Oct 102021
 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder Two monkeys 1562

 

“This Drug Will Be Incorporated In The DNA” (ZH)
One-year Sustained Cellular, Humoral Immunities Of Covid-19 Convalescents (CID)
Longitudinal Analysis: Durable, Broad Immune Memory After Covid Infection (Cell)
Iceland Stops Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For All Ages (RT)
Twitter Censors Thread From Entrepreneur Who Regrets Taking the Vaccine (GP)
Aspirin Lowers Risk Of Covid (JPost)
UCLA Doctor ‘Willing To Lose Everything’ Escorted From Work (SB)
Southwest Pilots Union Sues To Block Airline’s Vaccination Mandate
UK Study Shows Vaccine Passports Will Lead to Rebellion (CCTH)
The WEF and the Pandemic (Swprs)
Steven Donziger Was Imprisoned by the 1 Percent’s Favorite Judge (Jac.)
Facebook Whistleblower Testimony Should Prompt New Oversight – Adam Schiff (G.)
‘Global Stilling’ Is Blamed As Wind Speeds Drop Across Europe (DM)
Lebanon’s Electricity Crisis Plunges Beirut, Country Into Darkness (MEE)

 

 

No correlation between vaxx and mortality.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Promo material for the “documentary”

 

 

Masks

 

 

It doesn’t get much scarier than this. Changed for life. Are you then Merck property?

“This Drug Will Be Incorporated In The DNA” (ZH)

According to Barron’s, some scientists who have studied the drug believe that its method of suppressing the virus could potentially run amok within the body. Some scientists who have studied the drug warn, however, that the method it uses to kill the virus that causes Covid-19 carries potential dangers that could limit the drug’s usefulness. Molnupiravir works by incorporating itself into the genetic material of the virus, and then causing a huge number of mutations as the virus replicates, effectively killing it. In some lab tests, the drug has also shown the ability to integrate into the genetic material of mammalian cells, causing mutations as those cells replicate. If that were to happen in the cells of a patient being treated with molnupiravir, it could theoretically lead to cancer or birth defects.

In particular, Raymond Schinazi, a professor of pediatrics and the director of biochemical pharmacology at Emory who studied the drug while it was being developed, and published a number of papers on NHC, the compound that’s the active ingredient in the drug. He published a paper that showed the drug can produce a reaction like the one described above, and insisted it shouldn’t be given to young people – especially pregnant women – without more data. Schinazi told Barron’s that he did not believe that molnupiravir should be given to pregnant women, or to young people of reproductive age, until more data is available. Merck’s trials of molnupiravir have excluded pregnant women; the scientists running the trial asked male participants to “abstain from heterosexual intercourse” while taking the drug, according to the federal government website that tracks clinical trials.

Barron’s even shared a paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in May by Schinazi and scientists at the University of North Carolina which reported that NHC can cause mutations in animal cell cultures in a lab test designed to detect such mutations – something Merck claims it has tested for. The paper’s authors concluded that the risks for molnupiravir “may not be zero”. Merck told Barron’s that it has run “extensive tests” on animals which it says show that this shouldn’t be an issue. “The totality of the data from these studies indicates that molnupiravir is not mutagenic or genotoxic in in-vivo mammalian systems,” a Merck spokesman said. Still, scientists and doctors who have studied NHC say that Merck needs to “be careful,” and it’s not just Schinazi warning about the drug’s potential risks. Dr. Shuntai Zhou, a scientist at the Swanstrom Lab at UNC, said “there is a concern that this will cause long-term mutation effects, even cancer.” Zhou says that he is certain that the drug will integrate itself into the DNA of mammalian hosts. “Biochemistry won’t lie,” he says. “This drug will be incorporated in the DNA.”

Read more …

No pills or jabs needed.

One-year Sustained Cellular, Humoral Immunities Of Covid-19 Convalescents (CID)

The longitudinal antigen-specific immunity in COVID-19 convalescents is crucial for long-term protection upon individual re-exposure to SARS-CoV-2, and even more pivotal for ultimately achieving population-level immunity. To better understand the features of immune memory in individuals with different disease severities at one year post-disease onset we conducted this cohort study.

Methods We conducted a systematic antigen-specific immune evaluation in 101 COVID-19 convalescents, who had asymptomatic, mild, moderate, or severe disease, through two visits at months 6 and 12 post-disease onset. The SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, comprising NAb, IgG, and IgM, were assessed by mutually corroborated assays, i.e. neutralization, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and microparticle chemiluminescence immunoassay (MCLIA). Meanwhile, the T-cell memory against SARS-CoV-2 spike, membrane and nucleocapsid proteins was tested through enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISpot), intracellular cytokine staining (ICS), and tetramer staining-based flow cytometry, respectively.

Results SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies, and also NAb can persist among over 95% COVID-19 convalescents from 6 months to 12 months after disease onset. At least 19/71 (26%) of COVID-19 convalescents (double positive in ELISA and MCLIA) had detectable circulating IgM antibody against SARS-CoV-2 at 12m post-disease onset. Notably, the percentages of convalescents with positive SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses (at least one of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen S1, S2, M and N protein) were 71/76 (93%) and 67/73 (92%) at 6m and 12m, respectively. Furthermore, both antibody and T-cell memory levels of the convalescents were positively associated with their disease severity.

Conclusions SARS-CoV-2-specific cellular and humoral immunities are durable at least until one year after disease onset.

Read more …

This is from July. But just weeks ago Fauci said he didn’t know about natural immunity.

Longitudinal Analysis: Durable, Broad Immune Memory After Covid Infection (Cell)

Ending the COVID-19 pandemic will require long-lived immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Here, we evaluate 254 COVID-19 patients longitudinally up to 8 months and find durable broad-based immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 spike binding and neutralizing antibodies exhibit a bi-phasic decay with an extended half-life of >200 days suggesting the generation of longer-lived plasma cells. SARS-CoV-2 infection also boosts antibody titers to SARS-CoV-1 and common betacoronaviruses. In addition, spike-specific IgG+ memory B cells persist, which bodes well for a rapid antibody response upon virus re-exposure or vaccination.


Virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are polyfunctional and maintained with an estimated half-life of 200 days. Interestingly, CD4+ T cell responses equally target several SARS-CoV-2 proteins, whereas the CD8+ T cell responses preferentially target the nucleoprotein, highlighting the potential importance of including the nucleoprotein in future vaccines. Taken together, these results suggest that broad and effective immunity may persist long-term in recovered COVID-19 patients.

Read more …

Little reason to think Pfizer doesn’t do the same thing. Dose is a bit smaller.

Iceland Stops Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For All Ages (RT)

Iceland will no longer administer Moderna’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, with the country’s chief epidemiologist citing the risk of rare heart inflammations seen in other Nordic countries. The announcement was made by Icelandic health authorities on Friday. Officials stated that Iceland has been administering Moderna’s Spikevax shot over the last two months as a booster for those already inoculated with either two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one shot of Johnson & Johnson’s jab. Some 75% of Icelanders are fully vaccinated, and health officials maintain that there is a sufficient supply of Pfizer’s vaccine to continue the rollout without the Moderna shots. Pfizer’s is already recommended for under-18s in Iceland.

The decision to halt Moderna vaccinations was made after adverse effects to the shot were noted in several other Nordic nations, which have since restricted their own rollouts of the jab. “A Nordic study involving Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark found that men under the age of 30 who received Moderna Spikevax had a slightly higher risk than others of developing myocarditis,” Director of Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare Mika Salminen said on Thursday. Salminen announced that men born in 1991 and after would no longer be given Spikevax. One day earlier, Sweden stopped giving the Moderna shot to all of its population born in 1991 and later, while Denmark suspended its use on under-18s. Norway recommended that men under the age of 30 choose Pfizer’s jab instead.

The European Medicines Agency in July published findings urging the heart conditions myocarditis and pericarditis be added to the list of potential rare side effects of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna after reviewing over 300 incidences across the European Economic Area. According to the EMA, these cases are extremely rare.

Read more …

“..I am now fighting a T-Cell Lymphoma as a result of the degraded MRNA Protein Spike via dendritic reaction, called by Pfizer a waning immunity!”

Twitter Censors Thread From Entrepreneur Who Regrets Taking the Vaccine (GP)

Twitter has censored a thread in which Michael Robison explained that he regretted trading “my solid health, for a temporary freedom to travel and freedom from being criticized.” Robison — an investor, entrepreneur and the founder of SPARTN Monkey Rescue — had posted his personal story about his health declining after taking the COVID vaccine and warned people to “THINK, STUDY & BE AWARE” before getting it themselves. “I am not anti-vaccine… but I will caution…. Proceed with care!!! Police cars revolving light I am now fighting a T-Cell Lymphoma as a result of the degraded MRNA Protein Spike via dendritic reaction, called by Pfizer a waning immunity! It is not truly a safe precaution for #COVID19,” Robison wrote.

Robison continued on to say “the CDC, Pfizer, Moderna and J&J know that the instability of IVT use of MRNA is accompanied by the bodies clearing of the Inert 19 Protein Spike by the immune system. When it leaves the cell structure compromised after insertion & clearing…. It results in autoimmune issues….” “One such issue is the risk and causation of severe results such as Leukemia and T-Cell Lymphoma. Another common long term effect is autoimmune disorders that impact the skin…. And require life long maintenance and treatment…” the thread continued. “All such issues and cases have been consistently reported to VAERS which is co-managed by the CDC & FDA…. But no attention or research has been prioritized or funded for this repository of information!”

“My caution is this…. Be aware. As late as 2018 all of the groups involved were still convinced that MRNA was still far too unstable for use in vaccine distribution. This vaccine is the largest form of a clinical trial in the history of mankind,” Robison wrote. He concluded by saying, “my caution is this…. Be aware. As late as 2018 all of the groups involved were still convinced that MRNA was still far too unstable for use in vaccine distribution. This vaccine is the largest form of a clinical trial in the history of mankind.” Soon, the first post of the thread had amassed over 100 retweets — and was noticed by the censors.

First, Twitter slapped on warning on the tweet claiming that it is “misleading” because health officials say that the vaccines are safe for “most people.” They also took away the ability to like, comment or share it. Next, the platform made it so that if you clicked on the first tweet, the ones below it no longer appeared. Speaking to the Gateway Pundit, Robison said that “this stark, swift and harsh censorship by Twitter is a reminder that the ‘facts’ you read on any social media platform are not unbiased or unfiltered. Rather it is dictated by narratives that fit the political or personal gain of those in charge of multi-billion dollar platforms to which we have surrendered our lives.” “It’s good to be reminded that social media is nothing more than a highlight reel of life, managed by agendas, driven by money!” Robison continued.

Read more …

Deve Collum: “Aspirin helps. That’s humorous. Have they tried chicken soup?” “WD-40 and duct tape…”

Aspirin Lowers Risk Of Covid (JPost)

Over-the-counter aspirin could protect the lungs of COVID-19 patients and minimize the need for mechanical ventilation, according to new research at the George Washington University. The team investigated more than 400 COVID patients from hospitals across the United States who take aspirin unrelated to their COVID disease, and found that the treatment reduced the risk of several parameters by almost half: reaching mechanical ventilation by 44%, ICU admissions by 43%, and overall in-hospital mortality by 47%. “As we learned about the connection between blood clots and COVID-19, we knew that aspirin – used to prevent stroke and heart attack – could be important for COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Jonathan Chow of the study team. “Our research found an association between low-dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death.”


Low-dose aspirin is a common treatment for anyone suffering from blood clotting issues or in danger of stroke, including most people who had a heart attack or a myocardial infarction. Although affecting the respiratory system, the coronavirus has been associated with small blood vessel clotting, causing tiny blockages in the pulmonary blood system, leading to ARDS – acute respiratory distress syndrome. Israeli researchers reached similar results in a preliminary trial at the Barzilai Medical Center in March. In addition to its effect on blood clots, they found that aspirin carried immunological benefits and that the group taking it was 29% less likely to become infected with the virus in the first place.

Read more …

“But what they don’t realize is that I’m willing to go lose everything — job, paycheck, freedom, even my life for this cause.”

UCLA Doctor ‘Willing To Lose Everything’ Escorted From Work (SB)

An anesthesiologist at UCLA Health in California who has not shied away from airing his suspicions about COVID-19 vaccines was escorted out of his workplace this week for refusing to get vaccinated in defiance of a statewide and employer mandate, according to local reports and a video posted on Twitter. Dr. Christopher Rake is seen in a video appearing to record himself as another man escorts him out of the UCLA Medical Plaza in Westwood on Monday. “This is what happens when you stand up for freedom and when you show up to work, willing to work, despite being unvaccinated, and this is the price you have to pay sometimes,” Rake is heard saying in the video posted Tuesday by The Beverly Hills Courier staff writer Samuel Braslow. “But what they don’t realize is that I’m willing to go lose everything — job, paycheck, freedom, even my life for this cause.” Rake concludes his video with a message for viewers: “Be well. United we stand, divided we fall.”

Read more …

Lots of flight cancellations yesterday. Conflicting reports on the reasons behind those.

Southwest Pilots Union Sues To Block Airline’s Vaccination Mandate

In what appears to be one of the first cases of a union pushing back against the new COVID vaccination requirements handed down by the Biden Administration, a union representing pilots at Southwest Airlines is suing to stop the vaccine requirement from being forced until a lawsuit is resolved. Bloomberg reports that the union representing Southwest’s pilots has asked a court to grant a temporary stay against the federal vaccination rules until an ongoing lawsuit over what they allege are violations of US labor laws is resolved. In a court filing on Friday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association also asked for an immediate hearing on the request before a federal court in Dallas, claiming the carrier has continued to take unilateral actions that violate terms of the Railway Labor Act, which governs relations between airlines and employee unions.

The “unilateral action” in question is the company’s attempt (at the Biden Administration’s direction) to force workers to either get the jab, or be fired or sent on unpaid leave, Bloomberg reports. “The new vaccine mandate unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021,” the legal filing said. “Southwest Airlines’ additional new and unilateral modification of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is in clear violation of the RLA.” According to the guidelines set out by President Biden (and “voluntarily” embraced by most of the major airlines), Southwest has a deadline of Oct. 4 under the federal mandate for employees to get jabbed or have an approved medical or religious exemption. SW is affected by the mandate because it has contracts with the federal government (like many large businesses).

The union represents 9,000 pilots at the airline, and a strike could easily disrupt American air travel (remember the air traffic controllers strike in the 1980s?) For whatever reason, the airline isn’t backing down, insisting that the vaccination mandate (which airline CEOs have gone on TV to defend) isn’t an issue subject to labor-management negotiation, and that anybody who refuses the jab without an exemption will be fired. “The airline disagrees with SWAPA’s claims that any Covid-related changes over the past several months require negotiation,” Southwest said in an emailed statement. The carrier is committed to working with its unions “as we continue navigating the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic.”

Read more …

“..the available evidence shows us that there is absolutely no logical or legal basis for implementing these vaccine passports.”

UK Study Shows Vaccine Passports Will Lead to Rebellion (CCTH)

Instead of increasing vaccine acceptance, the implementation of vaccine passports could actually increase vaccine hesitancy. These are the findings of a recent study published as a pre-print in the Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine[1]. A summary of this study was written by Ken Macon and published on Reclaim the Net last September 1, 2021. The survey, which included 16,000 respondents, is the first quantitative assessment of the potential impact of vaccine passports on vaccination uptake. It was funded by the Merck Investigator Studies Program. The authors make the following conclusion in regard to vaccine passports: “We call for further evidence on the impact of vaccine certification on confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and in routine immunizations in wider global settings and, in particular, in countries with low overall trust in vaccinations or in authorities that administer or recommend vaccines.”

The survey was conducted in April 2021, as plans for the implementation of vaccine passports were already gaining traction. It was also around this same time when the first iterations of the (faulty) New York vax passports were being rolled out. We will remember that around this time, some publications were starting to talk about the ‘righteousness’ of vaccine passports while various health experts started raising their opposition to this plan. Was mainstream media starting to condition the masses to accept vaccine passports because they knew of this study? The vaccine passport or green pass has common goals: to limit the movements of those who will not submit to the injection and restrict participation in society. But the available evidence shows us that there is absolutely no logical or legal basis for implementing these vaccine passports.

1/ Vaccines cannot prevent infection and stop transmission. Even if everyone took the vaccine, infections will continue [indeed, we are already seeing evidences proving this, see Israel, once the model for beating COVID, now has one of the highest infections in the world; 75% of new COVID cases in Singapore are vaccinated; Countries with the highest vaccination rates also facing surge in COVID cases and deaths; World’s most vaccinated nation activates new lockdowns as cases rise, New COVID surge in 4 out of 5 top vaccinated countries in the world.] This means that COVID vaccines, if it works, cannot be used as a public health policy as it has no impact on public health.

2/However, based on the survey, there is a high probability of individuals from working classes of submitting to vaccine passports. It is not far-fetched to assume because they want to move around freely, especially those whose jobs require travel. CDC said on their website[2], do not travel internationally if you are not fully vaccinated, but why is Israel banned from other countries right now?

3/ Our immune system is robust, broad, and long-lasting. Immunity from vaccines pale in comparison to natural immunity.

Read more …

They just lost one of their “young global leaders” in Austria chancellor Kurz.

The WEF and the Pandemic (Swprs)

The Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) is a premier forum for governments, global corporations and international entrepreneurs. Founded in 1971 by engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, the WEF describes its mission as “shaping global, regional and industry agendas” and “improving the state of the world”. According to its website, “moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.” The WEF has been involved in the coronavirus pandemic in several ways. First, the WEF was, together with the Gates Foundation, a sponsor of the prescient “Event 201” coronavirus pandemic simulation exercise, held in New York City on October 18, 2019 – the same day as the opening of the Wuhan Military World Games, seen by some as “ground zero” of the global pandemic. China itself has argued that US military athletes may have brought the virus to Wuhan.

Second, the WEF has been a leading proponent of digital biometric identity systems, arguing that they will make societies and industries more efficient, more productive and more secure. In July 2019, the WEF started a project to “shape the future of travel with biometric-enabled digital traveler identity management”. In addition, the WEF collaborates with the ID2020 alliance, which is funded by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations and runs a program to “provide digital ID with vaccines”. In particular, ID2020 sees the vaccination of children as “an entry point for digital identity.” Third, WEF founder Klaus Schwab is the author of the book COVID-19: The Great Reset, published in July 2020, which argues that the coronavirus pandemic can and should be used for an “economic, societal, geopolitical, environmental and technological reset”, including, in particular, advancing global governance, accelerating digital transformation, and tackling climate change.

Finally, the WEF has been running, since 1993, a program called “Global Leaders for Tomorrow”, rebranded, in 2004, as “Young Global Leaders”. This program aims at identifying, selecting and promoting future global leaders in both business and politics. Indeed, quite a few “Young Global Leaders” have later managed to become Presidents, Prime Ministers, or CEOs (see below). During the coronavirus pandemic, several WEF Global Leaders and Global Shapers (a junior program of the Global Leaders) have played prominent roles, typically promoting zero-covid strategies, lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates. This may have been a (largely failed) attempt to protect public health and the economy, or it may have been an attempt to advance the global transformation agenda outlined above, or perhaps both.

WEF
https://twitter.com/i/status/1426753784315793411

Read more …

Both Assange and Donziger have heavily compromised female judges.

Steven Donziger Was Imprisoned by the 1 Percent’s Favorite Judge (Jac.)

The Donziger case isn’t the first time those connections created a conflict of interest for the judge. Back in 1995, three years after she had been approved for the court, Preska presided over a copyright case involving the Twin Cities–based West Publishing Company, despite her and her husbands’ connections to the firm. (Preska’s husband, Thomas Kavaler, is a nearly forty-year veteran of and partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, a top corporate law firm that specializes in the world of finance). It was only when pressed by one of the litigants, forcing her to admit relationships with two West employees, including a lawyer who was key to the case, that she recused herself.

Seventeen years later, Preska presided over the case of “hacktivist” Jeremy Hammond who was under trial for hacking into various law enforcement agencies and private security firms, including Strategic Forecasting Limited, or Stratfor, which counted the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security among its clients. As the hacking group Anonymous pointed out, and noted by almost no news outlets besides the likes of RT, Rolling Stone, or journalists like Chris Hedges, Preska’s husband was one of the Stratfor customers whose data had been hacked, and who would have been eligible for a payout from the multimillion-dollar class-action suit against the company that resulted. Sratfor had also spied on the Occupy Wall Street movement, a movement in direct opposition to Preska’s husband’s client base, and more than twenty of his firm’s clients had been caught up in the hack, including Merrill Lynch.

Despite this clear conflict of interest — and despite telling senators at her confirmation hearing decades before that “through my husband, I might be thought to have an indirect financial interest in the profits of the law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel” — Preska refused to recuse herself from the case. Doing so, she said, “would only encourage supporters of this defendant — or other defendants — to allege unsubstantiated conflicts of interest against any of my brothers and sisters of the Court until no judge remained qualified to hear his case.” With echoes of the Donziger case, Preska denied Hammond bail, leaving him in federal prison for a year, much of it spent in solitary confinement, before sentencing him to the maximum ten years in prison, citing a “need for adequate public deterrence.”

Read more …

This woman was obviously staged. By Schiff himself? He’s been silent since Russiagate, but now he’s got a book to sell.

“..harming children and destabilising democracy via the sharing of inaccurate and divisive content..”

“It’s just like cigarettes … teenagers don’t have good self-regulation.”

“..balkanising the public and deepening the divisions in our society”

Facebook Whistleblower Testimony Should Prompt New Oversight – Adam Schiff (G.)

Testimony in Congress this week by the whistleblower Frances Haugen should prompt action to implement meaningful oversight of Facebook and other tech giants, the influential California Democrat Adam Schiff told the Guardian in an interview to be published on Sunday. “I think we need regulation to protect people’s private data,” the chair of the House intelligence committee said. “I think we need to narrow the scope of the safe harbour these companies enjoy if they don’t moderate their contents and continue to amplify anger and hate. I think we need to insist on a vehicle for more transparency so we understand the data better.” Haugen, 37, was the source for recent Wall Street Journal reporting on misinformation spread by Facebook and Instagram, the photo-sharing platform which Facebook owns.

She left Facebook in May this year, but her revelations have left the tech giant facing its toughest questions since the Cambridge Analytica user privacy scandal. At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Haugen shared internal Facebook reports and argued that the social media giant puts “astronomical profits before people”, harming children and destabilising democracy via the sharing of inaccurate and divisive content. Haugen likened the appeal of Instagram to tobacco, telling senators: “It’s just like cigarettes … teenagers don’t have good self-regulation.” Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, said Haugen’s testimony might represent a “big tobacco” moment for the social media companies, a reference to oversight imposed despite testimony in Congress that their product was not harmful from executives whose companies knew that it was.

[..] Schiff was speaking to mark publication of a well-received new memoir, Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could. The Democrat played prominent roles in the Russia investigation and Donald Trump’s first impeachment. He now sits on the select committee investigating the deadly attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, by Trump supporters seeking to overturn his election defeat – an effort in part fueled by misinformation on social media. In his book, Schiff writes about asking representatives of Facebook and two other tech giants, Twitter and YouTube, if their “algorithms were having the effect of balkanising the public and deepening the divisions in our society”. Facebook’s general counsel in the 2017 hearing, Schiff writes, said: “The data on this is actually quite mixed.” “It didn’t seem very mixed to me,” Schiff says.

Read more …

Don’t think I’ve heard that term before.

‘Global Stilling’ Is Blamed As Wind Speeds Drop Across Europe (DM)

Industry experts are warning that climate change may have caused wind speeds in Europe to plummet this year in news that threatens to drive energy prices even higher. Long labelled as a saviour of the energy industry, wind farms have cropped up across the continent in recent years and have been billed a low-cost, renewable and dependable source of power. Increased dependence on green forms of energy has also been touted as a solution to Britain’s national gas crisis, amid soaring global prices and energy bills set to reach record-breaking levels. But weather modelling groups and academics appear to have quashed those hopes, as ever-increasing global temperatures are threatening to derail any prospective green energy revolution.

Experts are blaming a growing phenomenon known as ‘global stilling’ – whereby measurable wind speeds across the world’s continental surfaces have decreased by as much as 15 per cent since 1980. Atmosphere expert Professor Paul Williams, of the University of Reading, told the Financial Times that winds have ‘generally weakened over land over the past few decades’. He said one explanation for plummeting wind speeds could be ‘human-related climate change’, that would see poles warming ‘faster than tropics in lower atmosphere’ areas. Prof Williams said: ‘This would have the effect of weakening the mid-latitude north-south temperature difference and consequently reducing the thermal wind at low altitudes.’ Any significant fall in wind speed would be felt by Europe’s growing army of wind farms, as stronger gusts equate to more electricity being generated, up to a certain point.

With winds in the North Sea not blowing as they should, energy companies were left scrambling to source reserve gas to heat homes and businesses this winter. That rush caused energy costs to sky rocket, with British firms already warning they are having to slow production ahead of the winter months. As the crisis escalated, industry analysts suggested the current energy cap of £1,277 would rise by as much as £800, while energy firms slammed the cap as ‘not fit for purpose’. Compounding the issue, weather modelling group Vortex warned northern Europe has already endured speed decreases of up to 15 per cent in 2021. As a result, Britain’s wind-powered output as a total percentage of installed capacity hit just 11 per cent between February and March 2021. That amounted to the country’s longest spell of low wind in over a decade, reports the FT.

Read more …

No cooling: “Basic food items have now become a luxury..”

Lebanon’s Electricity Crisis Plunges Beirut, Country Into Darkness (MEE)

Wandering the streets of Beirut after sunset, car headlights are often the only thing breaking through the pitch-black night. The omnipresent sound of car engines during rush hour fades away at night, to be replaced by the buzz of generator engines, as if Beirut were a giant beehive. But instead of honey, the air of the city is thick with the smell of generator exhaust fumes. Like the rest of Lebanon, the country’s capital has been struck by acute fuel shortages, which have meant residents have had little, if any, state-supplied power for the past few months. Lebanon’s state electricity company, Electricite du Liban (EDL), warned in September that the country could plunge into a total blackout in October, amid dwindling fuel reserves, as the company is unable to generate the minimum 600 megawatts needed daily for the network to function properly.

On 3 October, EDL once again raised the alarm as the electrical grid shut down across the country – meaning residents of Lebanon are now entirely dependent on costly private generators for power, if they can even afford it. The electric grid shutdown comes amid an already devastating economic crisis blamed largely on decades of corruption and mismanagement by the ruling class, with the Lebanese currency losing over 90 percent of its value in less than two years. A new government was sworn in on 20 September, after more than a year of political paralysis, a development described by Prime Minister Najib Mikati as lighting “a candle in this hopeless darkness” – an ironic metaphor, given that the swearing-in process was delayed for several hours due to a power cut in parliament.

The dark nights, however, obscure the ways in which the absence of electricity transform daily life once the sun rises – and things are getting worse. Basic food items have now become a luxury, and what were once anecdotal details of life during the civil war have become a reality once again for many – with no end in sight.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rome

 

 

Paris
https://twitter.com/i/status/1446835091418796034

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime; donate with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

Oct 072021
 


M. C. Escher Order and chaos 1950

 

Covid-19 Response and the Tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (Amerling)
Reverse-transcribed SARS-CoV-2 RNA Can Integrate Into The Genome (Pnas)
New Lancet Study Confirms Plummeting Vaccine Effectiveness (DS)
GOP Senators Demand More Early Treatment Options For Covid-19 (JTN)
Sweden Halts Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For Younger Adults (RT)
And… Here We Go (Denninger)
Covid Commissars Financially Squeezing, Blackballing Dissenting Doctors (JTN)
Ontario Doctor Resigns Over Forced Vaccines And Falsehoods (LSN)
Mandatory Vaccination Is A Human Rights Violation (Spec.au)
Colorado Hospital Set To Deny Kidney Transplant For Unvaxxed Woman (ZH)
That Untraversed Land (Greer)
The Anonymous Executioners of the Corporate State (Hedges)
Key US Witness Against Assange Arrested in Iceland (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

The protected
https://twitter.com/i/status/1445681587547299851

 

 

Yellow badges

 

 

“If hundreds of thousands of patients die unnecessarily, their doctors will not be held responsible. “I was just following the guidelines” has replaced “I was just following orders.”

Covid-19 Response and the Tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (Amerling)

When the first wave of what was then known as the Wuhan virus hit in March-April 2020, medical attention was almost completely focused on management of the acutely ill patient. This was notable for its very high failure rate, particularly post-intubation. A handful of intrepid doctors, including Zev Zelenko in upstate NY and Didier Raoult in Marseille, France, addressed early outpatient treatment using repurposed existing drugs such as hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). These physicians achieved remarkable clinical results, but instead of being embraced and emulated, they were censored and harassed. As should now be obvious to even the most naïve, Pharma and other stakeholders had to suppress successful, cheap remedies to pave the way for the rollout of the “vaccines” that were already developed.

How was this accomplished? By using the tyranny of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). “These treatments are not evidence-based!” they screamed. “Where are the randomized controlled trials (RCTs)?” they demanded. Kind of hard to have RCT data on a brand new disease, but so what. The authorities had spoken. In their excellent book, Tarnished Gold: The Sickness of Evidence-Based Medicine, Steve Hickey and Hillary Roberts write: “EBM encourages totalitarian medicine. It is displacing the doctor-patient unit as the ultimate decision-making authority. Peer review is used as censorship. EBM is a self-referential closed system, where critical appraisal means checking whether a study conforms to its rules. So-called evidence-based medicine wrongly claims the authority of medical and scientific gold-standards. EBM repackages and uses concepts from legal proof, in an attempt to impose a medical dictatorship.”

EBM is a movement that began in the early 1990s with the noble intention of incorporating high quality research into clinical practice. Over the last 20 years, EBM has steadily replaced traditional medicine, which depended on understanding pathophysiology and pathology (i.e. basic science), along with careful patient management including following response to treatments. EBM was quickly hijacked by industry to promote the use of their products through clinical practice guidelines, which are based on little more than a consensus of “experts,” the majority of whom receive financial support from industry. Ironically, many guideline recommendations are based on low quality, or no evidence.

EBM arrogantly claims for itself the mantle of “science,” but is actually pseudoscientific. It relies heavily on studies of large populations and therefore statistics, which are inherently unreliable and easy to manipulate. The conceit of EBM is that the results of large population studies can and should be used to dictate treatment of individual patients. It exalts metanalyses, statistical compilations of many studies, that can be created to support almost any pre-conceived idea. The vast majority of physicians are unable to understand, let alone deconstruct, the statistics used in most studies. “Evidence” is not science. Evidence can always be found to support any hypothesis, no matter how absurd. Remember that according to the “evidence,” Paul McCartney has been dead since 1966!

Whoever controls the “evidence” controls “the science” and through the bogus and corrupt guideline process, controls clinical practice. EBM creates an arbitrary hierarchy of evidence, with RCTs and metanalyses at the top and clinical experience, insultingly called ‘anecdotes,’ at the bottom. This is absurd on its face. The logical conclusion is that clinical experience is not needed to practice medicine! Just buy a guideline cookbook and go out there and heal! Perhaps that’s where things are headed. Or perhaps we are already there. If hundreds of thousands of patients die unnecessarily, their doctors will not be held responsible. “I was just following the guidelines” has replaced “I was just following orders.”

Read more …

Yes, scary. Very.

Reverse-transcribed SARS-CoV-2 RNA Can Integrate Into The Genome (Pnas)

Continuous or recurrent positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR tests have been reported in samples taken from patients weeks or months after recovery from an initial infection. Although bona fide reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 after recovery has recently been reported, cohort-based studies with subjects held in strict quarantine after they recovered from COVID-19 suggested that at least some “re-positive” cases were not caused by reinfection. Furthermore, no replication-competent virus was isolated or spread from these PCR-positive patients, and the cause for the prolonged and recurrent production of viral RNA remains unknown. SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-stranded RNA virus.

Like other beta-coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus), SARS-CoV-2 employs an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase to replicate its genomic RNA and transcribe subgenomic RNAs. One possible explanation for the continued detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in the absence of virus reproduction is that, in some cases, DNA copies of viral subgenomic RNAs may integrate into the DNA of the host cell by a reverse transcription mechanism. Transcription of the integrated DNA copies could be responsible for positive PCR tests long after the initial infection was cleared. Indeed, nonretroviral RNA virus sequences have been detected in the genomes of many vertebrate species with several integrations exhibiting signals consistent with the integration of DNA copies of viral mRNAs into the germline via ancient long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) retrotransposons.

Furthermore, nonretroviral RNA viruses such as vesicular stomatitis virus or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) can be reverse transcribed into DNA copies by an endogenous reverse transcriptase (RT), and DNA copies of the viral sequences have been shown to integrate into the DNA of host cells.

Read more …

47% after five months. Better get back in that jab line.

New Lancet Study Confirms Plummeting Vaccine Effectiveness (DS)

A study appeared in the Lancet this week confirming that vaccine effectiveness against infection is fading fast. The study involved 3,436,957 people over the age of 12 who are members of the healthcare organisation Kaiser Permanente Southern California. It sought to assess the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospital admissions for up to six months, with a study period covering December 14th 2020 to August 8th 2021. Comparing fully vaccinated to unvaccinated, and controlling for confounders such as prior infection, the researchers found that effectiveness against infection plummeted from 88% (95% confidence interval 86-89%) during the first month after double-vaccination to 47% (43-51%) after five months. The variation by age (depicted above) was largely within the margins of error.

Among sequenced infections, the researchers found vaccine effectiveness against Delta infection was 93% (85-97%) during the first month after double-vaccination but dropped to 53% (39-65%) after four months. Effectiveness against infection from other variants the first month after double-vaccination was 97% (95-99%), but declined to 67% (45-80%) at 4-5 months. Vaccine effectiveness against hospital admissions for Delta infection held up at around 93% (84-96%) for the six months across all ages. However, the researchers note that the latest data from Israel “suggests that some reduction in effectiveness against hospital admissions has been observed among older people (65 years and over) roughly six months after receiving the second dose of [Pfizer]”.

One question that’s arisen recently is to what extent vaccine effectiveness estimates are affected by whether more people who have been previously infected decide not to be vaccinated. According to this study the answer is: not very much at all. Among the unvaccinated, 2.3% had one or more previous positive PCR tests, only slightly more than the 2% of the double-vaccinated who did.

Read more …

“..NIH’s ongoing compassionless guideline of doing virtually nothing until COVID-19 patients are so sick they require hospitalization..”

GOP Senators Demand More Early Treatment Options For Covid-19 (JTN)

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and 21 other Republicans are pressuring the Biden Administration to offer more early treatment options for COVID-19 to the American Public. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have not only ignored potential early treatments, but at times seem to have participated in an aggressive campaign against the use of specific early treatment options,” the group’s letter to officials stated. The letter was addressed to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration.

“Even though a basic tenet of medicine is: early detection allows for early treatment which produces better results; your agencies have overtly discouraged the use of cheap and widely-available early treatments like ivermectin in favor of expensive new drugs like Remdesivir (which costs more than $3,000 per treatment),” the letter said. The group charged that the Administration a “strong bias” against ivermectin and “other potential early treatment drugs.” The letter from the Republican senators comes as the Biden administration started capping how many doses of antibody treatments it would be giving to states.

“We strongly believe you should explain to the American people why your agencies have failed to sufficiently examine and ensure access to a growing list of drugs being used by doctors who have had the courage to ignore NIH’s ongoing compassionless guideline of doing virtually nothing until COVID-19 patients are so sick they require hospitalization,” the group wrote. Sen. Johnson previously held two hearings on early treatment of COVID-19.

Read more …

Sweden: people under 30. Denmark: people under 18.

Do they really think no-one will notice?

Sweden Halts Use Of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For Younger Adults (RT)

The Swedish Public Health Agency has decided to suspend offering Moderna’s Covid vaccine to anyone born in 1991 and later for precautionary reasons, citing the slightly increased risk of heart inflammation following inoculation. On Wednesday, the agency issued a statement announcing that it will pause dishing out Moderna’s jab, marketed as Spikevax, to people under 30. Instead, the Comirnaty vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech will be offered to this age group. Announcing the suspension, the agency said data pointed to an “increased incidence” of heart inflammation diseases myocarditis and pericarditis – mainly in younger men and adolescent boys – “in connection with vaccination against Covid-19.”


The notice stated that “new preliminary analysis from Swedish and Nordic data sources indicate that the connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose.” Younger Swedes who have already received their first dose of the paused jab, estimated to be around 81,000 people, will now be unable to receive the second shot of that vaccine as per its usual delivery regimen. The health agency said it was looking for the best alternative to offer this group. Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, said that those who have been vaccinated recently, either with their first or second jab, should not worry about the risk, noting that it is very small. He added though that Swedes should be vigilant for symptoms of the two inflammatory conditions. Nordic neighbor Denmark also stopped the use of Spikevax on Wednesday, although only for minors under 18, citing similar concerns of rare side effects such as myocarditis.

Read more …

So you take that difference between 18 and 30 years above, and then ask: what age are most people in the army?

And… Here We Go (Denninger)

Ah, the rumor is real. “STOCKHOLM, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Sweden will pause the use of Moderna’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine for people born 1991 and later after reports of possible rare side effects, such as myocarditis, the Swedish health agency said on Wednesday. The health agency said data pointed to an increase of myocarditis and pericarditis among youths and young adults that had been vaccinated.” That’s anyone under 30 years old. Ok folks, how many people did we screw here in the US with mandates, with “strong recommendations” and similar?


How many businesses, along with all of their directors and officers need to be completely destroyed as a consequence of mandates? Oh, and what percentage of the MILITARY active duty are under 30? Threatened with a dishonorable discharge for refusal to put your cardiac health at risk of permanent harm eh? Note that Sweden previously approved the Moderna shot for anyone over 12. That turns out to be wrong. They claim the risk of being affected is “very small.” Would you quantify “very small” please? No? Gee, why not? Incidentally on the data that we have available the Pfizer jab, which Sweden is still willing to use in young people, also has the same potential adverse effect.

Read more …

“[M]erely drawing different conclusions based on consideration of scientific evidence does not render the Vaccine Policy arbitrary and irrational..”

It should make it subject of discussion. And that’s what’s being suppressed.

Covid Commissars Financially Squeezing, Blackballing Dissenting Doctors (JTN)

Medical professionals are facing threats to their careers and livelihoods for challenging COVID-19 orthodoxy, while an oft-censored Harvard Medical School professor is facing his latest Big Tech kerfuffle. The University of California put psychiatrist and bioethics professor Aaron Kheriaty on “investigatory leave” after he sued the university system for refusing to recognize natural immunity such as his among exemptions to its COVID vaccine mandate. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Kheriaty had previously invoked the post-Nazi Nuremberg code in urging universities to abandon their mandates. In his personal newsletter Wednesday, Kheriaty said he’ll lose half his income while on so-called paid leave, because he’s banned from “seeing my patients, supervising resident clinics, and engaging in weekend and holiday on-call duties.”

His contract also bans him from working as a physician outside the UC system to recoup his revenue loss. “The University may be hoping this pressure will lead me to resign ‘voluntarily,’ which would remove grounds for my lawsuit,” Kheriaty wrote. UC’s action came a day after a court refused to issue a preliminary injunction, functionally declaring a draw between each party’s scientific arguments about different forms of immunity and what risk vaccination poses for the recovered. “[M]erely drawing different conclusions based on consideration of scientific evidence does not render the Vaccine Policy arbitrary and irrational,” U.S. District Judge James Selna wrote. Protecting “a campus community of more than half a million students, faculty, and staff from a deadly infectious disease … far outweighs any harm Kheriaty may face” from choosing between vaccination or his job.

The only remaining defendant now is UC President Michael Drake, after Kheriaty agreed to drop the regents this week. The professor disclosed he filed another natural immunity federal lawsuit last week, this time against California’s vaccine mandate for health professionals. Just the News couldn’t find that lawsuit in the docket, and Kheriaty didn’t respond to a request to share it or explain how his investigatory leave may affect his UC lawsuit, such as a new retaliation claim. Canadian physician Charles Hoffe has also lost half his income while under investigation for sharing government data on the COVID recovery rate with patients, who are mostly First Nations members, according to his lawyers at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).

British Columbia’s Interior Health Authority had already warned Hoffe to stop promoting “vaccine hesitancy” after it learned he had been telling colleagues about his patients’ adverse reactions to the Moderna vaccine — one death and nine “disabling long-term side-effects.” A dozen European countries had pulled the AstraZeneca vaccine around that time for its association with blood clots, and Hoffe’s own investigation found “strong evidence” his patients had the same problems. A provincial health official referred Hoffe to a vaccine safety specialist who dismissed his concerns as “coincidences,” according to JCCF.

Read more …

How does this improve health care? 1000s of professionals are being thrown out.

Ontario Doctor Resigns Over Forced Vaccines And Falsehoods (LSN)

Dr. Rochagné Kilian recently resigned as an emergency room and family practice physician due to her concerns that the Ontario health system and Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS) crossed ethical lines throughout the pandemic. In a virtual meeting that included GBHS CEO Gary Sims and other staff members, Dr. Kilian asked Sims a series of questions about what she believes is unethical behaviour on behalf of the Ontario health system at all levels. Sims appeared to be unprepared for difficult questions pertaining to the ongoing rollout of vaccination mandates and vaccine segregation restrictions the Ontario heath system is championing. Kilian estimated that 80 percent of the patients she saw in the ER during the past month who had inexplicable symptoms were “double vaxxed.”

Dr. Kilian relocated to Owen Sound – a small city in Grey County, Ontario – from South Africa after previously working in British Columbia. When she resettled in Owen Sound with her family, she expressed to a local paper how happy she was to live there: “Our recruitment to Owen Sound might have been by chance, but our choice to settle here was definitely not. Our four months in Owen Sound have been blessed. A little town with lots of soul, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, filled with welcoming residents and businesses, and exciting festivals, programs and activities. We truly feel fortunate to raise a family here.”

The first issue that Dr. Kilian brought up during the meeting was informed consent regarding the COVID jab and what she considered to be a coercive mentality of pressuring people to accept medications that she pointed out are still in “clinical trials.” An GBHS administrator did not answer her question directly, but instead passed the buck to the provincial government and stated they do not have “oversight or input” regarding consent mechanisms presented to patients. Kilian added that having more input into what patients are consenting to is something that GBHS “should consider,” especially in light of enacting the government-recommended vaccination mandates with their own staff. Referring to informed consent and mandating experimental vaccines that been linked to thousands of deaths and injuries, Sims explained that because of the “pandemic,” certain procedural normalities will not take place.

[..] Dr. Kilian pressed Sims about claims that protocols of informed consent can be skirted due to an emergency, and clarified that the Tri-Council Policy Statement stipulates that an emergency situation does not warrant skirting protocols that protect the population from being put at risk due to medical experimentation. The Tri-Council Policy Statement is a Canadian guideline for the ethical conduct of research involving humans and/or human biological materials. As the vaccinations are still technically under experimental trial, they are being implemented under a research-based framework on the population.

It was Kilian’s opinion that the ethical framework is being ignored, thus health workers and citizens are being forced to take something against their will that is not proven to be safe or effective in the long term, as a result of vaccination mandates. Sims reacted sharply to Kilian and said, “Nobody is forcing you to do this, you have a right to say no, but the reality is the government has the right to say that you’re not employed.” “When the law looks at it, the law is saying you have the right to do it [enforcing vaccine mandates],” he added.

Read more …

“Conscription didn’t end because it was a breach of human rights, it ended because the public pressure was just too much.”

Mandatory Vaccination Is A Human Rights Violation (Spec.au)

Mandating or coercing COVID vaccination is one of the most important civil liberties issues of my lifetime. It’s a fundamental breach of human rights allegedly guaranteed by a number of international conventions and Australian law, as well as our long tradition of liberal democracy. Nowhere is the legal case against put more clearly than in a judgment of the Fair Work Commission published on Monday. It says, in a dissenting judgment, that because the vaccines are part of a clinical trial, coercing someone to take them breaches The Nuremburg Code, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Siracusa Principles.

The judgement also holds that vaccine mandates also breach Australian law as the Australian Human Right Commission Act 1986 (Cth) gives effect to Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 7 which provides “…no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation”. So the issue isn’t whether it is a breach, but how great a breach, and whether that will have any practical consequences. In my view, it is in the top tier of breaches – much worse than infringements on free speech, but not as bad as conscripting someone to war (the most serious breach I have seen). Unlike many abuses of human rights, in this case there are physical risks and benefits to taking the vaccines, some of which are “known unknowns”, or perhaps even “unknown unknowns” to borrow Donald Rumsfeld’s taxonomy of knowledge.

However, on “known knowns”, the US CDC estimates, using the VAERS database that the risk of death is .021 per thousand. That would be 525 deaths from the vaccine if everyone in Australia was vaccinated. And for what? We also know that a percentage of those vaccinated will also die from COVID. Another way of measuring the severity is to ask what individual Australians will put at risk to avoid the vax. The answer to that is that thousands have protested on the streets, risking fines in the thousands, and others are about to protest silently by losing their jobs and livelihoods, a price greater than any of the current fines.

What that adds up to one can only guess, but it will be significant, not only to the individuals but to the country as well as expertise is taken out of the system, perhaps never to return. Of particular concern must be that a significant proportion of these are health professionals. This will increase the stress on our hospitals at the moment when they are likely to be hit by a wave of illness from the Delta wave. In the end, the individual will is more important than the legalities. Conscription didn’t end because it was a breach of human rights, it ended because the public pressure was just too much.

Read more …

The sheer insanity. Move to a red state?!

Colorado Hospital Set To Deny Kidney Transplant For Unvaxxed Woman (ZH)

Now that vaccines are widely available and 56% of the US population is vaccinated (significantly missing President Biden’s Jul. 4 target of 70%), a little less than half of the country is unvaxxed and subjected to shocking and dehumanizing discrimination, making life very stressful. Across the country, the hot-button subject entering the fall is COVID vaccination passes for restaurants and football stadiums in certain cities, counties, and or even states. This has made life painful for the unvaxxed (as planned by the administration) who can’t go to their favorite eatery or cheer on their favorite sports team. However, the latest discrimination story of an unvaxxed person is terrifying.

A Colorado woman with stage 5 kidney failure is scrambling to find a new hospital because she and her donor are unvaxxed, and the hospital system has given them 30 days to get vaccinated or be taken off the transplant list. UCHealth, a healthcare system headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, adopted new transplant rules requiring patients to be fully vaccinated. “Here I am, willing to be a direct donor to her. It does not affect any other patient on the transplant list,” Jaimee Fougner, Leilani Lutali’s kidney donor, told Colorado-based news station CBS4. “How can I sit here and allow them to murder my friend when I’ve got a perfect kidney and can save her life?” Fougner said.

Lutali received a letter from UCHealth last week explaining she and Fougner had until the end of October to begin the vaccine process, or they would be removed from the transplant list. “I said I’ll sign a medical waiver. I have to sign a waiver anyway for the transplant itself, releasing them from anything that could possibly go wrong,” said Lutali. “It’s surgery, it’s invasive. I sign a waiver for my life. I’m not sure why I can’t sign a waiver for the COVID shot.” In August, UCHealth told Lutali that being vaxxed wouldn’t be a requirement for the surgery. “At the end of August, they confirmed that there was no COVID shot needed at that time,” she said. “Fast forward to Sept. 28. That’s when I found out. Jamie learned they have this policy around the COVID shot for both for the donor and the recipient.”

Read more …

“If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude..”

That Untraversed Land (Greer)

I think that in retrospect, the decision to lock down entire societies to stop the coronavirus will end up in the history books as one of the most spectacular blunders ever committed by a ruling class. Partly, of course, the lockdowns didn’t work—look at graphs of case numbers over time from places that locked down vs. places that didn’t, and you’ll find that locking down societies and putting millions of people out of work didn’t do a thing to change the size and duration of the outbreak. Partly, the economic damage inflicted by the lockdowns would have taken years to heal even if the global industrial economy wasn’t already choking on excessive debt and running short of a galaxy of crucial raw materials. But there’s more to it than that.

If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude, in which they can think about what they want out of life and how little of it they’re getting from the role you want them to play. It’s an especially bad idea to do it so that they have no way of knowing when, or if, they will ever be allowed to return to their former lives, thus forcing them to look for other options in order to stay fed, clothed, housed, and the like. (We can set aside the question of vaccine mandates for now—that’s another kettle of fish—but of course those feed into this same effect.)

So there’s a labor shortage, and it’s concentrated in exactly those jobs that are most essential to keeping the economy running. These are also the jobs most likely to have lousy pay and worse conditions. This isn’t accidental. It unfolds from one of the most pervasive and least discussed features of contemporary economic life: the metastatic growth of intermediation. Let’s unpack that phrase a bit. The simplest of all economic exchanges takes place between two people, each of whom has something the other wants. They make an exchange, and both go off happy. If what one of the people brings to the exchange is labor, and the other person brings something the first person wants or needs in exchange for labor, we call that “employment,” and the first person is an employee and the second an employer, but it’s still a simple exchange.

So long as there’s no overt or covert coercion involved on either side, it’s a fair trade. What happens as a society becomes more complex, however, is that people insert themselves into that transaction and demand a cut. Governments—national, local, and everything in between—tax income, sales, and everything else they can think of. Banks charge interest and fees on every scrap of money that passes through their hands. Real estate owners drive up the cost of land so that they can take an ever larger share of the proceeds in rent and mortgage payments. Then you have a long line of other industries lobbying government for their share of the take.

Read more …

“He has ordered me to pay millions to Chevron to cover their legal fees in attacking me, and then he let Chevron go into my bank accounts and take all my life’s savings because I did not have the funds to cover these costs. Chevron still has a pending motion to order me to pay them an additional $32 [million] in legal fees..”

The Anonymous Executioners of the Corporate State (Hedges)

Donziger and his lawyers have two weeks to appeal the judge’s order that Donziger be sent immediately to jail. Preska denied Donziger bail claiming he is a flight risk. If the Federal Court of Appeals turns down Donziger’s appeal he will go to jail for six months. The irony, not lost on Donziger and his lawyers, is that the higher court may overturn Preska’s ruling against him, but by the time that decision is made he will potentially have already spent six months in jail. “What Judge Preska is trying to do is force me to serve the entirety of my sentence before the appellate court can rule,” Donziger told me by phone on Monday. “If the appellate court rules in my favor, I will still have served my sentence, although I am innocent in the eyes of the law.”

Donziger, his lawyers have pointed out, is the first person under U.S. law charged with a “B” misdemeanor to be placed on home confinement, prior to trial, with an ankle monitor. He is the first person charged with any misdemeanor to be held under home confinement for over two years. He is the first attorney ever to be charged with criminal contempt over a discovery dispute in a civil case where the attorney went into voluntary contempt to pursue an appeal. He is the first person to be prosecuted under Rule 42 (criminal contempt) by a private prosecutor with financial ties to the entity and industry that was a litigant in the underlying civil dispute that gave rise to the orders. He is the first person tried by a private prosecutor who had ex parte communications with the charging judge while that judge remained (and remains) unrecused on the criminal case.

“No lawyer in New York for my level of offense ever has served more than 90 days and that was in home confinement,” Donziger told the court. “I have now been in home confinement eight times that period of time. I have been disbarred without a hearing where I have been unable to present factual evidence; thus, I am unable to earn an income in my profession. I have no passport. I can’t travel; can’t do human rights work the normal way which I believe I am reasonably good at; can’t see my clients in Ecuador; can’t visit the affected communities to hear the latest news of cancer deaths or struggles to maintain life in face of constant exposure to oil pollution. In addition, and this is little known, Judge [Lewis A.] Kaplan has imposed millions and millions of dollars of fines and courts costs on me. [Kaplan is the judge for Chevron’s lawsuit against Donziger; Preska is his handpicked judge for the contempt charges.]

He has ordered me to pay millions to Chevron to cover their legal fees in attacking me, and then he let Chevron go into my bank accounts and take all my life’s savings because I did not have the funds to cover these costs. Chevron still has a pending motion to order me to pay them an additional $32 [million] in legal fees. That’s where things stand today. I ask you humbly: might that be enough punishment already for a Class B misdemeanor?”

Read more …

“..a “rarely invoked” law that allows police in Iceland to detain someone considered to be in the middle of crime spree..”

Key US Witness Against Assange Arrested in Iceland (Lauria)

A key U.S. witness in the conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charge against imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who earlier this year admitted to fabricating evidence he gave to the FBI, has been arrested in Iceland, according to a report in the Icelandic newsmagazine Stundin. Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson was arrested in Reykjavík on Sept. 24 after returning from Spain under a “rarely invoked” law that allows police in Iceland to detain someone considered to be in the middle of crime spree, Stundin reported. Thordarson “was brought before a judge after police requested indefinite detention intended to halt an ongoing crime spree. The judge apparently agreed that Thordarson’s repeated, blatant and ongoing offences against the law put him at high risk for continued re-offending,” Stundin said.

Thordarson admitted in an interview with Stundin last month that he was engaged in ongoing criminal activity. Thordarson admitted in an earlier interview with Stundin in June that he lied to the FBI about Assange directly ordering hacking operations — a key element of the U.S. computer charge against the WikiLeaks founder. Thordarson was granted immunity by the FBI against prosecution in exchange for becoming an FBI informant in a sting against WikiLeaks in 2010. It is not clear if Thordarson recanting his testimony is related to his recent arrest. In his September interview Thordarson said the FBI promised not to reveal to Icelandic authorities any crimes he committed in Iceland in exchange for his cooperation.

Stundin reported: “It is not clear to what extent the Icelandic authorities were informed about these arrangements, if at all. Indeed Thordarson claims he was assured by the FBI that no information would be shared with the Icelandic police about crimes he committed in Iceland, particularly the hacking attempts against Icelandic institutions. Siggi: ‘My worry was that if I told them who was hacked and how, like Landsvirkjun and the government’s website and all that, I would become a target of Icelandic authorities.’ Reporter: ‘Why?’ Siggi: “Eventually I asked if they [Icelandic authorities] would get access to the data I talked about and they [the FBI] just said no, that would never happen. That was the only discussion I had with the FBI about Icelandic authorities.’” But Thordarson also said if he lied to the FBI the immunity deal would be off.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Celente

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime; donate with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

Oct 022021
 
 October 2, 2021  Posted by at 7:26 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  61 Responses »


M. C. Escher The Tower of Babel 1928

 

Molnupiravir: Coding For Catastrophe (Nature)
Molnupiravir Faces Execution Obstacles (CTA)
The Vaccine Death Report (Zelenko et al)
You CAN’T Use ‘Cases’ (Denninger)
In a Dark Wood (Kunstler)
Hospitals Should Hire, Not Fire, Nurses with Natural Immunity (Kulldorff)
72% Of Black NYC Residents Are Banned From Entering Restaurants (Fed.)
Fauci Confronted About CDC Claims About “Breakthrough” Infections (ZH)
Myocarditis in VAERS Linked To Covid-19 Injectable Biological Products (SD)
Fully Vaccinated Harvard Business School Shuts Down After Covid Outbreak (TE)
Newsom Makes Vaccines Mandatory For All School Children In California (PM)
Supreme Court Rejects NYC Teachers’ Request To Stop Vaccine Mandate (JTN)
The Looming Energy Crisis: People Are Going To Die This Winter (Blain)
The US Found A ‘Lawful’ Way To Disappear Assange (Cook)

 

 

Pierre Kory:

Merck’s news today is great since patients will have early Rx but also sad given the high cost and lives lost compared to IVM.

Molnupiravir=47% reduction in hospitalization/death while IVM=88% reduction.

 

 

Delta?

 

 

Palast

 

 

Published: 13 September 2021

Molnupiravir: Coding For Catastrophe (Nature)

Molnupiravir, a wide-spectrum antiviral that is currently in phase 2/3 clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19, is proposed to inhibit viral replication by a mechanism known as ‘lethal mutagenesis’. Two recently published studies reveal the biochemical and structural bases of how molnupiravir disrupts the fidelity of SARS-CoV-2 genome replication and prevents viral propagation by fostering error accumulation in a process referred to as ‘error catastrophe’. Despite the reprieve from COVID-19 granted by vaccination programs, SARS-CoV-2 continues to ravage many communities worldwide. Vaccine shortages, public hesitancy and the emergence of new virus variants have hindered public health efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 is likely to become endemic1, leading to the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants and reinforcing the need to develop antiviral therapeutic agents. Molnupiravir (MK-4482, EIDD-2801) is a candidate antiviral that inhibits viral propagation through lethal mutagenesis by introducing errors in the viral genome. The biochemical and structural basis of how molnupiravir induces lethal mutagenesis has remained largely unexplored. Recently, Götte and colleagues reported biochemical results exploring the antiviral activity of molnupiravir and provided a compelling model to explain the mutagenic patterns observed in coronaviruses exposed to molnupiravir in cell culture2. In this issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Cramer and colleagues further our understanding of this process by providing biochemical and structural data that reveal how molnupiravir introduces transition mutations into the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Together, the two studies offer complementary and comprehensive views of the mechanism of lethal mutagenesis and provide a platform for rational drug design.

Read more …

January 2021. “..molnupiravir could be metabolised into a precursor of DNA ..”

Molnupiravir Faces Execution Obstacles (CTA)

Ridgeback Biotherapeutics/Merck’s Phase IIa molnupiravir is attractive for outpatient and recently hospitalised Covid-19 patients due to its mechanism and oral administration, experts said. However, many trial success blind spots persist, limiting efficacy judgment, they added. Encouraging preclinical data is yet to translate into humans, and there is potential for lingering severe side effects due to molnupiravir’s mutagenic mechanism, experts noted. While targeting Covid-19 patients in the earlier part of the disease spectrum is logical, the trial designs may blur molnupiravir’s clinical value, they said. In July 2020, Miami, Florida-based Ridgeback and Merck announced they had partnered to advance molnupiravir in Covid-19.

[..]Comparing molnupiravir and Veklury may be inappropriate as they are intended for different patients, Brown added. Veklury is FDA approved in hospitalised patients, although it has a wider emergency use authorisation. Even if molnupiravir is only as potent as Veklury, its oral formulation will boost its clinical value, as it could be used by more people, Shafer said. As much as 80% of all Covid-19 cases are either asymptomatic or mild, with only 20% of patients sick enough to be hospitalised, added Dr Yvonne Maldonado, professor, infectious diseases in pediatrics and health research and policy, Stanford University, California, and a Phase II Avigan trial investigator in asymptomatic or mild Covid-19 patients. Another oral Covid-19 therapy under investigation is Fujifilm Toyama Chemical’s Avigan (favirpiravir), which is also an oral mutagen, Shafer said, but added Avigan’s preclinical and clinical data in Covid-19 are underwhelming so far.

Due to limited data with highly active viral mutagens like molnupiravir, there is concern its mechanism would negatively impact the host, leading to side effects, Swanstrom said. When considering widespread deployment, toxicity is a major issue, said Dr Saye Khoo, professor, pharmacology and therapeutics, University of Liverpool, UK. How it is utilised will depend on its overall toxicity data, added Khoo, who is studying molnupiravir in a Phase I/II basket trial investigating various Covid-19 treatments.

Side effect concerns have been raised about whether molnupiravir could be metabolised into a precursor of DNA, Swanstrom said, explaining it could enter the host cell nucleus, leading to oncogenesis. Mitochondrial toxicity with such a mechanism has been raised in previous investigations in hepatitis B and HIV, added an investigator in a Covid-19 trial recruiting outpatients and recently hospitalised patients. In the 20-day Phase I molnupiravir trial recruiting healthy volunteers, 93.3% of adverse events were mild, with one patient discontinuing due to rash (Painter, W., et al., Medrxiv. 14 December. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.10.20235747).

Molnupiravir is only used in the short term, twice-daily for five days, as opposed to chronic use, Shafer added. Polymerase inhibitor side effects have improved over the years, and while mutagen side effects were a concern in early development in HIV, they have eased in available hepatitis treatments, Brown added. However, due to the need for longer-term safety data, molnupiravir may be limited to patients at high risk of developing severe disease, Swanstrom said.

Read more …

“..the British Office for National Statistics inadvertently revealed that 30,305 people have died within 21 days of having the injection, during the first 6 months of 2021.”

The Vaccine Death Report (Zelenko et al)

In The Netherlands, one of the smallest nations in the European Union, an extraparliamentary research commitee set up a platform for citizens to report vaccine adverse events. This is no initiative from the government and has received no attention whatsoever in the media. The vast majority of the Dutch population is therefore unaware of its existence. Yet, dispite its narrow scope of influence, this private initiative has already received reports of 1,600 deaths and 1,200 health damages, often permanently disabling the people. 3 What if the entire vaccinated population knew about this platform and filed a report? And what if this was also available in the other E.U. countries, that are much larger than The Netherlands?

UK: Shortly before the national vaccination campaign started, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) published the following request: ‘The MHRA urgently seeks an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software tool to process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reaction (ADRs) and ensure that no details from the ADRs’ reaction text are missed.’ The British government published a report of the first series of adverse events, including blindness, strokes, miscarriages, heart failure, paralysis, auto immune disease, and more. Shortly after the first wave of immunization over 100,000 adverse events were reported, including 1260 cases of loss of eyesight (including total blindness). The first part of the report praises the vaccines to be the best way to protect people from COVID-19, and then continues to show the incredible destruction these vaccines are causing. The hypocrisy is mindboggling. Also in the United Kingdom the number of miscarriages increased by 366% in only six weeks, for vaccinated mothers.

Furthermore the British Office for National Statistics inadvertently revealed that 30,305 people have died within 21 days of having the injection, during the first 6 months of 2021. And a British scientist with 35 years of experience did an in depth analysis of the British Yellow Card reporting system and found it to be unreliable. ‘We can conclude that the Yellow Card reporting scheme can provide some limited information that may be useful for alerting the UK public to possible adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. However, the initial conception of the scheme as a purely descriptive rather than as an experimental undertaking means that it cannot address the real issues that are of crucial importance to the UK public. These issues are whether there are causal relationships between vaccination with the PF and AZ vaccines and serious adverse effects such as death, and if so, what are the size of these effects.’

Read more …

3 more months of PCR in the US. And what then?

You CAN’T Use ‘Cases’ (Denninger)

Not one lab has ever returned Ct numbers to the tested person. Not even in Florida, where DeSantis issued an Executive Order requiring it. Was there ever any enforcement of that? No. Why did we know this was entirely bogus? Simple: On the CDC’s own math the fall surge — which turned into the Winter Disaster — was epidemiologically impossible. Specifically, look at their mean ratio of infections to case counts and you see the problem; at 6x enough people had the virus for there be no surge. But there was. By the summer this was even more beclowned as on that same data everyone had been infected. But…. there was a surge. Do remember the admitted truth on PCR: A Ct test of 35 or more almost never results in culturable virus.


It breaks down something like this:
Ct<20 = Nearly always you can culture virus.
Ct25 = 50 – 70% of the time you can culture virus.
Ct30 = ~25-30% of the time you can culture virus.
Ct35 = ~4-8% of the time you can culture virus.
Ct40 = Statistically never can you culture virus.

Why is this important? Many people have claimed that viral debris from your infection still means you had it, thus, positive is positive. Nope. This is the worst sort of fraud. At very high Ct numbers the debris could be from contamination at the lab, or between samples. But it could also be from your prior, non-Covid-19 immunity and anyone who is even slightly competent in understanding the immune system knows it. The virus enters through the nose and mouth. The upper respiratory tract is where it first gets into cells — if it gets into cells. Your body has a bevvy of defensive mechanisms to prevent that from happening. Remember that unlike bacteria a virus cannot replicate outside of a living cell. The mucosa in your mouth and nose is not alive. The cells under it are, but it is not.

So if a virus lands in your nose but never gets through the mucosa it will register positive on a PCR test — because it is positive — if the Ct is cranked up high enough. Technically you “got” the virus (you “caught” it) but you were never infected. It is certainly true that some of the people who are “positive” with high Ct numbers are infected and you got them “early”; they will go on to have clinical disease and, if you test them again you will get another positive in a day or two with a much lower Ct. But nobody does that. In addition exactly zero health departments have validated their claimed “infected” counts by coming back to those people with a $5 antibody test two weeks later and looking for IgA, IgM and/or IgG antibodies. IgA may be present and both IgM and likely a weak read of IgG will be present if the person was actually infected at that time. If only IgG is present that infection was not Covid-19; they previously were infected and you lied; their body beat off the incipient infection without impact.

Read more …

“..large numbers of health care workers getting kicked out of their jobs will only make it more difficult to care for patients..”

In a Dark Wood (Kunstler)

In upstate New York, WNYT-TV reported yesterday that 200 employees of Albany Med, a large, regional teaching hospital, are placed on seven day’s unpaid leave prior to getting fired for refusing the vaccine. Andrew Cuomo’s replacement, new Governor Kathy Hochul, has blocked unemployment benefits for fired nurses and technicians if they persist in evading the vax. Doctors are included in the mix, too. Of course, large numbers of health care workers getting kicked out of their jobs will only make it more difficult to care for patients — with Covid or any other health problem — so how does this policy help anyone? (Unless you consider that, with fewer staff on-duty, fewer Covid in-patients will be subjected to the medical malpractice of being placed on ventilators and treated with the killer drug Remdesivir.)


Not only has effective early treatment with other drugs been banned from the official medical standards-of-practice across the USA, but mere talk about it has been banned, notably by Google’s YouTube app. This coercion of health care workers is going on all over the country, of course, not just in New York state. These nurses and techs have been working around Covid patients for going on two years, and many of them have gotten the disease, with symptoms or without, conferring natural immunity. So, what is the point of forcing the vaxes on them? It is also a fact that vaccinated people are susceptible to catching the disease, and that, in any case, the vaccinated carry heavier viral loads than the un-vaxed, making them more efficient spreaders. It is also a fact that mass vaccination in the midst of a pandemic promotes the mutation of new variant viruses that increasingly are not affected by the vaccines.

Read more …

“By instituting vaccine mandates, university hospitals are now also questioning the existence of natural immunity after Covid disease. This is astonishing.”

Hospitals Should Hire, Not Fire, Nurses with Natural Immunity (Kulldorff)

Among many surprising developments during this pandemic, the most stunning has been the questioning of naturally acquired immunity after a person has had the Covid disease. We have understood natural immunity since at least the Athenian Plague in 430 BC. Here is Thucydides: ‘Yet it was with those who had recovered from the disease that the sick and the dying found most compassion. These knew what it was from experience and had no fear for themselves; for the same man was never attacked twice—never at least fatally.’ – Thucydides We have lived with endemic coronaviruses for at least a hundred years, for which we have long-lasting natural immunity. As expected, we also have natural immunity after Covid-19 disease, as there have been exceedingly few reinfections with serious illness or death, despite a widely circulating virus.

For most viruses, natural immunity is better than vaccine-induced immunity, and that is also true for Covid. In the best study to date, the vaccinated were around 27 times more likely to have symptomatic disease than those with natural immunity, with an estimated range between 13 and 57. With no Covid deaths in either group, both natural and vaccine immunity protect well against death. During the last decade, I have worked closely with hospital epidemiologists. While the role of physicians is to treat patients and make them well, the task of the hospital epidemiologist is to ensure that patients do not get sick while in the hospital, such as catching a deadly virus from another patient or a caretaker. For that purpose, hospitals employ a variety of measures, from frequent hand washing to full infection control regalia when caring for an Ebola patient.

Vaccinations are a key component of these control efforts. For example, two weeks before spleen surgery, patients are given the pneumococcal vaccine to minimize postoperative infections, and most clinical staff are immunized against influenza every year. Infection control measures are especially critical for older frail hospital patients with a weakened immune system. They can become infected and die from a virus that most people would easily survive. A key rationale for immunizing nurses and physicians against influenza is to ensure that they do not infect such patients. How can hospitals best protect their patients from Covid disease? It is an enormously important question, also relevant for nursing homes. There are some obvious standard solutions, such as separating Covid patients from other patients, minimizing staff rotation, and providing generous sick leave for staff with Covid-like symptoms.

Another goal should be to employ staff with the strongest possible immunity against Covid, as they are less likely to catch it and spread it to their patients. This means that hospitals and nursing homes should actively seek to hire staff that have natural immunity from prior Covid disease and use such staff for their most vulnerable patients. Hence, we are now seeing a fierce competition where hospitals and nursing homes are desperately trying to hire people with natural immunity. Well, actually, not. Instead, hospitals are firing nurses and other staff with superior natural immunity while retaining those with weaker vaccine-induced immunity. By doing so, they are betraying their patients, increasing their risk for hospital-acquired infections.

By pushing vaccine mandates, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is questioning the existence of natural immunity after Covid disease. In doing so, he is following the lead of CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who questioned natural immunity in a 2020 Memorandum published by The Lancet. By instituting vaccine mandates, university hospitals are now also questioning the existence of natural immunity after Covid disease. This is astonishing.

Read more …

“Most of the time, the changes they made hurt blacks more than whites, but that’s beside the point; in liberalism, it’s the effort that counts.”

72% Of Black NYC Residents Are Banned From Entering Restaurants (Fed.)

Democrats’ summer of Black Lives Matter is over. Front-line nurses’ year in the sun has passed. Gone are the COVID cries to evict no one ever for any reason at all. Disparate impact? Never heard of her. It’s 2021 now; we’ve advanced. These aren’t simple proclamations. Go and read a newspaper from September 2020, and then glance at one from this past month. The political debates are nearly unrecognizable, it’s almost impossible to believe that the same people were often making both policies. New York City is a leader in world liberalism. For years — and especially since May 2020 — its politicians have mangled their schools, their parks, their police force, and their courts, all in the name of fighting racism. Most of the time, the changes they made hurt blacks more than whites, but that’s beside the point; in liberalism, it’s the effort that counts.

New York City is also a leader of the world’s COVID cult. New Gov. Kathy Hochul says that if you want to serve God, you must receive the sacrament of vaccination. Mayor Bill de Blasio has decreed that all restaurants must see proof of vaccination before service. There’s the snag: Today in New York City, roughly 72 percent of black residents aged 18-44 have not taken the novel vaccine, meaning now roughly 72 percent of black residents aged 18-44 are banned — banned — from entering dining establishments. Statewide, 53 percent of black residents aren’t vaccinated, compared to only 44 percent of white residents who have declined the shots; yet this week, the state’s governor announced she would use the powers of this unending emergency to fire and replace as many as 72,000 health workers for refusing the vaccine.

In New York City, health-care workers were lauded as both heroes and COVID experts just weeks ago. Most of those workers are women, a plurality are black, and now, thousands of them might be out of jobs. The hospital system never collapsed due to COVID, but it might collapse due to Hochul’s measures to fight it. New York City is not alone in reversing course: Down south in Florida earlier this month, one apartment owner promised to evict any tenants who decline the vaccine. It’s unsafe to be near the unclean, he said. So black mother Jasmine Erby and her two children were given the boot. “There was no loophole, no working with me, no extensions and I literally had to walk away,” Irby told Fox News. “It was either get the shot or get out.”

Read more …

“.. the CDC doesn’t even track the breakthrough infections so how do we know that they’re only a small portion and that they’re relatively mild?”

Fauci Confronted About CDC Claims About “Breakthrough” Infections (ZH)

Finally, Eisen Hit Dr. Fauci with a surprise hard ball: She cited “data” collected within her own family, whereby three vaccinated people got COVID and immediately passed it on to two unvaccinated children. Eisen then suggested that the CDC might be “too casual” about breakthough infections, and also questioned “How can the CDC keep saying COVID “breakthrough” infections are rare if they have no data?” To this, Dr. Fauci replied that the CDC is scrambling to change this, and even hinted that more data on the true rate of breakthrough infections would likely soon arrive. “Three vaccinated people got Covid in my house two unvaccinated children got it…are you too casual about the limitations of the vaccine? It seems to me these breakthroughs are happening and they’re happening regularly. You can get it and transmit it and the government hasn’t been warning about that,” Eisen said.

“Oh yes we have and let me get you the facts. If you are an unvaccinated person you have 11x the likelihood of hospitalization…if you look at the people who have died from COVID-19, overwhelmingly they have been unvaccinated,” Dr Fauci Fauci adds that “over 90%” who have been unvaccinated – but of course that vast majority of deaths occurred before the vaccine rollout even started, making this statement slightly misleading. As for determining how many unvaccinated have died since the program began, it’s not exactly clear since this data wasn’t being tracked. Though deaths and hospitalizations have fallen since vaccination rates have risen, but there’s still many questions about whether the young and health actually benefit. Fortunately, CNBC released this clip.

As for the CDC tracking breakthrough infections, Eisen also pressed Dr. Fauci about the fact that “the CDC says on its website that infections occur among…unvaccinated…but the CDC doesn’t even track the breakthrough infections so how do we know that they’re only a small portion and that they’re relatively mild?” Dr. Fauci had nothing really to say to this except to admit she was of course correct while offering a flimsy excuse about the CDC working on it. “Well in the past the CDC has not tracked real or asymptomatic infections, but there are studies being done that would give the kind of data you’re talking about.” “And with the booster program we’re rolling out, we hope to see an improved effect. Israeli data have shown that when you give an at risk person a booster shot, they’re chances of being hospitalizations drop.”

The interview with a question from CNBC host Wilfred Frost about the risks of any future variants, to which Dr. Fauci responded with the typical fear-mongering. “I’ll give an answer that’s totally consistent with what I’ve said before, is the likelihood of seeing something worse…is completely in our own control…if we allow the virus to freely circulate, particularly among unvaccinated people, you give the virus a greater possibility of producing a variant that could create some trouble for our vaccines.” But overall, the interview makes clear: the media is starting to get curious about the growing reports of breakthrough infections of public officials like Brett Kavanaugh (whose diagnosis was announced today) to family members and friends. Whatever it is, the 90%+ rate they insist on seems increasingly like a stretch.

Read more …

JessicaRosePhD, MSc, BSc1; Peter A.McCulloughMD, MPH1

Myocarditis in VAERS Linked To Covid-19 Injectable Biological Products (SD)

Following the global rollout and administration of the Pfizer Inc./BioNTech BNT162b2 and Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccines on December 17, 2020, in the United States, and of the Janssen Ad26.COV2.S product on April 1st, 2021, in an unprecedented manner, hundreds of thousands of individuals have reported adverse events (AEs) using the Vaccine Adverse Events Reports System (VAERS). We used VAERS data to examine cardiac AEs, primarily myocarditis, reported following injection of the first or second dose of the COVID-19 injectable products. Myocarditis rates reported in VAERS were significantly higher in youths between the ages of 13 to 23 (p<0.0001) with 80% occurring in males.

Within 8 weeks of the public offering of COVID-19 products to the 12-15-year-old age group, we found 19 times the expected number of myocarditis cases in the vaccination volunteers over background myocarditis rates for this age group. In addition, a 5-fold increase in myocarditis rate was observed subsequent to dose 2 as opposed to dose 1 in 15-year-old males. A total of 67% of all cases occurred with BNT162b2. Of the total myocarditis AE reports, 6 individuals died (1.1%) and of these, 2 were under 20 years of age – 1 was 13. These findings suggest a markedly higher risk for myocarditis subsequent to COVID-19 injectable product use than for other known vaccines, and this is well above known background rates for myocarditis.

COVID-19 injectable products are novel and have a genetic, pathogenic mechanism of action causing uncontrolled expression of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein within human cells. When you combine this fact with the temporal relationship of AE occurrence and reporting, biological plausibility of cause and effect, and the fact that these data are internally and externally consistent with emerging sources of clinical data, it supports a conclusion that the COVID-19 biological products are deterministic for the myocarditis cases observed after injection.

Read more …

At least now we know where The Science does not live.

Fully Vaccinated Harvard Business School Shuts Down After Covid Outbreak (TE)

Harvard Business School (HBS) in Boston, Massachusetts has just experienced a large coronavirus outbreak despite more than 90 percent of students and staff being fully vaccinated. The school, which has a population of more than 1700 students, had a significant Covid-19 outbreak after cases started rising in September. This news comes as 95 percent of students and 96 percent of staff at the school being reported as fully vaccinated, yet this did not appear to stop Covid from making its way through those on campus. Two-thirds of all cases recorded in September came from students. A statement from the HBS said that Covid-19 cases among MBA students surged by 20 per cent in just three days.

Dean Srikant Datar of HBS said: “Our positivity rate is 12 times that of the rest of Harvard. These distressing figures are so high that they have attracted the scrutiny of local public health officials.” To avoid further scrutiny from the public and to preserve Harvard’s image, Datar and several of the university’s administrators have announced that teaching will be conducted online for almost all students until the end of October. This change affects almost all first-year and some second-year courses. This is one of the first instances of a major university halting in-person teaching due to Covid-19 outbreaks. The university made its decision after receiving advice from public health officials employed by the city and state.

HBS also announced that it will be increasing the number of Covid tests it forces upon students to three per week. Previously, the university’s requirement was for fully vaccinated students to get tested once per week and unvaccinated students to get tested twice per week. Mark Cautela, spokesman and head of communication for HBS, said in a statement that Harvard is also requesting students to avoid participating in social gatherings with anybody outside of their households and instead socialise with friends online.

Read more …

The Science has died.

Newsom Makes Vaccines Mandatory For All School Children In California (PM)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that all California school children will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as soon as the FDA approval process is complete. “CA will require our kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine to come to school,” Newsom announced on Twitter. “This will go into effect following full FDA approval.” “Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work.” “This is about keeping our kids safe & healthy,” the governor said. This is the first vaccine mandate for K-12 school children in the US. Currently, the FDA allows for children 12 years old and up to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines which have been approved for use in the US. Teachers and staff will not be required to be vaccinated. Children are at substantially lower risk to COVID than any other demographic. While there have been concerns noted about the risks of vaccines for young people, the FDA has moved ahead with approvals, and is likely to approve lower doses for the under 11 age group.

Read more …

Headline is a little misleading. Sotomayor, on her own, decided the Court will not take up the case. There was no vote. Pass the hot potato?

You would think with all these mandates flying around, they should rule on the legality.

Supreme Court Rejects NYC Teachers’ Request To Stop Vaccine Mandate (JTN)

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to block New York City’s vaccine mandate for public schools following a petition brought by a group of teachers. According to The Hill, the group of New York City teachers asked for an emergency injunction on Thursday, following a lower court’s ruling that permitted the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate to take effect this coming Monday. The group argued that many teachers would lose their jobs if the Supreme Court didn’t intervene. Justice Sonia Sotomayor—who is responsible for emergency matters originating from New York—denied the request without comment.


According to USA Today, teachers had until 5 p.m. on Friday to provide proof of at least one shot of the vaccine. Failure to do so could result in suspension without pay or potential termination on Monday, Oct. 4. This marks the second time the court has refused to take up a vaccine mandate case. The first one was from a group of students who sued Indiana University over its vaccine requirements. Justice Amy Coney Barret rejected the student’s petition and declined their request for emergency relief. More lawsuits from teachers are expected [..]

Read more …

Nordstream 2.

The Looming Energy Crisis: People Are Going To Die This Winter (Blain)

For many months myself and many of the investors I work with have become increasingly concerned at the growing instability and insecurity of energy markets. The 4 times spike in Gas prices this year has been a shocking wake-up call, highlighting energy insecurity in Europe and particularly the UK. Gas prices will remain elevated for months to come. The consequences are going to be brutal – and fatal for some. Energy – whether derived from fossil fuels, nuclear or renewables – is a commodity and the critical thing about commodities is: “You can’t print commodities like you can print money. The rules are not the same,” says my good friend and head of commodities at Shard, Ashley Boolell. Commodities are volatile and dangerous. Oil has doubled in recent months. But the thing about Gold, Silver, Palladium and copper prices is; no matter how volatile they are, they are simply investment opportunities or traps, and are unlikely to kill us.

Energy is different. It can kill us. That was conclusively demonstrated earlier this year in Texas. A swift series of winter storms crashed the Texan grid when gas infrastructure failed in the cold, renewables weren’t delivering, and the deregulation of its energy system had delinked Texas from both US power Grids – making it difficult to import energy. Over 200 people died as a result of power outages. Fast forward to this winter, and the UK and Europe are in the direct firing line of the coming energy storm. The security of energy supplies has never looked less certain. In the UK, neglected storage means we have the capacity to story 3-4 days of Gas. The recent collapse in sterling has been linked to the panic over Petrol supplies, escalating and cascading supply chain failures impacting industry and growing woes blamed on Brexit. I would add questions about how the UK’s status as a first world economy with zero energy security will line up.

How has this happened? Why? Well… that’s a long tale… But, it will be mightily embarrassing for the Boris Johnson Government if the first UK power outages occur during the COP26 Climate Circus in Glasgow in November. COP26 has driven the Government’s agenda and ambition to be seen as more green, more carbon neutral and more ESG than anyone else. I’ve heard tales of cabinet ministers throwing sweary hissy fits when asked to support policies that don’t immediately square with green policies perceived as vote winners. As I’ve written many times – ESG is well intentioned, but perhaps the most dangerous force in Economics today.

Investment managers rely on people giving them money to manage. That is why every single fund manager on the planet is fixated on polishing their green credentials, demonstrating how they are funding ESG compliant investments, and eschewing anything even vaguely linked to hydrocarbons. It is also why Saudi Arabia is polishing its credentials by improbably launching and successfully selling a Green Bond. The result is a chronic failure of common sense across the investment industry. Fund managers claim to be investing in our futures. If that is true – how do they expect the world can transition seamlessly from dirty hydrocarbons to clean renewables overnight? It takes 20 years to get planning and build a nuclear power station – while wind is proving fickle, unreliable, far less efficient and difficult to maintain.

Read more …

“Given the many years, spent under both Obama and Trump, trying to shore up this claim by the most digitally advanced states in the world, it comes as something of a surprise to learn that they came up with nothing.”

The US Found A ‘Lawful’ Way To Disappear Assange (Cook)

The Yahoo report makes clear too that the surveillance operation against Assange and Wikileaks intensified dramatically after Snowden released his confidential documents in 2013 in collaboration with reporter Glenn Greenwald. The Snowden files showed that the US had begun expanding its ambition to use new digital technology to covertly surveil the rest of the world. Now it was increasingly turning that technological prowess inwards to covertly surveil its own population. A transparency organisation like Wikileaks, it quickly became obvious, was a major threat to the US intelligence services’ plans. According to Yahoo’s sources, it was the Obama administration that began surveilling Wikileaks more intensively and threw the net wider to expose its networks.

The CIA was already centrally involved, creating a special “Wikileaks team” that worked closely with other friendly spy agencies – including one can presume the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing states that also comprise Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. (One official, William Evanina, who recently retired as a top US counterintelligence official, notes the key role the Five Eyes group played in Assange’s case.) The goal, Yahoo was told by Evanina, its main named source, was to “tie [Wikileaks] back to hostile state intelligence services”. In other words, the aim was to suggest not that Assange was interested in transparency or acting out of principle but that he wanted to undermine the US on behalf of a hostile foreign power.

Assange’s fate was sealed within the Obama administration in summer 2016 when Wikileaks released a cache of Democratic party emails that cast Obama’s chosen successor, Hillary Clinton, in a damning light and showed that the party had rigged its election procedures to stop her main challenger, Bernie Sanders, from winning. As an aside, the Yahoo report notes that the idea of kidnapping Assange – in violation of Ecuador and the UK’s sovereignty – actually preceded Pompeo’s arrival at the CIA. Despite Yahoo’s focus on Pompeo, it was actually Obama and the Democratic party’s thirst for vengeance that paved the way for Trump’s appointee to have viable options of either prosecuting Assange for espionage or abducting him. Obama’s officials immediately tarred Assange as conspiring with Donald Trump, Clinton’s rival for the presidential election.

He was thereby dragged into an establishment conspiracy theory, Russiagate, that claimed Trump was serving as a puppet of the Kremlin. Given the many years, spent under both Obama and Trump, trying to shore up this claim by the most digitally advanced states in the world, it comes as something of a surprise to learn that they came up with nothing. Evidence of Wikileaks collusion with Russia appears never to have surfaced, even though it became an implicit, driving assumption behind the Russiagate claims. One unusually honest official, Robert Litt, a former general counsel of the Office of the Director for National Intelligence, observed to Yahoo of the claims made by Pompeo that Assange was acting on behalf of the Russians: “Based on the information that I had seen, I thought he was out over his skis on that.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Red Pill

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime; donate with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

Jun 162021
 
 June 16, 2021  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow II 1916

 

Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences Into DNA (STD)
WHO ‘Highly Compromised’, Unfit To Lead COVID-19 Investigation – Redfield (ZH)
Sen. Johnson Shares Letter From Grateful Constituent About Ivermectin (JTN)
Biden Aides Lower Expectations Ahead Of Putin Summit (NYP)
Empire Of Clowns Versus Yellow Peril (Escobar)
Bipartisan Support For A Government-backed Digital Dollar (MW)
The G7’s Reckless Commitment To Mounting Debt (Lacalle)
New Study Proves Hawking Was Right, Black Holes Only Get Bigger (RT)
AG Merrick Garland Raises As Many Questions As He Answers (Turley)
Julian Assange: The Man Who Knew Too Much (LAP)

 

 

 

 

Vaccines and infections

 

 

 

 

Gene therapy after all? Talk about scary. And if this doesn’t do it, try watching Dr. Fleming.

Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences Into DNA (STD)

In a discovery that challenges long-held dogma in biology, researchers show that mammalian cells can convert RNA sequences back into DNA, a feat more common in viruses than eukaryotic cells. Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.

“This work opens the door to many other studies that will help us understand the significance of having a mechanism for converting RNA messages into DNA in our own cells,” says Richard Pomerantz, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human polymerase can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA. Together with first author Gurushankar Chandramouly and other collaborators, Dr. Pomerantz’s team started by investigating one very unusual polymerase, called polymerase theta. Of the 14 DNA polymerases in mammalian cells, only three do the bulk of the work of duplicating the entire genome to prepare for cell division.

The remaining 11 are mostly involved in detecting and making repairs when there’s a break or error in the DNA strands. Polymerase theta repairs DNA, but is very error-prone and makes many errors or mutations. The researchers therefore noticed that some of polymerase theta’s “bad” qualities were ones it shared with another cellular machine, albeit one more common in viruses — the reverse transcriptase. Like Pol theta, HIV reverse transcriptase acts as a DNA polymerase, but can also bind RNA and read RNA back into a DNA strand. In a series of elegant experiments, the researchers tested polymerase theta against the reverse transcriptase from HIV, which is one of the best studied of its kind. They showed that polymerase theta was capable of converting RNA messages into DNA, which it did as well as HIV reverse transcriptase, and that it actually did a better job than when duplicating DNA to DNA. Polymerase theta was more efficient and introduced fewer errors when using an RNA template to write new DNA messages, than when duplicating DNA into DNA, suggesting that this function could be its primary purpose in the cell.

Dr. Richard Fleming on mRNA

Read more …

Remind me: why did he leave?

WHO ‘Highly Compromised’, Unfit To Lead COVID-19 Investigation – Redfield (ZH)

The World Health Organization is “highly compromised” and unfit to lead an investigation into the origins of COVID-19, according to former CDC head Robert Redfield. “Clearly, they were incapable of compelling China to adhere to the treaty agreements that they have on global health, because they didn’t do that,” Redfield told Fox News on Tuesday. “Clearly, they allowed China to define the group of scientists that could come and investigate. That’s not consistent with their role.” In March, Redfield told CNN that he doesn’t believe the natural origin theory which posits that COVID-19 jumped from a bat to a human through a yet-to-be determined intermediary species.


“I think they were highly compromised,” Redfield said of the World Health Organization (WHO), which ‘investigated’ the origins of the pandemic in what was nothing more than political theatre conducted by a highly conflicted group – one of whom, Peter Daszak of NGO EcoHealth Alliance, worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and was funded to the tune of millions of dollars by Anthony Fauci’s NIH. Redfield slammed Fauci during the interview, saying that while he supports the lab-leak hypothesis, “Other individuals, Tony Fauci, for example, would say that he prefers to support that it evolved from nature.” “Now, why would that be?” asked Redfield, adding that “sometimes scientists when they bite into a bone on a hypothesis, it’s hard for them to move on.” “I guess if I’m disappointed about anything about the early scientific community it’s that there seemed to be lack of openness to pursue both hypotheses,” he continued.

Read more …

“..I was finally able to connect with a Green Bay doctor that provided my wife real treatment — Ivermectin and other support prescriptions. Within an hour of taking Ivermectin, her headaches were gone..”

Sen. Johnson Shares Letter From Grateful Constituent About Ivermectin (JTN)

Sen. Ron Johnson’s name was invoked on Monday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert during a segment in which Jon Stewart indicated that he thinks the COVID-19 pandemic emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China. “I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has in many ways helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science,” Stewart said. “There’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China, what do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab. The disease is the same name as the lab.” The Wuhan Institute of Virology is located in Wuhan, China. During the segment Colbert invoked the name of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin: “And how long have you worked for Senator Ron Johnson?” Colbert asked.

“This is not a conspiracy,” Stewart said. Johnson tweeted on Tuesday that he enjoyed the pair’s discussion on the show and the lawmaker shared a letter from a constituent who had written to say that Ivermectin greatly helped his wife who had suffered significantly with COVID-19. “@jonstewart @StephenAtHome enjoyed your Late Show Wuhan virus discussion. Since I was mentioned, let me share this email I got from a constituent. Open minds can save lives,” Johnson tweeted. “I am writing today to thank you for your leadership in Wisconsin as it relates to COVID and alternative treatments. My wife and I watched Dr. Pierre Kory testify before the Senate Committee about ivermectin, Dec. 8, 2020, and we were utterly dumbfounded that this treatment was not readily available as treatment and prevention to the general public,” the constituent wrote.

The letter explained that the woman later became ill with COVID-19 in May and suffered significant symptoms. “Her case was quite severe; she will report that she has never experienced the severity of headaches and body aches in her lifetime as well as severe nausea and high temperatures,” the letter noted. “As the days progressed, she grew so weak that she was not able to walk without assistance.” “As her symptoms worsened, I remembered the hearing you hosted and Dr. Kory. Through your leadership on this issue, I was finally able to connect with a Green Bay doctor that provided my wife real treatment — Ivermectin and other support prescriptions. Within an hour of taking Ivermectin, her headaches were gone,” the person told Johnson.

Nasal-spray Ivermectin for C19

Read more …

Less than zero then?

Biden Aides Lower Expectations Ahead Of Putin Summit (NYP)

The White House on Tuesday lowered expectations as President Biden arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, for his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — with a senior Biden administration official telling reporters they are “not expecting a big set of deliverables” from the Wednesday talks. Biden’s own tone changed ahead of the meeting when he downplayed past descriptions of Putin as a “killer” who has “no soul” and told reporters Monday at the NATO summit in Belgium that Putin actually is a “worthy adversary” who is “bright” and “tough.” White House officials for weeks said Biden will seek to forge a new understanding with Putin that would allow for a more predictable US-Russia relationship. And Putin aides told reporters they still believe there may be a joint statement.

Biden and Putin are expected to arrive at the meeting site in Geneva around 1 p.m. local time Wednesday. The senior US official said meetings could last four to five hours, but that there will be “no breaking of bread.” Then Putin, followed by Biden, are expected to give solo press conferences, the official said. The lack of a joint press conference will allow Biden to avoid embarrassing moments that make him appear weak or hypocritical. Putin aides suggested he will advocate for the “human rights” of Capitol rioters during the summit. The senior US official said “nothing is off the table” for the talks, which are expected to include discussion of recent cyberattacks against Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods by criminals suspected of living in Russia.

Biden has struggled during press interactions on his first foreign trip, which also included stops in the UK and Belgium, with lengthy pauses and saying he must stop talking lest he “get in trouble” with his press handlers. The Geneva summit is expected to kick off with an initial meeting between Biden and Putin. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and translators also will be in the room, the senior US official said. There’s scheduled to be a brief press availability when Biden and Putin first sit down — though on Monday, the White House scrapped a similar “pool spray” at the start of Biden’s meeting with Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leaving frustrated US reporters dependent on Turkey’s government for information.

[..] Lavrov said ahead of the talks that Putin is prepared to flip the script on Biden if he brings up sensitive issues, such as human rights including the case of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who last year survived poisoning attempts. “We will be ready to answer the questions that the American side will raise. This also applies to human rights,” Lavrov said. “For example, we are following with interest the persecution of those persons who are accused of the riots on January 6 this year.”

Read more …

“..the G7’s economic output barely registers as 30% of the global total.”

Empire Of Clowns Versus Yellow Peril (Escobar)

It requires major suspension of disbelief to consider the G7, the self-described democracy’s most exclusive club, as relevant to the Raging Twenties. Real life dictates that even accounting for the inbuilt structural inequality of the current world system the G7’s economic output barely registers as 30% of the global total. Cornwall was at best an embarrassing spectacle – complete with a mediocrity troupe impersonating “leaders” posing for masked elbow bump photo ops while on a private party with the 95-year-old Queen of England, everyone was maskless and merrily mingling about in an apotheosis of “shared values” and “human rights”. Quarantine on arrival, masks enforced 24/7 and social distancing of course is only for the plebs.

The G7 final communique is the proverbial ocean littered with platitudes and promises. But it does contain a few nuggets. Starting with ‘Build Back Better’ – or B3 – showing up in the title. B3 is now official code for both The Great Reset and the New Green Deal. Then there’s the Yellow Peril remixed, with the “our values” shock troops “calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms” with a special emphasis on Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The story behind it was confirmed to me by a EU diplomatic source, a realist (yes, there are some in Brussels). All hell broke loose inside the – exclusive – G7 room when the Anglo-American axis, backed by spineless Canada, tried to ramrod the EU-3 plus Japan into an explicit condemnation of China in the final communiqué over the absolute bogus concentration camp “evidence” in Xinjiang.

In contrast to politicized accusations of “crimes against humanity”, the best analysis of what’s really going on in Xinjiang has been published by the Qiao collective. Germany, France and Italy – Japan was nearly invisible – at least showed some spine. Internet was shut off to the room during the really harsh “dialogue”. Talk about realism – a true depiction of “leaders” vociferating inside a bubble. The dispute essentially pitted Biden – actually his handlers – against Macron, who insisted that the EU-3 would not be dragged into the logic of a Cold War 2.0. That was something that Merkel and Mario ‘Goldman Sachs’ Draghi could easily agree upon.

Read more …

Presented as defending your privacy …

Bipartisan Support For A Government-backed Digital Dollar (MW)

Members of a House Financial Services Committee task force largely expressed support for experiments to create a digital form of the U.S. dollar, citing the need to keep pace with China and to enable a larger swath of the U.S. population to access the digital economy, during a hearing Tuesday morning. Neha Narula, the director of MIT’s Digital Currency Project, explained to the committee the benefits of a digital dollar, describing the U.S. electronic payment system as suffering from “high fees and limited access” because it has not evolved fast enough to keep pace with the demand for online digital payments.

Narula, whose group is collaborating with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to study a potential Fed-backed digital dollar, added that while private cryptocurrencies may evolve to solve these problems, they also present risks including “the immaturity of the technology and its ability to provide widely available, highly secure and scalable payment transactions.” That’s why, according to Narula, that dozens of central banks across the globe, including the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China, are experimenting with digital forms of their own currencies. Warren Davidson of Ohio, the ranking Republican on the task force, was quick to embrace Narula and the other panelists’ support for designing a digital dollar with consumer privacy as a major priority.

“I’m very encouraged about this dialogue…and by your passion for privacy.” Davidson told the panel. “If we get this structure right, we can really move past this sad part of American history where Americans essentially surrendered their privacy in the late 1960s, early ’70s with respect to financial matters.” Davidson was referring to the the so-called third-party doctrine, which was developed by a series of Supreme Court cases in the ’60s and ’70s and says that citizens do not have a legal right to privacy with respect to information that a person willingly gives to a third party, including banks and other financial firms. A digital dollar has the potential to protect the financial privacy in a way that private companies do not, he said.

Read more …

“A minimum global corporate tax. Why not an agreement on a maximum global public spending?”

The G7’s Reckless Commitment To Mounting Debt (Lacalle)

Historically, meetings of the largest economies in the world have been essential to reach essential agreements that would incentivize prosperity and growth. This was not the case this time. The G7 meeting agreements were light on detailed economic decisions, except on the most damaging of them all. A minimum global corporate tax. Why not an agreement on a maximum global public spending?

Imposing a minimum global corporate tax of 15 percent without addressing all other taxes that governments impose before a business reaches a net profit is dangerous. Why would there be a minimum global corporate tax when subsidies are different, some countries have different or no VAT rates (value added tax), and the endless list of indirect taxes is completely different? The G7 “commit to reaching an equitable solution on the allocation of taxing rights, with market countries awarded taxing rights on at least 20 percent of profit exceeding a 10 percent margin for the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises.” This entire sentence makes no sense, opens the door to double taxation and penalizes the most competitive and profitable companies while it has no impact on the dinosaur loss-making or poor-margin conglomerates that most governments call “strategic sectors.”

The global minimum corporate tax is also a protectionist and extractive measure. The rich nations will see little negative impact from this, as they already have their governments surrounded by large multinationals that will not suffer a massive taxation blow because subsidies and tax incentives before net income are large and generous. According to PWC’s Paying Taxes 2020, profit taxes in North America already stand at 18.5 percent but, more worryingly, total tax contributions including labor and other taxes reach 40 percent of revenues. In the EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Association), profit taxes may be somewhat smaller than in North America, but total taxation remains above 39 percent of revenues.

Some politicians mention corporate technology giants as the ones that pay no taxes and use an effective tax rate where they put together loss-making companies with those making a profit thus reaching an artificially low effective tax rate. Technology giants will not pay more under this new agreement, because their taxable base will not change, their profit and loss account will remain similar and, more importantly, the deductions on large investments, which are the cause of their apparently small tax payments, will not change either.

Read more …

“..entropy or disorder can’t decrease over time..”

New Study Proves Hawking Was Right, Black Holes Only Get Bigger (RT)

Physicists have said that they have proven, by analyzing gravitational waves from space, a theory developed by Stephen Hawking in the 1970s, which states that black holes cannot decrease in surface area over time. In a study published on Monday, scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Cornell University shared their findings from a research project which analyzed ripples in spacetime created by two black holes that spiraled inward and eventually merged into one bigger black hole. The ripples studied were the first gravitational waves ever identified, detected by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in 2015. Splitting the gravitational wave data into time segments before and after the black holes merged, the researchers calculated the surface areas of the black holes in both periods.


The physicists found that the surface area of the new black hole was actually greater than the two initial black holes combined. The finding confirms a prediction made by famed scientist, Stephen Hawking, in the 1970s, in which he stated that black holes cannot decrease in surface area as it mirrored a rule in physics, that entropy or disorder can’t decrease over time. Hawking’s law states that the surface area of the black hole won’t increase on its own, but when things enter it, it gains mass and correspondingly its surface area increases. While incoming objects can make the black hole spin, which decreases surface area, the size increase due to the additional mass will always be greater than the size lost to spinning.

Read more …

Turley defends Assange.

AG Merrick Garland Raises As Many Questions As He Answers (Turley)

In his testimony before Congress, Garland stressed that he intends to create new protections for the media to allow “journalists to go about their work disclosing wrongdoing and error in the government. That is part of how you have faith in the government, by having that transparency.” But what is a journalist? Does it include bloggers or citizen journalists? There is general agreement that this is a case of investigative journalism. After all, Pro Publica has won six Pulitzer Prizes and bills itself as a nonprofit investigatory group committed to exposing “abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.”

That sounds a tad familiar. WikiLeaks was founded as a nonprofit “to bring important news and information to the public … to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth.” In 2013, WikiLeaks was declared by the International Federation of Journalists to be a “new breed of media organization” that “offers important opportunities for media organizations” through the publication of such nonpublic information. If Garland is going to implement protections for the media in the use of leaked material, he will have to address the continued prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by the DOJ. The Justice Department is still fighting to extradite Assange. It is using the same tactic that was used in the Rosen case by treating Assange not as a journalist but as a criminal co-conspirator.

DOJ insists that Assange played an active role in his correspondence with and advice to the hacker. Yet, Assange would not be the first journalist to work with a whistleblower who is prospectively or continuing to acquire nonpublic information. I have previously written about the Assange case as potentially the most important press freedom case in 300 years. (For full disclosure, I also advised the legal team of Julian Assange in England on our criminal justice system and the free press protections under the Constitution.) Both Pro Publica and WikiLeaks could claim that these disclosures serve the public interest. Pro Publica wanted to expose an unfair tax system. WikiLeaks wanted to expose how public figures were lying to the public on subjects ranging from foreign wars to campaign issues.

Both the rights of free speech and the free press require bright lines to flourish. For the free press, one bright line is to bar reverse engineering in leak investigations and the targeting of publishers or recipients of information in the media or Congress. Another is to require a higher showing (and higher authorization) for any searches of the records of journalists. That, however, will take us inevitably to the questions that the government and frankly some in the media have avoided for years. What is a journalist, and what to do with Julian Assange?

Read more …

… and shared what he knew…

Julian Assange: The Man Who Knew Too Much (LAP)

Millions viewed the “Collateral Murder Tape” online, as well as interviews with one of the soldiers who rescued the children – Ethan McCord recounts how it impacted him, and the wider PTSD forever wars inflict on our soldiers. In our fog of war reliable count of the hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan remains elusive. Those who prefer such dark reveals remain buried see Assange as someone to destroy. US military budgets remain on crescendo. The world’s top five arms dealers, and twelve of the top twenty-five, are American. Assange is bad for business. “Someone’s not going to like this” was predictable. Assange stepped into the crosshairs of fame, targeted by powerful disinformation systems.

Politicians and media pundits, some of the latter still joined at the hip with America’s military/intelligence/industrial complex, chimed in. Some called Assange a traitor – never mind he’s Australian – and high tech terrorist, even calling for his assassination. So dark was the picture painted that even sympathetic writers feel obliged to begin with “Whatever you think of Assange…” When Wikileaks revealed the DNC gamed the 2016 Democratic Party primaries, the punditry judged democratic derailments not newsworthy when the higher good was resistance to Trump. Media ran faster with narratives ripping Assange than questioning or correcting them.

Claiming Assange is outside publishing boundaries is a conceit that who, what, when, where, why and how requires formal training, or an official imprimatur. Never mind the international journalism awards Wikileaks quickly garnered, the uncovered bedrock for important stories that enabled accolades to news organizations building on Wikileaks revelations. A decade ago Daniel Ellsberg, who exposed government lies about the Vietnam War by leaking the Pentagon Papers, told me government’s objective going after him was a UK-styled Official Secrets Act that undermines First Amendment protections. Beyond criminalizing leaking classified materials, it would criminalize seeking and publishing them.

Read more …

 

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

 

 

Jon Stewart

 

 

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

 

Apr 022021
 
 April 2, 2021  Posted by at 8:44 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  90 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Vue de Notre-Dame de Paris 1945

 

Why Are ‘Experts’ Disagreeing With Each Other Over Covid Vaccine? (Ron Paul)
CDC Real-World Study Confirms Protective Benefits of mRNA Vaccines (CDC)
Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t (NYT)
Quadruple Therapy With Ivermectin Is Effective In Treating COVID-19 (Hindu)
Texas COVID-Positivity-Rate Drops To Record Low After Mask-Mandate Lifted (ZH)
Fewer Than 1 In 5 Britons With Symptoms Gets Tested, Only 2 In 5 Isolate (RT)
Almost Third Of UK Covid Hospital Patients Readmitted Within 4 Months (G.)
GOP Rep. Greene Introduces Bill To Cut Fauci’s $400,000 Salary To Zero (JTN)
Kremlin Responds To Anger Over Ukraine Border Build-Up (ZH)
We‘ll Talk To NATO ‘But Not Just About Ukraine’ – Lavrov (RT)
Analyst Pleads To Leaking Secrets About Drone Program (AP)
The Empire State Building Falls into the Suez Canal (Stoller)
Massive DNA Damage Caused By CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing (GMW)
New Digital Archive Preserves and Protects Indigenous Folk Medicine (Smiths.)

 

 

Reopening
https://twitter.com/i/status/1377756996083011592

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Deaths in Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), since its start in 1990. 2021 is off the charts.”

 

 

Ron Paul is a Doctor of Medicine. Will he be censored too?

Why Are ‘Experts’ Disagreeing With Each Other Over Covid Vaccine? (Ron Paul)

Even the establishment experts seem to be in total disagreement with each other – and often with themselves – over the experimental Covid “vaccine.” Does it prevent the illness? Lessen the illness? Provide lasting immunity? Temporary immunity? Is it safe for all? So many questions, but so few reliable answers.

Read more …

Pfizer’s sales team.

CDC Real-World Study Confirms Protective Benefits of mRNA Vaccines (CDC)

A new CDC study provides strong evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections in real-world conditions among health care personnel, first responders, and other essential workers. These groups are more likely than the general population to be exposed to the virus because of their occupations. The study looked at the effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections among 3,950 study participants in six states over a 13-week period from December 14, 2020 to March 13, 2021. Results showed that following the second dose of vaccine (the recommended number of doses), risk of infection was reduced by 90 percent two or more weeks after vaccination.

Following a single dose of either vaccine, the participants’ risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 was reduced by 80 percent two or more weeks after vaccination. It takes about two weeks following each dose of vaccine for the body to produce antibodies that protect against infection. As a result, people are considered “partially vaccinated” two weeks after their first dose of mRNA vaccine and “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose. These new vaccine effectiveness findings are consistent with those from Phase 3 clinical trials conducted with the vaccines before they received Emergency Use Authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration. Those clinical trials evaluated vaccine efficacy against COVID-19 disease, while this study evaluated vaccine effectiveness against infection, including infections that did not result in symptoms.

“This study shows that our national vaccination efforts are working. The authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines provided early, substantial real-world protection against infection for our nation’s health care personnel, first responders, and other frontline essential workers,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “These findings should offer hope to the millions of Americans receiving COVID-19 vaccines each day and to those who will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated in the weeks ahead. The authorized vaccines are the key tool that will help bring an end to this devastating pandemic.”

Read more …

PCR history.

From New York Times Jan. 22, 2007

Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t (NYT)

Dr. Brooke Herndon, an internist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, could not stop coughing. For two weeks starting in mid-April last year, she coughed, seemingly nonstop, followed by another week when she coughed sporadically, annoying, she said, everyone who worked with her.Before long, Dr. Kathryn Kirkland, an infectious disease specialist at Dartmouth, had a chilling thought: Could she be seeing the start of a whooping cough epidemic? By late April, other health care workers at the hospital were coughing, and severe, intractable coughing is a whooping cough hallmark. And if it was whooping cough, the epidemic had to be contained immediately because the disease could be deadly to babies in the hospital and could lead to pneumonia in the frail and vulnerable adult patients there. It was the start of a bizarre episode at the medical center: the story of the epidemic that wasn’t.

[..] For months, nearly everyone involved thought the medical center had had a huge whooping cough outbreak, with extensive ramifications. Nearly 1,000 health care workers at the hospital in Lebanon, N.H., were given a preliminary test and furloughed from work until their results were in; 142 people, including Dr. Herndon, were told they appeared to have the disease; and thousands were given antibiotics and a vaccine for protection. Hospital beds were taken out of commission, including some in intensive care. Then, about eight months later, health care workers were dumbfounded to receive an e-mail message from the hospital administration informing them that the whole thing was a false alarm. Not a single case of whooping cough was confirmed with the definitive test, growing the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis, in the laboratory. Instead, it appears the health care workers probably were afflicted with ordinary respiratory diseases like the common cold.

[..] “You’re in a little bit of no man’s land,” with the new molecular tests, said Dr. Mark Perkins, an infectious disease specialist and chief scientific officer at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, a nonprofit foundation supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “All bets are off on exact performance.” Of course, that leads to the question of why rely on them at all. “At face value, obviously they shouldn’t be doing it,” Dr. Perl said. But, she said, often when answers are needed and an organism like the pertussis bacterium is finicky and hard to grow in a laboratory, “you don’t have great options.” Waiting to see if the bacteria grow can take weeks, but the quick molecular test can be wrong. “It’s almost like you’re trying to pick the least of two evils,” Dr. Perl said.

At Dartmouth the decision was to use a test, P.C.R., for polymerase chain reaction. It is a molecular test that, until recently, was confined to molecular biology laboratories. “That’s kind of what’s happening,” said Dr. Kathryn Edwards, an infectious disease specialist and professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University. “That’s the reality out there. We are trying to figure out how to use methods that have been the purview of bench scientists. The Dartmouth whooping cough story shows what can ensue.

Read more …

From September 2020.

Quadruple Therapy With Ivermectin Is Effective In Treating COVID-19 (Hindu)

Elaborating on the effective methods being followed for treating COVID-19 across the globe, Shashikanth Manikappa, a specialist cardiac anaesthetist working at Monash Health in Melbourne, Australia, has strongly advised what he termed Quadruple Therapy involving four medicines — Ivermectin, Doxycycline, Zinc and Vitamin D3 — as a preventive as well as treating method. Addressing a media conference in Kalaburagi on Monday, the senior doctor said that the use of Ivermectin would be more effective than that of Hydroxychloroquine which was widely being used worldwide, right from the outbreak of the pandemic.

Referring to a pre-official release of a randomised controlled trial using Ivermectin in three doses in primary contacts of COVID-19, Dr. Manikappa said that 93 % of primary contacts who received Ivermectin did not develop any symptoms and 58 % of primary contacts who did not receive Ivermectin did progress to have symptoms of the pandemic. “Quadruple Therapy includes Ivermectin 12 mg one dose, Doxycycline 100 mg once a day for four days, Zinc 50 mg once a day for four days and Vitamin D3 once a week. Ivermectin, Doxycycline and Zinc are to be repeated every 14 days and Vitamin D3 every week with blood levels monitored. The synergistic effect of these medicine acts to prevent viral multiplication and also stop the virus from entering human cells.

Thomas Borody, an Australian gastroenterologist who is known for curing peptic ulcers with triple antibiotic therapy, has revealed that one block in South America that received Ivermectin combination prophylaxis did not contract coronavirus infection while others did,” he said. On the side effects, Dr. Manikappa said that Ivermectin was being used in 3.7 billion people for intestinal parasites and was found to be safe. “These are not new medicine. They are already in use for treating different ailments and are found to be safe. They can be prescribed by any doctor to control the pandemic,” he said.

Read more …

“The 4.95 percent test positivity rate is the lowest the state has seen since the start of the pandemic.”

Texas COVID-Positivity-Rate Drops To Record Low After Mask-Mandate Lifted (ZH)

For the better part of the past year, the US public was bombarded with “science” how only the wearing of a mask (or two masks, or three masks or more) was the only thing that stood between the Western way of life and Armageddon (despite the periodic emergence of cold, hard data showing no improvement in covid transmission in states that mandated masks vs those that did not, at least until Twitter decided to ban it). Then, one month ago, Texas had had enough and its governor shocked the Faucis of the world – and the White House – when he declared that the mask mandate in the state was officially over. What happened then? Well, in a development that would likely shock Dr. Fauci, newly confirmed Coronavirus cases in Texas plunged to their lowest since June, roughly three weeks after the state lifted its mask mandate and reopened businesses.

Additionally, the 7-day Covid positivity rate dropped to a new recorded low: 4.95%…

Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote in a tweet over the weekend. “Everyone now qualifies for a shot. They are highly recommended to prevent getting Covid but always voluntary.” The 4.95 percent test positivity rate is the lowest the state has seen since the start of the pandemic. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, some 1,900 new virus cases were reported on Sunday, which is the lowest daily number the state has seen since early June. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the seven-day moving average number of cases in Texas dropped to the lowest level since mid-June. According to the CDC, Texas was averaging 3,783 daily cases as of March 27.

Read more …

National Health Service’s Test and Trace program costs £37 billion over two years.

Fewer Than 1 In 5 Britons With Symptoms Gets Tested, Only 2 In 5 Isolate (RT)

Only half of Britons know the main symptoms of Covid-19, and most don’t get tested or self-isolate, a new study has shown, raising questions about the UK’s Test and Trace system and placing emergence from the pandemic at risk The large study, exploring the effectiveness of the National Health Service’s Test and Trace program, was published in the British Medical Journal on Wednesday. Designed to identify, find and test those who have coronavirus, it has been allocated a massive budget of £37 billion over two years. Researchers at King’s College London, University College London and Public Health England looked at aggregated data from some 37 national online surveys, encompassing more than 75,000 responses from nearly 54,000 people living in the UK.

Only some 51.5% of those surveyed managed to properly identify the symptoms of Covid-19 – which include a cough, high temperature, fever, and loss of sense of smell or taste – that have been “actively promoted to members of the UK public,” the study reads. Moreover, the willingness to get tested should any of those symptoms be experienced turned out to be extremely low, with only 18% of those who reported suffering such symptoms having requested a test to confirm whether they had coronavirus. Such low figures call into question the effectiveness of the whole Test and Trace system, the researchers said, while acknowledging a slight improvement in people’s willingness to follow the rules over time.

With such low rates for symptom recognition, testing, and full self-isolation, the effectiveness of the current form of the UK’s test, trace, and isolate system is limited. Only 43% of respondents said they had adhered to self-isolation. The need to go to work or to leave the house to shop or attend to medical needs other than Covid-19 were among the most common excuses given for breaking the rules. Young people, those on a low income and/or from a working-class background were identified as the ones most likely to break the rules. The researchers suggested targeted messaging and increased financial support as methods by which to improve adherence.

Read more …

“..far from a benign illness..”

Almost Third Of UK Covid Hospital Patients Readmitted Within 4 Months (G.)

Nearly a third of people who have been in hospital suffering from Covid-19 are readmitted for further treatment within four months of being discharged, and one in eight of patients dies in the same period, doctors have found. The striking long-term impact of the disease has prompted doctors to call for ongoing tests and monitoring of former coronavirus patients to detect early signs of organ damage and other complications caused by the virus. While Covid is widely known to cause serious respiratory problems, the virus can also infect and damage other organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. Researchers at University College London, the Office for National Statistics, and the University of Leicester, compared medical records of nearly 48,000 people who had had hospital treatment for Covid and had been discharged by 31 August 2020, with records from a matched control group of people in the general population.


The records were used to track rates of readmission, of deaths, and of diagnoses for a range of respiratory, heart, kidney, liver and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes. After an average follow-up time of 140 days, nearly a third of the Covid patients who had been discharged from hospital had been readmitted and about one in eight had died, rates considerably higher than seen in the control group. “This is a concern and we need to take it seriously,” said Dr Amitava Banerjee, at the Institute of Health Informatics at University College London. “We show conclusively here that this is very far from a benign illness. We need to monitor post-Covid patients so we can pick up organ impairment early on.”

Read more …

Ha ha ha!

GOP Rep. Greene Introduces Bill To Cut Fauci’s $400,000 Salary To Zero (JTN)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday said she is introducing a bill to strip Dr. Anthony Fauci of his government salary. In a press release Greene posted on Twitter, the controversial Georgia Republican said her “Fire Fauci Act” would decrease “Dr. Always Wrong’s pay to $0 and the ‘We Will Not Comply Act’ will ‘prevent discrimination against the unvaccinated.’ ” Greene said the Fire Fauci Act will: • Remind the American public that Dr. Fauci is the highest paid ($434,312) of all 4 million federal employees, including the president. • Cite numerous findings about Dr. Fauci’s evolving and contradictory advice on COVID-19. • Reduce Dr. Fauci’s salary to $0 until a new NIAID administrator is confirmed by the Senate. • Direct the Government Accounting Office to conduct a study about the correspondence, financials, and policy memos inside the NIAID before COVID through the end of this year. This will allow us to see what Fauci and the NIAID knew, when they knew it, what they spent money on, and how the agency responded to the virus.


The bill has little if any chance of passage in the Democrat-controlled House. Fauci has made several seemingly contradictory statements during the pandemic about the virus and related health-safety measures – including one on mask wearing. The annual salary for Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, makes him “the highest paid doctor in the federal government and the highest paid out of all 4 million federal employees,” Forbes reported. In fact, Fauci’s salary is more than the president of the United States’ annual $400,000 pay.

Read more …

Who do YOU think is the agressor here?

Kremlin Responds To Anger Over Ukraine Border Build-Up (ZH)

Various reports strongly suggest that over the past week there’s been a significant uptick in shelling and fighting in the war-torn Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. This has served to thrust the over 5-year long crisis back in the media spotlight in the past days, particularly after the US Army ( via US European Command, or EUCOM) raised its Europe threat level to its highest of “potential imminent crisis”. At the same time The New York Times and others are detailing the escalation while alleging ‘Russian aggression’ is fueling the fresh flare-up, which has signaled the collapse of yet another cease-fire. And more alarmingly the reports allege a major build-up of Russian troops and tanks along Ukraine’s eastern border. But even as the NY Times report mused, it’s also likely that the estimated 4,000 regular Russian soldiers there were simply left over from recent scheduled military exercises common during this time of year.


The Kremlin has responded to the slew of reports on Thursday, underscoring that given the troops remain entirely within Russia’s national boundaries, it’s essentially ‘nobody’s business’ where they go. “The Russian Federation transfers the Armed Forces on its soil as it wants to. This should not concern anyone and this is not posing any threat to anyone,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized. Moscow is taking “all the necessary measures to ensure security of its frontiers,” he stressed according to TASS. Peskov added that: “As for the participation of Russian troops in the armed conflict on Ukraine’s soil, the Russian troops have never taken part in it and are not participating now.” He further said: “And we, the European countries and all world states would not like the civil war in Ukraine as a result of provocations and provocative steps by Ukraine’s military to flare up again.”

Read more …

“we do not refuse to work, we just don’t want to sit there and hear about Ukraine.”

We‘ll Talk To NATO ‘But Not Just About Ukraine’ – Lavrov (RT)

Moscow has rejected claims that it is unwilling to participate in talks with NATO, arguing instead that it would be eager to hold a summit, but only if it sticks to topics that are actually within the US-led military bloc’s remit. Last week, the faction’s General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, claimed that a breakdown in communication was the fault of one side alone. “Since the summer of 2019, there have been no meetings of the NATO-Russia Council,” he said. “And that’s because Russia has not responded positively to our invitation to convene the Council.” “I regret that, because I think that dialogue is important, especially when times are difficult as they are now, then it is important that we sit down, discuss also difficult issues,” Stoltenberg added.

“I believe in dialogue with Russia partly to strive for a better relationship with [that country].” However, on Wednesday, Moscow hit back at the remarks, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arguing that his country was not opposed to talks with the bloc. “Our colleague Mr Stoltenberg declares that Russia refuses to work in the Russia-NATO Council,” Lavrov said, insisting that “we do not refuse to work, we just don’t want to sit there and hear about Ukraine.” “NATO has nothing to do with Ukraine,” the Minister said, “and yet when they offer to convene the Russia-NATO Council, they always insist that the first question should be about Ukraine. We sat down a couple of times, listened, we all know this.

Therefore, we have proposed to restore contacts between our militaries in order to save complex agreements that we have previously signed.” In February, Stoltenberg said that the ball was in Moscow’s court when it comes to relations with the bloc. “We need to send a clear signal to Russia,” he said. “If they want clashes, we are ready. If they want to co-operate, we will be glad.”

Read more …

“Damn, @theintercept got yet another whistleblower pinched. It’s almost like Omidyar is running a sting operation there.”

Analyst Pleads To Leaking Secrets About Drone Program (AP)

A former Air Force intelligence analyst pleaded guilty Wednesday to leaking classified documents to a reporter about military drone strikes against al-Qaida and other terrorist targets. The guilty plea from Daniel Hale, 33, of Nashville, Tennessee, comes just days before he was slated to go on trial in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, for violating the World War I-era Espionage Act. Hale admitted leaking roughly a dozen secret and top-secret documents to a reporter in 2014 and 2015, when he was working for a contractor as an analyst at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). While court papers never specified the recipient of the leak, details about the case make it clear that the documents were given to Jeremy Scahill, a reporter at The Intercept, who used the documents as part of a series of critical reports on how the military conducted drone strikes on foreign targets.


He faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for July 13. The original indictment against Hale states that he reached out to the reporter in April 2013 while still enlisted in the Air Force and assigned to the National Security Agency. The leaks continued after Hale became a private contractor and was assigned to NGA. Hale’s lawyers sought unsuccessfully last year to have the case tossed on First Amendment grounds. They also argued that the case was a selective and vindictive prosecution. Defense lawyers said that while Hale was being punished for leaking information about negative aspects of the drone program, the government seemed unconcerned about anonymous leaks by government officials about successful strikes.

Read more …

“And frankly, we should have seen this coming, because a lot of people have been noticing supply chain fragility, even if Thomas Friedman didn’t.”

The Empire State Building Falls into the Suez Canal (Stoller)

Over the last few decades, ships have gotten really really big, four times the size of what they were 25 years ago, what the FT calls “too big to sail.’ The argument behind making such massive boats was efficiency, since you can carry more at a lower cost. The downside of such mega-ships should have been obvious. Ships like this, which are in effect floating islands, are really hard to steer in tight spaces like ports and canals, and if they get stuck, they are difficult to unstick. In other words, the super smart wizard financiers who run global trade made ships that don’t fit in the canals they need to fit into. The rise of mega-ships is paralleled by the consolidation of the shipping industry itself. In 2000, the ten biggest shipping companies had a 12% market share, by 2019 that share had increased to 82%.

This understates the consolidation, because there are alliances among these shippers. The stuck ship is being run by the Taiwanese shipping conglomerate Evergreen, which bought Italian shipping firm Italia Marittima in 1998 and London-based Hatsu in 2002, and is itself part of the OCEAN alliance, which has more than a third of global shipping. Making ships massive, and combining such massive ships into massive shipping monopolies, is a bad way to run global commerce. We’ve already seen significant problems from big shipping lines helping to transmit financial shocks into trade shocks, such as when Korean shipper Hanjin went under and stranded $14 billion of cargo on the ocean while in bankruptcy. It’s also much harder for small producers and retailers to get shipping space, because large shippers want to deal with large clients.

And fewer ports can handle these mega-ships, so such ships induce geographical inequality. Increasingly, we’re not moving ships between cities, we’re moving cities to where the small number of giant shipping lines find it efficient to ship. Dumb big ships owned by monopolies are the result of dumb big ideas, the physical manifestation of what Thomas Friedman was pushing in the 1990s and 2000s with books such as The Lexus and the Olive Tree and The World is Flat, the idea that “taking fat out of the system at every joint” was leading towards a more prosperous, peaceful and competitive world. Friedman’s was a finance-friendly perspective, a belief that making us all interdependent with a very thin margin of error would force global cooperation.

Just make ships bigger, went the thinking, until a big boat got stuck in a canal, taking down global supply chains with it. It seems so dumb. And it is. But it’s also reality, because for whatever reason, a lot of powerful people at one point thought Thomas Friedman was a genius. And frankly, we should have seen this coming, because a lot of people have been noticing supply chain fragility, even if Thomas Friedman didn’t.

Read more …

Bigger than God.

Massive DNA Damage Caused By CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing (GMW)

New research from Chinese scientists shows that CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing causes massive damage to the genome, much of which would have been missed by the analytical tools used so far. In a previous study, the same authors described a novel DNA sequencing procedure, which they called a “primer-extension-mediated sequencing assay” or PEM-seq. By applying this procedure, they found that DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) brought about by the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool could lead to unintended chromosomal translocations and large deletions. In their latest follow-up report, the researchers describe a new computer program, which enabled them to analyse the PEM-seq data to greater depth than previous programs had allowed.

They used this program to analyse real sequence data from their own new experiments, as well as previous ones, following CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in mouse and human cells. In gene editing, while the initial double-strand break made by the DNA “scissors” or gene-editing tool can be targeted to a given location, the subsequent DNA repair that makes the “edit” is performed by the cell’s own repair mechanisms and is not controllable or precise. The researchers analysed the outcomes of the gene edit – and found what they call “tremendous deleterious DSB repair byproducts of CRISPR/Cas9 editing”. The unintended outcomes or genetic errors ranged from unintended small insertions or deletions (indels) to large deletions, plasmid (gene-editing tool delivery vehicle) integrations, and chromosomal translocations.

The researchers wrote, “Our findings provide an extra dimension for genome editing safety besides off-targets” – the well documented unintentional DNA damage at locations of the genome that were not targeted for editing. They added, “Caution should be exercised to avoid not only off-target damages but also deleterious DSB repair byproducts during genome editing.” Worryingly, these unintended deleterious outcomes of gene editing were not overcome even when a high-fidelity CRISPR/Cas tool was used. Furthermore, when components of the DNA repair machinery were inhibited in an attempt to force a specific gene sequence modification outcome (known as SDN-2), this resulted in large deletions, large insertions, and DNA cuts around the start site of genes.

Read more …

Smithsonian. The Archive of Healing lists traditional remedies, procedures and practices from all seven continents.

New Digital Archive Preserves and Protects Indigenous Folk Medicine (Smiths.)

For thousands of years, people around the world have relied on medicinal folklore, herbal treatments and rituals to heal an array of ailments. Now, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have created an online platform featuring hundreds of thousands of these traditional therapies. Spanning seven continents and 200 years, the Archive of Healing draws on such sources as anthropologists’ field notes, scholarly journals, oral histories and folktales. “The whole goal here is to democratize what we think of as healing and knowledge about healing, and take it across cultures in a way that’s respectful and gives attention to intellectual property rights,” says David Shorter, director of the digital archive, in a statement.

As Valentina Di Liscia reports for Hyperallergic, the database is one of the most inclusive catalogues of medicinal folklore in the world. A key goal of the project is preserving Indigenous treatments while ensuring that this knowledge is protected against exploitation by pharmaceutical companies seeking to make a profit. To that end, certain identifying details for plants and recipes are omitted from the archive. Western medicine has, historically, overlooked herbal remedies used by women and Indigenous peoples. As folk herbalist Sade Musa explained for Healthline in 2019, many traditional treatments were passed down orally and, as a result, overlooked in favor of written documentation.

“[C]olonialism built a medical industrial complex through often violent means of cultural suppression, erasure, and exploitation,” noted Heathline. “The rise of the patriarchy also authorized only white male physicians to practice and define medicine for the world.” Former faculty member Wayland Hand launched the UCLA database more than 40 years ago. In 1996, folklorist Michael Owen Jones began digitizing the collection of more than one million notecards—then known as the Archive of Traditional Medicine—after receiving a grant. Speaking with Jeyling Chou of the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s independent student newspaper, in 2005, Jones said, “Folk medicine [includes] the beliefs and practices that we learn and teach in our first-hand interactions with one another in our everyday lives.” He added, “It’s not institutional medicine, it’s not medicine that requires a license.”

Read more …

 

 

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

 

 

How Earth will look in 250 million years according to plate tectonics theory

 

 

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

 

Oct 192019
 
 October 19, 2019  Posted by at 7:48 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Landscape With the Rest on the Flight into Egypt 1647

 

Hmm, energy. Is it a good idea I be drawn back into the subject? We used to do so much on the topic, Nicole Foss and I, in the first years of The Automatic Earth, and before that at the brilliant Oil Drum, where we had all those equally brilliant oil professionals to guide us on. So why revisit it? Well, for one thing, because a friend asked.

And for another because things -may have – changed over the past 15 years or so. Not that I think the peak oil idea, which is that we reached the peak in 2005 or so, changed. Yeah, unconventional oil, shale, fracking etc., came about, but that has nothing to do with peak oil. Just look at the EROEI (energy return) you get from shale. You go from 100:1 to, if you’re lucky, 5:1. You can’t build a complex society on that.

It’s not an accident that shale oil firms are going broke all over; even ultra low interest rates can’t save them. But all that still doesn’t come close to scratching the surface of our energy -or oil, for that matter.- conundrum.

 

I’ve never understood what the idea behind the Extinction Rebellion is. Or, you know, that they know what they’re talking about. Do they know the physics?

The general idea, yeah, but not how they aim to reach their goals. Far as I can tell, it’s about less CO2 -and methane, supposedly- emissions, but I don’t get how they want to achieve that. I’ve read some but not all of their theories, and it’s not obvious. It feels like they want less of various things, only to replace them with something else. Like they think once oil is gone, you can put wind and solar in its staid, and off we go. Tell me how wrong I am. Please do.

I have the same with the various Green New Deals. What do they want? How do they aim to achieve their lofty goals? I looked at the Wikipedia page for a Green New Deal, and it tells me it’s an American thing, “invented” recently by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and some other people. But I know that’s not true, because other people had the same idea with the same name in the UK 10-12 years ago.

And then Yanis Varoufakis also has a thing he labels “Green New Deal”, a global one no less, but in a recent article, I didn’t get many specifics of that either.

Let’s go with AOC and friends’ points as Wikipedia lists them:

“Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.”

What’s not to love?

“Providing all people of the United States with (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.”

I’m in.

“Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States.”

Sure, Why only the US though?

“Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

Now, wait, there are no zero-emission sources. And none that are fully renewable.

“Repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States, including by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible.”

Okay, yeah. But what does “The Infrastructure” mean? Is that just power lines, or does it include all roads, highways etc.?

“Building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and smart power grids, and working to ensure affordable access to electricity.”

Right. Great. Sounds good. Where would the electricity come from, though? From so-called zero-emission sources., which don’t exist?

“Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.”

Not sure I like the term “Electrification” in there, but yeah, bring it on. The term “Upgrading” is not what we use, however, we say “Retrofitting”.

“Overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and (iii) high-speed rail.”

Now you’re getting serious. But what does this mean? We already covered the zero-emission thing, that’s obvious nonsense, but how about public transportation? Do you envision closing down cities to cars? Or do you actually think electric cars are zero emission? Alternatively, do you know they’re not but you use the word regardless?

“Spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible.”

Sure, if you want to clean up your environment, “Spurring Massive Growth” is just what you want to hear. Good lord.

“Working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

Call me nuts, and I have no reason to believe you haven’t already, but the no.1 thing that has to vanish from US Ag is not pollution or emissions but the chemicals used to kill all other life so that your lettuce can grow. And don’t get me started on antibiotics or the creatures they are used on.

 

That, Green New Deal, may be your biggest fault line. But you know, overall, you give me the idea that you don’t understand the territory you’re operating in. You’re just saying stuff that you think people will believe in and follow. Like Trump or Hillary or any politicians do.

 

Best rest assured, we haven’t even started yet. There’s still the trifle little matter of how all systems, all organisms, deal with energy (sources). Now, according to Alfred J. Lotka and Howard T. Odum, in what they and others have labeled the 4th law of Thermodynamics, all systems and organisms of necessity (DNA/RNA driven) seek to maximize their use of energy, for pure survival reasons: the one that’s most efficient in its ability to exploit and utilize -external- energy sources will survive. (another word for this is: Life)

And then you say you must use less energy? Or you want to shift from oil to energy sources with less density, like solar or wind? Be careful, because this says you’re putting your odds of survival at risk.

This is what my teacher Jay Hanson, who tragically died earlier this year before I ever had the chance to meet him, said about this in 2013:

Today, when one observes the many severe environmental and social problems, it appears that we are rushing towards extinction and are powerless to stop it. Why can’t we save ourselves? To answer that question we only need to integrate three of the key influences on our behavior: 1) biological evolution, 2) overshoot, and 3) a proposed fourth law of thermodynamics called the “Maximum Power Principle” (MPP). The MPP states that biological systems will organize to increase power generation, by degrading more energy, whenever systemic constraints allow it.

Biological evolution is a change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. Individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic (DNA/RNA, etc.) material from one generation to the next.

“Natural selection” is one of the basic mechanisms of evolution, along with mutation, migration, and drift. Natural selection explains the appearance of design in the living world, and “inclusive fitness theory” explains what this design is for. Specifically, natural selection leads organisms to become adapted as if to maximize their inclusive fitness. The “fittest” individuals are those who succeed in generating more power and reproducing more copies of their genes than their competitors.

You’re in tricky territory, guys. Reversing the history of (wo)mankind or the system that gave birth to her/him is not easy. Perhaps not impossible, but certainly very hard. You’d have to go against the DNA/RNA embedded in you, and then rephrase it at a molecular level. Like you all, I have certain -perhaps illogical- hopes that it can be done, but my hopes are not high. How do you beat nature? And would you really want to if you could?

There’s so much more to say on the topic of energy, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave it at this for now. I’ll get back to it soon. Of course I understand that the jump from Greta and AOC to “Maximum Power Principle” is a big one, but for some people perhaps that’s just what they need. And for others it’s not, I get that. But it’s still what it is.

 

Note: nowhere in the Green New Deal et al do I see that we should do less, use less, move less, but shouldn’t that be the no.1 priority? Build gadgets, cars, homes, cities, that use much less energy? Retrofit everything to use 90% less energy?

The thing about that is, however, that it appears to violate the Maximum Power Principle. See what I’m getting at?

 

 

 

 

Jan 192018
 


Vincent van Gogh Red Vineyards at Arles 1888

 

The Most Sustainable Stock Market Bubble Ever (MW)
Global Debt Growing Three Times Faster than Global Wealth (Schiff)
US House Passes Stopgap Funding Bill and Sends It to Senate (BBG)
Conservatives Bring Russia Probe Demand to Shutdown Talks (BBG)
FISA Memo Set To Rock DC, “End Mueller Investigation” (ZH)
Hackers Have Walked Off With About 14% of Big Digital Currencies (BBG)
Blockchain Eyed for Mortgage Bundling That Caused 2008 Crisis (BBG)
SEC Says Bitcoin Funds Raise ‘Investor Protection Issues’ (R.)
Oliver Stone’s “Ukraine On Fire” Documentary Released In The West (Quinn)
Blood Test Could Use DNA To Spot Early-Stage Cancers (G.)
Adolescence Now Lasts From 10 to 24 (BBC)
Varoufakis Reveals Outburst Against ‘Stupid’ Tsipras (GR)
Greece Compliance Report Due Friday Ahead of Monday’s Eurogroup (R.)
UK and France Must Stop ‘Systematic Violation’ Of Calais Refugees (Ind.)
HRW Blames Greek Authorities For Abysmal Conditions At Hotspots (K.)

 

 

We’re having to find new semantics. Once sustainable bubbles become acceptable, anything goes…

The Most Sustainable Stock Market Bubble Ever (MW)

Is this the most sustainable stock market bubble ever? It’s rare to find the words “sustainable” and “bubble” in the same sentence, but the stock market rally from November 2016 until now has been relentless enough to at least discuss the notion of a “sustainable bubble.” In February 2016, the S&P 500 recorded three consecutive daily gains of more than 1.5%. The Profit Radar Report highlighted that this happened only eight other times. A year later, the S&P 500 was up 19.16%. The February 2016 kickoff rally continued to build momentum. One way to quantify momentum was shown in the Nov. 19, 2017, Profit Radar Report: “The S&P 500 was higher 8 of the first 9 months of 2017. This has only happened 8 other times (1936, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1964, 1995, 1996, 2006). 2, 3, 6, and 12 months later, the S&P was higher every time but one (0.7% loss 2 month later in 1964).

Such strong momentum readings (and they are seen across all time frames) are extremely rare. As mentioned in December 2016 and March 2017, stocks rarely top out at peak momentum. We have to go back to 1995/1996 to find similarly strong and persistent upside momentum. The stock market infrequently finds the delicate and potent balance between being hot, but not too hot. Tempered relentlessness best describes this market. How relentless? The S&P 500 has not closed more than 1.5% below its all-time high since Aug. 21, 2017. The only other time the S&P 500 has been similarly glued to its all-time high was in 1965. The S&P 500 has not dropped more than 5% below its all-time high since June 27, 2016, and has been above its 200-day simple moving average (SMA) since June 28, 2016.

How tempered? The S&P 500 has traded above its 200-day SMA for 391 days, but, until Jan. 5, also never traded more than 10% above its 200-day SMA. This “sweet spot” range is illustrated by the chart below. For the first time ever, the S&P 500 broke such a “controlled range-bound rally” streak (there’ve been two similar rallies in the 1960s and 1990s) by surging higher instead of falling lower.

Read more …

Once debt is subtracted, there’s very little wealth growth left. It’s a mirage.

Global Debt Growing Three Times Faster than Global Wealth (Schiff)

Global wealth increased to a new record of $280 trillion in 2017, according to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2017. That seems like pretty good news until you consider global debt is increasing nearly three times as fast. According to the Wealth Report, total global wealth rose at a rate of 6.4%, the fastest pace since 2012 and reached $280 trillion, a gain of $16.7 trillion. This reflected widespread gains in equity markets matched by similar rises in non-financial assets, which moved above the pre-crisis year 2007’s level for the first time this year. Wealth growth also outpaced population growth, so that global mean wealth per adult grew by 4.9% and reached a new record high of $56,540 per adult.”

Increasing global wealth is one of the trends the World Gold Council identifies as a positive for the gold market in the next year. That’s all well and good. But we have to also look at the other side of the equation. The Institute of International Finance recently released its latest global debt analysis. It reported that global debt rose to a record $233 trillion at the end of Q3 2017. That is split up between $63 trillion in government debt, $58 trillion in financial sector corporate debt, $68 trillion in non-financial sector corporate debt, and $44 trillion in household indebtedness. In just nine months, there was an increase of $16 trillion in worldwide debt.

You really can’t talk about wealth without talking about debt. SRSrocco took a look at both factors in the equation. Even if global wealth surged in 2017, so did world debt. According to the data, global wealth increased by $16.7 trillion in 2017 while global debt expanded $16 trillion… nearly one to one. However, this is only part of the story. If we look at the increase in total world debt and total global wealth over the past 20 years, we can see a troubling sign, indeed: Since 1997, total global debt increased from $50 trillion to $233 trillion compared to the rise in global wealth from $120 trillion to $280 trillion. When you do the math, you find global debt has increased 366% vs. 133% increase in global wealth since 1997. That means net wealth was $70 trillion in 1997 versus $47 trillion in 2017.

Read more …

Shaky. A government shutdown could well be imminent.

US House Passes Stopgap Funding Bill and Sends It to Senate (BBG)

The House passed a spending bill Thursday to avoid a U.S. government shutdown, but Senate Democrats say they have the votes to block the measure in a bid to force Republicans and President Donald Trump to include protection for young immigrants. The 230-197 vote came just over a day before current funding is set to run out at midnight Friday. The bill would keep the government open through Feb. 16 while all sides negotiate on longer-term funding for defense and domestic programs. The Senate took an initial vote to advance the bill late Thursday, but was headed toward an additional procedural step requiring 60 votes, which Democrats say they will be able to block. The Senate adjourned until Friday morning without taking further action.

Shortly before the House vote, Trump wrote on Twitter: “House of Representatives needs to pass Government Funding Bill tonight. So important for our country – our Military needs it!” In a show of strength, House Republicans had enough support within their own ranks to pass the measure without help from Democrats. Some members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus withheld their support through much of the day Thursday, but reached a last-minute agreement with Speaker Paul Ryan to hold votes later on a conservative immigration bill and a measure to boost defense spending without increasing non-defense spending.

Still, Senate Democrats said they have the votes to block the measure in their chamber. At least 10 of the 18 Democrats who voted for a temporary funding measure in December have publicly announced their opposition, and a Democratic aide said there won’t be enough party members who support the House bill. Republicans would need at least a dozen Democratic votes to get the bill, H.R. 195, through the Senate after at least three of the 51 Republicans in the chamber said they would vote against it.

Read more …

The gloves are coming off.

Conservatives Bring Russia Probe Demand to Shutdown Talks (BBG)

House conservatives negotiating with GOP leaders over how to avert a government shutdown brought a fresh demand to the last-minute talks: release classified information they say raises questions about the origins of the FBI’s probe into President Donald Trump’s possible connections to Russia. A Republican lawmaker said they tried to pressure Speaker Paul Ryan to allow a vote on making public a document they say shows Justice Department and FBI misconduct and political bias in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in it. The facts contained in the memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are “jaw-dropping and demand full transparency,” said Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican.

The top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff of California, criticized the move. He dismissed the committee document as “talking points” drafted by Republican staffers that he said were “profoundly misleading” and “rife” with inaccuracies. The odd juxtaposition of issues – tying the Russia inquiry to the debate over a stopgap spending bill – came as much of the government faced a threatened shutdown on Friday at midnight. Gaetz said the effort was led by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina and caucus co-founder Jim Jordan of Ohio. Jordan confirmed that some conservatives had “highlighted” in continuing resolution talks that it was “extremely important” that the memo go public. He said it was not something they were requiring of the Republican leadership in return for votes.

“But it was something we definitely talked about – that needs to happen,” Jordan added. Meadows earlier referred to “subplots” of promises the Freedom Caucus was able to extract from the leadership before he agreed to support the continuing resolution. “Mr Meadows and Mr. Jordan and many conservatives want to include in this negotiation a requirement that the House make public intelligence documents that highlight the unfair treatment of the president” by the FBI and the Justice Department, Gaetz said. Gaetz said he couldn’t describe the contents of the entire memo put together by the House Intelligence Committee “because to do so would reveal classified information, in the absence of a vote to do so,” he said. “Just 218 votes and the American people can read this intelligence information that goes to the fundamentals of our democracy.”

Read more …

So let’s see it.

FISA Memo Set To Rock DC, “End Mueller Investigation” (ZH)

All hell is breaking loose in Washington D.C. tonight after a four-page memo detailing extensive FISA court abuse was made available to the entire House of Representatives Thursday. The contents of the memo are so explosive, says Journalist Sara Carter, that it could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and the Department of Justice and the end of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation. “These sources say the report is “explosive,” stating they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates.” -Sara Carter. A source close to the matter tells Fox News that “the memo details the Intelligence Committee’s oversight work for the FBI and Justice, including the controversy over unmasking and FISA surveillance.”

An educated guess by anyone who’s been paying attention for the last year leads to the obvious conclusion that the report reveals extensive abuse of power and highly illegal collusion between the Obama administration, the FBI, the DOJ and the Clinton Campaign against Donald Trump and his team during and after the 2016 presidential election. Lawmakers who have seen the memo are calling for its immediate release, while the phrases “explosive,” “shocking,” “troubling,” and “alarming” have all been used in all sincerity. One congressman even likened the report’s details to KGB activity in Russia. “It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan told Fox News. “It’s troubling. It is shocking,” North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said. “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”

“Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., offered the motion on Thursday to make the Republican majority-authored report available to the members. “The document shows a troubling course of conduct and we need to make the document available, so the public can see it,” said a senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the document. “Once the public sees it, we can hold the people involved accountable in a number of ways.” The government official said that after reading the document “some of these people should no longer be in the government.” -Sara Carter

Read more …

And there’s no guarantee this won’t continue.

Hackers Have Walked Off With About 14% of Big Digital Currencies (BBG)

Digital currencies and the software developed to track them have become attractive targets for cybercriminals while also creating a lucrative new market for computer-security firms. In less than a decade, hackers have stolen $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoin and rival currency Ether, according to Lex Sokolin at Autonomous Research. Given the currencies’ explosive surge at the end of 2017, the cost in today’s money is much higher. “It looks like crypto hacking is a $200 million annual revenue industry,” Sokolin said. Hackers have compromised more than 14% of the Bitcoin and Ether supply, he said. All told, hacks involving cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have cost companies and governments $11.3 billion through lost potential tax revenue from coin sales and illegitimate transactions, according to Susan Eustis, CEO of WinterGreen Research.

The blockchain ecosystem – the decentralized “distributed ledgers” that track crypto transactions – is also vulnerable. Those losses could snowball as more companies and investors rush into the white-hot cryptocurrency market without weighing the dangers or taking steps to protect themselves. Blockchain records are shared, making them hard to alter, so some users see them as super-secure. But in many ways they are no safer than any other software, Matt Suiche, who runs the blockchain security company Comae Technologies, said. And since the market is immature, blockchains may even be more vulnerable than other software. There are thousands of them, each with its own bugs. Until the field is winnowed to a few favorites, as happened with web browsers, securing them all will be a challenge. “Each implementation is going to have its own problems,” Suiche said. “The more implementations, the harder it is to cover all of them.”

[..] In a Dec. 25 paper, researchers at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers outlined ways hackers can spend the same Bitcoins twice, the very thing blockchains are meant to prevent. In a Balance Attack, for instance, hackers delay network communications between subgroups of miners, whose computers verify blockchain transactions, to allow for double spending. “We have no evidence that such attacks have already been performed on Bitcoin,” the IEEE researchers said. “However, we believe that some of the important characteristics of Bitcoin make these attacks practical and potentially highly disruptive.”

Read more …

Predictable. Securitizing hasn’t exactly benefitted Jill and John, has it?

Blockchain Eyed for Mortgage Bundling That Caused 2008 Crisis (BBG)

A group of big financial institutions wants to use the blockchain to help resurrect the packaging of home mortgages into securities, a business that almost destroyed the global banking system in 2008. Credit Suisse, U.S. Bancorp, Wells and Western Asset Management. said Thursday that they successfully tested the distributed ledger technology as a way to make it easier to track securitized home loans. Before the 2008 crisis, bundling home loans together and then selling those baskets to investors was a huge profit center for banks. But this was the primary cause of the meltdown after many borrowers couldn’t repay their debt and the value of the securitized loans crashed, causing trillions of dollars in losses.

The business then shrank dramatically. There were about $823 billion of securitized private-label residential mortgage bonds outstanding in early 2017, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, down from a peak of $2.7 trillion in 2007. “Structuring securities is complex, involving many different parties, manual processes, duplicated documents and data in different formats,” David Rutter, chief executive officer of blockchain startup R3, which is organizing the consortium, said in a statement Thursday. While the group is starting with residential mortgages that aren’t backed by the U.S. government, it plans to expand to other types of asset-backed securities. The next step is delivering a commercially viable product, R3 said.

Read more …

Any regulation will need to concern all crypto, not just bitcoin. Does the SEC have the knowledge to do that?

SEC Says Bitcoin Funds Raise ‘Investor Protection Issues’ (R.)

The U.S. securities regulator on Thursday raised alarm about the safety of bitcoin-themed investments, telling the fund industry they want answers to their concerns before endorsing more than a dozen proposed products based on cryptocurrencies. A top division chief at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission detailed the agency’s concerns about the wild-trading investment in a letter to two trade groups representing fund managers who unleashed a range of proposals for funds holding bitcoin or related assets. The SEC’s division of investment management demanded answers to at least 31 detailed questions about how mutual funds or exchange-traded funds based on bitcoin would store, safeguard, and price that asset. They also asked whether investors can understand the risks and how to address concerns that bitcoin markets could be manipulated.

“There are a number of significant investor protection issues that need to be examined before sponsors begin offering these funds to investors,” said the letter signed by Dalia Blass, the SEC’s director of investment management. Bitcoin’s 1,500% surge last year stoked investor demand for any product with exposure to the red-hot asset. A host of companies are jostling to launch exchange-traded funds which would open up the cryptocurrency to a broad retail market. The SEC in March denied a request to list an ETF from investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, owners of the Gemini bitcoin exchange. The Winklevoss fund is seeking to invest in bitcoin directly. Other fund firms staked their hopes on recently launched U.S.-listed bitcoin futures contracts, which promised a more stable base for ETFs than the largely unregulated virtual currency spot market. Many of those proposals were withdrawn last week at the request of the SEC.

Read more …

Haven’t watched it yet.

Oliver Stone’s “Ukraine On Fire” Documentary Released In The West (Quinn)

Oliver Stone’s seminal documentary Ukraine on Fire has finally been made available to watch in the West. Investigative journalist Robert Parry reveals how US-funded political NGOs and media companies have emerged since the 1980s, replacing the CIA in promoting America’s geopolitical agenda abroad. As Russia-Insider details, Ukraine on Fire provides a historical perspective for the deep divisions in the region which led to the 2004 Orange Revolution, the 2014 uprisings, and the violent overthrow of democratically-elected Yanukovych. Covered by Western media as a ‘popular revolution’, it was in fact a coup d’état scripted and staged by ultra-nationalist groups and the US State Department.

Executive producer Oliver Stone gained unprecedented access to the inside story through his on-camera interviews with former President Viktor Yanukovych and Minister of Internal Affairs Vitaliy Zakharchenko, who explain how the US Ambassador and factions in Washington actively plotted for regime change. And, in his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Stone solicits Putin’s take on the significance of Crimea, NATO and the US’s history of interference in elections and regime change in the region. The film was originally released in 2016, but unsurprisingly, Stone came up against problems distributing the film in the US and western countries. A Russian-dubbed version was available almost immediately and was aired on TV in Russia, but people in the ‘free world’ were left without access to the full film.

Read more …

Seems quite obvious. If you can train dogs to discover cancer early on, why not DNA?

Blood Test Could Use DNA To Spot Early-Stage Cancers (G.)

Scientists have made a major advance towards developing a blood test for cancer that could identify tumours long before a person becomes aware of symptoms. The new test, which is sensitive to both mutated DNA that floats freely in the blood and cancer-related proteins, gave a positive result approximately 70% of the time across eight of the most common cancers when tested in more than 1,000 patients. In the future, such a test could be used in routine screening programmes to significantly increase the proportion of patients who get treatment early, at a time before cancer would typically show up on conventional scans. “The use of a combination of selected biomarkers for early detection has the potential to change the way we screen for cancer, and it is based on the same rationale for using combinations of drugs to treat cancers,” said Nickolas Papadopoulos, professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University and senior author on the paper.

The test could also identify the form of cancer that a patient had, a goal that previous cancer blood tests have failed to achieve. It works by detecting free-floating mutated DNA, released into the bloodstream by dying cancer cells. The test screened for the presence of errors in 16 genes that are frequently mutated in different kinds of cancer. The blood of patients was also tested for eight known protein biomarkers which are seen to differing degrees depending on where in the body a tumour is located. In blood samples from 1,005 patients, the test detected between 33% and 98% of cases of disease. Ovarian cancer was the easiest to detect, followed by liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophageal, colorectal, lung and breast cancers. For the five cancers that currently have no screening tests – ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and oesophageal cancers – sensitivity ranged from 69% to 98%.

Read more …

They’re all still living with mom and dad anyway.

Adolescence Now Lasts From 10 to 24 (BBC)

Adolescence now lasts from the ages of 10 to 24, although it used to be thought to end at 19, scientists say. Young people continuing their education for longer, as well as delayed marriage and parenthood, has pushed back popular perceptions of when adulthood begins. And changing the definition is vital to ensure laws and government policy stay appropriate, they say in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal. But another expert warns doing so risks “further infantilising young people”. Puberty is considered to start when the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus starts releasing a hormone that activates the body’s pituitary and gonadal glands. This used to happen around the age of 14 but has dropped with improved health and nutrition in much of the developed world to around the age of 10.

As a consequence, in industrialised countries such as the UK the average age for a girl’s first menstruation has dropped by four years in the past 150 years. Half of all females now have their period by 12 or 13 years of age. There are also biological arguments for why the definition of adolescence should be extended, including that the body continues to develop. For example, the brain continues to mature beyond the age of 20, working faster and more efficiently. And many people’s wisdom teeth don’t come through until the age of 25. Young people are also getting married and having children later. According to the Office of National Statistics, the average age for a man to enter their first marriage in 2013 was 32.5 years and 30.6 years for women across England and Wales. This represented an increase of almost eight years since 1973.

Lead author Prof Susan Sawyer, director of the centre for adolescent health at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, writes: “Although many adult legal privileges start at age 18 years, the adoption of adult roles and responsibilities generally occurs later.” She says delayed partnering, parenting and economic independence means the “semi-dependency” that characterises adolescence has expanded.

Read more …

The 3.5% surplus is the opposite of what’s good for Greece; there should be a 3.5% deficit, with all 7% of it invested in the economy.

Varoufakis Reveals Outburst Against ‘Stupid’ Tsipras (GR)

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has revealed he accused Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of being “totally stupid” in accepting a demand by Greece’s creditors for big primary surpluses. During an interview with Greece’s Parapolitika radio, Varoufakis said when he learned that Tsipras in 2015 accepted, without consulting him, a primary surplus target of 3.5% he confronted the premier: “I told him: ‘Are you totally stupid? What have they given you in return?’ And he replied: ‘Oh, maybe I was stupid. I will retract from the promise’.” Varoufakis said he actually used a stronger word than “stupid”.

In the same interview, the former finance minister repeated claims that Tsipras did not really want to win in the infamous July 2015 referendum on the bailout. Varoufakis said he remembered that everyone at the prime minister’s office that evening was sad. “I do not know when exactly Tsipras decided to capitulate,” he added. Referring to his successor, Euclid Tsakalotos, he said: “I can no longer recognize him.” “Euclid became a yes man on July 6 [2015] .. The case of Euclid hurts, because I was an eyewitness of his total transformation,” he added. Varoufakis also confirmed that he still has in his possession recordings of the Eurogroup meetings of the turbulent first half of 2015.

Read more …

And also, the 3.5% surplus is a perfect way to make Greece a debt slave forever.

Greece Compliance Report Due Friday Ahead of Monday’s Eurogroup (R.)

Eurozone finance ministers could decide on Monday, or soon afterward, to release the next tranche of bailout loans to Greece after the country pushed through a batch of laws to meet reform agreements with its creditors, a senior European Union official has said. Finance ministers from the 19 countries sharing the euro meet for monthly talks on Monday and a review of Greek reforms is one of the top items on the agenda. Last Monday, the Greek Parliament approved a bill for fiscal, energy and labor reforms requested by international lenders. This is likely to complete the third and penultimate review of Greek reforms, unlocking new loans. “We are extremely well on our way towards the completion of the third review,” the senior EU official said.

“There are a number of administrative measures to be taken still. As of yet we cannot say that all the preconditions [for disbursements] have been successfully completed simply because the time lines are as they are,” the official said. Lenders’ experts, who are now translating and checking the Greek laws, are to issue a report on their compliance with the bailout’s requirements on Friday. The new loans would be between 6 and 7 billion euros, disbursed to Greece in more than one tranche, the official said. Greece would use the money to redeem maturing debt, pay arrears and create a cash buffer for when it leaves its third bailout in August. “We can be confident that the disbursements will… start in February, probably in the second half,” the official said.

Read more …

It’s not about people, it’s about money and politics. Welcome to the real Europe.

UK and France Must Stop ‘Systematic Violation’ Of Calais Refugees (Ind.)

The UK and France must urgently put an end to the “systematic violation” of refugees in Calais, a group of charities has warned. In a letter shared exclusively with The Independent, eight aid organisations urged leaders Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron to uphold their commitment to human rights law, as conditions for the thousands living on the border become increasingly perilous. The group, which includes l’Auberge des Migrants, Help Refugees, Safe Passage and Utopia56, wrote to the leaders on the same day Ms May welcomed the French President to the UK-France Summit at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. “We are writing to ask that any new agreement relating to the French-British border bear in mind the human rights of displaced people currently residing in Calais,” the letter states.

“We are deeply concerned that the human rights of refugees and displaced people in northern France are being systematically violated on French territory. We moreover lament the heightened risk of sexual violence, exploitation and trafficking to which children and youth in Calais are exposed, as well as the many avoidable deaths occurring at the border.” Ahead of the visit, the Prime Minister announced the UK will take more child refugees from Calais and spend £44.5m on additional security at the French port. Ms May and Mr Macron subsequently signed a deal on migrants called the Sandhurst Treaty, designed to ease the suffering of some of the thousands of people camped near the French port who currently wait six months to have their cases settled. However, No 10 was keen to play down suggestions that Ms May had agreed to accept more refugees, insisting it would simply speed up the process of settling claims.

Read more …

And Germany now blames the island mayors.

HRW Blames Greek Authorities For Abysmal Conditions At Hotspots (K.)

In its annual review for 2018, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the failure of Greek authorities to properly identify vulnerable asylum seekers for transfer to the mainland has “impeded their access to proper care and services.” The watchdog group also said that policy formed under the deal between the European Union and Turkey to stem the flow of migrants to the continent has led to thousands being “trapped in Greece in overcrowded and abysmal conditions, while denying most access to adequate asylum procedures or refugee protection.” “The policies, conditions, uncertainty and the slow pace of decision-making contributed to deteriorating mental health for some asylum seekers and other migrants on the islands, while creating tensions that sometimes erupted into violence,” it said.

More than 50,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece. Meanwhile, five eastern Aegean island mayors are calling for a meeting with the German ambassador in Athens after coming under fire from German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, who said on Wednesday that they were to blame for the appalling living conditions of refugees and migrants trapped in the hotspots. De Maiziere accused the island mayors of not making use of the aid that is being offered in order to force the government to transfer them to the Greek mainland.

Read more …

Mar 062016
 
 March 6, 2016  Posted by at 9:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  1 Response »


Harris&Ewing War-bond rally on Penn. Avenue, Washington DC 1918

China Picks Growth Over Reform At Annual Congress (AFR)
Hard Landing Fallacy “No Way” In China: Regulator (Xinhua)
China Says Cuts In Overcapacity Won’t Cause Massive Layoffs (Reuters)
China PM Predicts ‘Battle’ For Growth (BBC)
US Weekly Earnings Drop Most On Record (ZH)
Sunshine, Lollipops and… (Bill Gross)
Sweden Begins 5 Year Countdown Until It Eliminates Cash (ZH)
Confused By The Economic Modelling? That’s The Whole Idea (SMH)
Mutations, DNA Damage Seen In Fukushima Forests (AFP)
Zaman Newspaper: Defiant Last Edition As Turkey Police Raid (BBC)
“EU ’Must’ Hand Turkey €7 Billion Per Year To Keep Out Refugees” (Reuters)
Merkel Pressures Greece to Step Up Refugee Aid (BBG)
Open Letter To Vienna From Austrian Expatriates In Greece (Observer)
EU Refugee Crisis Leaves 10,000 Children Missing, Europol Says (BBG)

But wasn’t reform supposed to be crucial to growth itself? Pretty sure it still is. They should be careful not to start contradicting themselves.

China Picks Growth Over Reform At Annual Congress (AFR)

China will put development above structural reform over the next five years, as it outlined an ambitious economic growth target higher than economists and international agencies are forecasting. While announcing only modest tax cuts and a smaller than expected increase in fiscal spending, the government indicated it stands ready to roll out out other stimulus measures to meet targeted growth of 6.5% between 2016 and 2020. “We must remain committed to economic development as our central task … and respond effectively to challenges so as to ensure that China’s economy, like a gigantic ship, breaks the waves and goes the distance,” said Premier Li Keqiang during his opening address to the National People’s Congress on Saturday.

In outlining the three main priorities for its 13th Five Year Plan, Mr Li said development ranked ahead of structural reform and efforts to recalibrate China’s economy to be more reliant on consumption rather than investment. “Development is of primary importance to China and is the key to solving every problem we face,” he said. Mr Li’s determination for China to grow its way out of trouble will see a budgeted fiscal deficit of 3% of GDP in 2016, up from 2.3% last year. While this was lower than many had expected, it does not account for off-budget items, which are likely to see China post an actual fiscal deficit of 3.5% in 2015 and could see that figure top 4% this year. “The majority of the increase in the fiscal deficit will be used for a cut in taxes and charges in order to reduce the burden on enterprises,” Mr Li said.

This will result in 500 billion yuan ($103 billion) of tax cuts this year, as China replaces sales tax with a Value Added Tax. China set an economic growth target of between 6.5% and 7% for 2016. While this is well down on the double-digit growth rates of last decade, Mr Li put it in context by saying each 1 percentage point of growth today was the same as 2.5 percentage points 10 years ago, as the economy was now significantly larger. He also said each 1 percentage point of growth created 1.9 million new jobs. However, he conceded the country would face “more and tougher challenges” for economic development this year and must be prepared to “fight a battle” as international trade was weak and geopolitical risks were rising. But he said the economy was resilient and there was ample room for growth.

[..] On structural reform, Mr Li said the issue of so called “zombie enterprises” – companies that are effectively bankrupt but still operating – would be addressed “proactively yet prudently”. Beijing has outlined plans for 1.8 million steel and coal workers to lose their jobs over the next five years and has set up a 100 billion yuan ($20 billion) fund for compensating employees and restructuring companies. However, Mr Li outlined few details on how this would be achieved, suggesting it would be more gentle than the brutal restructure of State Owned Enterprises in the late 1990s, which saw an estimated 25 million workers lose their jobs.

Read more …

“China accounted for a quarter of the world’s economic growth in 2014, Xy said..” Tyler Durden wryly observes: “And accounted for 40% of all global new debt issuance since 2008..”

Hard Landing Fallacy “No Way” In China: Regulator (Xinhua)

The hard landing fallacy on China’s economy will “no way” occur in China, a senior economic official said Sunday. The Chinese economy is so resilient with relatively strong abilities to resist risks, Xu Shaoshi, who heads the National Development and Reform Commission, said on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session. “We are capable of keeping economic growth at rates within a reasonable range,” Xu said. “We are confident of achieving that end.” China set the growth target at a range of 6.5% to 7% this year, and an average annual growth of above 6.5% for the next five years.

It had seen, for a quarter of a century, the slowest expansion of 6.9% in 2015, amid its structural adjustment and a fragile global recovery. China’s economic growth remains relatively fast among world major economies. The 6.9% growth was hard won given the sluggish global recovery, Xu said. China accounted for a quarter of the world’s economic growth in 2014, Xu said, citing data from the World Bank and China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Read more …

We respectfully disagree.

China Says Cuts In Overcapacity Won’t Cause Massive Layoffs (Reuters)

China’s plans to reduce industrial overcapacity are unlikely to result in large-scale layoffs, the country’s top economic planner said on Sunday. Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told reporters at a briefing that economic growth will create more jobs and help offset the impact of capacity cuts. China aims to keep its economy growing by at least 6.5% over the next five years while pushing hard to create more jobs and restructure inefficient industries, Premier Li Keqiang said on Saturday.

Read more …

“There was plenty of talk about “painful rebalancing”, the need to reform inefficient state owned enterprises and to cut overcapacity – but for many, this speech will look a lot like business as usual: a commitment to growth at all costs..”

China PM Predicts ‘Battle’ For Growth (BBC)

China’s National People’s Congress has set the country’s growth target for 2016 at a lower range of 6.5%-7%. Premier Li Keqiang made the announcement in his opening speech, warning of a “difficult battle” ahead. The annual meeting in Beijing sets out to determine both the economic and political agenda for the country. It comes at a time when China struggles with slowing economic growth and a shift away from overreliance on manufacturing and heavy industry. The congress is also expected to approve a new five-year plan, a legacy of the communist command economy. “China will face more and tougher problems and challenges in its development this year, so we must be fully prepared to fight a difficult battle,” Mr Li told delegates on Saturday.

Last year, China’s goal was “about 7%”. The economy actually grew by 6.9% – the lowest expansion in 25 years. Mr Li also said that China was targeting consumer inflation at “around 3%” and unemployment “within 4.5%”. Meanwhile, the country’s defence spending will be raised by 7.6%, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports, citing a budget report. China’s congress is a highly choreographed, largely rubber stamp affair, but Premier Li’s opening address can at least be gleaned for clues about the overall direction of policy, the BBC’s John Sudworth in Beijing reports. There was plenty of talk about “painful rebalancing”, the need to reform inefficient state owned enterprises and to cut overcapacity – but for many, this speech will look a lot like business as usual: a commitment to growth at all costs, our correspondent adds.

Read more …

Ugly.

US Weekly Earnings Drop Most On Record (ZH)

The headline jobs number was certainly good, beating expectations and well higher than last month’s disappointing (and upward revised) 182K print. However, a quick look below the headline reveals an amazing statistic: while we already noted that average hourly earnings posted only their first decline since December 2014, and just the 6th in the past decade, declining by -0.1%, what is the real surprise is that average weekly hours worked also dropped substantially by 0.2 from 34.6 to 34.4. This, naturally, is the denominator in the average hourly earnings calculation, and for it drop drop with the average also sliding, means that weekly earnings must have dropped.

And drop they did: as the chart below clearly shows, based on the data which showed a whopping tumble in average weekly earnings from 878.15 to just 872.04, at -0.7%, this was the biggest monthly drop in the entire series history!

The drop confirms that the jump in earnings observed in January, and which led many to prematurely conclude that wage growth has finally arrived, was nothing but a headfake driven by the increase in minimum wages across various states, which has now been fully digested, and as a result wage growth is once again what it was before: non-existent. Finally, it goes without saying that in the middle of a ‘recovery’ this is not really supposed to happen.

Read more …

Long article by Gross, worth a read.

Sunshine, Lollipops and… (Bill Gross)

Our Sun – a rather tiny star in the galaxial scheme of things – seems inexhaustible. But 5 billion years from now, it will swallow, instead of nurture the Earth as it burns itself out – first contracting, then expanding like a flaming candle turned firecracker. Not to worry though. We won’t be around. It’s not that we are beyond worrying; it’s that our lives are much shorter and we needn’t think much about it. In the nearer term, there is global warming/climate change, and other such down to Earth problems as paying the bills and getting kids into the right colleges. Still – there are presumably inexhaustible things that deserve our attention in the here and now. One of them is finance-based capitalism and our assumption that the risk/ reward historically inherent in it will be sufficient to drive economic growth forward.

Unlike the Sun, whose fate and lifespan can be scientifically determined, there is little evidence that anything could ever change what has been until now a flawed, yet the best economic system conceivable. Capitalistic initiative married to an ever expanding supply of available credit has facilitated economic prosperity much like the Sun has been the supply center for energy/ food and life’s sustenance. But now with quantitative easing and negative interest rates, the concept of nurturing credit seems to have morphed into something destructive as opposed to growth enhancing. Our global, credit based economic system appears to be in the process of devolving from a production oriented model to one which recycles finance for the benefit of financiers. Making money on money seems to be the system’s flickering objective.

Our global financed-based economy is becoming increasingly dormant, not because people don’t want to work or technology isn’t producing better things, but because finance itself is burning out like our future Sun. What readers should know is that the global economy has been powered by credit – its expansion in the U.S. alone since the early 1970’s has been 58 fold – that is, we now have $58 trillion of official credit outstanding whereas in 1970 we only had $1 trillion. Staggering, is it not? But now, this expansion appears to be reaching an ending of sorts, at least in its current form. Private sector savers are growing leery of debt piled upon debt and government regulators have begun to build fences against further rampant creation.

In addition, the return offered on savings/investment whether it be on deposit at a bank, in Treasuries/Bunds, or at extremely low equity risk premiums, is inadequate relative to historical as well as mathematically defined durational risk. The negative interest rates dominating 40% of the Euroland bond market and now migrating to Japan like a Zika like contagion, are an enigma to almost all global investors. Why would someone lend money to a borrower with the certainty of getting less money back at a future date? Several years ago even the most Einsteinian-like economists would not have imagined such a state but now it seems an everyday occurrence, as central banks plumb deeper and deeper depths like drilling rigs expecting to strike oil, if only yields could be lowered another 10, 20, 50 basis points.

Read more …

Some kind of currency will appear. Maybe the Swedes will start using dollars.

Sweden Begins 5 Year Countdown Until It Eliminates Cash (ZH)

How much louder can the “ban cash” calls get? Recall it was just last year when we catalogued the growing cacophony of crazies for whom banning physical currency is the only way to ensure that depositors can’t simply reassert their economic autonomy under a low or zero rate regime.. Put simply, if interest rates get too low, depositors will simply take their money out the bank and put it in the mattress or the safe where, to quote WSJ from last week, “interest rates are always low no matter what central bankers do. Most recently, Larry Summers called for the abolition of the $100 bill in the US and in Europe the €500 note is to go the way of the dinosaurs. Perhaps the most telling sign that citizens are starting to panic is that in Japan, they’re selling out of safes. Literally.

“It shows a vague sense of unease,” one Japanese lawmaker who brought up the soaring safe sales in parliament on Monday remarked. Now, the excuse given for banning big bills is that it combats crime. And maybe it does. But in the end the rationale is simple: if there are no more physical banknotes, people have no economic autonomy. Let’s say consumer spending is stagnating. No problem, take rates to -20%. We bet they’ll start spending then – either that or see their deposits haircut by 20%. In short, no cash means no effective lower bound and with no lower bound, the economy can be completely centrally planned – for all intents and purposes. Consumers not spending? No problem. Just tax their excess account balance. Economy overheating? Again, no problem. Raise the interest paid on account holdings to encourage people to stop spending.

So with Citi, Harvard, Denmark and Peter Bofinger, member of the German Council Of Economic Experts, all onboard, we’re surprised to hear that Sweden (already one of the leaders in the cashless society movement) is looking to phase out a series of new bank notes it just introduced last year and moved ever closer to the cashless utopia. “Last year Sweden introduced a series of new banknotes replacing its old kronor notes. But figures suggest these too could be gone from circulation in half a decade if the development towards a cashless society continues,” The Local reports,” continuing that “cash transactions today represent no more than 2% of the value of all payments made in Sweden, [and that estimate] will drop to below 0.5% within the next five years. Some welcome the trend – credit card providers, for instances – others have reservations.

“It is happening at a furious rate. And it’s important to many older people to be able to use cash. I mean, today it is legal tender and you have to be able to use it until parliament decides otherwise,” Christina Tallberg, chairwoman of Swedish pensioners’ organization PRO, told Swedish Radio on Friday. Well, until parliament or perhaps more appropriately, until The Riksbank and Stefan Ingves decides it. Because at -0.55, it’s a “how much lower can you go type scenario.” Well, if you go kronor-less, that question ceases to make sense. The “problem” simply goes away. “Sometimes you have to learn new things. It’s a little awkward for a transitional period, but I think it’s going to be so simple that you pretty soon realize that this is a lot easier and better than having cash,” said working environment ombudsman Krister Colde of the Commercial Employees’ Union (Handels). Famous last words Krister.

Read more …

Fun in Oz.

Confused By The Economic Modelling? That’s The Whole Idea (SMH)

Politics is about trust. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been claiming for weeks that Labor’s plans for negative gearing would smash house prices. “The 70% of Australians who own houses will see the value of their single most important asset smashed to fulfil an ideological crusade,” he told parliament. His Attorney-General George Brandis has made it sound even worse. “There is one thing we know about the negative-gearing debate,” he told us. “If the Labor Party were to implement its policy, the value of most Australians’ homes would collapse”. His assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer briefly said the opposite. Labor’s policy would “increase the cost of housing for all Australians; for those people who currently own a home and for those people who would like to get into the housing market”.

And then his treasurer Scott Morrison latched on to a “credible report” that said Labor’s policy would have “a significant impact on property values”. He latched on too quickly. The report, by BIS Shrapnel, said no such thing. Prices would continue to rise in all but two of the next 10 years under the scenario it modelled, just as they would if negative gearing was maintained. After a decade, they would have climbed 15%. That’s less than with full negative gearing, but its still an increase. The report explained that house prices are typically “sticky in a downwards direction,” unable to fall lower than the cost of construction plus a markup. When new attempts at negative gearing were temporarily suspended between 1985 and 1987 real estate prices continued to climb.

While new investors would be less keen to buy if Labor’s policy stopped them negatively gearing, existing investors would be also less keen to sell, because they could only continue to negative gear if they hung on to the properties they had. Prices wouldn’t be smashed. It’s all there in the report Morrison lauded as credible (because it said rents would rise), but appeared not to properly read. Certainly his eyes appeared to glaze over the howling error on page one. The report said Australia’s national income would average $190 billion over the next ten years when it meant $1.9 trillion. And they appeared not to be troubled by its suggestion that a measure that raised around $2 billion per year would shrink the economy by $19 billion per year.

That’s $9 of economic damage for every $1 collected, a sum so big as to be way out of the ballpark of anything his department has ever modelled. When Treasury modelled a range of taxes for its tax discussion paper, it found the worst of them, stamp duty, did 70 cents of economic damage for each dollar collected. Yet first thing Thursday morning on AM Morrison described as “credible” a report that found removing negative gearing would create multiples of the biggest damage his department could find The Grattan Institute’s John Daley says the finding doesn’t even pass the giggle test. Try it for yourself. Attempt to say: “a tax that raises $2 billion will shrink the economy by $19 billion” without laughing.

Read more …

5 years later.

Mutations, DNA Damage Seen In Fukushima Forests (AFP)

Conservation group Greenpeace warned on Friday that the environmental impact of the Fukushima nuclear crisis five years ago on nearby forests is just beginning to be seen and will remain a source of contamination for years to come. The March 11, 2011 magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake off Japan’s northeastern coast sparked a massive tsunami that swamped cooling systems and triggered reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radiation spread over a wide area and forced tens of thousands of people from their homes – many of whom will likely never return – in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. As the fifth anniversary of the disaster approaches, Greenpeace said signs of mutations in trees and DNA-damaged worms were beginning to appear, while “vast stocks of radiation” mean that forests cannot be decontaminated.

In a report, Greenpeace cited “apparent increases in growth mutations of fir trees… heritable mutations in pale blue grass butterfly populations” as well as “DNA-damaged worms in highly contaminated areas”, it said. The report came as the government intends to lift many evacuation orders in villages around the Fukushima plant by March 2017, if its massive decontamination effort progresses as it hopes. For now, only residential areas are being cleaned in the short-term, and the worst-hit parts of the countryside are being omitted, a recommendation made by the International Atomic Energy Agency. But such selective efforts will confine returnees to a relatively small area of their old hometowns, while the strategy could lead to re-contamination as woodlands will act as a radiation reservoir, with pollutants washed out by rains, Greenpeace warned.

Read more …

Shame on Europe and the US.

Zaman Newspaper: Defiant Last Edition As Turkey Police Raid (BBC)

Turkey’s biggest newspaper, Zaman, has condemned its takeover by the authorities in a defiant last edition published just before police raided it. Saturday’s edition said Turkey’s press had experienced “one of the darkest days in its history”.
Police raided Zaman’s Istanbul offices hours after a court ruling placed it under state control, but managers were still able to get the edition to print. Police later fired tear gas to disperse Zaman supporters. Water cannon was also used as about 500 people gathered in front of Zaman’s headquarters on Saturday. They chanted “Free press cannot be silenced!” A number of the journalists returned to work, but some of them tweeted that:
• they had lost access to internal servers and were not able to file articles
• they were not able to access their email accounts
• the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Abdulhamit Bilici and a leading columnist had been fired

One reporter, Abdullah Bozturk, said attempts were also under way to wipe the newspaper’s entire online archive. The European Union’s response has been to issue weak statements of concern, the BBC’s Mark Lowen says. It is accused of acting softly on Turkey as it needs the country’s support in managing the refugee crisis. The paper is closely linked to the Hizmet movement of influential US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which Turkey says is a “terrorist” group aiming to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Mr Gulen was once an ally of Mr Erdogan but the two fell out. Many Hizmet supporters have been arrested.

The court ruled on Friday that Zaman, which has a circulation of some 650,000, should now be run by administrators. No explanation was given. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the move was “legal, not political”. “It is out of the question for neither me nor any of my colleagues to interfere in this process,” he said in a television interview. The government in Ankara has come under increasing international criticism over its treatment of journalists. The EU’s diplomatic service said that Turkey “needs to respect and promote high democratic standards and practices, including freedom of the media”, while the US described the move as “troubling”.

Read more …

They should find other allies, this is nuts. Erdogan is (mass-)murdering Kurds and closing down the press. And we’re helping him do it?!

“EU ’Must’ Hand Turkey €7 Billion Per Year To Keep Out Refugees” (Reuters)

The EU may need to more than double financial aid already pledged to Turkey to help it keep millions of Syrian refugees on its soil, Germany’s EU Commissioner Guenther Oettinger was quoted as saying on Saturday. The European Commission on Friday announced the first payouts from a €3 billion ($3.3 billion) fund to help Turkey pay for the needs of some 2.5 million refugees. “Europe should hold out the prospect of further financial support to Turkey also beyond 2017,” Oettinger told German magazine Der Spiegel. “Taking over full costs of the services that Turkey is providing by accommodating and caring for the refugees, the bill could easily add up to six or seven billion euros per year,” said Oettinger, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann proposed a new EU fund to finance the additional costs. “In the migrant crisis, we need joint European solutions,” Faymann told the magazine. “Therefore I suggest a fund in which each EU member state pays in, similar to the bank bailout. The money should be used to cover the costs of providing for the asylum seekers.” European Council President Donald Tusk, who on Friday held talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, will chair an emergency EU summit with Turkey on Monday aimed at strengthening cooperation to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

Read more …

Emptier words were never spoken.

Merkel Pressures Greece to Step Up Refugee Aid (BBG)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel boosted pressure on the Greek government to step up its capacity for sheltering refugees, pledging that the European Union will assist the country with the task. Greece fell short of its aim of setting up shelter for 50,000 asylum seekers fleeing Syria and the Middle East by the end of 2015, Merkel said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag. “The backlog needs to be made up posthaste,” Merkel told the German newspaper. “I know from my talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that he wants that too, but that that he needs our help to do it.”

Thousands of refugees are stranded in Greece. Merkel in the Bild interview blamed the humanitarian crisis on other European states that tightened their borders against the influx, blocking passage north, where most asylum seekers have sought shelter in more accommodating countries such as Germany. The chancellor has said the blocked borders endanger Europe’s system of passport-free travel, known as Schengen. “Today we have a different situation, because Austria and the Balkan nations made unilateral decisions at their national borders that have unfortunately placed a burden on our partner and Schengen member Greece,” Merkel told Bild. The EU’s 28 leaders and the Turkish government will discuss the refugee crisis in Brussels on Monday.

Read more …

Well put.

Open Letter To Vienna From Austrian Expatriates In Greece (Observer)

This is the full text of a letter written by prominent émigrés to ministers in protest over the country’s role in border closures against refugees

Open letter to the Austrian government Austrians living and working in Greece, who feel deeply connected with this country, appeal to the Austrian government to take a more responsible position in dealing with the refugee crisis. Instead of putting on blinkers, pretending that by closing the borders the problem will go away, the situation has to be tackled head-on at a European level. The Austrian government needs to understand that individual, national approaches fail to produce results, also because solitary advances contradict the basic tenets of the European programme, which is meant to serve as the foundation for a new generation. Despite the temporary ceasefire, the war in Syria continues unabated, forcing the frightened civilian population, trapped between the fighting fronts, to keep seeking refuge by fleeing their country.

While the neighbours of Syria bear the brunt of the pressure, the callous reaction of the Austrian government, one of the richest countries in the world (ranked 11), puts us to shame. Austrian politicians have claimed that our country has accepted more refugees than most others. But a glance at the facts from Europe’s south proves this statement to be fatally wrong, misrepresenting the data. Pushing solutions to the refugee crisis that rely on increasing the pressure on Greece is counterproductive, unrealistic and irresponsible. The Austrian Minister of the Interior maintains that “that will put an end to perilous journeys across the Mediterranean.” No, Mrs Minister, it won’t!

Dozens of boats continue to arrive on Greece’s shores on a daily basis, often carrying over three thousand desperate people a day. The unspeakable horror of the war, hopelessness in the adjacent countries and the desire to reunite with family members are a strong motivation for those who have nothing to lose to risk the journey towards European destinations. What could stop them? Coast guards? Warships? Walls? Barbed wire fences? None of these measures will have any effect, unless the acts of war are put to an end. Otherwise, traumatised, terrorised people will continue to do anything to escape their misery.

The Europeans, who cannot see eye to eye among each other and do not even seem to share the most basic values, are busying themselves reinforcing their ominous fortress. As much as they try, it is not going to prevent war refugees from attempting to save their lives. Many more will come, hoping to make it somehow, at all cost, as hope dies last. Europe has no choice but to face the catastrophic situation in the war-torn countries of the near and Middle East responsibly and make every effort to help these people rebuild their lives. This will require foresight, wisdom and the will to convince the doubters (and the constituencies). Otherwise, we will be faced with a generation growing up in war-torn nations in who cannot but feel deepest frustration and animosity towards Europe and its “values”.

Read more …

Nobody cares. All they care about is that refugees stop coming.

EU Refugee Crisis Leaves 10,000 Children Missing, Europol Says (BBG)

More than 10,000 child refugees have disappeared after arriving in Europe, according to crime-fighting agency Europol, as the region faces its worst migrant crisis since World War II. “This is something European police services and governments should be worried about,” Europol Chief Rob Wainwright said in an interview Saturday with French newspaper Le Figaro. “Not all are exploited for criminal purposes – illegal labor or sexual slavery. Some have left shelters to reunite with their families, but we have no proof of that.” Of the 1.2 million refugees who arrived in the European Union last year, a quarter were minors, and 85,000 were unaccompanied by an adult, Wainwright said.

More than 135,000 asylum seekers have made their way to Europe this year, compared with about 376,000 in October and November, according to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency. European leaders are struggling to develop an alternative for the patchwork of unilateral border controls imposed by national governments to stem the flow of migrants fleeing war and poverty. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, proposed on Friday to lift internal border border checks and restore passport-free travel by the end of the year.

Read more …