Daniel Garber Lambertville holiday 1941
I’m going to trust my immune system
“..they are digging a six-foot legislative hole in which to lay freedom of movement and the concept of bodily integrity to rest..”
Since the WHO declared a pandemic, Europe has seen the advent of two curious legal instruments: the Digital Green Certificate (DGC) and Passenger Locator Forms (PLFs). Working shoulder-to-shoulder as a draconian ‘universal framework’, they are digging a six-foot legislative hole in which to lay freedom of movement and the concept of bodily integrity to rest. Until now you have been able to travel freely. Generally, you required proof of identity and citizenship, ie a passport. Sometimes there were visa and medical requirements. Within the Schengen Zone meanwhile, European citizens didn’t even need a passport. And until now, you had command over your own body. You could choose your medicine, for example. If you got sick, generally speaking, you decided on your treatment.
You could only be imprisoned if you did something wrong. Until now you were a person, a citizen; free to move and bodily autonomous. You may have noticed that this has all changed. However you may not realise how and to what a dramatic extent this has changed, or why. It’s not that you can’t travel anymore. The State will still let you travel—in return for certain permissions. Before you can move, you will let the State do things to your body; conduct an unsanitary test or administer an experimental gene therapy for example—whether or not you are sick. Then, as you begin to move, the State will track and imprison you as it sees fit. So, to travel, you will have to give up the right to decide what happens to your body. Instead, in certain matters, you will let the State decide. Why? Because the State presumes you are a threat to public health, and you accept this.
“One would normally expect that a variety of experts would come up with a variety of recommendations, precisely because, like everyone else, they value the risks differently.”
It’s as if a circuit has been fused. While caution and restrictive behavior can be justified by a conscience informed by the risks, the human mind can also make calculations based on superstition. And one frighteningly common one is the equation of science with truth, fear with realism, and caution with virtue. In individuals, we can easily observe these sorts of calculations, with personal tragedies large and small: people who missed out on one last comforting grasp of the hands before a loved one died, or whose marriages were wrecked by the atmosphere of fear and paranoia. But the problem is clearly social as well as political. Once the truth-caution-virtue circuit was fused, we found it much harder to introduce good news and new information. We lost the capacity to acknowledge the provisional nature of our judgments.
The fact that a huge portion of the vulnerable population in America has been vaccinated — in many counties well over 70 percent of people 65 and older are now fully vaccinated —doesn’t change behavior as fast as the news about the virus altered our behavior last spring. This is made worse because the “costs” of much mitigating behavior are mostly diffuse. They are in the depressed business environment for entertainment, food, and tourism. Or we see them in the heightened levels of depression that people experience because of prolonged social isolation. Many people who had the financial option of making their lockdown super-tight simply don’t go out enough to realize how free and sociable most people in their community have been. They have become unused to the risks and the pleasures of life that the less fearful or the more essential workers never could get away from. And this faulty equivalence of truth, fear, and caution doesn’t afflict only individuals or the environment of major cities. It afflicts our institutions.
It is why the Centers for Disease Control can get bullied by the teachers’ union into delaying its recommendation to fully reopen schools. The teachers’ unions have no public-health expertise, no special knowledge of epidemiology. What they had on their side was a pervasive reflex that more caution can never be wrong or harmful. The association of danger with permissiveness has warped the “expert class” that is supposed to inform the public. Throughout the pandemic, public-health officials have betrayed their view that they do not trust the public with good news; they seem to fear that an inch given will be a mile taken. And so, even during one of the most successful vaccine rollouts in the world, CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned of “impending doom” just a month ago. But no doom was in the offing.
And the expert class has also corrupted itself. The short circuit of the pandemic has led to a dramatic tightening of groupthink among public-health pundits. One would normally expect that a variety of experts would come up with a variety of recommendations, precisely because, like everyone else, they value the risks differently. But instead, public-health pontificators have tried to guard their authority with an ersatz sheen of unanimity. When Dr. Martin Kulldorff expressed his view that the pause of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine would do more harm than good, the CDC threw him off its vaccine-safety advisory committee. Four days later, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was made available again, but the visible dissent was too much to abide. Kulldorff had pioneered many of the processes by which the CDC detects the safety of vaccines.
But he had expressed his view that the urge to vaccinate everyone was as superstitious as being anti-vaccine. Twitter, preposterously, put a misinformation tag on this tweet, based on the superstition that there is only one valid “expert” answer — and no valid debates among experts. Kulldorff’s worst crime, apparently, was expressing his views in person in the presence of Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.
“..the CIA’s new mission is not gathering and analyzing intelligence to defend the nation. It’s fighting back against the patriarchy. America’s enemies are shaking in their boots.”
The CIA has gone full woke in an “unapologetically me” campaign designed to drive new recruits to the agency. In the video, we hear from a CIA officer who tells us, “I am a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cis gender Millennial who’s been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. . . I am intersectional. But my existence is not a box checking exercise.” Wait, what? If your existence isn’t about box checking, why did you literally just check off all the boxes in which you identify? Racial identity: check. Gender identity: check. Disability: check. The video goes on to showcase all the diversity and inclusion awards that the officer won during her time at the CIA. And she continues: “At 36, I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be.”
There you have it— the CIA’s new mission is not gathering and analyzing intelligence to defend the nation. It’s fighting back against the patriarchy. America’s enemies are shaking in their boots. The Mayor of Washington DC has issued a health order which demands wedding guests stay seated at wedding receptions. The order specifically notes that at weddings, “Attendees and guests must remain seated and socially distanced from each other and other household groups… Standing and dancing receptions are not allowed.” Standing… is now illegal. The real irony here is that Washington DC is one of the MOST VACCINATED cities in the US, with 631,000 vaccine doses administered out of an adult population (according to census data) of 577,000.
The Australian health department has banned travelers from entering Australia within 14 days of having been in India. The government says this order falls under the authority of the Biosecurity Act. This applies to Australian citizens as well, who could incur a fine of up to $66,600 and 5 years in prison for boarding a flight home. When asked about this insanity, the Prime Minister said, “I think the likelihood of any of that occurring is pretty much zero.” I guess that makes it OK. Of course, the likelihood would be exactly zero if his government hadn’t issued the ridiculous order to begin with.
Not the Onion: facemasks for the flu.
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted Sunday that mask-wearing could eventually become “seasonal” as protection against ailments like the flu that can also be spread through the air. He said Americans over the course of the pandemic have gotten used to wearing face coverings, which “diminishes respiratory diseases.” “We’ve had practically a non-existent flu season this year merely because people were doing the kinds of public health things that were directed predominantly against COVID-19,” Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
“So it is conceivable that as we go on, a year or two or more from now, that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory-borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you’ll spread these respiratory-borne diseases,” Fauci continued. He also predicted that we won’t see another surge in COVID-19 cases this fall if the majority of Americans get the vaccine. “The fact that we have vaccines right now … is really a game changer,” Fauci said on NBC. “I mean, if we get, which we will, to the goals that the president has established — namely if we get 70 percent of the people vaccinated by the Fourth of July, namely one single dose and even more thereafter — you may see blips, but if we handle them well, it is unlikely that you’ll see the kind of surge that we saw in the late fall and the early winter,” he said.
Experts have been warning that the country is in danger of not reaching herd immunity because of the decline in people getting inoculated. “That’s the reason … why we plead with people to get vaccinated because the larger proportion of the population that’s vaccinated, the less likelihood that in a season like the coming fall or winter you’re going to see a significant surge,” Fauci said. “That’s the wild card that we have now that we didn’t have last fall or the last winter.”
The woman’s in an induced coma and they still refused.
The first dose of ivermectin was administered by Elmhurst Hospital Monday night, three days after a judge ordered the hospital to honor a family’s request to treat their mother. Some doctors say ivermectin is a highly effective COVID treatment, but it is not approved for that use by the FDA. “[Elmhurst Hospital] basically just shut it out. They will not allow a doctor to use one of the world’s safest medicines despite the increasing amounts of evidence to show that it’s effective,” said Dr. Pierre Kory of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FCCCA). The hospital initially refused to give 68-year-old Nurije Fype the drug, in defiance of a judge’s orders. But her daughter Desi Fype said on Monday night, they reversed course and allowed an outside doctor to come in and administer the drug to her mother.
The FCCCA has released several studies it says show overwhelming evidence that ivermectin has “large-magnitude benefits” when it comes to fighting COVID. “All independent groups of scientists, all concluding the same thing: that the evidence suggests that it should be the standard of care,” Dr. Kory said. The family attorney told FOX 32 after one dose of ivermectin Monday night, Nurije Fype is already showing signs of improvement. Desi Fype of Elmhurst fought for days to get doctors at Elmhurst Hospital to treat her mother with ivermectin. Nurije Fype is in a medically induced coma at the hospital. Late last week, a judge ordered the hospital to administer the drug to Fype, but the family and their lawyers say the hospital continued to refuse until Monday night.
“We went to court,” said Desi Fype. “We have a judge’s order, so you have to comply with that.” “I think the judge’s dismay and horror at what they’re doing matches mine. It’s inexcusable,” said Dr. Kory. “They’re behaving indefensibly when a woman’s life is in the balance.” The FDA has a page on its website titled, “Why you should not use ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19.” The page says the drug has only been approved at very specific doses to treat parasitic worms, and that it’s dangerous at large doses.
I like Artur.
“Earlier today, police arrested two organizers of a church service who were in violation of a new court order obtained by Alberta Health Services (AHS) in relation to mandatory compliance of public health orders for gatherings,” said the Calgary Police Service in a statement on Saturday. His brother, David Pawlowski, was also taken into police custody. Both were charged with allegedly organizing an illegal in-person gathering as well as “requesting, inciting or inviting others” to join them, according to police. The force said that Alberta’s provincial government obtained a bench order from a court that applies to “protests, demonstrations and rallies” that imposes “new restrictions on organizers of protests and demonstrations requiring compliance with public health orders including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits.”
“It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing,” the police service added. A video uploaded on Twitter that appeared to show his arrest on a highway included Pawlowski’s voice: “If you are watching this video, it means that they have successfully arrested me.” It included a link to a crowdfunding website for his legal defense. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pawlowski brothers have held gatherings and have denied officials’ entry into their church located in Dover, Calgary, according to reports.
Pawlowski drew headlines several weeks ago after he compared police with the Nazi Gestapo paramilitary forces and fascists. “And they did it again! Today, the Gestapo Attacked our Church Again! History is being repeated in front of our eyes! Another sad day for Freedom and democracy!” Pawlowski wrote on April 24.
See under hypocrisy in your Thesaurus.
Continuing his world tour doling out righteous lectures to the world, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday proclaimed — in a sermon you have to hear to believe — that few things are more sacred in a democracy than “independent journalism.” Speaking to Radio Free Europe, Blinken paid homage to “World Press Freedom Day”; claimed that “the United States stands strongly with independent journalism”; explained that “the foundation of any democratic system” entails “holding leaders accountable” and “informing citizens”; and warned that “countries that deny freedom of the press are countries that don’t have a lot of confidence in themselves or in their systems.”
The rhetorical cherry on top of that cake came when he posed this question: “What is to be afraid of in informing the people and holding leaders accountable?” The Secretary of State then issued this vow: “Everywhere journalism and freedom of the press is challenged, we will stand with journalists and with that freedom.” [..] That the Biden administration is such a stalwart believer in the sanctity of independent journalism and is devoted to defending it wherever it is threatened would come as a great surprise to many, many people. Among them would be Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and the person responsible for breaking more major stories about the actions of top U.S. officials than virtually all U.S. journalists employed in the corporate press combined.
Currently, Assange is sitting in a cell in the British high-security Belmarsh prison because the Biden administration is not only trying to extradite him to stand trial on espionage charges for having published documents embarrassing to the U.S. Government and the Democratic Party but also has appealed a British judge’s January ruling rejecting that extradition request. The Biden administration is doing all of this, noted The New York Times, despite the fact that “human rights and civil liberties groups had asked the [administration] to abandon the effort to prosecute Mr. Assange, arguing that the case . . . could establish a precedent posing a grave threat to press freedoms” — press freedoms, exactly the value which Blinken just righteously spent the week celebrating and vowing to uphold.
Colonial transports over half of the gasoline and diesel consumed on the east coast every day..
The US government declared a state of emergency late on Sunday, lifting limits on the transport of fuels by road in a bid to keep gas supply lines open as fears of shortages spiked after the continued shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. “This Declaration addresses the emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products and provides necessary relief,” the Department of Transportation said. White House Press Sec Jen Psaki added that “as the Administration works to mitigate potential disruptions to supply as a result of the Colonial Pipeline incident, @USDOT is taking action today to allow flexibility for truckers in 17 states.” The move lifted limits on the transport of fuels by road to ease the fallout from the continuing closure of the Colonial pipeline, which carries almost half the fuel consumed on the US East Coast, following a ransomware cyber attack on Friday.
The decision comes as the government scrambles to deal with the fallout from the closure of Colonial, the biggest refined products pipeline in the US, transporting 2.5m barrels of fuel a day from refineries on the Gulf Coast to markets such as Atlanta, Washington and New York (see more below). If the pipeline is not quickly reopened the impact on prices could become more severe in the coming days, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at data provider GasBuddy. “We’re realizing the gravity of it is maybe worse than what we’d expected,” said De Haan. “There’s still a little breathing room, we’re starting to run low on it. But Monday, Tuesday if there’s no news, you know we’re dealing with something fairly significant.”
Yes, yes, it’s the Russians again.
Although Russian hackers often freelance for the Kremlin, early indications suggest that this was a criminal scheme — not an attack by a nation-state..
A Russian criminal group may be responsible for a ransomware attack that shut down a major U.S. fuel pipeline, two sources familiar with the matter said Sunday. The group, known as DarkSide, is relatively new, but it has a sophisticated approach to the business of extortion, the sources said. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday that the White House was working to help Colonial Pipeline, the Georgia-based company that operates the pipeline, to restart its 5,500-mile network. The system, which runs from Texas to New Jersey, transports 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supply. In a statement Sunday, the company said that some smaller lateral lines were operational but that the main lines remained down.
“We are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations,” the company said. Raimondo said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the effort to restart the network was “an all-hands-on-deck effort right now.” “We are working closely with the company, state and local officials to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren’t disruptions in supply,” she said, adding: “Unfortunately, these sorts of attacks are becoming more frequent. They’re here to stay.” A White House official said Sunday that the Energy Department is leading the government’s response. Agencies are planning for a number of scenarios in which the region’s fuel supply takes a hit, the official said.
On Saturday, Colonial Pipeline blamed the cyberattack on ransomware and said some of its information technology systems were affected. It said it “proactively” took “certain systems offline to contain the threat.” The company has not said what was demanded or who made the demand. Although Russian hackers often freelance for the Kremlin, early indications suggest that this was a criminal scheme — not an attack by a nation-state — the sources said. But the fact that Colonial had to shut down the country’s largest gasoline pipeline underscores just how vulnerable the U.S. cyber infrastructure is to criminals and national adversaries, such as Russia, China and Iran, experts say.
“This could be the most impactful ransomware attack in history, a cyber disaster turning into a real-world catastrophe,” said Andrew Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Illumio, a cybersecurity company. “It’s an absolute nightmare, and it’s a recurring nightmare,” he said. “Organizations continue to rely and invest entirely on detection, as if they can stop all breaches from happening. But this approach misses attacks over and over again. Before the next inevitable breach, the president and Congress need to take action on our broken security model.”
Note the velocity of money.
This paper models a Modern Debt Jubilee using Minsky, an Open Source (i.e., free) system dynamics program. Minsky’s unique feature, called a “Godley Table”, is a double-entry bookkeeping table that makes it much easier to model financial dynamics than it is in standard system dynamics programs. The key outcomes of the model are: • The Jubilee reduces overall debt levels, relative to GDP;The private debt to GDP ratio falls immediately because of the Jubilee;
Government debt rises as much as private debt falls, but the government debt to GDP ratio rises less because of the stimulatory effects of the Jubilee on GDP; The total debt to GDP ratio therefore falls immediately as a result of the Jubilee; and • Over time, the Jubilee stimulates the economy because the fall in indebtedness boosts aggregate demand, by transferring money from those who spend slowly (primarily bankers) to those who spend quickly (workers). A policy which requires an initial increase in government debt – as fiat-created money replaces credit-based money – thus ends up reducing both government and private debt relative to GDP – see Figure 6.
Figure 6: A Modern Debt Jubilee reduces both private and government debt ratios
How does this magic happen? The basic mechanism is that the Modern Debt Jubilee (MDJ) reduces the inequality that rising level of private debt have caused. A higher level of private debt, even with falling interest rates, results in a larger fraction of the economy’s money residing in the financial sector rather than the real economy – the shops and factories where physical output are produced, and profits and wages are actually generated. The Modern Debt Jubilee reverses this: by reducing private debt levels, less debt-servicing is needed, and therefore more of the existing amount of money turns up in the hands of workers, who spend much more rapidly than do bankers. Because they spend more rapidly, that money expands activity in the firm sector, causing GDP to rise. The increase in what mainstream economists call the “velocity of money” (see Figure 7) generates more GDP from the same amount of money, and debt to GDP ratios fall over time.
Figure 7: Rising velocity of money because of the Jubilee
A Modern Debt Jubilee thus reverses Fisher’s Paradox. Private debt is reduced, but the stock of money remains constant, and as a bonus, it ends up in the hands of people who spend more rapidly. So private debt falls, and GDP rises as a result, reducing the private debt to GDP ratio even further. The increase in economic activity is so great that, over time, even the government debt to GDP ratio falls as a result of the Jubilee.
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