Oct 032021
 


René Magritte Memory of a voyage 1955

 

Covid Vaccine Antibody Levels Drop ‘Nearly 10-Fold’ After About Six Months (JTN)
Public Health Or Power Play? (AC)
Vaccine Related Injuries and Deaths Far More Widespread Than Reported (CTH)
India’s Ivermectin Blackout: The Secret Revealed (Hope)
The Flu Shot Stupidity (Denninger)
NYC Restaurateurs: Business Down 40 to 60% Due to Vaccine Mandate (ET)
Restaurants’ Fragile Recovery Is Fizzling in the US (BBG)
Dozens of NBA Players Refuse the Shot (PJM)
The NBA’s Vaccine Problem Is Bigger Than A Few High-Profile Holdouts (G.)
Senate Bill To Require Vaccines Or Testing For All US Domestic Flights (JTN)
Afghan War Vet Faces Dishonorable Discharge For Refusing Vaccine (JTN)
Largest Louisiana Health System Fines Employees With Unvaccinated Spouses (Fox)
Biden Reportedly Floats Smaller Spending Bill To Avert Perceived Defeat (JTN)

 

 

A mother of 2 young children dies from the vaccine. And Twitter has the gall to call her obituary misleading. Not an ounce of decency.

 

 

Zuby

 

 

Prediction

 

 

 

 

Not the whole story. 2x more breakthrough cases after 5-6 months compared to 3-4 months.

Covid Vaccine Antibody Levels Drop ‘Nearly 10-Fold’ After About Six Months (JTN)

A preliminary study this week claimed to have found a steep reduction in the number of coronavirus-fighting antibodies in patients roughly half a year after they received the COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers “analyzed blood samples from 46 healthy, mostly young or middle-aged adults after receipt of the two doses and again six months after the second dose,” Reuters reported this week. The study indicated that “vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine induces high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the original vaccine strain, but these levels drop by nearly 10-fold by seven months,” two of the researchers told the news wire.


The study, which has not yet been certified by peer review, comes amid growing talk of the possible need for a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure a robust immune response. The study determined that “administering a booster dose at around 6 to 7 months following the initial immunization will likely enhance protection against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.”


https://www.humetrix.com/powerpoint-vaccine.html

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“All that would remain are vaccinated people humbly bowing to a perpetual mandate in the name of a promised security that is not even demonstrable.”

Public Health Or Power Play? (AC)

If the pro-vaccination syndicate has its way, every American, and eventually every human, will have the Covid-19 vaccination. Furthermore, if recent chatter and momentum are any indication, regular boosters will be soon be standard. For instance, last week an FDA panel rejected a Pfizer request to recommend boosters for the general population, recommending, instead, boosters for people over 65 and those deemed at high risk. CDC director Rochelle Walensky, however, unilaterally chose to expand the recommendation to include high risk occupations, teachers, grocery store employees, and other “essential” workers.

Of course, there’s no clear reason why one booster will suffice. A policy of perpetual, mandated boosters is a remarkable achievement. If nothing else, there is a lot of money at stake in this vaccination ballet. But there is something here that should interest anyone concerned with “the science.” If everyone is vaccinated, there is no control group and therefore no group against which we can accurately judge the effectiveness of the vaccine. This is a monopoly of the most excellent sort and also an exquisite insulation against lawsuits: The government mandates regular doses of a drug the long-term effects of which are unknown—and unknowable—because we will have nothing with which to compare. All that would remain are vaccinated people humbly bowing to a perpetual mandate in the name of a promised security that is not even demonstrable.

“Politicized science” is being used as a club to bludgeon dissenters into submission. But this is not science, for science requires open and free inquiry. It is not politics, either, for legitimate politics requires free and vigorous debate. It is, instead, naked power masquerading as science. Combine this with a chorus of eager and self-righteous minions and you have a toxic situation where power is dramatically expanded and abused in the name of public health. Science is an obvious casualty, but when you dress up power in the garb of pseudo-science, another casualty is freedom.

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“They had less infection when they had no protection. So, that’s a problem.”

Vaccine Related Injuries and Deaths Far More Widespread Than Reported (CTH)

Thanks to a Whistleblower that came forth to Attorney Thomas Renz, the public is now seeing, for the first time ever, hard data from the largest database available in the U.S. to study the COVID-19 impact including deaths & injuries; The CMS Medicare Tracking System. The Total number of American Citizens that died within 14 days of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is 48,465 according to hard data revealed in the Medicare Tracking System. Attorney Renz is also in possession of Remdesivir death data from the Medicare Tracking System that has been withheld by the government from our citizens. The Remdesivir data reveals of the 7,960 beneficiaries prescribed Remdesivir for Covid-19, 2,058 died. That is 25.9%.


46% of people died within 14 days of the Remdesivir Treatment. The Remdesivir Treatment was established in U.S. Hospitals at the direction of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Serious adverse events were reported in 131 of the 532 patients who received Remdesivir. That is 24.6%. Attorney Renz says, ”This begs the question… why is this the protocol in American Hospitals? Does this appear “Safe and Effective” to you?” LifeSiteNews has more details on the presentation specifically as it pertains to the risks within the Pfizer vaccine. “So, when they weren’t injected, their infection rate was 1.3%, and when they got injected, it was 4.34%. It went up by over 300%,” Kingston stated. “They had less infection when they had no protection. So, that’s a problem.”

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Funny that the CDC and WHO supported it. But the Ziverdo kit has been known for a long time to include doxycyclin, ivermectin, zinc. So there is no secret.

Wonder why Justin Hope would present it that way.

India’s Ivermectin Blackout: The Secret Revealed (Hope)

The Rapid Response Teams derive support from the United States CDC under the umbrella of the WHO. This fact further validates the Uttar Pradesh test and treat program and solidifies this as a joint effort by the WHO and CDC. Perhaps the most telling portion of the WHO article was the last sentence, “WHO will also support the Uttar Pradesh government on the compilation of the final reports. None have yet been published. Just five short weeks later, on June 14, 2021, new cases had dropped a staggering 97.1 percent, and the Uttar Pradesh program was hailed as a resounding success. [..] By July 2, 2021, three weeks later, cases were down a full 99 percent. On August 6, 2021, India’s Ivermectin media blackout ended with MSM reporting.

Western media, including MSN, finally acknowledged what was contained in those Uttar Pradesh medicine kits. Among the medicines were Doxycycline and Ivermectin. On August 25, 2021, the Indian media noticed the discrepancy between Uttar Pradesh’s massive success and other states, like Kerala’s, comparative failure. Although Uttar Pradesh was only 5% vaccinated to Kerala’s 20%, Uttar Pradesh had (only) 22 new COVID cases, while Kerala was overwhelmed with 31,445 in one day. So it became apparent that whatever was contained in those treatment kits must have been pretty effective. News18 reported, “Let’s look at the contrasting picture. Kerala, with its 3.5 crore population – or 35 million, on August 25 reported 31,445 new cases, a bulk of the total cases reported in the country.

Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state with a population of nearly 24 crore – or 240 million – meanwhile reported just 22 cases in the same period. Two days ago, just seven fresh positive cases were reported from Uttar Pradesh. Kerala reported 215 deaths on August 25, while Uttar Pradesh only reported two deaths. In fact, no deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh in recent days. There are only 345 active cases in Uttar Pradesh now while Kerala’s figure is at 1.7 lakh – or 170,000.” “Kerala has done a much better job in vaccination coverage with 56% of its population being vaccinated with one dose and 20% of the population being fully vaccinated with a total of 2.66 crore – or 26.6 million – doses being administered.

Uttar Pradesh had given over 6.5 crore – or 65 million – doses, the maximum in the country, but only 25% of people have got their first dose while less than 5% of people are fully vaccinated. Given the present COVID numbers, Uttar Pradesh seems to be trumping Kerala for the tag of the most successful model against COVID.” [..] ” By September 12, 2021, Livemint reported that 34 districts were declared COVID-free or had no active cases. Only 14 new cases were recorded in the entire state of Uttar Pradesh. On September 22, 2021, YouTube hosted a video by popular science blogger Dr. John Campbell detailing the Uttar Pradesh success story. He gave a breakdown of the ingredients and dosages of the magical medicine home treatment kit responsible for eradicating COVID in Uttar Pradesh. The same kit was also used in the state of Goa.

Dr. John Campbell broke India’s Ivermectin Blackout wide open on YouTube by revealing the formula of the secret sauce, much to the dismay of Big Pharma, the WHO, and the CDC. Readers will want to watch this before it is taken down. See mark 2:22. Each home kit contained the following: Paracetamol tablets [tylenol], Vitamin C, Multivitamin, Zinc, Vitamin D3, Ivermectin 12 mg [quantity #10 tablets], Doxycycline 100 mg [quantity #10 tablets]. Other non-medication components included face masks, sanitizer, gloves and alcohol wipes, a digital thermometer, and a pulse oximeter.

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“Why would you study a drug if you didn’t get to keep the proceeds from success? Does that prove they don’t work? Nope. That which you don’t study you don’t prove.”

The Flu Shot Stupidity (Denninger)

Now comes Merck who, big shock, invents an oral protease inhibitor that will be on patent and appears to work. I’m not surprised at those results; they may or may not bear out over time but it wouldn’t shock me if they do. You see, Merck has every reason to invest money in something they’ll profit handsomely from if it does work. Who has a similar incentive if HCQ, Ivermectin, Budesonide, Claritin+Zpak and several other readily-available, inexpensive and off-patent medications also work? Nobody. There’s no way to prevent some other generic manufacturer from making the sales, is there? Why would you study a drug if you didn’t get to keep the proceeds from success? Does that prove they don’t work? Nope. That which you don’t study you don’t prove.

Anecdotes, such as my personal experience, are not data. But bans and public maligning of the off-label use of drugs which have decades-long safety profiles and are safe are the work of ghouls, monsters, and profit-driven *******s who, in the middle of a pandemic, deserve destruction — personally and professionally. May I remind you that it is exactly through that process that we discovered HCQ, which you wouldn’t expect to work for Lupus and RA, in fact does? This of course isn’t the first time either. For decades you so-called “experts” told Americans to eat the “food pyramid”, loaded at the bottom with fast carbohydrates. You also told us to substitute for butter and other saturated fats with unsaturated, machine-processed and stabilized vegetable oil replacements and claimed they were good.

We now know that was bull**** and in fact transfats, which do not exist in nature, have a safe human dose approximating zero. I listened to you folks on “what to eat” for a couple of decades. My body mass and waistline kept getting bigger. After Obamacare was passed it became abundantly clear that within a decade or so the health system would go straight down the crapper and thus if I needed it I was going to die, and it would probably hurt. So I did the exact opposite of what all you ghouls recommend — and promptly lost 60lbs, entirely stabilized my glucose metabolism and now am faster, as a runner, than I was at 17 in High School. Argue with the clock if you’d like.

Oh, there was not one pharmaceutical preparation involved in that and I consume zero on a routine basis as there’s no need. As for the medical system going down the crapper I made that call in 2011. Is it not ten years later? Threatening to, say much less actually firing doctors, nurses and support staff who won’t take a medication they believe, on good evidence, is dangerous — especially when they’ve already had the disease as a result of providing care to sick people for the last 18 months and thus are presumptively immune — into the maw of an alleged health emergency with flu season just around the corner is flat-out insane.

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Well, if you exclude 72% of blacks…

NYC Restaurateurs: Business Down 40 to 60% Due to Vaccine Mandate (ET)

New York City restaurateurs are complaining that their business has been slashed severely by the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which requires people 12 and older to show vaccination proof for indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment. Pre-pandemic, O’Donoghue’s Pub and Restaurant was a successful business that has been open for 10 years in Times Square, Manhattan. Fergal Burke, the owner of O’Donoghue’s noticed that his business has seen “a massive drop,” since the vaccine mandate came into effect. “We don’t have the money here to survive without the help of our landlord, [who] has been very supportive and has been giving us breaks on the rent, but without our landlord, we would not be in business,” Burke told The Epoch Times.

He said that he needed to hire another person to be at the door checking for vaccination proof, which increased his expenses. Comparing the clientele from pre-mandate to when it kicked in about two weeks ago, “Our business is definitely down 50, I’m going to say 60 percent,” Burke said with a somewhat downhearted tone. “There’s just not people coming into the restaurant, they have the fear of being asked for vaccines.” Burke and his staff have had to refuse a lot of customers for not having the passes. “They’re being refused and they get a resentment against us, they don’t get a resentment against Bill de Blasio or Biden, or whoever is mandating us to check for this.” “It comes as a personal rejection,” he said, further stressing that it’s not O’Donoghue’s that wants this. “We don’t want this mandate, we want nothing to do with this.”

He also noted how the subway is full of people but there’s no requirement to show vaccination proof. “I mean how is that fair in New York City, that the trains are jammed with people with a silly mask on and they’re not being mandated to show nothing, and yet they’re coming against the heart of the city. We’re the ones that’s trying to keep 20 people employed here,” Burke said. “We will go out of business if this continues, it’s gonna force us to shut our doors.”

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No clients, no workers, no business.

Restaurants’ Fragile Recovery Is Fizzling in the US (BBG)

After a brief glimpse of normalcy this summer, the fragile recovery in the U.S. restaurant industry is sputtering. Data and interviews with restaurateurs point to a deterioration in finances due to surging costs for everything from salmon to uniforms and labor shortages. A survey found that 51% of small restaurants in the country couldn’t pay their rent in September, up from 40% in July. Unlike during most of 2020, today’s struggles aren’t visible with the naked eye: Customers are still flocking to eateries, for the most part, in spite of rising prices and lingering fears of the delta coronavirus variant. But the anxiety over mounting expenses is palpable among restaurant owners from New York City to Nashville, Tennessee.

“You might see a restaurant that’s doing well on a Friday night, but that doesn’t at all tell the story of how they’re doing. Probably not good,” said Daisuke Utagawa, a Washington, D.C., chef whose restaurants include Haikan and Daikaya. “For us, personally, we haven’t seen any sort of recovery. We are still underwater.” The industry is raising the alarm. Its main lobbying group this week called on Congress for more aid to help meet payroll and pay down debt, citing a survey showing that a majority of restaurant operators have seen business conditions deteriorate in the past three months. Like many companies around the world, food-service firms are also hit by supply-chain bottlenecks. Underscoring the surge in expenses, a closely watched price gauge hit its highest since 1991 in August, driven by energy and food, the Commerce Department said Friday. “Our kitchen labor costs are up 20%, maybe more,” said Jeff Katz, partner at Crown Shy and Saga in New York City.

“The question is, how much more can the customer handle. We haven’t raised our prices yet, but these costs are real.” The rebound has been shaky and uneven across the country, even for national chains. Darden Restaurants Inc., which has about 870 Olive Garden locations, said last week that sales bounced back slightly in September after falling off in August. Georgia and Florida have seen pressure from the delta variant in recent weeks, Chief Executive Officer Gene Lee said on a conference call. But California locations are getting better. Large public-traded companies including Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and McDonald’s Corp. are scheduled to report quarterly earnings in October. While the recovery in fast food has been stronger, with brisk sales via drive-thru and takeout options, costs and the lack of workers are eating into profitability.

Calgary

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“I don’t believe that being unvaccinated means infected or being vaccinated means uninfected.”

Dozens of NBA Players Refuse the Shot (PJM)

The NBA season is close upon us and there are some interesting developments that are blowing up the conventional wisdom on those refusing to get vaccinated. The League says that 5-10 percent of players have yet to be vaccinated. This presents a big problem because most major cities where NBA teams play have vaccine mandates that prevent players from participating unless they’ve been jabbed. The League has taken the position that if players won’t play, their pay will be docked. NBA players are paid by the game in most cases so this could get serious. After spending most of the last few months portraying those refusing to get vaccinated as anti-science, Kool-aid-drinking MAGA supporters, the media is now stuck. How do they stereotype mostly black NBA players who refuse to get vaccinated? Especially a player like the Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac. Mr. Isaac, who has already contracted COVID-19, wonders why he has to get jabbed if the antibodies in his system are already protecting him? Nobody had an answer for him because there is none.

“I understand that the vaccine would help if you have COVID, you’ll be able to have less symptoms from contracting it. But with me having COVID in the past and having antibodies, with my current age group and physical fitness level, it’s not necessarily a fear of mine. Taking the vaccine, like I said, it would decrease my chances of having a severe reaction, but it does open me up to the albeit rare chance but the possibility of me having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself. I don’t believe that being unvaccinated means infected or being vaccinated means uninfected. You can still catch COVID with or with not having the vaccine. I would say honestly the craziness of it all in terms of not being able to say that it should be everybody’s fair choice without being demeaned or talked crazy to doesn’t make one comfortable to do what said person is telling them to do.” Stephen Miller points out the left’s conundrum.

“I don’t personally agree with his vaccine stance. I myself contracted COVID last year and still chose to get vaccinated. However there is a deeper meaning to what he’s saying that goes beyond ‘Bill Gates is trying to microchip everyone.’ It stands against what the media and the Biden administration are attempting to do by shaming and other-ing anyone who opts not to get vaccinated or can’t because of medical reasons. And that’s before we even get into the dark history African Americans and vaccinations, which has no doubt played a role in lower vaccination rates among that demographic. Isaac is rejecting the atmosphere of division, the idea that anyone who’s unvaccinated is deserving of scorn from the desks at CNN, as well as ostracization from polite society by employers, friends and family. Division is the lingua franca of the national media — and Isaac isn’t speaking it. Legitimate medical diagnoses are being lumped in with QAnon Facebook conspiracists. That leads nowhere good.”

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These players are more eloquent and educated than all politicians put together.

Guardian: “..the NBA waited just long enough for some of its star players to irresponsibly contribute to the very reason that the NBA and American society are in this predicament in the first place: the misinformation crisis..”

The NBA’s Vaccine Problem Is Bigger Than A Few High-Profile Holdouts (G.)

[..] the NBA’s vaccine problem extends beyond a couple of high-profile holdouts: the league and the players’ union were not prepared for just how important and divisive a political issue vaccines have become over the past year, and they failed in their responsibility to get out ahead of it. Instead of being leaders on the vaccine issue like the WNBA was – and like the NBA was when it came to the Black Lives Matter protests last year – the NBA waited too long to figure out just how polarized the league was on the topic. Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said he “didn’t get sick at all” after contracting coronavirus in July, making him miss the chance to represent Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics. “I lost my smell. That’s it.” “People with vaccines, why are they still getting Covid?…

Like, it’s funny that, ‘Oh, it reduces your chances of going to the hospital.’ It doesn’t eliminate anybody from getting COVID, right? Some people have bad reactions to the vaccine. Nobody likes to talk about that. What happens if one of our players gets the vaccine and can’t play after that? Or they have complications after that? Because there are cases like that.” Jonathan Isaac, a religious man who plays for the Orlando Magic, said: “At the end of the day, it’s people [developing vaccines], and you can’t always put your trust completely in people.” And Denver Nuggets wing Michael Porter J said: “For me, I had Covid twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim, with the vaccine, there’s a chance you could have a bad reaction to it. For me, I don’t feel comfortable.

“If you want to get it because you feel more protected and you feel safer, and it’s protecting people around you, get it. That’s good for you. But if you feel like, ‘Oh, for me, I don’t feel safe getting it, then don’t get it.’” Forget that there are no publicly known cases of professional basketball players missing time because of side effects related to the vaccine, and severe side effects are rare for anyone. And remember that some athletes have spoken about lingering respiratory and muscle issues after contracting Covid-19, with Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum suffering lingering impairment for months after contracting the virus last season, requiring the use of an inhaler before games to help his breathing long after he recovered. Also, forget that these vaccine holdouts are ignoring a crucial reason to get the vaccine, which is to protect others.

What’s more important is that the NBA waited just long enough for some of its star players to irresponsibly contribute to the very reason that the NBA and American society are in this predicament in the first place: the misinformation crisis. And that is the bigger issue here: not the fact that Wiggins and Irving might be willing to sit out 41 home games instead of getting the vaccine, but the fact that the NBA let it get to a point where influential NBA players are broadcasting vaccine skepticism and misinformation to a highly vulnerable American public.

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Including Air Force 1?

Senate Bill To Require Vaccines Or Testing For All US Domestic Flights (JTN)

A bill introduced in the Senate this week would require all domestic U.S. air travelers to show either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test prior to boarding a flight. The U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act, introduced by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, would mandate “national vaccination verification standards” that would order airlines to require “documentation demonstrating that the passenger is fully vaccinated” against the SARS-Cov-2 virus. The bill does not specifically define “vaccination,” leaving it instead up to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and indicating that the qualifications for vaccination could change over time. Passengers would also be permitted to fly with “proof of a negative pre-departure qualifying test” for SARS-Cov-2.

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With two heart conditions.

The politicians are looking for people they can force to jump through hoops. Teachers, nurses, soldiers.

Afghan War Vet Faces Dishonorable Discharge For Refusing Vaccine (JTN)

A United States Marine corporal who served in Afghanistan during Operation Freedom Sentinel and Operation Southern Vigilance is facing dishonorable discharge for refusing to take the COVID-19 shots as required by the secretary of defense. Having been diagnosed with two heart conditions, arrhythmia and right bundle branch blockage, taking an experimental drug with unknown long-term side effects isn’t a medical option for him, he says, especially since the shots have already been proven to cause blood clots and heart inflammation. However, he was informed that the only medical waiver he could receive was if he was diagnosed with congenital heart failure.

The nonprofit religious freedom law firm Liberty Counsel says it’s “been inundated with heartrending pleas for help from military members who are being ordered to get the COVID shots or face discipline, including solitary confinement and dishonorable discharge.” This Marine’s story is just one of many. “If I don’t stand for what I believe in, I could never look at myself in the mirror again,” the corporal said in a statement issued by Liberty Counsel. “This is everything I’ve fought for and taught my Marines and everything our Founding Fathers stood against. This is completely unconstitutional and goes against more than one Amendment.” All military members who refuse the COVID shots are facing dishonorable and bad conduct discharge for failing to obey a lawful order, a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Non-compliance could mean a general court martial at the Divisional Commander Level, six months solitary confinement/imprisonment, and a felony charge. The DOD even created a new disciplinary department, the COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority, or CCDA, according to messages released by the U.S. Navy to servicemembers. Last month, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said the new CCDA would decide what happens to sailors who refuse to get the shots, Military.com reported. The CCDA would use “the full range of administrative and disciplinary actions,” Del Toro said, adding that “until further notice” he wouldn’t allow the CCDA to begin “non-judicial punishment, courts-martial, or administrative separation in cases of Navy Service Members refusing the vaccine.”

But the U.S. Air Force warned, “Any refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, absent an approved exemption or accommodation, may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Military commanders retain the full range of disciplinary options available to them under the UCMJ.” Liberty Counsel warns that for members dishonorably discharged, the potential consequences are dire, including loss of eligibility for a range of important benefits, opportunities, honors and rights, including: VA home loans and medical benefits, educational benefits under the GI Bill, military funeral honors, reenlistment in another military branch, and the right to own a firearm — all for simply refusing to take an experimental drug.

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How about the kids? Neighbors?

Largest Louisiana Health System Fines Employees With Unvaccinated Spouses (Fox)

The largest health system in Louisiana will start fining employees hundreds of dollars a month if they are married to an unvaccinated person. “The reality is the cost of treating COVID-19, particularly for patients requiring intensive inpatient care, is expensive, and we spent more than $9 million on COVID care for those who are covered on our health plans over the last year,” CEO of Ochsner Health, Warner Thomas, told NOLA. Ochsner Health will start charging employees $200 per month, or $100 per pay period, if their spouse or partner is unvaccinated. The “spousal COVID vaccine fee” will begin in 2022, and Thomas said it is not a mandate, saying non-employed spouses and domestic partners can select a health plan outside the Ochsner’s offerings.

“This is not a mandate as non-employed spouses and domestic partners can choose to select a health plan outside of Ochsner Health offerings,” he told NOLA. The fee only applies to domestic partners or spouses, not other dependents such as children, who are covered by the employee’s health insurance. [..] The rollout of vaccine mandates in hospitals is spurring nurses and other healthcare workers across the country to quit their jobs or face termination over their refusal to comply with the rules. Protests have also formed in recent weeks with healthcare workers holding signs reading phrases such as, “We are still essential,” “Say no to vaccines and yes to freedom of choice,” “Healthcare heroes demand medical freedom,” and “Don’t fire last year’s heroes.”

“We were celebrated last year,” Indiana nurse Adara Allen told Fox News this week. “But a few nurses did end up leaving due to [the hospital] not accepting their medical issues or having a reaction or adverse effect to the first dose of the covid vaccine.” Allen was told to no longer come into her hospital in Indianapolis over refusing the vaccine during her high-risk pregnancy.

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Too late. The perception is there.

Biden Reportedly Floats Smaller Spending Bill To Avert Perceived Defeat (JTN)

President Biden addressed House Democrats at the Capitol in a closed-door meeting on Friday, urging them to reach an agreement that yields passage of the Senate infrastructure bill and a budget reconciliation bill. Biden reportedly signaled that the caucus would likely have to accept a spending package smaller than $3.5 trillion to gain the support of all Democratic members. Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia have called for spending $1.5 trillion as part of a budget reconciliation bill. “He basically said it’s not going to be $3.5 [trillion],” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) about the meeting with Biden. “It could be $1.9 trillion-$2 trillion. The president threw out some numbers, so I assume there was a reason why.”


The Associated Press reported that Biden privately told Democrats that not passing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and a separate reconciliation bill would be seen as a defeat and “embolden the same forces” that led to the Jan. 6 riot. Biden also said those forces are opposed to raising the nation’s debt limit. Republican leaders in Congress have said they do not want to vote for raising the debt limit due to Democrats proceeding with spending trillions on new benefit programs with a party-line vote. Pelosi had said a House vote on the Senate infrastructure bill would take place on Thursday, but it was delayed due to progressive opposition to passing the infrastructure bill before a reconciliation bill. “Even a smaller bill can make historic investments,” Biden reportedly said in the meeting with Democrats.

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2 days old.

 

 

 

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Oct 122016
 
 October 12, 2016  Posted by at 9:28 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  3 Responses »


NPC “Largest electric locomotive and Congressman John C. Schafer” 1924

October 14 Is A $7 Trillion Moment of Truth in Markets (BBG)
Pound Sterling Behaves Like An Emerging Market Currency (Ind.)
Royal Bank of Scotland’s Vampire Unit Guilty Of Financial Terrorism (Fraser)
China Weakens Yuan Fixing for Sixth Day, Fuels Depreciation Talk (BBG)
China Banks May Need $1.7 Trillion Capital Injection To Cover Bad Loans (R.)
China Cities Face End of Fairy Tale as Default Risks Rise (BBG)
Tokyo Apartment Prices To Fall 20% Or More: Deutsche (BBG)
Are Rising House Prices Good For The Economy? (Ahuri)
Bank of Russia Governor Says Oil Rally Can Mean Much Faster Easing (BBG)
The Truth About the War in Aleppo (David Stockman)
Oops! – A World War! (Dmitry Orlov)
Wounded Elephant (Jim Kunstler)
Neoliberalism Is Creating Loneliness That’s Wrenching Society Apart (Monbiot)
Obituary: Great Barrier Reef – 25 Million BC-2016 – (OO)
More Than 11,200 Migrants Stranded On Aegean Islands (Kath.)

 

 

The return of LIBOR.

October 14 Is A $7 Trillion Moment of Truth in Markets (BBG)

If the London Interbank Borrowing Rate was a musical artist, or an actor, or a sports team, we’d be calling 2016 its comeback year. Not since the financial crisis of 2008 has Libor, to which almost $7 trillion of debt including mortgages, student loans and corporate borrowings, is pegged – experienced such a surge. The three-month U.S. dollar Libor rate has jumped from 0.61% at the start of the year to 0.87% currently – a 42% rise – ahead of money market reform that’s due to come into effect on Oct. 14. The new rules require prime money market funds – an important source of short-term funding for banks and companies – to build up liquidity buffers, install redemption gates, and use ‘floating’ net asset values instead of a fixed $1-per-share price.

While the changes are aimed at reinforcing a $2.7 trillion industry that exacerbated the financial crisis, they are also causing turmoil in money markets as big banks adjust to the new reality of a shrinking pool of available funding. Some $1 trillion worth of assets have shifted from prime money market funds into government money market funds that invest in safer assets such as short-term U.S. debts. The exodus has driven up Libor rates as banks and other corporate entities compete to replace the lost funding. Now, analysts are debating whether the looming Oct. 14 deadline will mark a turning point for the interbank borrowing rate, as money markets acclimatize to a new reality.

While analysts at Deutsche Bank believe that Libor may be poised to tighten when compared to other benchmark interest rates after Oct. 14, their counterparts at TD Securities speculate that Libor will “head higher” and the spreads won’t “compress anytime soon.”

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But Britons just keep fighting and blaming each other.

Pound Sterling Behaves Like An Emerging Market Currency (Ind.)

Is the British pound the Mexican peso? Amid rising fears that the UK will take a big economic hit from its move to leave the European Union, the correlation between the pound and an index of emerging-market currencies has jumped to levels last seen in the run-up to the Brexit vote. “Investors are increasingly casting UK assets in an emerging-market light, amid a fundamental re-appraisal of the country’s medium- to long-term economic fortunes,” Chris Scicluna, London-based strategist at Daiwa Capital Markets, said. On Tuesday, the pound fell for a fourth day, tumbling 0.49% to below $1.23, bringing its year-to-date fall against the dollar to 17% — the worst among 16 major peers.

“The pound is the purest expression of investors’ fears about political risk in developed markets,” Nicholas Spiro at Lauressa Advisory wrote in a note to clients on Monday. “While the Mexican peso — the most liquid emerging market currency and the most reliable gauge of ‘Trump risk’ — has given sterling a run for its money this year, it’s the pound that has become a proxy for politically-driven volatility in markets.” While developed-country government bonds typically benefit from safe-haven buying during bouts of market nerves, the dynamic is now in reverse, with the pound and government bonds falling in tandem, and the UK 10-year note yielding 0.98% compared with 0.52% in mid-August. While global bond markets have sold off this month, amid expectations of tighter monetary policies, UK yields have outpaced rises in the US and euro-area countries.

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This story is fast moving beyond belief. A state owned bank that kills off 1000s of businesses to make a quick buck?!

Royal Bank of Scotland’s Vampire Unit Guilty Of Financial Terrorism (Fraser)

We all know that the Royal Bank of Scotland went rogue under Fred Goodwin. What was less clear – until yesterday anyway – was that, eight years after it was saved from oblivion thanks to Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling’s £850 billion bailout package, the bank appears be no less of a rogue institution today. A data dump of thousands of RBS documents leaked to Buzzfeed News and the BBC has demonstrated that the bank had a policy of pushing small business customer firms to the wall in order to grow its own profits, increase bonuses for staff and rebuild its tattered balance sheet in the wake of its near collapse. There have been many, many credible reports of such activity – essentially killing viable businesses for profit – over the past five years or so but, as the former business secretary Vince Cable told Newsnight last night, “there is now a smoking gun”.

What Kremlinologists of the bank knew before yesterday was that RBS, today 73% owned by UK taxpayers, together with its sister banks NatWest and Ulster Bank, had left a trail of destruction which some have described as a corporate holocaust across the UK’s and Ireland’s small and medium-sized company base, that they had been seeking to save their own skins at their customer firms’ expense, and that tens of thousands of business customers had been affected. For example, I revealed in my book Shredded: Inside RBS The Bank That Broke Britain how RBS was engaged in a form of “financial terrorism” with a view to bolstering its own balance sheet from August 2008 onwards.

In the book, I revealed that, in May 2009, RBS instituted a policy of cherry-picking businesses from across its UK and Irish customer base operating in sectors including care homes, pubs, nurseries, nightclubs, hotels, retail units, industrial units and farms etc. – for referral to its “vampire unit”, global restructuring group. The referrals often followed what I called “manufactured defaults”, which meant the bank engineered a covenant breach or an LTV breach either through a phoney “drive by” valuation of the customer’s property assets delivered by a tame firm of chartered surveyors or in some instances a missold swap.

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“They do want the depreciation; they just don’t want it to happen quickly..”

China Weakens Yuan Fixing for Sixth Day, Fuels Depreciation Talk (BBG)

China’s central bank weakened the yuan’s reference rate for a sixth day, the longest run of cuts in nine months, amid speculation policy makers will allow further declines as the dollar rises. The next possible target is 6.83 against the greenback, with a potential Federal Reserve interest-rate increase supporting the dollar, said Shaun Osborne at Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto. The People’s Bank of China may need to step up efforts to prevent market fears over any sharp depreciation, according to a Scotiabank report written by Singapore-based foreign-exchange strategist Qi Gao. The PBOC set its daily fixing at 6.7258 against the dollar, extending a six-day weakening run to 0.9%.

The onshore yuan extended declines from a six-year low to drop 0.06% to 6.7228 as of 9:49 a.m. in Shanghai, while the offshore rate climbed 0.07%. The Chinese currency has fallen 6.5% against a 13-currency index this year. “The yuan’s depreciation against the dollar and versus a trade-weighted basket are both intentional policy choice,” said Cliff Tan, a currency strategist in Hong Kong at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. “They do want the depreciation; they just don’t want it to happen quickly. Our forecast is still 6.80 at the end of this year, and it looks like the currency is headed there.”

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“S&P expects Beijing will continue to allow rapid credit growth over the next 12-18 months before attempting to rein it in…”

China Banks May Need $1.7 Trillion Capital Injection To Cover Bad Loans (R.)

Rising debt levels will worsen the credit profiles of China’s top 200 companies this year, requiring the country’s banks to raise as much as $1.7 trillion in capital to cover a likely surge in bad loans, S&P Global said in reports on Tuesday. The study sees little scope for improvement in 2017 amid worsening leverage and excess capacity in almost all sectors. Debt has emerged as one of China’s biggest challenges, with the country’s debt load rising to 250% of GDP. Excessive credit growth is signaling an increasing risk of a banking crisis in the next three years, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) warned recently. 70% of the companies in the S&P survey were state owned, and they accounted for $2.8 trillion or 90% of the total respondents’ debt.

S&P estimated the problem credit ratio at Chinese banks was already at 5.6% at end-2015. In a downside scenario of unabated credit growth, that could worsen to 11-17%. In such a situation, banks would need as much as $1.7 trillion in recapitalization by 2020, S&P estimated. Even under a base case scenario, they would require $500 billion. That compares with China’s last big bank debt cleanup some two decades ago, when an estimated 4 trillion yuan ($600 billion) was spent on restructuring as of late 2005, according to a report for French economics thinktank CEPII. S&P expects Beijing will continue to allow rapid credit growth over the next 12-18 months before attempting to rein it in, implying risks would heighten in one to two years.

The IMF has warned China its credit growth is unsustainable, with companies sitting on $18 trillion in debt, equivalent to about 169% of GDP. Chinese banks’ non-performing loans are already at nearly 2%, the highest since the global financial crisis in 2009, according to the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). But some analysts believe the ratio could be as high as between 15 and 35%, as many banks are slow to recognize problem loans or park them off balance sheet, and as lenders come under political pressure from local governments to roll over bad loans to prevent job losses and defaults.

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LGFVs are the domain of shadow banks.

China Cities Face End of Fairy Tale as Default Risks Rise (BBG)

Finance firms that help keep cash flowing to China’s towns, cities and provinces face rising risks of landmark bond defaults just as they turn to global markets for funds. China’s economic slowdown is weighing on revenue at regional governments, hampering their ability to support the 5.3 trillion yuan ($789 billion) of outstanding onshore notes from local-government financing vehicles, which have yet to suffer nonpayments. Such issuance fell 18% last quarter as regulators curbed sales, forcing some to seek funds overseas. Financing units in provinces including Hunan, Jiangsu, Hubei and Sichuan are considering or planning U.S. currency notes, people familiar with the matters have said.

Warning signs are spreading. In the nation’s northeast, Changchun Urban Development & Investment Holdings Group was downgraded by Fitch Ratings last month. In the once-booming coal town of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, Yijinhuoluoqi Hongtai City Construction Investment & Development Co. had 189.5 million yuan of borrowings overdue as of March 31, according to Pengyuan Credit Rating, which downgraded it to A+ from AA- in May. “I don’t believe in the fairy tale that no LGFV will default,” said Terence Cheng, chief investment officer in at HuaAn Asset Management in Hong Kong. “Even China’s state-owned enterprises have been allowed to default. There is no absolute guarantee that an LGFV will not default.”

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Japan’s a big risk for bursting bubbles.

Tokyo Apartment Prices To Fall 20% Or More: Deutsche (BBG)

The Bank of Japan’s shift to controlling bond yields is driving up mortgage rates, prompting Deutsche Bank to predict Tokyo apartment prices may fall 20% or more by 2018. The BOJ’s negative-rate policy was already hurting buyer sentiment, and its move to boost longer-term yields is a double-blow to the industry, according to Yoji Otani, a real estate analyst at Deutsche Bank in Tokyo. The 35-year fixed mortgage rate has climbed for two straight months after touching a record low of 0.9% in August, and sales of new condominiums in Tokyo this year have fallen to the lowest since the nation’s property bubble collapse in the early 1990s.

“The one positive thing about negative rates was that it lowered borrowing costs, and now that is going to end,” said Otani, who expects prices to fall 20% to 30% by the end of 2018. “The collapse of this silent bubble has begun.” Banks have already started raising fixed-mortgage interest rates and some lenders may be charging customers 2% or more within two years under the BOJ’s current yield policy, according to Credit Suisse. The adoption of the new monetary policy is in effect a form of tapering and the cost of home loans will rise as the central bank becomes less aggressive in its bond purchase program, according Masahiro Mochizuki, a real estate analyst at the Swiss bank.

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Interesting findings on how Australia is the nation full of ATMs. Perverse consequences (“why Australian multi-factor productivity stopped growing at the turn of the millennium.”). h/t Yves

Are Rising House Prices Good For The Economy? (Ahuri)

Overall, the results indicate that a $1,000 increase in housing wealth is associated with an increase in debt of approximately $240 per annum. This is a large response compared to the magnitudes found in studies in the United States and United Kingdom… House price increases are associated with larger increases in total indebtedness for home owners with higher initial loan-to-value (LTV) ratios. Home owners with larger values of non-mortgage debt as well as higher LTV ratios are more sensitive to house price movements compared to other home owners… The take-up of further mortgage debt among vulnerable highly leveraged households exposes them to income, housing and financial market shocks.

The results are in contrast to the general belief in Australia that debt is held by those most able to service it—higher income and high-wealth households. Macroeconomic policy-makers should interpret high levels of debt and rising household debt-to-income ratios in Australia carefully. Overall, the findings show that house price changes influence household debt through two channels: a direct wealth effect and an indirect collateral effect via the household’s borrowing capacity. That is, some households face borrowing constraints and, for these households, rising house prices increase the value of their property that may be used as security for a loan and thereby loosen the borrowing constraints… Our results indicate that in response to increasing house prices, some home owners, especially home owners with low debt, engage in debt financing of consumption (involving extracting equity from their home).

Other home owners, especially those with relatively high debt levels refinance existing mortgages or adjust existing debt portfolios. The most important responses are in labour participation and hours of work by women, both partnered and single. The effect is strongest among the older cohort of women and is associated with early retirement for those experiencing above average housing wealth gains. Younger partnered men and women exhibit a reduction in hours of work in response to the gain in housing wealth. That is, these gains in wealth effectively fund time away from work to undertake non-market activities such as providing household care for children, ageing parents, undertaking volunteer work or enjoying more leisure.

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Putin and his people are talking up the price of oil. So far, it works to an extent.

Bank of Russia Governor Says Oil Rally Can Mean Much Faster Easing (BBG)

Russian central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina is growing confident that her country’s biggest vulnerability can turn into an asset. The Bank of Russia, which last month issued an unprecedented commitment to leave borrowing costs unchanged the rest of the year, will face an easier path to interest-rate cuts if oil prices rise further, Nabiullina said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Moscow on Tuesday. While Brent crude has almost doubled from a 12-year low in January, the central bank’s “moderately tight” stance allowed for only two reductions in 2016 before policy makers all but shut the door on more monetary easing this year.

“If there is a higher oil price, then it can lead to a stronger ruble, and – through the foreign-exchange channel – that in turn can cause a more rapid decline in inflation expectations, slowing inflation,” Nabiullina said. “Then we can ease monetary policy much faster.” The outlook marks a rare signal by the central bank that it’s open to deeper monetary easing as its chase of an inflation goal enters the final stretch. Policy makers are targeting price growth of 4% by end-2017 and see it reaching 5.5% to 6% in 2016 after overshooting their forecasts for a fourth consecutive year in 2015. Oil traded near a 15-month high after rising 3.1% Monday, when Putin said at a conference in Istanbul that his country is willing to join efforts by OPEC to stabilize the market through a production freeze or cut.

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The War Party. Read. Time to venture outside the narrative machine.

The Truth About the War in Aleppo (David Stockman)

This is starting to sound pretty ominous. The Washington War Party is coming unhinged and appears to be leaving no stone unturned when it comes to provoking Putin’s Russia and numerous others. The recent collapse of cooperation in Syria – based on the false claim that Assad and his Russian allies are waging genocide in Aleppo – is only the latest example. So now comes the U.S. Army’s chief of staff, General Mark Milley, doing his best imitation of Curtis LeMay in a recent speech dripping with bellicosity. While America has no industrial state enemy left on the planet that can even remotely challenge its economic might, technological superiority and overwhelming military power, General Milley unloaded a fusillade of bluster at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington DC:

“The strategic resolve of our nation, the United States, is being challenged and our alliances tested in ways that we haven’t faced in many, many decades,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the audience. “I want to be clear to those who wish to do us harm … the United States military – despite all of our challenges, despite our [operational] tempo, despite everything we have been doing – we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that.” That is rank nonsense. We are not being “tested” by anyone. To the contrary, Imperial Washington is provoking tensions and confrontations everywhere – from the South China Sea to Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, the Black Sea, the Baltics and Ukraine – that have no bearing whatsoever on the safety and security of the citizens of Spokane WA, Topeka KS and Springfield MA.

Indeed, the clear and present danger to peace and freedom in the homeland lies not in the machinations of foreign capitals, but in the arrogant and bombastic groupthink that has overtaken the denizens of the Imperial City. The latter is again on display in the full-throated fulminations about the siege of Aleppo being emitted by the Washington War Party and its trained poodles in the establishment media – most especially the New York Times. We are told that the Russian Air Force and Assad’s military are targeting schools, hospitals and the 200,000 or so civilians of Eastern Aleppo for indiscriminate bombing and slaughter.

It’s shades of Benghazi 2011 all over again – an incipient genocide that Washington must stop in the name of R2P (Responsibility to Protect). No it’s not! What is happening in Aleppo is a raging sectarian civil war and a proxy battleground for the regional political maneuvers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. They are none of America’s business and haven’t been since the so-called Arab spring uprising spread to Syria in 2011. Indeed, Syria is a lawless, bombed-out, economically decimated failed state today owing to Washington’s heavy-handed intervention at the behest of the War Party’s bloody twin sisters. That is, the neocons and the R2P liberal interventionist claque around Hillary Clinton, including UN Ambassador Samantha Powers and National Security Council head Susan Rice.

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Does Dmitry rely too much on Russian rationalism as the main factor?

Oops! – A World War! (Dmitry Orlov)

Over the past week or so I’ve been receiving a steady stream of emails demanding to know whether an all-out nuclear war is about to erupt between the US and Russia. I’ve been watching the situation develop more or less carefully, and have been offering my opinion, briefly, one on one, to a few people’s great relief, and now I will attempt to spread the cheer far and wide. In short, on the one hand, all-out nuclear annihilation remains quite unlikely, barring an accident. But, on the other hand, such an accident is by no means impossible, because when it comes to US foreign policy “Oops!” seems to be the operative term.

One reason to be cheerful is that any plan to attack Russia is bound to become mired in bureaucracy. Battle plans are developed by mid-rank people within the US military establishment, approved and forwarded up the chain of command by higher-rank people and finally signed off on by the Pentagon’s top brass and their civilian political accomplices. The top brass and the politicians may be delusional, megalomaniacal and inadvertently suicidal, but the mid-rank people who develop the battle plans are rarely suicidal. If a particular plan has no conceivable chance of victory but is quite likely to lead to them and their families and friends becoming vaporized in a nuclear blast, they are unlikely to recommend it.

Another reason to be cheerful is that Russia has carefully limited the Pentagon’s options. One plan that, in the popular imagination, could lead to an all-out war with Russia, would be the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria. What many people miss is that it is not possible to impose a no-fly zone on a country with a sufficiently powerful air defense system, such as Syria. As a first step, the air defense system would have to be taken out, and the air campaign to do so would be very expensive and incur massive losses in both equipment and personnel. But then the Russians made this step significantly worse by introducing their S-300 system. This is an autonomous, tracked, mobile system that can blow objects out of the sky over much of Syria and some of Turkey. It is very difficult to keep track of, because it can use “shoot and scoot” tactics, launching an attack and crawling away in a random direction over rough terrain.

Last on my list of reasons why war with Russia remains unlikely is that there isn’t much of a reason to start one, assuming the US behaves rationally. Currently, the biggest reason to start a war is that the Syrian army is winning the conflict in Aleppo. Once Aleppo is back in government hands and the US-supported jihadis are on the run, the Syrian civil war will largely be over, and the rebuilding will begin.

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“..who will emerge from the rubble? I suspect it will be someone we haven’t heard of before, just as Bonaparte was unheard of in France in 1792..”

Wounded Elephant (Jim Kunstler)

It is getting to be too late to sort out all the confusion sown by this horrific campaign. From here on its really more a matter of the dust settling. In background of it all looms the train-wreck of global finance, which will be the true determinant of what the American people will have to do in the years ahead. During the weeks of the election distraction, the European banks struggle to conceal their insolvency while the politicians of Euro-land desperately try to paper over the cracks in these fracturing institutions. Few can tell what is actually happening in China’s banking system, but it’s sending out ominous tremors that are hard to ignore.

But be sure it is all daisy-chained right into Wall Street and the US banks. The potential for wrecking markets and currencies around the world is extreme at this moment. It may only be a matter of whether it happens before or after the election. Then we’ll see what happens when financial institutions can’t trust each other. Trade stops. Economies crumble. Pretenses evaporate. If it gets bad enough, the shelves of the supermarkets go bare in three days and you’re living in a permanent hurricane disaster without the wind and rain. Believe me, that will be bad enough. Hillary, if elected, will not get to play FDR-2. Rather, she’ll be stuck in the role of Hoover, the Return, presiding over a freight elevator of an economy with a broken cable.

Expect problems with the US dollar. Expect “emergency” actions. Expect the unintended consequences of those actions. If there is one outstanding upshot of these “debates” it must be their staggering failure to reassure the American public that they can expect effective leadership through the hardships ahead. There must be many others out there like myself wondering who will emerge from the rubble? I suspect it will be someone we haven’t heard of before, just as Bonaparte was unheard of in France in 1792. This is not entirely a nation of clowns, though it feels like that lately.

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Uh, no, George; that’s quite a big miss. The process of loneliness emerging as a result of breaking social ties goes back way further than neoliberalism. Try the nuclear family. Try how we design our homes and cities.

Neoliberalism Is Creating Loneliness That’s Wrenching Society Apart (Monbiot)

What greater indictment of a system could there be than an epidemic of mental illness? Yet plagues of anxiety, stress, depression, social phobia, eating disorders, self-harm and loneliness now strike people down all over the world. The latest, catastrophic figures for children’s mental health in England reflect a global crisis. There are plenty of secondary reasons for this distress, but it seems to me that the underlying cause is everywhere the same: human beings, the ultrasocial mammals, whose brains are wired to respond to other people, are being peeled apart. Economic and technological change play a major role, but so does ideology. Though our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the lives of others, everywhere we are told that we will prosper through competitive self-interest and extreme individualism.

In Britain, men who have spent their entire lives in quadrangles – at school, at college, at the bar, in parliament – instruct us to stand on our own two feet. The education system becomes more brutally competitive by the year. Employment is a fight to the near-death with a multitude of other desperate people chasing ever fewer jobs. The modern overseers of the poor ascribe individual blame to economic circumstance. Endless competitions on television feed impossible aspirations as real opportunities contract. Consumerism fills the social void. But far from curing the disease of isolation, it intensifies social comparison to the point at which, having consumed all else, we start to prey upon ourselves.

Social media brings us together and drives us apart, allowing us precisely to quantify our social standing, and to see that other people have more friends and followers than we do. As Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett has brilliantly documented, girls and young women routinely alter the photos they post to make themselves look smoother and slimmer. Some phones, using their “beauty” settings, do it for you without asking; now you can become your own thinspiration. Welcome to the post-Hobbesian dystopia: a war of everyone against themselves. Is it any wonder, in these lonely inner worlds, in which touching has been replaced by retouching, that young women are drowning in mental distress?

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One in a long line of obituaries, but a significant one. Many thousands of spcies will die with the reef.

Obituary: Great Barrier Reef : 25 Million BC-2016 (OO)

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old. For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands. In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. Among its many other achievements, the reef was home to one of the world’s largest populations of dugong and the largest breeding ground of green turtles.

The reef was born on the eastern coast of the continent of Australia during the Miocene epoch. Its first 24.99 million years were seemingly happy ones, marked by overall growth. It was formed by corals, which are tiny anemone-like animals that secrete shell to form colonies of millions of individuals. Its complex, sheltered structure came to comprise the most important habit in the ocean. As sea levels rose and fell through the ages, the reef built itself into a vast labyrinth of shallow-water reefs and atolls extending 140 miles off the Australian coast and ending in an outer wall that plunged half a mile into the abyss. With such extraordinary diversity of life and landscape, it provided some of the most thrilling marine adventures on earth to humans who visited. Its otherworldly colors and patterns will be sorely missed.

[..] The Great Barrier Reef was predeceased by the South Pacific’s Coral Triangle, the Florida Reef off the Florida Keys, and most other coral reefs on earth. It is survived by the remnants of the Belize Barrier Reef and some deepwater corals.

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And winter is coming, also in Greece.

More Than 11,200 Migrants Stranded On Aegean Islands (Kath.)

Authorities say 162 migrants and refugees have arrived on Greece’s Aegean islands in the past 24 hours, raising the total number to 11,215. Authorities say 38 arrivals were reported on Samos, 38 on Chios and 22 on Lesvos. The number of individuals sheltered on Samos has increased by about 40% over the past 10 days, officials say. On Tuesday, State Minister Alekos Flabouraris chaired a meeting on immigration strategy where it was decided that migrants will be gradually moved out of an overcrowded facility on the island, while there are plans to build a second facility to detain migrants who commit violations.

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