mutations. “Protection against the B.1.351 variant conferred by the mRNA-1273 vaccine remains to be determined,” says the letter from the Moderna/NIAID researchers, also published by NEJM on Wednesday. Moderna said it is working on booster shots if needed. Pfizer and BioNTech are also preparing to develop an update or a booster shot if needed, according to a statement cited by Bloomberg.

In a statement released in January, ahead of the study’s review, they said the performance of their vaccine was “slightly lower” against the South African strain when compared to other mutations, but that “small differences in viral neutralization observed in these studies are unlikely to lead to a significant reduction in the effectiveness of the vaccine.” South Africa has halted the vaccination with Astra Zeneca’s formula after a study showed it didn’t work as well in preventing Covid-19 caused by the mutant strain. President Cyril Ramaphosa took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Wednesday.

Read more …

We’re on a roll.

130 Countries Have Not Received A Single Covid Vaccine Dose (G.)

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has sharply criticised the “wildly uneven and unfair” distribution of Covid vaccines, saying 10 countries have administered 75% of all vaccinations and demanding a global effort to get all people in every country vaccinated as soon as possible. The UN chief told a high-level meeting of the UN security council on Wednesday that 130 countries had not yet received a single dose of vaccine. “At this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community,” said. Guterres called for an urgent global vaccination plan to bring together those with the power to ensure equitable vaccine distribution – scientists, vaccine producers and those who can fund the effort.

He called on the world’s major economic powers in the Group of 20 to establish an emergency taskforce to establish a plan and coordinate its implementation and financing. He said the taskforce should have the capacity “to mobilise the pharmaceutical companies and key industry and logistics actors”. Guterres said Friday’s meeting of the Group of Seven major industrialised nations – the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, France, Canada and Italy – “can create the momentum to mobilise the necessary financial resources”. Thirteen ministers addressed the virtual council meeting organised by Britain on improving access to Covid vaccinations, including in conflict areas.

[..] China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, criticised the growing “immunity divide” and called on the world to “come together to reject ‘vaccine nationalism,’ promote fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, and, in particular, make them accessible and affordable for developing countries, including those in conflict”. At the WHO’s request, he said, China will contribute 10m doses of vaccines to Covax “preliminarily”. China has donated vaccines to 53 developing countries including Somalia, Iraq, South Sudan and Palestine, which is a UN observer state. It has also exported vaccines to 22 countries, he said, adding that Beijing has launched research and development cooperation on Covid with more than 10 countries.

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Schools open. No mask mandate. Make of it what you will.

Florida Ranks 11th Lowest In Covid Deaths Per Capita Among Seniors (Blaze)

There’s a reason why the Biden regime is trying to attack Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and create an illusion of a disproportionate viral crisis in the state. With no declared emergency restrictions in place at the state level since last September, the fact that Florida is doing better than the national average completely exposes the lie of lockdown and masks having any effect whatsoever on the fixed natural progression of the virus. Dr. Fauci is suggesting a novel scientific principle – that schools can’t reopen until Congress passes yet another “stimulus” bill. Yet in Florida, schools have been open all year, and the state’s excess deaths for 2020 rank the 16th lowest in the nation, according to a new analysis. What’s more, the Sunshine State, which is regarded as God’s waiting room for seniors, experienced the 11th lowest per capita rate of COVID deaths for seniors in 2020.

A new analysis conducted by RationalGround.com and exclusively obtained by TheBlaze collated CDC excess death data for 49 states (excluding North Carolina, which has incomplete data) and ranked the states from smallest to largest increase in excess deaths from 2019 to 2020. As we have seen in study after study, there is absolutely zero correlation between non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as business and school closures or mask mandates, and a lower rate of excess deaths. According to the CDC’s excess death table, there was a 16.9% national average increase in all-cause mortality in 2020 over 2019.

Given the loose way we count COVID deaths, it will take quite some time to sort out how many of those deaths are due to COVID and how many are due to the panic, anxiety, lockdowns, and missed care, but what is clear is that there is no correlation between the political measures taken by a state and fewer all-cause deaths. Florida, which is the third largest state, has the 16th lowest increase in all-cause deaths, and all of the states that had fewer excess deaths than Florida are much smaller and are mostly states with lower population density. California, on the other hand, ranked No. 40.

Read more …

I have no high hopes.

Did CNN just ban one Cuomo from interviewing the other?

FBI, US Attorney In Brooklyn Probing Cuomo Admin On Nursing Homes (TU)

The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn have launched an investigation that is examining, at least in part, the actions of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s coronavirus task force in its handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the pandemic, the Times Union has learned. The probe by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York is apparently in its early stages and is focusing on the work of some of the senior members of the governor’s task force, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter who is not authorized to comment publicly. Last March, as the virus began spreading in New York, Cuomo issued a news release listing the 13 initial members of his coronavirus task force, which has been headed by Linda Lacewell, an attorney and former chief of staff for Cuomo.

Lacewell is the superintendent of the state Department of Financial Services. Other task force members include state health Commissioner Howard Zucker, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and Beth Garvey, counsel to the governor. “As we publicly said, DOJ (Department of Justice) has been looking into this for months,” said Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for the governor. “We have been cooperating with them and we will continue to.” Azzopardi did not disclose whether any members of the administration have been interviewed or if they have been served with any subpoenas. John Marzulli, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, on Wednesday afternoon said he could not “confirm or deny” whether the office has initiated an investigation.

Nearly three weeks after the governor’s task force was announced last year, the state health department issued an order directing nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that they must accept residents who were being discharged from hospitals even if they were still testing positive for the infectious disease, as long as they were able to care for them properly. That directive, which was rescinded less than two months later, has been the focus of a firestorm of criticism directed at Cuomo’s administration, including allegations that the order — which the governor said was based on federal guidance — had contributed to the high number of fatalities of nursing home residents in New York. That assertion was largely dismissed in a report by the Department of Health that was released in July.

Read more …

“Even if Cuomo never sinks low enough to lose reelection next year — given his enormous war chest and New York’s horrific campaign finance laws, it’s still an unlikely scenario..”

The Myth of Andrew Cuomo the Competent, Steady Statesman (Jac.)

Even if Cuomo never sinks low enough to lose reelection next year — given his enormous war chest and New York’s horrific campaign finance laws, it’s still an unlikely scenario — he will never again be the governor feted by Ellen and celebrated by self-described “Cuomosexuals.” He’s not getting another Emmy. His moment is over. What happened? In some sense, this has been slow-building. For months, more and more people have been waking up to the fact that the popular, media-created conception of Cuomo was nonsensical. More than 45,000 people have died of COVID-19 in New York State, the second highest absolute death toll in America, just trailing California. (California is more than twice as large, so New York maintains a far higher rate of death.)

Cuomo, like Trump, downplayed the pandemic in its earliest days and issued a shutdown order for New York far too late, defying the opinions of experts and other elected officials. It was the nursing home issue, however, and the subsequently botched vaccine rollout that began to trigger a much-deserved reevaluation of his legacy, which is one of arrogance, secrecy, and failure. Last March, Cuomo ordered nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients who had been discharged from hospitals instead of directing them to large temporary facilities that had a surplus of beds. This decision likely contributed to outbreaks in nursing homes, which the state oversees.

Unlike most other states in America, if not all of them, Cuomo’s New York decided to keep a highly skewed count of nursing home deaths, only tallying those who died while physically in facilities. If you were a nursing home resident who got infected in a home, became sick there, and were transferred to a hospital dying, you were not a part of the official Department of Health tally. Confirming the suspicions of health care experts and many journalists, the state attorney general revealed in a January report that the Department of Health had undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent. Shortly after, Cuomo was forced to revise the tally far higher, increasing it by more than 60 percent.

Last week, it was revealed that the Cuomo administration had purposefully withheld nursing home data from lawmakers for months out of fear the Department of Justice, under Donald Trump, would investigate. Several legislators have contemplated calling for Cuomo’s impeachment. In a rage, Cuomo called up a leftist assembly member from Queens, Ron Kim, and threatened to “destroy” his career. This is just the news that has grabbed the most headlines. Cuomo is a Clintonian Democrat with a lust for austerity, and he has been quietly slashing and burning New York’s social safety net since the pandemic arrived last year. The City University of New York, which educates a largely working-class and nonwhite student body, has faced severe budget cuts, as have local public schools and social services.

Read more …

The more I read about Cuomo, the more he resembles a character in a Scorsese movie.

De Blasio Says Threatening Phone Call To Lawmaker Is ‘Classic Andrew Cuomo’ (F.)

Compounding a month of bad press for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday morning that he believes the state lawmakers who claimed Cuomo threatened to “destroy” his career after he publicly criticized his administration’s handling of Covid-19 in nursing homes. De Blasio—who has had a publicly contentious relationship with the governor since the start of the coronavirus pandemic—painted Cuomo as a bully during a Thursday interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The mayor said he believes New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim’s account of the phone call because “a lot of people in New York State have received those phone calls.”

“It’s a sad thing to say … but that’s classic Andrew Cuomo,” said de Blasio, explaining he’s heard complaints like Kim’s “many, many times.” Representatives for Cuomo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes, though the governor’s Senior Advisor Richard Azzopardi released a statement accusing Kim of “lying about his conversation with Governor Cuomo.” “At no time did anyone threaten to ‘destroy’ anyone with their ‘wrath’ nor engage in a ‘coverup,’” said Azzopardi, describing a “long, hostile” relationship between the two men. The comments come a day after revelations that Cuomo’s handling of nursing home death data is now under federal investigation.

“The bullying is nothing new,” said de Blasio. “I believe Ron Kim and it’s very, very sad. No public servant, no person who is telling the truth should be treated that way. But, the threats, the belittling, the demand that someone change their statement right that moment … Many, many times I’ve heard that.” Kim said he received an angry phone call from the governor last week after he publicly accused Cuomo of obstructing justice by withholding data on nursing home deaths. According to Kim, Cuomo threatened that he could “destroy” him if he did not help “cover up” comments made by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, who stirred controversy earlier this month by suggesting the state had purposefully delayed releasing the full Covid-19 death toll in long-term care facilities because of concerns about a potential federal investigation.

Read more …

Something tells me you should go talk to the old time engineers who’ve worked on the grid all their lives. That’s where the stories are, not in politics.

Texas Was “Seconds And Minutes” From Complete Disaster (ZH)

As natural gas fired plants, utility scale wind power and coal plants tripped offline due to the extreme cold brought by the winter storm, the amount of power supplied to the grid to be distributed across the state fell rapidly. At the same time, demand was increasing as consumers and businesses turned up the heat and stayed inside to avoid the weather. “It needed to be addressed immediately,” said Bill Magness, president of ERCOT. “It was seconds and minutes [from possible failure] given the amount of generation that was coming off the system.” With energy prices exploding to record highs, and with demand soaring, grid operators had to “act quickly” to cut the amount of power distributed, Magness said, because if they had waited, “then what happens in that next minute might be that three more [power generation] units come offline, and then you’re sunk.”

Magness said on Wednesday that if operators had not acted in that moment, the state could have suffered blackouts that “could have occurred for months,” and left Texas in an “indeterminately long” crisis. In other words, the millions of households left without power – in some cases for days – were sacrificing for the greater good. So by manually shutting down entire parts of the grid, ERCOT avoided the worst case scenario: one where demand for power overwhelms the supply of power generation available on the grid, causing equipment to catch fire, substations to blow and power lines to go down.

If the grid had gone totally offline, the physical damage to power infrastructure from overwhelming the grid would take months to repair, said Bernadette Johnson, senior vice president of power and renewables at Enverus, an oil and gas software and information company headquartered in Austin. “As chaotic as it was, the whole grid could’ve been in blackout,” she said. “ERCOT is getting a lot of heat, but the fact that it wasn’t worse is because of those grid operators.” If that had occurred, even as power generators recovered from the cold, ERCOT would have been unable to quickly reconnect them back to the grid, Johnson said.

And since nobody can disprove a negative, one just has to take them at their word that dozens of people died so that millions more could live… or something. Grid operators would have needed to slowly and carefully bring generators and customers back online, all the while taking care to not to cause more damage to the grid. It’s a delicate process, Johnson explained, because each part of the puzzle — the generators producing power, the transmission lines that move the power and the customers that use it — must be carefully managed. “It has to balance constantly,” she said. “Once a grid goes down, it’s hard to bring it back online. If you bring on too many customers, then you have another outage.”

Read more …

A disaster long in the making.

The Failure Of The Texas Power Grid Is Worse Than You Think (Fed.)

[..] Yes, some coal plants closed because of freezing temperatures and some natural gas pipelines froze. But as Jason Isaac of the Texas Public Policy Foundation explains in our pages today, the main problem with the Texas power grid isn’t that renewables failed or that fossil fuels failed. It’s that the grid itself has been made unstable by state and federal subsidies that distort the energy market and prevent the buildup of reliable power generation. Subsidies for renewables and fossil fuels have been around for a long time in Texas, supported by both Democrats and Republicans. For as much as Texas has a reputation as a deep-red oil and gas state, it was under Republican Gov. Rick Perry that billions were spent on wind turbines and transmission lines in West Texas, spurred on by massive tax credits for wind producers.

The same thing happened at the federal level when George W. Bush was governor of the state. In the months to come, there will be lengthy and bitter debates about who was responsible for this fiasco. The obvious partisan arguments are already out in the open. If any actual reforms come out of these debates, they will have to begin with an acknowledgment that the way things have been done for decades in Texas has not worked. That much, at least, is now painfully undeniable. For example, goosing the wind and solar industries with billions in tax credits in a state that produces almost a third of America’s fossil fuel energy was perhaps unwise and imprudent.

In hindsight, it looks like cronyism. So do the subsidies for fossil fuels, even if they are not as extravagant as subsidies for renewables. Maybe all of that was a bad idea from the beginning, and maybe it’s time to cut it out. Hardship like what Texas is going through right now can bring clarity. And in the teeth of this winter storm, the entire energy industry, with its high-powered lobbyists and its billions in taxpayer subsidies, is beginning to look like every other elite institution in America: a corrupt and parasitic enterprise whose failures come at the expense of ordinary Americans—in this case, people who are now trying to stay alive in their own homes.

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“Emergency rooms were crowded “due to patients being unable to meet their medical needs at home without electricity..”

Beleaguered Texas Hospitals With No Water Evacuate Patients (Fox4)

After a deadly blast of winter weather overwhelmed the electrical grid and left millions of Texans without power, hospitals in the state are also facing the additional stress of water shortages, crowded emergency rooms and even being forced to evacuate patients. Record-low temperatures damaged infrastructure and pipes, seriously jeopardizing drinking water systems in the Lone Star state. Authorities in Texas ordered 7 million people — a quarter of the population of the nation’s second-largest state — to boil tap water before drinking it. Some hospitals, already contending with COVID-19 patients and vaccine distribution, were also impacted by the winter storm’s havoc on state power grids and utilities. In Austin, hospitals dealt with a loss in water pressure and heat.

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center said Wednesday night that it had lost water pressure from the City of Austin. Since water feeds the facility’s boiler, the hospital was also losing heat. Hospital officials were working to evacuate some patients to other area facilities and said they were distributing bottles and jugs of water to patients and employees. Officials added that they were working with the city to secure portable toilets. “Because this is a statewide emergency situation that is also impacting other hospitals within the Austin area, no one hospital currently has the capacity to accept transport of a large number of patients,” said David Huffstutler, CEO of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center.

In southwest Austin, officials with Ascension Seton Southwest Hospital said they too were facing intermittent issues with water pressure, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The hospital was rescheduling elective surgeries to preserve bed capacity and personnel as a result. At Houston Methodist, two of its community hospitals did not have running water but still treated patients, with most non-emergency surgeries and procedures canceled for Thursday and possibly Friday, spokeswoman Gale Smith told the Associated Press. Emergency rooms were crowded “due to patients being unable to meet their medical needs at home without electricity,” Smith said. She added that pipes had burst in Methodist’s hospitals but were being repaired as they happened.

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“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

The Slippery Slope from Censoring ‘Disinformation’ to Silencing Truth (RI)

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell. This is the slippery slope that leads to the end of free speech as we once knew it. In a world increasingly automated and filtered through the lens of artificial intelligence, we are finding ourselves at the mercy of inflexible algorithms that dictate the boundaries of our liberties. Once artificial intelligence becomes a fully integrated part of the government bureaucracy, there will be little recourse: we will be subject to the intransigent judgments of techno-rulers. This is how it starts. Martin Niemöller’s warning about the widening net that ensnares us all still applies.

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” In our case, however, it started with the censors who went after extremists spouting so-called “hate speech,” and few spoke out—because they were not extremists and didn’t want to be shamed for being perceived as politically incorrect.

Then the internet censors got involved and went after extremists spouting “disinformation” about stolen elections, the Holocaust, and Hunter Biden, and few spoke out—because they were not extremists and didn’t want to be shunned for appearing to disagree with the majority. By the time the techno-censors went after extremists spouting “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, the censors had developed a system and strategy for silencing the nonconformists. Still, few spoke out. Eventually, “we the people” will be the ones in the crosshairs.At some point or another, depending on how the government and its corporate allies define what constitutes “extremism, “we the people” might all be considered guilty of some thought crime or other. When that time comes, there may be no one left to speak out or speak up in our defense.

Read more …

The MSM will be pushing this for all they’re worth.

Trump’s Former Fixer Cohen Interviewed By Manhattan DA’s Office (R.)

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and a newly hired high-profile litigator interviewed Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Thursday, as part of a criminal probe of the former president’s business dealings, said two people familiar with the investigation. The interview came after Mark Pomerantz, who has extensive experience in white-collar and organized crime cases, joined District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s team investigating the Trump family business. Pomerantz started on Feb. 2 as special assistant district attorney, said Danny Frost, a spokesman for Vance. Pomerantz’s hiring is part of a flurry of recent activity in Vance’s investigation, including the issuance in recent days of roughly a dozen new subpoenas, according to the sources.

One of those went to Ladder Capital Finance LLC, a major creditor used by Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, to finance the former president’s commercial real estate holdings, the sources said. Vance’s office has also conducted interviews with Ladder’s staff, one source familiar with the matter said. The district attorney’s office has said little publicly about the probe, but noted in court filings that it was focused on “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” at the Trump Organization, including alleged falsification of records, and insurance and tax fraud. It is the only known criminal inquiry into Trump’s business practices.

Separately, New York state Attorney General Letitia James is leading a civil probe into whether Trump’s company falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits. Ladder issued the loans on several of Trump’s big commercial holdings, including a $160 million mortgage on the Trump Building, a skyscraper in Manhattan’s financial district.

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He knew this a long time ago. But dangling the sausage gets votes.

Biden Privately Tells Governors: Minimum Wage Hike Likely Isn’t Happening (Pol.)

When Joe Biden met with a group of mayors and governors last week he bluntly told them to get ready for a legislative defeat: his proposed minimum wage hike was unlikely to happen, he said, at least in the near term. “I really want this in there but it just doesn’t look like we can do it because of reconciliation,” Biden told the group, according to a person in the room. “I’m not going to give up. But right now, we have to prepare for this not making it.” The comments, which were confirmed by two other people familiar with the conversation, were the furthest Biden has gone in conceding the coming axing of the $15-an-hour minimum wage provision from his first major legislative package.

And they suggest that the president is more inclined to manage the fallout of it not being included than to pursue long-shot, political-capital consuming efforts to fight for its insertion. Sitting in the Oval Office with Republican and Democratic elected officials last Friday to advocate for his $1.9 trillion Covid relief package, he didn’t hide his skepticism. “Doesn’t look like we can do it,” he said of the minimum wage hike. For weeks now, the White House has been trying to manage expectations on the feasibility of advancing a $15-an-hour minimum wage provision through a broader “rescue” package. Biden first suggested it might not make it into the final Covid relief bill in an interview with CBS prior to the Super Bowl, noting his belief that the Senate parliamentarian would determine it did not jibe with budgetary rules that allow a bill to pass with just 51 votes in the Senate.

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I still wonder what the legal status is of requiring people be vaccinated with a vaccine whose producer says it doesn’t prevent the spread of the virus. And then on the basis of that, allowing them into your country without testing etc., where they can spread the virus.

If you would let people fly in to an island, and they would stay there, that’s one thing. You could monitor them, trace them. But Greek tourism is based on people traveling a lot, island-hopping etc.

Greece in Talks with the UK to Create Tourism Corridor (GR)

Soon, vaccinated British citizens may be able to travel to Greece without any restrictions whatsoever, according to Greek Minister of Tourism Haris Theoharis. Greece has entered into preliminary discussions with the UK regarding tourism, Theoharis stated, and may allow vaccinated travelers from the UK into the country this summer without being tested for the coronavirus first. Inoculated tourists may also be able to avoid Greece’s mandatory seven-day quarantine once they arrive in the country. Those who have been vaccinated and hope to enter Greece may have to present a vaccine certificate, or vaccine passport, in order to skip the strict anti-virus measures currently in place in the country.

Currently, all those entering Greece must present a negative PCR test for the coronavirus, within 72 hours of their flight, before entry is allowed. In addition to the PCR test, visitors from the UK must also now take a rapid test upon arrival to Greece. Employing nearly one in five Greeks, tourism is one of the most important sectors of the country’s economy. Greece welcomes around 4 million visitors from the UK each year. The Mediterranean country hopes that opening up a tourist corridor with the UK for the summer will bring a much-needed boost to Greece’s economy, which has suffered a great deal due to travel restrictions and strict anti-virus measures. Greek tourism took a giant plunge in the third quarter of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

In total, in the first nine months of last year, the accommodation sector had revenues of only 1.89 billion euros, when last year in the corresponding period revenues were 6.15 billion euros — representing a staggering loss of 4.26 billion euros. When discussing the outlook for Greece’s tourism sector in the summer of 2021, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated to Reuters: “I am a realist, but I am also cautiously optimistic that we will do much better than last year.” The potential deal with the UK may well add to Mitsotakis’ optimism for a successful tourist season this year. The country has already struck a deal with Israel, which will allow vaccinated travelers from the Mediterranean country to enter Greece without coronavirus restrictions.

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Saved this for last because I would like some comments. Did anyone ever state vit. D was a cure for Covid? We sure did not. This epidemiologist appears to take studies on giving people already in hospital large doses of vit. D, to claim it’s useless. This is exactly how HCQ was discredited. But do chime in.

Why Vitamin D Probably Still Can’t Cure Covid-19 (Gideon)

There are many scientific questions that have come up during the pandemic. We’ve investigated the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, looked into school closures, and even checked to see whether spectacles could protect you from getting Covid-19 (the jury is still out on that one). But perhaps the most consistent question that has been asked, over and over again, is whether vitamin D supplements can treat coronavirus effectively. The allure is understandable — vitamin D is cheap, relatively safe, and there’s some evidence that it can help with the common cold, which is often caused by coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2. If it worked, it could make an enormous difference in the lives of people with Covid-19 and at a very low cost.

Sadly, this has inspired endless shoddy studies that have meant that the question of whether vitamin D works for Covid-19 wasn’t answered very well (or at all) the last time I wrote about it in October 2020. This makes the recent headlines all the more understandable. A study was put up on SSRN — a preprint server run by The Lancet — a few weeks ago that purported to show a 60% decrease in mortality for people with Covid-19 who were given calcifediol (a metabolite of vitamin D) compared to a control group given treatment as usual. With such impressive-sounding results, the study soon went viral on Twitter and has been reported in news outlets around the world. If supplements really could prevent 60% of Covid-19 deaths, it would be a research finding that could literally change the course of the pandemic.

Unfortunately, as with most of the previous research, the evidence is much shakier than you might expect given the glowing headlines. Even more than a year into all of this, we still don’t really know if vitamin D does anything for Covid-19 at all.

Read more …



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Home Forums Debt Rattle February 19 2021

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  • #69929

    Ito Shinsui Snowy night 1923   • Mutations Made Coronavirus 8 Times More Infectious Than Original (RT) • Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Make 3x Less An
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle February 19 2021]


    Just look at the signatories:

    “Over 200 Scientists & Doctors Call For Increased Vitamin D Use To Combat COVID-19”

    Yup – they’re gonna “do a Lancet” on Vit D, and probably Ivermectin at some point in the near future too.

    Basseterre Kitona

    Schools open. No mask mandate. Make of it what you will.

    • Florida Ranks 11th Lowest In Covid Deaths Per Capita Among Seniors (Blaze)

    I will make of it that it doesn’t matter what the government authorities and TV doctors like Fauci say or do, they are completely powerless to stop viruses form spreading (although they may be able to make things worse with their policies). Also, notable that Sweden’s conventional approach has resulted in two waves of the corona virus…but at this point—middle of winter too—Sweden’s daily death count has reached zero. In other words, the “deadly virus threat” is pretty much over in Sweden.

    Saved this for last because I would like some comments. Did anyone ever state vit. D was a cure for Covid? We sure did not. This epidemiologist appears to take studies on giving people already in hospital large doses of vit. D, to claim it’s useless. This is exactly how HCQ was discredited. But do chime in.

    • Why Vitamin D Probably Still Can’t Cure Covid-19 (Gideon)

    The study of large doses of Vitamin D in hospitals is useless. The whole point of Vitamin D is to remedy the immune system enough to avoid the hospital in the first place. It is important to remember that even without the current corona virus situation, many people in North America & Europe suffer Vitamin D deficiency (often without even knowing that this is their ailment).

    Vitamin D is a natural byproduct of sun exposure, hence its correlation with winter and it’s assorted seasonal diseases. Some anecdotal evidence: I’ve been hanging out on a small tropical island sicnethe beginning of the corona virus out break. The virus has reached us and hundreds of people have been infected but all mild cases (no hospitalization). There has been one official death, however, the man was also dealing with heart trouble and in all likelihood died because of his heart issue while he had the virus, not because of the virus. And local office (very close to me) of 20 people had an outbreak: 9 positive tests bu only 2 people that actually became sick or showed any signs of illness. Moreover, the 2 sick ones also have the palest skin (i.e., least sun exposure).

    I am now firmly of the belief that whatever pandemic threat existed is now completely over except for the TV newsrooms. 1- Virus has spread everywhere so no reason to restrict travel. 2- 99.9% of cases are mild and the average person can utilize supplements like Vitamin D to improve their chances 3- Doctors now have a variety of treatments available for treating the sick at all stages of the illness 4- Deaths are dropping low enough that they are barely any worse than normal population death rates

    Oh, and one more: 5- Gov Cuomo is no longer juicing the death count with bad policy either.


    In other words, the “deadly virus threat” is pretty much over in Sweden.

    2nd time this week for that claim. 33 deaths Feb 18. That’s not zero. I’m guessing they have reporting issues.

    As for vitamin D, the determination to leave it out of health policy is becoming as criminal as Cuomo’s behavior.

    Both cost lives.


    Talking about Sweden, most must have seen this too. “The strict lockdown in the UK was so effective that it stopped the spread of Covid in Sweden as well…”



    madamski, from yesterday: “We are not fit to govern our powers to alter reality. We’re clever but deranged monkeys who look in the mirrors we’ve made and see gods. Intelligence is great fun but not a viable long-term species survival trait for us. ‘scuse the quasi-pun, but all intelligence does with us is go to our heads. ouch”

    That’s absolutely brilliant. Love it. Have thought this for ages but never could have stated it so succinctly and with such humor, to boot. Thank you!

    RE: vitamin D curing covid. I saw that heading and went to that story FIRST this morning. lol. Doesn’t matter what they say, Dr John Day has become my proxi medical provider since I don’t participate in the conventional medical system.


    But despite that graph’s numbers, there was this on Wednesday(makes one wonder):

    Sweden gets ready to ramp up coronavirus restrictions

    The Swedish government is preparing measures that would enable it to shut down venues to curb the spread of coronavirus, including shopping venues, restaurants, gyms and sport centres. Health Minister Lena Hallengren announced the new proposal at an early-morning press conference on Wednesday. She said the government was “worried” about the risk of a third wave of outbreaks.

    “It could become necessary to close down parts of Swedish society,” she said. The “lockdown decree” or “shutdown decree”, as Hallengren called it, would make it possible for the government to close for example retail venues, gyms, leisure centres, restaurants and venues for private gatherings.

    Dr. D

    Pointing to what every engineer said, but the government and green will not, have we proven that even when you have green generation, you need 100% conventional capacity on standby at all times? At enormous cost and basically antithetical to the very concept of renewables?

    Still not sinking in. Still denials and diversion to this simple engineering fact. Now there are many solutions, but fact is, they are building none of them, so it hardly matters. They are just lying, then shutting the grid down and killing people, when their own plans require doubling the grid instead.

    Not as a prepping board, this is relevant as Peak Oil, and the energy, financial, and life disruptions that go with it. Suppose you had a generator. Suppose, as is almost certainly illegal, you even had enough gasoline on site to keep it running for 7 days. How much gasoline is that, for 5 million people to run 100 decibel, failing, overheating small engines running?

    Roughly speaking, a house requires 5000w generator, about 7.5 hp, and gas consumption in the range of of 0.5gal/hr. x24h/day = 12gal/day. Three US gas cans. x 7days = 84 gal. Two oil barrels of highly explosive, toxic, degradable, unstorable petrol in Texas’ 110f summer heat.

    That’s for one emergency. 84gal x $3.00/gal = $252. Not including the cost of the building to store them or the risk of doing so. And you’re going to love the noise of all your neighbors at 5 houses / acre, I’m quite sure you can hear them clearly 100 acres out. 500 generators in your area.

    We’re not done. So 3 million people, and let’s say not two but 5ppl/generator. 600,000 generators. x 84gal = 50 million gallons of gasoline. In seven days. They need right this minute, not later, with the 5gal cans to buy and carry and store it in.

    But wait, there’s more. How much would you expect to pay for all this? $1,000 in gas? $1,000 more for the generator? No, the generators themselves are light-duty. They are not designed to run 24/7. So they also have a 5,000hr lifespan before starting to break or be replaced. You’ve knocked another $25 off the generator each time you use it. Then it’s junked, melted down, and rebuilt at more BTU cost.

    Can you see now some of the problems with depending on infrastructure, then selling it to Enron and the government to be systemically gamed and mined? While you, a few of you can have a backup plan, that backup plan does not scale at all. At all.

    Next item: suppose to help save lives and get these 50 MILLION gallons of gas into a dying Texas, I rent a box truck and fill it with gas in Arkansas. Now first, that will be highly, highly illegal without books of transport licenses, but nevermind, it’s an emergency. What do you think they’ll do when I take 5 days, book hotels, sleep in the cab, and drive to Houston to sell it to desperate and relieved homeowners?

    Arrest me immediately. For “gouging.” What? My time is worthless, the truck, the risk, the initiative? Yup. You have to sell it at the same cost as the pipeline and gas station. They have great prices! They also have NO PRODUCT. So you can have all you want for 50 cents if you want none at all. That’s price-fixing. That’s your Socialism.

    Now they’re desperate for firewood. What happens if I load up a semi in Branson and drive to Houston? That wood is pretty expensive now. $80/cord usually, and now god-knows with the rental, diesel, 500 miles@ $2/mile, and $30/hr time on a CDL license x24h/day x 3 days = $2,000 more.

    Same thing, you “working man bad,” or worse, –ptooey– “capitalist”. We arrest you.

    So you think I’m going to get a semi of BTUs, take all month, and drive it down to you, risking my own life on the roads, AT MY OWN COST, for the pleasure of losing thousands of dollars? Guess what: you’re not going to get firewood or gas, or truckload of generators, or not what you need. I would help you as a neighbor, but you won’t help me by paying fair price. I have it, you don’t, but when I ask, you want it under cost, you want it for free.

    Okey-dokey then, I’ll stay home, safe and warm, drink coffee, and watch you on TV if that’s what you want. Good luck with your thing. I’ll take the money you expected me to lose and buy my own generator and my own firewood; Texas isn’t the only place that has problems, you know.

    Same thing for labor. I cannot even IMAGINE the mess they will have from broken pipes and water damage. It will keep every plumber in Texas busy for a year. However, if they’re anything like Florida, they have a labor monopoly and it’s ILLEGAL to visit the state, crash in a hotel, not see your kids for 3 months, and work as a plumber on everything that needs fixing. Oh no. You need to be a licensed resident. Rather than let YOU fix it, we’d rather not fix it at all. We make the homeowner fixing his problem ILLEGAL at any price. And thanks to more “helping” you cannot get an “Occupancy” code for a building without running – or perfect – water. So expect you won’t be back in your apartment for 9 months. Oh wait? COVID? More “helping”? Nobody paying rent? Okay, how about ever. It’s not WHY would a landlord fix your flat when you’re not paying, but HOW would they fix it at $100/hr when they haven’t themselves gotten paid in a year?

    Oh helping, helping, more helping. Helping everywhere. Anymore helping and we’ll all be living in our cars. Oh wait: too late, we are.

    Are we beginning to see the problems with infrastructure now? That infrastructure cannot exist in a society based on lying, cheating, and stealing?

    Want the next fun fact?

    Okay, how much was lost because half the businesses in Texas did nothing all week without power, the 2nd largest state, with 29M people, and GDP of $1.6B, 10% of the whole U.S.?

    Taxes on that missing $1.6B? State PLUS Federal PLUS Income PLUS Sales?

    Clearly they can stay irrational longer than they can stay solvent. Coming soon to a town near you.

    No water. No electric. No heat. Because they are liars, cheaters, and thieves that can’t be trusted, and you are derelict of duty and won’t remove them, won’t go around them and cut them off.



    Covid was becoming widespread in the West by March 2020. For most it was just a flu but some had serious effects which seemed to require hospitalisation. Doctors in the US found that zinc plus hydroxychloroquine would have most of these people up and about within hours and remove the need for hospitalisation for most.

    In April 2020 an app was introduced in the UK which monitored people’s health on a daily basis. With 3 million users it was able to give a snapshot of how extensive infections were. It managed to identify new symptoms for covid such as loss of sense of smell ot taste.

    By comparing outcomes for people using various medications and supplements it was used to statistically work out what could help against infection and hospitalisation. Vitamin D and Ivermectin were quickly identified, as well as other drugs. It was also hugely useful to test out the effect of various treatments.

    This app was rolled out round the world meaning the pandemic could be monitored on a daily basis and treatments worked out to minimise the impact, mainly to reduce hosptalisation and deaths, plus eliminating ‘long covid’.

    While hugely successful some deaths did occur – a few hundred thousand globally. Lockdowns were not even considered.

    I do not think the above senario is unrealistic. Exactly why it took such a dark turn is the big question.


    Today’s art. It was long time ago when I heard it: Japanese artist was puzzled as why the Western painters paint human faces with the dark spots (shadows), since flesh has a pretty uniform color..

    madamski cafone

    Obviously, things like covid cannot be managed for the common good by those authorities entrusted to do so… and that’s as kindly as I can address that issue. So why are we even discussing vaccines etc?

    To use a phrase I’ve found ridiculously necessary, ‘whatever covid is or isn’t’, it will do as it will, period. Every second, the virus makes a few billion copies of itself around the globe. We will NOT stop the spread. To even consider otherwise, after a year of watching public health authorities’ response to it, is like smoking crack up your ass. Pondering vaccine responses at this point is like complaining about Hades’ inadequate air-conditioning.

    Dr. D, bless his blameful soul, does a handy job above of pointing out what a cataclysmic shift in the
    energy/resources/goods paradigm will occur and change day-to-day reality in wild ways. Reverting to the “Old Ways” will be virtually impossible for the majority of the populace, including my retired urban self. Things will fall apart. The totalitarian crackdown so many fear will not happen because the system to implement such will also fail. We will enter a period of emphatic lawlessness.

    Limited Resources

    madamski cafone

    Speaking of Hades, Dr. D provides a postcard of hell: “How much gasoline is that, for 5 million people to run 100 decibel, failing, overheating small engines running?”


    madamski cafone

    @ upstateNYer

    “Thank you!”

    Well, thank you too!


    Campaign group Friends of the Constitution on Wednesday handed in a petition of 86,000 signatures collected over the past three months — well in excess of the 50,000 required — to formally initiate a nationwide vote to repeal the 2020 Covid-19 Act under Switzerland’s highly devolved democratic system.



    Trying this week to convince my ex and the father of my three kids to allow our 13 year old “gifted” daughter to go back to in-person school when the schools reopen for 4th quarter. Last year she was a “straight A” student. She hates online school. She has an F, two Ds, and a C in her core classes…and this despite the fact that the school district, in an effort not to penalize students with problems accessing technology, created a weird grading system for homework/classwork where 50% credit is given for assignments that are not turned in — in a system designed so no one can fail, she is still managing to fail one class.

    My gratitude all around to Raul, John Day, etc., which has helped me to have a clear head regarding Covid-19…and to understand that the risk to a healthy child is minimal.

    @Dr D…I find the energy crises in TX to be mostly a problem of resiliency. It isn’t profitable to build resilient systems, and so it isn’t done until and unless enough lives are devastated for people to pressure that resiliency to be put into place. If pipelines are susceptible to freezing, then natural gas fired plants should have capacity for enough on site storage to supply sufficient electricity for a few days. If turbines are susceptible to freezing as well as lack of wind, then compensatory systems must be put in place for when that happens. Personally, I detest noisy, smelly gasoline generators, but am intrigued by the progress made in non-toxic salt water batteries as a means of storing energy for home use. And, I don’t find it unreasonable for a home to have a fireplace or wood stove as a back up to typical home heating systems…for most folks being without electricity is an inconvenience, but with adequate heat during winter they’ll be alright.

    Resiliency ideally occurs at all levels — not just on the level of the electrical grid. I “lean left” and I do believe that problems should be tackled on community levels, and individuals not left completely to fend for themselves…but individuals and households also share responsibility for their own resiliency, and should have enough forethought to be able to get through a day in the dead of winter without power (or, in Phoenix, through the heat of an afternoon at 115 degrees.). If an individual cannot do this alone, then that person should have a plan of where to go to wait it out and how to get there, or be cooperatively involved with a group that does such planning.


    Here is what sticks out for me …… reporting issues.

    Math does not lie, no correlation,
    Nobody wants to die
    if you buy the right kind of vaccine, you can live.
    Why is it that India still does not have bodies in the street?
    If you got money, you can be saved,

    “This epidemiologist appears to take studies on giving people already in hospital large doses of vit. D, to claim it’s useless. This is exactly how HCQ was discredited. But do chime in.”

    • Why Vitamin D Probably Still Can’t Cure Covid-19 (Gideon)

    • Mutations Made Coronavirus 8 Times More Infectious Than Original (RT)
    “…the need for booster vaccines or even annual vaccination programs to halt the spread of the coronavirus for good.”

    • Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Make 3x Less Antibodies vs South African Strain (RT)
    “…. Astra Zeneca’s formula after a study showed it didn’t work as well in preventing Covid-19 caused by the mutant strain.”

    • 130 Countries Have Not Received A Single Covid Vaccine Dose (G.)
    “China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, …. make them, (vaccines), accessible and affordable for developing countries, including those in conflict”.

    • Florida Ranks 11th Lowest In Covid Deaths Per Capita Among Seniors (Blaze)
    ” …. the Sunshine State, which is regarded as God’s waiting room for seniors,”
    National News does not report damage from Mexico, other states
    NO exaggeration

    • Texas Was “Seconds And Minutes” From Complete Disaster (ZH)
    • The Failure Of The Texas Power Grid Is Worse Than You Think (Fed.)
    • Beleaguered Texas Hospitals With No Water Evacuate Patients (Fox4)
    Look here
    Customers Tracked:12,410,161
    State Outages:189,865
    Last Updated: 2/19/2021, 07:37:30 AM
    and look here
    Storm Prediction Center
    @ Dr. D
    How long can gasoline be stored before its no good?
    How much Fuel Stabilizer would be needed?

    Prolong Your Fuel’s Life with a Fuel Stabilizer

    Next, What would be the supply of 55 gal. drums to meet the needs?


    Re ” Why vitamin D probably still can’t cure Covid-19″

    The arthor cites a study out of Brazil. I tried to understand from the study what the vitamin D levels were for people in the supplementation and placebo groups but did not see it. Perhaps a more trained eye could tease it out.

    Was anybody in either group Vit D defficient? If not, then supplementation is not going to make a difference in a randomized trial.

    Doc Robinson

    “Saved this for last because I would like some comments.”
    “Even more than a year into all of this, we still don’t really know if vitamin D does anything for Covid-19 at all.”

    It’s a high bar, and a dual standard about what “we don’t really know.”

    This approach seems backwards:
    If “we don’t really know” how effective it is (but we do really know it’s safe), then it’s rejected.
    If we “sort of know” how effective it is (but we don’t really know about its long-term safety), then it’s recommended.

    For something that won’t make a lot of money for Big Pharma (Vitamin D, Ivermectin…), but having a track record of safety going back decades, it’s not recommended because “we don’t really know” exactly how effective it is. The research and track record shows it’s safe, but there are not enough studies to prove how effective it is.

    For something that will make a lot of money for Big Pharma (mRNA vaccines…), despite having no track record of safety (we really don’t know about the long-term effects), but with some bigger studies done to put a number on the effectiveness, then it’s recommended and pushed on the public.

    Below is another example where we don’t really know about the vaccine safety, but they are recommended anyway because “experts believe” that a substantial risk is “unlikely.”

    Miscarriage reports are not proof of Covid-19 vaccine danger to pregnancy

    “Based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant.”



    I wonder if Dr D uses “absolutes” in his writing to provide emphasis. Others might use CAPITAL letters or exclamation marks.


    Yeah, Doc Robinson

    If “we don’t really know” how effective it is (but we do really know it’s safe), then it’s rejected. If we “sort of know” how effective it is (but we don’t really know about its long-term safety), then it’s recommended.

    Vit D, ivermectin, HCQ all have decades-long track records on safety, But not on this particular virus, so let’s do 5-year studies to find if it’s safe. While we can do the vaccine research in 5 weeks.

    The problem is, this is killing people as we speak. But yeah, we didn’t study that, so we can’t say it.


    Re:Vitamin D Meta Studies

    The following Meta Study indicates: That out of 94 studies on Vitamin D; 89 had positive results, 1 had no significant result and 4 had negative results. So, out of the total studies there was a 65% improvement with large doses of Vitamin D. In early stage Covid treatment there was a 90% improvement in outcomes over the control groups.


    Meta Study of Ivermectin had even better results: Out of 40 studies on Ivermectin. The analysis found that 100% of all Ivermectin studies support positive effects as follows: Prophylaxis: 89% improvement; Early treatment, 81% improvement; Late treatment resulted in a 52% improvement in patient outcomes over control groups.

    These results are clear and astounding. The odds of this happening due to chance is 1 in 1 trillion.


    Gideon is cherry picking his results.

    John Day

    First Vitamin-D:
    The “health nerd” picks faults and rattles them off without context, to sound knowledgeable and trustworthy, but he is actually misleading, which he reveals early on with his ose of adjectives and comparison. He gets paid for what he writes, not for a real-world career.
    The Spanish study used calcifediol and did randomly assign people to whatever ward had openings. Treating with calcifediol by ward was practical. Not everybody who gets into a hospital in a rush gets every lab done at admission, but people were not excluded for lack of a baseline vitamin-D level.
    that’s life.
    The big thing about calcifediol, which he does not explain, is that it is immediately bioavailable, while vitamn-D2 and D3 need to be activated in the liver, which takes something like a week.
    Calcifediol is appropriate for hospital studies, because this “active” vitamin-D intervention gets to work right away There is nothing in the Spanish study which would unfairly bias it in any way, nor discredit it’s conclusions. It’s a good, prospective, equitably assigned (“random” as possible) medical study.
    I don’t have the Brazilian study in front of me, and I can’t recall what vitamin-D it used, but I do recall that the average baseline vitamin-D level was something in the mid 20s, “low”, but not “deficient” in the parlance of many doctors. The Brazilian study failing to find a significant difference, with subjects who were not very low in vitamin-D to begin with, does not refute the results of a large, well performed study, which did show a big benefit.
    Smoke screen. Blow job. Throwing sand in one’s eyes.
    Not addressed, but previously addressed in Indonesia last spring is the high correlation between severity of vitamin-D deficiency and severity of COVID outcomes in morbidity and mortality.
    Few hospitalized patients had normal vitamin-D levels in that large observational cohort.
    (Not addressed is the ancient and venerable “vitamin D hypothesis”, that viral illness spreads seasonally as vitamin-D levels fall, because the immune system does not function properly with low vitamin-D levels. “We” used to make our own vitamin-D, before we got a mutation that prevented it. We were ok, due to environmental conditions, eating other animals who did, and plenty sunshine on bare skin. Part of the hypothesis is that humans LOST pigment when migrating to Germany and Russia, because it enhanced survival to get every bit of vitamin-D possible.)

    John Day

    If you supplement regularly, you already have a good blood level of fully active vitamin-D, calcifediol, by the time you inadvertently snort some coronavirus. We know that this lowers your risk of becoming actively infected, and we see that it also improves your course of infection, if you do.

    Doc Robinson

    Regarding Sweden and the UK, the most recent estimate for “excess deaths” (Week 6, 2021) is showing significant excess for UK (England), and near-zero excess for Sweden.




    Phoenixvoice said “I don’t find it unreasonable for a home to have a fireplace or wood stove as a back up to typical home heating systems…”
    Unfortunately, many areas prohibit wood burning appliances. A nearby town has a blanket prohibition on use of wood stoves or fireplaces. This is a town surrounded by forest and supports a significant logging industry. Another example of gov’t “helping” . There is a effort to ban woodstoves in rural areas here too. In heavily forested western Canada .
    BTW, the wood stove ban in the above town was introduced when a nat gas pipeline was extended to said town. Now everyone there has to rely on electric grid of a gas pipeline (in earthquake country) for heat.

    John Day

    Last evening;:
    Wes and Zerosum: Thanks for wood-stove comments and experience.
    @Madamski: Lots of good output again, Girl (“Girl-illa”? Samsomnette”?)
    Some philosophers would opine that Hope was the last and worst demon to fly from Pandora’s box, inducing the suffering to stay and keep suffering all of the other curses.
    That’s not Buddhist or Hindu, though. It’s hard to be sure about stuff until you have tested it in your own life. I suspect you have done so. The stoics did not advocate hope, nor did they advocate useless suffering, but they were more inclined to keep an even keel, without a lot of expectations, and deal with things as they came along, the best they could. That is more Buddhist and Taoist and stuff.
    “Collapse now and avoid the rush” is a catchy line, which I like for that.
    The main thing is to anticipate the coming wave and get your board positioned and start to paddle in the right direction to slide into it, instead of getting wiped-out. Yeah?
    @ezlxa1949 :This many days without rising above freezing , almost 7, but it got to 33F yesterday afternoon, is one record. Some have said this would be worse than 1966, but it involved sequential layers of ice and snow, beginning with a heavy ice coat on trees and power lines 8.5 days ago, which brought a lot of both down, and never melted, just got piled onto. The severity of the cold was also unprecedented. Maybe some of the numbers had been seen before on that day, but not the sequence, nor the persistence, which really did freeze pipes because it was so long, relentless and severe. Unprecedented in records, all in all.

    : oil you can’t get is effectively no oil, as you point out. Cheap and portable energy is required to run and support the complex economy that can get that Venezuelan and Canadian tar out of the ground and minimal EROI.
    After that economy is gone you need what Jed Clampett found when “he was shootin’ at some food”. That’s all been found. Who gets to use it for what when the big economy falls-and-can’t-get-up?
    @V.Arnold: I like the heating solutions in Thailand, but I caught malaria, trekking near the Burmese border, not terribly far from you. I had medicine and took it, and carried my pack again the next day, trudged.. It’s a long term consideration in a world where technology may or may not be sustained.
    Most of us are old enough that it is an intellectual or spiritual consideration, though I think we all want to die on our own terms.
    I can’t figure out what terms I’m demanding yet…
    I “Hope” Australia outlasts Facebook, on principle.


    “I “Hope” Australia outlasts Facebook, on principle.”
    Advertisers, with my money and your money, are making facebook rich.
    Advertisers will continue “to feed” the web because “experts advertisers” have convinced companies that they can make more profit by doing advertising on the web.
    Stopping advertising on facebook has got to be a worst/poor way of subsidizing news papers and news reporters.


    Biden – lalaland
    Never lied – $15.00 in 4 years

    Under the new bill, the minimum wage will increase to $9.50 an hour as soon as the bill is passed, raising to $11.00 an hour one year later, $12.50 two years later, $14.00 three years later, and $15.00 an hour beginning the fourth year following passage of the legislation.

    madamski cafone

    @ John Day

    ““Girl-illa”? Samsomnette””

    Let’s go maximum and call me Spamsonella. Name like that should get me locked upo trying to flee across the border.

    madamski cafone

    @ John Day

    As for hope: we reproduce via love. Erotic love, nurturing love, enduring love… and that requires hope. However the philosophers feel about hope, they6 wopuld all drink hemlock if they had none.

    We’re all here because of acts of love, directly or indirectly. Love is the tender trap. Hope is how we endure this captivity we call life.

    But I consider myself essentially Daoist. Detachment, like hope, is also a great tool and emotional experience.

    Hope for the best but detach from the outcome because things rarely work as planned.


    John Day said, ‘I “Hope” Australia outlasts Facebook, on principle.’

    So do I (an Antipodean resident). Our federal government has reacted strongly against Farcebook’s exercise of power, and good on them, but this is also a government which has far too many failings and weaknesses in far too many areas. How long their nerve will hold remains to be seen.

    If you want to get an idea of what’s going on here, visit https://www.abc.net.au/

    I don’t use any social media at all, so to an extent I am insulated against all of this.

    madamski cafone

    @ limeincoconut

    “I wonder if Dr D uses “absolutes” in his writing to provide emphasis. Others might use CAPITAL letters or exclamation marks.”

    Well, there’s a huge difference between, for example, 97% or, say, the vast majority bolded and italicised for emphasis and 100% stated as just plain fact. I’m all for so-called “weasel words” (in moderation, like everything else except infinity) but weasel numbers, even when used as expressive metaphors, fall under what Twain called “lies, damn lies, and statistics”. My feeling is that the mysterious Dr. D gets so (understandably) overwrought about the insanity of modern culture that he starts shooting wildly. Being that smart and informed can drive a person edgy.

    Me, I just start cussing at anything that moves. But I try to aim true. I prefer to hit something when I’m shooting the moon or just the local streetlight. How can a person curse the darkness with all those annoying lights in the sky?

    Lunar Ballistics

    Lord, I hate rap. Good thing he’s just shooting off his mouth. 😉

    madamski cafone

    P.S. Dmitry Orlov has a similar problem with absolutes.


    I haven’t finished reading yet, but here’s the call- emergency plumbers, head to Texas.
    Haul a bit of food with you.

    madamski cafone

    I’ll note that, in hard times, people tend to ignore prohibitive government regulations when they need major things repaired. Black-market plumbing will be huge in Texas. Government has mostly done all the damage they can do. Now we’re experiencing the consequences of those damaging actions while the government (as Dr. D observed), is finding it can hardly sustain a sovereign erection these days even with a steady IV Viagra drip courtesy the Federal Reserve and a compliant media.

    I sometimes think that the paradigm shift aka collapse will happen like this:

    Faster and 1,000 Times Worse Than Expected

    Doc Robinson

    A recent study is critical of the CDC, and hints at how the CDC neglected to base some key Covid policy decisions on good data (the science was missing.) “CDC scientists and staff have authored a large number of studies on COVID-19; however, the majority are descriptive and provide low-quality evidence for policy and management decisions.

    “The Missing Science: Epidemiological data gaps for COVID-19 policy in the United States”

    “Current guidance for COVID-19 community mitigations relies primarily on indirect evidence. For example, pre-symptomatic transmission, proximity, and an inability to mask are the facts used to justify restrictions on indoor dining in restaurants; [91] Such restrictions may well be protective; however, rigorous studies quantifying transmission risks for restaurant settings have not been undertaken.

    “While several case series and outbreak investigations have highlighted potential hazards in “essential” and frontline work settings such as food production, no identified analytic studies quantified determinants of risks of transmission in workplace settings.

    “CDC’s estimates of the infection-fatality ratios (IFR) based on studies in six European countries may not be generalizable to the US. County to country differences in the prevalence of vulnerability factors, medical care, and ascertainment of infection affect this parameter.”

    “To monitor disease burden, the CDC has routinely reported several measures of infection and disease incidence at the national and state level; however, these measures have limited geographical resolution. Each state has utilized its own distinct sets of state and regional indicators, [96] along with state-specific benchmarks, to guide control activities.”

    “A robust, national approach to monitoring COVID-19 in every region using multiple measures of disease incidence should be feasible.”

    “Disaggregating measures of infection and disease burden by community setting (e.g. residential setting, workplaces, neighborhoods) could further aide in targeting public health responses and focusing resources for testing, contact tracing and outbreak investigations.”

    The US currently lacks regional estimates of the cumulative infection prevalence. Regional differences in prevalence could explain part of the variation in the pace of infectious spread.”


    Twelve months after the identification of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the understanding of COVID-19 transmission, infection severity and disease burden has advanced, yet estimates of several essential epidemiological parameters remain absent or uncertain. Missing are comparative measures of transmission risk and disease burden for community exposure settings, including work in “essential occupations.” Estimates for infection fatality and infection hospitalization ratios representative of US settings do not exist. Indicators of disease burden, though available, have insufficient resolution to inform targeted policy and programmatic responses.

    These epidemiological data gaps may be limiting the most efficient and equitable response to the COVID-19 epidemic and underscore the importance of standardizing data collection priorities and protocols early during a rapidly emerging infectious disease epidemic. CDC scientists and staff have authored a large number of studies on COVID-19; however, the majority are descriptive and provide low-quality evidence for policy and management decisions. The content of their investigations raises questions about whether and how an explicit national research agenda guided CDC epidemiological endeavors.

    CDC scientists have the access to data, the expertise, and the resources to provide the data necessary for an optimal epidemic response. Moving forward, the CDC should now plan for how it might develop and implement a timely, strategic, and prioritized national epidemiological data collection and research agenda for the next emerging infectious disease epidemic.

    V. Arnold

    One more comment re: wood stoves…
    There is a huge difference between a cooking stove and a heating stove.
    The house we bought had a wood burning cook stove replete with an oven; we heated with it for the first year; what a pain in the ass. Couldn’t bank a fire in it for more than an hour or so; believe me, thats no way to heat a house.
    That’s when we bought the Ashley wood burning heater. It was a top & front loading model. We could easily bank it for overnight and woke up to a warm house and a still lit fire; so we just had to add more wood and let it rip…
    Just food for thought….


    V. Arnold:

    Your wood stove experience is the same as mine.
    If you have a cheap woodstove you will spend all your time and energy feeding the beast! You will be it’s servant!
    If you buy a good quality woodstove then you will spend far less time and energy feeding it! Then it becomes your servant!
    The choice is clear!


    One of the problems with intermittent green power is that you have to build standby gas or coal fired plants (as Dr. D pointed out) for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

    Basically that means paying for 2 parallel power systems both of which are only used part time. Since green energy costs double (green + fossil), only wealthy countries can afford such extravaganzas. It isn’t just the power plant but also two sets of transmission lines, switching gear, transformers, or what is called the grid. That stuff is expensive, especially if mostly on stand by.

    Another thing to consider is that when air gets really cold it takes a lot more energy to make cold air move. As Germany and Texas found out in really cold weather, cold air just sits there too heavy to be moved! So no wind energy!


    After watching how poorly Canada’s top federal health authorities, the WHO, and the CDC dr fusci have performed, I have concluded we would have been simply better off if they didn’t exist.

    These folks seem to only be concerned by the rise in their bank accounts. Only money can explain their behavior. They are all state sanctioned mass murderers.

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