Jan 172022

Rembrandt van Rijn Man with a falcon on his wrist (possibly St. Bavo) 1661


Editorial Calls For National Guard To Keep Unvaccinated In Their Homes (Fox)
Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated (Rasmussen)
Djokovic ‘Must Pay Huge Sum To Australia’ (RT)
Australia Deports Novak Djokovic Citing His Threat to Social Cohesion (CTH)
Civil Rights Groups’ Alarm At Government’s Djokovic Case (Age)
Doctor Loses License, Must Have Psych Evaluation For Covid Falsehoods (MH)
The Death Of Science (Exp.)
After 28 Days on Ventilator, Family Loses Legal Battle to Try Ivermectin (ET)
Will the Omicron Wave Carry Us Onto Endemic Beach By March? (Kory)
Greek Seniors To Be Fined For Violating Vaccine Mandate (RT)
Vaccine Mandate for Cross Border Trucking Now in Effect (CTH)
Economics Ripe For A Post-pandemic Shake Up (Janda)



The madness genie is out of the bottle. And as these things go, it will be very hard to put it back in. It’s not as if the end of the pandemic will end the madness, too. Less than 1 year ago, even people like Biden ad Fauci said never a mandate. And now the Salt Lake City Tribune calls for the National Guard to lock the unvaccinated in their homes, and half of Democrats want a fine or prison time for questioning the efficacy of the vaccines. Australians are en masse cheering the destruction of their main tennis tournament. And destroyed it is. What’s the value of winning with the no. 1 out for political reasons?

The mental damage will be with us for a very long time.






Covid school money









No, nobody put anything funny in the drinking water. This is simply the media.

Editorial Calls For National Guard To Keep Unvaccinated In Their Homes (Fox)

The Salt Lake City Tribune editorial board published an editorial on Saturday that called on the Utah governor to use the National Guard to prevent unvaccinated citizens from going anywhere. In an editorial titled, “Utah leaders have surrendered to COVID pandemic, the Editorial Board writes” the paper lays blame at elected officials for failing to mandate the vaccine for all citizens. The paper asserted that if Utah was a “civilized place,” Republican Gov. Spencer Cox would implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the state and have the National Guard enforce the mandate by not letting unvaccinated people go “anywhere.”

“Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere,” the editorial board wrote. While the editorial board placed blame at all levels of government, they were more critical of Republicans like Cox. “Government officials, mostly but not exclusively Republicans, were apparently determined not to be caught governing in the face of this challenge. Any move or recommendation to mask up or, when safe and effective vaccines became available, to make vaccination a requirement of admission to public places and society in general was shouted down as an unwarranted imposition on individual freedoms,” it wrote.

“Cox and so many others have not carried the courage of their convictions. Cox, state legislative leaders, our congressional delegation and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes have so proudly stood against the kind of vaccine mandates that civilized society has used for generations to effectively wipe out everything from polio to diphtheria to the measles.”

Read more …

48% of Democrats support prison time for individuals who “publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines”.

Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated (Rasmussen)

A new Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of voters favor President Joe Biden’s plan to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the employees of large companies and government agencies. That includes 33% who Strongly Favor the mandate. 48% are opposed to Biden’s vaccine mandate, including 40% who Strongly Oppose the mandate. Voters are similarly divided over the federal government’s top COVID-19 expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. 45% view Fauci favorably, including 28% who have a Very Favorable impression of him. 48% have an unfavorable impression of Fauci, including 34% who have a Very Unfavorable view of him.

The even split among voters is the result of deep partisan divisions. While 78% of Democratic voters support the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate plan, only 22% of Republicans and 41% of voters not affiliated with either major party support the vaccine mandate. And many Democrats would support even harsher measures, including fines for Americans who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine and criminal punishment for vaccine critics. “After two excruciatingly long years, likely voters are beginning to question the federal government’s handling of the pandemic,” said Chris Talgo, senior editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute, which commissioned this poll. “First and foremost, likely voters are beginning to sour on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who seems to have lost credibility after countless flip-flops.”

Talgo continued: “Moreover, almost half of likely voters oppose President Biden’s vaccine mandates, which seem less about stopping the spread of COVID-19 and more about increasing the power of the federal government. When asked about several other potential strategies, such as fining those who refuse to get vaccinated, the consensus among likely voters is that the federal government should do less, not more.” [..] Nearly half (48%) of Democratic voters think federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications. Only 27% of all voters – including just 14% of Republicans and 18% of unaffiliated voters – favor criminal punishment of vaccine critics. 45%) of Democrats would favor governments requiring citizens to temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Such a policy would be opposed by a strong majority (71%) of all voters…

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“..a message of support displayed prominently on the Belgrade Tower in the Serbian capital on Sunday evening..”

Djokovic ‘Must Pay Huge Sum To Australia’ (RT)

Novak Djokovic’s stare-down with Australian immigration officials looks set to hit the world number one financially, with a report claiming to reveal the vast costs he is said to have been ordered to pay the country’s government. The unanimous decision by Australian judges to rubber-stamp Djokovic’s deportation ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2022 came with certain caveats including a potential ban for Djokovic on entering Australia for three years. Djokovic is financially liable for “all the costs” associated with the case, which are expected to be around $500,000, according to Telegraf – a sum which would have likely fallen on the Australian taxpayer had the court reached a different conclusion on Sunday.

The world number one, who admitted afterwards that he was “extremely disappointed” with the outcome of the hearing which finally ruled out Djokovic’s drive for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title win and a tenth Australian Open crown – accolades that would have set him apart from his peers as the most successful player of the modern era. While it remains unclear exactly when Djokovic will return to Serbia, his home nation has emphasized its support for Serbia’s most famous sporting export after his legal issues down under. The tennis icon, who has already received emphatic backing from the likes of Serbian president Aleksander Vucic and even Serbian royalty, will have a message of support displayed prominently on the Belgrade Tower in the Serbian capital on Sunday evening. “Nole, you are the pride of Serbia,” the message, which will be displayed between 8pm and 9pm local time, will read, before being replaced by the Serbian tricolor.

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“The concept of minority rights or individual sovereignty, restrictions on the mob’s ability to interfere in your life, is unfathomable to Australians.”

Australia Deports Novak Djokovic Citing His Threat to Social Cohesion (CTH)

None of the statements by the government, and none of their legal arguments had anything to do with COVID-19, or any medical issue or threat represented by Mr. Djokovic. The government didn’t even attempt to make any such case in their court arguments. Instead, the government relied upon convincing the court that Djokovic’s physical presence represented a threat to “social cohesion“. To support the position of the government, Australian Chief Justice James Allsop stressed the court was ruling on the “lawfulness and legality” of the decision and not whether it was right or wrong to deport him. The government can arbitrarily decide who comes and goes into the country, therefore, if the government wants to ban Djokovic for whatever reason, they can. That was the determining legal factor, nothing else.

Now we get to the key distinction between Americans and Australians. This is the point where many Americans find it difficult to reconcile with the outlook of Australians. This is where the distinctions in democracy become very important to understand. Americans view any form of tyranny as bad. Americans, in the whole, view any effort to crush your freedom as a negative. Australians only view tyranny as bad if it is not applied equally. As long as everyone suffers the punishment of government equally, the pain is approved. In Australia, government oppression is only bad if it is applied unequally. If every Australian is forced to have their right hand removed to comply with government rules, then the removal of the hand is permitted. Everyone gets in line at the hand-chopper.

However, if someone jumps out of the line and tries to escape, because they don’t want their hand removed, all the other people in line will chase him down, bring him back and hold him down while the government hand-chopper does the removal. The American looks at this mindset with jaw agape and says, “F**k you, my hand isn’t getting removed, and neither should anyone else’s; and I will fight the government hand-chopper if it means stopping them, even if you are okay with your hand getting chopped.” Generally speaking, the line of Americans to get their hands chopped will look scornfully as the two-handed rebel departs, but they accept his decision. (Although this outlook is changing in America) When an American sees a person fighting Australian tyranny (Djokovic), our gut instinct is to support him (we would if his confrontation was inside America – his location is irrelevant).

We support the freedom fight, because we see the underlying reason for him fighting -his medical and health freedom- as having merit. [..] There’s also a weird part of this where we recognize that Australians are unwilling to contemplate or accept that non-Australians might have different inherent rights because, well, they are not Australians. The Australian system of government is based on a pure democracy. Extreme democracy. As soon as 50% plus one is achieved, the other 50% accept the rules of the majority, regardless how small that majority position might be. This is why everyone in Australia is required by law to vote. The concept of minority rights or individual sovereignty, restrictions on the mob’s ability to interfere in your life, is unfathomable to Australians. Once a law is passed by majority consent, they all agree to follow it. That is their social compact.

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“..The crowd went silent as the decision was announced and one woman began to cry.”

Civil Rights Groups’ Alarm At Government’s Djokovic Case (Age)

The government’s barrister, Stephen Lloyd, SC, argued on Sunday that Djokovic’s views were “widely understood” and he had “become an icon for the anti-vaccination groups”. However, he said it was not only what Djokovic had stated in the past that had an impact, but also how people perceived him now and how that might encourage them to reject vaccination. Pauline Wright, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said it was reasonable for the government to suggest a famous person such as Djokovic who is unvaccinated may influence some people to refuse inoculation. But it was a “big leap” to argue his previous comments on vaccination were serious enough to deem his presence in Australia a public health risk.

“Do the comments in 2020 disentitle him from playing a tennis game in Australia in 2022?” she said. “Does that really pose such a threat to public health in a situation where we’ve got 95 per cent of the adult population vaccinated? “People are free to be sceptical of vaccination … As long as they can prove they are COVID-free, I don’t see why they should be excluded from public life.” Michael Stanton, a barrister and the president of Liberty Victoria, said it was “particularly unfair” to focus on how others might perceive Djokovic’s views, rather than the seriousness of what he has actually said. “It’s very different from [denying a visa] for someone who has expressly said something about inciting violence or encouraging unrest,” he said. “The reliance on how someone might be perceived sets an impossible standard for that person to meet.”

It was also ironic that the government’s attempt to remove Djokovic had given his views a week of international attention, he said. “They have magnified the anti-vax voice.” Mr Stanton and Ms Wright said the case highlighted the danger of the Immigration Minister’s power to make what they described as arbitrary decisions. Under powers described by a former Labor immigration minister as “god-like”, the minister can cancel someone’s visa if they believe the person may – rather than will – risk public health or good order. The debate came as fans of the 20-time grand slam winner protested outside Melbourne’s Federal Court buildings on Sunday. The crowd went silent as the decision was announced and one woman began to cry.

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Yes, ivermectin.

Doctor Loses License, Must Have Psych Evaluation For Covid Falsehoods (MH)

A doctor with decades of experience can’t practice medicine after her license was temporarily suspended over complaints that she shared coronavirus misinformation, according to a Maine licensing board. The board has ordered her to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation, it said. Dr. Meryl J. Nass, who got a license to practice medicine in Maine in 1997, had her license “immediately” suspended for 30 days after a board investigation and review of complaints against her on Jan. 12, according to a suspension order from the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. Nass, who’s an internist in Ellsworth, must “submit” to an evaluation by a “Board-selected psychologist” on Feb. 1, the board’s evaluation order issued Jan. 11 said.

“I have no comment about submitting to a neuropsych exam, except that the board ordered me to do so on shaky grounds,” Nass told McClatchy News, adding that she’s had her license for a total of 41 years. “The information received by the Board demonstrates that Dr. Nass is or may be unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to her patients by reason of mental illness, alcohol intemperance, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, or as a result of a mental or physical condition interfering with the competent practice of medicine,” the evaluation order states. The complaints against Nass include how the board was told she engaged in “public dissemination of ‘misinformation’” about COVID-19 and vaccinations “via a video interview and on her website,” the board said about the October 26, 2021 complaint. It lists several comments Nass made that were subject to the board’s investigation.

Roughly 10 days later, the board got another complaint about Nass “spreading COVID and COVID vaccination misinformation on Twitter,” it said. Nass called “disinformation and misinformation” a “fuzzy concept” that the board hasn’t defined for her, she said. “There’s no law that says doctors can’t express their educated opinion on any subject.” Other grounds for her suspension include how Nass treated COVID-19 patients with Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, according to the board. The board noted that Ivermectin isn’t Food and Drug Administration “authorized or approved” as a treatment for COVID-19 in the suspension order. Ivermectin is used as a parasitic treatment for animals, according to the FDA.

“For humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea,” the agency explains online. Additionally, it noted the FDA “revoked’ emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine since it “may not be effective” against COVID-19.

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“This has been a whitewash. This whole thing has killed science. Science is meant to look at evidence. It is truly unbelievable.”

The Death Of Science (Exp.)

Professor Dalgleish co-authored a paper in summer 2020 after spotting “unique fingerprints” in Covid-19 samples that he believes prove they must have been manipulated in a laboratory. The work was rejected by a string of journals, before finally being published in a watered-down form. Prof Dalgleish, an oncologist who discovered how HIV entered and killed cells in 1984, then found himself “ostracised” and frightened. In February 2020, the Lancet had published a letter that “strongly condemned conspiracy theories” suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin. This highly influential letter – subsequently cited in thousands of scientific publications – was signed by 27 experts including Wellcome Trust head and former Sage member Sir Jeremy Farrar.

However, it has since emerged that two weeks before the letter was published, Sir Jeremy stated in private emails that some senior scientists believed a ‘likely explanation’ was that the virus was man-made. He had led a teleconference call on February 1 2020. The emails discuss the call and reveal one virologist was ‘80 percent sure this thing had come out of a lab’. Others shared the view. Sir Jeremy was uncertain, stating “this will remain grey unless there is access to the Wuhan lab”. But virologist Dr Ron Fouchier said: “Further debate about such accusations would . . . do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular.” Professor Dalgleish, author of a new book on covid, The Origin of the Virus, warned the affair had profound implications for the scientific community.

He said his team had found amino acids on the spike with a positive charge, allowing the virus to cling to negative parts of the human body. But it was highly unusual to find so many positive charges in a row because they also repel each other, he said. “We realised when they released the sequence of the virus it broke the laws of physics for a natural virus meaning it was genetically modified. “At the time my position was supported by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6 who now chairs the University of London board of trustees.” However, when they tried to publish their work they were turned down by numerous papers, including the Lancet. “My paper was rejected within five hours”, he said. “Normally it takes three weeks before it is even peer reviewed.”

Prof Dalgleish said: “It was a political decision for this to be suppressed.” Describing the impact after his paper was finally released, he said: “I was ostracised. I was fearful – really frightened at the way I was being treated. “I was told I was not an expert on coronavirus’ and should just shut up. People tried to push us away. We were told our theory had no rationale and it was a conspiracy theory. I am so angry about this. I have more virus papers cited than most virology experts and they tried to push me aside. “They did not even look at the science. It was obvious it was a gain of function escape from a lab and I say escape, but that is generous. We had this data in late February after the sequences were released. “This has been a whitewash. This whole thing has killed science. Science is meant to look at evidence. It is truly unbelievable.” Last year an expert who has studied the lab leak said the debate about coronavirus will be reduced to “insults on twitter” unless medical journals allow uncensored discussion.

Read more …

This is so immoral, where does one begin?

After 28 Days on Ventilator, Family Loses Legal Battle to Try Ivermectin (ET)

A Florida family fighting to give their loved one on a ventilator alternative treatments for COVID-19 have lost another battle—this time in Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The wife and son of Daniel Pisano first squared off against Mayo Clinic Florida at an emergency hearing on Dec. 30 in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit. Before that, they’d been begging the hospital to allow them to try treating Pisano—who’s been on a ventilator now for 28 days—with the controversial drug ivermectin, along with a mix of other drugs and supplements, part of a protocol recommended by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). The family’s request for an emergency injunction to force the Mayo Clinic to allow treatments recommended by an outside doctor was denied by Judge Marianne Aho. They appealed the decision.

On Jan. 14, Aho’s decision was upheld by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The three-judge panel deciding the case included Judge Thomas “Bo” Winokur, appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2015; Judge M. Kemmerly Thomas, appointed in 2016 by Scott; and Judge Robert E. Long, Jr., appointed in 2020, by Gov. Ron DeSantis. “An opinion of this Court explaining its reasoning will follow,” the judges stated in the order they issued. “So we wait to see what that looks like, unless it takes too long,” said Jeff Childers, an attorney for the family. Seventy-year-old Daniel Pisano doesn’t have unlimited time, says Eduardo Balbona, M.D., an independent doctor in Jacksonville who’s been advising the family since they reached out to him while researching other treatments that could potentially help their loved one.

Balbona, who has been monitoring Pisano’s treatment at the Mayo Clinic through an online portal, testified on behalf of the Pisano family in the first hearing. The Mayo Clinic has argued that the treatment plan doesn’t fit with the hospital’s standard protocol for treating COVID-19 patients and they don’t know what the effects of following Balbona’s recommendations would be. The hospital has told the family that Pisano has a less-than-five percent chance of survival, and all that’s left to do is wait and see if he recovers on the ventilator.

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“..we should be “getting to the other side” of the wave by March!”

Will the Omicron Wave Carry Us Onto Endemic Beach By March? (Kory)

Woke up last Sunday to a text forwarded to me by my wife. It was a series of notes taken by a good friend of hers which summarized the main points heard on a conference call with the International Head of Infectious Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital (i.e. “Haavaad”). This is what it looked like: I found it remarkable on a number of fronts given that this information; 1/ Comes out of the Top of the Ivory Tower of Ivory Towers (Harvard) 2/ Comes from the Director of International Infectious Disease.

Despite #1 and #2, the Director; 1/ Subtly questions the accuracy of publicly disseminated hospitalization data (a large number of us have long stopped placing high value on the disseminated aggregate U.S data as it is not only severely discordant with other countries’s data (U.K, Israel, S. Africa etc) but the underlying granular, “source” data is almost never supplied to the public. Plus, the U.S agencies history of data shenanigans in the pandemic is terrifying – i.e. remember when they made a rule to stop testing the vaccinated and to advise docs against checking antibodies on anyone prior to vaccinating them?

2/ Says that boosters will not be needed for Omicron. Wait, what? Scientific truth and logic is now coming out of a major academic institution in the U.S? No more of their long-standing, complicit (silent) support of an unending series of illogical policies around these novel vaccines? He openly says this while all the public health agencies and mass media continue to whip up fear of Omicron so as to try to increase vaccination rates? He even implicity brings up the reality that vaccines designed for older and fundamentally different variants have already shown either negligible or negative protection against Omicron. Whoa. He also didn’t bother (or forgot) to parrot the manipulative lie that vaccines are responsible for preventing hospitalization and death in Omicron? Who slipped this guy the Truth Serum?

3/ Offers a highly positive message in line with my growing and large network of COVID-expert colleagues in that the global data on Omicron strongly suggests it will infect such large swaths of society that things will get back to normal, based on the fact that natural immunity to (and displacement of) the more dangerous variants will result. And, we should be “getting to the other side” of the wave by March!

Read more …


Greek Seniors To Be Fined For Violating Vaccine Mandate (RT)

The Greek prime minister has made a final appeal to the country’s senior citizens to get inoculated before monthly punishments for violating the country’s vaccination mandate kick in next week. “Our fellow citizens who are over 60 and still unvaccinated – I encourage them today: take this step,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a visit to a health center in Megara, near Athens, on Saturday. “Protect your life and the lives of those you love, and understand that the vaccine is safe and saves lives.”

Citizens aged over 60 will be fined €50 ($57) from Monday and €100 ($114) each month from February unless they get vaccinated. All proceeds will go to the country’s health system, Greek media said. Those with Covid recovery certificates and proven medical exemptions will not be subject to the fines. People vaccinated abroad will be able to register their vaccination through a government website. The AMNA news agency cited government sources as saying that 90% of citizens aged over 60 have already been vaccinated or have booked an inoculation appointment.

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Do watch the video. And then maybe stock up.

Vaccine Mandate for Cross Border Trucking Now in Effect (CTH)

The cross border vaccine mandate for truckers in/out of Canada is now in effect. The U.S. vaccine mandate takes effect on January 22nd.It will take a few days to see the consequences, but there will be consequences. Keep in mind, any impact is taking place in a supply chain system that is already tenuous and unstable at best. A small disruption that may have been minimally significant against a fully operational supply chain, is more likely to be a much bigger disruption in a supply chain that is already under a severe amount of demand side stress. Somewhere in the range of 16,000 to 38,000 daily loads are likely to be impacted.

When questioned about this, Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc says the trucking industry “has had adequate time to prepare for this.” Keep in mind, the mandate was announced 45 days ago (November 30th). According to the Canadian government, changing the structural rules for all the logistics and commerce in cross border shipping, 45 days is enough notice. […] The mandate throws a “major wrench” in the Canadian and North American supply chains, he added, with grocers, food producers, the auto parts industry and building materials among the sectors expected to be most affected. “I really hope that we’re not at the stage where you see food insecurity, where you’re actually going to grocery stores and there’s nothing on the shelf,” Winder said. “That could be the worst-case scenario.”

Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, told CTV News Channel on Saturday that there were as many 23,000 vacancies at the end of the third quarter of 2021, with his group’s own studies showing that roughly 20 per cent of Canadian truck drivers operating across the border are unvaccinated. […] “If we remove a fifth of that workforce, we’re going to see shortages on shelves and we’re going to see inflation of prices, because the cost to bring this stuff here is going to go up.”

Canadian truck driver

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“So when 30, 40 or 50 per cent of your staff are absent through COVID illness or isolation, there is no way to keep functioning as usual.”

Economics Ripe For A Post-pandemic Shake Up (Janda)

Who do we miss most when they don’t turn up to work? If I couldn’t work from home and write this column, would it inconvenience you in the slightest? If your employer’s CEO was out of action for a fortnight, would it affect your work? Federal parliament hasn’t sat for a month and a half and won’t sit again until the second week of February. How many of us even noticed? On the other hand, if your garbage collection doesn’t turn up this week and your bin is overflowing, it’ll certainly catch your attention. When you turn up to the supermarket to buy fresh produce for dinner and the shelves are bare, it’s more than a minor annoyance. If your toddler can’t go to childcare, you’ll definitely notice.

As the Centre for Future Work’s Jim Stanford pointed out last week, COVID has shown again and again that the basis of a healthy economy is healthy humans. But it has also reminded those of us paying attention that our most essential workers also happen to be some of our lowest-paid, while our (arguably) less-essential workers are often paid far more. Of course, in a modern capitalist democracy, we need CEOs, politicians and, yes, even journalists. But their temporary absence doesn’t spark a crisis. But take the nurses, chefs and cleaners out of a nursing home and you’ll have a crisis very quickly, as some facilities are already seeing in the Omicron wave.

Yet the fruit and veggie pickers, abattoir workers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, nurses, childcare workers, garbage collectors, cleaners and many others whose daily work is directly essential for others’ wellbeing generally earn much less than the average — which is currently around AUS $90,000 per year for full-time workers. Does that not hint at something fundamentally wrong with a social science concerned with distribution? That many of the people whose work is most valued by others in society are among those least valued by that society in a monetary sense? There’s another hard lesson for economists and managers in the way COVID has exposed weaknesses in supply chains.

Those who run the economy, corporations and public services, perhaps above all, tend to strive for efficiency and productivity. In recent decades, firms, governments and even households have been operating on lean “just-in-time” models, where we keep stocks in hand as low as possible. That’s fine in normal times, but when your usual supply suddenly dries up — whether it’s computer chips, face masks or toilet paper — you very quickly find yourself in a tricky bind, with little time to adapt. The same is true for staffing. So many companies and public services have down-sized, or “right-sized” as it is now sometimes euphemistically termed, that losing just 10 per cent of their workforce is a crisis. So when 30, 40 or 50 per cent of your staff are absent through COVID illness or isolation, there is no way to keep functioning as usual.

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Pollination – Must watch












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Jul 132021
 July 13, 2021  Posted by at 12:43 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  24 Responses »

Damien Hirst Renewal Blossom 2018



This is an essay I picked up in a publication from Sri Lanka. The author, Omar Khan, a “global consultant”, is not a blank sheet, he even appears in stories about a Ponzi scheme defrauding rich Wall Streeters in a wine set-up. But here, he asks a lot of the right questions, in a kind of summary of what we have been asking -and stating- for a long time now.



Omar Khan: Life has to be our dedication, not virus eradication. We are custom designed biologically and perhaps providentially to transcend viral challenges and pathogens, when we use our immunological hardiness, our medical acumen and data-based (not hypochondriacal) prudence.



The popular narrative reeks so pungently that we almost have to keep debunking these absurdities to dispel the trance that too many seem to be under.


C-19: It’s novel, it’s new, it’s unprecedentedly dangerous! 

No, it’s not! There is a family of coronaviruses. To that extent, this may have been ‘new’ and ‘novel, but not in any way to suggest that either our immune systems or our medical science was dealing with some uniquely implacable foe. Furthermore, it seems to have been circulating from the latter half of 2019. Medical researchers have repeatedly confirmed there were both examples of pre-existing immunity and crossover immunity due to prior immunological experience with similar pathogens. And now data clearly shows this was nothing unprecedented. 


It is primarily spread by droplets and infected surfaces

No, it isn’t. It is an airborne virus, and flourishes in congested, poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and is spread by minute particles. Ergo, being ‘locked’ in is simply insane. Even the US CDC confirms, there is roughly 1 in 10,000 chance of being infected by touching a surface. So, all this mass sanitising and social distancing was more kabuki theatre than anything else.


Everyone is equally at risk! 

No, they’re not! This is highly age stratified. Certainly, in the developed world, 93%+ of the deaths are above 70. There is a remarkably good recovery rate above 70, close to 97% for those without serious comorbidities. Another 6 to 10% fall within the ages of 40 to 69 (again, the majority with existing preconditions we are told by meta-analysts at leading universities) and below 40 the mortality rate gets increasingly nominal and infinitesimal. 


There is no treatment

Yes, there is! There is, of course, the Nobel Prize winning, WHO essential drug, Ivermectin There are studies, randomised trials, overwhelming front line clinical experience from around the world all testifying to its saving graces. There is also HCQ and Zinc, Corticosteroids, Monoclonal Antibodies, Vitamin D3, Budesonide and numerous others that are part of demonstrably effective, early treatment protocols. If treated early during the viral stage, leading doctors in the US, UK, Zimbabwe, India, Mexico, South Africa confirm virtually every symptomatic patient can be saved. 

Overall, even including the inflammation and thrombosis phase of the illness (when it becomes successively more dangerous) the most effective protocols have shown 85 to 90% reduction in hospitalisation and deaths. There is no sane reason not to embrace this, demonstrate it, and crystallise a Sri Lanka protocol drawing on the best of the rest.


Natural immunity cannot save us

Yes, it can! We would not be alive today if natural immunity did not work. Virtually all past vaccinations have taken place after a pandemic has waned somewhat because those actual vaccines did not get fast tracked past animal trials and safety trials. 

Every credible study reconfirms our immunological wisdom has always trumpeted. Namely immunity is long lasting. And while there is no guarantee no one will ever get re-infected, even that is extremely rare, with virtually no documented global cases. And when it does happen, it is substantially milder and our immune memory in terms of mobilising to deal with the pathogen becomes ever more profound. And that, indeed, seems to last a lifetime. 

Despite the seesawing medical vacillations of an increasingly confounded WHO, natural immunity trumps any vaccine-based immunity. And in the case of the current crop, the “vaccines” have been focused on suppressing symptoms and do not lead to the sustained immunological template that natural immunity confers (by their own admission). Despite this still being distorted in their description, at least natural immunity is back on the WHO website after having been pulled from there in an almost comic panic spasm. 


Asymptomatic people drive the disease, and so, we must lock everyone up

They don’t and we shouldn’t! Asymptomatic transmission is a dud, has not been demonstrated to be in evidence except where people’s immune systems are naturally dealing with the infection, in which case, they are not transmitting. Children, for example, fall within this description, and have not been shown to be vectors of transmission. This has been shown both in open schools in Florida and in Sweden where they stayed open throughout. 

Therefore, it may be necessary to revert to the unanimous pre 2020 consensus that said, ‘asymptomatic’ is really a euphemism for ‘healthy.’ Certainly ‘detecting’ an asymptomatic person based on highly fallible PCR testing is no basis to debunk centuries of medical consensus. Said PCR test anyway doesn’t test for live infectiousness, is not by itself (even as per WHO) diagnostic, and amplification settings are often set so high as to make the results almost a parody. And then lab contamination is often rife and viral debris can malinger long beyond any rational infection period. Other than that, we can swoon at its accuracy!

Ergo, locking up the healthy rather than allowing them to develop natural immunity if they are not in the vulnerable risk profile (which the majority are not) is oppressive, useless, society destroying and a form of protracted economic suicide. 


Everyone should be masked! 

No, they shouldn’t! In 2019 WHO had reviewed the 10 most seemingly credible mask studies, all of whom concluded masks don’t work in pandemic situations except in very crowded contexts and should not be used. This was also the conclusion up until the 2020 haemorrhage of medical sanity, of the US CDC, the European Medical Association, the Australian authorities, Johns Hopkins University and virtually everywhere else. There is no new research or any new studies that have led to this somersault. The only randomised trail done over this period, in Denmark, is consistent with all the earlier studies.

Dr. Frankenstein Fauci in his highly vocal emails disdains the use of such masks as well. The nano particles are too small for the masks to arrest anything. Anything other than respirators fitted to the face, which are not practical beyond a few hours, allow ready access to viral invaders, as we’ve said before. This is why one doesn’t use such masks to protect against anthrax, asbestos, black mould, all of which have larger particles. 

Masks are unhygienic, suppress oxygen flow, force you to inhale your own waste, and there are no long-term studies that demonstrate any efficacy or even confirm the safety of breathing in and out in such an encased, inhibited manner for a protracted period of time. Moreover, there’s the simple “live” case study of comparing open US states without mask mandates with those that are ‘muzzled,’ and one can see that there is no benefit in terms of mortality and overall results (on the contrary), other than totemic compliance and pathetic virtue signalling. 

By the way, there is not one recorded instance of outdoor transmission (even CDC accepts it is less than 1%). Therefore, unless you dislike breathing in oxygen there truly is no explanation for the endurance of this mad, sad ritual, when we are outside. 


Variants will haunt us forever

Who cares? Can we make our peace with the fact that viruses mutate? As explained before, former Chief Science Officer of Pfizer, Dr. Michael Yeadon, has pointed out that a variant is no more than 0.3% different than the original virus. And since we know immune systems that were earlier exposed (as Dr. Yeadon points out through medical testing), still recognise and immunologically rally when exposed again to the original SARS from 17 years ago – even though that is 20% different than SARS-CoV-2 – we can see how little we have to fear. These variants are simply the currently dominant strain, not some unknown predator. 

The current scaremonger, Delta, is actually welcomed by specialists like Dr. Harvey Risch of Yale and Dr. Peter McCullough of Baylor because it is so mild relative to mortality, and they say, among the most treatable variants they’ve encountered. So, despite PCR test spasms showing ‘surging cases,’ there has been virtually no impact on mortality. In fact, J.P. Morgan reports that in 10 out of 15 countries where Delta is dominant, even cases declined, and in 13 out of 15 countries, fatalities declined with vaccination percentages ranging from 32 to 63% of the population.

Even in the UK which has seen an uptick in mortality, as per government data, the case fatality rate hovers close to 0.3%


We must vaccinate everybody!

Actually, we need great caution! There are numerous early treatments. On that basis alone, the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) should be rendered illicit and inapplicable (this is why there are such desperate attempts to suppress and smear these treatments). So, the deaths and adverse effects recorded even in government databases (which confess to being between 1-20% of actuals) are greater than the cumulative total for all other vaccines since such tracking was undertaken, at least since 1995. 

The types of issues range from severe neurological damage, myocarditis, life threatening blood clots, fertility issues, tragic pregnancy consequences and too many others to itemise or catalogue. To this, a riposte is often given that these adverse effects correlate to vaccination but cannot be proven to have been ‘caused’ by the vaccine. 

But repeated conjunction between a stimulus (‘vaccines’) and a pattern of adverse phenomena closely accompanying all the vaccines, is precisely what, in more prudent and more transparent times, would simply, on the basis of the precautionary principle, lead to stopping this manic jabbing, to do a proper investigative assessment. 

Beyond that we now know that the spike proteins, even without the virus, are lethal and this is what we are injecting in the case of the mRNA vaccines primarily. They also do not stay localised and instead spread throughout our organs (SALK Institute study, autopsy plus repeated testimony by Dr Robert Malone, one of the founders of the mRNA technology – who has for the sin of sharing his expertise, had both his LinkedIn account erased and has had Wikipedia attempt to rewrite history by expunging his mRNA contribution from their site). These are horrifying concerns, and it is monstrous not to have addressed them, rather than cravenly attempting to whitewash them.


The spectre of censorship

There are great concerns re the pervasive censorship. Such desperate attempts to silence and muzzle don’t usually spring from confidence, or positions that have self-evident appeal. Just a smattering of examples: Norway was de-platformed from Tweeting disquiet about Astra Zeneca! Dr. Robert Malone, as indicated above, has accounts cancelled, and is removed from the Wikipedia author page (Joan of Arc may be next). 

Evolutionary biologist and visiting fellow at Princeton (Bret Weinstein) “demonetised” from YouTube (after over three million views) because some cabal somewhere, somehow decide what is or isn’t fit for our eyes and ears. And when and how did that judgment seat pass to them, otherwise than through financial string pulling by desperate vested interests, thereby confessing their impotence in terms of having a case to make? 

Noble Prize Winner Professor Satoshi Omura, whose discovery of Ivermectin as an anti-parasitic drug led to one of the world’s greatest public health achievements, was just censored for daring to opine that indeed he believes his discovery will be hugely beneficial for COVID treatment.

None of this is normal! Martin Kulldorff, one of the world’s leading epidemiologists, at a meeting with Florida Governor De Santis suggests that universal vaccination is not called for, the interview is scrubbed immediately, because our precious sensibilities cannot even have that “suggested”, even from someone whose expertise fully entitles him to share an assessment we should be desperately interested to at least consider.

Remember, all this is being mounted over an age stratified illness of low risk to virtually everyone. So, all the frenzy to demonise, the incentive for that, once more, cannot have been public health. 

Yes, four million people are purported to have died of COVID with all types of death certificate rigging. And if you say it’s normal for a positive test on a death certificate to translate into causation (and nothing of course re vaccine deaths can rise to “causation” unless a spike protein jumped out and confessed perhaps), I will ask why this logic is only, uniquely applied to this pathogen? Why were these norms so hurriedly “updated” after decades of normal causal logic holding sway, of recording the primary cause of death?

Yes, four million died over this period, and five million die of all-cause mortality every month, so about 85 million have perished over the same period. There is no interest in the other causes of mortality? Or those coming from deferred cancer screenings, heart conditions not attended to, overdoses and suicides, literally many millions more from starvation due to interrupted supply chains? 


Re-opening society: A call to action

We had three of the world’s most eminent doctors present to policy makers here, and the conclusions in terms of re-opening society and keeping it open are given below.

1. Keep society open, solvent, functioning and able to provide public health resources to its citizens as well as livelihoods. Lockdowns are penal, take a devastating human toll which only worsens, and as demonstrated, backfire, and data shows that conclusively around the world. They do not help given all transmission is indoor, most people are not at risk, and abundant early treatments exist for the symptomatic.

2. Keep people out of hospitals by providing early treatment, open air clinics, mobile clinics. If treatment is given early on, the period of infectiousness can be vastly reduced to as little as five days. Home treatment guides can be provided and contact information for resources that can provide telemedicine, drive by clinics, guidance, treatment and early support, should be widely circulated. We can actively benchmark experience with everything from ivermectin to monoclonal antibodies (now cleared for use in Sri Lanka through Roche) to protocols in South Africa by Dr. Chetty (4,000 patients, everyone has survived), including fascinating local remedies in Tamil Nadu that actually work. And thereby, as cited above, we can create a “Lankan protocol.”

3. Consider augmenting conventional PCR tests which have time lags as well as often not being able to confirm live infectiousness with some of the newer saliva-based antigen tests, some of which now have demonstrated 98% accuracy and can report results in 15 minutes, or as Singapore is suggesting, focus on the symptomatic and do proper lab diagnosis. Regardless though, focus on the mortality needle, not ‘positive tests’ posing as ‘cases’ as per the example of Sweden this spring (rising positive tests with consistently falling death numbers due to focused protection). Singapore is another example of this “disconnect” with 62,000 positive tests and 36 deaths. 

4. Prioritise the vulnerable elderly in any vaccination efforts as well as in terms of temporary sheltering in place or other measures to shield them from infection when community disease spread is high. 

5. Ensure people are encouraged when indoors to be in not overly congested, well ventilated spaces, especially the elderly and vulnerable. And also, to get plenty of time outdoors, UV rays and vitamin D from the sun, germicidal air as epidemiologist Knutt Wittowski stresses are well documented benefits with all viruses in synch with seasonality and plenty of exercise which helps the immune system and improves indicators re other aspects of health, including comorbidities. 

6. Please note Sri Lanka still has among the lowest deaths per million in the world, (roughly 156 per million). Pakistan has a fairly low deaths per million (roughly 102 per million) and even India, despite its recent surge has roughly 1/7th the deaths per million of the US and Europe. We should take advantage of being in this relatively charmed immunological corridor and find the will and courage to open society up, let natural immunity among those at nominal risk (based on age first and overall health next) help to build a wall of immunity and treat everyone with symptoms who needs help as early as possible, thereby fast-tracking C-19 migrating to endemic status. This was the overall consensus of our global panel.


Of possible concern

As we open our borders or open society back up (which we must), or have another seasonal surge, if we stay infatuated with positive tests rather than symptoms, we may again panic unnecessarily. We should recall, positivity in Delhi in early May was staggering and by week of 31 May was less than 1% which shows how quickly the tide can turn. 

Knowing we have this suite of treatments and prioritising the vulnerable for treatment and/or vaccination will assure us that even if there is a temporary surge, focusing on the symptomatic, we can handle it and there is nothing to fear. The alternative is perpetual, recurring, pointless lockdowns and having to act as if no other cause of harm or concern matters even though we lose many more lives here through car accidents, diabetes, heart attacks, in some seasons, dengue. Hunger, bankruptcy, deferred vaccinations for even more serious diseases that we were on our way to routing, destruction of education for children for whom it is their literal future, simply cannot be ignored as we chase, to the exclusion of all else, the unattainable phantom of ‘zero COVID’. 

Life has to be our dedication, not virus eradication. We are custom designed biologically and perhaps providentially to transcend viral challenges and pathogens, when we use our immunological hardiness, our medical acumen and data-based (not hypochondriacal) prudence.




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May 152021

Claude Monet Misty Morning on the Seine 1897



When the covid virustime started, we were told by everyone with a microphone to “follow the science”. But 16 months or so in, we’re not following the science, yet no-one calls us on it. What happened? Where did we lose the thread, where did we lose our heads, where did the science go?

Did we lose it because the vaccine makers got too greedy, or because politicians became too panicky, or because the media realized that scaring the living daylights out of people 24/7 is great for ratings? Or just because we ourselves lost track of what was really going on?

Injecting hundreds of millions of people with substances that have never been properly tested – for which long-established protocols have existed for a long time – is about as unscientific as it gets. Then when you realize there’s no evidence that they keep injectees from being infected or infecting others, but only makes them -hopefully- a little less sick, you might as well stop right there.

From a science point of view, you’re engaging in either a useless enterprise or a giant gamble with people’s health. Both utterly unscientific endeavors, any scientist can tell you that.

Then, when you hear, from the UK government, no less, that only 66% of people can ever be successfully vaccinated and may be protected with the present vaccines, which still leaves out those who don’t want these vaccines, what are you going to think and do?

Shouldn’t you perhaps focus on the fact that over 4 out of 5 people have an immune system that provides them with “adaptive cross-immunity”, meaning they are not at risk of dying or even serious disease? Why would you instead turn to experimental substances that risk putting those immune systems themselves at risk?

Which part of this is us following the science? Why haven’t we seen huge campaigns aimed at making us healthier, and boosting our immune systems? What part of that would be “not following the science”? It’s not as if we don’t know how to boost our immune systems, or for that matter how to make us overall healthier then we are today.

Moreover, the effect of lockdowns is highly debatable -even if such debates are stifled-, as is the effect of facemasks always and everywhere. And, obviously, that of untested “vaccines”. We have the science, mankind has been through epidemics through its entire history, and it’s not as if scientists have never learned anything from that history.

It’s just that we seem to be changing the meaning of the word “science” to mean an industry, and corporations, that produce novel chemicals, as well as societies that do things, lockdowns, masks, that have never been used in the way they have been the past year.

And that is very risky. If people like Geert VanDenBossche are only half right when they say mass-vaccination during a pandemic will only -and inevitably- speed up the ability of an endemic virus to mutate into forms that evade the vaccines, it’s woman and children first. Well, either that or old and overweight men.

I’ve written a lot on the topic over the past year and a half, obviously, and it doesn’t feel all that great to repeat talking points, but I keep finding it difficult to understand why our 21st century world calls for us to follow the science, only to turn its back on that science the very next moment.

And for simply asking that, I risk being vilified. Like some kind of heretic. But as someone said, I think it was Roger Hodkinson, we cannot afford to stifle dissenting voices in this situation, because the discussion they start might be the very step we need to find a way out. We can’t afford to not ask questions.

To just say get your jab and don’t say or ask a word appears to be the most reckless thing we can do. Even if the alleged “vaccines” would do better at protecting us than the present science has evidence for, that would still be only in -the richer- part of the world, while the virus can run rampage in the rest.

As we can still, though you won’t hear anything about this from your media -local or global- or your politicians, strengthen immune systems sufficiently to make the worst threat of Covid go away.

The virus may kill the some of weakest amongst us, the obese, those with co-morbidities, and the elderly, but many other things, like the flu, can -and do- do that too, yet we have never paralyzed our societies and social lives because of those things. While we have zero evidence that the present vaccines, or whatever you call them, will solve these issues.

It doesn’t look to me like we are following the science at all. We’re following something alright, but not that. If and when the vaccine makers themselves state they have no proof their chemicals protect against infection, yet everyone starts opening up their stores and theaters and what have you, but only to the “vaccinated”, I’m at a loss for words.




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Jun 132020

Gustave Doré Dream of the Eagle (Dante’s Purgatory) 1868


32 Yemen Doctors Die Of Coronavirus (MEM)
Italian Prosecutors Question PM Conte For 3 Hours Over Virus Response (R.)
June 12 COVID-19 Test Results (McBride)
CDC Warns Restrictions May Be Needed Again If US COVID-19 Cases Spike (R.)
Seattle Coronavirus Survivor Gets A $1.1 Million, 181-Page Hospital Bill (ST)
No Country for Old Men (Ben Hunt)
Churchill Statue Boarded Up Ahead Of Expected UK Protests On Saturday (R.)
Films Aiming To Win Oscars Will Need To Meet Diversity Criteria – Academy (R.)
The American Press Is Destroying Itself (Taibbi)
The Party of Chaos and Falsehood (Jim Kunstler)
Lawyer For Flynn Judge Says Court Will Eventually Dismiss The Case (JTN)
Judges Appear Skeptical Of DOJ Move To Dismiss Flynn Case (Fox)
Graham Granted Significant Subpoena Power For Russia Probe Investigation (JTN)
Some Claim Mayan Calendar Was Wrong, ‘World Will End On June 21’ (Mirror)



Worldometer reports new cases for June 9 (midnight to midnight GMT+0) at + 140,917. New record.

My count from about 6 am EDT to 6 am EDT is + 141,854 cases.







New cases past 24 hours in:

• US + 27,221
• Brazil + 25,982
• Russia + 8,706
• India + 11,320
• Pakistan + 6.472
• Chile + 6,754
• Mexico + 5,222



US coronavirus deaths

90 days ago: 58 deaths
80 days ago: 704 deaths
70 days ago: 7,152 deaths
60 days ago: 23,649 deaths
50 days ago: 49,887 deaths
40 days ago: 67,682 deaths
30 days ago: 84,118 deaths
20 days ago: 97,087 deaths
10 days ago: 106,180 deaths
Today: 116,831 deaths



Cases 7,763,875 (+ 141,854 from yesterday’s 7,622,021)

Deaths 428,734 (+ 4,409 from yesterday’s 424,325)






From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close-:



From Worldometer:



From COVID19Info.live:





The number only becomes significant when you read that only 560 patients have been reported.

32 Yemen Doctors Die Of Coronavirus (MEM)

Some 32 doctors in Yemen have died as a result of the coronavirus, the Yemeni Physicians and Pharmacists Syndicate announced yesterday. Doctor Mohammed Ahmed Seif was the latest fatality, he died in the southern province of Taiz. “Seif is the 32nd martyr from coronavirus,” the syndicate said in a statement. By Wednesday, a total of 560 people were reported to have been infected by the virus, 129 of whom have died and 23 have recovered, according to official data. The data does not include the Houthi-controlled areas, which were reported to have registered a total of four infections and one fatality, though many fear the actual number is far higher.

On Monday, the United Nations (UN) said that the mortality rate from the virus in Yemen was “alarmingly increasing”, warning of what it described as a “deteriorating health system”. Since 2014, Yemen has been suffering from an ongoing war between pro-government forces and the Houthis, who have captured most of the north, including the capital, Sanaa.

Read more …

What’s the use of this? Is it not a case for Parliament instead?

Italian Prosecutors Question PM Conte For 3 Hours Over Virus Response (R.)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was questioned by prosecutors on Friday about the country’s response to its coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 34,000 people. The prosecutors from Bergamo, one of the northern cities hit hardest by the pandemic, are looking into why badly affected small towns around the city were not locked down earlier in the outbreak, when infections were rising fast. Conte, who was questioned as a witness for three hours in his office in Rome and is not under criminal investigation, later told reporters via his spokesman: “I wanted to explain every stage to the smallest detail.” Prosecutors also questioned Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Health Minister Roberto Speranza.

In interviews with several Italian newspapers on Friday, Conte said he would tell prosecutors everything he knew and was not worried by the possibility he could be personally investigated. If that did happen, it would be likely to weaken an already fractious coalition government and add fuel to already frequent speculation that Conte may be pushed out despite his high personal approval ratings in opinion polls. Prosecutor Maria Cristina Rota said the meeting had taken place “in an atmosphere of great calm and institutional collaboration”. The region of Lombardy, which includes Bergamo, was the original epicentre of Italy’s virus outbreak and has remained by far the worst hit of its 20 regions, accounting for about half of its total deaths and most new infections.

The decision not to isolate Bergamo and the surrounding towns has been one of the most contentious episodes, with the central government and Lombardy’s regional authorities each saying the other was responsible. In Lombardy, which is led by the right-wing opposition League party, the Bergamo prosecutors have already interrogated the regional president and health chief. League leader Matteo Salvini was quick to seek political capital from Conte’s interrogation, tweeting that it was Rome’s decision not to set up a so-called “red zone” to seal off Bergamo and enforce it with the army and police. “Now we expect that Conte will at least apologise to the relatives and the friends of too many Bergamo citizens who have died,” he tweeted.

Read more …

US still not testing nearly enough. Like so many other countries. Without testing there’s no crushing the curve.

June 12 COVID-19 Test Results (McBride)

Note: I started posting this graph when the US was doing a few thousand tests per day. Clearly the US was way under testing early in the pandemic. I’ll continue posting this graph daily at least until the percent positive is continuously under 3% and the daily positive is significantly lower than today.

The US is now usually conducting over 400,000 tests per day, and that might be enough to allow test-and-trace in some areas. Based on the experience of other countries, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% to really push down new infections, so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly. According to Dr. Jha of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, the US might need more than 900,000 tests per day . There were 583,961 test results reported over the last 24 hours. This was a new high for the number of test results reported (some states might have had a data dump). The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 4.1% (red line).

Read more …

Except for protests.

What on earth will happen if a new lockdown is declared? Should have done the first one right.

CDC Warns Restrictions May Be Needed Again If US COVID-19 Cases Spike (R.)

U.S. health officials on Friday urged Americans to continue adhering to social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures, and warned that states may need to reimpose strict restrictions if COVID-19 cases spike. In recent weeks, experts have raised concerns that the reopening of the U.S. economy could lead to a fresh wave of infections. About half a dozen states, including Texas and Arizona, are grappling with a rising number of coronavirus patients filling hospital beds. Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the public should continue to maintain 6 feet of social distance, wash hands regularly and wear facial coverings to reduce the risk of infection.

“If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it is important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again,” said Jay Butler, the deputy director of infectious diseases at the CDC, who spoke to reporters along with CDC Director Robert Redfield. As the United States reopens its economy, a number of U.S. states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida, have relaxed social distancing guidelines in recent weeks. Many U.S. states also do not require residents to wear protective masks. Most Americans support stay-at-home orders and said they always or often wear face coverings in public , according to an online survey conducted early May of over 2,000 adults in New York City and Los Angeles. Most also said they would feel unsafe if restrictions were lifted.

Read more …

In the history books this will be known as: “How Medicare for All Got Started.”

Seattle Coronavirus Survivor Gets A $1.1 Million, 181-Page Hospital Bill (ST)

Remember Michael Flor, the longest-hospitalized COVID-19 patient who, when he unexpectedly did not die, was jokingly dubbed “the miracle child?” Now they can also call him the million-dollar baby. Flor, 70, who came so close to death in the spring that a night-shift nurse held a phone to his ear while his wife and kids said their final goodbyes, is recovering nicely these days at his home in West Seattle. But he says his heart almost failed a second time when he got the bill from his health care odyssey the other day. “I opened it and said ‘holy [bleep]!’ “ Flor says. The total tab for his bout with the coronavirus: $1.1 million. $1,122,501.04, to be exact. All in one bill that’s more like a book because it runs to 181 pages.

The bill is technically an explanation of charges, and because Flor has insurance including Medicare, he won’t have to pay the vast majority of it. In fact because he had COVID-19, and not a different disease, he might not have to pay anything — a quirk of this situation I’ll get to in a minute. But for now it’s got him and his family and friends marveling at the extreme expense, and bizarre economics, of American health care. Flor was in Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah with COVID-19 for 62 days, so he knew the bill would be a doozy. He was unconscious for much of his stay, but once near the beginning his wife Elisa Del Rosario remembers him waking up and saying: “You gotta get me out of here, we can’t afford this.”

Just the charge for his room in the intensive care unit was billed at $9,736 per day. Due to the contagious nature of the virus, the room was sealed and could only be entered by medical workers wearing plastic suits and headgear. For 42 days he was in this isolation chamber, for a total charged cost of $408,912. He also was on a mechanical ventilator for 29 days, with the use of the machine billed at $2,835 per day, for a total of $82,215. About a quarter of the bill is drug costs.

Read more …

For now, I’ll stick to the pandemic having become embedded, but not yet endemic.

Ben’s point is salient: if -when- COVID19 becomes endemic, other health care options must vanish, while premiums rise.

No Country for Old Men (Ben Hunt)

Connecticut is opening up a bit, so I’ve got an outpatient surgery scheduled at the big local hospital (specialty clinics are still closed) next Friday. I feel lucky to get on the calendar so soon. I also feel nervous. My dad was an ER doc. My brother is a healthcare lawyer. Again, these are things that have certainly made an impression on me. To be clear, my lack of healthcare options today and over the past 3 months isn’t because of the lockdown. That’s how a child would see this. My lack of healthcare options is because of the virus. In its acute phase, Covid-19 shuts down non-emergency healthcare provision entirely. In its endemic phase, Covid-19 forces enormous and costly changes in healthcare provision. There is no “v-shaped recovery” for medicine. Covid-19 is now in its endemic phase. The enormous and costly changes in healthcare provision that Covid-19 requires and the resulting impact on healthcare consumption lead me to three conclusions about the healthcare industry and national politics.

Conclusion #1: Endemic Covid-19 permanently dents healthcare provision (and consumption). The days of “efficient” (i.e., insanely lucrative) specialty medical clinics where docs go through 3 knee replacements or 10 lasik procedures in an afternoon are GONE.

Conclusion #2: Although both acute and endemic Covid-19 sharply reduce my healthcare options and healthcare consumption, my healthcare insurance costs have not gone down. They’ve gone up. Healthcare payers (insurance cos) are a public utility. They should be regulated as such. #BITFD

Conclusion #3: For the past 30 years, US fiscal policy has been largely driven by Boomers’ insatiable demand for more and more healthcare, to the advantage of both the Dems AND the GOP. Covid-19 destroys that cozy political dynamic, but neither party realizes this yet.

Read more …

I’m sure we can find a few very wrong things that the Queen is, or has been, invested in. Why stop here?

Churchill Statue Boarded Up Ahead Of Expected UK Protests On Saturday (R.)

Statues of historical figures including Winston Churchill have been boarded up ahead of more expected protests on Saturday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “shameful” that the monument to Britain’s wartime leader was at risk of attack. Anti-racism protesters, who have taken to the streets following the death of African American George Floyd, have put statues at the forefront of their challenge to Britain’s imperialist past. A statue of Edward Colston, who made a fortune in the 17th century from the slave trade, was torn down in the city of Bristol last Sunday, and authorities have acted to protect monuments they believe could be next.

They have now boarded up a statue opposite parliament of Churchill after demonstrators daubed it with paint last weekend. “It is absurd and shameful that this national monument should today be at risk of attack by violent protesters,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. On Friday, around 500 people gathered in Hyde Park chanting “the UK is not innocent” and “Black Lives Matter”, before marching through central London, with many saying that statues such as Colston’s were legitimate targets. “If we have these big images, and we’re telling people that these people and what they stood for is OK, we’re just allowing everything that they did to pass,” said student Samantha Halsall.

Meanwhile in Britain:

Read more …

Next up: the music scene. Imagine what they can do to country music.

Films Aiming To Win Oscars Will Need To Meet Diversity Criteria – Academy (R.)

The organization that hands out the Academy Awards said Friday it would form a group to develop diversity and inclusion guidelines that filmmakers will have to meet in order for their work to be eligible for Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has been criticized for honoring few movies and creators of color, said the move and other steps represented a new phase of a 5-year effort to promote diversity. The group said in a statement it would work with the Producers Guild of America to convene a task force of industry leaders to develop “representation and inclusion standards” for Oscars eligibility by July 31 that will “encourage equitable hiring practices on and off screen.”

The rules will not apply to films vying for Oscars at the next ceremony in 2021. Criticism of the movie academy intensified in 2015 with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, a backlash against an all-white field of acting contenders. The academy responded in part by doubling the number of women and people color in its invitation-only ranks. Still, by 2019 just 32% of its roughly 8,000 members were women, and 16% were people of color. New members will be announced next month. “We know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board,” Academy Chief Executive Dawn Hudson said. “The need to address this issue is urgent.”

Read more …

Good theme, pretty weak execution. The press has been destroying itself for years. Everything they say has become full-blown partisan.

The American Press Is Destroying Itself (Taibbi)

Probably the most disturbing story involved Intercept writer Lee Fang, one of a fast-shrinking number of young reporters actually skilled in investigative journalism. Fang’s work in the area of campaign finance especially has led to concrete impact, including a record fine to a conservative Super PAC: few young reporters have done more to combat corruption. Yet Fang found himself denounced online as a racist, then hauled before H.R. His crime? During protests, he tweeted this interview with an African-American man named Maximum Fr, who described having two cousins murdered in the East Oakland neighborhood where he grew up. Saying his aunt is still not over those killings, Max asked:

“I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?… Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it’s going to be national news, but if a black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of… It’s stuff just like that that I just want in the mix.”

Shortly after, a co-worker of Fang’s, Akela Lacy, wrote, “Tired of being made to deal continually with my co-worker @lhfang continuing to push black on black crime narratives after being repeatedly asked not to. This isn’t about me and him, it’s about institutional racism and using free speech to couch anti-blackness. I am so fucking tired.” She followed with, “Stop being racist Lee.” [..] If there’s an edge to Fang at all, it seems geared toward people in our business who grew up in affluent circumstances and might intellectualize topics that have personal meaning for him.

In the tweets that got him in trouble with Lacy and other co-workers, he questioned the logic of protesters attacking immigrant-owned businesses “with no connection to police brutality at all.” He also offered his opinion on Martin Luther King’s attitude toward violent protest (Fang’s take was that King did not support it; Lacy responded, “you know they killed him too right”). These are issues around which there is still considerable disagreement among self-described liberals, even among self-described leftists. Fang also commented, presciently as it turns out, that many reporters were “terrified of openly challenging the lefty conventional wisdom around riots.”

[..] Max himself was stunned to find out that his comments on all this had created a Twitter firestorm. “I couldn’t believe they were coming for the man’s job over something I said,” he recounts. “It was not Lee’s opinion. It was my opinion.” By phone, Max spoke of a responsibility he feels Black people have to speak out against all forms of violence, “precisely because we experience it the most.”

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Jim reintroduces Hillary as a candidate. But I think she is simply too unpopular.

The Party of Chaos and Falsehood (Jim Kunstler)

The Democratic Party Resistance apparently believes that all this mayhem, and the false sanctimony excusing it, works to their advantage in the coming national election. They may be disappointed about how that works out, as they’ve been disappointed in three years of previous gambits to overthrow the government and seize power by any means necessary. The picture of them is resolving into the party of bad faith, foul play, coercion, and tyranny. Even the corona virus scare carries a taint of Resistance manipulation. One moment the populace is hustled into an economically devastating lockdown; and then suddenly, on a fine spring day, they’re incited to mix in moiling mobs of street protests with the predictable result of a fresh spike in virus contagion and the possibility of a second lockdown.

Like many activities in our national life lately, it’s another hostage racket, and, guess what, you’re the hostage. Their most transparent artifice is the utterly false elevation of Joe Biden as their candidate for president. Everybody knows he’s incapable of performing the job, and probably even of functioning through a campaign. His inchoate utterances on events and policy make Donald Trump sound like Ralph Waldo Emerson. He’s left behind himself an evidence trail of financial crimes running to at least nine digits of grift. And, of course, if you believe all women, he’s a sexual molester. Everything about his public presentation is false, including his hair, teeth, and soul. This past week, his handlers posed him as Grief Counselor-in-Chief (via video from his basement) at the state funeral for George Floyd, accompanied by an inspirational music soundtrack to shore up the sham sentimentality.

Never have so many hollow platitudes been woven into such garment of alternative reality for public consumption. Most pathetically of all, the audience of mourners, mere props, as black America has long been employed by the cynical party, went along with the charade that George Floyd was a model citizen and father, now soaring on golden wings to the place on high where you don’t need methedrine and fentanyl to feel happy. A couple of days later, Democratic Party bigwig and Clinton henchperson, Terry McAuliffe, told a meeting of the faithful that Joe Biden should remain confined to his basement. In a matter of weeks, you may be sure, we’ll learn that the party is compelled to draft Hillary Clinton as poor Joe’s replacement. It can’t be helped. Her turn will not be denied, even if she has to destroy the country to take it.

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Everyone agrees and knows the case will be dismissed. But the “lead” judge says: “There’s nothing wrong with him holding a hearing; there’s no authority I know of that says he can’t hold a hearing,”

No wonder people think thiis all just to get this past the election. But I’m convinced Flynn and Sidney Powell have long seen this coming.

Lawyer For Flynn Judge Says Court Will Eventually Dismiss The Case (JTN)

A lawyer representing the judge overseeing the Michael Flynn trial suggested Friday that the court will eventually dismiss the case against the former Trump national security adviser, arguing that the judge’s decision to call in outside opinions on the matter was merely an issue of seeking advice before the probable dismissal. The lawyer, Beth Wilkinson, made the acknowledgement during a roughly two-hour federal appeals court hearing on whether the court should order a lower court to immediately dismiss the case, as was requested last month by the Justice Department, or allow the case to proceed through at least July.

“There’s no reason at this point to fear that the District Court is going to deny the government’s motion to dismiss,” she told the three-judge panel Friday morning, stating that the lower court is simply “getting advice” from third parties before likely doing so. It was unclear at the end of hearing, at about noon, when the panel of judges—Neomi Rao, Robert Wilkins and Karen Henderson—would make a decision. A ruling could come before the weekend but is expected to likely happen no sooner than Monday. Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States Jeff Wall argued Friday in the virtual hearing that the federal government has gone “beyond what we thought we were obligated to do” in explaining its reasoning behind its dismissal request, and that Sullivan should honor that decision and drop the case rather than draw it out.

“There’s no reason not to take that final step. This has already become, and I think is only becoming more of, a public spectacle,” he said, arguing that the appeals court should force the lower court to end the trial. Sidney Powell, one of Flynn’s attorneys, made similar arguments, saying the Justice Department provided an “extensive and thoroughly documented” argument in favor of dropping the case and that Sullivan should obey the request and bring the prosecution to an immediate end. The trial “cannot go on any longer,” Powell argued, claiming that the judge overseeing the case “has no authority” to continue it after the executive branch requested it be dropped.

Failing to bring the trial to an end immediately, Powell said, would simply be “delaying the inevitable,” arguing that Sullivan will eventually be found to have exceeded his authority in this case. Yet the court at times appeared reluctant to quickly dismiss the case. Henderson pointed out that Sullivan has scheduled a hearing for July on the matter instead of electing to keep the trial “waiting and languishing.” “There’s nothing wrong with him holding a hearing; there’s no authority I know of that says he can’t hold a hearing,” she said.

Read more …


Judges Appear Skeptical Of DOJ Move To Dismiss Flynn Case (Fox)

Judges on a D.C. appeals court Friday seemed skeptical of arguments that they should force a federal judge to dismiss a case against President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as sought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) – after Flynn’s lawyer said the case was “concocted” and slammed previous “government misconduct” against him. The unusual move from Judge Emmet Sullivan to keep the case alive despite prosecutors’ wishes was preceded by an unusual move from the DOJ itself to drop the charges against Flynn even after he had pleaded guilty – saying the FBI interview that led to his charge of lying to investigators had no “legitimate investigative basis.”

But the long-running case continues to drag on. The latest twist involved the higher D.C. appeals court panel agreeing to review the handling of the matter. After Sullivan moved to accept input from outside parties, he was called to defend his own decisionmaking before the panel in response to a petition from Flynn to force the judge to let the case die. At issue is the discretion of the judiciary to delay, deny or question the prosecution’s decision to continue pursuing a criminal case. “This record contains enormous evidence now of government misconduct,” Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell said. She added that she believes Sullivan doesn’t have the authority to do anything but approve the DOJ motion, and that continuing the case would be an unnecessary burden on Flynn.

“We would simply be delaying the inevitable,” Powell said. “He just got dumped on a 72-page brief that we have to answer by Wednesday … the toll it takes on a defendant to go through this is absolutely enormous.” “The government’s just wasting resources out the wazoo,” she said. Powell also complimented the government’s claim that the case against Flynn was flawed: “This is the most impressive motion to dismiss I have ever seen in decades of practice.” [..] For his part, government lawyer Jeff Wall told the judges that it is the government’s position that it does not need to tell the court all of the reasons why it wants to dismiss a case — just those it chooses to disclose.

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“..the president’s attack on the Russia investigation..”?

The 3-year $40 million investigation ended in utter and complete disgrace for Robert Mueller and the people who appointed him, and now you’re saying none of this should be looked into?

Graham Granted Significant Subpoena Power For Russia Probe Investigation (JTN)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham on Thursday was granted broad subpoena power in his probe into the federal government’s 2016 Russia-Trump campaign probe, allowing him call more than 50 people for interviews, including high-profile Obama administration officials. Graham received the authorization in a party-line vote in the GOP-controlled committee. “I find myself in a position where I think we need to look long and hard about how the Mueller investigation got off the rails. This committee is not going to sit on the sidelines and move on,” said Graham, a South Carolina Republican.

The committee is currently conducting a broad investigation into the 2016 Russia probe, including “Crossfire Hurricane,” which was the FBI’s name for their investigation into Russian election interference by way of the Trump campaign. The FBI’s actions during that operation gave way to what is broadly referred to as the (now mostly debunked) Russia-collusion narrative. With Thursday’s vote, Graham now has the authority to subpoena former intelligence officials, including former FBI Director James Comey, former national security adviser Susan Rice, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

The committee chairman has also been granted the authority to subpoena documents and records reference in Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report assessing the use of FISA warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Tensions ran high during the committee meeting in which member voted on the subpoenas. To issue a subpoena, the committee chairman needs to either strike a deal with the top Democrat – now California Sen. Dianne Feinstein – or secure a majority vote by the committee. Republicans hold a 12-10 majority, so they were able to grant Graham unilateral subpoena power, rejecting several amendments by the Democrats.

“Unfortunately, it appears that Senate Republicans now plan to spend the next several months bolstering the president’s attack on the Russia investigation and his Democratic nominee, Democrat Joe Biden. Congress should not conduct politically motivated investigations designed to attack or help any presidential candidate,” Feinstein said.

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Compared to actual news these days, even this is light reading.

Some Claim Mayan Calendar Was Wrong, ‘World Will End On June 21’ (Mirror)

From the coronavirus pandemic to an influx of terrifying murder hornets, 2020 has thrown a number of tricky obstacles in humanity’s way. But the worst is yet to come, according to conspiracy theorists, who claim that the world will end next week. The bizarre theory is based on the fact that when the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, 11 days were lost from the year, to better reflect the time it takes Earth to orbit the sun. While 11 days might not sound a lot, over 286 years it adds up, with some conspiracy theorists claiming we ‘should be in 2012.’ In a now-deleted Twitter post, scientist Paolo Tagaloguin said: “Following the Julian Calendar, we are technically in 2012.

“The number of days lost in a year due to the shift into Gregorian Calendar is 11 days. For 268 years using the Gregorian Calendar (1752-2020) times 11 days = 2,948 days. 2,948 days / 365 days (per year) = 8 years”. According to this theory, June 21 2020 should actually be December 21, 2012. If you cast your mind back to 2012, you may remember various theories, indicating the world would end on December 21. NASA said: “The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 – hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.”

Read more …



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