Feb 282021
 February 28, 2021  Posted by at 10:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dome ceiling at the Ambassadors’ Hall in the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Spain 1427 (click to enlarge)


Vaccine Passports Are A Technical And Ethical Minefield (FT)
I’ve Had The Covid Jab – And All It Cost Me Was My Freedom (Hitchens )
First Vaccine To Fully Immunize Against Malaria Builds On RNA Tech (AT)
Czech Leader Asks Putin For Sputnik V Vaccine Without EU Certification (RT)
Biden Says US Will ‘Never’ Accept Russia’s Annexation of Crimea (Antiwar)
Putin, Crusaders, & Barbarians (Escobar)
Second Former Aide Accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment (NYP)
The Danger of the Administrative State (AIER)
Can The US Become Self-Sufficient In Rare Earth Materials Again? (F.)
India Targets Climate Activists With the Help of Big Tech (Naomi Klein)
Why Bill Gates Is Now The US Biggest Farmland Owner (NYP)
Unmasking Bitcoin Inventor May Send Cryptomarket Into Tailspin – Coinbase (RT)





Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
– Virginia Woolf



Promising title, missed opportunity.

Vaccine Passports Are A Technical And Ethical Minefield (FT)

Vaccine passports are essentially certificates that link proof of vaccination to the identity of the holder, a potential silver bullet to return to our pre-Covid-19 lives. Before the pandemic, the EU was working on plans for cross-border electronic certificates to replace the paper booklets that many travellers carry. At this week’s EU summit some leaders pressed for further steps towards coronavirus passports. A recent Royal Society report that I led came up with 12 different criteria that would need to be satisfied to make such passports feasible. This is a complex ecosystem that requires an understanding of everything from immunity and infection to technology, ethics and behavioural factors. But the underlying question must be: what would a vaccine passport be used for?

The head of Heathrow airport has called for digital health certificates to reboot international travel. Estonia and Iceland already link e-vaccination certificates to travel and exclusion from quarantine. Greece is pressing the EU to move quickly. There are precedents such as the airline industry group Iata’s travel pass initiative. But would these certificates only be required for international travel or could they be needed for getting a job, attending a football match, or buying some milk? Israel recently introduced a green pass heralded as “the first step back to an almost normal life”. It opens entry to gyms, cinemas, hotels and meets some our technical criteria such as verifiable credentials, portability, (attempts at) security for personal data and interoperability. It is valid for six months after a second dose and for “those who have recovered from coronavirus”.

But this could be problematic. Current vaccines protect against severe disease, but we do not yet know whether they stop transmission, how quickly immunity wanes or if they are compromised by emerging variants. Whether someone who has “recovered” meets immunity criteria remains a question. In addition to an expiry date, we would need the ability to revoke a vaccine passport. Israel’s warning of severe punishment for forgery is another reminder of what could go wrong. There is also the question of mission creep. Recall the UK’s early digital contact tracing app, which raised concerns about privacy, government surveillance and private sector data sharing. Or consider the technical problems with the Tawakkalna app, introduced in Saudi Arabia, which is used for entry into many places but recently froze.

All vaccine passports have the potential to block people from essential goods and services and exclude those who lack identification or do not own or cannot afford a smartphone. The RS criteria for a workable vaccine passport included equity, ethics and non-discrimination. That means we must ask who would we exclude? There is higher vaccine hesitancy among ethnic minorities and the jabs are being rolled out by age. Plus some people are excluded entirely: children, pregnant women and those with allergies.

Read more …

Using popular writers to soften resistance? “I’d tried to fight against it but I lost.”?

I’ve Had The Covid Jab – And All It Cost Me Was My Freedom (Peter Hitchens)

So sorry, Your Majesty, but I have had my first Covid vaccination for wholly selfish reasons. I did not do it for the good of others but for my own convenience. And I will have my second for the same purpose. A very important part of my family now lives abroad and I am deeply tired of not being able to see them. I get the strong sense that any sort of travel, and plenty of other things, will be impossible if I don’t have the necessary vaccine certificate. I hope it becomes known as the Blair Passport – as it is largely the warmongering Creature’s idea and people will come to hate it, as they have come to hate so many of his actions. So I have been more or less forced to have an immunisation I would not normally have bothered with.

Don’t, if you are wise, dare call me an ‘anti-vaxxer’. I have, in a long life, been injected against tetanus, smallpox, TB, polio, diphtheria and yellow fever. I’m a fiend for preventive medicine and the precautions I take when I’m in malarial areas are so elaborate my companions laugh at them – from swallowing horrible protective medicines to blasting my hotel room with ultra-strength death sprays to exterminate any possible mosquitoes. These are all terrible diseases and I think it’s wise to do this. And if you think Covid is as dangerous as them, I certainly don’t want to put you off the jab. Indeed, I don’t want to put you off in any way. It’s your business, not mine, and not even the Queen’s. I dislike her growing habit of getting involved in politics and I’d feel the same if she supported any cause I liked.

Of course my selfish injection didn’t hurt. I’m a blood donor (so also please don’t call me selfish), used to far bigger needles in my arm, for a lot longer. But I did feel a pang of regret and loss. For me, the vaccination was a gloomy submission to a new world of excessive safety and regulation. I’d tried to fight against it but I lost. The New Jerusalem, in which we allow the state to boss us around even more, in the name of our own good, is now coming into being.

Read more …

Now test it properly. Yes, that takes years, we know.

First Vaccine To Fully Immunize Against Malaria Builds On RNA Tech (AT)

Consistently ranked as one of the leading causes of death around the world, malaria doesn’t have an effective vaccine yet. But researchers have invented a promising new blueprint for one — with properties akin to the novel RNA-based vaccine for COVID-19. Making a vaccine for malaria is challenging because its associated parasite, Plasmodium, contains a protein that inhibits production of memory T-cells, which protect against previously encountered pathogens.

If the body can’t generate these cells, a vaccine is ineffective. But scientists recently tried a new approach using an RNA-based platform. Their design circumvented the sneaky protein, allowed the body to produce the needed T-cells and completely immunized against malaria. The patent application for their novel vaccine, which hasn’t yet been tested on humans, was published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Feb. 4. “It’s probably the highest level of protection that has been seen in a mouse model,” said Richard Bucala, co-inventor of the new vaccine and a physician and professor at Yale School of Medicine.

The team’s breakthrough could save hundreds of thousands of lives, particularly in developing nations. In 2019 alone, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria and 409,000 deaths worldwide. Of those deaths, 94% were in Africa, with children being the most vulnerable. “It affects societies and populations that have the least amount of resources and expertise to manage these infections well,” Bucala told The Academic Times. “We need new vaccines, and we need more tools.” Novartis Pharmaceuticals and the National Institutes of Health funded the work. GlaxoSmithKline is an assignee on the patent, which if approved, will allow the company to produce the vaccine and make it available to the public.

At present, the only vaccine to prevent malaria is called RTS,S. Approved two years ago, this vaccine is the result of nearly two decades of research, but is only about 30% effective. And after four years, that figure drops to 15%.“It doesn’t work very well,” Bucala said. “And the research studies all have the conclusion that the people who fail to mount a vaccine response, or who get reinfected, have poor memory T-cell responses.”

Read more …

“According to data from Johns Hopkins University, its death rate per 100,000 people is currently the worst in the world.”

Czech Leader Asks Putin For Sputnik V Vaccine Without EU Certification (RT)

Czech President Milos Zeman says he has sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking for a Sputnik V vaccine shipment. Zeman said that Prague won’t insist on EU agency approval for use of the jab. Speaking to CNN Prima News on Saturday, Zeman revealed that the letter to the Russian leader was penned in agreement with the country’s PM Andrej Babis. The Czech leader said that he expects Putin to approve the request. “If I am properly informed, this request will be granted,” he told the channel. Zeman noted that the jab will need to be certified by the local regulator, the State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL), before the Russian vaccine can be rolled out. He added that its seal of approval will be “enough” to launch the vaccination campaign.

Zeman’s statement appears to run contrary to that of his top health official, Jan Blatny, who has been health minister since October, representing Babis’ pro-EU Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO) populist party. Earlier this month, Blatny ruled out the possibility of the Czech Republic importing Sputnik V on his watch unless it is first greenlighted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Amid a spike in coronavirus infections, believed to be driven by a new, highly contagious variant, the Czech government extended a state of emergency on Friday, which will now run until March 28. Under the newly extended emergency, the authorities are expected to tighten curbs on the freedom of movement, including the imposition of bans on non-essential travel to other countries.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said the sweeping travel ban will be enforced by the military and the police. The restrictions will also see nurseries and schools for disabled children shut their doors, and people will be banned from leaving their municipalities other than for essential purposes. “We have to do it to prevent a total collapse of our hospitals,” Babis said on Friday, warning that if the lockdown is not properly enforced, “the whole world will watch Bergamo in the Czech Republic.” The country, with a population of 10.7 million, has reported some 1.2 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 20,000 fatalities from the virus. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, its death rate per 100,000 people is currently the worst in the world.

Read more …

It makes zero difference. You lost.

Biden Says US Will ‘Never’ Accept Russia’s Annexation of Crimea (Antiwar)

President Biden released a statement on Friday marking the seventh anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea where he said the US will “never” accept Russian sovereignty over the peninsula. “The United States continues to stand with Ukraine and its allies and partners today, as it has from the beginning of this conflict,” Biden said. “The United States does not and will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of the peninsula, and we will stand with Ukraine against Russia’s aggressive acts.” Left out of Biden’s statement was the reason for the Russian annexation.

In 2014, the US-orchestrated a coup in Ukraine. The largely ethnic Russian population of Crimea rejected the new nationalist anti-Russian government in Kyiv that even had neo-nazis in its midst. Polls after the annexation show the majority of Crimeans were in favor of joining Russia. The Biden family benefited greatly from the coup. Shortly after the change in government, President Biden’s son Hunter landed a high-paying job on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company. President Biden tapped an architect of the Ukraine coup for a high-level position in the State Department. Victoria Nuland, the wife of neoconservative Robert Kagan, is the nominee to be the under secretary of state for political affairs.

Read more …

“Orthodox Christian, thus appealing to swaths of the West; consolidated as major Eurasian power; a military, hypersonic superpower; and boasting unrivaled diplomatic skills, appreciated all across the Global South.”

Putin, Crusaders, & Barbarians (Escobar)

Moscow is painfully aware that the US/NATO “strategy” of containment of Russia is already reaching fever pitch. Again. This past Wednesday, at a very important meeting with the Federal Security Service board, President Putin laid it all out in stark terms: “We are up against the so-called policy of containing Russia. This is not about competition, which is a natural thing for international relations. This is about a consistent and quite aggressive policy aimed at disrupting our development, slowing it down, creating problems along the outer perimeter, triggering domestic instability, undermining the values that unite Russian society, and ultimately to weaken Russia and put it under external control, just the way we are witnessing it transpire in some countries in the post-Soviet space.”

Not without a touch of wickedness, Putin added this was no exaggeration: “In fact, you don’t need to be convinced of this as you yourselves know it perfectly well, perhaps even better than anybody else.” The Kremlin is very much aware “containment” of Russia focuses on its perimeter: Ukraine, Georgia and Central Asia. And the ultimate target remains regime change. Putin’s remarks may also be interpreted as an indirect answer to a section of President Biden’s speech at the Munich Security Conference. According to Biden’s scriptwriters, “Putin seeks to weaken the European project and the NATO alliance because it is much easier for the Kremlin to intimidate individual countries than to negotiate with the united transatlantic community … The Russian authorities want others to think that our system is just as corrupt or even more corrupt.”

A clumsy, direct personal attack against the head of state of a major nuclear power does not exactly qualify as sophisticated diplomacy. At least it glaringly shows how trust between Washington and Moscow is now reduced to less than zero. As much as Biden’s Deep State handlers refuse to see Putin as a worthy negotiating partner, the Kremlin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have already dismissed Washington as “non-agreement capable.” Once again, this is all about sovereignty. The “unfriendly attitude towards Russia,” as Putin defined it, extends to “other independent, sovereign centers of global development.” Read it as mainly China and Iran. All these three sovereign states happen to be categorized as top “threats” by the US National Security Strategy.

Yet Russia is the real nightmare for the Exceptionalists: Orthodox Christian, thus appealing to swaths of the West; consolidated as major Eurasian power; a military, hypersonic superpower; and boasting unrivaled diplomatic skills, appreciated all across the Global South. In contrast, there’s not much left for the deep state except endlessly demonizing both Russia and China to justify a Western military build-up, the “logic” inbuilt in a new strategic concept named NATO 2030: United for a New Era. The experts behind the concept hailed it as an “implicit” response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s declaring NATO “brain dead.” Well, at least the concept proves Macron was right.

Read more …

Your daily Cuomo drip drip.

Second Former Aide Accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment (NYP)

A second woman has accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, according to a new report. Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former aide to Cuomo, told The New York Times that the governor asked her inappropriate personal questions, told her he was open to relationships with women in their 20s, and left her feeling that he “wanted to sleep with me.” Bennett, who worked as an executive assistant and health-policy adviser, told the Times the interactions took place in the spring, as the coronavirus pandemic flared. Cuomo, 63, never made any physical advances, she said. Still, she described a June meeting in Cuomo’s Albany office, during which he griped about being lonely during the pandemic and whined he “can’t even hug anyone.”

Cuomo, 63, then pressed her: “Who did I last hug,” she said. She tried to dodge the question by saying she missed hugging her parents. “And he was, like, ‘No, I mean like really hugged somebody,’” she said. “I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the Times. “And [I] was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.” Bennett, who grew up in Westchester County, is around the same age as Cuomo’s oldest daughters. She said she told the governor how she had once played soccer against one of his girls. When she told Cuomo in May of her experience as a sexual-assault survivor, he seemed fixated by the revelation, she said.

She told a friend via text message: “The way he was repeating, ‘You were raped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed,’ over and over again while looking me directly in the eyes was something out of a horror movie,” according to the Times. “It was like he was testing me.” Cuomo told her he was lonely since his relationship celebrity chef Sandra Lee, his girlfriend of 14 years, ended in 2019. He stressed to her that Lee was “out of the picture,” and referred to “wanting a girlfriend, preferably in the Albany area.” “Age doesn’t matter,” he told her, as he asked about her feelings about age differences in relationships — a conversation she told a friend about at the time, in a text reviewed by the Times.

Read more …

It’s not just the state. Hospitals often have more managers and administrators than doctors and nurses.

The Danger of the Administrative State (AIER)

The chilling narrative about the growth of the administrative state, which is essentially the regulatory apparatus of the executive branch, is usually confined to specialist professions. The ever-present danger of a slowly expanding and unaccountable apparatus of bureaucrats that threatens to sap the life out of American society and drown it in a sea of paperwork is typically a concern that only keeps policy wonks and lawyers up at night. Although many lawyers probably celebrate this dystopian vision because they benefit from the compliance fees. The regulatory state not only threatens to make society that much slower and dreary with its excessive onslaught of regulation but it also makes us poorer. Robert Samuelson writes for the Washington Post that

“No one really knows by how much, but “there is ample evidence that regulation has expanded and that this expansion has limited economic growth,” as Ted Gayer and Philip Wallach of the Brookings Institution recently wrote. One study estimates that regulation has shaved 0.8 percent off the U.S. annual growth rate, which — if confirmed by other studies — would be huge.” The regulatory state refers to organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and all the other three-letter agencies in Washington, DC. If you would like to see how long the list of agencies is, take a look at the Federal Register, to which there are 455.

That number is absolutely mind-boggling and you don’t need a fancy degree in political science like I have to say that society can function without their oversight. A paper by Peter Strauss at Columbia Law School notes that there are currently over 2 million civilians employed in the federal government alone. He notes that for context, “The first Congress to meet once the Constitution was ratified created a Post Office and Departments of War, Navy, Foreign Affairs, and Treasury, each in unique ways suited to its responsibilities; this new government employed few civil servants to manage all its affairs. The first serious count of federal civilian employees, in 1816, reported that they numbered 4,837.”

The drastic expansion of the administrative state has come at a cost to not only our liberty, which is slowly being eroded by a sea of paperwork and regulations, but it also undermines our democracy. According to Article 1 of the Constitution, the legislative branch or Congress is supposed to be the primary law-making body of our government. That is because if there are bad laws or laws society doesn’t like, we can hold people accountable. However, more and more power has been shifted to the executive branch because of the growth of the administrative state. Even the judicial system is losing power to the administrative state after the establishment of a legal doctrine known as Chevron Deference, which binds the court system to defer to the administrative agency’s interpretation of a rule, not the Constitutional interpretation of a sitting judge.

Read more …

These things are dirty.

Can The US Become Self-Sufficient In Rare Earth Materials Again? (F.)

The extraction process involves crushing the ore and milling it into granules, followed by some range of mechanical separation processes which might involve using magnetic sorting, gravity separation, or floatation. This is then usually followed by acid leaching, baking, or a solvent extraction step. This is why we don’t like processing it in the U.S. – it creates toxic wastes which have to be dealt with. Sometimes you get radioactive elements with it, like radium and thorium in the waste streams, which makes it even worse. So when we export it to China for processing, we really are exporting a lot of pollution with it.

China is the largest provider in the world today. It has three major ore deposits in Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, and Shangdong Provinces, as well lower grade deposits mainly in Jianxi, Guangdong, Fujian, and Guanxi Provinces in which the rare earths are adsorbed onto the surface of clay minerals. Though these lower-grade “weathered crust elution deposits” have lower concentrations of the actual rare earth elements, they are easier to extract. Dissolving them in salt water or ammonium sulfate solutions, and then precipitating them out with oxalic acid or ammonium bicarbonate – inexpensive chemicals – does the trick. It is a much less expensive process than extracting from ores, which has given Chinese producers a significant cost advantage.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. led the world in research on rare earths, but by the 1980s funding for the chemistry, separation technology, and processing was reduced. Low-pricing from China made U.S. mining and processing uncompetitive, and the Mountain Pass mine was closed in the 1990s, only to be reopened in 2013 after China restricted supplies. Could the U.S. become self-sufficient again? Bokan Mountain, on Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska, is the site of a project by Nova Scotia-based Ucore Rare Metals. The company is trying to extract dysprosium, terbium, and yttrium over the projected 11 – 15 year life of the mine. From the 1950s – 1970s, the area was the location of a uranium mine, so the contaminated soil and waste rock today mark a Superfund site.

NioCorp. is also trying to develop a mine for rare earths and niobium in Elk Creek, Nebraska. In addition to rare earths, it could be one of the world’s largest sources of niobium, a critical ingredient in high temperature alloys used in jet and rocket engines, as well as in low-temperature superconducting wire. Bear Lodge, in the northeast corner of Wyoming, is another prospective mine development. Lynas Corp. and Texas Mineral Resources Corp. are also building processing plants in the U.S. MP Materials also plans to begin domestic processing in 2022.

Read more …

They’re everywhere.

India Targets Climate Activists With the Help of Big Tech (Naomi Klein)

The bank of cameras that camped outside Delhi’s sprawling Tihar jail was the sort of media frenzy you would expect to await a prime minister caught in an embezzlement scandal, or perhaps a Bollywood star caught in the wrong bed. Instead, the cameras were waiting for Disha Ravi, a nature-loving 22-year-old vegan climate activist who against all odds has found herself ensnared in an Orwellian legal saga that includes accusations of sedition, incitement, and involvement in an international conspiracy whose elements include (but are not limited to): Indian farmers in revolt, the global pop star Rihanna, supposed plots against yoga and chai, Sikh separatism, and Greta Thunberg. If you think that sounds far-fetched, well, so did the judge who released Ravi after nine days in jail under police interrogation.

Judge Dharmender Rana was supposed to rule on whether Ravi, one of the founders of the Indian chapter of Fridays For Future, the youth climate group started by Thunberg, should continue to be denied bail. He ruled that there was no reason for bail to be denied, which cleared the way for Ravi’s return to her home in Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) that night. But the judge also felt the need to go much further, to issue a scathing 18-page ruling on the underlying case that has gripped Indian media for weeks, issuing his own personal verdict on the various explanations provided by the Delhi police for why Ravi had been apprehended in the first place. The police’s evidence against the young climate activist is, he wrote, “scanty and sketchy,” and there is not “even an iota” of proof to support the claims of sedition, incitement, or conspiracy that have been leveled against her and at least two other young activists.

Though the international conspiracy case appears to be falling apart, Ravi’s arrest has spotlighted a different kind of collusion, this one between the increasingly oppressive and anti-democratic Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Silicon Valley companies whose tools and platforms have become the primary means for government forces to incite hatred against vulnerable minorities and critics — and for police to ensnare peaceful activists like Ravi in a high-tech digital web. The case against Ravi and her “co-conspirators” hinges entirely on routine uses of well-known digital tools: WhatsApp groups, a collectively edited Google Doc, a private Zoom meeting, and several high-profile tweets, all of which have been weaponized into key pieces of alleged evidence in a state-sponsored and media-amplified activist hunt.

At the same time, these very tools have been used in a coordinated pro-government messaging campaign to turn public sentiment against the young activists and the movement of farmers they came together to support, often in clear violation of the guardrails social media companies claim to have erected to prevent violent incitement on their platforms.

Read more …

Gates is all about money.

Why Bill Gates Is Now The US Biggest Farmland Owner (NYP)

Late last year, Eric O’Keefe was researching a mysterious recent purchase of 14,500 acres of prime Washington state farmland. His magazine, The Land Report, tracks major land transactions and produces an annual list of the 100 biggest US landowners. Sales of more than a thousand acres are “blue-moon events,” O’Keefe noted, so this one stood out. And Eastern Washington has some of the richest, most expensive farmland in the country. But the purchaser of record was a small, obscure company in Louisiana. “That immediately set off alarm bells,” O’Keefe says. He assigned his research team to dig a little deeper. Soon they came back with the answer: The Louisiana company was acting on behalf of Cascade Investment LLC, the secretive investment firm that manages most of the huge fortune belonging to Bill Gates.

O’Keefe knew Gates had been acquiring farmland for years, mostly through various Cascade subsidiaries. The mogul’s holdings include large tracts in Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, California, and about a dozen other states. With the Washington state acreage and other recent additions to his portfolio, O’Keefe calculated, Gates now owns at least 242,000 acres of American farmland. “Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has an alter ego,” O’Keefe wrote: “Farmer Bill, the guy who owns more farmland than anyone else in America.” The Land Report scoop made headlines. Many stories focused on Gates’ longstanding interest in climate change and sustainability and suggested those concerns might be driving the land purchases. Newsweek called him a “sustainable agriculture champion.”

[..] Investment guru Michael Larson, who has worked with Gates since 1994, runs the Washington-based Cascade Investment, as well as supervising the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s nearly $50 billion endowment. “The arrangement is simple,” The Wall Street Journal wrote in a 2014 profile. “Mr. Larson makes money, and Mr. Gates gives it away.” Larson and his team are famously tight-lipped. Cascade employees almost never speak to the press. According to the Journal, they are even discouraged from using Facebook and other social-media platforms. Larson sees to it that Gates’ wealth is sensibly, even conservatively, invested.

He’s the new MacDonald: Bill Gates owns hundreds of thousands of acres across the United States — including 242,000 acres of farmland — making him the country’s top agricultural landholder, according to Eric O’Keefe’s The Land Report. NY Post graphic/Mike Guillen

According to public records, the billionaire’s portfolio includes shares in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, a Coca-Cola bottling company, and the tractor manufacturer Deere & Co., among other non-flashy investments. Larson also makes sure Gates keeps his eggs in a wide variety of baskets. His portfolio is diversified, in other words. And that’s where the land purchases come in. Most of us imagine farmers tilling the soil that has been in their families for generations. But many farmers lease at least some of the land they cultivate. According to Bruce Sherrick, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, about 60 percent of row-crop farmland in the Midwest is leased. The landowners can include investors like Gates.

For investors who know what they’re doing, agricultural land offers financial stability in uncertain times. “Farmland has had a remarkably consistent ability to hedge against inflation,” Sherrick says. And it tends to be “negatively correlated” against other investments, he adds: If the stock market is going down, the return on farmland is likely to be going up. But farmland isn’t easy to buy.

Read more …

“At bitcoin’s current value, Nakamoto’s fortune could exceed $50 billion..”

Unmasking Bitcoin Inventor May Send Cryptomarket Into Tailspin – Coinbase (RT)

The largest US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which is getting ready to go public, has named bitcoin’s developer, known to the world as Satoshi Nakamoto, as one of the major risks to its business.In its IPO filing sent to the Securities Exchange Commission earlier this week, Coinbase listed Nakamoto, an individual creator or a group of people thought to be behind the creation of the world’s largest cryptocurrency, as one of the recipients of the document. However, the same anonymous inventor could pose a risk to the entire “cryptoeconomy.”

According to the filing, if the identity is revealed or if Nakamoto’s bitcoins are transferred, the prices of the most valued digital coins, bitcoin and ethereum, may deteriorate. The creator, or a group of creators, are believed to hold around 1.1 million bitcoin, which account for around five percent of all bitcoins that can be ever mined. At bitcoin’s current value, Nakamoto’s fortune could exceed $50 billion, making him almost as rich as Chinese entrepreneur and the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma. Since Nakamoto published the white paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’ in 2008, various theories have emerged about his identity. However, little is still known about him.

Read more …



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





Support the Automatic Earth in 2021. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.


Home Forums Debt Rattle February 28 2021

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
  • Author
  • #70280

    Dome ceiling at the Ambassadors’ Hall in the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Spain 1427 (click to enlarge)   • Vaccine Passports Are A Technical And Et
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle February 28 2021]


    Whatever happened to the flu? Does anyone have some data? Is flu eradicated or what? I’m asking because I had a look at Greek data and from 20/09/2020 – 14/02/2021 not one sample, not one, was found positive for flu viruses. Is that possible?


    There are stories like that in many countries. But no explanations as far as I’ve seen, other than lockdowns and facemasks.

    V. Arnold

    Dome ceiling at the Ambassadors’ Hall in the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Spain 1427

    That leaves me temporarily speechless…


    That leaves me temporarily speechless…

    No kidding. Did you enlarge it?

    The dome (3D) aspect is not really clear in that photo, but it is here:



    If lockdowns and masks work for the flu how come they don’t work for the corona virus?


    If lockdowns and masks work for the flu how come they don’t work for the corona virus?

    I’m sure Fauci knows

    V. Arnold

    No kidding. Did you enlarge it?

    …of course…
    The 3-D is mind boggling…

    Ceiling painters and decoraters were from another world altogether…

    Dr. D

    Unable to post. Test.

    Dr. D

    I like the practical math involved in that. Very nice.

    Mask indicator today (rolls 20-sided dice) = 7. 7 Masks today. Science™ says so!

    And remember: there both IS and ISN’T a vaccine mandate and vaccine passport. A = A and A ≠ A.

    They don’t like it and they’re not up to something:

    “Lockdowns are quietly improving cities around the world.

    “If there was any doubt that economic lockdowns supposedly inspired by the Covid pandemic are the peak in globalist propaganda, it disappeared not so “quietly” once and for all at 5:48am ET on Saturday, when the globalist organization which recently unleashed such lunatics as Klaus Schwab, best known for revealing the endgame with his book COVID-19: The Great Reset, deleted a that “Lockdowns are quietly improving cities around the world.


    Remarkably, the WEF’s propaganda tweet – which was was accompanied by a video showing deserted streets and silent factories, that noted a record drop in carbon emissions and linked to an article claiming that silent cities contributed to better detection of minor earthquakes (because millions of workers losing their jobs is clearly less important than being able to measure the next M2 quake to the 8th significant digit) – survived just a few hours following a barrage of mockery and outraged comments.”

    Naturally had to delete it. What did I say about it being impossible for me to destroy them faster than their pin-headed tone-deafness and out of touch psychosis was doing it themselves?

    Oh no, it goes on:

    “We’re deleting this tweet, but doubling down on our idiocy”:

    “But [lockdowns] are an important part of the public health response to COVID-19”

    Lambasted a second time, since lockdowns are NOT an important part, since our 1-year, 2 billion person experiment proved they do not work. At all. NY and FL are the same. CA and TX are the same. They did literally nothing besides cause lasting mental health issues in children and end all human rights forever. But with those wonderful side effects, who needs an reason, right?

    A #Science-freeZone.

    Finishing the comments on their dead tweet: “You’ve proven the conspiracy theorists correct in how mad you [really] are”

    WEF’s response? Blame the workers: “It was written by a working human being who made a mistake. It was deleted.”

    Knew this would be my/our fault somehow. We will be punished with lockdowns until we stop making mistakes like following Science.

    Other news today: “Why The Capitol Riot Terrified The Elites”

    Because they planned a false flag with those pipe bombs planted the day before, that everyone’s forgotten and no one can track in the city of 10,000 cameras – the day before mind you, meaning there can be no incitement – yet when their plan of being a weeping victim to those terrible, awful red hats didn’t go off, didn’t happen, AT ALL, the American people being overwhelmingly peaceful aside from an AntiFa “reporter” who CNN paid $75,000 to break in and film it, they, being minions with no imagination, just WROTE IT ANYWAY, and proceeded as if it had, looking like a bunch of weak, butt-hurt dummies. That is, it “terrified” them because they always planned to pretend to be “terrified” by their own framing of their enemies (viz. all 330 Million American citizens) and so “the show must go on.” You didn’t think anything these guys did from dawn to dusk was real, did you? That any single word out of their mouth wasn’t a lie?

    And they’re still at it, although I don’t know why these things work. Even generally sensible, centrist reporters like Pool casually admit that there was a “storming” or a “sieging” or an “insurrection” by unarmed people who had no plan and toured the building during a media-run AntiFa photo-op, directed other visitors not to break stuff, and in a few minutes got bored/worried and left.

    These are guys who own all 350 million guns, and this is literally their argument and story. Congressmen who point this out are considered nuts. I guess they’re talking to the #Lying and the #AntiLogos crowd, because that sure makes no sense, and no definition of those words I’ve ever seen.

    Was there unauthorized entry and trespassing? Arguably yes, even though Pelosi demanded the National Guard allow them, Capitol Police were denied 6 times, and the police opened the fire doors for them. And that is what has been charged in court, Zero counts of insurrection, rioting, or anything else. The media prints the judge, the prosecutors, the courts, and of course the country are “White Supremacists™” (the black ones, ‘natch) because even 99-44/100ths pure-blue D.C. can’t seem to hold them in jail for anything. Because there was a “Court” here, which meant they presented “evidence” with “logic”, exactly what the election cases so far have refused to do. Ever. Even once.

    So I guess they will pay fines or do 30 days for trespassing, as is appropriate. Sort of. It’s still grossly unfair if a policeman encourages/entraps you into it. “Hey why don’t you sit the driver’s seat of my police car, I’ll hold the door.” “Okay.” “You’re under arrest.” What?

    A Whopping 91% Of US Restaurants Will Invest In Kitchen Automation, Says Survey”

    $15.hr. Helping! Government can’t stop helping all people to an early death! They’re also the ones who put interest rates at 1%, 100% free money, and made it all possible. At 8%, the automation that murdered your family wouldn’t be economical.

    “Biden Says US Will ‘Never’ Accept Russia’s Annexation of Crimea (Antiwar)”

    Biden’s plan is WWIII just as Hillary’s was. Her setup was: Russia says they will fully engage in Syria if we go too far. That would essentially cause WWIII in weeks. She said she knew. She said to the world on camera she would do it anyway.

    Oh and they plan on attacking Russia to make WWIII without any planes. The F-35 “Flying Penguin” is essentially dead, after half a trillion in losses, that any non-flying, non-pilot taxpayer could see would never work oh for going on 20 years now. The only nation dumber than us is Britain, who erased the NHS to build a carrier for an airplane that didn’t exist and never will. Now why is every Billy dying in Blackpool, their children coming to school white with hunger? A: Don’t care, stopped at the word “white.”

    We are collapsing. We are coming home. Kagan’s empire we fought against him to end, ends with the US$ system. At 1.6% interest rates and $50k Bitcoin, that’s ending right now. Central Banks can print an answer to everything but inflation. Is Tesla at $1Trillion and GME at $200 inflation? Has the whole stock system come unmoored, so that the exchange are THEMSELVES de-listing trading on vulnerable stocks, the list ever-expanding, the Fed bank and Algos locking up in HFT fights with each other? Yes it is. Bye-bye. End of empire. I’m doing nothing but eating cake and drinking champagne to their immediate destruction.

    “the US/NATO “strategy” of containment of Russia”

    Only in their minds of #AntiLogos, the fight against Reality, God, and Truth itself. They plan on containing a nation with 12 time zones. Which is united with China. Without a home economy and without any planes. Of people who weigh 300lbs and will hide under a bed if someone coughs. Please.

    ” Can The US Become Self-Sufficient In Rare Earth Materials Again? (F.)”

    In contrast to the above: practically overnight. The military mothballed our advantage in REM but kept the equipment in place to draw China into the WWIII they were planning, making us look weak. But they can just turn on the lights and get all they need in weeks/months.

    “Second Former Aide Accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo of Sexual Harassment (NYP)”

    If you’re wondering, Cuomo can’t be removed. As we learned in ‘20, nobody voted for him anyway, just like all the other DNC Governor states. It was all invented electronically. That’s why he doesn’t care. But I thought “our democracy was at risk” and they would all fight for it? Both Bezos and Newsome required signatures and drivers licenses to vote with them because it’s safer. But not for their enemies. “It’s not fascism/racism when we do it” says the Great Wall of Pelosi.

    Perhaps I over-state? Let’s see: Both Cuomo and the Manhattan D.A. took 6-figures ON THE RECORD from Harvey Weinstein for a free raping license. Yes, for a small fee to Mr. Andrew, you can rape any woman in the State of New York and walk away like he did. Been going on for years, decades, says Epstein/Maxwell. Why mad now? I don’t understand. This is how things are, how they have ever been. NY, the highest example, best place in the Union.

    “Why Bill Gates Is Now The US Biggest Farmland Owner (NYP)”

    Do you think he knows something, like his “Event 201” before Covid, or is planning to MAKE something happen, like his “Event 201” before Covid? A: Who cares? He’s telling you food prices will go up and he’s cutting off your supply. Respond. His pal Soros already bought up (and shut down) the food-moving service, like grain elevators. Their other pal owns the railroad. Other corporations-merged-with-government own the seeds and are outlawing old varieties. They have you by the balls. Do something.

    Dr. D

    It refused the image completely. Continuing:

    “Unmasking Bitcoin Inventor May Send Cryptomarket Into Tailspin – Coinbase (RT)”

    Yeah, they said that about every event in BTC for 5 years now. Tether being just yesterday, which like all of them, did nothing. But why would you think so? The most likely Nakamoto is the US government/Fed/NSA who are the only people with the expertise, following immediately on the ‘08 crash and possible Mad Max utter ruin and death of 200M Americans CIA-firm Deagle talks about.

    So if Nakamoto is the U.S. government white hats (consortium), then BTC is the new U.S. Dollar reserve currency. That erases the debt and doesn’t have the internal-external Triffin’s Paradox. That’s why it’s not being stopped. And that means BTC goes down? No, it goes UP. It’s the answer to the WFC, even if with competing currencies, hard money, and a multi-polar world, just as they wrote in their White Papers in 1979. “On the Road to the Golden Age”

    Best I’ve read: Satoshi is an obscure Japanese graphic novel character. Nakamoto is his sidekick, his page. Like “47 Ronin” they pretend they aren’t after revenge while actually planning the opposite. It’s very likely any programming nerd – an old one, over 50 – could have read and known this.

    Does that make more sense now? Or would you rather/do you think the combined forces of the U.S. government would just let the dollar collapse, have no plan, and there are no good guys anywhere trying to mitigate the damage? That’s Mr. 17, right? That’s why it’s an unhinged conspiracy theory? Mr. 17 says A) There is blackmail in the halls of power. B) there is pedophilia and bribes and C) there are good guys in government who would like to get the upper hand and stop them.

    That’s what this theory says: A) they know the bad guys got control in ‘63. Eisenhower told you this. B) they put the U.S. on a collapsing standard in ‘71 that would fail by 2018 (‘89 Economist) C) the replacement plan was a universal, technocratic, digitally tracked currency that can be shut off for dissidents, like Russo and Rickards said. D) All of that was already built, tested, and ready to install, as we see with Covid, where they claimed they didn’t, but a minute later have it, do it, against all logic, reason, science, demand, and human rights, as published by the WEF. E) Therefore, their plan needed to be undermined and diverted since they didn’t have the power to openly oppose and destroy it. F) They pre-released their own digital currency system ahead of time, to the people, in a way they were not in control of. Then forced the timetable so that the WEF would be shown for the murdering, fascist maniacs they are, and their close alliances with Epstein, Maxwell, etc. Then you have to trust the people themselves to take them apart, piece by piece. There’s nothing else you can do. But that’s all the power they had. If the people don’t choose freedom and punish serial, perpetual rape and murder, then we all fall.

    But although slow, they will and have. Although annoying, the WEF and WHO are totally discredited and opposed. People re-learn why freedom exists, especially freedom of speech. This is better than if Big Sky Father government and U.S. Military does it while you sit on the couch and complain on twitter. I bloody well hope you sweat, and fight, blood and tears. You deserve it, you feckless, derelict cowards. You should take a few licks from the government you deserved, but I can’t let freedom fail just because they deserve it. We have to, and are, and will, win anyway. They lost. It just takes time. I hope you get black in both eyes so you remember it.

    Basseterre Kitona

    Mix 1 part seasonal flu with 2 parts marketing team and voila: covid. Sorry, forgot to scream, meant COVID! That might sound ridiculous but I’m really wondering if we’ve all been thoroughly duped by this BS.

    • Biden Says US Will ‘Never’ Accept Russia’s Annexation of Crimea (Antiwar)

    That’s convenient because maybe it is time that the rest of the world refuses to accept the US’s annexation of Hawaii.

    • Vaccine Passports Are A Technical And Ethical Minefield (FT)

    In practical terms of disease control, this passport idea is totally stupid and a waste of time. Firstly, because the corona virus (and most other diseases) are already spread all over the world. Like what? Are we trying to protect Antartica? Is that the idea?

    Secondly, yeah, there is all kinds of technical BS involved not to mention it is one more stupid thing that you have to wait in line at government bureaucracy to receive. And then how up to date is it really? And who is enforcing it? It’s not like there’s never computer glitches or power outages.

    Thirdly, the ethical part is very real. Why stop at corona virus vaccine? But just imagine the civil liberties outcry if a country tried to bar HIV positive travelers. That’d clearly be discrimination against homosexuals and there’d worldwide condemnation. And let’s not forget that at the same time that these clowns want vaccine passports, they are also advocating borderless travel for migrants…how does one make any sense of that BS?

    This clown show needs to end and some sanity must return.


    THIS is the content I come here for! Dr. D, you are a visionary!


    Where does the truth lie?
    “Exclude those who lack identification” rifraf

    Even better
    Include only the selected chosen few (elites, and servants, Noah’s Ark )
    Where does the truth lie?
    “…. endlessly demonizing both Russia and China to justify a Western military build-up”

    Capitalism, ( which doesn’t exist), cannot survive if it succeeds in achieving a monopoly.
    Communism, (which doesn’t exist), cannot survive if it succeeds.
    Where does the truth lie?
    ” ….left her feeling that he “wanted to sleep with me.” Bennett”

    Men’s desires can be manipulated by a woman.
    Woman decides
    Woman can destroy
    Women know the truth.
    Where does the truth lie?
    ” Can The US Become Self-Sufficient?
    …. we really are exporting a lot of pollution ….”

    Will the USA give up its foreign slave?
    Will the USA bring back pollutions to its back yard?
    Will the USA give up its worship of the dollar?
    Where does the truth lie?
    ” ….about 60 percent of row-crop farmland in the Midwest is leased.
    The landowners can include investors like Gates.”

    Future benevolent society!
    Future tribal society!
    Where does the truth lie?

    Biden’s lalaland or Trump’s vision
    My dream?
    Comfort, Pain free. No wants or desires. Satisfaction.
    Your dream?


    The danger of the administrative state

    I think it is important to understand that “not all regulations are created equal.”
    Some regulations have come about because selfish and powerful players have abused many people, many banded together to have their voices heard, and a regulation is the result. I’m not going to pretend that the regulations that have resulted have not also had unintended adverse consequences, but it must be understood that simply clearing such regulations aside leaves us with the problem that created the regulation in the first place. (Think: Glass-Steagal.”)

    However, increasingly in a political arena that is dominated by whoever receives the most money in campaign donations and support from super PACs, regulations are made to benefit powerful individuals or groups who made campaign contributions. The federal government is the government body farthest from the people, and the least able to be actively responsive to the needs of the people, and yet we have tasked it with the bulk of the tax revenues, regulation-making, and provider of funds to the poor, disabled, and retired. Increasingly, public school revenue also comes from the federal government. Funding always comes with strings attached, and when the funder is far removed from the recipients, the “strings” tend to be mis-matched to the recipients’ actual situation — recipients will start to pattern their lives to match with the program requirements, rather than make decisions that best fit their life situation or individual capabilities.

    These problems are real. But they don’t come about simply because “regulations=bad.” These are systemic issues. The systemic issues will simply manifest in alternative ways if the regulations are wiped away. The regulations were put in place to “fix” a broken system or to “rig” the system. Those who engineered the rigging will still have enormous power should their regulatory rigging be swept away, and will simply find innovative ways to attain the same purpose — to maintain and increase their wealth and power.

    I am frustrated by all who think that if we just “end the Fed,” or “vote out Trump, vote in Biden,” or vote in Trump, or get *my* party in control of Congress and the office of the president, or move to all electric cars, or stop eating meat, or can own/open carry any weapons we wish, or ridded ourselves of most regulations…THEN we could return to some idyllic situation…. Never realizing that the system is the problem, and tinkering here or there won’t fix it.

    Small business owners in a small community will often (but not always) steer their businesses in ways that promote the general well-being of the community, even when it causes them to have smaller profits. This is because they are invested in the community, they see their neighbors as peers, their clients as peers — some even see their employees as peers. As humans, we are generally hard wired (to some degree or another) to behave cooperatively with those we see as a part of our communities, those who are not “other.” If we want to improve our human societies, we need to have systems that build upon the pro-social elements of our psyches. If we have systems that emphasize the value of cooperation, and see competition as a fun exercise among friends (let’s see who can run the fastest, who can solve this problem the best way, etc.) rather than a life or death struggle for survival, we may find that most regulations can be relegated to the dust bin, because we have something better to replace them.

    Hence my interest in worker self-directed enterprises — because groups of people learning how to work cooperatively together for their own well-being, without needing top-down control or direction has potential to birth us a system that actually gives us liberty. Of course, there will be stumbles along the way, but I suspect that cooperating with others is a collection of skills that can be learned.


    <<Where does the truth lie?
    ” ….left her feeling that he “wanted to sleep with me.” Bennett”

    Men’s desires can be manipulated by a woman.
    Woman decides
    Woman can destroy
    Women know the truth.>>

    There is no material difference in a woman making this accusation as anyone making an accusation of wrongdoing towards another when there happens to be no material way to corroborate that the situation actually took place.

    The problem is not endemic towards women.

    Look, I’ve been accused of child neglect and abuse by my ex and been investigated by my states “CPS” twice, and then had to defend myself from losing custody of my kids, resulting in an impending bankruptcy. Oh, BTW, I won because my ex’s “evidence”was based on the rumors he and his girlfriend spread about me. But he still gets the kids half the time, and we have joint legal decision making because even when I showed written evidence of his malfeasance it was basically ignored. I get $40/month in child support because the documentation I put together for his income was ignored by the court…it seems that the commissioner just couldn’t be bothered to look at the exhibits submitted. In the midst of all of this I had to fire my second family law attorney about a week before a hearing on child support who pined to me that his wife wouldn’t have sex with him any more, and suggested that I “owed” him because he wasn’t charging me for all of his time, and suggested that he would appreciate repayment via sexual favors. I tried to then have the hearing postponed, avoiding telling the reason why I fired my attorney, knowing that my ex’s attorney would use that information to smear my reputation in court. The commissioner refused to reschedule the hearing, and I tried to arrange for my first attorney to accompany me to the hearing, as she had some familiarity with the case — but she declined as there was not enough time for her to come up to speed.

    (Oh, and my ex was verbally/emotionally abusive towards me for years, but…really hard to prove that, ya know? Glad I never got hit, but at least bruises are able to be seen by others.)

    With enough life experience, men and women know when another adult is communicating the desire for sex. We have decided that this is generally unacceptable in the workplace, especially when it is among folks where structurally one has power over the other. The woman in question didn’t just have “a feeling” — she understood what was being communicated, and she didn’t like being manipulated. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the foresight to record the conversation. (But really — who does? I didn’t think to predict that my attorney would solicit sexual favors and set my phone to record that day.)

    Let’s get real here — we already know from multiple sources that Andrew Cuomo has a nasty habit of using his position to verbally threaten people with “career destruction” for opposing him. It takes the same type of personality to suppose that it is acceptable to pressure subordinate women into sexual favors. Why would this woman’s accusations be seen in a different light from the men who have come forward and shared about how Cuomo has verbally threatened them with career destruction?

    Polder Dweller

    Putin, Crusaders, & Barbarians

    This article is like a short version of Gary Lachman’s book Holy Russia. There are important differences, though. Lachman’s book is interesting – if quite chaotic – and enthusiastic about Russian history, until the final chapter when he shifts gear to dump on Putin, whom he seems to hate with a passion. The end of the book (spoiler alert) has Putin, due to his understanding of Russian history and his religious convictions, happily working towards a total nuclear apocalypse.

    Escobar IMHO has a much more reasonable view of things. My only complaint is that he seems to skip a paragraph or two before his concluding statement, which comes across as a non sequitur.


    Raul, TAE displays in a bit different format and font today. A host change or?
    Thanks for continuing to keep us informed and welcome to the new commentors.


    Dome ceiling at the Ambassadors’ Hall in the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Spain 1427

    Packing spheres
    Hidden symmetry – in 3, (The precise value of the sphere packing constant in three dimensions is 0.7405 )
    at 6, 8, ( E8 lattice sphere packing), 12, 24, ( the Leech lattice sphere packing)
    Marianne Freiberger


    Raul, TAE displays in a bit different format and font today. A host change or?
    Thanks for continuing to keep us informed and welcome to the new commentors.

    I noticed. Pretty sure it’s just a software update.


    @ phoenixvoice
    ” …. the system is the problem”

    Thanks for your inputs.
    Where does the truth lie?
    I’m not wise enough to add any more comments to the complexity of sexuality.


    Some quiet time for Sunday:

    Andres Segovia at the Alhambra


    I would also like to thank phoenixvoice. Evolved systems and their attendant nuance…very important!

    Tree Frog

    Dr D. Hey. Re Bitcoin….

    There are Good Guys and Bad Guys, as the stories of of the past and present say, but everyone is an Angle to themselves and the Bad Guys are other.

    I’ve long thought there is is a battle between Angels and Demons in societies above the hoi polloi, as you and I might categorize them.

    But Bitcoin as subversive tool of the Angels…. Hard to see, practically speaking.

    Bitcoin is a computational artifact – a kind of fictional fact. Physically, where are they? How does one get to them? Etc.

    Who controls the hardware in which the Bitcoins are “stored”? Who owns the wave-guides through which Bitcoins are managed?

    It’s not impossible that the Angles effectively fork the Internet, logically and physically, with the intent of subverting the Demons…. But it seems unlikely.

    Cheaters cheat.


    I am sure by now joe has already forgotten about the Crimea!

    Interesting how the MSM can’t stop talking about Trump. Must have something to do with their ratings! joe is so popular that he doesn’t even move the MSM’s needle!

    Don’t you just love how “green” bitcoin is! All that energy wasted on something that is not real!


    Basseterre Kitona wrote, “That’s convenient because maybe it is time that the rest of the world refuses to accept the US’s annexation of Hawaii.”

    Brilliant! Hawaii was annexed in 1898, in spite of public opposition. Would the US ever give up Hawaii? Of course not, it’s too strategically valuable.

    My reading indicates that Crimea freely voted to return to Russia. Would Russia ever give up Crimea? Of course not, it’s too strategically valuable.


    I admit that I voted for Barrack Obama twice. I didn’t see the light until the Ukraine Coup and the USA got all upset that Russia kept Crimea where they’ve had a naval base at Sevastopol since Catherine the Great in 1783. This was before the US Constitution was adopted in 1787 and way before California (San Diego) was annexed in 1850 and Hawaii (Pearl Harbor) in 1898. Yes, the naval base that Imperial Japan attacked less than 43 years later and ended with America’s last victory in 1945. The same World War when Russia defeated Germany to regain control of Sevastopol.

    Joe Biden is too far gone.

    Then there is the malarky about the Administrative State. This is a big lie. It is deregulation and privatization of energy corporations and the deep freeze that killed Texans and likewise wildfires caused by winds downing power lines that killed Californians. The current problem is the globalist controlled Corporate State which freely exploits the little people and the earth. Profit over lives. It is no coincidence that the last American CEO jailed for their crimes was Enron’s Jeff Skilling in the second Bush Administration.

    Likewise, for-profit healthcare is incapable of controlling the coronavirus pandemic that has killed half million Americans. The USA is solely dependent on the three Warp Speed vaccines working. The functional national public health systems in Asia and the South Pacific (that have controlled the virus so far) assure success as much as humanely possible as long as these nations keep billionaires from flying the virus into the country in their private jets.

    John Day

    @Phoenixvoice: I hear you, everything from “not all regulations are created equal” onward. Glass Steagall was created to limit financial manipulations by powerful financiers, which robbed everybody else. Many regulations currently make it too expensive to be in a field (like medicine) unless you can afford massive bureaucratic and computer system overhead, which is fabulously expensive, cumbersome, slow, but pays high fees for licensing (for every single person who uses it). This was mandated by law. It’s a huge boondoggle. Administrative overhead in medicine is at least 10 times what it should be and 20 times what it was in 1985. Charles Hugh Smith has done some good graphics on that.
    Cuomo: Power corrupts. Those who seek it are untrustworthy with it.
    Sorry about how you got dragged through the courts and misused.

    I have been trying to catch up at the clinic this past week, and the next 2 weeks will be more of that.
    I am getting things planted in all 3 vegetable gardens, too.
    Much less bandwidth for internet communications. Work and sleep.
    Not meaning to whine. Jenny and I are doing fine, but all of the patients and projects need a lot of attention and work. Being a school librarian and helpful with everything that everybody needs, and dictated to by everybody everywhere, and trying to do everything for all of the kids with crashing zoom is not satisfying. Coworkers, kids and parents mostly really appreciate Jenny, but the depersonalization, complexity and failing (expensive) technology makes her work just a constant stream of frustrations, crashes and wasted days. (She sneaks in some weekends to shelve books, because there is no time during the week, any more.)

    I really agree with those who see our economic life support system failing from layers of complexity that degrade performance, extract value, introduce corruption-skin, and anti-corruption compliance waste, and are paid for largely by a financial and military system extracting value from “client states”.
    Not only will this “not end well”. It’s already really sick and dehumanizing at all of the levels of real production of value and service.

    Therefore, we’re doing our side projects as much as we can. I’ve got no better plans than that.

    John Day

    Oops, make that “introduce corruption-skim”.


    Heh…I read ‘corruption-skin’ as euphemism for ‘managerial stratification’.


    About kangaroos. They are big buggers too!
    When I was working in Australia for a year, my car was equipped with plastic front bumpers which were rated “good for one roo”! Most Aussies had steel bumpers good for unlimited roos!

    The basic therory of the front horizontal bars was to throw the hit roo over the hood of the car.

    Some of my co-workers worked up in Queensland so on weekends they would head to the coastal beaches. Then on Sunday night they would head back inland to the coal mines. Nathurally the curious kangaroos are attracted to the headlights!

    One poor fellow hit a roo at 100 km/her and ended up with a big red in his front seat. Though technically dead, the roo proceeded to kick the living daylights out of the driver with it’s two big hind feet!

    Due to the rather high numbers of costly roo encounters, an accountant in Milwaukee sent a memo to the service engineers in Queensland requesting that they stop hitting roos!

    I never hit any roos nor did I even come close to either. I did this by not driving at night.

    Back in the early 1980s when I first arrived in Sydney, I remember see bumper stickers saying “pEat Kangaroo Meat! 50,000 Americans Can’t Be Wrong!” This was in reference to a California restaurant chain called “Jack-in-the-Box” that went out of business after getting busted for selling kangaroo meat!

    Dr D Rich

    This guy….
    was underwritten by someone in GOV’T to spread the gospel about cryptocurrency in early 2018. The timing was impeccable as the gospel spreading coincided with the first BITCOIN run over $20,000 followed by the precipitous dump. Of course, the hysteria involved public encouragement to purchase bitcoin mining rig equipment, unnecessarily.
    Luther’s public presentations were a bit more mundane and demonstrably elementary.
    However, here’s the question that caused William to stumble away from the lectern and a few stern monitors nearby to shoot icy glares at the impudent interrogatory.
    “With the NSA’s purposeful release of the EternalBlue exploits WannMine and WannaCry did the US GOV’T by doing so already select a defacto cryptocurrency standard? And give NSA employees a head start on 21st century wealth making?”


    “@Dr D Rich – Wolf has a great take on BTC. Good comment section there too:

    The Big “Buy & Hype” Bitcoin Casino

    Blockchain per se is certainly transformative, but the ‘coins’ are for the Greater Fool.

    Dr D Rich

    As the Mormons are wont to say “Amen brother.”

    And right in the middle of it in 2017 and 2018 were Crowdstrike and Dmitri Alperovitch providing ‘cybersecurity services’ to the credulous masses. If there ever was a greater misnomer, cybersecurity, then it could only be surpassed by the term ‘Naval intelligence’.

    Dr D Rich

    However and to be certain, what Wolf street describes is exactly the same phenomenon with AAPL stock, thoroughly illusory. It doesn’t matter that he compares BTC unfavorably to Berkshire Hathaway because BKH makes $20 billion per quarter and hordes, er ah. I mean holds $100 billion in cash reserves. His reasoning is self-referential logic. Or “my money has meaning because I make alot of this money and horde a great deal of that meaningful money”.

    Perhaps the better question is how did faith in the U$ dollar get bid up into stratospheric existence?
    The environment is ripe for this cultish phenomenon after the year-long priming via Batshit Crazy COVID hysteria


    @john-day you struck a chord, on the positives of getting done of small tasks. I think for both the FrauWerner and I – often the minutiae of our day is the most rewarding, and brings peace – morning walk w/the dogs, starting to dig up the vegetable beds, making food for each other. At work, for both of us, me corporate and she working for a nonprofit on a shoestring budget – much is the identical, with an onerous layer of technology that we have to support, zoom meetings, budget calculations, clicking through what passes for “training” these days, I just feel my value being extracted to no good end.

    Apropos of nothing – lately at work I’ve taken up my old habit, sketching – just hand sketches, literally with pencil and paper – no CAD, no PC, no cloud or powerpoint, like I did 25 years ago when I was a real engineer, and I think I’ve been more creative in the last month than in years. 😀

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.