Apr 162021
 


Dirk de Herder Amstel Bridge, Amsterdam 1946

 

Biden Declares Russia Threat ‘National Emergency’ (Fox)
Kremlin Pledges To Respond In Kind To Any ‘Illegal’ New US Sanctions (R.)
The West’s Sole Prerogative Is Russia Has No Right To Self-Defense (Kovalik)
US Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops (DB)
Update: Master List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus (Taibbi)
SecDef Austin Hints at Continued US Military Involvement in Afghanistan (AW)
The Role of Reserve Currencies (Michael Pettis)
The Middle Class Has Finally Been Suckered into the Casino (CHS)
Arts Venue Closures Likely After Long Delay in Federal Grant Program (Dayen)
E-Euro Starts To Take Shape (Dolan)
Twitter Suspends Project Veritas’ James O’keefe After Undercover Scoops (RT)
China’s Economy Grows By A Record 18.3% In Q1; It’s Not Enough (ZH)
Just 3% of World’s Ecosystems Remain Intact (G.)

 

 

Another one of those days where there’s just too much news. So I split it up in this Debt Rattle and this Covid Rattle published before.

Note: I could have called this a Russia Rattle, the US provocations vs Moscow reign supreme. In that vein, it is remarkable (if anything still is at all) that at the exact same moment the “Russian bounties on American soldiers’ lives” narrative is fully debunked, it still serves as the main driver behind the new sanctions on Russia. Facts are just inconvenient details by now, it’s the story that counts.

 

 

Biden court packing

 

 

OPCW

 

 

“Putin So Upset Over Biden’s Killer Comments He Moved 28,222 Russian Troops To Ukraine Border..”

The only thing the Russia sanctions have accomplished is they made Russia stronger, self-sufficient.

Biden Declares Russia Threat ‘National Emergency’ (Fox)

President Biden on Thursday signed an executive order declaring a “national emergency” over the threat from Russia, as his administration slapped new sanctions on the country. The U.S. Department of State said it is expelling 10 officials from Russia’s bilateral mission. “Today, we announced actions to hold the Russian Government to account for the SolarWinds intrusion, reports of bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and attempts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. The White House also released a letter to Congress stating that the president has issued “an Executive Order declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

The letter said that Russia had aimed to “undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections,” engaged in “malicious cyber-enabled activities,” targeted journalists and dissenters outside of its borders, and violated international law. This, Biden said in the letter, constitutes “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” Blinken’s statement went into more detail, citing not only the SolarWinds hack that compromised many agencies in the federal government but also the poisoning of top Putin political rival Alexei Navalny. “We remain concerned about Navalny’s health and treatment in prison, and call for his unconditional release,” Blinken said.


Navalny is currently in the custody of the Russian government and reported not to be well. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki previously said that “[t]he Russian government is responsible for his health and well-being.” Blinken also emphasized Thursday, however, “the United States will also seek opportunities for cooperation with Russia, with the goal of building a more stable and predictable relationship consistent with U.S. interests.” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Russian state-run media organization TASS, said “[w]e condemn any pursuit of sanctions, we consider them illegal. In any case, the principle of reciprocity in this matter is valid; reciprocity in a way that best serves our interests.”

Read more …

Putin called for the summit first, just not one in person. That Biden did it, is also just a narrative. He calls Putin a killer and declares more sanctions, and only then says: let’s talk. Not going to happen now.

Kremlin Pledges To Respond In Kind To Any ‘Illegal’ New US Sanctions (R.)

The Kremlin said on Thursday it would respond in kind to any new “illegal” new U.S. sanctions on Russia and warned any new measures would reduce the chances of a summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and President Vladimir Putin taking place. People familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that the United States may announce sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday for alleged interference in U.S. elections and malicious cyber activity, targeting several individuals and entities. The Kremlin has denied U.S. allegations that Russia tried to meddle in the 2020 U.S. presidential election or that it was behind a cybersecurity breach affecting software made by SolarWinds Corp.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would wait to see what happened on the sanctions front before commenting in detail. But he said the Kremlin’s stance on sanctions and its response to them remained unchanged. “We condemn any intentions to impose sanctions, consider them illegal, and in any case the principle of reciprocity operates in this area,” said Peskov. “Reciprocity so that our own interests are ensured in the best possible way.” Russia did not want relations with Washington to be a case of “one step forward and two steps back,” he added. Biden, in a phone call on Tuesday, proposed a summit with Putin to tackle a raft of disputes and told Moscow to reduce tensions over Ukraine triggered by a Russian military build-up.


The Kremlin has so far responded coolly to the summit idea making clear it will be contingent upon U.S. behavior towards Russia. Peskov said on Thursday that any new U.S. sanctions would not increase the chances of such a summit taking place, but said it would be up to the two presidents to decide on the matter. Putin’s participation in a Biden-backed climate summit remained under discussion, Peskov said. He said the situation around Ukraine remained tense with NATO and U.S. forces still deployed close to Russia’s own borders. It was therefore premature, he said, to talk about de-escalation, despite reports that the United States had canceled the deployment of two of its warships to the Black Sea.

Read more …

“I’ve learned to hate the Russians, all through my whole life; if another war comes, it’s them we must fight. To hate them and fear them, to run and to hide…”

The West’s Sole Prerogative Is Russia Has No Right To Self-Defense (Kovalik)

As tensions increase between Moscow and NATO over a buildup of troops near the Donbass, actually initiated by Ukraine, the West’s apparent position is that Russia has no right to self-defense. That’s been the case for decades. Having grown up in middle America during the waning years of the Cold War, I possessed a not-so-healthy fear of an imminent Soviet invasion or attack. Bob Dylan would capture this type of fear and hysteria in his 1964 song ‘With God on Our Side’, which he ripped off from the Clancy Brothers and Dominic Behan. Dylan’s updated version of ‘The Patriot Game’ declared: “I’ve learned to hate the Russians, all through my whole life; if another war comes, it’s them we must fight. To hate them and fear them, to run and to hide…”

It is quite incredible to me that, nearly 60 years later, with the USSR itself having fallen in the meantime, these words still ring true in the West today. However, the truth is, as I came to find out later in life, it is the Russians who have had much more to fear from us than we have from them. And it is this understanding and indeed empathy for Russia which motivates me now to wish my country would stop its aggressive moves towards that country before it is too late; before we find ourselves involved in another great war in Europe. From the point of view of Russia, it is they who have been under constant threat from the West, certainly from the time of the Napoleonic Wars to the present. It is France which invaded Russia in 1812, with the result being the loss of about 200,000 Russian lives.

The Russians were able to survive and emerge victorious only by burning down three quarters of Moscow to the ground, leaving the French stranded and unable to supply themselves. In 1941, Soviet Russia, abandoned by the UK and the US to its own fate, was invaded by Nazi Germany and laid siege to. Ultimately, the Soviets were able to turn Germany back in the great battle of Stalingrad, but the USSR would lose nearly 27 million lives by the end of the war. While 80 to 90 percent of the German casualties were suffered on the Eastern Front at the hands of the Soviets and Communist Partisans, Russia’s incredible sacrifice in WWII has largely been forgotten and even denied in the West, with the US and the UK now taking credit for the Allied victory.

While Ernest Hemingway remarked – quite rightly – that “Every human being who loves freedom owes to the Red Army more than he will be able to pay in a lifetime,” these words, and the sentiment behind them, have been forgotten in a haze of collective amnesia. Incredibly, Russian President Vladimir Putin was not even invited to the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day – this despite the fact that it was the a Russian regiment from Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod) which liberated the captives of the death camp.

Read more …

It served its purpose. And the MSM was all too happy to go along.

US Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops (DB)

It was a blockbuster story about Russia’s return to the imperial “Great Game” in Afghanistan. The Kremlin had spread money around the longtime central Asian battlefield for militants to kill remaining U.S. forces. It sparked a massive outcry from Democrats and their #resistance amplifiers about the treasonous Russian puppet in the White House whose admiration for Vladimir Putin had endangered American troops. But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate” confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven—and possibly untrue.

“The United States intelligence community assesses with low to moderate confidence that Russian intelligence officers sought to encourage Taliban attacks on U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan in 2019 and perhaps earlier,” a senior administration official said. “This information puts a burden on the Russian government to explain its actions and take steps to address this disturbing pattern of behavior,” the official said, indicating that Biden is unprepared to walk the story back fully. Significantly, the Biden team announced a raft of sanctions on Thursday. But those sanctions, targeting Russia’s sovereign debt market, are prompted only by Russia’s interference in the 2020 election and its alleged role in the SolarWinds cyber espionage. (In contrast, Biden administration officials said that their assessment attributing the breach of technology company SolarWinds to hackers from Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service was “high confidence.”)


“We have noted our conclusion of the review that we conducted on the bounties issue and we have conveyed through diplomatic, intelligence, and military channels strong, direct messages on this issue, but we are not specifically tying the actions we are taking today to that matter,” a senior administration official told reporters in reference to the bounty claims. According to the officials on Thursday’s call, the reporting about the alleged “bounties” came from “detainee reporting”–raising the specter that someone told their U.S.-aligned Afghan jailers what they thought was necessary to get out of a cage. Specifically, the official cited “information and evidence of connections to criminal agents in Afghanistan and elements of the Russian government” as sources for the intelligence community’s assessment.

Russian bounties Trump

Read more …

Taibbi’s list from last month has been updated with “Bountygate”.

Update: Master List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus (Taibbi)

Updated 4/15/21 “Bountygate.” In July of 2020, according to “officials briefed on the matter,” the New York Times reported, and the Washington Post “confirmed,” that “a Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan.” It’s impossible to overstate how head over heels the politicians and press alike went with this story. It became instantly election-year fodder, with Kamala Harris saying of Trump, “He let Putin get away with placing bounties on the heads of our troops.” Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth instantly called for hearings into the matter, making the inevitable Russiagate tie-in. “First, Donald Trump encouraged Russia to interfere in our democracy, and they did,” she said. “Now, Russia is secretly paying militants to kill U.S. troops. Trump has known for months but apparently done nothing to stop them.”

The story had a dual impact politically, dealing a blow to Trump throughout the summer of a general election, while also seeming to present a reason not to withdraw from Afghanistan two weeks before Congress voted on the re-authorization of the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) justifying the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan. In hindsight, it’s incredible to see how easy it is for military or intelligence officials to impact budgetary or policy matters: just leak a hot story before a key vote. The Daily Beast was one of many news outlets to go full click-farm, with banner headlines like, “Russian ‘Bounties’ Mess is all of Trump’s Scandals Rolled into One” and “Russian Bounties Led to U.S. Troops’ Deaths, Intelligence Officials Believe,” with graphics announcing “BOMBSHELL,” “HOSTILE POWER” and “SHOCK VALUE!”


The Washington Post’s official “fact checker” column gave Trump its dreaded “four Pinocchios” rating for saying, “that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.” In fact, many people did say it was fake news, including Colin Powell, who went on MSNBC to describe the coverage of the story as “hysterical,” adding, “What I know is that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting and television was reporting.” Two months after the story came out, an on-the-record military official was less certain:

Roughly seven months after that, on April 15, 2021, a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call that the U.S. now assessed with “low to moderate confidence that Russian intelligence officers sought to encourage Taliban attacks against U.S. coalition personnel in Afghanistan in 2019.” The Beast, one of the chief propagators of the original fairy tale, ran a new story over the graphic, TURNAROUND. “U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops,” the headline read, adding, without irony, that “there were reasons to doubt the story at the time.” [..] Does this mean the Russians don’t meddle? Of course not. But we have to learn to separate real stories about foreign intelligence operations with posturing used to target domestic actors while suppressing criticism of domestic politicians. It’s only happened about a hundred times in the last five years — maybe it’s time to start asking for proof in these episodes?

Russian bounties

Read more …

We are so surprised.

SecDef Austin Hints at Continued US Military Involvement in Afghanistan (AW)

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday said the US would continue to support the Afghan government’s military after President Biden withdraws troops from the country and hinted at a possible “counterterrorism” force in the region that could strike targets in Afghanistan. “We will look to continue funding key capabilities such as the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing, and we will seek to continue paying salaries for Afghan Security Forces,” Austin said at a NATO press conference in Brussels. “We will also work closely with them and with our allies to maintain counterterrorism capabilities in the region,” he added. “I think you’ll understand why I won’t get into specific details about where our counterterrorist assets may be positioned,” Austin said when asked where counterterrorism troops could be deployed in the region.


“In terms of our ability to acquire targets and engage them in places where we are not … We have the reach and the ability to in fact do that,” he said, suggesting the US wants to maintain the capability to bomb Afghanistan. The New York Times reported on Thursday on how the US is planning to continue fighting in Afghanistan “from afar.” The report reads: “The Pentagon, American spy agencies and Western allies are refining plans to deploy a less visible but still potent force in the region to prevent the country from again becoming a terrorist base.” Unnamed US officials speaking to the Times floated neighboring Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as possible locations to reposition forces from Afghanistan.

Read more …

Great Twitter thread from Pettis. The entire narrative about the e-yuan being a huge threat to the USD makes very little sense. Nobody wants the e-yuan for the same reason they don’t want the yuan. China has total control.

The Role of Reserve Currencies (Michael Pettis)

Apologies in advance for this very long thread, but as regular readers know, I worry greatly about common misunderstandings of the role of reserve currencies. The author seems to assume that what makes a currency a dominant reserve currency is its low frictional trading costs, which is why, he believes, digital currencies, with China in the lead, will dominate international trade. But while a low frictional trading cost is a necessary condition, it is not nearly sufficient. A quick glance at the role of the US dollar over the past 100 years, the period during which it achieved dominant status, makes this clear: when the world was short of savings relative to its investment needs, during the first fifty years of that period (a period characterized by the global need to rebuild economically from 2 world wars) the US was a permanent net provider of savings to the world.

In the next five decades, however, when the global economy was substantially rebuilt and needed to export excess savings, the US automatically became a permanent net absorber of foreign savings. Of course during this time the US shifted from permanent trade surpluses, when the world needed the US to supply it with food, capital goods and consumer goods, to permanent trade deficits, when the world urgently some place in which to dump excess production of consumer goods. This was no mere coincidence. To me it suggests three things. First, that reserve currency status is a function of a lot more than low-cost trading. In fact given that the cost is already so low, and seems to be in permanent decline anyway, I suspect it doesn’t even matter much any more.


What seems to matter a lot more is the willingness of the reserve-currency country to run large imbalances in response not to its own needs but rather to the needs of the rest of the world. As an excellent CFR resource shows, the US typically absorbs 40-50% of global imbalances, and the Anglophone economies — with similar financial markets all of whom, like the US, punch way above their weights as international reserve currencies — collectively absorb 65-75% of global imbalances. Given that China’s currency (and that of other surplus countries, like Japan) punches so far below it’s weight, it is surprising that anyone would argue that there is no relationship between the international status of a currency and its willingness and ability to absorb global imbalances.

Second, the reason these countries are “willing” to accept major reserve-currency status has more to do with ideology than with economic rationality, driven by, and reinforcing, the disproportionate power of the financial sector on domestic decision-making. Like the UK in the 1920s, they are perhaps too willing to sacrifice the needs of the producer side of their economies in order to maintain the overwhelming power of the financial side. The result, as Matthew Klein and I show in our book, is that these reserve-currency countries have constantly to choose between allowing unemployment to rise or allowing debt to rise. They have mostly chosen the latter.

And third, while China has been promising for nearly two decades that its currency will achieve dominant reserve status within five years or so, in fact the RMB is probably the least important of the top ten currencies given China’s status as the second largest economy and largest trader in the world, and by relevant standards its role has barely improved in the past decade and may even have declined. Why? Because for all over-excited talk about achieving major international status, Beijing has always refused to take the economic steps needed to increase its role in absorbing global imbalances. On the contrary, when Covid-19 created a demand shock in a world already suffering from excess savings and insufficient demand, Beijing had an incredible opportunity to boost the role of the RMB by boosting net domestic demand. Instead it implemented a muscular supply-side response that actually worsened its contribution to global demand imbalances.


In the end I do expect the international status of the US dollar eventually to decline, but not because of the rise of the yen (which, we were told in the 1980s and 1990s, was virtually assured) or of the RMB. Either it will decline because the US decides that it is no longer willing to absorb the huge and rising economic cost of dominant reserve-currency status to its producing sectors and its balance sheet in exchange for the declining geopolitical benefits and to maintain the status and dominance of of its financial sector (which may be the same thing), or it will decline when the cost of maintaining the power of the dollar helps sufficiently undermine the US economy, which has always been the real source of American power. The experience of the UK in the 1920s provides an accelerated vision of how that can happen.

Read more …

The middle class got suckered in the moment banks and central banks, Fannie and Freddie, started pumping up housing prices and manipulating mortgage rates. And yeah, now they’re suckered into stocks, because rates are negative, and savings worse than worthless.

The Middle Class Has Finally Been Suckered into the Casino (CHS)

For 12 long years, savers have been eviscerated while gamblers have been ceaselessly backstopped and bailed out by the Fed. In the Fed’s rigged casino, it’s not only rational to make high-risk bets, it’s rational to borrow as much money as you can to increase your stake and leverage your bets–because the Fed has our backs and so every wager on markets lofting higher will pay off. It’s crazy not to max out credit and leverage because the Fed has guaranteed every punter will be a winner. I explained the feedback loop this creates–the more the Fed guarantees markets will never be allowed to decline, the greater the incentives to borrow and leverage ever riskier bets in the Fed’s casino[..]

The middle class has finally surrendered the last of its rational risk-aversion and gone all-in on bets in the Fed’s rigged casino. Big players don’t use margin accounts in brokerages; they have immense lines of credit and tools to leverage their bets. It’s the so-called retail traders who use margin, and so the unprecedented highs in margin debt are evidence that the middle class has gone all-in on bets markets will only loft higher forever. Record inflows into equities adds more evidence that the middle class has been suckered into the Fed’s rigged casino. Why lose money every day in savings and money market accounts when newbie punters are raking in $250,000 a month playing options on Gamestop?

Alas, the majority of this “wealth” is phantom, as revealed by the chart of tangible (real) / intangible (financial) assets. The Fed’s casino prints trillions of dollars and gives them to the biggest gamblers for free, and so the artificial semblance of free money for everyone who gambles is compelling. Unfortunately, the Fed’s casino is only rigged to benefit the Fed’s cronies. Everyone else is suckered in to lose whatever they have. The Fed’s cronies have been impatiently waiting for the suckers to surrender their rational risk aversion and flood into the rigged casino to share in the Fed’s limitless wealth machine: the more you risk, the more you win!

Read more …

This could have been in today’s Covid Rattle, I know.

Arts Venue Closures Likely After Long Delay in Federal Grant Program (Dayen)

A critical $16.25 billion grant program to sustain thousands of small creative venues that haven’t been able to open since the pandemic began has yet to deliver a cent of relief four months after passage, due to delays and faulty technology at the Small Business Administration (SBA). A website constructed to take grant applications closed last week after only four hours online, because of constant crashes and an inability to intake documents. It has not been restored and there’s no timetable for its return. The program, based on the landmark Save Our Stages legislation put into last December’s COVID relief bill, was the largest investment in the arts in U.S. history. But the byzantine application process (often requiring over 100 pages of documents) and stubborn lack of payout has music clubs, small museums and movie theaters, and other venues either closing or looking to sell out to larger firms.

“Understandably, landlords can’t last forever,” said Audrey Fix Schaefer, communications director with the National Independent Venues Association, a lead driver of Save Our Stages. “Eviction notices are coming. People are like, ‘we can’t do this anymore.’” The situation reinforces the importance of policy implementation, the primary responsibility of the executive branch. SBA has been notorious for decades for failing in its mission to support small businesses, and the changeover in administrations to President Biden has not ameliorated this. A critical Inspector General report released a week ago noted that the grants management office where the program is being run from has only one designated official managing the process; the rest of the staff is on “temporary detail.”


SBA Spokesperson Andrea Roebker, said that the program, known as Shuttered Venues Operating Grants (SVOG), has been “built from the ground up,” and that the agency “is committed to delivering this much-needed relief to these venues, many of which have been closed for extended periods of time.” But in the meantime, venue operators must wait agonizingly, living on borrowed time, borrowed money, and the fear of collapse.

Read more …

So far, all the e-currencies look like feeble attemps at suppressing bitcoin. The problem: central banks want full control.

E-Euro Starts To Take Shape (Dolan)

The promised digital euro started to take shape this week and signals from Frankfurt may offer some relief to nervy commercial banks worried about being sidelined by the latest disrupter. With the “hands off” pandemic accelerating the demise of physical cash, and private-sector crypto and stablecoins threatening to invade the space, the pledge last year of a digital euro within five years came before the European Central Bank knew what exactly it would be or how it would function. As nearly every central bank working on digital legal tender suggesting a different model or system, the debate over design has ranged widely over the past 6 months – from digital tokens to a direct central bank accounts or something in between.

But responses from the ECB’s public consultation, released this week, have gone some way to narrowing the options discussed – with the feedback showing a preference for privacy, though not anonymity, and a role for the existing banking system. Although this was just one survey, and the ECB laced it with caveats about how unrepresentative the sample was of euro zone citizens, it may give some clues to the direction of travel. Respondents’ heavy stress on privacy and security appears to be coupled with a preference for the digital euro to exist offline, like a token held in smartphones or digital wallets. What’s more, they seem to want it to exist alongside rather than instead of physical cash and to operate in conjunction with the existing banking system.


That addresses one of the biggest financial stability concerns plaguing plans for digital currencies, already being trialled by the People’s Bank of China and which the U.S. Federal Reserve has called a “high priority project”. Many fear that if a digital currency is effectively a open-ended deposit account directly with the central bank, then its inherent guarantee will see deposits flee commercial banks, especially in a crisis, and undermine the retail banking system. To counter that, ECB board member Fabio Panetta has proposed limiting deposits to households only, and to a maximum of 3,000 euros – effectively penalising holdings in excess of that, and accounts held by companies or investors, with deeply negative interest rates.

Read more …

“Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me. The complaint will be filed Monday.”

How much different would Project Veritas’ situation be if it were sympathetic to the Dems?

Twitter Suspends Project Veritas’ James O’keefe After Undercover Scoops (RT)

Twitter has banned Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe for alleged violation of its policies on “platform manipulation and spam,” silencing his account amid a series of undercover scoops on CNN’s propagandist tactics. The social media giant told O’Keefe on Thursday that his account is permanently suspended and will not be reinstated, citing an allegation that he used fake or multiple accounts to manipulate conversations on the platform. Twitter said in a statement to The Hill and other media outlets that “you can’t artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts.” The shutdown came after O’Keefe posted three straight days of scoops in which CNN technical director Charlie Chester is shown on video, talking to an undercover reporter.


Chester, who reportedly thought he was talking to a Tinder date, told the reporter about CNN’s propagandist efforts to oust President Donald Trump, its fearmongering about Covid-19 to boost ratings and its efforts to make Black Lives Matter look good. O’Keefe’s suspension from Twitter will likely come as good news to CNN, which hasn’t responded to the latest round of Project Veritas stories about the network and has lobbied for competing news outlets to be censored for reporting “misinformation.” O’Keefe issued a statement on Thursday, vowing to sue Twitter for defamation and denying that he operated fake accounts. “This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay,” he said. “Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me. The complaint will be filed Monday.” He invited supporters to follow him on Telegram.

Veritas
https://twitter.com/i/status/1382848287506583552

Read more …

“Guo Shuqing, China’s top banking regulator, said in March that the country was exposed to “bubbles” in international markets and its own real estate sector.”

China’s Economy Grows By A Record 18.3% In Q1; It’s Not Enough (ZH)

China’s economy grew by a record 18.3% in the first three months of 2021, its fastest annual growth rate in history reflecting the weak comparison to the lockdown period in early 2020. However, in keeping with the recent theme of China’s slowing credit impulse, the GDP print wasn’t nearly enough and disappointed markets which were expecting an 18.5% number.

The Chinese slowdown was even more visible in the quarter-on-quarter growth which slowed to just 0.6% from 2.6% in the previous three months – the second lowest quarterly growth rate since the financial crisis with the sole exception of the covid crash quarter a year ago, while the picture in the monthly data dump was mixed at best.

China’s expansion was supported by household consumption, which had previously lagged behind the wider recovery but is expected to play a greater role in driving growth this year. Retail sales beat expectations to add 34.2% in March, rebounding from a period of lockdowns a year earlier. Industrial production also boosted growth, with the metric adding 24.5% in the first quarter and alongside booming exports has helped prop up growth over the past year, it did, however, miss expectations in March and only rose 14.1% year-on-year. The Chinese recovery from the pandemic also helped it dominate global trade, with exports rising every month since June last year. In March, exports added 30% in dollar terms compared with the same month a year earlier.


In light of China’s recent aggressive deleveraging which has pushed China’s CSI300 just shy of dipping below the 200DMA, focus has shifted to the prospect of rate rises, with signs of overheating across parts of the economy despite persistently low consumer price inflation. The government is trying to curb leverage across its property sector, as well as rein in record rates of steel production following a construction boom. Several high-ranking officials have warned about the risks of high asset prices in recent months. Guo Shuqing, China’s top banking regulator, said in March that the country was exposed to “bubbles” in international markets and its own real estate sector.

Read more …

Setting your own home on fire after using it as a garbage dump and toilet bowl. Smartest species ever.

Despite 100s of years of science and warnings, we still appear unable to understand our planet is not infinite.

Just 3% of World’s Ecosystems Remain Intact (G.)

Just 3% of the world’s land remains ecologically intact with healthy populations of all its original animals and undisturbed habitat, a study suggests. These fragments of wilderness undamaged by human activities are mainly in parts of the Amazon and Congo tropical forests, east Siberian and northern Canadian forests and tundra, and the Sahara. Invasive alien species including cats, foxes, rabbits, goats and camels have had a major impact on native species in Australia, with the study finding no intact areas left. The researchers suggest reintroducing a small number of important species to some damaged areas, such as elephants or wolves – a move that could restore up to 20% of the world’s land to ecological intactness.

Previous analyses have identified wilderness areas based largely on satellite images and estimated that 20-40% of the Earth’s surface is little affected by humans. However, the scientists behind the new study argue that forests, savannah and tundra can appear intact from above but that, on the ground, vital species are missing. Elephants, for example, spread seeds and create important clearings in forests, while wolves can control populations of deer and elk. The new assessment combines maps of human damage to habitat with maps showing where animals have disappeared from their original ranges or are too few in number to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Some scientists said the new analysis underestimates the intact areas, because the ranges of animals centuries ago are poorly known and the new maps do not take account of the impacts of the climate crisis, which is changing the ranges of species.


It is widely accepted that the world is in a biodiversity crisis, with many wildlife populations – from lions to insects – plunging, mainly due to the destruction of habitat for farming and building. Some scientists think a sixth mass extinction of life on Earth is beginning, with serious consequences for the food, and clean water and air that humanity depends upon. “Much of what we consider as intact habitat is missing species that have been hunted [and poached] by people, or lost because of invasive species or disease,” said Dr Andrew Plumptre, the lead author of the study, from the Key Biodiversity Areas Secretariat in Cambridge, UK. “It’s fairly scary, because it shows how unique places like the Serengeti are, which actually have functioning and fully intact ecosystems. “We’re in the UN decade of ecosystem restoration now, but it is focusing on degraded habitat,” he said. “Let’s also think about restoring species so that we can try and build up these areas where we’ve got ecologically intact ecosystems.”

Read more …

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle April 16 2021

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  • #73262

    Dirk de Herder Amstel Bridge, Amsterdam 1946   • Biden Declares Russia Threat ‘National Emergency’ (Fox) • Kremlin Pledges To Respond In Kind To
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle April 16 2021]

    #73264
    Mister Roboto
    Participant

    I certainly find the Biden Administration’s ramping up of Cold War 2.0 disturbing, not that it’s entirely surprising.

    #73266
    Mister Roboto
    Participant

    I would also point out that a national emergency is something you declare over pandemics, states being on fire, and natural disasters, not the latest round of escalating geo-political tensions.

    #73267
    Dr. D
    Participant

    And that was the end of the Squad.

    five

    Have heard that Russia said to Joe if they put a ship in the Black Sea, they will sink them. Period. That’s your only warning. And good for them. Is that a threat? Well they turned the US Cook into a floating can, and flew over it for target practice, so no. Beautiful to watch them belligerent, then instantly backing down, cowards, losing. That’s how your Suez Canal moment happens. Suddenly! Sniffin’ Joe wants to talk! Hires Trump’s ambassador! I guess Joe’s a Putin puppet now. RussiaRussiaRussia.

    Okay, NEXT thing that happens, the U.S. is so hollow it’s exclusively backed by murder. U.S. bullets are useless, they withdraw = U.S. is useless country = US$ is useless currency. Bye bye nice man. Glad you’re sitting on the powder keg when it went off. The truth that we’re nobodies with no power appears.

    “OPCW Chief … is destroying the OPCW…”

    Yay! Truth appears. CNN truth appears. Lies about election and voting appears. Lies about Hunter appears. Lies about GameStop appears. If only collectively the nation had two brain cells to comprehend it.

    “The West’s Sole Prerogative Is Russia Has No Right to Self-Defense (Kovalik)”

    Yes, but this is all authoritarians, narcissistic sociopaths. You can riot and beat, burn, and murder anyone in the streets. However, you can NOT retreat to your house and defend your life. If criminals reach for a gun while serving a warrant for violent armed robbery and beating women for a mere $800, you can NOT stop them. You’re supposed to just let them shoot you and drive away. No different with Russia. Defending yourself is violence and aggression. The world is supposed to sit around passively while I rape, burn, and murder it. That’s my socialist utopia. As Tlaib says, “no police, no prisons, no military.” “”Every city. Every town. Burn the precincts to the ground,” protesters chanted.

    Hmmm. I’m confused. What is it they want? Peace, I think. And Love. What are they doing lighting the ICE facility on fire last week with all the immigrants alive inside? It’s the utopian vision of criminals and warlords, the strong take from the weak. Social Darwinism, Bellum omnium contra omnes. The strong (or who are so incredibly stupid they actuallythink they’re strong) always want this, because it favors them. That’s why they’re against all free speech, due process, and self-defense. So how did Germany fall for it? Let’s ask the other way: how do you NOT fall for it? What would you establish as an inalienable human right to prevent it?

    You have the unmitigated right to assembly, to beliefs, to speech, the right to own arms, military-grade hardware for self-defense against government. You know who is who by which side wears black, divides by race, censors speech, confiscates weapons, and burns books in the street. Which side targets black neighborhoods and businesses and burns them down while buying $5M in houses in ritzy white zip codes. It’s super-easy. How would you best have STOPPED Germany internally and enforced the Roses, the resistance? Just like that. So who are the good guys? The guys who remove your self-defense and burn books in the streets, or the guys who beg you to arm and prepare yourself and LET everyone speak? (However dumb you may be)

    This ain’t rocket science. Thankfully so, since we don’t seem to be able to comprehend Oppression ≠ Peace and Love. Ignorance ≠ Strength. 99.997% safe ≠ world ending pandemic with 25M dead. Still waiting.

    Russia no right to self-determination or self-defense? Yeah and not one of the rest of us either.

    “US Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops (DB)”

    Hey was that and everything else the media has ever published a lie? You have no right to self-defense in the media, with libel and character assassination. As shown so clearly with CNN and Veritas yesterday. …Who was immediately banned and removed from Twitter, with libel and character assassination. Huh.

    “Update: Master List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus (Taibbi)”

    It would be shorter to list the 10 stories that WEREN’T false. Taibbi and Greenwald published the Top 10 List of Shame only last year. No one cares. The liars are adored, referred to, and considered eminently credible. They are defenders of our religion and patrons of our god, the god of lies.

    “SecDef Austin Hints at Continued US Military Involvement in Afghanistan (AW)”

    Taliban said they’d attack the s—t out of America for being the lying, cheating, treaty-breaking Anglos that always, always, A L W A Y S break E V E R Y treaty. Every single one. Ask any Indian. …So it’s going really well. More people die, more money is spent, more profits made. Gooooo Joe! Killin’ some brown folks. Just like his boss Obama.

    Vertias suing Twitter? They’ll just say it’s a “glitch”. One they have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Nobody goes to jail. Make me. I have a government-created, government-enforced monopoly, where the government controls and erases the means of free speech.

    “Smartest species ever.”

    Our species refused to do this for 100,000 years until Babylon was founded. Then that only happened there, no where else. Didn’t happen in places in North America until 1901. In Kalihari until 1951. Somehow, some way, it’s only when the elites use blowing up your children to enforce financial slavery, somehow only THEN, does our “species” see the light about cutting every tree and killing every bug. But I’m sure it’s the fault of humans with no power and no access, not wealthy billionaires in London. Nope. We must, must listen to those billionaires and the proxies they hire and install in the U.N. and WEF because they know! They’re here to help!

    Hey, who put plastics everywhere? Who’s unemploying everyone and putting robots everywhere now, AGAIN against the express will of the people over 50 years? Must be us poor, desperate, rural folks. White people, I guess, apparently no in China or India has ever extracted colonially or destroyed their ecosystem before. Yup. That’s the story, and I read it in CNN so it must be true.

    #73269
    Mister Roboto
    Participant

    My big takeaway of 2020 is that the age of rational responses is over. From now on, it’s all irrationality, propaganda, and falsehood all the time. And what’s the most irrational thing we could possibly do? Why, nuclear war, of course. So if that’s what we have to do in order to be truly irrational, then by gum and by golly, that’s exactly what we’ll do, and there will be no stopping it!

    #73270
    Dr P
    Participant

    You seem like a smart guy, I read your posts everyday, but your ability to be conned by the climatards and eco-loons is somewhat a disservice to your readers that actually can think by themselves.

    #73271
    zerosum
    Participant

    Why has the USA become a war zone

    Police: 8 dead in shooting at FedEx facility in Indianapolis


    Police: 8 dead in shooting at FedEx facility in Indianapolis
    Apr 16, 2021
    ———–
    The experts forgot to evaluate why the USA is an active war zone.
    assets.documentcloud.org/documents/20613962/ata2021unclassifiedreport.pdf
    —–
    What do people do when they are in pain?
    Take pain killers to kill the pain.
    Kinds of pain killers are guns and opioids.

    http://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/mexicos-long-war-drugs-crime-and-cartels
    Mexico’s Long War: Drugs, Crime, and the Cartels
    Violence continues to rage in Mexico more than a decade after former President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on drug cartels.

    WRITTEN BY
    CFR.org Editors
    UPDATED
    Last updated February 26, 2021

    —–
    “The only thing the Russia sanctions have accomplished is they made Russia stronger, self-sufficient.”
    ———
    You still don’t believe, even after hearing it for 4 years,
    “fake news”
    “misinformation.”
    “Your enemies”
    ——
    Can you pick who are The good guys and The bad guys?
    humans with no power and no access, or wealthy billionaires and the proxies they hire and install
    ———

    #73275
    Dr. D
    Participant

    Expire-denied

    #73276
    Dr. D
    Participant

    Kunstler today:

    “China is surely making hegemonic moves all over the place, not just around Hong Kong and Taiwan but in Africa and South America, while it strives to build the world’s largest navy, exports gain-of-function viruses, replaces the US in space exploration, and excels at weaponizing computer science. China’s weaknesses are a lack of sufficient domestic oil supply and food, which its current moves aim to correct. It was on its way to turning the US into a raw materials and food-crop colony when Mr. Trump came along and tried to put a stop to that.”

    #73278
    madamski
    Participant

    It is quite incredible to me that, nearly 60 years later, with the USSR itself having fallen in the meantime, these words still ring true in the West today.

    We’ve lived in a far more totalitarian society than most of us seem willing to even consider. We were the winning fascist nation in WWII, while Russia, the major combatant victor of the deal, was the reigning communist nation. The fact of lockdowns and the smell of imminent Orwellian modes tends to obscure the primary aspect of all this: a population raised on totalitarian fascism disguised as free market capitalist democracy. It was fun for some of us for awhile. Not any more.

    ^&*

    @ Dr. D

    “You seem like a smart guy, I read your posts everyday, but your ability to be conned by the climatards and eco-loons is somewhat a disservice to your readers that actually can think by themselves.”

    The “smart guy” might want to know to whom you refer. You know, like using their name? It’s what smart people do when they want the object of their criticism to understand your criticism.

    %^&

    @ Raul

    “So far, all the e-currencies look like feeble attemps at suppressing bitcoin. The problem: central banks want full control.”

    Which puts China in the catbird seat, since China is the biggest central-everything nation on earth. I doubt the digi-yuan will be stable for all that long, but for awhile it may be the major reserve currency of humanity’s failing globalism.

    #73279
    madamski
    Participant

    @ Dr. D (again, sigh)

    “What are they doing lighting the ICE facility on fire last week with all the immigrants alive inside? ”

    They set fires outside the building (in Portland, OR, btw) It’s an important distinction, this inside/outside a given structure thingie. By the way, the building is still closed, and that’s a good thing. Also, btw, those people were demonstrating an answer to this question: “What would you establish as an inalienable human right to prevent it?” They were adamantly and forcefully demonstrating that “… (they) have the unmitigated right to assembly, to beliefs, to speech, the right to own arms, military-grade hardware for self-defense against government.”

    The fact that they are silly enough to be associated more with one duopoly party rather than the other horn of that dilemma, is a matter of preference in political silliness, but the fact is that these people are doing the things you espouse and apparently cherish.

    I ask: why do we expect people, who tolerate in their name and on their dollar the kind of violence our government has purveyed so abundandly for such inexcusable reasons, to act differently when they decide to take the law(lessness) into their own hands?

    And why, on God’s good green earth, would you encourage partisan division amid emerging civil war?

    I suppose the answer is that almost everyonre I’ve known wants to be on a team and believe that their team is the good team whose goodness is typically defined by not being the other team, a principle we recently saw run wild with Anyone But Trump-ism but is as old as America: Love It Or Leave It.

    #73280

    “So far, all the e-currencies look like feeble attempts at suppressing bitcoin. The problem: central banks want full control.”

    Which puts China in the catbird seat, since China is the biggest central-everything nation on earth. I doubt the digi-yuan will be stable for all that long, but for awhile it may be the major reserve currency of humanity’s failing globalism.

    Nobody wants the yuan, so why would they want the e-yuan? Where’s the catbird seat in there for China? The yuan will never be a reserve currency until and unless the CCP cedes control to the market, which they won’t. It’s at 2% now , vs 60% for the USD?! The FX market trades trillions per day, and they won’t let Xi’s moodswings, which could decrease their holdings by 50% or so in an instant, disrupt that. They’ll just move to another currency. In fact, they already have. That is the problem with the yuan.

    #73284
    madamski
    Participant

    “Dear CNN TV channel and its staff. We realize that you have no time for fact-checking, since you’re so immersed in ideological struggle for the triumph of liberalism,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “But to present Ukrainian tanks at a Ukrainian train station, with Ukrainian train carriages in the background, as Russia’s preparations for war is a bit too much.”

    CNN Raises Eyebrows After Using Images of Ukrainian Tanks While Bashing Russia’s ‘War Preparations’

    %^&

    @ Raul

    “Nobody wants the yuan, so why would they want the e-yuan? Where’s the catbird seat in there for China? The yuan will never be a reserve currency until and unless the CCP cedes control to the market, which they won’t. ”

    So much for the power of central bankls then?

    I say that as screwed as China’s currency is, as blindly nosy as is the CCP, CHina has the essential centralized muscle to pull off something that wants most of all, solidarity and consistenmcy within itself. Same reason why China could do lockdowns so quickly, extremely, and peacefully: they’re a full-blown totalitarian government with only a few decades of pretending otherwise (Tienemman Square which I’ll never learn how to spell).

    A currency as primary legal tender is as lockdown as you get.

    As for what the other nations will or won’t want: when the US$ crashes, which is SOOOO imminent, they’ll want SOMETHING. Russia doesn’t want the job except as a partnership deal more or less vis a vis Silk Road and related material transfer systems.

    It seems likely that someone will stanbd out from the crowd, and no one else is standing up to take the ball. Maybe we’ll let Switzerland do it. It has the brand name reputation (even though it trashed that rep). Who knows? But someone will take the lead. The nations will hardly agree on a fair and egalitarian basis, which is why we have Darwinian markets as our best approximation of economic justice. Lacking such agreement, someone will of course take the lead, be the emerging currency hegemon. I see China as having the necessary “infrastructure” to do this.

    I don’t see the ‘catbird seatr’ as more than temporarily advantageous to China, which has to go through another revolution before attaining a cnfiguration moe stable than not.

    As a summary lens, I’ll say that when things change, things change. Today, no one wants the yuan. But the global structure that makes this so is about to implode. China sits on the largest manufacturing complex on the planet and has strategically partnered, mostly positively, with its neighbors and regional powerhouses especially russia which has the energy China needs to remain the global factory for awhile yet.

    Gold is a handy security blanket but is no solution; if this weren’t so, we’d still be on the gold standard. Oil is the de facto gold with manufacturing the de facto silver and technological prowess being platinum. These are the things that will provide trustworthy reliability in any global (or even local, for that matter) reserve currency of the future. China has those in spades plus, has a central bank not entirely the property of legally enshrined white collar crooks but instead forcefully maintained political gangsters. Force is a factor currently on the extreme rise and a major decider in whose currency will be the reserve currency. After all, force is what has kept the US$’s reserve status even though it basically defaulted in 1971. If not for major intervention on our part, the reserve currency might have become the “OPEC” or something like that.

    In revolutiuonary cusps, the past’s shadow on the future gets skewed and becomes mostly distortive rather than instructive. The fact that nobody wants today the yuan of the global factory is unnatural, a relic of “the American century”. I suspect this will change when the American century is officially over.

    #73285
    madamski
    Participant

    P.S. “There remains robust demand for U.S. Treasury securities at every auction, and approximately 40% of the world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars,” Karolyi said. “It is hard to see this reserve status being unseated as long as the size and core engine of the U.S. economy remains strong and the dominance of U.S. financial markets in the global system continues.” some dumb 2-5-2021 Newsweek article, itals mine The US economy is dying along with its financial markets. Globally, this is common knowledge, jah?

    #73286
    madamski
    Participant

    ‘CHina has the essential centralized muscle to pull off something that currency wants most of all’ typo fix

    #73287
    Mr. House
    Participant
    #73288
    madamski
    Participant

    ‘cnfiguration moe’

    Time to clean the keyboard. THe parrot is a messy eater and my keyboard is suffering advanced blueberry pulp impaction.

    #73289
    Germ
    Participant

    This is huuuge:

    https://www.yahoo.com/now/exclusive-china-opens-borders-multi-095540747.html

    A people with a five thousand year history stock-piling money with a five thousand year history!
    They are so smart.

    #73290
    Dr. D
    Participant

    It’s pretty clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That’s a contract we all signed.

    Do you see the word “Peaceable” there? That’s how it’s distinguished from destruction of property and harm to people. Do I expect with an example of a perpetually violent government for the people to be peaceable? No, but I can’t condone it either. You also leave the moral high ground and lose.

    I can be partisan, but you’ve got the wrong teams: one is for human rights, generally as written in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and a team that is against law, order, and human rights. That the government and its representatives are generally 80% against all human rights is well-established, and we’ve been using the name “RINO” for 30 years now. As in “fake,” “fraud,” “phony”: “traitor”. That means we don’t trust said government or representatives and wish to furiously de-power them as much as is humanly possible, as was written in that contract with the people lo these many years ago. When I see Liberals go classic and want people to be left alone, the government reduced and not involved with people so they can properly express their diversity, I’ll join them.

    #73291
    Mr. House
    Participant

    “I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know… You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan”. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds. Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!”

    #73292
    Mr. House
    Participant

    BLM is a part of the “plan”! Protestors at capital hill, not so much. You can tell what is a part of the “plan” and what isn’t based on how the “authorities” react to it. Protesting social causes, part of the plan. Protesting nose diving standards of living, not so much. Protesting social justice during a pandemic, part of the “plan”. Protesting lockdowns during same pandemic, not so much. Protesting against voter ids, part of the “plan”. Protesting for voter ids, not so much.

    #73293
    Mr. House
    Participant

    Remember another scene in that movie, where the joker has two boats full of people. One with “normal” people and another with convicts? Both given means to blow up each other, with the game being one must blow up the other or both blow up? The movie shows us that neither destroys the other, but do we really believe that? Look how quickly people turned on each other during covid?

    #73294
    Germ
    Participant

    What parent would give their child over to Pfizer?
    Beyond sad.

    Stanford begins testing Pfizer vaccine in babies and young children

    #73295
    madamski
    Participant

    @ Dr. D

    “Do you see the word “Peaceable” there? That’s how it’s distinguished from destruction of property and harm to people. ”

    You do know what the bearing of arms is for? Taking the law into one’s own hands. If one supports the 2nd Amendment in a political sense, yea, even that militia jive language they threw in there, one supports armed insurrection.

    For better or worse, that’s what the BLM stuff is: armed insurrecxtion. Kind of a wet-powder insurrection at this point, but nonetheless… and yes, pointless partisan

      divisions

    , meaningless in today’s political climate where elections are as much a joke as the parties on which people feel compelled to divide their bicameral loyalties, as if Pick Your Poison were the only game in town.

    If you’re foolish enough to believe that either party supports constitutional rights more than the other, well, a guy named Dimitry Orlov has a boat he wants to sell you. But I don’t think you’re really that foolish. I just think you like to argue along certain strictly tunnel-visionary lines. Also, I’m not sure, but I suspect you can’t honestly conceive of standing alone. Gotta be with this bunch over here that despises that bunch over there. Makes a person feel all certain and righteous and that stuff’s like golden heroin… ahh… nice nod. Lookit them purty cattle cars carrying all them deplorables libtards to Disneyland. Who needs ethnic cleansing when you can do it on ill-construed ideological lines?

    Kvetching has its charms, even positive uses if you need to tack against certain odd winds, but it’s mostly just… kvetching, and in your case, ultimately hateful* kvetching disguised as freedom-loving, constitution-humping, and party-thumping soap box oratorios.

    *hateful? The thrust of your rhetoric is almost always Whom to Hate/Blame/Shame. I don’t mind it nearly as much as my ripostes would suggest. I just think that accountability matters and since you’re basically a member of my sorority lodge, I hold you to account for what I perceive are trivializations of a topic via exacerbated hyperbole that deflates everything via hyperinflation, sort of your own private russiarussiarussia, sometimes with desecrations of your own logic or even mere data accuracy. Especially when in the end you almost always have some mostly inaccessible target in your rhetorical crosshairs, and so the result is mostly dissipation of energy similar in effect and mechanism to that caused by divide’n’conquer partisanism. Fight the POWAH! That blob on the horizon with Hates It! painted on its bum! Fulminate at all costs! They call the wind Moriah! The mighty temple rock! Shekina the wind!!!!! The process is so much more rewarding than the results!

    It’s a form of respect. It means I still take you seriously despite your many attempts to demonstrate the silliness of such an aim. But then, I am ardently and ferociously a determinedly silly woman. Laughter is not only more fun than yelling, it’s also more cutting.

    But singing… singing is, like Zappa said of music, the BEST:

    Strange Land

    Thought there was a right turn here
    Turns out to be wrong
    Thought there was a short cut there
    Seems to be so long
    I study the lines on the map
    And the lines on my face
    Am I out of time or out of place
    Is this a brave stand
    Or am I in danger
    How are we supposed to know
    When to stay or go
    Is this a strange land
    Or am I the stranger
    Rainy Sunday afternoon
    Looking for a toast
    All the whisky’s Japanese
    The bars are full of ghosts
    Here in the City of Light
    I’m looking for a cave
    Am I soul who can be saved
    Is this a brave stand
    Or am I in danger
    How are we supposed to know
    When to stay or go
    Is this a strange land
    Or am I the stranger
    Is this a brave stand
    Or am I in danger

    #73296
    zerosum
    Participant

    YouTube censors panel of medical experts over Covid-19 “misinformation”

    I’m going to continue my fight.
    I’ll use other sources of info.

    #73297
    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    Stanford begins testing Pfizer vaccine in babies and young children

    As I recall, young children will be used to test different doses, to see which dosage doesn’t give too much adverse reactions. The luckier children in the trials will just get a placebo.

    Pfizer says,
    Children younger than 6 months of age may subsequently be evaluated…”

    A good question, followed by a non-answer from Pfizer:

    Do children need to be vaccinated in order for the world to reach herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2?

    Children under the age of 15 account for 26% of the global population. We believe successfully vaccinating children will contribute to protection against COVID-19 if the vaccine proves to be effective in that population.

    https://www.pfizer.com/science/coronavirus/vaccine/additional-population-studies

    #73298

    Hmph- somebody done gone and erased all of zerohedges’ comments.

    #73299

    Good grief! Rense has this story about the fun things those wacky trans humanists have been fiddling around with. It’s about mRNA, vaccines, and brain/cloud interface, an arrest of a Harvard bigwig by the FBI, and a pending lawsuit….

    #73301

    …and it also contains at the end what sounds remarkably like a sales pitch. Ah, well.

    #73304
    WES
    Participant

    Germ:

    I suspect China is allowing the import of gold again to reduce the upward pressure on the RMB exchange rate..

    The Chinese government isn’t doing this out of the goodness of it’s heart. It wants to drive the RMB exchange rate down to make it’s manufacturing more competitive!

    Just another form of currency manipulation!

    #73305
    WES
    Participant

    Ontario is doing so well on their already 2 week old lockdown, after over a year of continuous old lockdowns that never worked, that they are extending it another 2 weeks until May 20th!

    This is to save the hospitals.

    Meanwhile covid cases are making new daily highs. Proves lockdowns really work!

    #73306
    absolute galore
    Participant

    @madamski wrote:
    @ Dr. D

    “You seem like a smart guy, I read your posts everyday, but your ability to be conned by the climatards and eco-loons is somewhat a disservice to your readers that actually can think by themselves.”

    The “smart guy” might want to know to whom you refer. You know, like using their name? It’s what smart people do when they want the object of their criticism to understand your criticism.

    Maybe some of those blueberry droppings got on your spectacles?;^) You are quoting a doctor of an altogether different letter.. That was Dr. P, not Dr. D. There are a fair number of Doctors on this little Internet island. However, in terms of quantity of prescriptions, there is no comparison, with Dr P’s 7 replies not in the same galaxy as the more than 1800 screeds of Dr. D’s.

    While I’m here, I meant to ask the other day, do we think Mick Jagger is for or against vaccines? Is he a “climate denier” or making fun of climate deniers? The last verse threw off my read of the song. Not that it matters much. He works hard, but he’s no working bloke.

    Even further back, was it someone named Craig Murphy(?) who objected to vaccine abstainers as immoral because, while forgoing the risk of getting a vaccine, they still benefit from the herd immunity created by all those who did take the risk and get vaccinated.

    The huge flaw in that is,that is just how he views it. I imagine there are plenty of people like me who are not afraid of the vaccine, but also not terribly afraid of the virus, at least in its current forms, and object on the grounds of how it it creating not herd immunity, but herd behavior. All kinds of lines are being blurred or obliterated, and there is plenty of immorality, but it is not coming from the decision of some to not be subjected to a vaccination just because there is tremendous pressure to do so, despite little scientific evidence that everyone should be getting it.

    Final comment: I have no idea who Jimmy Dore is, but after watching the video posted above, I have little interest in finding out. I find people who swear that much when communicating to a public audience are generally unimaginative and often blowhards with nothing much to say. George Carlin excepted, obviously.

    #73307
    absolute galore
    Participant

    P.S. @Madamski –Thank you for the Joe Jackson.

    #73308
    WES
    Participant

    Japan’s new PM must be wondering why he even bothered to sign up for a visit with joe. Kamala met him instead. All diplomic politness were missing as no one bothered to greet him upon arrival or at the white house! Surely this is how one goes about insulting a guest?

    Imagine the tales he is going to be telling his pals back in Japan about how screwed up the US is!

    #73309
    zerosum
    Participant

    “Kamala met him instead.”

    Was Joe lying down for his nap?

    #73317
    Mister Roboto
    Participant

    Japan’s PM was given access to the person who is the real president right now, not the senile figurehead. It sounds as though they did him the courtesy of being honest with him.

    #73319
    Mister Roboto
    Participant

    Meanwhile covid cases are making new daily highs. Proves lockdowns really work!

    And that’s my main beef with the whole concept of locking down. With something as contagious as Covid, it just doesn’t work. The only thing that would work would stopping all human contact, and that would certainly be a case of the cure being vastly worse than the disease. The countries that are having the worst time with Covid are the ones with large populations combined with a huge gap between the very rich and the very poor and that have historically neglected the concept of public health. One might even suspect that the elites of these countries are glad to have a pandemic that seems to zero in on poor people with chronic health problems (not to mention frail elderly people who are too old to do intensive physical labor anymore).

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