Aug 162021
 August 16, 2021  Posted by at 6:57 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »

Jules Adolphe Breton The Song of the Lark 1884


An article on Jim Quinn’s Burning Platform gave me hope. Hope that the madness will be forced to end, though I have no hope this will be an easy process. The article, by “Hardscrabble Farmer”, describes what happens in France now the even stricter Health Pass measures have come into force. Much of the country is grinding to a halt.

We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out, and sure, the French are out for the summer, so empty terraces and restaurants are not that exceptional. The writer is probably not native French, and doesn’t know the intricacies of the health care system which is not entirely state run, there are indeed private clinics, “elite” is a French word after all, but much of what he says is undoubtedly true. And not only in France.

I think most countries that now cajole and threaten their citizens into being vaccinated will find, and have to admit at some point, that they just don’t have the numbers. But first France:


Message From France

Here in France it has gone to the extreme with the “Health” Pass. Last week on the 21st ALL restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and any leisure activities like sporting events, theaters, cinemas, museums, were closed to anyone without “the pass” and all staff at these places are mandated to get the jab to keep their job. It is now a 6 Month prison sentence if you are caught inside any of these places without the pass (the man who slapped the president in the face got only 3 months prison time).

Business owners will get a fine of 45,000 euros and 1 year prison sentence if they do not comply with the use of “the pass” and force all their employees to get the jab. (If you know France, you can commit murder and have less of a sentence) So the result? All the low paid employees quit, they can make more on welfare here (for now). We can still technically “get take out food” but I just tried last night and every restaurant in our town (that is dine in with take out) has closed their doors due to the lack of staff.

As of last week ALL doctors, nurses and health industry workers have been mandated to get the jab or lose their license, practice, job, business etc. [..] Since the Health care system is state run and funded, it has been run into the ground. All the good doctors left France 5 Years ago, all the hospitals look like they are 3rd world hospitals since there is no money to repair them, half of the equipment doesn’t work and not every hospital is stocked with supplies needed for daily needs (masks, gels, disposable gowns etc).

For 5 years Nurses have been understaffed and doing double the work because the Health care system is nearly bankrupt…. So add to this the mandatory jab. So the result? Well they took to the streets by the millions and now all the hospitals just lost another 50% of staff capacity. My doctor just went into early retirement (a.k.a. he quit) and I have yet to find a replacement.

As of Aug 1st ALL large malls, retail stores and grocery store owners and their staff need to be jabbed and the health pass is required to enter for employees and customers. This would be the equivalent to closing ALL Targets, Walmarts, Costcos, Home Depots, and all major grocery stores [..] to those without “the pass”.

[..] As of Sept 15th All public areas and access will be off limits. No farmers markets, no parks, no national parks, lakes, rivers, beaches, recreation areas, campsites etc. and no gathering over 100 people, no churches, no weddings, etc. As of Oct 1st ALL small vendors such as, delis, pizza trucks, sandwich shops, butchers, bakers, vegetable stands etc.

So as of Oct 1st I will only be able to purchase food by internet and pick up (if allowed). Food shortages, Truckers strike, hospitals and airports shutting down unemployment going through the roof. Its going to be a bumpy ride folks. Is it me or does all this seem a bit extreme for a “pass” that isn’t exactly working?

About those numbers: according to Our World in Data, France has 52% fully vaccinated people, and 68% who’ve had at least a single dose. I don’t believe that for a second, just as I don’t believe any country’s official numbers. Because they are used to push more people into getting vaccines, the idea being that high numbers will make them think it’s time to be with the group.

A nice example is a CNBC piece from August 2 about the US, which claims:

70% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot of a Covid vaccine, according to data published Monday by the CDC, about a month behind President Joe Biden’s Fourth of July goal.

[..] “We need to have at least 80% of the population vaccinated to truly have some form of herd immunity,” Dr. Paul Offit, a voting member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said in a recent interview. “This is a fairly contagious virus.”

But also on August 2, the Mayo Clinic had the US at 58% single dose vaccinated, which Our World in Data appears to confirm, and 49.9% fully vaccinated. But that doesn’t look too great a whole month after Biden’s July 4 70% goal ran out, dies it?

Two weeks later, on August 15, the number of fully vaccinated is up by just 1%, at 50.9%.

At that rate it will take a while. Or rather, that rate means they might as well give up. Because it’s an uphill battle in which the low hanging fruit has been picked. Vaccination centers are closing, demand is drying up. Just getting to 70% would be a miracle. But then the “experts” say that is not enough either, you need 80%. Forget about it. You will kill your economy first. Even at 70%, you have almost a third of your population not working, not shopping, living outside of the economy.

Bill H.R. 4980, posted on, says:

To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that any individual traveling on a flight that departs from or arrives to an airport inside the United States or a territory of the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and for other purposes.

This means half of Americans won’t be allowed to fly. Happy Americans! Happy airlines! And of course these measures will subsequently at some point be applied to all the fields they already are in France. Hospitality, stores, hospitals, etc. Which will lose a lot of their staff. and a huge chunk of their customers. As the fully vaccinated go up by 1% per two weeks.

Oh, and wait, I haven’t even mentioned the 3rd, 4th and so on, booster shots. Think everyone will get them all? If these people have their way, we’re going to live in a world where one week you can dine out and fly, but the next you first need to get the umpteenth shot to do it. And you may get real sick if you don’t to boot.

In Greece, the government last week announced that 65.1% of the total population have one dose, and 61.1% “of adults have completed their inoculation.” That would mean they are way ahead of the US, even though they started much later, had supply problems and so on. No, they’re lying too, all governments massage the numbers.

With the US at 50%, I’d say Greece is at 30%, 40% max. And resistance here is high, so the numbers will only climb very slowly. But of course, threats. A friend who works in a restaurant told me today that they’re threatening to fire him in October. He’s trying, with 5 others at the same place, to hire a lawyer to take their case, but the lawyers have so many of these cases that their fees have skyrocketed.

They base their claim on the idea that the Greek parliament have said you can’t fire people for not taking the vaccine. I simply don’t know enough about that. But it’s clear which way the wind is blowing. Here and in so many other places. Some people are docile, some governments have better propaganda, but it’s still all moving in the same direction.

What may break this downhill, and dangerous, trend, is reports about severe adverse effects, such as antibody-dependent enhancement, breaking through the near perfect wall of silence built around “alternative” views and other things that don’t fit the narrative. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time. But you can obviously try. And you can try and set one half of your population against the other. That’s a lovely idea too. The Land of the Free, but only for those who follow orders.

Note: I know, I know, they’re all betting on boosting their numbers by inoculating every new born child, even the unborn. Problem is, people tend to love their children even more than themselves. And no-one can assure them it’s safe to jab their kids, even if they claim it: there’s no evidence of it, none.




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Jun 082021

Pablo Picasso Le repos 1932
This painting has a story. It’s very funny. Click the pic.


Nearly 80% Of Surveyed Americans Won’t Change Their Mind & Get Vaccine (RT)
Unvaccinated Houston Methodist Nurses Plan Walkout (HC)
Why Subject Our Children To The Risk Of Death From Vaccination? (CW)
Child Vaccination: Who’s Selfish Now? (Curzon)
Time To Make Them PAY (Denninger)
Embattled Thailand Kicks Off Mass Vaccination Drive Against Covid-19 (RT)
Reset Yourself ! (Kunstler)
Trump Calls Bitcoin Scam, Denounces It For Competing Against The Dollar (RT)
Dumping The Dollar: Russia Ready To Shift Currency Liquidity To The Euro (RT)
The Coming Biden/Putin Train-Wreck Summit (Ron Paul)
Daniel Ellsberg: The 90-Year-old Whistleblower Tempting Prosecution (BBC)





Freud & Jung would have retweeted this clip.





Forget about vaccine-induced herd immunity.

Nearly 80% Of Surveyed Americans Won’t Change Their Mind & Get Vaccine (RT)

A new poll has found that Americans refusing a Covid-19 vaccination are highly unlikely to change their minds as inoculation rates have also significantly dropped. More than three in four adults (78%) who have thus far refused to get a Covid-19 vaccination say they are unlikely to change their minds in the future, according to a new Gallup poll. Of that group, 51% say they are “highly unlikely” to change their minds. Approximately 20% of people who are hesitant to receive a vaccine say they are open to changing their stance, with only 2% saying they are “highly likely” to eventually be convinced to get inoculated. The poll – conducted among over 3,500 adults with a margin of error of 3% – could spell bad news for President Joe Biden’s ambitious goal of vaccinating 70% of US adults by July 4.

Recent reports have shown that vaccine rates are plummeting in recent weeks, threatening the president’s plan. While approximately 3.4 million shots were being given out a day in mid-April, that number has now fallen to below one million a day, according to a report from the Washington Post. To hit the president’s goal, it says, approximately 4.2 million adults would need to be getting vaccinated a week, but only 2.4 million were given a jab last week. The drop has been chalked up by health officials to a lack of supply, rather than demand as vaccination sites have popped up around the country, but are seeing less and less people come through.

Some states have tried incentivizing vaccine hesitant residents by offering lottery winnings worth millions of dollars. The rates of vaccination vary significantly from state to state, with a handful set to hit Biden’s goal, including New York, a state in which over 60% of adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Some right-leaning states, however, have lower vaccination rates and are unlikely to hit the 70% threshold in the next month, the Washington Post report goes on. Twelve states, including Oklahoma, Montana, and West Virginia, have seen their daily vaccinations fall to just 15 jabs per 10,000 residents. One Utah woman told the outlet that “in certain circles, it’s almost shameful to get the vaccine.”

Read more …

The entire state is free.

Unvaccinated Houston Methodist Nurses Plan Walkout (HC)

Dozens of cheering supporters gathered outside the Houston Methodist Baytown campus Monday evening as several medical workers who refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine ended their last shifts working for the hospital system. The act of protest was aimed at what workers said was the hospital’s decision to suspend employees for two weeks without pay and then fire them for failing to immunize themselves. Jennifer Bridges, a nurse who effectively lost her job at the Baytown facility for deciding not to be inoculated, said the goal was to stage a walkout but that did not go as planned. Participating employees who refused the vaccine’s first dose were told not to gather or linger on the hospital grounds after ending their shift, she said. “The hospital wouldn’t let us do it,” Bridges said.

She got out of work early, emptied her locker and gathered with others on a grassy medium near the ambulance entrance to the hospital. Bridges fished a paper out of a backpack — a suspension report — that she had been asked to sign. She refused, she continued. About 117 employees in May filed a class action lawsuit against the health system for requiring its workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bridges said the plaintiffs in the suit are a mix of those who want more trial data to emerge on the long-term effects of the vaccine before taking it, and those who simply don’t want any shots. “We’re not against the vaccine, we just want to be more comfortable with this one and have thorough research out before we take it,” Bridges in April said.

“When patients get care, they have the right to refuse treatment, but we’re not allowed that same exemption.” The suit alleged that the three major coronavirus vaccines are only authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, meaning employers cannot require them as a condition of employment. At least 50 more employees have expressed interest in joining the plaintiffs since the lawsuit went public, she said.

Houston Methodist

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“SARS-CoV-2 is going to become an endemic virus. It will always be with us. The sooner most of us are exposed to it, ideally in childhood, the sooner it will cease to be a major problem.”

Why Subject Our Children To The Risk Of Death From Vaccination? (CW)

All non-corrupted scientific commentators have known from the very start that this pandemic only ends one way: SARS-CoV-2 is going to become an endemic virus. It will always be with us. The sooner most of us are exposed to it, ideally in childhood, the sooner it will cease to be a major problem. High-risk individuals can choose to take a vaccine. Ivermectin and vitamin D can be used to prevent infection and treat confirmed cases. As we have seen, the argument that children must take vaccines so that we can achieve herd immunity is utterly false. Only those completely ignorant of virology and immunology would even attempt to make it. That brings us back to the original argument for vaccinating children against Covid: to protect them from the severe disease.

If this is the only reason to vaccinate children, there is only one calculation that parents should make: Is the risk from Covid greater than the risk from the vaccine? The present Covid vaccines being administered in the West are based on experimental technologies that are being used under emergency use authorisations (EUAs). Full safety studies will not be completed until 2023. The Covid vaccines were all created in the last year and we have no medium-term or long-term data on them. We don’t know if they will have an effect on children’s reproductive organs and fertility. We don’t know if they will produce auto-immune diseases. And we don’t know if they will lead to ADE (antibody-dependent enhancement) upon re-exposure to the virus (causing more severe illness).

We do know that the vaccines produce a range of cardiovascular and neurological events including strokes, myocarditis, pericarditis and paralysis in a significant number of people. In the small US state of Connecticut at least 18 children and young adults have come down with myocarditis, an extremely serious and sometimes fatal condition involving inflammation of the heart muscle (and they’ve only just started vaccinating children there). The Israel Ministry of Health has reported that the incidence of myocarditis for vaccine recipients is between 1 in 3,000 and 1 in 6,000 in young men. In Canada (population 38 million) only 11 children have died from Covid since the start of the pandemic. In the UK (pop 68 million) 32 children have died. It is nearly certain that all of them had one or more severe comorbidities. The fact is, most children brush off Covid without even knowing they’ve had it. For all intents and purposes, Covid poses zero risk to healthy children.

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“..a lot of ethical dilemmas as to whether you should vaccinate children to protect adults.”

Child Vaccination: Who’s Selfish Now? (Curzon)

A number of school leaders have swung into action following the approval of the vaccination of children against Covid (a disease which almost all children aren’t at risk from) using the Pfizer vaccine (trials of which only included 1,134 children). It wasn’t very long ago that the establishment line was: if you don’t get a Covid vaccine, you are selfish. Even the Queen (disappointingly) joined in with this line [..]. But now, adult advisers to the Government suggest that children should be vaccinated not to protect children but to protect…themselves. Professor Anthony Harnden, the Deputy Chairman of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, says:

‘I think the vast majority of benefit won’t be to children, it will be an indirect benefit to adults in terms of preventing transmission and protecting adults who haven’t been immunised, for whatever reason haven’t responded to the vaccine and therefore that presents quite a lot of ethical dilemmas as to whether you should vaccinate children to protect adults.’ He notes that children themselves are ‘in the main’ not at risk from Covid. Over half of the adult population has been fully vaccinated (with seventy-five per cent having received at least one dose of a vaccine) and Covid deaths, while still exaggerated, have flattened. There is no reason to vaccinate most children and, given the potential side effects, many not to do so. If the Government bottles it on the vaccination of children, it is they who are being selfish.


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Good question (we asked this before): where are the life insurance companies?

If they don’t change their policies, that’s a big sign.

Time To Make Them PAY (Denninger)

[..] of those from 5-17 the number of persons who were admitted to the hospital and died, from March 1 2020 through March 31st, 2021 was……. wait for it…… NINE. Yes, a literal NINE nationwide. Another nine under 5 died. That’s right — 18 children in total from 0-17 year olds died of Covid-19 all the way back to March of 2020. If that’s not enough further review in a recent study the CDC did itself found that about a third of those were misclassified and had no plausible connection to Covid-19 actually killing the person in question. That’s a statistical zero risk of death if you are in that age bracket (17 and under) and get Covid. There are roughly 75 million persons under the age of 18 in the United States; this means their risk of death from Covid-19 since March of 2020 is roughly 1 in 4 million.

To put context on this you’re roughly one thousand times (there is a lot of variation with age and sex) more likely to die of something else in that age bracket provided you make it out your first year. Why your first year? Because roughly 5,500 per million infants die in their first year from all causes combined which is a stunning 20,000 times the rate that Covid-19 kills them. In addition for those under 50 the percentage of hospital admissions ending in death was 2.4%. There is no material risk of dying of Covid if you are under 50 and this is with zero early drug intervention which we know works so can we cut the crap folks? This isn’t my data it’s the government’s official data. The AARP confirms this; 95% of those who died were 50+ but 64.6% of the Covid-19 alleged cases have been in people under 50.

Yet now the CDC is attempting to scare kids and adolescents into taking jabs through flat-out lies. Why hasn’t the CDC been banned from Twitter and Facebook for “medical misinformation”? They are the publishers of this data and yet they are knowingly lying about their own data! Now are there an awful lot of seniors who are fat and/or diabetic? You bet. But there are also many who are not and Covid doesn’t kill them often, if at all. There is no reason for anyone to put up with any more of this bull****. After almost a year and a half of being gaslighted, lied to up and down the line by every so-called “expert” under the sun, having treatments suppressed to the point that discussing them gets you thrown off social media sites and doctors sanctioned or threatened with loss of their licenses and professional associations please explain to me why the people of this nation haven’t gotten tired of their loved ones being deliberately sacrificed — that would be called murder, by the way — and shoved all of this bull**** up the government’s ass?

Nor is there any reason for anyone to get a jab for anyone else’s benefit; these are not fully-tested and documented products, no matter what someone tries to tell you and again, the FDA’s own documents in the form of the actual EUAs say so. Any claim otherwise is ALSO a lie; these shots are lightly tested and there is plenty of evidence that more than one of the original safety claims made for them are now known false. [..] where are the life insurance companies? If there’s one group of people who have their crap dialed in when it comes to who’s going to die and how often it’s those folks. Oh not you specifically of course, but statistically, you bet. These companies do not lose money and they don’t make stupid bets either. Every one of their bets collects a small amount of money and when they’re wrong very large amounts go out their door. If they are not changing rates and forcing jabs to get coverage or surcharging you if you don’t get the jab then this much is absolutely certain: Covid-19 is non-event from a life insurance perspective — in other words, whether they think you’ll die of it.

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Drown them in ivermectin instead.

Embattled Thailand Kicks Off Mass Vaccination Drive Against Covid-19 (RT)

Bangkok has started its mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19, with the government aiming to inoculate six million people in June alone, as a third wave surges and now accounts for 80% of all cases since the pandemic began. “The government will ensure that everyone is vaccinated,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Monday after a visit to a Bangkok inoculation center as the national vaccination program kicked off. Amid a third wave of the virus, which has seen case levels far exceed those of the first and second waves, the state is aiming to administer six million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, which is being made locally, and China’s Sinovac shot in June. The government hopes to vaccinate 70% of the country’s 66 million people before the end of the year.

To date, only 2.8 million people have received one shot in an initial rollout targeting the most vulnerable, including frontline health and transport workers. The government has been heavily criticized by opposition parties for over-reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being made by royal-owned Siam Bioscience. Concerns emerged that the company’s production capacity may have been overestimated after the Philippines said its order had been reduced and delayed. Bangkok has been forced to search elsewhere for more supply, sourcing 200,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from South Korea, and hopes to complete a 20-million-shot deal with Pfizer in the coming weeks. To date, Thailand has registered 179,886 infections and 1,269 fatalities from the virus, 80% of which has been recorded during the third wave. 2,419 new infections and 33 deaths were recorded on Monday.

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“..plenty of pretty young things on hand, only some of whom know a reverse repo from an Appenzeller Sennenhund..”

Reset Yourself ! (Kunstler)

If Quentin Tarantino made a James Bond movie, the villain would be a maniac named Klaus Schwab, played with a light touch by Christoph Waltz, leading a SMERSH-like org bent on turning the world into a utopia of robots, and, of course, absolutely everything would go wrong, leading to a joyously comical bloodbath in the climax. Are we living in that movie, one wonders? In real life — is there even such a thing anymore? — Klaus Schwab is the octogenarian head of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the NGO that hosts the annual cavalcade of global villains at Davos, Switzerland, held every January in perfect designer snow, with the raclette melting temptingly on the hearth, endless flutes of Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut making the rounds, and plenty of pretty young things on hand, only some of whom know a reverse repo from an Appenzeller Sennenhund. Must be fun as all git-out.

The Davos meeting is ostensibly called to improve the state of the world (ha!), and thereby inspires countless paranoid fever dreams in the minds of many who would prefer to be spared utopian social experiments, especially from plans drawn by billionaire bankers who view the present surfeit of mankind on this planet (some 7.6 billion) as cluttering up the joint — all these unnecessary hoi polloi filling the oceans with their yukky plastic, making navigation difficult for the Davos yachting crowd… or something like that. Klaus Schwab has been shockingly literal about his wished-for utopia, summing up his vision as, “You will own nothing, and you will be happy about it.” Hmmm, no property… and then what? Logically, no corpus of contract law to regulate it? Farewell pesky US constitution. (Let’s face it, it’s been falling apart lately, anyhow.) How’s that going to make folks happy? Can I at least keep my Waterpik and my flyrod?

And what about your property Klaus? And the property of your nonagenarian buddy George Soros, including all the cash money he’s been sprinkling around the USA to fund the election of utterly incompetent Attorneys General and District Attorneys, so as to sow chaos in America’s streets? What about your pal Bill Gates’s property… those hundreds of thousands of acres he’s buying up across the American grain belt? And the half that goes to Melinda under California divorce law. Will the poor girl have to make those dreary trips to the Safeway on her own? Will there even be supermarkets? Or just distribution depots like the old soviet glory days, with long lines for schmoozing?

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“I want the dollar to be the currency of the world. That’s what I’ve always said.”

Trump Calls Bitcoin Scam, Denounces It For Competing Against The Dollar (RT)

Former President Donald Trump called bitcoin a probable “scam” on Fox Business, Monday, complaining that it’s competing against the US dollar, which he wants to be the “currency of the world.” During an interview on Fox Business, host Stuart Varney asked Trump for his thoughts on the popular cryptocurrency and whether he would invest in it. “Bitcoin, it just seems like a scam,” Trump declared, adding, “I don’t like it because it’s another currency competing against the dollar.” “I want the dollar to be the currency of the world. That’s what I’ve always said.” Trump has repeatedly shot down cryptocurrencies in recent years, accusing them of facilitating “unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” he said on Twitter in July 2019. “We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!” Trump’s presidential administration also attempted to crack down on cryptocurrency through regulations last year as one its final acts ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

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“Since we are a market economy, we cannot just order: stop using dollars..”

Dumping The Dollar: Russia Ready To Shift Currency Liquidity To The Euro (RT)

Russian authorities are planning to shift the nation’s currency liquidity from the US dollar to the euro, the country’s Finance Ministry announced on Monday. “Our number one goal is to turn Russia into a euro-oriented country, thus to replace the dollar with the euro,” said Dmitry Timofeev, head of the department of external restrictive measures control at the Russian Finance Ministry. The official noted that Russia has every reason for the move, adding that the government is preparing a wide range of incentives for businesses to transition to the European single currency. “Since we are a market economy, we cannot just order: stop using dollars,” Timofeev said, though he added that some state-owned corporations might be forced to shift.

“We need to develop the necessary tools in a single package to move the entire economy further away from the dollar, which, in fact, will allow us to avoid sanctions and make the world more democratic,” he added. The announcement comes days after Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the National Wealth Fund would reduce its share of dollars to zero within the next month. Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warned that Russia may soon be tempted to move away from dollar-denominated crude contracts if the US administration continues to pile up targeted economic sanctions.

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“Biden is well-prepared to answer for this when he soon visits Europe since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time around.”

The Coming Biden/Putin Train-Wreck Summit (Ron Paul)

I have my doubts whether the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva will take place later this month, but even if somehow it is pulled off, recent Biden Administration blunders mean the chance anything of substance will be achieved is virtually nil. The Biden Administration was supposed to signal a return of the “adults” to the room. No more bully Trump telling NATO it’s useless, ripping up international climate treaties, and threatening to remove troops from the Middle East and beyond. US foreign policy would again flourish under the steady, practiced hands of the experts. Then Biden blurted out in a television interview that President Putin was a killer with no soul. Then US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discovered the hard way that his Chinese counterparts were in no mood to be lectured on an “international rules-based order” that is routinely flouted by Washington.

It’s going to be a rough ten days for President Biden. Just as news breaks that under the Obama/Biden Administration the US was routinely and illegally spying on its European allies, he is preparing to meet those same allies, first at the G7 summit in England on June 11-13 and then at the June 14th NATO meeting in Brussels. Make no mistake, Joe Biden is up to his eyeballs in this scandal. Ed Snowden Tweeted late last month when news broke that the US teamed up with the Danes to spy on the rest of Europe, that “Biden is well-prepared to answer for this when he soon visits Europe since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time around.”

Though Germany’s Merkel and France’s Macron have been loyal US lapdogs, the revelation of how Washington treats its allies has put them in the rare position of having to criticize Washington. “Outrageous” and “unacceptable” are how they responded to the news. Russia has been routinely accused (without evidence) of malign conduct and interference in internal US affairs, but it turns out that the country actually doing the spying and meddling was the US all along – and against its own allies! Surely this irony is not lost on Putin.

Ron Paul Walensky

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“That would immediately raise the question of the US initiating nuclear war against China to prevail in that situation..”

Daniel Ellsberg: The 90-Year-old Whistleblower Tempting Prosecution (BBC)

While the Pentagon Papers left a lasting legacy, they weren’t the only documents Mr Ellsberg got his hands on. At the same time, Mr Ellsberg copied another classified study that showed how seriously American military chiefs took the threat of nuclear war during the Taiwan crisis of 1958. For 50 years, the study went virtually unnoticed until 2017, when Mr Ellsberg published the full document online, which was highlighted by the New York Times newspaper last month. In theory, Mr Ellsberg’s disclosure could put him at risk of prosecution on the same charges he faced for leaking the Pentagon Papers. Now aged 90, Mr Ellsberg says he is not intimidated by the possibility of prison. In an interview with the BBC, he explained why.

[..] For decades, Mr Ellsberg has been a tireless critic of government overreach and military interventions. His opposition crystallised during the 1960s, when he advised the White House on nuclear strategy and assessed the Vietnam War for the Department of Defense. What Mr Ellsberg learned during that period weighed heavily on his conscience. If only the public knew, he thought, political pressure to end the war might prove irresistible. The release of the Pentagon Papers was a product of that rationale, which underpins Mr Ellsberg’s latest disclosure, albeit in a different context. “I want to do my part in avoiding nuclear war,” Mr Ellsberg said from his home in California. In his assessment, a nuclear war over Taiwan is a serious threat. To understand why, consider the unsettled question of Taiwan’s relationship to China.

China has asserted sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Since then, China has regarded Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunited with the mainland – by force if necessary. As Taiwan’s most-important ally, the US would be expected to take action if China did attack the island. “War games appear to show that the Chinese would win a conventional war over Taiwan and against the US,” Mr Ellsberg said. “That would immediately raise the question of the US initiating nuclear war against China to prevail in that situation, just as US decision-makers committed themselves to doing if it was necessary in 1958.” In the end, it was not necessary in 1958. But what material released by Mr Ellsberg shows, in sobering detail, is why American military leaders believed it might have been.

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Apr 212020

Gordon Parks Muhammad Ali in training 1966


There are times when you think: now things must be easy to comprehend, but as it turns out, they are still not. Let me try once more. See, I was thinking it must have become much easier to gauge the impact in the US of COVID19 when I published the graph below from a few days ago. That the stories about seasonal flu etc. at least should be dead and buried, because, well, just look at the graph.

No such “luck”. That warped comparison keeps on rearing its head. The graph is plenty clear about it, however. In a period of about 3 weeks, COVID19 obliterated all other causes of death far behind.


click to enlarge in new tab



I have followed the progress of the virus since early January, so plenty of graphs are available. Below are those from Worldometer and SCMP, starting February 20.

On February 2, the US had 5 cases and zero deaths. Then we get to the graphs.

On February 20, there were 75,750 global cases, 74,500 of which were in China. There were 2,130 deaths, of which just maybe 10 were outside China.

The US had fewer than 15 cases and zero deaths.




One month later, things had changed quite dramatically, or so it seemed.

On March 20, there were 250,000 global cases and over 10,000 deaths. Cases had tripled, deaths had almost quintupled. Italy had overtaken China in most fatalities, from zero a month earlier.

The US had emerged “on the forefront”. It now had 10,400 cases and 150 deaths. Yes, that is just one month ago, 32 days to be exact.




Today, on April 21 2020, you would hardly recognize the situation as it was on February 20 or March 20.

There are now over 2,500,000 cases and over 172,000 deaths.

The US has become the frontrunner, and by a very large margin. It has over 800,000 cases and over 43,000 deaths.

From those 10,400 cases and 150 deaths 32 days ago.

Moreover, of those 43,000 deaths, almost half, 20,000, died in just the past 7 days.

And it’s at this point that people want to call the peak.



Investor John Hussman developed a model from early February which he’s been updating ever since. His model followed (or actually, predicted) actual numbers quite well:

Apr 15 (637,716 cases, 30,826 deaths): Assuming sustained containment efforts, the “optimistic” projection (my adaptive model) suggests that U.S. daily new cases may have peaked. This does NOT mean these efforts can now be abandoned. Most U.S. fatalities are still ahead, and we still lack capacity to test/track/trace.



But 5 days ago, John started getting worried:

Apr 16 (667,801, 32,917): This isn’t good. U.S. fatalities just jumped off book. We shouldn’t see 31,000 yet.

Apr 18 (735,076, 38,903): So much for the optimistic scenario. We’re way off book. I had hoped this was just a one-time adjustment. Understand this:

PEAK daily new cases in a containment scenario is also PEAK infectivity if containment is abandoned at that moment.




I’ve long said that people are social animals, and you cannot -and shouldn’t- keep them apart for too long. But at the same time, containment measures in case of epidemics go back a very long way in history. And it’s very well for people to develop models that appear to show that the virus will do whatever it can until it no longer does, and it will soon disappear even if we didn’t do anything to prevent it from spreading.

But those are still just models, just like the one John Hussman developed. And until they are proven, which takes time, the actual numbers we have now speak loudly. Globally, we went from 250,000 to 2,500,000 cases in one month, and from 10,000 fatalities to 172.000. In the US in that same month we went from 10,400 cases to over 800,000 and from 150 deaths to 43,000.

“PEAK daily new cases in a containment scenario is also PEAK infectivity if containment is abandoned at that moment”, says Hussman. Of course everybody wants their freedom back. But at what price? If you don’t, because you can’t, know what the price will be, are you still willing to pay that price?

What I mean is, everyone’s trying to call a peak, but for most that’s merely because they want there to be a peak. The numbers don’t really say that; they may seem to do, but that’s just over 1,2 or 3 days at best. While half of all US fatalities have been over the past 7 days.

If the peak has really already occurred, we will not know it until about 10-14 days from now. So the only thing we can do is to wait that long. Perhaps it would be a good idea to listen to what those have to say who are so enthusiastically labeled “heroes” all over the globe, the doctors, nurses and other frontline caretakers.

If they are indeed your heroes, and that’s not just some empty phrase, listen to what they have to say about the pressure on them, on the system they work in, on the numbers of cases and deaths they see themselves confronted with.

But also listen when they say things you may not like to hear. If anybody deserves a relaxation of a lockdown, and of pressure overall, surely it must be them, before you.

Guess it’s too much to ask that perhaps you may have learned some lessons lately, about things that you don’t need to do but that you always did. Or to ask you if you heard the birds singing louder in the bluer skies this morning.

Just out of curiosity: Did you know that Anne Frank spent 2 whole years locked down behind a wall?



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