Dec 072021
 
 December 7, 2021  Posted by at 10:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  78 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Outskirts of Paris: Road with Peasant Shouldering a Spade 1887

 

‘Extremely Mild’ Omicron Is Rapidly Killing Off Much More Deadly Delta (CityAM)
Excess Mortality Among Children After Vaccine Rollout (Rair)
De Blasio Requiring Kids 5-11 Show Vaccine Card To Dine Out, See Movies (NYP)
Most In Critical Care Unvaccinated? – Not According To Data (Jamie)
Fact-Check #13: “ICUs Are Filled With The Unvaccinated” (OffG)
Suspended UK Doctor Unmasks Mask Mandate, Gets Reinstated (ET)
Doctor Banned For Questioning Efficacy of Masks Wins High Court Case (SN)
Supermarket Ad Showing Santa With A Vaccine Pass Cleared By Regulators
Pfizer Accused Of ‘Sabotaging’ AstraZeneca Jab (RT)
The War On A Virus Has Resulted In Colossal Failure (Schachtel)
A Brief History of Epic Mass Madness (Kunstler)
Sen. Ron Johnson Is Right About Dr. Anthony Fauci & AIDS (AS)

 

 

I have one news article today saying 62% more UK children 6-12 years old have died since their vaccinations started. And a 2nd article that says all children 5-11 in New York must be vaccinated. And I’m wondering: how is that not a completely insane world? How do we fail to connect these things?

 

 

 

 

Norman Fenton: Spike in all-cause mortality after vaccination

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to normal then?

‘Extremely Mild’ Omicron Is Rapidly Killing Off Much More Deadly Delta (CityAM)

Excitement is growing among Coronavirus experts in Southern Africa and around the world as it increasingly seems that the new Omicron variant is rapidly replacing the much more deadly Delta mutation. Experts are so ecstatic because it seems more and more that the Omicron variant is much more contagious and dominant than Delta, but also much milder and less deadly. Some experts are therefore even urging countries to drop restrictions and let Omicron spread so the more infectious but less severe variant can kill off Delta quicker. Infections in South Africa have started to rise rapidly in recent days, a sign that displacement of the lethal Delta variant is in full swing, according to Adrian Puren, the acting executive director of South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

“What will outcompete Delta? That has always been the question, in terms of transmissibility at least, … perhaps this particular variant is the variant,” Puren told Reuters in an interview earlier this week. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said there is early evidence to suggest Omicron has an “increased risk of reinfection” and its rapid spread in South Africa suggests it has a “growth advantage” compared to Delta. Therefore, virologist Marc van Ranst pointed out that “if the omicron variant is less pathogenic but with greater infectivity, allowing Omicron to replace Delta, this would be very positive.” In fact, Omicron could turn out to be “a storm in a teacup” and may blow over within a few weeks, according to a former head of the British government’s vaccine task force.


Clive Dix said that, if the new variant did turn out to be milder but more infectious than Delta, it would be worth easing travel restrictions so to let the milder Omicron mutation spread further. He told UK newspaper i he is “pretty calm and not really worried” about the new variant, adding that “if we look at all the facts that we know so far, none of them are heading in the direction of being a super concern.” “We’re not seeing serious disease yet and we’re not seeing death. The picture looks like it’s now a milder virus – and that’s what you expect with viruses. They mutate to become more transmissible – they’re not looking to be deadly, because otherwise they don’t get transmitted,” Dix explained.

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Insanity.

Excess Mortality Among Children After Vaccine Rollout (Rair)

Deaths of children have been on the rise since the UK started vaccinating teenagers from the age of 12 and older. The risk-benefit analysis raises serious doubts about injecting this age group with the experimental drug. On September 20, the British national health service NHS announced that the coronavirus vaccine would be rolled out for children aged 12 to 15. In part of the biggest vaccination drive in the country’s health service history, nearly three million children can receive a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. According to the NHS, jabs started in hundreds of schools (week 38), with the injection program rolling out to others in the coming weeks.

Following the government’s vaccine rollout, the UK’s Office of National Statistics shows that the number of deaths between week 38 and week 41 of 2021 among children aged 10-14 were 62% higher than the five-year average for the number of deaths in this age group during the same period. Furthermore, the increase in deaths began when children started receiving the experimental “vaccine.” The trend of increasing deaths among children is continuing. More children in the age group 5-14 years died in week 43 of 2021 than usual. Data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recently revealed that so many children died at the end of October that there was excess mortality.

The decision to jab children over twelve came after the four Chief Medical Officers (CMO’s) of the United Kingdom advised the UK Government to offer the Pfizer injection to them. The government decided to go ahead with the injection program despite the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) previously stating that they could not support universal vaccination of children. Is it just a coincidence that deaths among children have since increased by 62% (up to 400% in vulnerable children) against the five-year average? The CMO admits they do not know the adverse effects the injection will have on children stating, we “acknowledge that there is considerable uncertainty regarding the magnitude of the potential harms.”

When considering whether or not to vaccinate children of that age, the CMO states that the jab will “help prevent classroom outbreaks and further disruptions to education.” However, their reasoning has no factual basis; as the jab has shown, it continuously fails to prevent infection or transmission. Moreover, even Pfizer does not make the CMO’s claim. Therefore, the government’s argument that the benefits outweigh the risks is invalid. Furthermore, the jab is risky for children’s well-being. In May 2021, Pfizer published a 37-page “factsheet” on the safety and use of their vaccine, from which it emerges that 79% of vaccinated children over the age of 12 could expect side effects. Unfortunately, the government ignored Pfizer’s, and the media refuse to report on their admission because it does not seem to fit their current “political narrative.”

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Insanity squared.

De Blasio Requiring Kids 5-11 Show Vaccine Card To Dine Out, See Movies (NYP)

Kids will soon get carded at New York City restaurants and movies — for proof that they’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. “Vaccination works and vaccine mandates work,” de Blasio said during a remote press briefing on the latest mandate from City Hall. De Blasio said he was taking the “very bold, aggressive action” in response to the lockdown in Germany and other restrictions returning across the globe amid the new Omicron variant — even though the city’s only seen seven cases of it and the overall COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates here are among the lowest in the nation. Children ages 5 to 11 must show proof of one vaccination dose to eat out, see a show, go to a movie theater, visit a fitness facility, or attend indoor entertainment venues by Dec. 14. Kids over age 12 must have two doses by Dec. 27 unless they received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


De Blasio first launched the “Key to NYC” vaccine mandate for adults at all public indoor venues in August. But the new mandate also applies to many school activities. Kids over 5 must now be vaccinated to attend “high risk” extracurricular activities like band, sports, orchestra and dance in schools. The policy earned quick criticism. “Public health and safety is paramount, but Mayor de Blasio’s announced expansions to the Key to NYC vaccine mandate pose additional challenges for an already beleaguered restaurant industry in need of tourism support and revenues this holiday season,” said Andrew Rigie, who heads the NYC Hospitality Alliance. “U.S. families visiting New York City for scheduled holiday vacations may not be able to meet the vaccination requirements for children or themselves in time, and children aged 5-11 across the globe aren’t universally authorized to get vaccinated.”

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Pretty obvious. You’re being fooled.

Most In Critical Care Unvaccinated? – Not According To Data (Jamie)

Each week, NHS England publishes a great deal of information on hospital activity across the country. Within this compilation is the number of patients in critical care beds. Critical care units are specialist hospital wards that treat patients who are seriously ill and need constant monitoring.

The data helpfully splits out how many patients in critical care beds have Covid-19, how many don’t, and how many beds are unoccupied. I recreate this data in the chart below and it shows that currently within England, just over 1 in 5 beds has a critical care patient who has Covid-19. Just under 3 in 5 beds are patients needing care without Covid-19 and the remaining beds are unoccupied. So non-Covid-19 patients make up the bulk of patients across critical care units in the NHS at the moment. Even if every patient with Covid was unvaccinated (more below) the claim that critical care is full of unvaccinated is not supported by the data, based on NHS England’s own data. Of course, the author may refer to a specific unit in the country, but if that was the case, I do not think it should be a headline in a national newspaper.


NHS England does not publish the vaccination status of patients within hospital, but the UK Health Agency gives a snapshot each week within a weekly surveillance report. The report only provides information on those admitted to hospital and does not provide information specific to those in critical care units. Table 4 on page 20 shows that for patients requiring an overnight admission to hospital within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, two-thirds were vaccinated and one-third unvaccinated. Remember, not all admissions are because of Covid-19 and NHS England data shows that 1 in 4 admissions are people with Covid but not because of it. If two-thirds of patients going into hospital are vaccinated, it would be remarkable if for those who then required critical care it was the majority unvaccinated. Even more so when most deaths are among vaccinated people.

36%

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Just to rub it in a bit more.

Fact-Check #13: “ICUs Are Filled With The Unvaccinated” (OffG)

A few days ago Dr Hillary Jones, whilst being interviewed on Lorraine Kelly, claimed: “90% of people in hospital are unvaccinated”. Similarly, last week, Kevin Maguire claimed on Jeremy Vine’s show that: “The unvaccinated are filling hospital beds, they’re in ICUs taking up precious resources – there are hospital waiting lists going up because there are so many unvaccinated people in hospitals” Television presenters and news headlines across the United Kingdom have commonly referred to hospitals being filled with unvaccinated covid19 patients. As if it could ever be considered evidence of anything, an anonymous “doctor” wrote a piece for The Guardian, which he filled with nameless anecdotal evidence, and emotively headlined: “ICU is full of the unvaccinated – my patience with them is wearing thin.”

This claim is regularly used as an argument for vaccine mandates, and/or unvaxxed-only lockdowns. But is it true? In a word, no. ICUs are not “full” of unvaccinated covid patients, they’re not even full of covid cases. In fact, they’re not even full at all. As of last week, NHS England’s own bed statistics reported that England has 4330 available critical care beds, of which 894 (21%) are being used by Covid patients, 2608 (60%) non-Covid patients and 828 (19%) were empty. So, England’s critical care beds are not even 90% full, let alone 90% full of unvaccinated covid patients. But let’s be charitable and assume these people misspoke or communicated their point badly. Let’s assume they meant 90% of covid hospitalisations are unvaccinated.


That, at least, is true right? Wrong. The actual number is 35.4% According to the UK’s Health Security Agency data (page 31 of this document) 6639 patients were admitted to hospital “with Covid” in the weeks 44-47 of this year. Of those 6639, 2355 were unvaccinated. So unvaccinated people do not even make up the majority of Covid cases, let alone the majority of ICU admissions in general. So, even going by the official statistics – which we’ve previously shown are routinely inflated to make the “pandemic” appear frightening – the claim is incorrect. And that doesn’t even account for the fact that, according to Public Health England, a “Covid hospitalisation” is anyone admitted to hospital for any reason within 28 days of a positive Covid test. This could include people who are admitted to hospital for something else and then happen to test positive while they are there. We could also discuss the tiny number of hospital beds available in this country, which has more than halved since the 1980s, whilst the population has exploded in that time.

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“Vaccination for a coronavirus has never been done successfully, so to roll it out without completion of full clinical trials, knowing full well the results of the SARs-CoV1 trials in animal studies, where they all died, was at best negligent but will in time likely be considered a far worse crime.”

Suspended UK Doctor Unmasks Mask Mandate, Gets Reinstated (ET)

Dr. Sam White, a longstanding critic of the UK government’s coronavirus measures, feels wearing a mask poses its own health risks. He told me: “Non-grade clinical masks, especially in a non-clinical setting do absolutely nothing to protect anyone. In fact, there is a plentiful supply of scientific evidence to show they cause significant harm. For me, this is especially a concern for children, their neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity.” To those who argue that, as medical professionals wear them, they must serve some purpose, White says: “In a hospital setting, a mask is used in a well-ventilated theatre to prevent mucus secretions entering into an open wound or body cavity.

The surgeon is generally not moving, unlike someone working a 12-hour shift rushing around a warehouse where the mask quickly becomes contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and germs. It’s cruel to subject workers to what is an unsafe medical intervention. What is more, COVID is an aerosolized virus not spread by mucus. It’s like using a chain-link fence to keep sand out.” When I asked White what governments can do to deal with the plethora of COVID variants that are being discovered, he told me: “Whilst it mutates, and I am cynical if true gene sequencing has actually been done in each case of a new variant, it will become more transmissible, but symptoms become milder with each variant.” He added: “It never made sense to create a vaccine for a coronavirus as you can never keep up with the mutations. The vaccines do not prevent transmission, or infection.”

At least Johnson accepts White’s last point and he told reporters: “Our scientists are learning more hour by hour, and it does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated.” White feels he has a solution: “Ivermectin and other safe, proven, effective therapeutics do keep up with variants and actually work.” The helpful benefits of ivermectin were made very clear in the case of Sun Ng, an elderly COVID-19 patient who was thought to be dying but recovered only after being treated with the therapeutic. However, as The Epoch Times recently reported, the hospital in Illinois had to first be taken to court by his relatives before it would allow the drug to be administered.

The average age of deaths from COVID still remains around 82 and White points out that many of those people were severely deficient in vitamin D. He is equally scathing about the way the vaccines were rushed out without being fully tested: “Vaccination for a coronavirus has never been done successfully, so to roll it out without completion of full clinical trials, knowing full well the results of the SARs-CoV1 trials in animal studies, where they all died, was at best negligent but will in time likely be considered a far worse crime. It also vitiates any principle of informed consent with no long-term safety data available and insufficient short-term data.”

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“The ruling concluded that the tribunal’s decision was “an error of law and a clear misdirection,” meaning the decision was “clearly wrong and cannot stand.”

Doctor Banned For Questioning Efficacy of Masks Wins High Court Case (SN)

A doctor in the UK who was banned from using social media by the General Medical Council for claiming “masks do nothing” has won his case in the High Court. Dr. Samuel White was slapped with and 18 month ban by the GMC after he posted a video to Instagram and Twitter in June questioning the efficacy of face coverings. In the video, White said why he could no longer tolerate working in his previous roles because of the “lies” around the NHS and the government’s response to the pandemic, which were “so vast” he could no longer “stomach” them. White also committed the ultimate sin of remarking, “masks do nothing” to stop the spread of COVID, despite this being the consensus medical opinion at the start of the pandemic before it mysteriously switched almost overnight.

The doctor also expressed concerns about the safety of vaccines and the reliability of COVID tests. White took his case against the GMC to the High Court on the basis of his freedom of expression “to engage in medical, scientific and political debate and discussion,” White’s barrister, Francis Hoar, told a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice. Hoar added that White’s opinions were “supported by large bodies of scientific and medical opinion” and had been “statements of fact and opinions about pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions in response to the pandemic.” GMC’s Alexis Hearnden claimed that White’s views were not only misinformation, but posed a “risk” to the public because they didn’t align with official pronouncements.


However, the court ruled in favor of White, asserting that the tribunal which banned him from speaking had violated the 1998 Human Rights Act. The ruling concluded that the tribunal’s decision was “an error of law and a clear misdirection,” meaning the decision was “clearly wrong and cannot stand.”

Read more …

Next up: Jesus, Joseph and Mary.

Supermarket Ad Showing Santa With A Vaccine Pass Cleared By Regulators

A supermarket advert that depicts Santa Claus only being able to enter Britain with a vaccine passport has been cleared by regulators, who insist that it doesn’t ‘break our rules’. The short for the Tesco chain of supermarkets in Britain quickly became the second most complained about advert in history as it features the threat of Christmas being cancelled and Santa being quarantined because of COVID restrictions. Over 5000 complaints were registered after the ad, titled “This Christmas, Nothing’s Stopping Us”, also showed Santa averting the crisis by flashing his vaccination status passport, showing that he is fully vaxxed against the virus. In a statement, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in Britain announced that “Having carefully assessed the 5,000 complaints we received about the Tesco Christmas ad campaign, we have concluded it doesn’t break our rules and there are no grounds for further action.”

The statement further noted “We consider that the depiction of Santa displaying a proof of vaccine status in an airport is likely to be seen as a humorous reference to international travel rules people have experienced this year. It is unlikely to be interpreted as a message about these rules or the Covid-19 vaccine more widely.” Many of the complaints argued that the advert was overtly politicising Christmas, and that it encourages ‘medical discrimination’ against those who are not vaccinated, and promotes the need to take COVID vaccines in order for society to keep functioning.


“While we understand that some people disagree with the vaccine programme and may find the ad in poor taste, we have concluded that the ad is unlikely to be seen as irresponsible or cause serious or widespread offence on the basis suggested,” the ASA statement further noted. While some earlier had celebrated the ‘removal’ of the ad, Tesco says it has not dropped the campaign. A previous ad campaign by Ryan Air that promoted the sale of summer flights with the slogan “Jab & Go!” was later banned by the ASA after thousands of people complained it was misleading.

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“‘Dispatches’ said Pfizer’s manufacturing costs were just 76 pence ($1.01) per jab, but the company was charging the UK government £22..”

Pfizer Accused Of ‘Sabotaging’ AstraZeneca Jab (RT)

US drugsmaker Pfizer is denying any wrongdoing after a British TV documentary showed that a presentation made on its behalf had criticized a rival Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca as being potentially unsafe. Teasers for a Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ investigative program, shown on Monday, say a Pfizer presentation described AstraZeneca’s vaccine against Covid-19 as unsafe for patients with compromised immune systems and as having the potential to cause cancer. The speech was delivered in Canada sometime last year, but it was unclear whether it was a one-off event or the speaker had made the claim multiple times. The program, titled ‘Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer’, airs on Friday.

Pfizer responded to say the presentation had been “wrongly attributed” to it and had been delivered by a third party. “We refute any suggestion that Pfizer has sought to undermine others’ scientific endeavors,” a company spokesman told the Daily Mail. “Our priority has always been getting high-quality, well-tolerated and effective vaccines to patients all over the world as quickly as possible and to help put an end to this deadly pandemic.” The spokesperson explained that Pfizer had paid a third-party agency to create an educational program about vaccines in Canada, after the government in Ottawa had approved Pfizer’s product for use in the country.


‘Dispatches’ said Pfizer’s manufacturing costs were just 76 pence ($1.01) per jab, but the company was charging the UK government £22 ($29.17) per dose – a 3,000% markup. Pfizer said the estimate was “grossly inaccurate” and did not account for the cost of clinical studies, “manufacturing on a massive scale,” and global distribution. AstraZeneca, which developed its jab in cooperation with the University of Oxford, has reportedly sold its vaccine at cost for £3.60 ($4.77), losing out on £21 billion ($27.84 billion) in potential revenue, while Pfizer has seen a windfall from the vaccines. However, the AstraZeneca jab has been dogged by reports of potentially fatal blood clots in certain populations, and the UK has since ordered twice as many Pfizer vaccines instead.

Pfizer CMO

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“[..] .. and the ruling class is determined to cover up this undeniable reality..”

The War On A Virus Has Resulted In Colossal Failure (Schachtel)

The war on a virus is long lost, and the sunk costs keep piling up. Whether you believe that this was all to bring about a Great Reset or some of the actors involved genuinely wanted to stop a virus, the result is now clear. The war on COVID-19 is over and it has resulted in colossal loss. Not a single battle was won. They lost the war, they know they lost the war, and now the losing side of the war — the global “elite” — is attempting to cover up this reality by any means necessary, even if it means dragging the entirety of humanity down with them. Movement Passes for 5 year olds in New York City and San Francisco. Prison for the non compliant in Austria and Germany. Detention centers for troublesome citizens in Australia and New Zealand. What do all of these places have in common?

First and foremost, as The Dossier readers know well by now, none of these measures are backed by any legitimate scientific precedent. The global “elite” forcibly drafted billions of people into fighting a “war on a virus,” and that war has been an abysmal failure. Now, almost two years into this war, the ruling class won’t give it up. Far from surrendering this unwinnable war, the “generals” of this struggle have decided to attempt to bring us down with them into colossal defeat. The people, organizations, and governments in charge of fighting our “war on a virus” have lost in devastating fashion. Far from a successful global effort to stop a virus, these ruling factions and power centers have failed the billions of people drafted into this war without the consent of the governed.


From Los Angeles to Sydney to Moscow to Rio to New York to Paris to London and everywhere in between, almost every government on every level across the world, with very few exceptions, committed incredible harm against their populations in the name of stopping a virus. And they have absolutely nothing to show for it. They threw every “public health expert” class instrument in the book at the COVID-19 pandemic, and nothing worked. But the people in charge don’t want to be blamed for the chaos they wrought. That’s bad politics, and not an ideal situation for those who believe that they are the personification of science itself. So instead of admitting to gross, criminally negligent and now purposeful failure, these maniacal saboteurs are doubling, tripling, and quadrupling down on sunk costs for the masses. The “elites” know nothing is working, but they’d rather take everyone down with them than to admit to wholesale failure.

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“The catch is, they’ve given themselves until February to enforce their foolish vaccine mandates.”

A Brief History of Epic Mass Madness (Kunstler)

Remember: the Progressive-Woke-Marxist-Jacobins liked nothing better than inflicting punishment. In fact, when you swept away all their ideological bullshit and the associated hustles, the movement was strictly about coercion, about pushing other people around, making them do as the Woke commissars willed. And there was a clearly sado-masochistic edge to all that. They relished cancelling people, wrecking careers, destroying reputations, livelihoods, marriages, families. Their political leaders had no qualms about exterminating hundreds of thousands of small businesses in Covid-19 lockdowns orchestrated by Woke heroes like Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City and Governors Gavin Newsom of California and Jay Inslee of Washington State. And, of course, their darlings of the streets, BLM and Antifa, bashed-in shopfronts, looted all the merch, and burned down the buildings with mad glee.

But, most importantly, Covid-19 gave the political Left something else to focus its angst on once Mr. Trump was finally swept off the scene in the janky election. And until just the last few weeks of 2021, the virus has furnished endless opportunity for ever greater enactments of coercion and tyranny. Except now, suddenly, it’s all falling apart. In America, the claque behind the phantom president “Joe Biden” pulled the trigger on mandating vaccinations — complete with harsh punishments for the vaxx-averse — but then two things happened: 1) Federal Judge Terry Douglas in Louisiana issued an injunction against the mandate that applies in all fifty states; and 2) the news finally started leaking out — despite every effort of the US public health officialdom to hide it — that the vaccines carried an unprecedented risk of harm for medicines enlisted so casually into emergency use among so many millions of people, in addition to their negligible efficacy in preventing illness and contagion.

The Europeans, on the other hand, slid ever-deeper into despotic measures not seen since the Gestapo terrorized the continent. The Europeans face the same primal source of anxiety that the Americans do: the running down of their techno-industrial economies, except their predicament is arguably a little bit keener than ours is, since they have hardly any oil and natural gas of their own to run things on, and suffer terrible uncertainty about who will furnish it for them. If they had not gone out of their minds over what has turned out to be a pretty punk-ass virus — when treated early with a menu of cheaply available drugs — and hadn’t deified the false savior vaccines, they might be a whole lot more concerned about how they are going to heat their homes, fertilize their crops, and produce things of value — in short, remain civilized. The catch is, they’ve given themselves until February to enforce their foolish vaccine mandates.

The Omicron variant may help, too, since it is proving so far to be a grossly over-hyped development, discrediting the paranoia ginned up in the media. Can their courts act as ours have and put a stop to the madness? Between now and then we’re likely to see the defeat of the mass formation psychosis in America, at least, as the country is forced to face the truth of what it has done to itself.

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And 40 years later he’s the head of US health care. Madness assured.

Sen. Ron Johnson Is Right About Dr. Anthony Fauci & AIDS (AS)

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s own words buttress Senator Ron Johnson’s claim that he “overhyped” AIDS during the 1980s. But decades after he issued them neither Rolling Stone nor the Hill nor the Daily Beast bother to question, let alone investigate, Johnson’s accusation. Instead, those publications just take Fauci’s 2021 words at face value and pretend he did not say what he said in 1983. “By the way, Fauci did the same exact thing with AIDS,” Senator Ron Johnson told Brian Kilmeade of Fox News last Wednesday. “He overhyped it. He created all kinds of fear, saying it could infect the entire population when it couldn’t, and he’s doing, he’s using the exact same playbook with COVID: ignoring therapy, pushing a vaccine.” To respond, Fauci retreated, for the second week in a row, to a sycophantic Sunday host.

Last week, Fauci claimed that Republicans criticize him not because of his many errors but because “I represent science.” Just as the jaw-dropping arrogance Fauci displayed on Face the Nation last week did not even raise one of Margaret Brennan’s eyebrows let alone drop her jaw, Jake Tapper seemed dismissive this week of the idea that the senator knew something that maybe a television presenter did not. Instead of digging into Johnson’s claim, he asked Fauci to respond to the senior senator from Wisconsin’s “bizarre and false assertion.” “How do you respond to something as preposterous as that?” Fauci told Tapper. “Overhyping AIDS? It’s killed over 750,000 Americans and 36 million people worldwide. How do you overhype that?”

The way people overhyped AIDS during the 1980s involved scare stories that one could contract the disease by using the wrong pay phone or public restroom. Fauci contributed to that hysteria. He knows he did this. He knows he received criticism for doing it from many quarters, including the late Randy Shilts, a voice generally friendly toward Fauci, in And the Band Played On. He knows exactly what Johnson refers to but he feigns ignorance. “The finding of AIDS in infants and children who are household contacts of patients with AIDS or persons with risks for AIDS has enormous implications with regard to ultimate transmissibility of this syndrome,” Anthony Fauci explained to the American public in 1983. “If routine close contact can spread the disease, AIDS takes on an entirely new dimension.”

But infants and children did not contract the virus that causes AIDS from “routine close contact.” A responsible doctor does not make such a public proclamation. A bureaucrat, more concerned with saving his job than lives, does. It struck as a typical, CYA pronouncement way back when. Beyond this, bureaucrats — whether in defense or health or welfare or education — tend to hype problems to engorge the coffers of their agencies. Fauci based his remarks on nothing scientific but instead on speculation. Thirty-eight years later, Fauci counted on his journalistic cheerleaders to forget what they probably never remembered in the first place. They came through for him.

Read more …

 

 

 

Galileo: ‘The sun doesn’t revolve around the earth.’


Twitter: ‘This claim is misleading. Learn why religious officials believe the sun revolves around the earth.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamant (activate subtitles)

 

 

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Dec 062021
 
 December 6, 2021  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Joseph Mallord William Turner Sunrise over Plain, with Figures 1830

 

Omicron Made €9bn In Week For Top Pfizer And Moderna Shareholders (BN.ie)
We May Be Sterilizing an Entire Generation – Toxicologist (Mercola)
A Pandemic of Fear ‘Manufactured’ by Authorities – Risch (ET)
How Pfizer Silences World Governments in Vaccine Negotiations (C.org)
In A Word: Bull**** (Denninger)
Unvaccinated Canadians Can Be Banned From Grocery Stores In New Brunswick (TNC)
Fauci Downplays Severity Of Omicron Strain (ZH)
FDA In Talks To Streamline Approval Of Omicron-specific Vaccine (JTN)
Lawyer For Dying Patient Who Recovered On Ivermectin Urges New Thinking (JTN)
Michael Saylor: “Bitcoin Is The Oxygen Mask” (ZH)
Russia Is Primed For A Persian Gulf Security ‘Makeover’ (Escobar)
Santa To Replace ‘Naughty Or Nice’ List With ‘Vaxxed Or Unvaxxed’ List (BBee)

 

 

Reports of “extremely rare” events are not rare at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South African president

 

 

“Lovely – and all this ill-gotten gain and filthy lucre will be reinvested back into political lobbying, revolving doors and thus more insanity.”

Omicron Made €9bn In Week For Top Pfizer And Moderna Shareholders (BN.ie)

The discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant caused the wealth of eight top Pfizer and Moderna shareholders to skyrocket by a combined €9 billion ($10.31 billion) in one week, according to campaigners. The campaigners from Global Justice Now said pharmaceutical executives are “making a killing from a crisis they helped to create”, with vaccine inequality helping to create the conditions for the Omicron variant to emerge. Moderna’s shares skyrocketed after the announcement of the variant and settled at $310.61 per share on December 1st, up 13.61 per cent from the previous Wednesday. Pfizer’s shares rose by 7.41 per cent from $50.91 per share to $54.68 per share. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel personally became more than $824 million richer in the week after the announcement of the variant, Global Justice Now said.

With the value of his shares rising from $6,052,522,978 to $6,876,528,630, he sold off 10,000 shares for $319 each on November 26th, the day after the variant was announced, cashing out $3.19 million. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla meanwhile made $339,236 in the week after the announcement of the variant, campaigners said, with his smaller portfolio rising from $4,581,035 to $4,920,270. Institutional investors also saw increased wealth, with Blackrock Inc’s Moderna and Pfizer shares increasing by more than $2.5 billion in the week after the announcement. Vanguard Group made a combined $2.7 billion; Moderna shareholders Baillie Gifford & Co increased by $1.6 billion; Morgan Stanley increased by $447 million; Flagship pioneering increased by $654 million; Pfizer investors State Street went up $1 billion; and Capital World gained $909 million.

Tim Bierley, pharma campaigner at Global Justice Now, said pharmaceutical companies “knew that grotesque levels of vaccine inequality would create prime conditions for new variants to emerge.” “They let Covid-19 spread unabated in low and middle-income countries. And now the same pharma execs and shareholders are making a killing from a crisis they helped to create. It’s utterly obscene,” he said.

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“..sperm can take up foreign mRNA, convert it into DNA, and release it as little pellets (plasmids) in the medium around the fertilized egg.”

We May Be Sterilizing an Entire Generation – Toxicologist (Mercola)

Janci Chunn Lindsay, Ph.D., is a molecular biologist and toxicologist and director of toxicology and molecular biology for Toxicology Support Services LLC. April 23, 2021, she delivered a three-minute public comment to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Her expertise is analysis of pharmacological dose-responses, mechanistic biology and complex toxicity dynamics. In her ACIP comment, Lindsay described how she aided the development of a contraceptive vaccine in the 1990s that ended up causing unintended autoimmune destruction and sterility in animals which, despite careful pre-analysis, had not been predicted.

She explains: “We were developing what was meant to be a temporary contraceptive vaccine, which was very attractive because it prevented fertilization rather than preventing implantation — or it should have; that was the idea. Unfortunately, even though quite a bit of analysis was done in different animal models to make sure that it did not have an autoimmune action, it did end up having an autoimmune action and caused complete ovarian destruction. Now it’s used in that manner [for permanent sterilization] in dogs, cats and other animals. So, that’s a cautionary tale of how animal studies can help us avoid mistakes in humans when they’re used properly, and when proper animal studies are done.”

We May Be Sterilizing an Entire Generation At the time, she called for an immediate halt to COVID-19 mRNA and DNA vaccines due to safety concerns on multiple fronts. In particular, she noted there is credible concern that they will cross-react with syncytin (a retroviral envelope protein) and reproductive genes in sperm, ova and placenta in ways that may “impair fertility and reproductive outcomes.” Not a single study has disproven this hypothesis, she noted. Another theory of how these injections might impair fertility can be found in a 2006 study, which showed sperm can take up foreign mRNA, convert it into DNA, and release it as little pellets (plasmids) in the medium around the fertilized egg.

The embryo then takes up these plasmids and carries them (sustains and clones them into many of the daughter cells) throughout its life, even passing them on to future generations. It’s possible that the pseudo-exosomes that are the mRNA contents would be perfect for supplying the sperm with mRNA for the spike protein. So, potentially, a vaccinated woman who gets pregnant with an embryo that can (via the sperms’ plasmids) synthesize the spike protein according to the instructions in the vaccine, would have an immune capacity to attack that embryo because of the “foreign” protein it displays on its cells. This then would cause a miscarriage. “We could potentially be sterilizing an entire generation,” Lindsey warned. The fact that there have been live births following COVID-19 vaccination is not proof that these injections do not have a reproductive effect, she said. Lindsay also pointed out that reports of menstrual irregularities and vaginal hemorrhaging in women who have received the injections number in the thousands, and this too hints at reproductive effects.

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Twitter label: “Misleading. Learn about emerging treatments for COVID-19 from health experts.”

However, “Risch has authored over 300 original peer-reviewed publications and was formerly a member of the board of editors for the American Journal of Epidemiology.” [..] ..an epidemiology professor at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health..”

A Pandemic of Fear ‘Manufactured’ by Authorities – Risch (ET)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of fear, manufactured by individuals who were in the nominal positions of authority as the virus began to spread across the globe last year, according to Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch. In an appearance on EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program, Risch, an epidemiology professor at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, argued that by and large, what has characterized the entire CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic has been a “degree of fear and people’s response to the fear.” “Overall, I’d say that we’ve had a pandemic of fear. And fear has affected almost everybody, whereas the infection has affected relatively few,” said Risch.

“By and large, it’s been a very selected pandemic, and predictable. It was very distinguished between young versus old, healthy versus chronic disease people. So we quickly learned who was at risk for the pandemic and who wasn’t,” he added. “However, the fear was manufactured for everybody. And that’s what’s characterized the whole pandemic is that degree of fear and people’s response to the fear.” Risch has authored over 300 original peer-reviewed publications and was formerly a member of the board of editors for the American Journal of Epidemiology. The epidemiology professor suggested that individuals who held the nominal positions of authority during the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 initially spread a much worse picture of the “dire nature” of the virus than was warranted.

That included the message that everybody was at risk, everybody could die from contracting the virus, everybody needed to find protection, everybody needed to stay in their homes and not socialize with others to protect themselves, and in this way protect society, Risch explained. “People were quite afraid of that message, as anybody would be…with the government, with authorities, with scientists, scientific people, with medical people in authority in the public health institutions, all saying the same message starting in about, February, March of last year. And so we all kind of believe this,” he said.

In the first two months of the pandemic, stringent lockdowns and mask mandates were implemented to curb the transmission of COVID-19 in the United States and across the globe. Risch said that the types of messages issued by authorities led to widespread heightened anxiety levels. “All of our anxiety levels were raised, and we all made decisions to curtail, to various degrees, our exposures to other people, some more than others, but I think everybody had levels of anxiety that really affected how they carry out their life at that time,” he said.

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Demand opening the contracts in your own country. Stop pussy footing around.

How Pfizer Silences World Governments in Vaccine Negotiations (C.org)

A new Public Citizen report has revealed the extent to which Pfizer bullies governments in COVID-19 vaccine negotiations, including barring governments from discussing the agreements without Pfizer’s approval, retaining unilateral control to make key decisions and even securing an intellectual property waiver for itself. “Pfizer is taking advantage of countries’ desperation,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. “Most of us have sacrificed during the pandemic; staying distant to protect family and friends. Pfizer went the other way, using its control of scarce vaccines to win special privileges, from people that have little choice.”In February, Pfizer was accused of bullying governments in a story published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Public Citizen has identified several Pfizer contracts, including with Brazil, Colombia, the European Commission and the U.S., that offer a glimpse into how the world’s second largest pharmaceutical corporation has gained the power to throttle supply, shift risk and maximize profits all during the worst public health crisis in a century.The report outlines how Pfizer consistently utilizes six tactics to leverage power against governments worldwide. First, Pfizer silences governments through the use of nondisclosure provisions in many of its contracts. Brazil, for example, is prohibited from making “any public announcement concerning the existence… or terms” of the contract or commenting on its relationship with Pfizer without Pfizer’s prior written consent. Second, Pfizer can disallow governments from accepting additional donations of the Pfizer vaccine.

Third, Pfizer exempts itself from liability for intellectual property infringements, shifting the financial risk of Pfizer’s actions to government purchasers – despite Pfizer’s opposition to similar exemptions for manufacturers proposed at the World Trade Organization. Fourth, it gives the power to secret private arbitrators, not public courts, to decide issues on contract disputes. Fifth, Pfizer requires some countries to waive sovereign immunity, so it can go after state assets in case of a dispute. Finally, Pfizer gives itself sole power when it comes to making key decisions, including how vaccine deliveries will be prioritized if there is a supply shortage.

“Behind closed doors, Pfizer wields its power to extract a series of concerning concessions from governments,” said Zain Rizvi, law and policy researcher at Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program and author of the report. “The global community cannot allow pharmaceutical corporations to keep calling the shots.”Pfizer’s dominance over sovereign countries poses fundamental challenges to the global pandemic response. The U.S. government, and specifically the Biden administration, should use its considerable leverage to call on Pfizer to renegotiate its existing contracts and pursue fairer practices.

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“There was plenty of reason to believe the spike protein, alone, was dangerous even without the rest of the virus and this was known prior to mass-distribution of the jabs.”

In A Word: Bull**** (Denninger)

There is no reason to believe we can successfully, on a long-term basis, vaccinate against a coronavirus since we never have before in either man or beast. There is no reason to believe attempting to vaccinate against coronaviruses is safe because in many other instances it was proved to be not, and in some it resulted in fatality of many or all the animals under test upon rechallenge. One specific instance of wildly-enhanced disease occurred in cats, which is a species that we know can become infected by this virus. There is no reason to believe that deliberately inducing the presence of binding antibodies in a person to this virus, which we knew the vaccines did before the EUAs were issued, would be safe on a durable basis.

In fact we had every reason to believe that would be unsafe simply based on what that sort of antibody does on a biological basis. You would in fact be crazily homicidal to deliberately infuse only binding antibodies to this or any other virus into a person. There was plenty of reason to believe the spike protein, alone, was dangerous even without the rest of the virus and this was known prior to mass-distribution of the jabs. While getting infected certainly could lead to trouble in this regard infection is not certain where vaccination, once you do it, is. Further, the dosing for the vaccines is set to produce much higher levels of spike protein (and thus antibodies) in the body than does natural infection, so any such risk from the spike would be logically expected to be higher from vaccination than natural infection.

As regards children there is not now and never has been an argument for giving them a Covid-19 vaccine. They do not require or benefit from any protection that it might afford on a statistical basis and since we know there are dangers, many of which we have no way to quantify and will not be able to do so for ten or more years it is a rank violation of logic and the Hippocratic Oath, never mind gross negligence and malpractice, to administer or permit to be administered same to kids.

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Lock the door and throw away the key.

Unvaccinated Canadians Can Be Banned From Grocery Stores In New Brunswick (TNC)

Beginning Saturday, people in New Brunswick who do not show proof of full vaccination can be barred from entering grocery stores to buy food. The measure was announced as part of the province’s “winter action plan,” which allows any business, including grocery stores, the option of barring unvaccinated individuals. According to Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, it comes as the province sees a “very concerning” rise in COVID infections over the last two weeks, particularly among unvaccinated Canadians. The province reported 97 cases and 2 deaths since Thursday. The new restriction belongs to the first level of a three-level escalating alert system.


“The measures are not difficult,” Shephard said, adding “the power to keep us in level one is in our hands.” In a guide published by the federal government, Public Safety Canada names food as one of ten critical sectors of infrastructure, calling its preparation and delivery an Essential Service and Function. While provinces have been free to manage their own restrictions and lockdowns during the pandemic, grocery stores across the country have until now remained open to everyone. The announcement comes a day after Shephard warned New Brunswickers against making Christmas travel plans.

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The double barrel: induce enough panic, and then soothe it a little.

Fauci Downplays Severity Of Omicron Strain (ZH)

[..] with almost two weeks since the first appearance of the Omicron variant and with a distinct lack of any evidence that the new strain is more dangerous, or results in a greater number of more acute hospitalizations than the Delta or other variants, the narrative by the “scientific establishment” – which has burned through most if not all of its credibility in the past year by constantly ‘moving the goal posts’ to serve various political agendas – appears to be changing once again, and earlier today none other than the chief health propaganda shaman of the Biden admin, Anthony Fauci, indicated that “the U.S. was encouraged by reports from South African officals that the rapid spread of omicron hadn’t yet resulted in a spike in hospitalizations in that country, an indication that the strain could be less virulent.”

“Though it’s too early to really make any definitive statements about it thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Fauci said on Sunday in a CNN interview. He added that more review is needed to confirm that Omicron causes less illness than other variants, such as Delta, “but thus far, the signals are a bit encouraging.” Of course, making a blanket “all clear” determination would have made a mockery of all the fearmongering that was unleashed just last week, and so Fauci cautioned that it was too soon to make any “definitive statements” about the variant and encouraged Americans to get vaccinations and booster shots, adding that “you got to hold judgment until we get more experience.” Fauci’s comments came as the Biden administration reported that Omicron had spread to 16 US states.

The new variant’s many mutations suggest that it might not be effectively treated with some Covid-19 therapeutics and that it could evade the immunity provided by current vaccines, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said on Sunday in an ABC News interview. Despite the concerns over jab efficacy, Fauci said getting more Americans to take vaccine booster shots will be “really critical in addressing whether or not we’re going to be able to handle this.” As with Delta, boosters will elevate immunity levels to help prevent infections, or at least reduce the severity of illnesses caused by the variant, he said as it becomes apparent that the narrative is now shifting to using Omicron as a talking point for widespread use of booster shots.

“The vaccines that we are distributing now in the United States and throughout the world are directed against the original, ancestral or Wuhan strain,” Fauci told Jake Tapper, who unlike his pal Chris Cuomo, has yet to be fired. He added that “we feel certain that there will be some degree, and maybe a considerable degree, of protection against the Omicron variant if, in fact, it starts to take hold in a dominant way in this country.”

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Streamline has a positive vibe to it. Testing is so yesterday.

FDA In Talks To Streamline Approval Of Omicron-specific Vaccine (JTN)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky confirmed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “already in conversations” to streamline authorization of a new COVID-19 vaccine specifically for the new omicron variant. The Hill reports that ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked Walensky on Sunday, “Is there any world where you can see that moving much faster given we’ve already been through this?” The CDC director responded: “Much of that I would have to defer to the FDA, but they’re already in conversations about streamlining the authorization of this, of an omicron-specific vaccine, partially because much of the vaccine is actually exactly the same, and, really, it would just be that mRNA code that would have to change.


“FDA will move swiftly, and CDC will move swiftly right thereafter,” she said. Omicron was listed as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization shortly after Thanksgiving. Symptoms of omicron have been described as “extremely mild” by a South African doctor who helped discover the variant.

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We all do. But where’s the profit?

Lawyer For Dying Patient Who Recovered On Ivermectin Urges New Thinking (JTN)

An Illinois lawyer who helped a dying COVID patient win court-ordered treatment with ivermectin and survive says the episode reveals a deep need for American health professions to rethink their approach to a pandemic that has persisted nearly two full years. “There are obviously remedies that we’re not looking at,” attorney Kristin Erickson told Just the News. “And we need to think outside of the current standard of care that hospitals are giving. And if it’s not working, let’s look at outcomes and not finances.” Erickson represented 71-year-old Sun Ng of Naperville, Ill., who was on a ventilator for weeks and dying with COVID-19 when his lawyer won a court order Nov. 8 to force the hospital to treat him with ivermectin, an anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory drug long used widely in the United States to treat disease like Lupus.

Within days. Ng recovered and is now back home walking and enjoying life, Erickson said. “After one day, he was able to do a breathing test he couldn’t do for 22 days,” she said in an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast. “After three days, he was off the vent for two hours. And then by the fifth day, he was off it entirely. So the hospital tried to file for, you know, a physician report, after he was off the vent, saying that ivermectin is not the reason he’s better. But clearly it is.” There are numerous studies — Erickson said she located 66 studies globally — that show ivermectin is effective in fighting and warding off the virus, and it is used in places like India and Bangladesh but not in the United States. Even the National Institutes of Health’s Web site recently showcased one such study conducted by foreign researchers.

“I think the fact that it is so cheap, you know, and not money-making, could be the reason that we don’t use, we don’t want to back it,” Erickson said. “We don’t want the studies here in the United States.” Erickson said the phones at her office and the New York group that assisted Ng have been ringing off the hook and the courts are likely to be inundated for similar interventions for other patients after what happened in the Ng case. “I don’t know what people’s motivations are,” she said. “Certainly ours here is to help people get what they need. I know there’s a lot of good-hearted people out there who want to save people, even in the hospital setting. Physicians and nurses, they want to do the right thing. But if hospitals aren’t allowing it, that creates a barrier for people who are hospitalized.”

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Feel lucky?

Michael Saylor: “Bitcoin Is The Oxygen Mask” (ZH)

[..] the bitcoin advocate notes that “money is that shared ledger of who owes what to whom,” explaining the difference between “weak money and strong money” in terms of being able to manufacture glass beads and dump them on Africa-past (glass beads are weak money) analogizing to the dollar (being able to ‘manufacture’ dollars and dump them on the world). Because of the inflationary impact on goods of this ‘manufacturing’ of dollars, you’re never going to catch up because you are being paid the currency: “the only way you can actually stay ahead is to grow your cashflows faster than the rate of monetary inflation… and that’s why the rate of expansion of the money supply is so critical.” Saylor makes the prescient point that while CPI dominates inflation discussions, “the government gets to pick what’s in that basket of goods and how it is weighted.”

The last decade has seen monetary inflation rise at around 14% per year… and the S&P has risen around 14% per year. The best inflation rate for an investor, Saylor explains, or for anyone who wants to stay wealthy or be wealthy – if you’re concerned about maintaining your economic purchasing power – “it’s the monetary inflation rate – the rate at which the supply of money is expanding.” Then Saylor takes us on a journey: “…the currency is to the economy what your blood is to your body… and economic energy or money is to the currency what oxygen is to your blood.” “So, common sense says that, if I keep sucking the oxygen out of the room, you’re going either suffocate or freeze to death…” “…and if I keep sucking the economic energy out of the currency, the economy collapses… and in the extreme you get ripped back to stone-age barter.”

“…when the money doesn’t work anymore, I have trade you cigarettes for bullets… and the problem with that is the economy becomes a million times less efficient.” “…how many countries in the world have a collapsed currency…66 of the dollarized [ZH: have an inflation problem]… there’s about 130 floating currencies and all of them are weaker than the dollar.” “The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency and the US dollar is expanding… it was expanding 10% a year for a decade… it’s now expanding at 14% a year and expanded 34% over the past 12 months…” [..] “…thus the dollar is weakening… it’s like the oxygen is getting sucked out of the room…”

Saylor turns to Tucker and asks “..if I told you the oxygen is getting sucked out of the room… but there’s an oxygen mask dropped out of the ceiling over there, what would you do?” Tucker exclaims “I’d run for it!” Saylor replies “yeah, put the oxygen mask on…” concluding his analogy by explaining that “Bitcoin is the oxygen mask.”

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“..Chalous alone could supply as much as 52 percent of natural gas needs of the whole EU for the next 20 years..”

Russia Is Primed For A Persian Gulf Security ‘Makeover’ (Escobar)

Russia and Iran are forging a strengthened strategic partnership, not only geopolitical but also geoeconomic, fully aligned to the Russian-conceptualized Greater Eurasian Partnership – and also demonstrated by Moscow’s support for Iran’s recent ascension to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the only West Asian state to be admitted thus far. Furthermore, three years ago Iran launched its own regional security framework proposal for the region called HOPE (the Hormuz Peace Endeavor) with the intent to convene all eight littoral states of the Persian Gulf (including Iraq) to address and resolve the vital issues of cooperation, security, and freedom of navigation. The Iranian plan didn’t get far off the ground. While Iran suffers from adversarial relations with some of its intended audience, Russia carries none of that baggage.

And that brings us to the essential Pipelineistan angle, which in the Russia–Iran case revolves around the new, multi-trillion dollar Chalous gas field in the Caspian Sea. A recent sensationalist take painted Chalous as enabling Russia to “secure control over the European energy market.” That’s hardly the story. Chalous, in fact, will enable Iran – with Russian input – to become a major gas exporter to Europe, something that Brussels evidently relishes. The head of Iran’s KEPCO, Ali Osouli, expects a “new gas hub to be formed in the north to let the country supply 20 percent of Europe’s gas needs.” According to Russia’s Transneft, Chalous alone could supply as much as 52 percent of natural gas needs of the whole EU for the next 20 years.

Chalous is quite something: a twin-field site, separated by roughly nine kilometers, the second-largest natural gas block in the Caspian Sea, just behind Alborz. It may hold gas reserves equivalent to one-fourth of the immense South Pars gas field, placing it as the 10th largest gas reserves in the world. Chalous happens to be a graphic case of Russia-Iran-China (RIC) geoeconomic cooperation. Proverbial western speculative spin rushed to proclaim the 20-year gas deal as a setback for Iran. The final breakdown, not fully confirmed, is 40 percent for Gazprom and Transneft, 28 percent for China’s CNPC and CNOOC, and 25 percent for Iran’s KEPCO. Moscow sources confirm Gazprom will manage the whole project. Transneft will be in charge of transportation, CNPC is involved in financing and banking facilities, and CNOOC will be in charge of infrastructure and engineering. The whole Chalous site has been estimated to be worth a staggering $5.4 trillion.

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“We don’t really give out coal anymore due to climate change,” Toymaker noted.

Santa To Replace ‘Naughty Or Nice’ List With ‘Vaxxed Or Unvaxxed’ List (BBee)

In a major break with hundreds of years of Christmas tradition, Santa Claus will not be using his famous “Naughty or Nice” list this year. Instead, Father Christmas will be keeping a list of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. “With the pandemic entering its second Christmas season, Santa felt the traditional ‘Naughty or Nice’ list needed an update,” said North Pole spokes-elf Trudy Toymaker. “This year, he’ll be keeping track of all the good little children who get vaccinated, as well as the evil unvaccinated kids who want their family and friends to die.” Vaccinated children will receive lots of toys and goodies from Santa, while the unvaccinated kids will get skunked this Christmas. “We don’t really give out coal anymore due to climate change,” Toymaker noted.


“Instead, the unvaccinated kids will receive a box of masks, some hand sanitizer, and a pre-filled postcard to report their conspiracy-theorist parents to child services and the FBI.” Toymaker said thousands of Elves on Shelves have been dispatched to pediatrician’s offices around the country to keep track of which children are getting vaccinated. Santa’s tech team also plans to hack into children’s electronic medical records later this month to make sure nobody is missed. In addition to the new vaccine requirements, Santa is asking families to include a $20 bill with his traditional plate of milk and cookies this year. “This will help Santa offset rising costs due to inflation and elf labor shortages,” Toymaker said.

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Brussels Sunday

 

 

Cyprus

 

 

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Jun 072018
 
 June 7, 2018  Posted by at 2:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Everything That Dies Does Not Come Back


Charles Sprague Pearce The Arab jeweler c1882

 

 

There are a lot of industries in our world that wreak outsized amounts of havoc. Think the biggest global banks and oil companies. Think plastics. But there is one field that is much worse than all others: agro-chemicals. At some point, not that long ago, the largest chemical producers, who until then had kept themselves busy producing Agent Orange, nerve agents and chemicals used in concentration camp showers, got the idea to use their products in food production.

While they had started out with fertilizers etc., they figured making crops fully dependent on their chemicals would be much more lucrative. They bought themselves ever more seeds and started manipulating them. And convinced more and more farmers, or rather food agglomerates, that if there were ‘pests’ that threatened their yields, they should simply kill them, rather than use natural methods to control them.

And in monocultures that actually makes sense. It’s the monoculture itself that doesn’t. What works in nature is (bio)diversity. It’s the zenith of cynicism that the food we need to live is now produced by a culture of death. Because that is what Monsanto et al represent: Their solution to whatever problem farmers may face is to kill it with poison. But that will end up killing the entire ecosystem a farmer operates within, and depends on.

However, the Monsantos of the planet produce much more ‘research’ material than anybody else, and it all says that the demise of ecosystems into which their products are introduced, has nothing to do with these products. And by the time anyone can prove the opposite, it will be too late: the damage will have been done through cross-pollination. Monsanto can then sue anyone who has crops that show traces of its genetically altered proprietary seeds, even if the last thing a farmer wants is to include those traces.

Anyway, when reading John Vidal in the Guardian yesterday, I was struck by some numbers. Bayer-Monsanto, soon to be just Bayer, own 60% of proprietary seeds and 70% of agrochemicals in the world. That’s roughly comparable to the numbers of vertebrates and insects that have vanished from the countrysides of Germany, France and England. Life itself is dying. Species extinction is now a bigger threat than climate change. Vidal:

 

Who Should Feed The World: Real People Or Faceless Multinationals?

“Through its many subsidiary companies and research arms, Bayer-Monsanto will have an indirect impact on every consumer and a direct one on most farmers in Britain, the EU and the US. It will effectively control nearly 60% of the world’s supply of proprietary seeds, 70% of the chemicals and pesticides used to grow food, and most of the world’s GM crop genetic traits, as well as much of the data about what farmers grow where, and the yields they get.

It will be able to influence what and how most of the world’s food is grown, affecting the price and the method it is grown by. But the takeover is just the last of a trio of huge seed and pesticide company mergers.” It will be able to influence what and how most of the world’s food is grown, affecting the price and the method it is grown by.

But the takeover is just the last of a trio of huge seed and pesticide company mergers. Backed by governments, and enabled by world trade rules and intellectual property laws, Bayer-Monsanto, Dow-DuPont and ChemChina-Syngenta have been allowed to control much of the world’s supply of seeds.

Do note that although Dow-DuPont and ChemChina-Syngenta may be large companies, Bayer-Monsanto alone own 60% of proprietary seeds and 70% of agrochemicals. Since they ‘only’ own 60% and 70%, they can’t be accused of running a monopoly. But their main product, glyphosate (Roundup) is also produced by Dow, DuPont and Syngenta. So together they do effectively run a monopoly. Just not ‘technically’. These guys have the world’s best and biggest legal, lobbying and PR teams. Because they’re after global control.

[..] because most farmers in rich countries already buy their seeds from the multinationals, opposition has barely been heard. Instead, it is coming from the likes of Debal Deb, an Indian plant researcher who grows forgotten crops and is the antithesis of Bayer and Monsanto. While they concentrate on developing a small number of blockbuster staple crops, Deb grows as many crops as he can and gives the seeds away.

This year he is cultivating an astonishing 1,340 traditional varieties of Indian “folk” rice on land donated to him in West Bengal. More than 7,000 farmers in six states will be given the seeds, on the condition that they also grow them and give some away.

This seed-sharing of “landraces”, or local varieties, is not philanthropy but the extension of an age-old system of mutualised farming that has provided social stability and dietary diversity for millions of people. By continually selecting, crossbreeding and then exchanging their seeds, farmers have developed varieties for their aroma, taste, colour, medicinal properties and resistance to pests, drought and flood.

The battle is between biodiversity and Monsanto, and the latter is winning big. Monsanto-Bayer wants farmers to grow only a few crops, that it has patents on, and to kill off everything else with the chemicals without which these crops will not grow. Monoculture on steroids, raised in sterile environments bereft of life. 75% of insects gone in Europe’s countrysides, 60% of vertebrates, birds and butterflies becoming a rarity.

It is insanity in its purest form. Insanity of individual people, insanity of legal systems, insanity of governance. No-one, and no country, should be obliged to prove that Monsanto’s products are killing off biodiversity. We have an instrument called the precautionary principle, and we must use it. Like Hippocrates’ First Do No Harm. It is not complicated.

But I must admit I sometimes think it’s already too late. Once you kill off 70% of any form of life, in any ecosystem, how is it going to recover? Because mind you, with the Bayer-Monsanto merger being approved worldwide, things are only going to get worse at ever increasing speed. The agro-chemical industry is a culture of death that relies for its profits on a giant die-off, probably worse than whatever it is that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

And the odds that mankind will survive this one are slim to none. Our survival depends one on one on the diversity in the ecosystems we reside in. But yeah, I hear you: intelligent species.

 

 

Here’s something I first published in December 2016. Things have gotten much worse much faster than I could have predicted back then. Kill Monsanto before it kills your children.

 

 

Mass Extinction and Mass Insanity

 


Caters Extremely rare albino elephant, Kruger National Park in South Africa

 

Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back …

Springsteen, Atlantic City

“Erwin Schrodinger (1945) has described life as a system in steady-state thermodynamic disequilibrium that maintains its constant distance from equilibrium (death) by feeding on low entropy from its environment – that is, by exchanging high-entropy outputs for low-entropy inputs. The same statement would hold verbatium as a physical description of our economic process. A corollary of this statement is that an organism cannot live in a medium of its own waste products.”
Herman Daly and Kenneth Townsend

 

What drives our economies is waste. Not need, or even demand. Waste. 2nd law of thermodynamics. It drives our lives, period.

First of all, don’t tell me you’re trying to stop the ongoing extinction of nature and wildlife on this planet, or the destruction of life in general. Don’t even tell me you’re trying. Don’t tell me it’s climate change that we should focus on (that’s just a small part of the story), and you’re driving an electric car and you’re separating your trash or things like that. That would only mean you’re attempting to willfully ignore your share of destruction, because if you do it, so will others, and the planet can’t take anymore of your behavior.

This is the big one. And the only ones amongst us who don’t think so are those who don’t want to. Who think it’s easier to argue that some problems are too big for them to tackle, that they should be left to others to solve. But why should we, why should anyone, worry about elections or even wars, when it becomes obvious we’re fast approaching a time when such things don’t matter much anymore?

The latest WWF Living Planet Report shows us that the planet is a whole lot less alive than it used to be. And that we killed that life. That we replaced it with metal, bricks, plastic and concrete. Mass consumption leads to mass extinction. And that is fully predictable, it always was; there’s nothing new there.

We killed 58% of all vertebrate wildlife just between 1970 and 2012, and at a rate of 2% per year we will have massacred close to 70% of it by 2020, just 4 years from now. So what does it matter who’s president of just one of the many countries we invented on this planet? Why don’t we address what’s really crucial to our very survival instead?

 

 

The latest report from the WWF should have us all abandon whatever it is we’re doing, and make acting to prevent further annihilation of our living world the key driver in our everyday lives, every hour of every day, every single one of us. Anything else is just not good enough, and anything else will see us, that self-nominated intelligent species, annihilated in the process.

Granted, there may be a few decrepit and probably halfway mutant specimens of our species left, living in conditions we couldn’t even begin, nor dare, to imagine, with what will be left of their intelligence wondering how our intelligence could have ever let this happen. You’d almost wish they’ll understand as little as we ever did; that some form of ignorance equal to ours will soften their pain.

It’s important to note that the report does not describe a stagnant situation, there’s no state of affairs, not something still, it describes an ongoing and deteriorating process. That is, we don’t get to choose to stop the ongoing wildlife annihilation at 70%; we are witnessing, and indeed we are actively involved in, raising that number by 2% every year that we ‘live’ (can we even call it that anymore, are you alive when you murder all life around you?) in this world.

This is our only home.

 

 

Without the natural world that we were born into, or rather that our species, our ancestors, were born into, we have zero chance of survival. Because it is the natural world that has allowed for, and created, the conditions that made it possible for mankind to emerge and develop in the first place. And we are nowhere near making an earth 2.0; the notion itself is preposterous. A few thousand years of man ‘understanding’ his world is no match for billions of years of evolution. That’s the worst insult to whatever intelligence it is that we do have.

Much has been made through the years of our ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and much of that is just as much hubris as so much of what we tell ourselves, but the big question should be WHY we would volunteer to find out to what extent we can adapt to a world that has sustained the losses we cause it to suffer. Even if we could to a degree adapt to that, why should we want to?

Two thirds of our world is gone, and it’s we who have murdered it, and what’s worse – judging from our lifestyles- we seem to have hardly noticed at all. If we don’t stop what we’ve been doing, this can lead to one outcome only: we will murder ourselves too. Our perhaps biggest problem (even if we have quite a few) in this regard is our ability and propensity to deny this, as we deny any and all -serious, consequential- wrongdoing.

 

 

There are allegedly serious and smart people working on, dreaming of, and getting billions in subsidies for, fantasies of human colonies on Mars. This is advertized as a sign of progress and intelligence. But that can only be true if we can acknowledge that our intelligence and our insanity are identical twins. Because it is insane to destroy the planet on which we depend one-on-one for everything that allows us to live, and at the same time dream of human life on another planet.

While I see no reason to address the likes of King of Subsidies Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking is different. Unfortunately, in Hawking’s case, with all his intelligence, it’s his philosophical capacity that goes missing.

Humanity Will Not Survive Another 1,000 Years If We Don’t Escape Our Planet

Professor Stephen Hawking has warned humanity will not survive another 1,000 years on Earth unless the human race finds another planet to live on. [..] Professor Hawking, 74, reflected on the understanding of the universe garnered from breakthroughs over the past five decades, describing 2016 as a “glorious time to be alive and doing research into theoretical physics”. “Our picture of the universe has changed a great deal in the last 50 years and I am happy if I have made a small contribution,“ he went on.

”The fact that we humans, who are ourselves mere fundamental particles of nature, have been able to come this close to understanding the laws that govern us and the universe is certainly a triumph.” Highlighting “ambitious” experiments that will give an even more precise picture of the universe, he continued: “We will map the position of millions of galaxies with the help of [super] computers like Cosmos. We will better understand our place in the universe.”

“But we must also continue to go into space for the future of humanity. I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”

The tragedy is that we may have gained some knowledge of natural laws and the universe, but we are completely clueless when it comes to keeping ourselves from destroying our world. Mars is an easy cop-out. But Mars doesn’t solve a thing. Because it’s -obviously- not the ‘fragile planet’ earth that is a threat to mankind, it’s mankind itself. How then can escaping to another planet solve its problems?

What exactly is wrong with saying that we will have to make it here on planet earth? Is it that we’ve already broken and murdered so much? And if that’s the reason, what does that say about us, and what does it say about what we would do to a next planet, even provided we could settle on it (we can’t) ? Doesn’t it say that we are our own worst enemies? And doesn’t the very idea of settling the ‘next planet’ imply that we had better settle things right here first? Like sort of a first condition before we go to Mars, if we ever do?

In order to survive, we don’t need to escape our planet, we need to escape ourselves. Not nearly as easy. Much harder than escaping to Mars. Which already is nothing but a pipedream to begin with.

Moreover, if we can accept that settling things here first before going to Mars is a prerequisite for going there in the first place, we wouldn’t need to go anymore, right?

 

 

We treat this entire extinction episode as if it’s something we’re watching from the outside in, as if it’s something we’re not really a part of. I’ve seen various undoubtedly very well-intentioned ‘green people’, ‘sustainable people’, react to the WWF report by pointing to signs that there is still hope, pointing to projects that reverse some of the decline, chinook salmon on the North American Pacific coast, Malawi farmers that no longer use chemical fertilizers, a giant sanctuary in the Antarctic etc.

That, too, is a form of insanity. Because it serves to lull people into a state of complacency that is entirely unwarranted. And that can therefore only serve to make things worse. There is no reversal, there is no turnaround. It’s like saying if a body doesn’t fall straight down in a continuous line, it doesn’t fall down at all.

The role that green, sustainability, conservationist groups play in our societies has shifted dramatically, and we have failed completely to see this change (as have they). These groups have become integral parts of our societies, instead of a force on the outside warning about what happens within.

Conservationist groups today serve as apologists for the havoc mankind unleashes on its world: all people have to do is donate money at Christmas, and conservation will be taken care of. Recycle a few bottles and plastic wrappings and you’re doing your part to save the planet. It is utterly insane. It’s as insane as the destruction itself. It’s denial writ large, and in the flesh.

It’s not advertized that way, but that doesn’t mean it’s not how it works. Saying that ‘it’s not too late’ is not a call to action as many people continue to believe. It’s just dirt poor psychology. It provides people with the impression, which rapidly turns into an excuse, that there is still time left. As almost 70% of all vertebrates, those animals that are closest to us, have disappeared. When would they say time is up? At 80%, 90%?

 

 

We do not understand why, or even that, we are such a tragically destructive species. And perhaps we can’t. Perhaps that is where our intelligence stops, at providing insight into ourselves. Even the most ‘aware’ amongst us will still tend to disparage their own roles in what goes on. Even they will make whatever it is they still do, and that they know is hurtful to the ecosystem, seem smaller than it is.

Even they will search for apologies for their own behavior, tell themselves they must do certain things in order to live in the society they were born in, drive kids to school, yada yada. We all do that. We soothe our consciences by telling ourselves we mean well, and then getting into our cars to go pick up a carton of milk. Or engage in an equally blind act. There’s too many to mention.

Every species that finds a large amount of free energy reacts the same way: proliferation. The unconscious drive is to use up the energy as fast as possible. If only we could understand that. But understanding it would get in the way of the principle itself. The only thing we can do to stop the extinction is for all of us to use a lot less energy. But because energy consumption provides wealth and -more importantly- political power, we will not do that. We instead tell ourselves all we need to do is use different forms of energy.

Our inbuilt talent for denying and lying (to ourselves and others) makes it impossible for us to see that we have an inbuilt talent for denying and lying in the first place. Or, put another way, seeing that we haven’t been able to stop ourselves from putting the planet into the dismal shape it is in now, why should we keep on believing that we will be able to stop ourselves in the future?

Thing is, an apology for our own behavior is also an apology for everyone else’s. As long as you keep buying things wrapped in plastic, you have no right, you lose your right, to blame the industry that produces the plastic.

 

 

We see ourselves as highly intelligent, and -as a consequence- we see ourselves as a species driven by reason. But we are not. Which can be easily demonstrated by a ‘reverse question’: why, if we are so smart, do we find ourselves in the predicament of having destroyed two thirds of our planet?

Do we have a rational argument to execute that destruction? Of course not, we’ll say. But then why do we do it if rationality drives us? This is a question that should forever cure us of the idea that we are driven by reason. But we’re not listening to the answer to that question. We’re denying, we’re even denying the question itself.

It’s the same question, and the same answer, by the way, that will NOT have us ‘abandon whatever it is we do’ when we read today that 70% of all wildlife will be gone by 2020, that 58% was gone by 2012 and we destroy it at a rate of 2% per year. We’re much more likely to worry much more about some report that says returns on our retirement plans will be much lower than we thought. Or about the economic growth that is too low (as if that is possible with 70% of wildlife gone).

After all, if destroying 70% of wildlife is not enough for a call to action, what would be? 80%? 90? 99%? I bet you that would be too late. And no, relying on conservationist groups to take care of it for us is not a viable route. Because that same 70% number spells out loud and clear what miserable failures these groups have turned out to be.

We ‘assume’ we’re intelligent, because that makes us feel good. Well, it doesn’t make the planet feel good. What drives us is not reason. What drives us is the part of our brains that we share in common with amoeba and bacteria and all other more ‘primitive forms of life, that gobbles up excess energy as fast as possible, in order to restore a balance. Our ‘rational’, human, brain serves one function, and one only: to find ‘rational’ excuses for what our primitive brain has just made us do.

We’re all intelligent enough to understand that driving a hybrid car or an electric car does nothing to halt the havoc we do to our world, but there are still millions of these things being sold. So perhaps we could say that we’re at the same time intelligent enough, and we’re not.

We can see ourselves destroying our world, but we can not stop ourselves from continuing the destruction. Here’s something I wrote 5 years ago:

Most. Tragic. Species. Ever.

We have done exactly the same that any primitive life form would do when faced with a surplus, of food, energy, and in our case credit, cheap money. We spent it all as fast as we can. Lest less abundant times arrive. It’s an instinct, it comes from our more primitive brain segments, not our more “rational” frontal cortex. It’s not that we’re in principle, or talent, more devious or malicious than more primitive life forms. It’s that we use our more advanced brains to help us execute the same devastation our primitive brain drives us to, but much much worse.

That’s what makes us the most tragic species imaginable. We’ll fight each other, even our children, over the last few scraps falling off the table, and kill off everything in our path to get there. And when we’re done, we’ll find a way to rationalize to ourselves why we were right to do so. We can be aware of watching ourselves do what we do, but we can’t help ourselves from doing it. Most. Tragic. Species. Ever.

The greatest miracle you will ever see, that you could ever hope to see, is so miraculous you can’t even recognize it for what it is. We don’t know what the word beautiful means anymore. Or the word valuable. We’ve lost all of that, and are well on our way, well over 70% of it, to losing the rest too.

 

 

 

PS Please note I could not gather all sources for all pictures here, but I’d be more than happy to add them. It’s not that I don’t recognize the effort that goes into them; it’s an emotional thing.

 

 

Dec 082016
 


Caters Extremely rare albino elephant, Kruger National Park in South Africa

 

Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back …

Springsteen, Atlantic City

“Erwin Schrodinger (1945) has described life as a system in steady-state thermodynamic disequilibrium that maintains its constant distance from equilibrium (death) by feeding on low entropy from its environment – that is, by exchanging high-entropy outputs for low-entropy inputs. The same statement would hold verbatium as a physical description of our economic process. A corollary of this statement is that an organism cannot live in a medium of its own waste products.”
Herman Daly and Kenneth Townsend

 

What drives our economies is waste. Not need, or even demand. Waste. 2nd law of thermodynamics. It drives our lives, period.

First of all, don’t tell me you’re trying to stop the ongoing extinction of nature and wildlife on this planet, or the destruction of life in general. Don’t even tell me you’re trying. Don’t tell me it’s climate change that we should focus on (that’s just a small part of the story), and you’re driving an electric car and you’re separating your trash or things like that. That would only mean you’re attempting to willfully ignore your share of destruction, because if you do it, so will others, and the planet can’t take anymore of your behavior.

This is the big one. And the only ones amongst us who don’t think so are those who don’t want to. Who think it’s easier to argue that some problems are too big for them to tackle, that they should be left to others to solve. But why should we, why should anyone, worry about elections or even wars, when it becomes obvious we’re fast approaching a time when such things don’t matter much anymore?

The latest WWF Living Planet Report shows us that the planet is a whole lot less alive than it used to be. And that we killed that life. That we replaced it with metal, bricks, plastic and concrete. Mass consumption leads to mass extinction. And that is fully predictable, it always was; there’s nothing new there.

We killed 58% of all vertebrate wildlife just between 1970 and 2012, and at a rate of 2% per year we will have massacred close to 70% of it by 2020, just 4 years from now. So what does it matter who’s president of just one of the many countries we invented on this planet? Why don’t we address what’s really crucial to our very survival instead?

 

 

The latest report from the WWF should have us all abandon whatever it is we’re doing, and make acting to prevent further annihilation of our living world the key driver in our everyday lives, every hour of every day, every single one of us. Anything else is just not good enough, and anything else will see us, that self-nominated intelligent species, annihilated in the process.

Granted, there may be a few decrepit and probably halfway mutant specimens of our species left, living in conditions we couldn’t even begin, nor dare, to imagine, with what will be left of their intelligence wondering how our intelligence could have ever let this happen. You’d almost wish they’ll understand as little as we ever did; that some form of ignorance equal to ours will soften their pain.

It’s important to note that the report does not describe a stagnant situation, there’s no state of affairs, not something still, it describes an ongoing and deteriorating process. That is, we don’t get to choose to stop the ongoing wildlife annihilation at 70%; we are witnessing, and indeed we are actively involved in, raising that number by 2% every year that we ‘live’ (can we even call it that anymore, are you alive when you murder all life around you?) in this world.

This is our only home.

 

 

Without the natural world that we were born into, or rather that our species, our ancestors, were born into, we have zero chance of survival. Because it is the natural world that has allowed for, and created, the conditions that made it possible for mankind to emerge and develop in the first place. And we are nowhere near making an earth 2.0; the notion itself is preposterous. A few thousand years of man ‘understanding’ his world is no match for billions of years of evolution. That’s the worst insult to whatever intelligence it is that we do have.

Much has been made through the years of our ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and much of that is just as much hubris as so much of what we tell ourselves, but the big question should be WHY we would volunteer to find out to what extent we can adapt to a world that has sustained the losses we cause it to suffer. Even if we could to a degree adapt to that, why should we want to?

Two thirds of our world is gone, and it’s we who have murdered it, and what’s worse – judging from our lifestyles- we seem to have hardly noticed at all. If we don’t stop what we’ve been doing, this can lead to one outcome only: we will murder ourselves too. Our perhaps biggest problem (even if we have quite a few) in this regard is our ability and propensity to deny this, as we deny any and all -serious, consequential- wrongdoing.

 

 

There are allegedly serious and smart people working on, dreaming of, and getting billions in subsidies for, fantasies of human colonies on Mars. This is advertized as a sign of progress and intelligence. But that can only be true if we can acknowledge that our intelligence and our insanity are identical twins. Because it is insane to destroy the planet on which we depend one-on-one for everything that allows us to live, and at the same time dream of human life on another planet.

While I see no reason to address the likes of King of Subsidies Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking is different. Unfortunately, in Hawking’s case, with all his intelligence, it’s his philosophical capacity that goes missing.

Humanity Will Not Survive Another 1,000 Years If We Don’t Escape Our Planet

Professor Stephen Hawking has warned humanity will not survive another 1,000 years on Earth unless the human race finds another planet to live on. [..] Professor Hawking, 74, reflected on the understanding of the universe garnered from breakthroughs over the past five decades, describing 2016 as a “glorious time to be alive and doing research into theoretical physics”. “Our picture of the universe has changed a great deal in the last 50 years and I am happy if I have made a small contribution,“ he went on.

”The fact that we humans, who are ourselves mere fundamental particles of nature, have been able to come this close to understanding the laws that govern us and the universe is certainly a triumph.” Highlighting “ambitious” experiments that will give an even more precise picture of the universe, he continued: “We will map the position of millions of galaxies with the help of [super] computers like Cosmos. We will better understand our place in the universe.”

“But we must also continue to go into space for the future of humanity. I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”

The tragedy is that we may have gained some knowledge of natural laws and the universe, but we are completely clueless when it comes to keeping ourselves from destroying our world. Mars is an easy cop-out. But Mars doesn’t solve a thing. Because it’s -obviously- not the ‘fragile planet’ earth that is a threat to mankind, it’s mankind itself. How then can escaping to another planet solve its problems?

What exactly is wrong with saying that we will have to make it here on planet earth? Is it that we’ve already broken and murdered so much? And if that’s the reason, what does that say about us, and what does it say about what we would do to a next planet, even provided we could settle on it (we can’t) ? Doesn’t it say that we are our own worst enemies? And doesn’t the very idea of settling the ‘next planet’ imply that we had better settle things right here first? Like sort of a first condition before we go to Mars, if we ever do?

In order to survive, we don’t need to escape our planet, we need to escape ourselves. Not nearly as easy. Much harder than escaping to Mars. Which already is nothing but a pipedream to begin with.

Moreover, if we can accept that settling things here first before going to Mars is a prerequisite for going there in the first place, we wouldn’t need to go anymore, right?

 

 

We treat this entire extinction episode as if it’s something we’re watching from the outside in, as if it’s something we’re not really a part of. I’ve seen various undoubtedly very well-intentioned ‘green people’, ‘sustainable people’, react to the WWF report by pointing to signs that there is still hope, pointing to projects that reverse some of the decline, chinook salmon on the North American Pacific coast, Malawi farmers that no longer use chemical fertilizers, a giant sanctuary in the Antarctic etc.

That, too, is a form of insanity. Because it serves to lull people into a state of complacency that is entirely unwarranted. And that can therefore only serve to make things worse. There is no reversal, there is no turnaround. It’s like saying if a body doesn’t fall straight down in a continuous line, it doesn’t fall down at all.

The role that green, sustainability, conservationist groups play in our societies has shifted dramatically, and we have failed completely to see this change (as have they). These groups have become integral parts of our societies, instead of a force on the outside warning about what happens within.

Conservationist groups today serve as apologists for the havoc mankind unleashes on its world: all people have to do is donate money at Christmas, and conservation will be taken care of. Recycle a few bottles and plastic wrappings and you’re doing your part to save the planet. It is utterly insane. It’s as insane as the destruction itself. It’s denial writ large, and in the flesh.

It’s not advertized that way, but that doesn’t mean it’s not how it works. Saying that ‘it’s not too late’ is not a call to action as many people continue to believe. It’s just dirt poor psychology. It provides people with the impression, which rapidly turns into an excuse, that there is still time left. As almost 70% of all vertebrates, those animals that are closest to us, have disappeared. When would they say time is up? At 80%, 90%?

 

 

We do not understand why, or even that, we are such a tragically destructive species. And perhaps we can’t. Perhaps that is where our intelligence stops, at providing insight into ourselves. Even the most ‘aware’ amongst us will still tend to disparage their own roles in what goes on. Even they will make whatever it is they still do, and that they know is hurtful to the ecosystem, seem smaller than it is.

Even they will search for apologies for their own behavior, tell themselves they must do certain things in order to live in the society they were born in, drive kids to school, yada yada. We all do that. We soothe our consciences by telling ourselves we mean well, and then getting into our cars to go pick up a carton of milk. Or engage in an equally blind act. There’s too many to mention.

Every species that finds a large amount of free energy reacts the same way: proliferation. The unconscious drive is to use up the energy as fast as possible. If only we could understand that. But understanding it would get in the way of the principle itself. The only thing we can do to stop the extinction is for all of us to use a lot less energy. But because energy consumption provides wealth and -more importantly- political power, we will not do that. We instead tell ourselves all we need to do is use different forms of energy.

Our inbuilt talent for denying and lying (to ourselves and others) makes it impossible for us to see that we have an inbuilt talent for denying and lying in the first place. Or, put another way, seeing that we haven’t been able to stop ourselves from putting the planet into the dismal shape it is in now, why should we keep on believing that we will be able to stop ourselves in the future?

Thing is, an apology for our own behavior is also an apology for everyone else’s. As long as you keep buying things wrapped in plastic, you have no right, you lose your right, to blame the industry that produces the plastic.

 

 

We see ourselves as highly intelligent, and -as a consequence- we see ourselves as a species driven by reason. But we are not. Which can be easily demonstrated by a ‘reverse question’: why, if we are so smart, do we find ourselves in the predicament of having destroyed two thirds of our planet?

Do we have a rational argument to execute that destruction? Of course not, we’ll say. But then why do we do it if rationality drives us? This is a question that should forever cure us of the idea that we are driven by reason. But we’re not listening to the answer to that question. We’re denying, we’re even denying the question itself.

It’s the same question, and the same answer, by the way, that will NOT have us ‘abandon whatever it is we do’ when we read today that 70% of all wildlife will be gone by 2020, that 58% was gone by 2012 and we destroy it at a rate of 2% per year. We’re much more likely to worry much more about some report that says returns on our retirement plans will be much lower than we thought. Or about the economic growth that is too low (as if that is possible with 70% of wildlife gone).

After all, if destroying 70% of wildlife is not enough for a call to action, what would be? 80%? 90? 99%? I bet you that would be too late. And no, relying on conservationist groups to take care of it for us is not a viable route. Because that same 70% number spells out loud and clear what miserable failures these groups have turned out to be.

We ‘assume’ we’re intelligent, because that makes us feel good. Well, it doesn’t make the planet feel good. What drives us is not reason. What drives us is the part of our brains that we share in common with amoeba and bacteria and all other more ‘primitive forms of life, that gobbles up excess energy as fast as possible, in order to restore a balance. Our ‘rational’, human, brain serves one function, and one only: to find ‘rational’ excuses for what our primitive brain has just made us do.

We’re all intelligent enough to understand that driving a hybrid car or an electric car does nothing to halt the havoc we do to our world, but there are still millions of these things being sold. So perhaps we could say that we’re at the same time intelligent enough, and we’re not.

We can see ourselves destroying our world, but we can not stop ourselves from continuing the destruction. Here’s something I wrote 5 years ago:

Most. Tragic. Species. Ever.

We have done exactly the same that any primitive life form would do when faced with a surplus, of food, energy, and in our case credit, cheap money. We spent it all as fast as we can. Lest less abundant times arrive. It’s an instinct, it comes from our more primitive brain segments, not our more “rational” frontal cortex. It’s not that we’re in principle, or talent, more devious or malicious than more primitive life forms. It’s that we use our more advanced brains to help us execute the same devastation our primitive brain drives us to, but much much worse.

That’s what makes us the most tragic species imaginable. We’ll fight each other, even our children, over the last few scraps falling off the table, and kill off everything in our path to get there. And when we’re done, we’ll find a way to rationalize to ourselves why we were right to do so. We can be aware of watching ourselves do what we do, but we can’t help ourselves from doing it. Most. Tragic. Species. Ever.

The greatest miracle you will ever see, that you could ever hope to see, is so miraculous you can’t even recognize it for what it is. We don’t know what the word beautiful means anymore. Or the word valuable. We’ve lost all of that, and are well on our way, well over 70% of it, to losing the rest too.

 

 

 

PS Please note I could not gather all sources for all pictures here, but I’d be more than happy to add them. It’s not that I don’t recognize the effort that goes into them; it’s an emotional thing.

 

 

Jul 172016
 
 July 17, 2016  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Debt Rattle July 17 2016


Russell Lee Store, La Forge, Missouri 1938

Why Brexit Is The Shot In The Arm Britain’s Economy Needs (CityAM)
Italy’s Banking Crisis Will Shake The Eurozone To Its Core (Tel.)
Italy Hires JP Morgan To Hammer Out €50 Billion Bad Bank Bailout Plan (Tel.)
Great Numbers! Curious Timing? (Rubino/ZH)
A Historical Measurement Of The Insanity Of Central Bankers (Gordon)
Russia Purges Its Banking Industry (BBG)
China Will Struggle To Maintain Growth Pace For Wages (R.)
Homebuilders Struggle To Keep Up With Canada Boom (R.)
Bank of Mum and Dad Is Now Paying The Rent, Too (Ob.)
A Travesty of Financial History (Michael Hudson)
One of India’s Poorest States Just Created a Happiness Ministry (BBG)

 

 

No-one knows how this will play out, not the leavers nor the fear mongerers on the other side. And basing conclusions on anything that happens in today’s highly manipulated markets is fraught with error.

Why Brexit Is The Shot In The Arm Britain’s Economy Needs (CityAM)

It is less than three weeks since the British people voted to leave the EU. In that time, much of the media response has been verging on hysterical. The political establishment, City and even bookmakers simply did not see Leave coming. Figures who were top of their game a month ago have fallen on their swords: David Cameron, George Osborne, Michael Gove. We have been treated to tales of woe and despair, highlighting the fall in sterling, claiming there was no Plan B, portrayals of Leave supporters as naive at best, stupid at worst and being responsible for economic catastrophe. This analysis is unreasonable – early signs post-Brexit are encouraging.

First, the political earthquake is subsiding; we now have a new Prime Minister and cabinet. At the time of writing, the pound is up 3.4% since the beginning of the week, taking a cue from the political stability Theresa May’s appointment brings and the Bank of England’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged, at 0.5%. Second, the reaction of capital markets has not been out of the ordinary anyway. While the decline of sterling against the dollar and euro has been pronounced, at around 8% against the average of the three months preceding the referendum, this is broadly in line with our expectations – and somewhat less than some of the more aggressive scaremongering predictions. Remember, it was the fall in sterling in 1992 that resulted in an export-led boom; the same can happen now. Port Talbot steel plant has just become 8% more competitive, but for some reason the BBC don’t want to know.

Third, UK gilts have strengthened. The cost of borrowing has fallen by around 0.6 percentage points to 0.72 percentage points for UK 10-year gilts. The debt market anticipates that the Bank will cut rates in August, which has the direct effect of lowering the cost of bank borrowing and mortgages. We are now seeing the embryo of a mortgage price war. HSBC, for example, is now offering a two year fix at 0.99%. This is good news for a consumer driven economy. Fourth, the FTSE 100 continues to power ahead at the years’ all-time high and over 1,000 points higher than the February low. It has been one of the three very best performing markets in the world in 2016.

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“They call them le sofferenze – the suffering. The imagery is striking, the thousands of sofferenze across Italy, unwanted and ignored, a problem unsolved. But despite the emotional name, these are not people. They are loans.”

Italy’s Banking Crisis Will Shake The Eurozone To Its Core (Tel.)

They call them le sofferenze – the suffering. The imagery is striking, the thousands of sofferenze across Italy, unwanted and ignored, a problem unsolved. But despite the emotional name, these are not people. They are loans. Bad debts, draining banks of profits and undermining economic growth. The name is less clinical than the English term “non-performing loans”, a reflection of the Italian authorities’ emotional rather than business-like approach to the problem. None the less, the loans are indeed causing real suffering. The €360bn (£300bn) of sofferenze from Italian banks show borrowers are weighed down with debts they cannot afford, while the banks are struggling to offer new credit to the households and firms that need them.

When other countries such as the UK, Ireland and Spain ran into trouble, they bit the bullet and cleaned up their banks quickly. Italy did not. In a way, Italy’s authorities had good intentions. When loans turn bad and banks lose money, someone has to pay. It should be the banks’ investors, the shareholders and bondholders who take the risk of investing in return for the chance of profits. Unfortunately in Italy, households are keen investors in bank bonds, and would be badly burnt if they had to face up to those losses. So nothing was done. The bondholders have so far kept sight of their savings, and the banks have been allowed to ignore their bad loans. It saved the country some short-term pain, but the financial problems never went away.

Now they have spread to the wider economy, and are morphing into a political crisis with implications across the EU. It could bring down Italy’s government. If no compromise is reached between Rome, which wants to protect bondholders, and the EU, which wants to enforce the rules, it could even bring down the eurozone. “This could be a bigger risk than Brexit,” says a lawyer who is close to the situation. “The Greeks are desperate to be anchored into Europe, they are willing to suffer and suffer and suffer to stay in – I am not sure that Italy is willing to suffer.” The stakes are that high, and nobody knows whether the EU can muddle through another crisis, or if shock waves from Italy will split the union. Long nights and fraught nerves lie ahead.

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Yeah, getting Wall Street involved in eurozone problems has proven to be a real good idea.

Italy Hires JP Morgan To Hammer Out €50 Billion Bad Bank Bailout Plan (Tel.)

The Italian government is working on plans to set up a €50bn bad bank which would aim to clean up the country’s stricken lenders, the Sunday Telegraph has learned. It is understood that €10bn of public money could be used to buy bad loans at a knock-down price, taking assets with a face value of €50bn off the banks’ hands, allowing them to start giving out more good loans instead. The scheme, which is being put together by JP Morgan, could help clean up the banks, but also puts the country’s authorities on a collision course with the EU, which does not want taxpayers bailing out banks before private investors take a hit. Italy’s banks are labouring under €360bn of bad loans but have set aside funds to cover less than half of the associated losses.

This is dragging down the banks and the wider economy, and the government is keen to help recapitalise the institutions, restoring them to health and potentially boosting the economy by re-starting the provision of credit to households and firms. One key part of the bailout package is being built by the investment bankers, who envisage the government taking on some of the bad loans at a price of 20 cents in the euro. The state-backed entity would then work through the loans to either sell them onto other investors, hold them to maturity if there is a chance of borrowers paying them back, or offer debt relief if the customers are in such poor financial shape they cannot repay the loans.

The plan is not certain be implemented, in part because other ideas are also under discussion, but also because the Italian government is currently at loggerheads with the EU over the scheme. European rules state that private investors such as shareholders and bondholders have to pay up before the taxpayer does, in an effort to avoid a repeat of the bailouts of the financial crisis. Italy’s government does not want to inflict harm on the households across the country who invest their savings into those bonds. It hopes that this scheme to split the cost of recapitalisation between the government and the banks will show some thought has been given to the new rules, even if it does not fully comply.

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Not everything adds up…

Great Numbers! Curious Timing? (Rubino/ZH)

Pretend you’re running a corrupt government and something big and scary happens in another part of the world. Brexit, for instance. You’re quite naturally worried about the impact on your local economy and political system. What do you do? Well, one obvious thing would be to call the statisticians who compile your economic reports and tell them to fudge the next batch of numbers. [ZH:Notice the spike in macro data hit right as Brexit crashed markets… but bonds aren’t buying it…]

[ZH: And some more context for this sudden ramp in awesome data…]

Since you already do this prior to most major elections, they’re neither surprised by the request nor concerned with how to comply. They simply go into the black boxes that control seasonal adjustments or fabricate things like “hedonic quality” or “imputed rent,” and bump up the near-term levels. Later revisions will lower them to their true range but by that time, hopefully, the danger will have passed and no one will be paying attention. So…Brexit spooks the global markets and — surprise — some big economies report excellent numbers. Among them:

China’s GDP growth comes in at 6.7%, slightly better than expected

US retail sales pop by 0.6%, versus expectations of just 0.1%

US industrial output surges in June, led by autos

These are indeed really good numbers, and anyone looking solely at the headlines would have to conclude that the things the major governments have done lately are working. Nothing to see here folks, everything is fine. The experts have it covered. But a clearer, far less rosy picture emerges when you look at the numbers below the headlines, which are either harder to fudge because they’re calculated by private sector entities or are too obscure to be worth fudging. Industrial Production is in the middle of its longest non-recessionary slump in American history…

Business inventories, for instance, are a pretty good indicator of future activity, with high inventories implying slow growth (because factories have already produced plenty of stuff for the months ahead) and low inventories meaning the opposite (because factories will have to resupply their customers shortly). Here’s a chart from Zero Hedge showing “Business Inventories At Highest Level To Sales Since The Crisis”:

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“…we must recognize and attempt to fully appreciate that global central banks are on a collective suicide mission.”

A Historical Measurement Of The Insanity Of Central Bankers (Gordon)

One of the more preposterous deeds of modern central banking involves creating digital monetary credits from nothing and then using the faux money to purchase stocks. If you’re unfamiliar with this erudite form of monetary policy this may sound rather fantastical. But, in certain economies, this is now standard operating procedure. For example, in Japan this explicit intervention into the stock market is being performed with the composed tedium of a dairy farmer milking his cows. The activity is more art than science. Similarly, if you stop – even for a day – pain swells in certain sensitive areas. In late April, a Bloomberg study found that the Bank of Japan (BOJ), through its purchases of ETFs, had become a top 10 shareholder in about 90% of companies that comprise the Nikkei 225.

At the time, based on “estimates gleaned from publicly available central bank records, regulatory filings by companies and ETF managers, and statistics from the Investment Trusts Association of Japan,” Bloomberg assumed the BOJ was buying about 3 trillion yen ($27.2 billion) of ETFs every year. The rate of buying has likely accelerated since then. In fact, this week ZeroHedge reported, via Matt King of Citibank, that net global central bank asset purchases had surged to their highest since 2013. This seems to explain why, even with investors pulling money out of equity funds for 17 consecutive weeks, and at a pace that suggests a full flight to safety, stock markets are trading at all-time highs. In short, central banks are pumping “liquidity” into stock markets faster than investors are pulling their money out.

The main culprits, at the moment, are the BOJ and the ECB. Similar efforts may soon come from a central banker near you. Other than attempting to, somehow, boost the economy by levitating the stock market, the objective of this explicit central banking intervention is unclear. The popular theory seems to be that the “wealth effect” of inflated asset prices stimulates demand in the economy. The premise, as we understand it, is supposed to play out along the following narrative…or a derivative thereof. An economic boom ensues. [..].. we must recognize and attempt to fully appreciate that global central banks are on a collective suicide mission. They think that printing money and buying stocks will save us from ourselves. In practice, this means that before stocks melt down we could be treated to the grand spectacle of an epic melt up; a historical measurement of the insanity of central bankers.

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Elvira Nabiullina is an actual central banker, who tries to do what’s best for the country.

Russia Purges Its Banking Industry (BBG)

After felling more than a quarter of its banks, Russia wants to make sure the survivors get more than a slap on the wrist for flouting the rules. As part of its campaign against money laundering, the Bank of Russia is taking a page from the playbooks of regulators in the U.S. and Europe. It’s now planning to reduce the reporting requirements on lenders while increasing the punishment for getting caught, Deputy Governor Dmitry Skobelkin said in an interview in Moscow. “We are prepared to reconsider that approach,” Skobelkin said. “But in that case we need to raise responsibility proportionally.”

Unlike the billions of dollars in penalties imposed for infractions on U.S. and European banks, Russia hasn’t leaned heavily on fines during an unsparing purge of the industry by Governor Elvira Nabiullina. Even after reducing what it calls illegal capital flight to 64 billion rubles ($1 billion) in the first quarter, less than than half the level a year earlier, the Bank of Russia is asking lenders to commit to cutting operations that have hallmarks of money laundering by 20% every quarter, according to Skobelkin. The financial industry is fighting a crisis as asset quality worsens during the second year of recession, the longest since President Vladimir Putin came to power.

Regulators have been hunting down banks deemed mismanaged or under-capitalized, with Nabiullina shutting down more than 250 banks since her appointment in 2013 to restore the system to health. With the closures, the number of banks suspected of a large share of dubious transactions has fallen to five at the end of the first quarter from 150 in mid-2013, Skobelkin said. The regulator defines “dubious operations” as fake trades or loans used to move money abroad.

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China will struggle, period.

China Will Struggle To Maintain Growth Pace For Wages (R.)

Wages in China kept pace with economic growth in the first half of 2016 but maintaining that will be difficult, the country’s statistics bureau said on Sunday. It cited issues such as overcapacity in China’s coal and steel sectors as well as some declining agricultural prices as taking a toll on salaries. Maintaining the relationship between the pace of growth and that of wage increases is a challenge requiring “close attention”, Wang Pingping, head of the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) household survey office said, according to the bureau’s website. Disposable household income, adjusted for inflation, rose 6.5% in the first half of the year, compared with economic growth of 6.7%, the statistics bureau reported on July 15.

Economic growth in the second quarter was faster than expected as a government spending spree and housing boom boosted industrial activity, but a slump in private investment growth points to a loss of momentum later this year. Several Chinese provinces have slowed or halted increases to minimum wages, as companies face pressure from rising expenses and weakening demand. China’s human resources vice minister this month called for a slowdown in wage increases in order to maintain competitiveness. China plans to allocate 100 billion yuan ($14.96 billion) to help local authorities and state-owned firms finance layoffs in the steel and coal sectors this year and in 2017.

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More struggle, but of a different kind.

Homebuilders Struggle To Keep Up With Canada Boom (R.)

The housing boom in Canada’s hottest cities has spilled over into the suburbs, where builders say they are working as fast as they can to meet soaring demand and get homes to market before a much-feared housing bust. With the supply of existing homes at a six-year low and the average price up 11.2% from a year ago, according to data released on Friday, new developments have become the next frontier in a what some fear is a housing bubble. Canadian new home prices rose 0.7% in May, the largest monthly increase since 2007, Statistics Canada said on Thursday. Builders with decades of experience say they have not seen anything like it, and are eager to build while the boom lasts.

“It’s definitely ‘Build as quickly as possible and get your pre-sales out,'” said Robert de Wit, chief executive of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association. But with land prices rising as quickly as home prices, builders are paying a lot of money now for land that may not have a house on it to sell for two years. “They are gambling. They are taking a calculated risk. They are buying the land at prices that anticipate future prices going up,” de Wit said. Builders say it is a challenge to find enough skilled tradespeople to do the work, while entire developments sell out within days of being advertised – months before construction even begins. “It’s scary to try to figure out what’s going on with the marketplace,” said Heather Weeks, marketing manager at Rosehaven Homes, which builds in the outskirts of Toronto.

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What you get when a government relies on bubbles to look good.

Bank of Mum and Dad Is Now Paying The Rent, Too (Ob.)

The Bank of Mum and Dad – the lender of last resort for their grown-up children unable to afford a deposit to buy a home – has moved into the private rentals market. The country’s housing crisis has become so acute that parents are now having to subsidise their children’s rent to the tune of £1bn a year. Research by the housing charity Shelter says that 450,000 adults need help from their parents to keep them in their rented home. An analysis of almost 4,000 adult people who rent carried out by YouGov suggests that more than one in 20 have either borrowed or received money from their parents this year to pay their rent or help them with moving costs.

Younger people are particularly reliant on their parents for help, with 11% of those aged 18-24, and 8% of those aged 25-34, receiving financial support. Shelter estimates that this amounts to about £850m a year on rent and £150m a year on moving costs. “With housing costs sky high it’s not surprising that the Bank of Mum and Dad is no longer just relied on for help with buying a home, but renting costs too,” said Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive. “We know that the majority of private renters are forking out huge proportions of their income to cover the rent each month, and that’s not even taking into account the extortionate deposits and fees that need to be paid.”

Almost 150,000 renting households in England were at risk of losing their home in the past year – some 350,000 people, says Shelter. “For those who aren’t lucky enough to receive help from parents, expensive and unstable private renting leaves many struggling,” Robb said. “We hear from people every day who simply can’t keep up with rising rents on where to live.” [..] The problem is particularly serious in London, where Shelter claims 54% of private renters are struggling to pay. Government figures show rents rose by 19% in London in the past five years. And while the average for a two-bedroom flat in the capital is now more than £1,600 a month, wages have not kept pace.

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Wonderful. Hudson always is.

A Travesty of Financial History (Michael Hudson)

Debt mounts up faster than the means to pay. Yet there is widespread lack of awareness regarding what this debt dynamic implies. From Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC to the modern world, the way in which society has dealt with the buildup of debt has been the main force transforming political relations. Financial textbook writers tell happy-face fables that depict loans only as being productive and helping debtors, not as threatening social stability. Government intervention to promote economic growth and solvency by writing down debts and protecting debtors at creditors’ expense is accused of causing an economic crisis (defined as bankers and bondholders not making as much money as they thought they would).

Creditor lobbyists are not eager to save indebted consumers, businesses and governments from bankruptcy and foreclosure. The result is a biased body of analysis, which some extremists project back throughout history. The most recent such travesty is William Goetzmann’s Money Changes Everything, widely praised in the financial press for its celebration of finance through the ages. A Professor of Finance and Management at the Yale School of Management, he credits “monetization of the Athenian economy” – the takeoff of debt – as playing “a central role in the transition to … democracy”, and assures his readers that finance is inherently democratic, not oligarchic: “The golden age of Athens owes as much to financial litigation as it does to Socrates”.

That litigation consisted mainly of creditors foreclosing on the property of debtors. Goetzmann makes no mention of how Solon freed Athenians from debt bondage with his seisachtheia (“shaking off of burdens”) in 594. Also airbrushed out of history is the subsequent buildup of financial oligarchies throughout the Mediterranean. Cities of the Achaean League called on Rome for military intervention to prevent Sparta’s kings Agis, Cleomenes and Nabis from cancelling debts late in the third century BC.

Violence has often turned public policy in favor of debtors, despite what philosophers and indeed most people believed to be fair, just and stable. Rome’s own Social War opened with the murder of supporters of the pro-debtor Gracchi brothers in 133 BC. By the time Augustus was crowned emperor in 29 BC, the die was cast. Creditor elites ended up stifling prosperity, reducing at least 15% (formerly estimated as a quarter) of the Empire’s population to bondage. The Roman legal principle placing creditor rights above the property rights of debtors has been bequeathed to the modern world.

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Hope they don’t conclude it’s about money.

One of India’s Poorest States Just Created a Happiness Ministry (BBG)

A central Indian state that ranks among the nation’s least developed will set aside 38 million rupees ($567,000) to study how to make its people happy. The cabinet in Madhya Pradesh – home to India’s famous Khajuraho temples and the national park where Rudyard Kipling set his Jungle Book – on Friday approved setting up the department. It will conduct research and prepare plans to measure and enhance its citizens’ wellbeing, according to the government’s website. Increasing growth and prosperity among India’s poorest states – which hold the bulk of the nation’s population – is crucial for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retain power with elections due 2019. India ranks 118 of 156 in the World Happiness Report 2016, behind Pakistan, Serbia and Ethiopia.

“The largest regional drop was in South Asia, in which India has by far the largest population share,” the report stated. Five input variables – per capita income, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption – improved for India but were offset by a fall in social support. With analysts questioning the credibility of statistics in the world’s fastest-growing big economy, social indicators stand to be increasingly used to measure progress. Madhya Pradesh, which calls itself the heart of India, was ranked among the bottom three in social indicators by a panel appointed by the federal government in 2013. Its per capita income is among the lowest for an Indian state.

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