May 032022
 


Andy Warhol Judy Garland 1978

 

Supreme Court Has Voted To Overturn Abortion Rights, Draft Opinion Shows (Pol.)
SCOTUS Draft To Overturn Roe v. Wade Leaked (TCS)
Upon Reread, It Looks Like FAKE NEWS (CTH)
This Is Why Nancy Pelosi And Adam Schiff Were In Kyiv Yesterday (CTH)
New Pure-bred ‘Schrödinger-seizable’ Euros (Vilches)
“Disinformation” is Just a Boot in Your Face (Kunstler)
The Clinton Campaign Is About To Lose Its Privilege Fight (Techno Fog)
Ghosting Propaganda (Dodsworth)
Fraudulent Trial On Ivermectin Published By World’s Top Medical Journal (Kory)
Your Face Is Now a Weapon of War (NI)
The Vacuum Effect of the US Dollar (Lacalle)

 

 

 

 

SBU

 

 

Cernovich:
Hack of the Supreme Court’s email must be presumed, even if that turns out to be inaccurate after a full investigation. This is far too important an issue to speculate that it was a leak. Immediate Special Counsel appointment, unlimited budget.

 

 

 

 

Not acceptable. How can the judges work this way? Was this leaked, or is the court’s email system compromised?

Supreme Court Has Voted To Overturn Abortion Rights, Draft Opinion Shows (Pol.)

The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO. The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Deliberations on controversial cases have in the past been fluid. Justices can and sometimes do change their votes as draft opinions circulate and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading, sometimes until just days before a decision is unveiled. The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months. The immediate impact of the ruling as drafted in February would be to end a half-century guarantee of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion. It’s unclear if there have been subsequent changes to the draft.

No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending. The unprecedented revelation is bound to intensify the debate over what was already the most controversial case on the docket this term. The draft opinion offers an extraordinary window into the justices’ deliberations in one of the most consequential cases before the court in the last five decades. Some court-watchers predicted that the conservative majority would slice away at abortion rights without flatly overturning a 49-year-old precedent. The draft shows that the court is looking to reject Roe’s logic and legal protections.

A person familiar with the court’s deliberations said that four of the other Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – had voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices after hearing oral arguments in December, and that line-up remains unchanged as of this week. The three Democratic-appointed justices – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – are working on one or more dissents, according to the person. How Chief Justice John Roberts will ultimately vote, and whether he will join an already written opinion or draft his own, is unclear.

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“The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months.”

SCOTUS Draft To Overturn Roe v. Wade Leaked (TCS)

In an unprecedented turn of events, someone leaked a SCOTUS initial draft majority opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade to Politico. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” writes Justice Samuel Alito in the leaked document. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” “…. Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

The justices that support striking down Roe v. Wade and making abortion a state issue are Justice Alito, Justice Thomas, Justice Barrett, Justice Kavanaugh, and Justice Gorsuch, with Justice Roberts being a flip vote and the three Democrat Justices opposing the overruling. As many have pointed out, leaking a draft of a SCOTUS vote is unprecedented and appears to be a clear attempt to instigate left-wing riots across the country to pressure justices not to overturn Roe v. Wade. There are many potential reasons for doing this. As Politico notes, “Justices can and sometimes do change their votes as draft opinions circulate and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading, sometimes until just days before a decision is unveiled.


“The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months.” Moreover, the leak will have huge ramifications regarding the upcoming midterms and even the 2024 general election, as both sides will indefinitely utilize the decision (and even the draft vote if it’s dropped) as the ultimate wedge issue to argue that if Americans don’t vote for a particular candidate, then Roe v. Wade will or won’t be overturned. As it stands, many on Twitter are already calling for the Biden administration to pack the courts, and the Supreme Court has been barricaded as they await the impending riots likely to pop off tomorrow afternoon.

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Twitter thread by Sundance. “The leak is real, the news is fake. Alito opinion is real. The justice’s concurrances or formal alignments are not. How does the court respond to an accurate Alito opinion, and a non factual alignment?

Why would Politico want to participate in a strategically explosive political effort to manufacture a fear of a not real SCOTUS opinion based on fabricated claims?”

Upon Reread, It Looks Like FAKE NEWS (CTH)

Having read the Politico article carefully, my original suspicions have shifted a bit. “Exclusive: Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Alito writes in an initial majority draft circulated inside the court.” First, Politico is in the Domestic DOJ/FBI pipeline with the New York Times. CNN = State Dept. WaPo = CIA/Intel. NYT/Politico = FBI/DOJ. So the outlet sourcing leans toward DOJ and Justice Branch coverage. Which makes sense given the leaker is inside SCOTUS giving stolen documents to Politico. However, there’s no citation in the article for the actual alignment of the other justices with the Alito opinion. Factually there’s nothing other than Politico author supposition for judicial alignment with Alito opinion.

There’s nothing cited in the politico report that would indicate this is anything more than just Alito telling his peers what his position on the oral arguments was/is. Essentially, here’s my draft of what I believe. There’s nothing more than that present. Reread it. With no factual citation for the claim that Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are in concurrence, the article framework could likely be much ado about absolutely nothing. It’s one justice’s opinion, which is not surprising as Alito has already outlined this opinion before. Nothing else. Every reaction is complete projection based on unsubstantiated claims (of concurrences) by the Politico journalist. The “majority” is the part that matters…. and there is zero evidence to substantiate a claim that a majority decision exists.

Upon reread, it looks like FAKE NEWS. Then you switch to motive. Why would Politico want to participate in a strategically explosive political effort to manufacture a fear of a not real SCOTUS opinion based on fabricated claims? The answer to that question is found in the immediate reaction from the political left. Just the accusation alone is enough to trigger the most extreme of leftist base political demands. From that perspective, everyone is reacting to a carefully coordinated con job…. that carries the odor of Ron Klain, the DNC, and a desperately needed political reset for 2022 all over it.

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“U.S. taxpayers are also going to subsidize farming in Europe and fund the climate change initiatives by paying for the development of alternate energy sources.”

This Is Why Nancy Pelosi And Adam Schiff Were In Kyiv Yesterday (CTH)

The details of the Joe Biden $33 billion supplemental budget allocation have been released. I would strongly urge everyone to read the proposal which now heads to congress for passage. The spending request outlines a massive amount of money for various ideological foreign policy initiatives under the guise of Ukraine relief (it isn’t). The proposal outlines a kickback and bribery scheme. Some of the spending includes an allocation of funds to the State Dept including funds to USAID to “provide $8.8 billion to the Department of State for economic support and assistance to the people of Ukraine and other affected countries, including direct budgetary support, as well as support for food security, democracy, anticorruption, cybersecurity, counter-disinformation, human rights, atrocity documentation, energy, and emergency infrastructure needs.” The request specifically authorizes the transfer of these funds globally, outside of Ukraine.

Apparently, the State Dept is going to set up an international version of DHS “disinformation governance board.” But wait, it gets worse… U.S. taxpayers are also going to subsidize farming in Europe and fund the climate change initiatives by paying for the development of alternate energy sources. “This would include [$500 million] support for small- and medium- sized agrobusinesses during the fall harvest and for natural gas purchases by the Ukrainian state energy company.” Mechanisms to legalize defense contractor kick-backs: “This request would authorize Ukraine to utilize Foreign Military Financing Program funds appropriated in this Act and prior Acts to the Department of State to contract directly with U.S. companies to procure defense related materials which would facilitate the delivery of military assistance and security sector support.”


Mechanisms to spread the money all over government institutions without prior approval: …”This request would provide the authority to reprogram funds appropriated in this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for assistance to Ukraine without regard to any minimum amounts specifically designated in such Acts. This authority would provide the needed flexibility to match resources with evolving needs and decrease reliance on new appropriations.” The last segment is a massive change in the U.S. government power to seize Russian private property and assets, sell them to whoever Biden chooses, and then give the proceeds of the sales to U.S. politicians, friends, family members, or perhaps Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

 

 

Pelosi Ze -again-

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“This will necessarily impact beyond belief a still clueless population which continues to play the role of vassal puppets to Anglo-Saxon malignant dictates..”

New Pure-bred ‘Schrödinger-seizable’ Euros (Vilches)

The EU had already promoted and achieved all-around chaos regarding very simple yet absolutely essential trading terms urgently to be agreed with the Russian Federation. As if that were not enough, now adding fuel to the fire EU member countries continue to dangerously play their traditional fiddles while declaring that “ some contracts are holier than others, didn´t you know ? ” This daring criterion also means getting back to square one with an ever larger and riskier conflict while everybody´s patience is running thin. If Europe does not reverse course within a very limited time frame it will needlessly smash itself head-on against a very harsh reality. Once triggered, the subsequent uncontrolled demolition cannot rewind no matter how many desperate “emergency meetings” EU officials call for.

The EU has now come up with a ground-breaking legal criterion that international jurisprudence should rapidly adhere to and possibly improve. Thus it could include it in Treaties and other important legislation and, in view of its apparent virtues, even apply it ex-post-facto such as in this case. By the way, with this new international flat-Earth public policy, the EU would be the only party entitled to unilaterally uphold some contracts and not others per its own wishes and convenience as if it were a God-given right. Not anybody else, no way. So Europe, supposedly the cradle of Western civilization, is now trying hard to earn “The Joker” award disregarding the livelihood of at least 800 million human beings plus serious negative impact upon the rest of the world. Granted, history will not be kind with EU leaders.

Obviously, in view of the above, the interruption of Russian imports – including very specific, exclusive, and unreplaceable grades of Russian natural gas, oil, and coal – is now definetly in the cards for some or all European countries. This will necessarily impact beyond belief a still clueless population which continues to play the role of vassal puppets to Anglo-Saxon malignant dictates without actually following how they are being had. Four weeks ago, in view of the massive seizure of its legitimate funds, Russia was left with the only option of requiring Rubles as payment for its exports as such currency is exclusively under Russia´s purview and thus cannot be freezed and/or seized by any stakeholder, EU included. And negotiations were making very definite progress along such lines up until the past week.

A month ago, the only real problem was for EU countries to find Rubles other than by selling their “theoretical” gold bullion vaulted in the UK and the US which many claim is either non-existent or highly encumbered with many dozens of claimees standing in line. So the alternative viable solution wisely found up until last week was to convert euros into Rubles at Russia´s Gazprombank as it had not been sanctioned – at least not yet – as possibly the EU had foreseen its role for the proposed solution at hand. So Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, took the trouble to personally explain the exact simple two-step payment procedure by phone conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. By the way, the procedure is so simple and so straight-forward that even tie-wearing boomers can understand it.

But now European governments and energy companies are proudly rejecting the idea of paying in Rubles on the basis that gas import contracts clearly specify that the allowed currencies to be used for payment are only euros or dollars, not Rubles. Accordingly, they argue that one side of the deal – in this case the Russian Federation – cannot change such contractual obligation by its own decision (!). The EU now says “This is an absolutely clear circumvention of the EU sanctions.” “Opening a Ruble account at Gazprombank in and by itself may breach the EU sanctions…”

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“If Mr. Biden is still on-the-scene in January next year, he’ll be the first president not only impeached but convicted and removed by the Senate..”

“Disinformation” is Just a Boot in Your Face (Kunstler)

Now we have the Disinformation Governance Board to be run by a TikTok musical comedy star, Nina Jankowicz, an instant laughingstock, since retailing disinformation has been her main occupation in the scant years she’s been on the Deep State scene. Ms. Jankowicz is a notorious RussiaGate hoaxer and psy-op agent in the October 2020 emergence of Hunter Biden’s laptop. She has zero credibility as anything but a professional falsifier. Her Disinfo Governance Board has no authority to regulate anything. It’s just a lame charade that can only draw more attention to the Left’s hatred of truth and reality. The Left pretends that free speech is a threat to civilization because, as usual, they are projecting psychologically. Their world is a mirror. In fact, the Left is a threat to civilization.

Behind all this is the growing panic in the Left that they are culpable for an enormous raft of crimes committed against their own country, and will eventually end up in court, in prison, or worse. Mr. Durham is just the leading edge of what will eventually be a heavy blade of judgment falling down on their necks. He’s busy sorting out the “Russia collusion” flimflam that turned into a coup to oust Mr. Trump, but that is only the beginning. In November, the Democrats will lose control of Congress and its oversight powers of agency operations, and in 2023 there will be inquiries galore into the neo-Jacobin craziness imposed on our country by the folks behind “Joe Biden.”

That includes such dicey matters as the several years of malevolent mismanagement of Covid-19, which looks more and more like a deliberate effort to kill a large number of citizens, and then moving along to the behind-the-scenes official support for those 2020BLM /Antifa riots, the ballot shenanigans around the last presidential election, the colossal failure to enforce border security (featuring Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorkis), the Biden Regime’s conduct in provoking and prolonging the war between Russia and Ukraine, and (not least) the overseas moneygrubbing of President Biden’s family, as documented in Hunter’s laptop. I’m sure I left a few things out.

If Mr. Biden is still on-the-scene in January next year, he’ll be the first president not only impeached but convicted and removed by the Senate. And if for some reason he avoids criminal prosecution for treason out of some pitiful need for the government to maintain official decorum before the rest of the world, his brothers and his degenerate son may not be so lucky.

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“..the DNC and Hillary for America violated the law by hiding the real purpose of payments meant for Fusion GPS as “legal and compliance consulting.”

The Clinton Campaign Is About To Lose Its Privilege Fight (Techno Fog)

As part of the prosecution of former Clinton Campaign/DNC lawyer Michael Sussmann: Special Counsel Durham is seeking the following e-mails/communications that have been either redacted or hidden from his review: Documents involving Fusion GPS’s provision of opposition research and media-related strategies to Hillary for America, the DNC, and Perkins Coie. This includes the Fusion GPS/Perkins Coie contract and 38 e-mails and attachments between and among Fusion GPS, Rodney Joffe, and Perkins Coie. Communications between Fusion GPS and Rodney Joffe relating to the Alfa Bank allegations, and “other emails that precede, and appear to relate to, those communications.” This include emails between Joffe and Laura Seago, whom Durham has subpoenaed as a trial witness.

The Clinton Campaign (including Robby Mook and John Podesta), Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie, Rodney Joffe, and the DNC are fighting to keep these e-mails and records secret, reasoning Fusion’s “role was to provide consulting services in support of the legal advice attorneys at Perkins Coie were providing to” the Clinton Campaign. That argument – that Fusion GPS was helping with “legal advice” – is hopefully the last conspiracy theory they’ll provide to the public, after Fusion GPS has already poisoned the America, through the FBI, DOJ, and the press, with baseless allegations of secret back-channels between Trump Organization and Russian marketing servers, piss tapes, and broader allegations of Trump/Russia collusion.

Today, Special Counsel Durham addressed those arguments by providing to the court the FEC findings where the agency found “probable cause to believe” the DNC and Hillary for America violated the law by hiding the real purpose of payments meant for Fusion GPS as “legal and compliance consulting.” In support, he provided the First (link) and Second (link) General Counsel Reports, which recommend that the Federal Election Commission find the DNC and Hillary for America violated election laws (52 USC 30104(b)(5)(A)) “by misreporting the payee of the funds paid to Fusion GPS through Perkins Coie LLP.” While much of the information in these now-public reports has been known for years (Glenn Simpson’s testimony to Congress, for example), they provide additional context – and newly uncovered details – on how the FEC dismantled the bogus Hillary for America/DNC Billing.

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“He emblemised wartime courage as Father Christmas does the spirit of giving.”

Ghosting Propaganda (Dodsworth)

He was not written into existence by “Ukrainians” but by the Ukrainian authorities. The Ukraine Security Service originally showed a fighter pilot on Telegram, with a caption calling the Ghost of Kyiv an “angel” for downing 10 Russian planes. The Ukrainian military released a photograph on Facebook of the Ghost of Kyiv in March 2022 with the caption, “Hello, occupier, I’m coming for your soul!” His name evoked the dark hero of a fairy tale. His feats were exaggerated, gathering mythic status. Whereas an ‘ace’ might eliminate 5 enemy aircraft, the Ghost was reputed to have downed about 40 Russian pilots. He didn’t seem real. And now we know that he was a purposeful piece of propaganda. He emblemised wartime courage as Father Christmas does the spirit of giving.

[..] This has not been the only Ukrainian propaganda. (Of course there has been Russian propaganda too, but it’s not for this article.) BBC Breakfast used old footage of a Russian parade to show the invasion of Ukraine. It’s hard to see how it was used in error, but that’s the claim. An early, blurry video claiming to show a Ukrainian girl confronting a Russian soldier actually showed a Palestinian girl confronting an Israeli soldier. Billboards declaring “Be brave like Ukraine” were displayed in London, Rome, New York, Amsterdam, Washington and Stockholm. A powerful campaign entitled “Stop Bloody Energy” – again in English, for us and the international audience – linked buying Russian fuel directly with funding the Russian war campaign and calls on us to stop financing terror and genocide.

The masterfully produced but gruesome video includes real life footage of dead bodies. (Not necessarily verified.) The video is produced by Ukrainian energy companies. The irony is that every modern machine of war uses oil. (We’ve also never seen anything like this to persuade us of the immorality of buying goods from China which is arguably ethnically cleansing the Uyghurs.) Ukrainian propaganda has been enthusiastically received. Social media avatars switched from masked faces to Ukraine flag colours overnight. Beyond the support which is natural and due to a country which has been invaded, I wonder if the enthusiasm also signalled the relief of having a good old-fashioned baddie. During Covid, we were all vectors of disease and potential ‘enemy agents’. Once more, the enemy is located in a distant snowy country with a red button at his fingertips. We can follow a war which pits us against Russkies, not our neighbours, families and co-workers, and sink into a fear which is familiar. It’s close, but not too close.

Azov

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BMGF = Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Fraudulent Trial On Ivermectin Published By World’s Top Medical Journal (Kory)

Big Pharma (Pfizer and BMGF from what it looks to me) dropped another nuclear bomb on ivermectin 3 weeks ago with their successful publication of the fraudulent Brazilian TOGETHER trial. They did it in one of the world’s top read and rated medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), a journal born in the year 1812, but captured by Pharma for who knows how long now. This is an open secret as per former Editor Marcia Angell in the book Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” -Dr. Marcia Angell.

First off, the saddest part of this fraud is that the TOGETHER trial’s published conclusion brazenly contradicted the data within the manuscript as it actually showed an 81% “Bayesian” probability of the superiority of ivermectin. But media and science reporters no longer critically analyze the data or questions the abstract’s conclusion, instead they all trumpet headlines in unison that “ivermectin doesn’t work in COVID.” Further contributing to the catastrophic toll of human life due to yet another deployment of “the Diversion,” a Disinformation tactic that Big Pharma employs when “science inconvenient to their interests” emerges.

Their first successful Disinformation campaign was against hydroxychloroquine in 2020, and despite Robert Kennedy’s in-depth, highly referenced and detailed exposing of the numerous sinister actions against HCQ in his best-selling book called “The Real Anthony Fauci,” they are again having success against ivermectin (just not as much – I would credit the work of the physician leaders and science experts of numerous non-profit, non-conflict-of-interest groups such as the US’s FLCCC, American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, Truth For Health, Covid Early Treatment Fund, South Africa’s Transformative Health Justice, UK’s World Council for Health, the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, and the anonymous C19early.com group among others).

Yet real people, real families, across the world destroyed each day by a lack of access to or support for safe, effective, early treatments with repurposed, generic medicines such as ivermectin, fluvoxamine, or hydroxychloroquine. All a direct result of Big Pharma and BMGF tactics like this one. Time to remind ourselves that BMGF is not a philanthropic organization but rather a corporation with massive investments in vaccines (and many other problematic industries) that has been corrupting public health the world over in service of the vaccine industry for decades now, none more so than in the last two years. By the way, what kind of philanthropist organization.. increases its wealth in a global pandemic?

MEP

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“it plans to have scraped 100 billion facial images from the internet.”

Your Face Is Now a Weapon of War (NI)

Who owns your face? You might think that you do, but consider that Clearview AI, an American company that sells facial recognition technology, has amassed a database of ten billion images since 2020. By the end of the year, it plans to have scraped 100 billion facial images from the internet. It is difficult to assess the company’s claims, but if we take Clearview AI at face value, it has enough data to identify almost everyone on earth and end privacy and anonymity everywhere. As you read these words, your face is making money for people whom you’ve never met and who never sought your consent when they took your faceprint from your social media profiles and online photo albums. Today, Clearview AI’s technology is used by over 3,100 U.S. law enforcement agencies, as well as the U.S. Postal Service.

In Ukraine, it is being used as a weapon of war. The company has offered its tools free of charge to the Ukrainian government, which is using them to identify dead and living Russian soldiers and then contact their mothers. It would be easy to shrug this off. After all, we voluntarily surrendered our privacy the moment we began sharing photos online, and millions of us continue to use websites and apps that fail to protect our data, despite warnings from privacy campaigners and Western security services. As so many of us sympathize with Ukraine and are appalled by Russia’s brutality, it is tempting to overlook the fact that Ukraine is not using Clearview AI to identify dead Ukrainians, which suggests that we are witnessing the use of facial recognition technology for psychological warfare, not identification. Some people will be fine with the implications of this: if Russian mothers have to receive disturbing photos of their dead sons, so be it.

To understand why we might want to rethink the use of facial recognition technology in conflict, consider the following thought experiments. First, imagine that it was Russia that had scraped Ukrainian biometric data from the internet to build a facial recognition technology tool which it was using to identify dead Ukrainians and contact their mothers. Liberal democracies would likely condemn these actions and add them to its growing list of Russia’s barbaric actions. Second, imagine a conflict in which the United States was fighting against an opponent who had taken American faceprints to train its facial recognition technology and was using it to identify dead American soldiers and contact their mothers. This would almost certainly cause howls of protest across the United States. Technology executives would be vilified in the press and hauled before Congress, where lawmakers might finally pass a law to protect Americans’ biometric data.

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“..the US dollar has created the conditions to be the most demanded currency simply because other central banks have been much more reckless.”

The Vacuum Effect of the US Dollar (Lacalle)

April 2022 will go down in history as a milestone that has only been seen on three previous occasions since 1973. A month in which the S&P500 Index and US Treasuries have fallen at the same time, 5% and 2% respectively. Additionally, the US dollar has appreciated against the main currencies with which it trades and reaches a new year high. Years of monetary laughing gas have not diminished the strength of the US dollar as world reserve currency, rather the opposite. Now we witness the vacuum effect. Inflows into the US dollar in a period of risk aversion. The PBOC, the Central Bank of China has had to give in and allow an aggressive devaluation of the yuan, although it tried to keep the currency stable via capital controls and a daily fixing.

The government-programmed weakness of the yuan is probably designed to provide a boost to the Chinese economy in a slowdown and dissolve part of the yuan-denominated debt. However, it reduces the Chinese yuan’s appeal as an alternative to the US dollar as global investors may fear both the central bank fixing as well as the tight capital controls imposed in China. It is not surprising, for example, that many commodity-exporting countries’ currencies have weakened against the US dollar despite rising exports and foreign exchange inflows. From the Norwegian krone to the currencies of major exporters, it seems only the Brazilian real appears to be holding strong… and that’s because it’s had several atrocious years, so it is more a bounce than an appreciation.

[..] It is very worrying that the European Central Bank is allowing the euro to get dangerously close to parity with the US dollar because of its obsession with staying far away from the normalization process of other central banks. The global demand for euros is falling, and the trade surplus that supported the European currency is diminishing. All those who defend a weak euro should look at reality. Empirical evidence shows that the eurozone does not export more due to a weak euro, but with products of higher added value. With a weak euro, imports skyrocket and become more expensive. Thus, the US dollar has created the conditions to be the most demanded currency simply because other central banks have been much more reckless.

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Ron Johnson

 

 

 

 

Seneff

 

 

Musk and mum

 

 

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Mar 292022
 


Henri Rousseau Tour Eiffel 1898

 

The BBC’s Ukrainian War-Messager (Blumenthal)
Switch To Rubles For Natural Gas Exports By March 31 – Putin (BI)
Washington Is Delirious With War Fever (Stockman)
What Is to Be Done? (Kunstler)
Why Is It So Hard to Compensate People for Serious Vaccine Injury? (CHD)
Fauci Has ‘Absolutely Nothing to Hide’ in Congressional Hearings (ET)
Freedom Convoy Organizers Facing Additional Charges (Rebel)
Zurich Insurance Group Drops Letter ‘Z’ Over Fears of Russian Connection (SN)
Gradually, Then Suddenly (Jim Quinn)
On Being Disappeared (Chris Hedges)

 

 

 

 

Tucker regime change
https://twitter.com/i/status/1508676643912622088

 

 

the biggest dirty trick in US history

 

 


“I have never sung nor made songs just to entertain the upper classes, but to curse their clawing, reckless racketeers, and to warn the nervous ones that live and die by greed.”

 

 

Just in case you didn’t get it yet: not a single word about the special military operation coming out of Ukraine carries any credibility, whether it’s from Zelensky, or the western Kyiv Post or Kyiv Independent. Western media are hardly any better. Max Blumenthal explains how this operates. Example: 3 people on a negotiating table, including Roman Abramovich, are said to have been poisoned. That’s “News” from Bellingcat, hence zero credibility. The Guardian has a headline: “Russians raping women in Ukraine”. We should all be able to recognize these things by now. It’s “Putin Eats Babies”-level nonsense. Mariupol: Russians bombing a maternity ward, a theater, and an arts academy. All turn out to be propaganda stories. Wisen up.

The BBC’s Ukrainian War-Messager (Blumenthal)

Before serving as a fixer and reporter for the BBC in Ukraine, Orysia Khimiak handled PR for a start-up called Reface which created what the Washington Post called a “reality distorting app” now serving as “a kind of Ukrainian war-messaging tool.” According to her Linkedin profile, Khimiak was the director of PR for Reface until October 2021. While working that job, Khimiak says she built “long-term relationships with editors and media representatives.” She has also overseen a PR course for the Kiev-based Projector Institute, whose website currently greets visitors with the slogan, “Glory to Ukraine. We Will Win.” With her wealth of media contacts, Khimiak now plays an instrumental role in shaping BBC’s coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

She has even shared a byline with the network’s Lviv-based correspondent, Hugo Bachega, co-authoring reports focused on demonstrating Russian culpability for the bombing of the Mariupol dramatic theater. Khimiak broadcasts her political bias in her Twitter bio, stating that she is “a fixer in Lviv for journalists for reporters who show honest image of Russian war against Ukraine. Ukraine will resist.” Khimiak’s Twitter background references the “Snake Island” standoff which was widely reported by mainstream Western media outlets and heralded as a testament to Ukrainian military bravery. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, 13 Ukrainian border guards “died heroically” defending an island base against they Russian Navy. “Russian warship, go fuck yourself!” were the soldiers’ final words, or so the story went.

The Ukrainian guards ultimately turned up alive as Russian captives. The entire story of courage under fire, including the Snake Island defenders’ famous last words, was a myth – one of so many stories fabricated or heavily distorted by pro-Ukraine elements that they have become impossible to count. On the Twitter page of the PR agent-turned-BBC correspondent Khimiak, the phony Snake Island stand-off is still treated as a real historical event. On her Twitter timeline, meanwhile, Khimiak takes credit for the BBC’s reports on the destruction of the Mariupol dramatic theater. The incident at the Mariupol theater represents one of the most suspicious events of the war, with both the BBC and CNN citing a claim by one local Ukrainian official claiming hundreds were killed inside the building, but producing no evidence to verify it.

Russian forces have caused widespread destruction across Mariupol, where they have been engaged in intense street-by-street fighting with Ukrainian forces led by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. However, as this reporter detailed, the Mariupol theater was controlled by retreating Azov militants who were desperately appealing for military intervention by NATO. Several evacuees have claimed Azov detonated the theater to create the impression of a Russian attack that might draw the West into the war. Meanwhile, video of the alleged Russian attack on the theater has yet to materialize, and images of the supposed rescue of survivors or mass deaths at the scene remain unavailable.

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First, the western sanctions say Russia cannot receive USD or euros. Second, the west insists on paying for gas in USD or euros. It’s what the contract says!

Switch To Rubles For Natural Gas Exports By March 31 – Putin (BI)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country’s biggest gas company and central bank to prepare to start taking rubles for natural gas payments from “unfriendly” countries, saying they should outline their plans by March 31. Putin blindsided traders in the natural gas market last week by announcing Russia would make countries deemed hostile pay for the product in rubles. Russia accounts for around 45% of EU gas imports, with pipeline exports to Europe normally paid for in euros. The President appeared keen to push ahead with the plan on Monday. He ordered Gazprom, the central bank and the government to prepare reports outlining how it will make the switch by Thursday, March 31, according to state news agency Tass.

It was not immediately clear whether the switch itself would take place Thursday. Analysts have said Putin is trying to shore up the Russian currency and to make life more complicated for Western countries that have sanctioned Moscow over its war against Ukraine. “At face value this appears to be an attempt to prop up the ruble by compelling gas buyers to buy the previously free-falling currency in order to pay,” Rystad Energy senior analyst Vinicius Romano said last week. “What is clear however, is that this has added another element of uncertainty to the already chaotic European gas market by complicating gas purchases that many countries have been reluctant to cut.”

The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, accused Russia of blackmail last week and said the move would be a clear breach of contract. The boss of Italian energy company Eni, Claudio Descalzi, said at a panel in Dubai on Monday that the company would not be paying for gas in rubles. European natural gas prices have soared due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and pushed higher last week when Putin announced the payment plan.

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And that’s the only thing about this that is real.

Washington Is Delirious With War Fever (Stockman)

Economic, social and political dangers abound. That’s because Washington and its subservient mainstream media are delirious with war fever like at no time in the last seven decades. The resulting reckless pursuit of an unhinged Sanctions War against Russia poses a dire threat to the global economy and domestic prosperity and does so for no good reason of homeland security whatsoever. With respect to the latter, the sheer facts are overwhelming. So we repeat them with an added total for the respective military budgets: To wit, the economic might of NATO is 29X that of Russia and its combined defense budgets are 18X greater, which tells you all you need to know about the “Russian threat”:

NATO: $42.78 trillion of GDP; 945 million population; $45,130 per capita income; $1,200 billion defense budget; RUSSIA: $1.46 trillion of GDP; 144 million population; $10,300 per capita income; $67 billion defense budget. Given these realities, why should Washington care about an intramural battle among contiguous peoples and territories that have been joined at the hip for most of the last 1300 years? The implicit answer is because it’s the world’s self-appointed policeman and Spanker-in-Chief.

[..] The fact is, Ukraine is the Poland and Czechoslovakia of the present time – an artificial state loaded with Russians and with no reason for existence in its present form and girth. Well, still again, other than Washington’s fanatical insistence that the happenstance map of administrative units which fell out of the Soviet Union’s collapse constitute sacred borders that must be preserved at all hazards. To the contrary, what Putin wants, ironically, is the pre-communist status quo ante. That is, he wants Crimea, where Ukrainians constitute but a tiny minority and which had been Russian since 1783. And, more crucially, which hosts the greatest strategic military asset possessed by Russia thereafter – -the great Naval base at the headwaters of the Black Sea in Sevastopol.

Likewise, the Donbas and territories east of the Dnieper River and along the northern edge of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov have been Russian for upwards of 300 years. By all facts of pre-1922 history, these territories amounted to Novorossiya (“New Russia”) as shown in this map from 1897. As it happened, they became “Ukrainian” only by writ of two of history’s greatest evil monsters – Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin – who placed them in the administrative unit of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic for reasons that have no historic validity whatsoever. Yet a devastating war goes on there today – a war which is careening to the precipice of WWIII – because Washington encourages Kiev to insist on retention of “every inch” of a map put together by Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev.


In fact, the latter did for the map of Ukraine what Wilson & Co. did to Germany after the Great War. That is to say, these long gone commie dictators extracted from Russian and Polish territories a combustible mongrel that begs to be partitioned and returned to the status quo ante, not defended to the last drop of Ukrainian blood and US/NATO treasure.

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“..federal crimes on top of federal crimes by federal officials. How do we stand for that?”

What Is to Be Done? (Kunstler)

The black hole of depravity known as Hunter Biden’s Laptop dilates ever wider as the rickety “Joe Biden” regime chugs towards its event horizon of disgrace and collapse, throwing off the jetsam of our nation’s remnant honor in its toxic vapor trail. The memos and emails on the device could not be clearer: “Joe Biden” and his grifting family sold out their country. The mentally incompetent husk of a crooked old pol is owned by every foreign interest in his decaying orbit, and owned as well by the foul and perfidious “intel” mafia lodged like a cancerous mass eating away at what used to be known as the American government. Face it: this false “president,” installed by malignant forces allied with his Party of Chaos, is a menace to our nation.

The Russian clean-up of Ukraine has exposed the operational base of the Biden Family’s flagrant crimes. The laptop confirms that Hunter’s Rosemont Seneca front company invested in the chain of bio-weapons labs set up by the CIA and Department of Defense and operated through their front company Metabiota, with tendrils reaching to the Wuhan, China, virology lab that was the most likely point-of-origin for SARS-CoV-2, a.k.a. Covid-19. Money money money everywhere along the trail for the Biden Family, fees-for-service from the crooked Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, chairman of Burisma, the gas company that provided walking-around money for Hunter’s insatiable drug habit and degenerate sexual adventures… more millions from shady sources in Russia… and then billions more from the board rooms of Chinese companies connected with the intel and military arms of the CCP.

If the American public had known of these entanglements, Joe Biden would certainly not have been the beneficiary of the engineered balloting irregularities that determined the 2020 election. But the public, still reeling from the mindfuckery of Covid 19, was left ignorant through the combined operations of the CIA’s captured social networks along with a tractable legacy news media. Of course, the FBI had Hunter’s laptop in its possession in January of 2020. How is it possible that the device and all its incriminating contents were withheld as evidence in the momentous impeachment trial of Donald Trump which, after all, was instigated by Mr. Trump’s inquiring phone call about those very matters involving the Bidens and Mykola Zlochevsky? Answer: Because the FBI was already rattled by the unravelling truth about its seditious role in the RussiaGate folly, and the agency was wholly invested in the removal of Mr. Trump before top agency officials found themselves in grand juries — federal crimes on top of federal crimes by federal officials. How do we stand for that?

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Anything can be made hard if you design it to be.

Why Is It So Hard to Compensate People for Serious Vaccine Injury? (CHD)

Vaccine injury compensation in the U.S. is broken, according to Tara Haelle, an independent science and health writer. In an article for National Geographic, Haelle outlined some of the flaws in existing programs, and what might be done to fix them. Haelle interviewed healthcare experts who told her the government’s failure to acknowledge vaccine injuries and compensate the injured has undermined public trust in vaccines and created more “vaccine hesitancy.” “Vaccine hesitancy stems from lack of public trust,” said Maya Goldenberg, who studies vaccine hesitancy at the University of Guelph in Ontario. As of March 22, about 217 million people are “fully vaccinated” in the U.S., but 16% of Americans still refuse to get the vaccine, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A previous survey found one in five people cite side effects as the top reason for not getting vaccinated. “People need to be confident that vaccines are safe and effective when they make a decision to get vaccinated,” said Goldenberg. “They also need to know that, insofar as there are real dangers involved, people will be cared for and not stranded in that rare situation [of vaccine injury].” Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, told Haelle, “Vaccination is not a per-individual benefit, it’s for societal benefit, and when someone is injured by that vaccine, I think society owes that individual compensation.”

Haelle interviewed several people injured by COVID-19 vaccines, including Jessica McFadden, a 44-year-old fundraising officer in Indiana who was hospitalized with thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS, one week after getting the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. McFadden said she’s vexed the government pushed so hard for everyone to get vaccinated and did not push to compensate those who, like her, were harmed. “It’s like [we’re] the cost of doing business in a pandemic,” she said. McFadden said she has good health insurance. Still, she was stuck with a bill for more than $7,000 for a five-day hospital stay and she missed two weeks of work not covered by sick leave due.

Tenpenny
https://twitter.com/i/status/1508281196991549441

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The untouchable.

Fauci Has ‘Absolutely Nothing to Hide’ in Congressional Hearings (ET)

White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci responded again to proposals from House GOP lawmakers about potential investigations if they retake the lower congressional chamber. “I have absolutely nothing to hide or nothing to be concerned about, of anything that I’ve done,” Fauci told Fox News on March 25. “So I never have been—and not now and will never be—afraid of hearings done in good faith in oversight. I mean, obviously, if you looked at some of the hearings, they’ve started off out of nowhere to be ad hominem attacks without even asking a reasonable question.” Some Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), have promised investigations and subpoenas to Fauci’s agency if the GOP wins the House during the 2022 midterms.

At least one Republican senator, Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has promised the same if the Senate is retaken by Republicans. “And if you’re watching this, Dr. Fauci, look out, because when the Americans give us control in the House of Representatives, God willing, we’re going to get some answers on behalf of the American people,” Roy told Fox News earlier this month. Primarily, Republicans have flagged emails that suggest the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the agency Fauci has headed since the Reagan administration, have proved funding to third-party organizations to perform controversial “gain-of-function” research into bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China. COVID-19, which is caused by a coronavirus, reportedly emerged in Wuhan in late 2019.

“My job is what’s important. … So the idea when you’re idolized, or you’re demonized … that’s just a reflection of what’s going on in society and really has very little to do with what I am and who I am and what I do. So you may not believe it or appreciate it, but all of that other stuff is irrelevant. It’s my job and what I do that’s important,” Fauci also said during the Fox News interview. Earlier in March, Fauci appeared to take a dismissive tone against a possible Republican-led investigation into his agency or emails, saying he believes it would be “Benghazi … all over again,” referring to the Republican House investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following a terrorist attack in Libya that left several Americans dead.

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Justin is a international pariah.

Freedom Convoy Organizers Facing Additional Charges (Rebel)

Organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” in Canada have been given additional charges during separate court appearances last week. As detailed by Rebel News, organizer Tamara Lich was arrested in February amid the protests in downtown Ottawa. Chris Barber, who was also a prominent face in the trucker-led convoy was also arrested. Lich, who was previously denied bail, was originally charged with mischief and counselling to commit mischief, while Barber faced several charges relating to mischief and obstructing police. Crown prosecutors added intimidation charges to a slate of new criminal counts against the organizers, including Lich, Barber, Pat King and Tyson Billings during separate court appearances Thursday.

Lich and Barber are now jointly charged with counselling mischief, counselling intimidation, counselling to obstruct police, intimidation and mischief, the Toronto Sun reported. Diane Magas, Lich’s attorney, previously filed an appeal over Lich’s bail conditions, which prohibits the protest organizer from having access to social media accounts. The Canadian Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms claims that the restriction violates Lich’s rights to free expression. As previously detailed by Rebel News, Lich was initially denied bail by Justice Julie Bourgeois, who ran for election for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in 2011. The former Liberal Party candidate was accused of holding a political bias in the case.

In March, a judge reversed the original decision and granted Lich bail. Superior Court Justice John M. Johnston stated that the argument of “political bias” did not have merit but granted bail after finding other errors in the judgment of Bourgeois, however. The new charges against the organizers are among nearly 400 charges against 191 Freedom Convoy protesters originally laid in late February following Justin Trudeau’s crackdown and dispersal of the protest group in Ottawa through use of the Emergencies Act. The charges came following three weeks of prolonged protest in the Canadian capital and blockades on major border crossings to the United States. The Canadian Prime Minister’s heavy-handed actions earned him a reprimand at the European Parliament by several members of the organization, Rebel News reported.

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Cancel Zorro.

Zurich Insurance Group Drops Letter ‘Z’ Over Fears of Russian Connection (SN)

Apparently, the letter ‘Z’ has now been cancelled, with Zurich Insurance Group dropping it as their main logo in response to fears over being connected to Russia. Switzerland’s largest insurer made the announcement in a statement to Reuters, saying it was “temporarily removing the use of the letter ‘Z’ from social channels where it appears in isolation and could be misinterpreted.” The company also reserved the right to “take further actions if and when required.” Instead of its original ‘Z’ logo, the company will now use its full name because ‘Putin bad.’ The letter has been spotted on Russian military hardware and for some has come to symbolize support for the Kremlin, although ‘Z’ hasn’t been adopted officially by the Russian military.


Earlier this month, Zurich announced it was suspending operations in Russia and not taking on any new customers in the country. The letter ‘Z’ becomes the latest casualty of Russophobia, with Siberian cats as well as Russian trees having previous been cancelled. Numerous public figures have also had their careers sabotaged merely for being Russian. As we previously highlighted, world number one tennis star Daniil Medvedev faces a ban from competing at the Wimbledon tournament in London unless he publicly denounces Vladimir Putin.

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“..generations of ignorant zombies incapable and uninterested in critical thought.”

Gradually, Then Suddenly (Jim Quinn)

John Adams realized two centuries ago democracy was no better than monarchy or aristocracy over the long haul. We were handed a Republic by Franklin and his fellow revolutionaries, but we failed to keep it almost from the very birth of this nation. As we rush towards our World War 3 rendezvous with destiny, aided and abetted by politicians placed in power by globalist billionaires hellbent on the destruction of our way of life, so they own everything and you own nothing, I can’t help but ponder who is to blame and could we have avoided this dystopian outcome. The United States has been going bankrupt gradually for the last fifty years, both financially, intellectually, and morally.

Nixon closing the gold window in 1971 and opening the debt door to morally bankrupt bankers and politicians set in motion a downward spiral accelerating at hyper-speed as we speak. The American Empire was born in the shattered global debris of World War II with the Bretton Woods agreement, which left the USD as the dominant currency in world trade, specifically as the settlement currency for all oil transactions. The empire has been sustained by currency supremacy, military might, and until 1980, manufacturing superiority. Once the most highly educated nation on the planet, decades of lowering the bar, less than mediocre union teachers, and replacing education with indoctrination, has created generations of ignorant zombies incapable and uninterested in critical thought.

The road to bankruptcy was very gradual at the outset of empire, with the national debt topping out at $269 billion, 119% of GDP, in 1946. In 1960 it had only grown to $286 billion but had dropped to 54% of GDP. Rebuilding the world and being the dominant economic power paid huge dividends. After a decade of guns, butter and welfare programs, the debt grew to $398 billion, but continued to drop as a percentage of GDP to 35% in 1971. After decoupling from gold, the national debt soared to $908 billion by 1980, inflation surged to 15%, and Volcker had to raise interest rates to 20% to avert disaster. What happened over the next forty years was mind boggling in its recklessness, shortsightedness, and acquiescence to the Wall Street cabal.

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Calling Elon.

On Being Disappeared (Chris Hedges)

The entire archive of On Contact, the Emmy-nominated show I hosted for six years for RT America and RT International, has been disappeared from YouTube. Gone is the interview with Nathaniel Philbrick on his book about George Washington. Gone is the discussion with Kai Bird on his biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Gone is my exploration with Professor Sam Slote from Trinity College Dublin of James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” Gone is the show with Benjamin Moser on his biography of Susan Sontag. Gone is the show with Stephen Kinzer on his book on John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles. Gone are the interviews with the social critics Cornel West, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Gerald Horne, Wendy Brown, Paul Street, Gabriel Rockwell, Naomi Wolff and Slavoj Zizek.

Gone are the interviews with the novelists Russell Banks and Salar Abdoh. Gone is the interview with Kevin Sharp, a former federal judge, on the case of Leonard Peltier. Gone are the interviews with economists David Harvey and Richard Wolff. Gone are the interviews with the combat veterans and West Point graduates Danny Sjursen and Eric Edstrom about our wars in the Middle East. Gone are the discussions with the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi. Gone are the voices of those who are being persecuted and marginalized, including the human rights attorney Steven Donziger and the political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. None of the shows I did on mass incarceration, where I interviewed those released from our prisons, are any longer on YouTube. Gone are the shows with the cartoonists Joe Sacco and Dwayne Booth. Melted into thin air, leaving not a rack behind.


I received no inquiry or notice from YouTube. I vanished. In totalitarian systems you exist, then you don’t. I suppose this was done in the name of censoring Russian propaganda, although I have a hard time seeing how a detailed discussion of “Ulysses” or the biographies of Susan Sontag and J. Robert Oppenheimer had any connection in the eyes of the most obtuse censors in Silicon Valley with Vladimir Putin. Indeed, there is not one show that dealt with Russia. I was on RT because, as a critic of US imperialism, militarism, the corporate control of the two ruling parties, and especially because I support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, I was blacklisted. I was on RT for the same reason the dissident Vaclav Havel, who I knew, was on Voice of America during the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. It was that or not be heard. Havel had no more love for the policies of Washington than I have for those of Moscow.

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Assange lawyer

 

 

 

 

Waltz

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 162022
 
 February 16, 2022  Posted by at 9:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  163 Responses »


Leonardo da Vinci Ginevra de’ Benci 1474-78

 

The Global Covid Vaccination Campaign Is Courting Catastrophe (Kohlmayer)
New Research Points To Possible Reason For Long Covid (JPost)
Ukraine Crisis: A Nightmare Caused by US Interventionism (Ron Paul)
US Has New Ukraine Coup Plot Theory (RT)
‘West Has Been Destroyed Without A Shot Fired’ – Russia (RT)
US Accuses Zero Hedge Of Spreading Russian Propaganda (AP)
Protesters to End Border Blockades as Trudeau’s Threats Hit Home (BBG)
Democrats, the More Effective Evil (Chris Hedges)
Novak Djokovic’s Propensity For Self-sabotage Has Become A Defining Trait (G.)
Special Counsel John Durham Has Triggered a Media Meltdown (Turley)
’60 Minutes,’ CNN, MSNBC, Downplayed, Criticized Durham Probe (Fox)

 

 

 

 

I was ‘barred’ from publishing anything on Fauci: Former Forbes contributor

 

 

Dowd: Summation of Major Insurance company corporate group policy Loss Ratios (Death Claims) Q4 rate vs 2019 rate:

Unum $UNM +36%
Lincoln $LNC +57%
Pru $PRU +41%
$RGA +21%
Hartford $HIG +32%
MetLife $MET +24%

 

 

 

 

“..Under the normal schedule, the Covid vaccines Phase III trials would be completed in April of 2024. If this phase went without a hitch, April of 2024 would be the earliest that anyone could justifiably start saying that the Covid vaccines are “safe and effective.”

The Global Covid Vaccination Campaign Is Courting Catastrophe (Kohlmayer)

After receiving full approval, vaccines continue to be carefully monitored for adverse events in case some vaccinal flaw may have escaped detection during the multi-year trial phase. There have been a number of vaccines that were pulled from the market after they received full approval due to unexpected safety issues. Some of these include vaccines for Rotavirus, Lyme Disease, and Whole-Cell Pertussis among others. Therefore, for a vaccine to be justifiably declared “completely safe,” it must undergo at least five years of intensive testing in clinical trials and then several years of monitoring as it is administered in populations at large. The Covid vaccines, however, were publicly declared to be “completely safe” less than 8 months after the start of human clinical trials.

On the normal vaccine trial timeline, month 8 is in Phase 2 of the three-stage clinical trial regime. The claim that the Covid vaccines were “completely safe,” was, therefore, completely unjustifiable and unsubstantiated. Those who made this claim engaged in a deliberate and unconscionable act of public deception. And yet this claim was used as the basis for a worldwide campaign in which more than half of Earth’s inhabitants have been injected with experimental pharmaceuticals that did not undergo proper testing. The phrase “safe and effective” became the de-facto slogan of the planet-wide vaccination enterprise. Believing that the vaccines were “completely safe,” billions of people willingly – and even enthusiastically – lined up to receive their Covid injections.

Needless to say, not everyone was ready to accept the propaganda. Disregarding all reasonable objections, however, many governments decided that universal vaccination was their goal and decided that the unwilling needed to be coerced. This they sought to do through direct vaccines mandates and covid passports or digital certificates. The latter two were designed in such a way as to compel the hesitant to submit to the shots on pain of being excluded from the normal course of societal life. Government and public health officials justified this drastic approach by repeatedly stating that the vaccines were “completely safe” and effective, and because of this it was okay to force the shots even on those who did not want to take them.

The claim “safe and effective” was thus used as a means of allurement and coercion for the planet-wide Covid vaccination crusade. We need to pause here and contemplate the enormity of what the vaccinators have “accomplished.” Less than 22 months after the beginning of the clinical trials, they have managed to inject the plurality of mankind with their inadequately tested products. If things were being done properly, right now the vaccine developers would have been gearing for Phase III of clinical trials. This stage normally takes place between months 24 and 48 after the initiation of the trial process. This is how Johns Hopkins University describes what this stage is about: “Phase III clinical trials are critical to understanding whether vaccines are safe and effective.”

[..] Under the normal schedule, the Covid vaccines Phase III trials would be completed in April of 2024. If this phase went without a hitch, April of 2024 would be the earliest that anyone could justifiably start saying that the Covid vaccines are “safe and effective.”

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“It runs from the brain throughout the entirety of the face and chest, reaching the abdomen.”

New Research Points To Possible Reason For Long Covid (JPost)

Many symptoms of post-COVID syndrome could be caused by lasting damage sustained to one of the most important nerves in the human body during initial infection with coronavirus, new research has suggested. What is the vagus nerve? The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and is the longest and most complex of all of them. It runs from the brain throughout the entirety of the face and chest, reaching the abdomen. The vagus nerve serves as the main connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, sending back information about the state of the inner organs.

As well as being crucial to the gastrointestinal system, as it controls the transfer of food from the mouth to the stomach and moves food through the intestines, the vagus nerve is also responsible for multiple other processes, such as controlling the heart rate, sweat production and the gag reflex, as well as certain muscle movements in the mouth, including those necessary for speech. New research set to be presented at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) investigates the connection between post-COVID syndrome, also known as long COVID, and the vagus nerve. The pilot study was authored by Dr. Gemma Lladós and Dr. Lourdes Mateu of the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital in Badalona, Spain. Its findings will be presented at the congress in Lisbon from April 23-26.

The study suggests that SARS-CoV-2-mediated vagus nerve dysfunction (VND) could be responsible for many of the symptoms of long COVID, including persistent voice problems, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, abnormally high heart rate (tachycardia), low blood pressure and digestive issues.

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“..Or it’s coming next Tuesday, or Wednesday, or surely before the end of the Olympics.”

Ukraine Crisis: A Nightmare Caused by US Interventionism (Ron Paul)

Over the weekend we heard that the US is evacuating its embassy in Kiev for fear of a Russian invasion. We also heard that Russia is evacuating its embassy in Kiev for fear of a US-backed provocation in eastern Ukraine that may lead to a Russian military response. We are in “uncharted territory” the media tells us. Yes, that is true. But it is uncharted because no one had ever imagined in the past that the US government would be so foolish to risk a thermonuclear war over the borders of a country – Ukraine – that have changed so many times over the past century. An urgent Biden-Putin phone call on Saturday did not lead to any breakthrough – as if anyone thought it would. Instead, it provided cover for Biden Administration hawks to claim they tried every diplomatic approach, but war seems to be the only option.

But this whole thing is a farce. As I see it, here is the Ukraine crisis in a nutshell: Biden to Putin: “Don’t invade Ukraine.” Putin to Biden: “We have no intention of invading Ukraine.” Biden to the US media: “Putin is about to invade Ukraine!” Then Biden’s top officials proceed to embarrass themselves by warning that the invasion was imminent. Or it’s coming next Tuesday, or Wednesday, or surely before the end of the Olympics. Does anyone think they have any credibility left with their constant hysterical warnings? Meanwhile “US intelligence” continues to leak incendiary information – likely self-serving – to a US media that has lost any interest in skepticism toward any “scoop” handed down by US government officials.

What the US media will not report is that this entire crisis – and the threat of a serious war – has all been brought about by US interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, specifically the US-backed coup that overthrew an elected government in 2014. Every bit of unrest in Ukraine proceeded from that single foolish and immoral act by the Obama Administration.

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“..the former presidential candidate called the suggestion “funny,” noting that his current job description is “director of a sanatorium.”

US Has New Ukraine Coup Plot Theory (RT)

American intelligence believes that former MP Oleg Tsaryov could be made leader of a Ukrainian puppet regime after a successful Russian invasion causes the Kiev government to fall, Britain’s Financial Times reported on Tuesday. Citing an anonymous source in a Western intelligence agency, the outlet suggested that Tsaryov, who served in Ukraine’s parliament until 2014, would be made head of the country. Moscow “might position Oleg Tsaryov, and others, in leadership roles as part of this effort,” the source said, as quoted by FT. According to the newspaper, his name appeared in US intelligence materials that were shared with Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand, all members of Five Eyes intelligence alliance.


Tsaryov, who served in Parliament for twelve years, is best known for standing as a pro-Russia candidate in the 2014 presidential election until he withdrew after attacks from Ukrainian nationalists. He then defected to Donetsk, where he became the first speaker of the parliament of Novorossiya, a breakaway state in east Ukraine that lasted less than a year. He later moved to Crimea, where he now resides and runs a medical retreat. Speaking to the FT, the former presidential candidate called the suggestion “funny,” noting that his current job description is “director of a sanatorium.”

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“15 February 2022 will go down in history as the day Western war propaganda failed..”

‘West Has Been Destroyed Without A Shot Fired’ – Russia (RT)

With Russia announcing that its troops are pulling back following the completion of exercises near the border with Ukraine, Moscow has insisted that predictions it could be just moments away from ordering a full-blown invasion have been proven false. In a fiery statement on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova poured scorn on weeks of reports and claims from US and European officials that Moscow’s armed forces could be just hours away from launching a strike against its neighbor. “15 February 2022 will go down in history as the day Western war propaganda failed,” she wrote. According to her, the West has been “shamed and destroyed without firing a single shot.”


At the same time, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense announced that a number of Russian troops had finished their training exercises in Belarus, close to the Ukrainian border, and will begin the process of withdrawing. Zakharova’s comments come after American business outlet Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing unnamed officials, that an offensive against Ukraine could take place as early as Tuesday. The agency reported that a possible attack might include a provocation in the Donbass region or against Kiev. The White House’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, told CNN over the weekend that “sources” and “gathered intelligence” suggested “major military action” could “begin any day now.” He said that this included the coming week before the end of the Olympic games.

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Ha ha ha ha ha!

US Accuses Zero Hedge Of Spreading Russian Propaganda (AP)

U.S. intelligence officials on Tuesday accused a conservative financial news website with a significant American readership of amplifying Kremlin propaganda and alleged five media outlets targeting Ukrainians have taken direction from Russian spies. The officials said Zero Hedge, which has 1.2 million Twitter followers, published articles created by Moscow-controlled media that were then shared by outlets and people unaware of their nexus to Russian intelligence. The officials did not say whether they thought Zero Hedge knew of any links to spy agencies and did not allege direct links between the website and Russia. Zero Hedge denied the claims and said it tries to “publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story.”

In a response posted online Tuesday morning, the website said it has “has never worked, collaborated or cooperated with Russia, nor are there any links to spy agencies.” The officials briefed The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence sources. It was the latest effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to release U.S. intelligence findings about Russian activity involving Ukraine as part of a concerted push to expose and influence the moves of Russian President Vladimir Putin. U.S. officials previously accused Putin of planning a “false-flag” operation to create a pretext for a new invasion of Ukraine and detailed what they believe are final-stage Russian preparations for an assault. It’s unclear whether U.S. efforts are changing Putin’s behavior.

And without releasing more proof of its findings, Washington has been criticized and reminded of past intelligence failures such as the debunked allegations that pre-war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Zero Hedge has been sharply critical of Biden and posted stories about allegations of wrongdoing by his son Hunter. While perhaps best known for its coverage of markets and finance, the website also covers politics with a conservative bent. In its response online, the website accused the AP of publishing a “bizarre hit piece” and said government officials were trying to distract from “our views of the current dismal US economic situation.” “The bottom line is that such hit piece accusations that we somehow work with or for the Kremlin are nothing new: we have repeatedly faced similar allegations over the years, and we can absolutely confirm that all of them are ‘errors,’” the website said.

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According to Bloomberg, the truckers are utterly defeated.

“A lot of grown men were crying,” Klassen said. “We didn’t think he was going to enact that. We could lose everything.”

Protesters to End Border Blockades as Trudeau’s Threats Hit Home (BBG)

Protesters against vaccine mandates at two border crossings in Western Canada plan to leave after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government invoked emergency powers that could freeze their bank accounts and suspend their insurance. A border crossing between Coutts, Alberta and Sweet Grass, Montana that had been closed Monday has partially reopened to traffic, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Gina Slaney said Tuesday by phone. Demonstrators have been at the border post since late January in a protest against vaccine mandates and Covid-19 restrictions. “People are going home,” Slaney said, noting traffic is moving slowly as there are still vehicles on the road. “Vehicles can get through north and southbound lanes right now and it seems that vehicles are crossing the border.”

Demonstrators at a border crossing between Manitoba and North Dakota are also preparing to leave in unison Wednesday with a police escort, said Jake Klassen, a truck driver who joined the protest out of frustration he can not visit his daughter receiving palliative care unless he is fully vaccinated. People are worried the government will seize their property and protesters plan to leave in a “slow roll” tomorrow and reopen traffic, Klassen said by phone. “A lot of grown men were crying,” Klassen said. “We didn’t think he was going to enact that. We could lose everything.” The Manitoba border to the U.S. at Emerson was still closed as of 12:14 p.m. New York time, according to the website of Canada’s border agency. “We accomplished something, I believe, but we didn’t accomplish what we went there to accomplish,” Klassen said.

Ezra Levant

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“The war industry [..] is a bipartisan project. ”

Democrats, the More Effective Evil (Chris Hedges)

The desperate measures to stave off an economic crisis are self-defeating. The bag of tricks is empty. Massive defaults on mortgages, student loans, credit cards, household debt, car debt and other loans in the United States is probably inevitable. With no short-term mechanisms left to paper over the disaster, it will usher in a prolonged depression. An economic crisis means a political crisis. And a political crisis is traditionally solved by war against enemies inside and outside the nation. The Democrats are as guilty of this as the Republicans. Wars can get started by Democrats, such as Harry S. Truman in Korea or John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam, and perpetuated by Republicans. Or they can get started by Republicans, such as George W. Bush, and perpetuated by Democrats such as Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Bill Clinton, without declaring war, imposed punishing sanctions on Iraq and authorized the Navy and the Air Force to carry out tens of thousands of sorties against the country, dropping thousands of bombs and launching hundreds of missiles. The war industry, with its $768 billion military budget, along with the expansion of Homeland Security, the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the National Security Agency, is a bipartisan project. The handful of national political leaders, such as Henry Wallace in 1948 and George McGovern in 1972, who dared to challenge the war machine were ruthlessly hounded into political oblivion by the leaders of both parties. Biden’s bellicose rhetoric towards China and especially Russia, more strident than that of the Trump administration, has been accompanied by the formation of new security alliances such as those with India, Japan, Australia, and Great Britain in the Indo-Pacific.

U.S. aggression has, ironically, pushed China and Russia into a forced marriage, something the architects of the Cold War, including Nixon and Kissinger with their opening to China in 1971, worked very hard to avoid. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, after meeting recently in Beijing, issued a 5,300-word statement that condemned NATO expansion in eastern Europe, denounced the formation of security blocs in the Asia Pacific region, and criticized the AUKUS trilateral security pact between the US, Great Britain and Australia. They also vowed to thwart “color revolutions” and strengthen “back-to-back” strategic coordination.

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People with principles are dangerous today. But he sabotages himself by NOT getting vaxxed?!

Novak Djokovic’s Propensity For Self-sabotage Has Become A Defining Trait (G.)

Over the past 11 years of men’s tennis, during which Novak Djokovic rose to dominance and improbably positioned himself as one of the greatest to play the game, the only time his success has been in doubt came after the summer of 2017 when he suffered through many months with an elbow injury. The injury became a point of contention between himself and his then-coach, Andre Agassi, who later said he had swiftly advocated for surgery. But Djokovic addressed the injury by resting for nearly six months, believing his body was built to heal itself naturally. It was not. After returning the next year to pain and early losses, Djokovic finally underwent surgery in February 2018. As he digested his guilt about agreeing to the surgery, he cried for days.

On Tuesday, Djokovic gave his first full interview since his deportation from Australia after arriving in the country without being vaccinated against Covid. Djokovic acknowledged that, as things stand in a worldwide sport that moves from country to country each week, his unvaccinated status means he is unable to play in the majority of tournaments. “That is the price I am willing to pay,” he said. In the same breath, Djokovic said with a smile that at such a critical moment in tennis history he understands his actions may deprive him of the possibility of winning the highest number of grand slam tournaments. He framed his decision in libertarian terms: “The principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else.”

Djokovic’s conversation with the BBC was a reminder that his propensity for self-sabotage has become a defining trait. The principles that made him so averse to surgery in 2017 were not in tune with reality. After his surgery, he won the final two majors of that 2018 season and he has won eight since. The most controversial on-court moment of his career so far, his disqualification from the 2020 US Open after unintentionally hitting a line judge with a ball, came after near misses from which he failed to learn. Here he is again, his own worst enemy. As Djokovic attempts to navigate the world while unvaccinated – and while his biggest rival, Rafael Nadal, just took advantage of his absence to win a historic 21st grand slam title at the Australian Open – according to the ATP 99% of the top 100 is now vaccinated. He stands alone.

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“..to this day, many refuse to cover extensive evidence of how the Clinton campaign manufactured this story that largely occupied the entire term of President Donald Trump.”

Special Counsel John Durham Has Triggered a Media Meltdown (Turley)

What is striking about the Durham filings is the audacity of the Perkins Coie operation. While the funding was buried away, the lawyers were seemingly unconcerned about approving such efforts or personally reaching out to sympathetic government and media figures. They were, to some degree, justified in their sense of immunity. Indeed, to this day, many refuse to cover extensive evidence of how the Clinton campaign manufactured this story that largely occupied the entire term of President Donald Trump. Before the Steele dossier was given to the FBI and the press, then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Clinton’s alleged “plan” to tie candidate Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” That operation appears to have been launched through Elias and Perkins Coie.

After the 2020 election, Democratic members and legal experts demanded the disbarring of a host of Republican attorneys for their spreading disinformation of a widespread election fraud. These same figures, however, are entirely silent about the role of Clinton lawyers in secretly funding the debunked Russian collusion claims. There is no interest in whether, as alleged by reporters, figures like Elias lied about the involvement of the Clinton campaign. Sussmann is now facing a trial on this role in the operation. Elias remains unindicted. With little sense of irony, he has established a law firm to deal with ethics and campaign disclosures. Durham’s continued investigation may be pushing the media to the final stage called “postsyncope,” which involves “protracted confusion, disorientation, nausea, dizziness, and a general sense of poor health.”

That has reflected in the flailing effort by some to deflect from the alarming disclosures. New York Times reporter Mike McIntire seemed to express alarm that the Durham story was “trending.” However, McIntire offered “a periodic reminder that Trump’s campaign chairman secretly met and shared info with a Russian intelligence agent.” The “info” was polling data on the campaign that Paul Manafort gave a person with Russian intelligence ties. That, of course, has no relevance to the question of whether the Clinton Campaign spied on the Trump Tower, campaign, or the White House itself. The “periodic reminder” seemed to be to other media that they needed to continue to hold their breath and not recognize a major story. Such “protracted confusion” is natural, but it will not dissipate any time soon. Durham apparently is calling more people into the grand jury.

Durham Zero

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“This is ’60 Minutes.’ We can’t put on things we can’t verify.”

’60 Minutes,’ CNN, MSNBC, Downplayed, Criticized Durham Probe (Fox)

The mainstream media is getting a wake-up call after new allegations in the Durham investigation that President Trump and his campaign were being spied on. Special Counsel John Durham released in a filing Saturday that the Hillary Clinton campaign hired techs to “infiltrate” Trump Tower and White House servers to establish a “narrative” to link Trump to Russia. The new findings contradict various doubtful media coverage from programs like CBS’ “60 Minutes.” In an October 2020 interview, Trump appeared on the newsmagazine to address the ongoing investigation and his claim his campaign was spied on. He was shot down by host Lesley Stahl, who insisted the president was spreading unverified information. “There’s no real evidence,” she said.

“This is ’60 Minutes.’ We can’t put on things we can’t verify.” Meanwhile, former CNN dynamic duo Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo criticized John Durham and the Trump administration back in December 2019 for being adamant about uncovering the truth, yet coming up short. “Nothing happens and they just move on to the next conspiracy theory,” Lemon said to Cuomo during a handover. “It is never going to end and guess what? People who want to believe that BS are going to believe it.” In an October 2021 episode of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow suggested the intention behind efforts to probe the investigation was always to re-route the investigation away from Trump himself. “It’s a boomerang,” she said.

“Because it’s apparently an ongoing, concerted Republican and pro-Trump project to try to turn the investigation of the Russia scandal into some kind of scandal itself.” Since Durham’s bombshell report dropped, media pundits on the left have gone largely quiet. Publications like the Washington Post and The New York Times have failed to commission any coverage of the latest allegations as of Monday, nor has CNN.

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Kolakusic

 

 

 

 

Arthur C. Clarke

 

 

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

 

Jan 242022
 


Johannes Vermeer The astronomer c1668

 

End Of Pandemic In Europe ‘Plausible’ After Omicron, Says WHO (ToI)
Covid, The Strange Death of Medicine (TCP)
The Mystery of the Disappearing Flu (Ruechel)
We MUST Start Treating Covid Like Flu (Dr Charles Levinson )
The Emergency Must Be Ended, Now (ET)
My Speech At “Defeat The Mandates” March (Steve Kirsch)
Fauci Predicts ‘A Bit More Pain & Suffering’ For Unvaccinated (RT)
John Lewis Will Pay Full Sick Pay Regardless Of Covid Vaccination Status (G.)
‘Grandfather’ Is Now A ‘Problematic’ Word (RT)
The Secret of Propaganda: Teaching Obedience (Ugo Bardi)
Hope For Unified NATO Response Unravels (ZH)
US Diplomats’ Families Ordered To Leave Ukraine (RT)

 

 

 

 

Malone full speech

 

 

McCullough DC
https://twitter.com/i/status/1485308741130072065

 

 

Surprisingly low: “In the WHO Europe region [..] Omicron represented 15 percent of new cases as of January 18.” In many regions across the world it’s 90%.

End Of Pandemic In Europe ‘Plausible’ After Omicron, Says WHO (ToI)

The Omicron variant has moved the COVID-19 pandemic into a new phase and could bring it to an end in Europe, the WHO Europe director said Sunday. “It’s plausible that the region is moving towards a kind of pandemic endgame,” Hans Kluge told AFP in an interview, adding that Omicron could infect 60 percent of Europeans by March. Once the current surge of Omicron currently sweeping across Europe subsides, “there will be for quite some weeks and months a global immunity, either thanks to the vaccine or because people have immunity due to the infection, and also lowering seasonality.” “So we anticipate that there will be a period of quiet before COVID-19 may come back towards the end of the year, but not necessarily the pandemic coming back,” Kluge said.


The Omicron variant, which studies have shown generally leads to less severe infection than the Delta variant did, at least among vaccinated people, has raised long-awaited hopes that COVID-19 is starting to shift from a pandemic to a more manageable endemic illness like seasonal flu. “There is a lot of talk about endemic, but endemic means… that it is possible to predict what’s going to happen. This virus has surprised (us) more than once so we have to be very careful,” Kluge said. In the WHO Europe region, which is made up of 53 countries, including several in Central Asia, Omicron represented 15 percent of new cases as of January 18, compared to 6.3% a week earlier, the health body said.

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“Those nurses will not spare the Wizard of Health next time. No booster on earth will protect him from their wrath.”

Covid, The Strange Death of Medicine (TCP)

Friday 7th January 2022, King’s College Hospital, London. The Fascistic Minister of Ill-Health, Mr. Sajid Javid marched in and stood squat, like a Mussolini, sadomasochistic in standard NHS issue gimp mask. It was as if a pimp rolled up with a fine cane and a fur coat to ensure his brothel was in good order. He taunted the huddle of muzzled NHS nurses. So, girls, what do you think of the NHS jab mandate with which I destroy the NHS and scientific reason? Pretty cool, huh? Was it arrogance or ignorance? Should not a right-minded person have begged the ground to swallow him up whole for such faux-pas?

The nurses, stunned, giggled nervously like school-girls. What else could they do when paraded in front of their abusive master and executioner? The truth is they are professional nurses who know the answer. It is an unethical evil. It is political, it is unscientific. But the truth of which they knew, they could not speak. Then, someone spoke, softly. Dr. Steve James, ICU consultant. He did the Englishman’s equivalent of standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square. He politely interjected. In the short, split-second of a narcissistic politician’s photo-call, fuelled by adrenalin, Dr. James slipped an awkward, unpractised left jab which landed like a bomb on the polished chin of his monied opponent.

He beseeched the minister (I paraphrase), I’m not happy about that. I have been working on covid ITU since the beginning. I’m unvaccinated, your policy makes no scientific sense. You would have to boost us all every month. I will lose my job, I am not alone. Won’t you reconsider? And there it was. The sorcerer’s spell was broken. It was as if Toto had pulled back the curtain. Javid would be well advised to institute the focused protection of Great Barrington, or very strictly shield himself from all NHS establishments until at least his April Fools’ mandate. Those nurses will not spare the Wizard of Health next time. No booster on earth will protect him from their wrath.

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Very elaborate from Julius Ruechel.

The Mystery of the Disappearing Flu (Ruechel)

Colds and flus mysteriously disappeared over the past two years only to return recently in many countries, often with a vengeance. While only rarely discussed and frequently dismissed as a mere curiosity, the mystery of the disappearing flu is actually one of the most important events of the past two years. Unpacking this mystery provides deep insights into the future trajectory of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, exposes the abject failure of the vaccines to control the pandemic, and puts the final nail in the coffin on futile public health measures like masks and social distancing. Get ready for more than a few surprises as you follow me on another deep dive into Covid mayhem.

Many public health officials and journalists credited masks, lockdowns, and social distancing for the disappearance of the flu. Critics pointed out that the flu also disappeared in places like Sweden, which did not have lockdowns, mask mandates, or social distancing rules. Critics also pointed to long-standing research demonstrating that virus-bearing aerosols are too small to be stopped by masks and that, even in perfectly still air, these aerosols are so small that they hang in the air for many days before settling to the ground, making social distancing a joke.


Particularly embarrassing for those cheerleading all these heavy-handed measures is that the flu disappeared several months before the first mask mandate was imposed, as demonstrated in the chart below showing influenza cases in Canada. I’ve added dates to the chart to show when mask recommendations and mask mandates were first rolled out — it’s rather obvious that they had nothing whatsoever to do with why the flu disappeared. Clearly, we need to look elsewhere to explain the mystery of the disappearing flu.

On the other side of the debate are some who have suggested that cold and flu infections were simply rebranded as Covid due to flawed PCR testing. However, in many countries flu testing did not stop, yet the number of flu tests coming back positive nonetheless fell off a cliff. Some countries even conducted more flu tests than usual and still found nothing. And cold and flu numbers also collapsed in countries like Japan, which had extremely low Covid infections during the early waves of the pandemic; they had low flu and low Covid numbers, so it was not a matter of shoddy accounting transferring cases from one balance sheet to another. The flu stopped circulating globally (I’ll get to the surprising exceptions later in this article — hint: Kenya).


[..] There is a well-known but poorly understood concept in virology called viral interference (also known as viral displacement). Virus interference was first described in plants in 1929 where the yellow-mosaic tobacco virus did not replicate in plants already infected with the common mosaic virus. This phenomenon is not restricted to plants; it also happens with animal and human viruses. The essence of this concept is that an infection with one virus can temporarily prevent or partially suppress infection with another different virus. And it happens all the time.

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“There are methods to deal with these respiratory viruses without wrecking the life chances of our children.”

We MUST Start Treating Covid Like Flu (Dr Charles Levinson )

Improving our response to flu pandemics has long been a passion of mine, and over the years I’ve treated countless people with severe flu. Sadly, there is little that can be done as antivirals are only helpful in the first few days. For those who are frail, elderly or immuno-compromised (and therefore most likely to succumb to it), it can be a debilitating and painful way to die. Thankfully, we have flu vaccinations and, as with Covid vaccines, those jabs save countless lives. Omicron may be milder, but it’s not mild. My point is that neither is flu – and pre-Covid, our society approached the challenges it threw up each year in a very different way. There are methods to deal with these respiratory viruses without wrecking the life chances of our children.

That sound logic was applied during every winter of my lifetime, with one exception in 2020. I believe we need to regain some of that pragmatism which guided our response through difficult winters before. In those days, society agreed that restrictions on freedom were inappropriate and perhaps ineffective to combat flu. The damage far outweighed any sad deaths that might result from winter waves. Before, if a doctor felt ill and had symptoms they would stay home. If they didn’t, they would go to work. Was that such a bad system? It’s one we will have to return to at some stage if we want to avoid the current isolation chaos every winter. As with the flu, annual Covid boosters should be offered to the elderly and the vulnerable.

That will enable society to continue as normal – restrictions and all of their appalling consequences should become a thing of the past. We have the vaccines, we have the antivirals/treatment options and we have the milder strain. Just as with our annual battle with influenza, no restrictions are required. It is possible to test for the flu – in fact, at Doctorcall, where I work, we are constantly offered lateral flow tests by eager suppliers. During the winter of 2017/18, if we had tested so relentlessly and imposed quarantine on asymptomatic people, what would the damage have been then? Quite horrific, just as it is today. It’s time we learnt to live with this virus and got on with our lives.

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By doctors Harvey Risch, Paul E. Alexander and Jay Bhattacharya.

The Emergency Must Be Ended, Now (ET)

The time has come to terminate the pandemic state of emergency. It’s time to end the controls, the closures, the restrictions, the plexiglass, the stickers, the exhortations, the panic-mongering, the distancing announcements, the ubiquitous commercials, the forced masking, the vaccine mandates. We don’t mean that the virus is gone—Omicron is still spreading wildly, and the virus may circulate forever. But with a normal focus on protecting the vulnerable, we can treat the virus as a medical rather than a social matter and manage it in ordinary ways. A declared emergency needs continuous justification, and that’s now lacking.

Over the last six weeks in the United States, the Delta variant strain—the most recent aggressive version of the infection—has according to the CDC been declining in both the proportion of infections (60 percent on Dec. 18 to 0.5 percent on Jan. 15) and the number of daily infected people (95,000 to 2,100). During the next two weeks, Delta will decline to the point that it essentially disappears like the strains before it. Omicron is mild enough that most people, even many high-risk people, can adequately cope with the infection. Omicron infection is no more severe than seasonal flu, and generally less so. A large portion of the vulnerable population in the developed world is already vaccinated and protected against severe disease.

We have learned much about the utility of inexpensive supplements like Vitamin D to reduce disease risk, and there’s a host of good therapeutics available to prevent hospitalization and death should a vulnerable patient become infected. And for younger people, the risk of severe disease—already low before Omicron—is minuscule. Even in places with strict lockdown measures, there are hundreds of thousands of newly registered Omicron cases daily and countless unregistered positives from home testing. Measures like mandatory masking and distancing have had negligible or at most small effects on transmission. Large-scale population quarantines only delay the inevitable. Vaccination and boosters have not halted Omicron disease spread; heavily vaccinated nations like Israel and Australia have more daily cases per capita than any place on earth at the moment. This wave will run its course despite all of the emergency measures.

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“..they focused on the creation of a vaccine which the evidence shows is making things worse. Much worse.”

My Speech At “Defeat The Mandates” March (Steve Kirsch)

Hi. I’m Steve. I am not a doctor. I’m worse. I’m an engineer with two degrees from MIT. I look at data. I make decisions based on what the data says, not on what people tell me to think. After 3 relatives of a friend of mine died right after being vaccinated, I started looking at the data from the clinical trials, from studies, from the government, and from doctors. What the data said was troubling. Very troubling. First of all, this entire pandemic was completely avoidable. We had an early treatment protocol in March of 2020 developed by George Fareed and Brian Tyson. Nobody dies on their protocol if they get treated early. Zero. And only a few people got hospitalized. Yet today, the NIH is saying nothing about this protocol.

That is ridiculous. If they are going to mandate anything, they should mandate you get this protocol if you get COVID. But they don’t. Instead, doctors can have their licenses revoked if they prescribe early treatment drugs like ivermectin and Fluvoxamine. We don’t need masks, we don’t need vaccines, we don’t need mandates, and we don’t need lockdowns. We never did. What we need to do is to start listening to the doctors who have treated thousands of COVID cases with no deaths. Is that too much to ask? But the NIH refused to listen to these doctors. And instead, they focused on the creation of a vaccine which the evidence shows is making things worse. Much worse. COVID cases are at an all time high.

We are being mandated to take a vaccine for a societal benefit without ever being shown the risk-benefit analysis. There is a reason for that. The benefit is negative. According to over 12 studies, the vaccines are killing at least 15 people for every life that the vaccines were projected to save. And we are permanently disabling even more. For kids, I’ve seen a risk benefit analysis showing we kill over 100 kids to save 1 kid from COVID. NOBODY has the right to MANDATE that I must risk my life to save other people I don’t know. That’s unethical and immoral. I would not voluntarily choose to deprive my kids of their father.

NOBODY has the right to mandate that I take a vaccine which is likely to double my chances of being infected. The data now coming out of the UK and Scotland clearly shows this. In Study after study, the more you vaccinate, the more likely you are to be infected. Precisely the opposite of what we were told. This is why Boris Johnson in UK recently dropped all COVID restrictions. “We will trust the judgment of the English people.” he said. Finally. Why can’t we do that here?

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Oh, go away.

Fauci Predicts ‘A Bit More Pain & Suffering’ For Unvaccinated (RT)

Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he is as “confident as you can be” that Omicron cases in the US will hit their peak in mid-February, though he acknowledged in an ABC interview on Sunday that “you never want to be overconfident when you’re dealing with this virus.” Fauci has been one of the lead advocates for Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters, but he admitted that varying vaccination rates across the country will not significantly affect Omicron infection rates in the US. Some areas, however, may face “a bit more pain and suffering with hospitalizations in those areas of the country that have not been fully vaccinated or have not gotten boosters.”

Fauci claimed his prediction is based on data from other nations like Israel, South Africa, and the UK. “They’ve peaked and [are] starting to come down rather sharply,” the health official said, predicting a turnaround soon across the US. Health officials have stressed that vaccinations can prevent more serious side effects from Omicron. Once cases are below a certain “area of control,” Fauci said, Covid could be “essentially integrated into the general respiratory infections that we have learned to live with.”

Fauci’s constant presence during the Covid pandemic has led to a sharp divide in public opinion, with the controversial health official polling low outside of Democrats, similar to President Joe Biden. Fauci riled up his critics once more on Sunday, again suggesting multiple booster shots on top of people’s original vaccinations. The infectious disease expert said the exact “durability” of a third mRNA booster or a “second shot boost” of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is unknown, but he claims a “third shot boost” will have more durability and “protection against severe disease” thanks to data collected from the first boosters.

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Employee-owned.

John Lewis Will Pay Full Sick Pay Regardless Of Covid Vaccination Status (G.)

John Lewis has told staff they will get full sick pay regardless of their Covid vaccination status, saying that it doesn’t “believe it’s right” to treat jabbed and unjabbed workers differently. The retailer’s high-street rivals including Next, Ikea and Ocado are among the companies that have introduced sickness policies that differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees who have to self-isolate. However in a blogpost on LinkedIn, John Lewis’s group operations director, Andrew Murphy, told its 70,000-strong workforce: “We’re not going to make any change of this type.” He added: “We just don’t believe it’s right to create a link between a partner’s vaccination status and the pay they receive.”

He said the company – which is owned by its employees, called partners, who receive an annual profit share – was “hugely supportive of the UK vaccination programme” and had given staff time off to get their jabs. “We cast no judgment on the decisions of any other organisation; in fact we’ve enjoyed how united businesses – retailers especially – have been in the face of these huge corporate and societal challenges,” Murphy said. “However, when life increasingly seems to present opportunities to create division – and with hopes rising that the pandemic phase of Covid may be coming to an end – we’re confident that this is the right approach for us.”

Current rules in all UK nations now make a clear distinction in self-isolation requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid. In all four nations the unvaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days even if they do not test positive for the virus. This requirement does not apply for people who are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated workers at Next and Ikea are only eligible for statutory sick pay – which is set at £96.35 a week – during their 10 days of isolation, unless there are mitigating circumstances. This compares with weekly pay of more than £400 before tax for an average store worker at Ikea.

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“..people would end up speaking a very different language..”

‘Grandfather’ Is Now A ‘Problematic’ Word (RT)

Language has become the main terrain on which the culture wars sweeping the Western world are played out. Arguably, just about every word and phrase can become an unexpected target of linguistic policing. Who would have imagined that it would no longer be acceptable to use words like “grandfather,” “spirit animal,” “brown bags,” “cakewalk,” “jerry-rigged,” “Sherpa,” “mantra,” “totem pole,” or “housekeeping”? These are just some of the entries on a long list of problematic words and phrases contained in the Inclusive Language Guide published by the University of Washington. Any sensible person reading this guide will be struck by its surreal tone. The reader learns that it is imperative to stop using phrases like “raining cats and dogs.”

The authors of the guide are obsessively driven in their attempt to justify why reasonable and hitherto uncontroversial words must no longer be used. For example, it justifies the need to abolish the word “housekeeping” on the grounds that “in reference to office work, this language can feel gendered.” If indeed the numerous suggestions of the Inclusive Language Guide were to be adopted, people would end up speaking a very different language – one that decries the making of distinctions between smart and ordinary individuals or men and women. That is why it communicates an intense level of hostility towards using the term “first-class.” It notes that this implies “that this particular value is the best quality or in the highest grade, and thus others under this group are second-class or lower-class.”

A drab, mediocre sensibility of refusing to make distinctions elevates inclusiveness into an end-in-itself. The ambition of linguistic imperialism is the principal driver of the guide. Linguistic imperialism, which is the project of imposing a new language and outlook on people – originated in the 1970s. Initially, it was promoted by feminists who argued that language privileged masculinity and created a reality where women would be assigned the role of second-class citizens. The feminist-inspired language reform movement aimed to create what was described as a “gender-fair language.”

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“..the educated classes [..] can be made to believe anything, really.”

The Secret of Propaganda: Teaching Obedience (Ugo Bardi)

Just a few days ago, I was a guest on a TV discussion on the usual subject (practically, the only one being discussed nowadays*). At some moment, the discussion veered on propaganda, and the host** said something like, “but isn’t it strange that Germany fell so easily for the Nazi propaganda despite the fact that it wa the most cultured society in Europe at that time?” And it dawned on me: It was not despite. It was because. Exactly that. Propaganda and education go hand in hand: they are one the consequence of the other. In an instant, my whole career as a teacher flashed in my mind. What are we teaching to our students? Plenty of things, of course, but mostly it is about trusting the authority. Obedience, in one word. I experimented at times with the opposite approach, pushing my chemistry students to criticize their textbooks.


Many of my students are smart fellows, some of them appreciated the idea, and sometimes they found errors that I hadn’t noticed myself. But most of them found the exercise an annoying interlude in their studies. They were not stupid, either. They perfectly understood that learning how to criticize the authority gave them no useful “career points.” They just wanted to go through their classes as fast as they could, hoping that the ordeal would soon be over. The problem is not just with chemistry. In all fields, students and teachers play a game together, as Simon Sheridan well described in a recent post. It is a game that aims at creating “the archetypal orphan,” that is a person completely subjugated to a dominating figure that Sheridan identifies as “the devouring mother.”

You might also say “the dominating father,” but it is a role that university professors assume by default. The technical details of what our students learn are obsolete or soon will be, but one thing of their training will remain for a long time: believing what they are told. Soon, the role of authority will not be their teachers anymore, they will be replaced by opinion leaders, politicians, and other figures. Look at how, in the 1940s, the tobacco industry had a huge success with a campaign aiming at convincing people that smoking Camels was a good idea because most doctors (a typical authoritative figure) smoked Camels. Look at how, nowadays, our governments used the same typical authoritative figures, doctors, to convince us to do things that might turn out to be more harmful for our health than cigarette smoking.


Marty’s Mac: …. it is remarkably easy to convince the educated classes of something. One only has to get the information printed in the right places. The educated can be made to believe that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, or that cigarettes and canola oil are healthy (a typical claim in the midcentury), or that the high numbers of breakthrough COVID cases in countries with 90% vaccination rates are caused by the 10% of unvaccinated people. They can be made to believe anything, really.

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“..Blinken will have no choice but to begin negotiating with the Kremlin while taking its position much more seriously…”

Hope For Unified NATO Response Unravels (ZH)

The United States says it’s putting together a “global strategy” to increase gas production among allies in the scenario of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The State Department, led by Senior Adviser for Energy Security Amos Hochstein, has in the last six to eight weeks been putting together a global strategy exploring contingency options to redirect and increase gas supplies from different parts of the world, a senior US official said,” CNN reports Sunday. This has included talks with firms in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. At the same time, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained during Sunday news talk show appearances that at this point it’s “too early” to impose sanctions on Russia, despite the current atmosphere of building war rhetoric.

He still threatened “massive consequences” for any Russian offensive, yet stressed that US is still leaving the door open for diplomacy. An eventual diplomatic resolution to the crisis is looking more and more likely given the lack of a unified NATO willingness to escalate to the level of armed conflict, particularly given Germany’s breaking with other allies of the last few days, including its refusal to send Kiev German arms. Thus it seems “all options” are not on the table just yet… Blinken told CNN’s State of the Union program that “The purpose of those sanctions is to deter Russian aggression and so if they’re triggered now you lose the deterrent effect.” In a separate CBS interview he was asked about UK government accusations that the Kremlin is plotting a coup in Ukraine, aimed at installing a new pro-Moscow leader.

Despite Russia’s denials slamming the charge as “dangerous” and “disinformation”, Blinken agreed with the narrative being put out by Britain, calling the sensational allegations “part of the Russian playbook”. [..] some leading hawks in the Senate are still calling for movement on applying “very strongest sanctions” possible against Russia, including the type of sweeping export controls currently in place on Iran’s economy. Such US action would undoubtedly result in the complete breakdown of all communications between Moscow and Washington. But again, given that it’s increasingly apparent that NATO is struggling to put together a unified front in response to Russia security demands, it’s looking like Blinken will have no choice but to begin negotiating with the Kremlin while taking its position much more seriously…

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Another thing NATO partners are not doing.

US Diplomats’ Families Ordered To Leave Ukraine (RT)

The families of US diplomats have been ordered to leave Ukraine, while some embassy staffers were authorized to depart on a “voluntary” basis, according to an updated travel advisory that reiterated claims of a “continued threat of Russian military action.” “There are reports Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine,” the State Department said on Sunday, adding that it “authorized the voluntary departure of US direct hire employees (USDH) and ordered the departure of eligible family members (EFM).” American citizens were once again strongly advised not to travel to Ukraine, while those already in the country were told to “consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options.”


The highest “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory for Ukraine, citing Covid and “increased threats from Russia,” has been in place on the Department of State website for more than a month. The US had previously warned its citizens that they should not “anticipate that there will be US government-sponsored evacuations,” should a war take place in Ukraine, suggesting that they use the available commercial flights instead. Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that it’s planning an invasion of Ukraine, which have been made by the US and its allies since November last year, describing the claims as groundless attempts to instill “hysteria.” According to the Kremlin, it’s the West that has been stirring tensions in Ukraine by supplying weapons to Kiev – which is embroiled in a “frozen” conflict with self-proclaimed republics in the southeastern Donbass region – and intensifying the NATO buildup in Eastern Europe.

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Sep 292021
 
 September 29, 2021  Posted by at 8:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Salvador Dali Galatea of the Spheres 1952

 

The Purges Have Begun (Tucker)
Clinical Outcomes of Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Prophylaxis and Treatment (Sage)
A New Covid Variant (B.1.1.523) Capable Of Escaping Immune Protections (Bose)
Guam’s Vaccination Success Story Turns Grim With Covid Surge (G.)
Victoria Australia: 95% of Those Hospitalized are Vaccinated (CTH)
How Close Is A Coronavirus Vaccine? (FT)
Network Of Right-wing Health Care Providers Makes Millions Off HCQ, IVM (IC)
United Airlines To Lay Off 600 Workers Who Refused To Get Vaccinated (Hill)
Liberal COVID Discourse is Devoid of Science (Greenwald)
Pandemic A Unique Opportunity To Test Propaganda On Canadians (NP)
British Gov’t Trying to Bypass Parliament to Implement Vaccine Passports (SN)
You Can’t Be Fat And Fit (DM)
Florida AG Files Lawsuit Against Biden Admin for Not Protecting Border (TC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership

 

 

“My wife is a triple board certified doctor in the Bronx. She worked at the hospital that had the highest Covid death rate in all of NYC. She went down hard w/Covid in April 2020 and missed two months of work. She recovered and went back. For 15 years she served the poor – underprivileged patients on welfare in the Bronx – none of them had private insurance. She resigned on Friday and I could not be more proud of her.”

The Purges Have Begun (Tucker)

The biggest impact will most immediately be felt in the state of New York. The governor – a new person named Kathleen Courtney Hochul to replace the previous bad guy – is all behind the Biden order. In particular, she is imposing this on health-care workers. As many as 70,000 people will lose their jobs as health-care workers even as hospitals are complaining about staffing shortages. She has issued an executive order that contemplates forcing people who are enlisted in the National Guard to be deployed as scabs to replace the people who will be fired from their jobs. It’s hard to imagine how all of this will work. It comes very close to being a form of conscription in the health sector, replacing a voluntary system with a compulsory system. It’s not going to work out well for the patient.

The most shocking aspect of this is that it targets the very workers who put themselves on the line in the early days of the panic. The world cheered in the spring of 2020. New Yorkers stood outside their windows and sang songs as the staffing shifts took place. They banged pans in appreciation. Here were all kinds of nurses, technicians, and doctors who put themselves in harm’s way at a time when people were unsure of the risk profile of the disease itself. And they gained natural immunity through exposure. They know what that means because they are all trained in virology. They know that nothing beats acquired immunity via exposure. Especially with a coronavirus with a changing profile, a vaccine cannot compare. That is precisely what 100% of the studies have shown since that time. And yet here we have governments imposing the shot on people who took the risk, gained the immunities, and now refuse to take another and potentially more deadly risk from the vaccine that operates not like vaccines of old.

A correspondent writes as follows: “My wife is a triple board certified doctor in the Bronx. She worked at the hospital that had the highest Covid death rate in all of NYC. She went down hard w/Covid in April 2020 and missed two months of work. She recovered and went back. For 15 years she served the poor – underprivileged patients on welfare in the Bronx – none of them had private insurance. She resigned on Friday and I could not be more proud of her. She is not bowing to this tyranny. She tested her antibodies several times and they remain high. Please keep up this fight. Many many nurses took the vax against their will because they could not afford to miss a paycheck. These mandates must fail.”

[..] This is no longer about scientific confusion. This is starting to look like an old-fashioned political purge, whether justified by fake science or theology. It is happening at many levels of society. In Massachusetts, dozens of state troopers are resigning. Health care workers in North Carolina are resigning. It’s happening in Nebraska, California, and many other areas of the country, and hospitals and many other industries are worried. Even Navy Seals are being told that they won’t be deployed if they don’t get the jab. It is not lost on the Biden administration – this tactic seems to have been hatched in the summer – that this is harming their political enemies, not exclusively but predominantly. Apparently, no one really cares.

In academia, the problems are heating up. Todd Zywicki of George Mason University School of Law sued over the mandate – he proved that he had natural immunity – and won an individual concession from the school but the policy remained unchanged. He is just one person but there are thousands of others, most of whom are quiet about their plight. They don’t have lawyers. They are considering just giving in. They wonder what the point of resistance really is.

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Good. Simple. Read.

Clinical Outcomes of Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Prophylaxis and Treatment (Sage)

There is a pressing need for formulations and methods for COVID-19 alleviation that can be easily accessed and utilized by the public. That the alleviation should encompass prophylaxis and early-stage treatment is underscored by studies confirming spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic carriers; by widespread upsurges of new confirmed COVID-19 cases amid second-wave concerns; and by identification of ongoing mutations of the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with diverse infectivity rates. We present a 20-week study of our clinical experience with a multi-component over-the-counter (OTC) “core formulation” regimen used in a multiply exposed, high risk population.


The OTC core supplementation formulations used include zinc and zinc ionophores; vitamins C, D3 and E; and l-lysine. Analysis of clinical outcome data from our sample of 113 subjects – comprised of roughly equal sized regimen-compliant (test) and non-compliant (control) groups meeting equivalent inclusion criteria of age and overall health, including prevalence of COVID-19 comorbidities – demonstrates a strong statistical significance in favor of use of the core formulations. The statistical analysis exhibits significance even with an assumption of a sub-15%, even as low as a sub-5%, post-exposure symptom-presentation rate.

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“..many variants have been detected that are more infectious and virulent than the original strain first reported in Wuhan..”

Really?

A New Covid Variant (B.1.1.523) Capable Of Escaping Immune Protections (Bose)

A new study published on bioRxiv* preprint server describes a new variant that possesses a novel combination of various concerning mutations at the spike region. These mutations have been reported to be shared among VoCs. The researchers of this study also revealed that the prevalence of this new variant has already been reported in many countries across the world. Scientists defined the pangolin lineage of this variant to be B.1.1.523 and it was originally recognized as a variant under monitoring on July 14, 2021. According to GISAID, a total of 533 cases of B.1.1.523 have been reported as of August 19, 2021. A number of cases of this variant have been reported in Russia and Germany. The prevalence of this variant has also been reported in the U.S. and Australia.

According to sequence-based surveillance data, the first cases concerning this variant were reported in February 2021. The frequency of this variant increased in May 2021 and its prevalence decreased by June 2021. Scientists have observed that this variant does not infect any specific age group. In the current study. The researchers explain that it has not been easy to identify the origin of this variant by knowing the pangolin lineage and some spike mutations. Using the genomic sequences, they constructed a phylogenetic tree which revealed that all the cases were similar, as they were in the same branch. This result indicated that the origin of this virus was likely in Russia and the first strain was reported in Moscow.

Two of the main reasons why scientists are concerned about this variant are the three amino acid deletions in the NTD antigenic supersite and the presence of the E484K mutation of the spike protein. The E484K mutation is also present in B.1.351 and P.1 variants, both of which are strongly associated with the reduced efficacy of vaccines. Researchers conducted multiple sequence alignment (MSA) with the amino acid sequence of VoC and the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. They found that three VoCs (Alpha, Beta, and Delta) have deletions in one of the regions of the NTD antigenic supersite. The deletion of B.1.1.523 was found to be similar to B.1.617.2 and also comprises the E484K mutation that is present in many VOC. The results of this study are in line with previous studies that reported the effect of spike mutations on the efficacy of monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma treatment.

The authors of this study have reported that the B.1.1.523 variant harbors a new combination of concerning spike mutations that are present in many currently circulating VoCs. Many of these mutations are concerning and are associated with the evasion of immune protection. This is critical, as these developments could challenge the effectiveness of available vaccines. More research is required to determine the transmissibility of this variant, which would assist in the development of preventive strategies to stop the further spread of this strain.

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Not one single word to suggest maybe the vaccines are the culprit. Not one. Blinders all around.

Guam’s Vaccination Success Story Turns Grim With Covid Surge (G.)

Outside Guam Memorial hospital, blue medical tents have sprung up to accomodate an overflow of Covid patients. The sight is bewildering for Guam residents. The island ran an incredibly successful vaccination campaign, with almost 90% of eligible people having received two doses, and even began offering jabs to tourists in an “Air VnV” – vacation and vaccination – scheme. But the tents have been installed to accommodate an overflow of Covid patients at the hospital as the territory grapples with a third wave of the virus, with daily deaths reaching the highest rates since March 2020. “We just have no space – we have Covid patients waiting outside,” Pauline Perez, a nurse at the hospital, said in a government-released video that appeals to the remaining vaccine stragglers to get their shots.

“We use the blue med tents for Covid-19 patients who are stable. They need to be checked up by doctors but they don’t need treatment.” Even before the onset of the pandemic, Guam’s healthcare system was fragile, but the surge in Covid cases triggered by the Delta variant has pushed it to the verge of collapsing. Last week, the government hospital paused its services for all elective surgeries in order to realign its limited resources. Guam has been seeing close to 300 cases some days in the last few weeks, reversing months of steady decline. It has recorded 14,705 cases – nine percent of Guam’s population of 160,000 – and 195 deaths. Covid test results in the past two months have shown an alarming rate of breakthrough cases of people who had been vaccinated, including 554 of the 1,765 positive cases in August.

Overall, breakthrough cases represent 31% of infections – the highest rate in the US, where most states have less than 1%. Breakthrough patients in Guam account for about 40% of hospital admissions. The Covid surge is perplexing for a territory with a vaccination rate close to 90%, ranking sixth in the US. To date, a total of 118,756 people – or 87.13% – of Guam’s eligible population (residents 12 years and older) are fully vaccinated. That includes 10,318 residents aged 12 to 17. The high rate of breakthrough cases has led to fear in the community. “One of my officemates received her results of swab test and she turned out positive,” said Dori Leomo, a resident of Tamuning. “I cried after I heard the news. It’s my first time to feel anxiety. The following day, all of us at work went to get our swab tests. Thank God I tested negative.”

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“The vaccine could be making people suffer more severe outcomes.”

Victoria Australia: 95% of Those Hospitalized are Vaccinated (CTH)

Pay close attention to what Victoria, Australia, Health Minister Martin Foley says at the 2:45 minute mark of his comments. Health Minister Foley announced 867 new COVID cases recorded yesterday. During the statistical outline Foley identifies 375 people as hospitalized, 81 people in intensive care and 61 people on a ventilator. Then comes the statistic everyone in government and media ignore. Amid the recorded cases “78% of the hospital cases are fully vaccinated, and 17% are partially vaccinated (1 dose)”…. That means 95% of the COVID patients in Victoria hospitals are vaccinated. 356 people out of 375 patients are vaccinated, yet 81 people are still in intensive care with 61 on a ventilator.

What good are the vaccinations if 78% of those occupying the hospital are fully vaccinated? Keep in mind, this tracks with what we have been saying about sample populations around the world in general. The percentage of people sick and hospitalized is directly equivalent to the percentage of people vaccinated in the population. If 50% of the population is vaccinated, 50% of the hospitalized patients will be vaccinated. The vaccine makes no difference. Victoria is reflecting this same issue, perhaps worse. 78% of the hospital patients are fully vaccinated, that’s actually a higher percentage than the population vaccinated as a whole. Meaning vaccinated people are arriving at the hospital in greater percentage than they represent in the population. The vaccine could be making people suffer more severe outcomes.

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Don’t think the FT realized how hilarious their headline is. You mean we have no vaccine? Don’t tell the FDA!

At least the article is free. Someone was wondering if there’s a link between vaccine test sites and outbreaks on that map.

How Close Is A Coronavirus Vaccine? (FT)

All the possible inoculations broadly follow the same logic. They deliver a protein into the body that imitates or contains a part of the coronavirus called the spike, and triggers the immune system to produce antibodies and virus-fighting cells to fend off the infection. There are dozens of possible ways to transmit immunising proteins into the body, and researchers around the world are trying different approaches. Three of the Chinese phase 3 candidates use an inactivated virus as their vector. In other words, Sars-Cov-2, which has been killed by heat or chemicals. In theory, it will elicit the correct immune response but without any of the severe health impacts of the live virus.

AstraZeneca, J&J, China’s CanSino and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute all use an adenovirus — a common virus that causes coughs and fever — that acts like a cloaked horseman, carrying the immunising protein into battle. Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are both developing RNA-based vaccines, which use specific parts of the Sars-Cov-2 virus’ genetic code to trigger the immune response. All of the phase 3 vaccine trials are what is called “event-based”, meaning the trial only ends when a certain number of people across the vaccinated group and the control group — which receives a placebo — have contracted the virus and shown symptoms. Moderna, for example, has set the number of these “positive events” at 151. It also means that the more prevalent the disease is in the population at the time of trial, the quicker it is to gather results.

[..] Given the growing chorus of experts warning it is likely the vaccine will confer only temporary immunity, the capacity to “boost” the immune response at a later date with another shot is important. “The assumption at the moment is that we’ll be shooting to get to a year’s immunity,” said Kate Bingham, chair of the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce. Seven of the vaccine candidates in phase 3 are designed to be taken in two doses, to increase the chance they will trigger an effective immune response. Only J&J and CanSino are trialing single dose shots. “Even if you have a vaccine with a second dose, you may need to boost every year,” Ms Bingham said.

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The Intercept does Horse Paste 2.0. They should be sued out of existence. This is vile.

Network Of Right-wing Health Care Providers Makes Millions Off HCQ, IVM (IC)

A network of health care providers pocketed millions of dollars selling hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, and online consultations, according to hacked data provided to The Intercept. The data show that vast sums of money are being extracted from people concerned about or suffering from Covid-19 but resistant to vaccinations or other recommendations of public health authorities. America’s Frontline Doctors, a right-wing group founded last year to promote pro-Trump doctors during the coronavirus pandemic, is working in tandem with a small network of health care companies to sow distrust in the Covid-19 vaccine, dupe tens of thousands of people into seeking ineffective treatments for the disease, and then sell consultations and millions of dollars’ worth of those medications. The data indicate patients spent at least $15 million — and potentially much more — on consultations and medications combined.

The Intercept has obtained hundreds of thousands of records from two companies, CadenceHealth.us and Ravkoo, revealing just how the lucrative operation works. America’s Frontline Doctors, or AFLDS, has been spreading highly politicized misinformation about Covid-19 since the summer of 2020 and refers its many followers to its telemedicine partner SpeakWithAnMD.com, which uses Cadence Health as a platform. People who sign up then pay $90 for a phone consultation with “AFLDS-trained physicians” who prescribe treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to prevent and treat Covid-19. The drugs are delivered by Ravkoo, a service that works with local pharmacies to ship drugs to patients’ doors. Of course, that’s if patients ever get the consultation; many customers told Time they never received the call after paying.

The data from the Cadence Health and Ravkoo sites was provided to The Intercept by an anonymous hacker who said the sites were “hilariously easy” to hack, despite promises of patient privacy. It was corroborated by comparing it to publicly available information. The Intercept is not publishing any individual patient data and has taken steps to secure the data. After The Intercept reached out, Cadence Health’s Roque Espinal-Valdez said he shut the platform down, not wanting any part in profiting off of Covid-19 “quackery.” America’s Frontline Doctors, which debuted in the summer of 2020, has close ties to a network of right-wing efforts to undermine public health during the pandemic, including the Tea Party Patriots. AFLDS’s founder, physician Simone Gold, was arrested and charged after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

She and other doctors have appeared in widely shared videos arguing that the drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin — which are primarily used to treat malaria in humans and parasitic worms in livestock, respectively — are effective treatments for Covid-19, despite warnings from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against using them. The extremely partisan group also misleads people about Covid-19 vaccines, which they refer to as “experimental biological agents,” and against public health measures like vaccine mandates, masking, social distancing, and restrictions on businesses. In a video titled “The Truth About Covid-19 Vaccines,” which has received over 1.3 million views, Gold falsely argues that Covid-19 is not very deadly and that the vaccines are more dangerous than the virus itself. Over 690,000 Americans so far have died from the virus, and unvaccinated people now make up 99 percent of recent Covid-19 deaths.

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“United is the only one of the top four U.S. airlines to fire employees who do not comply with a vaccine requirement.”

United Airlines To Lay Off 600 Workers Who Refused To Get Vaccinated (Hill)

United Airlines will begin the process of laying off roughly 600 employees — less than 1 percent of its workforce — who refused to comply with the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, it announced Tuesday. The Chicago-based airline said that 99 percent of its workforce provided proof of vaccination prior to a Monday deadline. United will move to fire those who did not seek an exemption or provide proof of vaccination, but the carrier will give them one more chance to comply with the mandate during the separation process. “This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart wrote in a memo to employees Tuesday.

The percentage of vaccinated United employees excludes the less than 3 percent of the company’s 67,000 employees who sought a religious or medical exemption. Six United employees filed a lawsuit against the airline last week over its policy to put exempt employees on unpaid leave. United told reporters Tuesday that the company has seen an uptick in applicants after announcing the vaccine requirement from individuals who want to work in a safe environment. “Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United’s U.S.-based employees was simple — to keep our people safe — and the truth is this: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated, and vaccine requirements work,” the United executives wrote to employees Tuesday.

United is the only one of the top four U.S. airlines to fire employees who do not comply with a vaccine requirement. Delta Air Lines will enact a $200 monthly surcharge on unvaccinated employees, while American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are only encouraging employees to get the shot.

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Second eloquent NBA player in a week. The other one below.

Liberal COVID Discourse is Devoid of Science (Greenwald)

The attempt to equate being unvaccinated with stupidity and ignorance suffered a massive blow on Wednesday night when NBA star Jonathan Isaac was asked why he was hesitant to take the vaccine. Like many unions, the NBA’s player union has refused a vaccine mandate, and Isaac, the 23-year-old player with the Orlando Magic who previously had and recovered from COVID, gave a stunningly compelling, informed, well-reasoned and thoughtful exposition on his rationale for not wanting the vaccine. Isaac also defended the right of individuals to make their own choice. One need not agree with his ultimate conclusion on the vaccine to see how groundless (and obnoxious) it is to claim that anyone who chooses not to take the vaccine — like him — is stupid, ignorant and primitive. I really encourage everyone to watch his two-minute master class in demonstrating why such a choice can, depending on one’s circumstances, be perfectly rational:

Is there anyone who can argue with a straight face that Isaac sounds stupid, ignorant or evil? One can cogently dispute the wisdom of his conclusion: while it is true that most people who recover from COVID (as he did) enjoy “natural immunity” in the form of antibodies — indeed, one major study found that “the natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine” — some studies conclude that immunity is stronger still with the vaccine.


Nonetheless, Issac is indisputably right that the risk of dying or becoming seriously ill from COVID is extremely low for someone like him: early 20s, healthy and with natural immunity. In fact, during the entire course of the pandemic, the total number of people aged 15-24 (Isaac’s age group) who have died of COVID — in a country of 330 million people — is 1,372: fewer than the number in that age group who have died of non-COVID pneumonia. Add onto that Isaac’s physical fitness and the fact that he already had COVID once, and it is clear that his risk from contracting the virus is vanishingly small.

Bradley Beal
https://twitter.com/i/status/1442930151352725504

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Forget about winning a war with these guys.

Pandemic A Unique Opportunity To Test Propaganda On Canadians (NP)

Canadian military leaders saw the pandemic as a unique opportunity to test out propaganda techniques on an unsuspecting public, a newly released Canadian Forces report concludes. The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative developed during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, then headed by Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau. But military commanders believed they didn’t need to get approval from higher authorities to develop and proceed with their plan, retired Maj.-Gen. Daniel Gosselin, who was brought in to investigate the scheme, concluded in his report.

The propaganda plan was developed and put in place in April 2020 even though the Canadian Forces had already acknowledged that “information operations and targeting policies and doctrines are aimed at adversaries and have a limited application in a domestic concept.” A copy of the Dec. 2, 2020, Gosselin investigation, as well as other related documents, was obtained by this newspaper using the Access to Information law. The plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, also known as CJOC, relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war. The campaign called for “shaping” and “exploiting” information. CJOC claimed the information operations scheme was needed to head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages about the pandemic.

A separate initiative, not linked to the CJOC plan, but overseen by Canadian Forces intelligence officers, culled information from public social media accounts in Ontario. Data was also compiled on peaceful Black Lives Matter gatherings and BLM leaders. Senior military officers claimed that information was needed to ensure the success of Operation Laser, the Canadian Forces mission to help out in long-term care homes hit by COVID-19 and to aid in the distribution of vaccines in some northern communities. BLM organizers have questioned why military officials gathered information on their initiative, pointing out they followed pandemic rules and did not hold any gatherings outside LTC homes.

Then chief of the defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance shut down the CJOC propaganda initiative after a number of his advisers questioned the legality and ethics behind the plan. Vance then brought in Gosselin to examine how CJOC was able to develop and launch the propaganda operation without approval. Gosselin’s investigation discovered the plan wasn’t simply the idea of “passionate” military propaganda specialists, but support for the use of such information operations was “clearly a mindset that permeated the thinking at many levels of CJOC.” Those in the command saw the pandemic as a “unique opportunity” to test out such techniques on Canadians.

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Replace Parliament with “public consultation” if that gets you better odds.

British Gov’t Trying to Bypass Parliament to Implement Vaccine Passports (SN)

The British government has been accused of trying to bypass Parliament in an effort to implement vaccine passports via the backdoor, with the scheme under review AGAIN despite assurances it wasn’t being considered. As we highlighted earlier this month, just a day after health secretary Sajid Javid asserted that the system had been scrapped, the government announced that vaccine passports would form an ‘integral’ part of its winter response to COVID if cases and hospitalizations rose. Under the government’s ‘Plan B’, vaccine passports will form a “first-line defence” against a winter wave of COVID, despite their widespread use in Israel having proven to have zero impact on minimizing COVID cases.

Aware that it may struggle to get a vaccine passport system through a Parliamentary vote, the government is now launching a ‘public consultation’ in an attempt to enlist support for the scheme. “The plans seemed to have been put on the backburner but on Monday night the Government launched a consultation, asking the public for views on the use of vaccine passports this autumn and winter if Covid-19 cases threaten to overwhelm the NHS,” reports the Telegraph. “The Plan B proposals also open the door to the number of venues being widened beyond nightclubs, music venues, outdoor festivals, concerts and sports events.”

With the government refusing to commit to a vote, many respondents saw the move as the start of an effort to sidestep Parliament. The utter stupidity of the scheme is proven by the fact that it will eliminate the option to provide a negative test to enter any of the venues. In other words, proving that you don’t have the virus won’t be good enough to gain entry, but proving you’ve complied and taken a vaccine with dodgy efficacy that means you could still be carrying the virus anyway will be good enough to gain entry.

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Confusing piece.

You Can’t Be Fat And Fit (DM)

It is not possible to be fat and fit at the same time, French experts have concluded. A study of 3million people found even volunteers who were obese but ‘metabolically healthy’ still had a much higher chance of suffering heart problems. Obese people with normal blood pressure and who were not diabetic were still at a 34 per cent increased risk of heart failure and a similar risk of an irregular heart beat. Lead author Dr Laurent Fauchier, a cardiologist at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Trousseau, said the idea that people can be ‘fat but fit’ was ‘simply untrue’. Last week, an American study found that people simply need to focus on exercise rather than dieting to live longer. The latest French research was presented to the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. It looked at the medical records of around 2.9 million adults, of whom about one in 10 were obese.

All participants had been admitted to French hospitals in 2013 and had not had any major cardiovascular issues in the past, including a heart attack or stroke. They were monitored for five years. Dr Fauchier said: ‘This new and best available evidence tells us that on a population level, the idea that large numbers of people can be obese but metabolically healthy is simply untrue.’ The cardiologist refutes the controversial claim made by Arizona and Virginia researchers last week that people can be fat and fit. American researchers who reviewed existing studies said that when it came to trying to get healthy and cutting the risk of dying early, increasing exercise and improving fitness was more effective than shedding flab. Numerous studies have shown how people around the world have been trying to lose weight over the past 40 years, and yet obesity has continued to rise.

The researchers said that adopting what they called a ‘weight-neutral approach’ did not mean weight loss should be ‘categorically discouraged’. They added: ‘But shifting the focus away from weight loss as the primary goal and instead focusing on increasing physical activity to improve cardio-respiratory fitness may be prudent for treating obesity-related health conditions.’ Their claims appear to contradict a study published this summer by Glasgow University researchers who tracked 381,263 adults over 11 years. They concluded it was not possible to be fat but fit – a misleading phrase that doctors should stop using. Those who were ‘metabolically healthy’ but obese were 22 per cent more likely to die than those of a normal weight. They were also 18 per cent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, 76 per cent more likely to develop heart failure and four times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes.

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“I’m signing an executive order to prohibit state agencies that report to me, from aiding or abetting in any way what the federal government is doing right now. We’re not gonna be a party to this lawlessness.”

Florida AG Files Lawsuit Against Biden Admin for Not Protecting Border (TC)

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Tuesday for not adequately protecting the southern border. The suit alleges that the administration’s catch-and-release policy is a violation of federal immigration law. Moody argues in the suit that the immigration policy hurts Florida because the illegal migrants travel to the state and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. “I don’t care if it is extreme incompetence, if it is radical liberal policy agenda, no one, let me repeat that, no one is above the law,” Moody argued. “We are seeing dramatic effects at our border. It is an unmitigated crisis based on this president’s refusal to follow federal law.”


In addition to filing the lawsuit, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Biden Border Crisis Executive Order” prohibiting state agencies from working with the Biden administration at the border until his policies change. “I’m signing an executive order to prohibit state agencies that report to me, from aiding or abetting in any way what the federal government is doing right now. We’re not gonna be a party to this lawlessness. We haven’t, to my knowledge, but we’re letting the marker down, know this is an absolute red line. We’re not gonna do it,” said DeSantis during a press conference about the lawsuit and the order. Moody also spoke at the press conference, saying that “criminal cartels are having a field day. I can assure you, their profits are skyrocketing.” “Had the government, the federal government, just done its job this would not have happened. They would not have been in that situation,” DeSantis added.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 082021
 
 August 8, 2021  Posted by at 5:51 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Caspar David Friedrich Woman before the Rising Sun 1818

 

 

No, I wasn’t going to talk about the wildfires raging outside my hometown of Athens, Greece, though they are bad enough. The skies are anything but blue, and the sun is deep red. Thousands have been evacuated, and hundreds lost their homes. Just so far. As I said earlier, the Monasteraki kitchen, which the Automatic Earth actively supports, is feeding about 2,500 people daily, including firemen, but I have little additional info. They work almost 24 hours a day in the heat and the smoke to do it, and we’ll talk about organizational and financial details later.

But yeah, it’s a cruel reality that the government doesn’t take care of its own firefighters. Until earlier today, the evacuees from the island of Evia apparently were made to buy a ferry ticket as their homes were burning down. You can’t make it up. A good time to count one’s blessings. The biggest support efforts so far, in manpower and equipment, come from Romania and Poland. Not western Europe. Oh, and: “For the $3 billion #Greece will pay for 18 French jet fighters, 12 of which are used, #Athens could have bought 100+ state-of-the-art fire fighting aircraft”. Too late now. The politicians call “force majeure”.

Evia

The fires I am thinking of are of a more “symbolic” art: the propaganda and censorship that on the one hand keep us from asking the questions that need to be asked, and on the other hand from hearing from those who can help us formulate those questions. It has gone to such an extreme now that most people are not even aware that there are such questions, including many politicians and health “experts”. It is indeed the biggest global propaganda operation ever, and it’s costing, and destroying, scores of lives.

We are stuck between a fake one-dimensional reality of lockdowns, masks and vaccines that are supposed to keep us safe but don’t, and a different reality of masks and lockdowns that don’t stop much of anything but instead cause many problems of their own, and vaccines that have already killed 1000s and hurt millions of people, and that may well lead to much bigger problems, like for instance “the birth of an entirely new world of autoimmune disease” through antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE).

We are not allowed to read about that, or watch a video, or talk about it, even if the people who involved are distinguished health professionals, in the same way that we are not allowed to talk about early treatment of Covid through for instance anti-virals; we are supposed to shut up and get jabbed. But we are not all completely stupid.

We do not believe unquestioningly that Anthony Fauci and his ilk have a monopoly on truth and science, even (or especially) if they are the only ones allowed to talk. Instead, we think that if he were right, there would be no need for all the banning and censoring and deleting of doctors who don’t always agree with him. We cannot afford to stifle dissent, we never could. We need conversation and discussion, and we’re not getting any.

Whether it’s McCullough, Mercola, Robert Malone, Pierre Kory or anyone else, it’s insane to silence them for spreading misinformation. For all we -that means you- know it’s Fauci et al who spread misinformation. How would you know though? His is the only information that is spread at all. He effectively has a monopoly.

The point is not whether you agree with Fauci or the CDC or anyone else, the point is that this doesn’t give you the right to silence those who don’t agree. You don’t have that right if only because it keeps us from finding out what is real or not, and eventually from saving people’s lives. Which is what everyone’s main concern should be, but apparently is not, or there would be no silencing. Part of me might want Fauci silenced, but no, let him speak; just not when pretending he embodies “the Science”.

We don’t just have the right to know, we need to know. Because our lives and health and freedoms and human rights are at stake. Censoring info that doesn’t agree with you should result in an immediate dismissal. But who even knows that alternative views exist anymore? The propaganda and censorship campaign has been highly successful. So much so that many people now turn against the unvaccinated and blame them for new cases and deaths.

However, most people think that what they read and view is the truth, that the media have checked this for them and this is what came out. But the media hasn’t checked a thing, other perhaps than why some people still are not vaccinated, and even then they will not tell you the reasons, they will only try to shame these people into complying with the Big Model.

As for the vaccines, I only need to repeat these lines:

“The document – a slide presentation – outlines unpublished data that shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people..”

“The Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated, an internal C.D.C. report said.”

And yet, the military patrols the streets in Australia, thereby ending either the democracy or the government, France tomorrow introduces a whole new set of measures to get people to comply with vaccination with a substance that even the CDC says doesn’t work. What’s the point of a vaccine passport if those who carry one can infect you just as easily as those who don’t?

A lot of people by now have lost their marbles, and we need to hope that those who haven’t, can make themselves heard. Or the immediate future looks awfully bleak.

 

 

 

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Aug 082021
 
 August 8, 2021  Posted by at 9:43 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  91 Responses »


Ivan Aivazovsky The Galata tower by moonlight 1845

 

Long-Lasting Covid-19 Symptoms Rare In Children (BBC)
Let’s Talk Delta (Denninger)
Covid is a Global Propaganda Operation (APT)
Durable And Broad Immune Memory After SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Cell)
SF Hospital To Give Supplement mRNA Vaccine To People Who Got J&J (ABC)
Cholesterol Drug Cuts Coronavirus Infection By 70% (Fox)
The Unvaccinated: The New COVID Scapegoats (TF)
Vaccines Are Leaky And Have Poor Durability (Bannon)
COVID-19 Vaccine To Be Offered To 16 And 17 Year-olds (HART)
Joe Rogan Blames Jabs For Virus Mutations & Blasts Mandatory Vaccination (RT)
The Very Fine People of a Civilized Society (Kunstler)
‘Apocalyptic’ Scenes Hit Greece As Athens Besieged By Fire (G.)

 

 

“Israel, where ~90% of the adult population is fully vaccinated, reports 3,849 new #COVID19 cases, severe cases spike to 324 (of which 209 are fully vaccinated)” – Ministry of Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are entire “long covid in kids” campaigns out there.

Long-Lasting Covid-19 Symptoms Rare In Children (BBC)

Children who become ill with coronavirus rarely experience long-term symptoms, with most recovering in less than a week, research suggests. King’s College London scientists say that while a small group may experience prolonged illness, they were “reassured” that number was low. Headaches and tiredness were the most common symptoms seen. A Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health expert said the data reflected what doctors saw in clinics. Many who are infected do not develop symptoms and those that do, tend to have a mild illness. This peer-reviewed study, published in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal, wanted to understand how Covid affected children and how it compared to other respiratory diseases. It used data provided by parents or carers to the UK Zoe Covid Study app.

The study looked at 1,734 children, aged between five and 17, who were reported to have developed symptoms and tested positive for Covid between September 2020 and February 2021. The researchers say it’s very difficult to know how many children were infected during this time period as the four UK nations record data differently, but they estimate more than 400,000 children and young people tested positive. Fewer than one in 20 (4%) were found to have experienced symptoms for four weeks or more, with one in 50 (2%) having symptoms for more than eight weeks. The most common symptoms reported were headaches and tiredness. Others included a sore throat and loss of smell. On average, older children were typically ill for slightly longer than primary school children, with those aged between 12 and 17 taking a week to recover while for younger children the illness lasted five days.

It’s the scientists hope that these findings will reassure families, while also validating those who have experienced prolonged illness. ‘The team also looked at an equal number of children who had symptoms but tested negative for Covid. Only a few children – 15 out of 1,734 – had symptoms for at least 28 days, fewer than one in 100. Emma Duncan, professor of clinical endocrinology at King’s College London who worked on the research, said the “takeaway message” was: “Can children have prolonged illness after Covid-19? Yes they can, but it’s not common and most of these children get better with time. “Children can also have prolonged symptoms from other illnesses as well. We need to be looking after all children who have protracted illnesses, irrespective of whether that illness is Covid-19 or anything else.”

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The obvious questions that are forbidden.

Let’s Talk Delta (Denninger)

I’ll try to make it simple. Before the first jab went into the first arm and could do anything Covid-19 had peaked in the United States in most areas. Remember that the rule is “two weeks from first shot to second, then two weeks to have protection.” The CDC, Trump and then Biden all took credit for something that the vaccines did not do. What did it? Covid originally had an R0 of about 3. That means you need 1 – (1/3) or about 66% of the people to be immune by either infection of vaccination before the case rate would fall. The CDC claimed we had about 33 million infections and somewhere between 4 and 11 not diagnosed for each one that was. Well, it wasn’t 11 because that’s more people than exist in the US.


But if it’s six, more or less up the middle, then we were for all intents and purposes at herd immunity. Rah-rah-rah-rah vaccines are the reason we’re saved. Nice try; the evidence is that the vaccines don’t work well at all. They might work to some degree to prevent infection and transmission but not very well. In fact on the evidence coming out of Israel it appears that they’re about 20% effective which is damn close to worthless. What proved this? Delta. Again, if you believe the CDC, then Delta has an R0 of somewhere between 5-9. Let’s take the middle; 7. 1 – 1/7 = 85% must be immune. Again, it doesn’t matter how their immune, just that they are. The CDC claims in a new MMWR that the shots are “very” effective as a booster if you previously had Covid. I disagree, looking at their alleged “study.”


check the Delta fatality rate

But frankly, I don’t care what their MMWR says because the data says its wrong. See, 70% of Americans have had at least one shot and half are fully vaccinated, that is, allegedly protected. Now let’s look at the data again. The CDC stupidly did not segregate and hive off those who were previously infected; we’ll thus, given their advocacy, assume that the previously-infected, which are about 60% of the population, are equally divided into those who got the stabs. Well, if that’s true then 60 + 25 = 85% — which is herd immunity for Delta with an R0 of 7! Clearly, however, it isn’t given the infection rate. There is only one logical conclusion: The jabs do not work to stop either infection or transmission. If you can’t stop infection and transmission you also can’t stop people from getting sick.

So when does this end? When enough people get naturally infected that we have actual herd immunity. Which is what I said back in March of 2020. What does this mean for you? Well, it makes for a problem right now, because we know that during the four weeks between the first jab and immunity building you’re more likely to get infected. We’ve seen this repeatedly all over the world. Into the maw of a spike getting vaccinated is dangerous because it temporarily suppresses immune response. It probably doesn’t increase the risk of bad outcomes but it definitely increases the risk of infection itself. The very difficult question for people now is whether that risk is worth the nebulous claims of “preventing severe disease and death.” UK’s data, along with Israel’s, strongly suggests that might be a bad bet. The majority of their admissions into the hospitals are now vaccinated. So much for “prevents severe disease” eh?

[..] BTW the data out of the UK continues to show Delta is less dangerous. A lot less-dangerous. It’s about one fifth as likely to kill you overall, and about half as likely if you’re over 50. It is also less-likely to send you to the hospital. This is the expected progression of a respiratory pandemic virus. While it appears on that data the vaccines confer some personal protection it is by no means perfect and nowhere near the 95%+ claimed, especially in people over 50. Further there is no evidence Delta is more-transmissible; its secondary attack rate in household and non-household settings is nearly identical to Alpha. This STRONGLY implies the CDC is lying about Delta’s R0 and the real problem driving the spike is that the jabs not only do not work against Delta they destroy the victim’s immune response in some percentage of those previously infected.

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We badly need such perspectives.

Covid is a Global Propaganda Operation (APT)

Dr Piers Robinson is an expert on communication, media and world politics, focusing on conflict and war and especially the role of propaganda He is presently Co-Director of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies, Convenor of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media and Associated Researcher with the Working Group on Propaganda and the 9/11 ‘War on Terror’ From 2016 – 2019, he was Professor and Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Dr Robinson has served on the boards of several academic journals. He has lectured at the NATO Defense College in Rome and briefed senior UK military commanders and diplomats.


His Research interests focus on Organised Persuasive Communication and Contemporary Propaganda and his current projects include Propaganda and the Syrian conflict; Propaganda and the 9/11 Global War on Terror and Covid19. Dr Robinson’s books include the Routledge Handbook of Media, Conflict and Security (2016), Pockets of Resistance: British news media, war and theory in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, (2010) and The CNN Effect: the myth of news, foreign policy and intervention.(2002).

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No-one with a positive antibody test should be vaccinated. Where are those tests?

Durable And Broad Immune Memory After SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Cell)

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


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

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New definition of booster.

SF Hospital To Give Supplement mRNA Vaccine To People Who Got J&J (ABC)

Even though the CDC is not recommending a booster shot at this time, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and San Francisco’s Department of Public Health have decided to allow an extra coronavirus vaccine for people who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The new dosing allowance seems to be unique to San Francisco. The hospital’s chief of staff does not know of any similar guidance elsewhere at this time. ZSFG says people who got J&J will be able to get a second shot of either Pfizer and Moderna by the end of the week at their vaccine clinic. But “booster” is not the word health officials are using to describe it – instead San Francisco’s Department of Public Health is calling it a “supplemental dose.”


“It’s not a booster because it’s not specific for some of the variants, which the booster ultimately will be,” said Dr. Chris Colwell, chief of emergency medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General. On Monday, Dr. Colwell voted to allow the hospital’s vaccine clinic to give a supplemental mRNA vaccine to somebody who had the J&J shot. “Potential benefit, no downside. To me, as we look at the future of this virus and now we’re facing a fourth surge, it does make sense,” he explained.

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Another study that will be suppressed.

Cholesterol Drug Cuts Coronavirus Infection By 70% (Fox)

A drug meant to treat cholesterol was found to reduce coronavirus infection by 70% in lab studies, with researchers calling for additional clinical trials among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. A team of researchers from the U.K. and Italy published findings in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal Friday, finding that fenofibrate and fenofibric acid resulted in a significant reduction in coronavirus infection in human cells when the drug was used in safe and approved concentrations, according to a news release posted Friday. “Our data indicates that fenofibrate may have the potential to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and also virus spread,” Dr. Elisa Vicenzi of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan and co-author, said in the release.

“Given that fenofibrate is an oral drug which is very cheap and available worldwide, together with its extensive history of clinical use and its good safety profile, our data has global implications.” The team called for added clinical trials to explore use of the drug as a potential COVID-19 therapy, while noting studies are ongoing at the University of Pennsylvania and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr. Farhat Khanim of the University of Birmingham and corresponding study author, cited viral variants spurring rising infection rates and deaths in countries around the world. “Whilst vaccine programmes will hopefully reduce infection rates and virus spread in the longer term, there is still an urgent need to expand our arsenal of drugs to treat SARS-CoV-2-positive patients,” Khanim wrote.

[..] The drug was suggested to work by inhibiting the harmful overproduction of cytokines tied to coronavirus infection, and also treat airway inflammation. Additional properties could prevent blood clotting seen in late-stage disease in many COVID-19 patients, study authors noted.

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Pay attention to the René Girard quote.

The Unvaccinated: The New COVID Scapegoats (TF)

The press revels in condemning conservatives for not getting the vaccine. Self-loathing conservatives like David French say Evangelical vaccine hesitancy is a “spiritual problem.” Conservative governors – those with low COVID death rates in their states – are attacked for not doing enough to encourage vaccination. Paul Krugman takes these arguments to the next level, arguing that conservatives seeking personal autonomy are really trying to preserve their while male Christian “privilege” while making minorities pay the price. The government – including officials like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins – must be happy with the blame-shifting. Just imagine their delight, after having potentially contributed to the creation of COVID-19, that the unvaccinated are now the accused.

Never one to miss a media appearance, Dr. Fauci is out there saying the unvaccinated are “propagating” the latest outbreak, that we need to “do something to get them to be vaccinated.” This duty that Dr. Fauci advances is the purported obligation to do something to protect others. (One has to ask whether millions of lives would have been saved had they followed this same duty with taxpayer dollars at Wuhan.) We believe this is just the start. If persuasion has reached its limit (and there is evidence it has), then please, trust them at their word when they advocate restricting your rights and inflicting punishment if you remain unvaccinated. And in considering the institutions of power setting their sights on the unvaccinated – those whose purported crime is of inaction – I leave you with the words of René Girard:

“The crowd tends toward persecution since the natural causes of what troubles it and transforms it into a turba cannot interest it. The crowd by definition seeks action but cannot affect natural causes. It therefore looks for an accessible cause that will appease its appetite for violence. Those who make up the crowd are always potential persecutors, for they dream of purging the community of the impure elements that corrupt it, the traitors who undermine it.”

Read more …

The vaccines are leaky and they make the blood vessels leaky. Wonderful.

Vaccines Are Leaky And Have Poor Durability (Bannon)

COVID is a disease of hyperinflammation and hypercoagulation. Now finally Dr. Malone is trying to drive that home after 18 months. We can treat this early. Many doctors were saying this in March 2020.

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Criminal.

COVID-19 Vaccine To Be Offered To 16 And 17 Year-olds (HART)

On Tuesday, there was a quiet mention from the BBC and several newspapers that the government was likely to announce routine vaccination of 16 and 17 year-olds following updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). This announcement duly came on Wednesday. An urgent letter is being prepared to the JCVI to ask what new information they have to inform this decision. On 19 of July, they highlighted the very low risk to children from COVID-19 and the emergence of rare but serious side-effects. They stated: “Any decision on deployment of vaccines must be made on the basis that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks to those people who are vaccinated.” They concluded: “JCVI is of the view that the health benefits of universal vaccination in children and young people below the age of 18 years do not outweigh the potential risks”.

Only two things appear to have changed in the two weeks since that announcement. First, there has been a dramatic fall in cases demonstrating how wrong the government advisors have been. Secondly, the membership of the JCVI has changed and Professor Robert Dingwall — who has raised concerns around the ethics of vaccinating children — is no longer a member. It has been revealed that other members of the JCVI Covid-19 sub-committee have also been ‘let go’. In attempting to defend the shift away from this position, JCVI Chair Professor Wei Shen Lim was entirely unconvincing in his reasoning for this change of heart. We note that he has a substantial conflict of interest: he has direct responsibility for material levels of funding received by his department from Pfizer.

The JCVI’s current position is that the second dose is too dangerous for children but the first dose is safe enough. The evidence upon which they base the latter hypothesis is based only on data of short-term effects collected by the voluntary reporting systems such as VAERS, which is acknowledged to underestimate by a wide margin. It begs the question, why would it be necessary to vaccinate children with a single dose when the government has already argued via the national campaign that the first dose is not sufficient to be effective and that everyone must get their second dose? Public Health England estimates that a single dose of vaccine is only 35% effective against the Delta variant.

We were told in the press conference that the rollout would come in the next week or two but now there are targeted sessions at nightclub venues, so no chance for adolescents to take time to consider their ‘choice’ and a very clear message that you will need ‘the jab’ to get your life back. The plea to ‘do the right thing’ and protect your friends and family seems rather hollow with new data from PHE suggesting the Delta variant is as easily transmitted by vaccinated as unvaccinated, with vaccine effectiveness down to 17% and no reduction in infectiousness. Meanwhile news of the planned rollout to 12-15s has appeared even though approval is yet to be given.

Neil Oliver

Read more …

“the very sort of environment that we’re creating by having so many people vaccinated with a vaccine that doesn’t kill off the virus, it actually can lead to a more potent virus. Try finding that story anywhere.”

Joe Rogan Blames Jabs For Virus Mutations & Blasts Mandatory Vaccination (RT)

Angry Twitter users called for Joe Rogan to be canceled and Spotify held accountable for giving him a platform after he claimed vaccines may cause virus mutations and labeled mandatory jabs a step towards ‘dictatorship.’ Rogan’s controversial statements have caused online frenzy on multiple occasions since he moved his super-popular podcast from YouTube to Spotify in a $100 million-plus exclusive deal last year to avoid censorship. The show instantly became one of the most viewed on the platform, with Spotify saying it was performing “above expectations.” Back in April, the stand-up comedian and UFC commentator was trending on social media after suggesting young and healthy people didn’t need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, and warning that giving into cancel culture could eventually lead to a situation in which “straight white men aren’t allowed to talk.”

He addressed the issue of vaccination once again in the latest episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, saying that, by trying to inoculate as many people as possible, the US government might actually be making the virus stronger and more dangerous. He based his claim on the findings of a peer-reviewed scientific paper published in the PLOS Biology magazine in 2015. Its authors said “anti-disease vaccines that do not prevent transmission can create conditions that promote the emergence of pathogen strains that cause more severe disease in unvaccinated hosts.” Speaking about the so-called ‘breakthrough cases’ of inoculated people becoming infected with Covid-19, Rogan suggested that “the very sort of environment that we’re creating by having so many people vaccinated with a vaccine that doesn’t kill off the virus, it actually can lead to a more potent virus. Try finding that story anywhere.”

However, the US authorities insist that vaccination is the best way to stop the coronavirus pandemic, with President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, reiterating last week that those, who avoid getting the jab “are the ones that are propagating this outbreak.” According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, more than 70% of adult Americans have so far received at least one shot of the vaccine. Rogan previously acknowledged he was “not a doctor” and his audience shouldn’t look to him as a reliable source of scientific information. He also claimed he was “not an anti-vaxx person.” During the latest episode, the 53-year-old also said those pushing for mandatory vaccination to be introduced in the US, “are dumb. They don’t understand human history.”

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US politics? Boring.

The Very Fine People of a Civilized Society (Kunstler)

Now, the very fine president “Joe Biden” has appointed a very fine fellow named Merrick Garland to be Attorney General of the civilized society called the USA. Mr. Garland is chief enforcement officer of federal law. He attended the very fine Harvard Law School, but he apparently missed the seminar course in constitutional law titled Advanced Issues in Administrative Law and Theory. Mr. Garland has been sending letters to officers of the Arizona state government threatening to punish and even imprison anyone in that state who moves further to investigate the balloting results and the conduct of the 2020 election in that jurisdiction. Mr. Garland, having missed that crucial course (above), is apparently unaware that the US constitution assigns authority over elections to each state — with the reserve clause that the US Congress can legislate changes to that order of things, which they haven’t done.

Therefore, Mr. Garland is out-of-order. Will he actually move to interfere with an effort currently underway in the state of Arizona to conduct a full forensic investigation of the 2020 vote? Elected officials of that state have counter-threatened to throw Mr. Garland’s very fine ass in an Arizona jail if he attempts to interfere. Meanwhile the forensic investigators of said election hired by the Arizona State Senate have completed phase one of their task, close examination of the paper ballots, and are moving on to phases two and three: canvassing street addresses from which mail-in ballots originated, and full examination of the Dominion vote-tallying machines.

There is reason to suppose that the investigation will reach conclusions that might distress the very fine people of the Progressive Left who maintain that the 2020 election was the “most secure in history” — that is, without any significant errors. If that were so, why would they hesitate to examine the evidence? Might it raise questions that would be difficult to answer, for instance: what to do if very large errors happen to be discovered? Is it an affront to their very fine-ness? Is the US government not fit to manage such a result? Or are the people of this land not resourceful or fair-minded enough to work through such a development? It will be interesting to find out.

Read more …

Not enough firemen, not enough equipment. All been budgetted away by the EU. But still an overdose of policemen and policecars.

The Monastiraki kitchen has been feeding 1000s every day this week, including firemen whom the government doesn’t take care of.

‘Apocalyptic’ Scenes Hit Greece As Athens Besieged By Fire (G.)

Little had prepared any of us on the Athens-bound flight for the sight of the great fire-induced clouds that swept either side of the plane as it made its descent on Friday. News of the extreme heat engulfing Greece had spread beyond its borders all week, packaged in increasingly desperate language. Temperatures were breaking records few had ever imagined. If Monday was bad, then Tuesday was worse. In some parts of the country, the mercury had hit 47C (117F), with thermal cameras on drones recording the ground temperature in downtown Athens at 55C. By Wednesday, we were hearing that entire tracts of suburban forest on the Greek capital’s northern fringes had gone up in flames. Infernos seemingly redolent of Dante’s hell had incinerated everything in their path; friends had lost homes; thousands had been evacuated with residents and tourists fleeing blighted zones by any means possible.

Terraces, an Athenian’s respite against the blazing heat, had been transformed into ash-laden no-go zones. “It’s been crazy over here. Between the extreme heat and the wildfires, it feels apocalyptic,” Eleni Myrivili, a friend recently appointed to the role of Athens’ first chief heat officer, wrote in an email on Thursday as the army was deployed to assist firefighters. “Ash is raining down on us here in Athens.” From the sky, it was frighteningly clear that the city was under siege, caught in a cycle of insufferable heat fuelling conflagrations on terrain so parched it was ready to ignite at any moment.

Fires, some big, some small, some extinguished and then rekindled, were raging nationwide, the country’s civil protection chief, Nikos Hardalias, told reporters. Conditions were not only “extremely dangerous” but unprecedented, he said, estimating that firefighters trying to protect populated areas, electricity installations and historic sites had battled 154 wildfires over the space of the week. More than 60 conflagrations were still raging on Saturday.


Beach on Evia island

Read more …

 

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Oct 142020
 
 October 14, 2020  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Giotto Legend of St Francis, Renunciation of Wordly Goods c.1297-1299

 

Google Researcher Warns Google May Be ‘Shifting Power’ to Flip Senate (NB)
Russia Health Watchdog: Shutting Down Economy For COVID19 is Pointless (RT)
UK Hospitality Firms Threaten Legal Action Over Lockdown (BBC)
Dutch PM Closes Pubs, Restaurants, Cafes As Coronavirus Cases Rise (RT)
Northern Ireland To Impose ‘Circuit Breaker’ Lockdown For 4 Weeks (Sky)
Johnson, Grassley Press FBI For All McCabe Texts (Fox)
FBI Used Media Reports Seeded By Steele To ‘Corroborate’ Anti-Trump Dossier (RT)
Consortium News Sues Canadian TV Network for Defamation (CN)
The Barbarians Are Threatening Us! (Crooke)
Fifth of Countries At Risk Of Ecosystem Collapse – Swiss Re (G.)

 

 

Lockdowns are all the fad again. They shouldn’t be, and this won’t end well. Give people N95 masks and vitamin D instead and let them live.

 

 

Let’s say: Interesting. It’s like a silent form of propaganda.

Google Researcher Warns Google May Be ‘Shifting Power’ to Flip Senate (NB)

The social media researcher who warned about Google’s power to shift the election said that the company may be focusing on a new solution: the United States Senate. Dr. Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, told the Media Research Center that Google is “now focusing most of their vote shifting power on the Senate races, where big-margin outcomes will be hard to contest.” Thirty-five seats in the Senate are up for election on Nov. 3, 2020. Out of those races, 23 seats currently belong to Republicans. Epstein theorized that Google had the power to “mobilize the base supporters of Democratic candidates to register to vote and then to vote; they can discourage some Republican voters from registering to vote or voting.”


He wrote that the company had “at least 9 million undecided voters they can still play with.” A Google search not affiliated with an account shows the search bar auto-completes certain terms with “senate.” When a user types in “flip the,” “senate” shows up three times.

More references to flipping auto-populate with “senate.”

Searches that involve the term “democrat” also auto-complete with “flip the senate.” In addition, when it comes to a search with the term “Mitch,” the first name of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Google auto-completes with “vote mitch mcconnell out.”

The official Google blog stated, “How do we determine these predictions? We look at the real searches that happen on Google and show common and trending ones relevant to the characters that are entered and also related to your location and previous searches.” However, a look at Google Trends shows that interest in the term “flip the senate” has been in steady decline since September 26. A report in Psychology Today noted that “Trump has generated by far the most search interest both nationally, and in each and every state.” However, Epstein countered Psychology Today’s statement by saying, “Google controls people’s perceptions about what kind of search activity is occurring. They have complete control over the numbers they display.


And while it should surprise no one that Trump generates a lot of online activity, we’re only aware of those big numbers (if they’re even real) because Google wants us to be aware of them.” Eight Republican-held Senate seats, according to USA Today, have the potential to flip. Google has the power, said Epstein, to be “personalizing the content of newsfeeds, search suggestions, search results, answer boxes, and other ephemeral content.” These actions could direct specific kinds of people to register to vote, to goad unwilling voters into voting, and convince specific kinds of people not to vote.

Read more …

“Despite the fact that we see a growth in cases, today, in Russia, we are not talking about blocking the economy,” Popova said. “We do not see any point in it.”

Russia Health Watchdog: Shutting Down Economy For COVID19 is Pointless (RT)

The top official at Russia’s state health watchdog believes that there is no point in suspending the economy to fight coronavirus. Anna Popova’s comments came after the Kremlin said a second lockdown isn’t even being considered. Speaking at a coronavirus event at well-known university RANEPA, on Tuesday, Rospotrebnadzor boss Anna Popova explained that Russia has quite a low rate of Covid-19 per capita, and therefore there is no sense in taking drastic measures. Currently, there are few restrictions in the world’s largest country with bars, restaurants, and shops open as usual. “Despite the fact that we see a growth in cases, today, in Russia, we are not talking about blocking the economy,” Popova said. “We do not see any point in it.”

In addition, she noted that Covid-19 testing has not dropped off at any point, even during the summer. Statistics from the country’s official coronavirus center show that Russia has carried out over 51 million tests, fourth globally, behind the three most populated countries, China, the US, and India. According to Popova, over the last week, the average daily rate for new coronavirus cases is eight per 100,000 people. This is much better than in other countries such as Israel (54), France (28), and the Netherlands (27), which are all more than three times worse.

Earlier this year, in the spring, the country saw some of the world’s strictest measures, with Moscow residents being restricted from leaving their apartments for anything other than food, medical help, or walking a dog. The restrictions were partially lifted on June 16, with cafes and restaurants being allowed to open terraces. With many business owners still battling the consequences of Russia’s lockdown, another closure of the economy could be a hammer blow. Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed the need for Russians to wear masks and comply with all measures, warning that numbers will rise if citizens refuse to follow the rules. Previously, Peskov had denied that a second lockdown was even being considered.

Read more …

Kill the pubs!

UK Hospitality Firms Threaten Legal Action Over Lockdown (BBC)

The UK hospitality industry has said it will take legal action to stop new local lockdown rules that could force pub, clubs and other venues to close. Trade body the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said there was no evidence that hospitality venues contributed to the spread of Covid-19. It comes as the government prepares to unveil new restrictions for England. NTIA boss Michael Kill said the hospitality industry had been left with “no other option”. “These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period,” he said.


“This next round of restrictions are hugely disproportionate and unjust, with no scientific rationale or correlation to Public Health England transmission rates, when compared to other key environments.” The Liverpool City Region is expected to face the tightest restrictions under a new “three tier” system, which will classify regions as being at a “medium,” “high” or “very high” level of alert. In the most infectious areas, pubs, bars and other hospitality and leisure businesses are likely to be forced to close, as has happened in parts of Scotland. The chancellor has promised to pay two-thirds of workers’ wages if employers have to shut. But some fear this will not be enough and there could still be an impact on jobs, said Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of business lobby group the CBI.

Read more …

Mandatory non-medical masks. Which make no difference. How do these people hang on to their jobs despite their glaring failures? Well, by blaming everybody but themselves.

Dutch PM Closes Pubs, Restaurants, Cafes As Coronavirus Cases Rise (RT)

Bars, restaurants and cafes in the Netherlands will close their doors as the Dutch government tries to control the spread of Covid-19. Unlike many of its European neighbors, the Netherlands has thus far avoided harsh lockdowns. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the “partial lockdown” on Tuesday evening, after health officials in the Netherlands reported a record 7,393 new cases of Covid-19 that day. A total of 43,903 new infections were recorded in the preceding week, along with 150 deaths. The new measures, which come into effect on Wednesday, will see all bars, restaurants and cafes close, and the sale of alcohol banned after 8pm. In addition, the wearing of face masks will be mandatory in all indoor spaces.


Rutte’s government has held off on some of the harsher lockdown measures imposed in other European countries since the pandemic began. Masks were only mandatory on public transport, and bars and hospitality venues operated as usual – albeit with some social distancing measures, and contact tracing forms given to customers. These rules tightened somewhat late last month, with restaurants and bars in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague ordered to close by 10pm, and workers in these cities advised to do their jobs remotely if possible. “It hurts, but it’s the only way,” Rutte said of the new restrictions on Tuesday. “We have to be stricter.” The Netherlands has so far recorded nearly 190,000 cases of Covid-19, and more than 6,600 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Read more …

Partial lockdown, circuit breaker lockdown, fancy terms.

Northern Ireland To Impose ‘Circuit Breaker’ Lockdown For 4 Weeks (Sky)

Northern Ireland is set to become the first part of the UK to impose a “circuit breaker” lockdown. Tighter restrictions will be in place for four weeks – with schools closing for two of them, Sky News understands. According to the PA news agency, the new measures will mean pubs and restaurants have to close, with the exception of takeaways. PA said closures of hospitality outlets would begin on Friday 16 October, and other measures from Monday 19 October. Current restrictions on household mixing were expected to remain unchanged. Retail outlets are expected to remain open, as well as churches and gyms for individual training.


First Minister Arlene Foster will address the Stormont Assembly later today, following a meeting of the Stormont executive that extended into the early hours of this morning. After the executive meeting concluded, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill tweeted to say “painstaking consideration” had been given to the “next steps”. She wrote: “We know this is hard and that people will be worried about their livelihoods, but we will do everything we possibly can to make sure there are protections in place for businesses, workers and families.”

Read more …

Trump should have ordered declassification outright.

Johnson, Grassley Press FBI For All McCabe Texts (Fox)

Top Senate Republicans investigating the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe are pressing the bureau to produce all text messages belonging to former deputy director Andrew McCabe, calling the delay “unacceptable.” In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, demanded that the FBI turn over the documents, noting that their production would be responsive to a subpoena issued by Johnson’s committee in August.

“As you know, on August 6, 2020, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee subpoenaed the FBI for all records related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, which requires that records actually be produced to the Committee, not merely made available for review in a reading room,” they wrote. “We have waited nearly 70 days to receive these text messages, and when records were actually produced, we received only 8 percent of what we know exists.” They added: “It is simply unacceptable that we have waited so long to receive so little.” Johnson and Grassley said the text messages belonging to McCabe that the FBI did produce “include notable information that is highly relevant to several aspects of the Committees’ oversight efforts.”

One aspect the committee is investigating involves records made public last week by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, who declassified documents that revealed former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s purported “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public form her use of a private email server” ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The documents, which were first reported and exclusively obtained by Fox News, included Brennan’s handwritten notes — which were taken after he briefed Obama on the intelligence the CIA received — and a CIA memo, which revealed that officials referred the matter to former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok for potential investigative action.

“We have made a public commitment to determine and reveal the full extent of official investigative and intelligence action taken by federal officials against the Trump campaign, its presidential transition, and into the administration,” the senators wrote, adding that the information that has already been made public “reveals what might be the most outrageous abuse of power in U.S. history against a presidential candidate and sitting president.”

Read more …

Someone investigate the media’s role.

FBI Used Media Reports Seeded By Steele To ‘Corroborate’ Anti-Trump Dossier (RT)

The FBI sought to ‘verify’ information in the notorious dossier at the heart of Russiagate by using media articles seeded by the actual dossier author, British spy Christopher Steele, the newly released evidence has shown. The so-called Steele Dossier is the centerpiece of ‘Russiagate,’ the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump “colluded” with Moscow in the 2016 US presidential election. The dossier’s most bombastic claim was that Russia had “kompromat” on him in the form of sex tapes from a Moscow hotel involving urinating prostitutes. Steele compiled the dossier for Fusion GPS, a DC-based firm paid by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign through the DNC. The FBI then used it to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page in October 2016, and extended it three times well into 2017.

A 94-page spreadsheet made public on Monday, however, shows the FBI relied heavily on media reports to corroborate Steele’s claims – in many cases, the very same reports Steele had planted himself. According to analyst Stephen McIntyre, footnotes listed in the spreadsheet show that 39 percent of the footnotes lead to Washington, DC media outlets, another 29 percent are redacted, and Steele himself was cited on 18 occasions, somehow self-verifying his own work. In one instance, McIntyre notes, the FBI triple counted an article from the Daily Beast as three separate sources. Other media outlets named in the document are CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News and Mother Jones.

The FBI had actually decided to fire Steele as a paid informant in September 2016 – before obtaining the Page warrant – because he leaked to the media, specifically Yahoo and Mother Jones, but that never raised any red flags either with the warrant or the corroboration, apparently. Moreover, the Bureau knew in December 2016 that the “primary sub-source” (PSS) for the dossier was a Russian national they had investigated as a foreign agent in 2009, but the investigation was abandoned without explanation and this fact was never flagged. Even after interviewing the PSS in January 2017, and establishing that most of the dossier was fabricated outright, the FBI continued to use it at the FISA court to extend the Page warrant.

Read more …

It doesn’t only happen in the US: “Global received the storyline from CSE and then consciously regurgitated the preconceived narrative that it knew to be false.”

Just mention Russia and you’re good to go.

Consortium News Sues Canadian TV Network for Defamation (CN)

Consortium News has sued the Canadian TV network Global News for defamation in federal court in Virginia over a report that said CN was part of an “attack” and a “cyber influence” campaign “directed” by Moscow against a Canadian leader. The lawsuit accuses the Corus Entertainment-owned network of entering into a business conspiracy with the Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE)–Canada’s NSA—to “link …critics” of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to “’Russia’ as a way of discrediting those critics and protecting themselves.” The suit says: “Global received the storyline from CSE and then consciously regurgitated the preconceived narrative that it knew to be false. In its quest to paint Plaintiff as a ‘Russian collaborator’, Global abandoned journalistic integrity and ethics, misrepresented the content of CN’s articles, and applied false labels to Plaintiff.”

In January Consortium News sent libel notices to both Global News and the CSE, demanding an apology and retraction of any mention of CN in Global News’s Dec. 10, 2019 on-line article and video reports. The CSE did not respond to the notice. Global News refused to retract all mention of CN from the article or to apologize. Global News did not contact Consortium News for comment before it published its article and broadcast two TV reports. Instead, two months after the Global News reports appeared—and after receiving the libel notice—Global News attached an editor’s note to its article, which is still on-line. It says: “Editor’s Note – Subsequent to the publication of this article, Consortium News advised Global News it disputes statements about it referred to in the CSE document that are reported on in the article.“

Consortium News has told Global News it denies any implication it is ‘an organ of or directed by the Russian government’ and says it is an independent news source.” CN informed Global News that the editor’s note coming after publication was insufficient and insisted that without a retraction and apology it would pursue litigation. Citing case law, the suit filed on Tuesday states that “a clear evasion from the truth and the failure to interview an important witness, who was easily accessible, supports a finding of actual malice.” The lawsuit says: “The focal point of Global’s accusations was an article published in February 2017 in Virginia by Plaintiff and false accusations that Plaintiff – a Virginia corporation – is linked to Russia and knowingly published Russian propaganda to harm the reputation of Freeland.”

Read more …

“The values of the Millennial and Gen Z generations that will dominate in the years ahead are the opposite of Boomer values..”

The Barbarians Are Threatening Us! (Crooke)

Now, as we enter the final month of the U.S. election, the expected climax to long-buried animosities is at hand. It is unlikely to be brief or decisive. The internal convulsions of the U.S. however, are one thing. But the implosion of social trust in the U.S. is radiating out, and its effects are radiating out across the globe. If the imprecarity of our times – compounded by the virus – is making us nervous and tense, it may be because we intuit that a way-of-life, a way-of-economics, too, is coming to its end. The fear of social upheaval sows distrust. It can produce the spiritual state that Emile Durkheim called anomie, a feeling of being disconnected from society; a conviction that the world around one is illegitimate and corrupt; that you are invisible – a ‘number’; a helpless object of hostile repression, imposed by ‘the system’; a feeling that nobody is to be trusted.

Russian nineteenth century literature, including novels by Dostoevsky, chronicled how such feelings amongst the children of the Russian well-to-do could evolve into burning hatred. This hatred extended to nail-bombs hurled into smart cafés, in order “to see how the foul bourgeois will squirm in death agony”. The West’s post-war era largely was defined by the ‘Woodstock’ generation: an era in which the rich (white) 20% of the globe lived in a consumer paradise of choice and over-consumption, whilst the 80% non-white, did not. That generation lived at a period of relative cultural cohesion and social stability – and rarely was called upon to make sacrifice or to endure hardship. It was the era of one ‘easy-decision’ after the other, building up to an ethos that put personal liberty above every other value, including social obligation.

The emerging generations of today, David Brooks argues in The Atlantic, “enjoy none of that sense of security. They grew up in a world in which institutions failed, financial systems collapsed, and families were fragile. Yet human beings need a basic sense of security in order to thrive, as the political scientist Ronald F. Inglehart puts it: their “values and behaviour are shaped by the degree to which survival is secure””. “The values of the Millennial and Gen Z generations that will dominate in the years ahead are the opposite of Boomer values: not liberation, but security; not freedom, but equality; not individualism, but the safety of the collective; not sink-or-swim meritocracy, but promotion on the basis of social justice… Distrustful people try to make themselves invulnerable, armour themselves up in a sour attempt to feel safe… start to see threats that aren’t there.”

Read more …

Ecosystems don’t recognize borders.

Fifth of Countries At Risk Of Ecosystem Collapse – Swiss Re (G.)

One-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re. Natural “services” such as food, clean water and air, and flood protection have already been damaged by human activity. More than half of global GDP – $42tn (£32tn) – depends on high-functioning biodiversity, according to the report, but the risk of tipping points is growing. Countries including Australia, Israel and South Africa rank near the top of Swiss Re’s index of risk to biodiversity and ecosystem services, with India, Spain and Belgium also highlighted. Countries with fragile ecosystems and large farming sectors, such as Pakistan and Nigeria, are also flagged up.

Countries including Brazil and Indonesia had large areas of intact ecosystems but had a strong economic dependence on natural resources, which showed the importance of protecting their wild places, Swiss Re said. “A staggering fifth of countries globally are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing due to a decline in biodiversity and related beneficial services,” said Swiss Re, one of the world’s biggest reinsurers and a linchpin of the global insurance industry. “If the ecosystem service decline goes on [in countries at risk], you would see then scarcities unfolding even more strongly, up to tipping points,” said Oliver Schelske, lead author of the research.

Jeffrey Bohn, Swiss Re’s chief research officer, said: “This is the first index to our knowledge that pulls together indicators of biodiversity and ecosystems to cross-compare around the world, and then specifically link back to the economies of those locations.” The index was designed to help insurers assess ecosystem risks when setting premiums for businesses but Bohn said it could have a wider use as it “allows businesses and governments to factor biodiversity and ecosystems into their economic decision-making”. The Swiss Re index is built on 10 key ecosystem services identified by the world’s scientists and uses scientific data to map the state of these services at a resolution of one square kilometre across the world’s land.

The services include provision of clean water and air, food, timber, pollination, fertile soil, erosion control, and coastal protection, as well as a measure of habitat intactness. Those countries with more than 30% of their area found to have fragile ecosystems were deemed to be at risk of those ecosystems collapsing. Just one in seven countries had intact ecosystems covering more than 30% of their country area. Among the G20 leading economies, South Africa and Australia were seen as being most at risk, with China 7th, the US 9th and the UK 16th.

Read more …

 

 

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“The beauty of physics is that it can rigorously predict things nobody has seen before, before the emergence of any empirical evidence. Compare to fraudulent fields like psychology that overfit from naive ‘empirical evidence’ to predict nothing.”

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb

 

 

 

 

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Apr 032020
 


Elliott Erwitt National Congress Building by Oscar Niemeyer, Brasilia, Brazil 1961

 

US Paying Russia For Entire Planeload Of Coronavirus Equipment – Official (R.)
Our Finest Hour (Ben Hunt)
New York City Nurses Demand Personal Protection Equipment (WABC)
New Orleans Coronavirus Death Rate Is Twice New York. Obesity Is A Factor (R.)
US Weekly Jobless Claims Blow Past Six Million As Lockdowns Spread (R.)
Israeli Scientists: Coronavirus Vaccine Tested On Humans By June 1 (JPost)
France’s Coronavirus Death Toll Jumps As Nursing Homes Included (R.)
Germany Has A Low Coronavirus Mortality Rate: Here’s Why (CNBC)
Fed’s Dilemma: Picking Winners For $4 Trillion In Credit (R.)
This Hard Truth About The Mortgage Markets Isn’t Being Told (Jurow)
A Corporate Debt Reckoning Is Coming (13D)
US Air Force To Release $882 Million To Boeing (R.)
US Crude Futures Trim Record Gain (R.)
Cuomo’s Bubble is Starting to Burst (Lauria)
Google Releases Location Data On Lockdowns In 131 Countries (R.)
Leaked Amazon Memo Details Plan to Smear Fired Warehouse Organizer (Vice)

 

 

We’ll keep setting records for a while longer yet, driven by the US in particular.

US cases doubled in 8 days. That rate will speed up.

All countries, the US first of all, need to move their focus away from saving companies and onto saving people. Now would be a good time.

 

 

Cases 1,030,181 (+ 79,756 from yesterday’s 950,425)

Deaths 54,194 (+ 5,918 from yesterday’s 48,276)

 

 

 

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

 

 

From Worldometer -NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases is at 20% –

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID2019Live.info:

 

 

 

 

Who said the RussiaRussia obsession couldn’t be fun? Bottom line between the lines: the US pays, but as the Russians say, both cover half the cost. In other words, the US pays half price. Will that satisfy the American propaganda voices? Stay tuned. Putin was criticized at home for selling these things to the US while Russia may not have enough for itself.

Compare that to Tucker’s America First declaration. And Thailand’s response.

US Paying Russia For Entire Planeload Of Coronavirus Equipment – Official (R.)

The United States is paying Russia for a planeload of medical equipment sent by Moscow to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, a senior Trump administration official said on Thursday, clearing up confusion as to who footed the bill. It had been unclear whether Russia had sent the 60 tons of equipment as a gift or whether it had sold the shipment of ventilators, masks, respirators and other items following a phone discussion between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump, asked about the shipment at a White House news briefing, said he was happy to take delivery of it. “I am not concerned about Russian propaganda, not even a little bit. He (Putin) offered a lot of medical, high-quality stuff that I accepted. And that may save a lot of lives. I’ll take it every day,” he said.


The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow had paid half the cost with the other half picked up by Washington. But the senior administration official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the United States paid. “The United States is purchasing the supplies and equipment outright, as with deliveries from other countries,” the official said. “We appreciate Russia selling these items to us below market value.” The official did not give an exact cost. The State Department did not respond to requests for more information. The plane arrived on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and the gear was to be inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make sure it met U.S. quality standards.

https://twitter.com/ColumbiaBugle/status/1245881131225890816

Read more …

Ben Hunt is setting up a program to purchase and distribute masks and other PPE equipment in the US. It’s a terrible shame that he, like so many Americans, thinks he must, for some reason, put this in terms of warfare. Shouldn’t it be the opposite?

“There is no country in the world that mobilizes for war more effectively than the United States. And I know you won’t believe me, but I tell you it is true: This will be #OurFinestHour.”

Our Finest Hour (Ben Hunt)

Last week we wrote a brief note (Getting PPE to Healthcare Workers and First Responders) to introduce our efforts to get personal protective equipment (PPE) directly into the hands of frontline heroes: healthcare professionals and emergency responders who put their own lives and their families’ lives at risk every freakin’ day to stem the tide against this virus. Today I want to share with you the story of how this effort has come together into something real and tangible. Today I want to invite you to join us. First let me tell you what we’re NOT doing. We are not competing with federal or state emergency management authorities in their big bulk orders of PPE.


We are not going to drive up the price of these supplies any more than they have already been driven up in this global scramble to acquire medical gear. But we are also not waiting on these federal or state emergency management authorities to get these big bulk orders and then trickle the supplies down to the frontlines. What we ARE doing is putting together an end-to-end grassroots PPE distribution effort, where we source the equipment from certified manufacturers who meet accepted international standards, we pay for these purchases out of a 501(c)(3) foundation where 100 cents of every dollar goes to this effort, and we distribute that PPE all the way through the “last-mile”, getting small quantities of PPE directly into the hands of clinicians and first responders who are in urgent need.

Over the past 10 days we’ve purchased and distributed about 15,000 N95 and N95-equivalent masks directly to the doctors and nurses and firemen and EMTs who need the equipment NOW, in deliveries as small as 30 masks and as large as 500, depending on need. More importantly, we’ve set up a pipeline where we think we can get a steady delivery of 2,000 or so masks per day AND the occasional larger order AND the distribution capacity + knowledge to get this equipment directly to our frontline heroes. We’ve raised more than $200,000 to support this effort. We’ve partnered with incredibly generous private companies ranging in size from a Fortune 50 megacorp to the owners of the local UPS franchise. And we’re just getting started.


[..] If you are a healthcare worker or a first responder anywhere in the United States in urgent need of PPE, or you know someone who is, please fill out the online form below to get on our distribution list. Right now we are focused on N95 and N95-equivalent masks (more on the different types of masks in the Sourcing section of this note), although in the future we will try to supply isolation gowns and other PPE items..

https://twitter.com/AvidCommentator/status/1245892087020572672

Read more …

Ask Ben Hunt.

New York City Nurses Demand Personal Protection Equipment (WABC)

There’s a growing concern among nurses and doctors in New York City that they’ll run out of personal protection equipment (PPE) and supplies. A dozen health care workers spoke out Thursday near Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx about their concerns. “We’re running out of PPE, we’re running out of pain medication, we’re running out of sedatives,” third-year resident physician Laura Ucik said. State leaders say hundreds of thousands of personal protection masks and supplies have been shipped to New York, but some health care workers say their emergency rooms haven’t benefited yet. “If front line care givers are sick, are dying, there won’t be anyone left to take care of the public,” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, ER nurse and president of the New York State Nurses Association.


Some health care workers are saying they’re being told to reuse not only critical N95 masks but every day supplies. “I was given one disposable gown to use all day to take care of COVID-19 patients,” Ucik said. “And I would hang it up on an IV pole in between patients and put my single N95 mask into a brown paper bag.” It’s a problem at hospitals throughout the area. The New York City Health Department recently sent an alert to hospitals, telling them to “conserve all personal protective equipment now.” It isn’t a request, and the language in the alert states health care facilities must immediately implement these measures. “It puts me at risk, it puts you at risk, everyone in the health care building at risk,” nurse Victoria Lanquah said.

Read more …

It’ll prove to be a major factor all over the US.

New Orleans Coronavirus Death Rate Is Twice New York. Obesity Is A Factor (R.)

The coronavirus has been a far deadlier threat in New Orleans than the rest of the United States, with a per-capita death rate twice that of New York City. Doctors, public health officials and available data say the Big Easy’s high levels of obesity and related ailments may be part of the problem. “We’re just sicker,” said Rebekah Gee, who until January was the health secretary for Louisiana and now heads Louisiana State University’s healthcare services division. “We already had tremendous healthcare disparities before this pandemic – one can only imagine they are being amplified now.” Along with New York and Seattle, New Orleans has emerged as one of the early U.S. hot spots for the coronavirus, making it a national test case for how to control and treat the disease it causes.


Chief among the concerns raised by doctors working in the Louisiana city is the death rate, which is twice that of New York and over four times that of Seattle, based on Thursday’s publicly reported data. New Orleans residents suffer from obesity, diabetes and hypertension at rates higher than the national average, conditions that doctors and public health officials say can make patients more vulnerable to COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. Some 97% of those killed by COVID-19 in Louisiana had a pre-existing condition, according to the state health department. Diabetes was seen in 40% of the deaths, obesity in 25%, chronic kidney disease in 23% and cardiac problems in 21%. Orleans Parish, which encompasses the city, reported 125 confirmed coronavirus deaths as of Thursday, the equivalent of 32 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people. That rate for New York City was at 15.9 on Thursday.

Read more …

Will Reuters stop polling the team of economists now, after another ridiculously off the mark prediction? No, it will not.

US Weekly Jobless Claims Blow Past Six Million As Lockdowns Spread (R.)

The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits shot to a record high of more than 6 million last week as more jurisdictions enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession. Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department, the most timely data on the economy’s health, reinforced economists’ views that the longest employment boom in U.S. history probably ended in March. With a majority of Americans now under some form of lockdown, claims are expected to rise further. Economists said worsening job losses underscored the need for additional fiscal and monetary stimulus. President Donald Trump last week signed a historic $2.3 trillion package, with provisions for companies and unemployed workers.

The Federal Reserve has also undertaken extraordinary measures to help companies weather the highly contagious virus, which has brought the country to a halt. “These data underscore the magnitude of the stop-work order that has been imposed on the economy,” said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economic advisor at Brean Capital in New York. “The scale of the increase should also focus policymakers on getting the cash into the economy with possibly a fourth fiscal package and additional Fed lending programs.” [..] Initial claims for state unemployment benefits surged 3.341 million to a seasonally adjusted 6.648 million for the week ended March 28, the government said. That was double the previous all-time high of 3.307 million set in the prior week. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims would jump to 3.50 million in the latest week, though estimates were as high as 5.25 million.

Read more …

There are dozens of these things happening. This is the Jerusalem Post on an Israeli company, which makes the “news” suspicious right off the bat.

Israeli Scientists: Coronavirus Vaccine Tested On Humans By June 1 (JPost)

A team of Israeli researchers says that they are days away from completing the production of the active component of a coronavirus vaccine that could be tested on humans as early as June 1. “We are in the final stages and within a few days we will hold the proteins – the active component of the vaccine,” Dr. Chen Katz, group leader of MIGAL’s biotechnology group, told The Jerusalem Post. In late February, MIGAL (The Galilee Research Institute) committed to completing production of its vaccine within three weeks and having it on the market in 90 days. Katz said they were slightly delayed because it took longer than expected to receive the genetic construct that they ordered from China due to the airways being closed and it having to be rerouted.

As a reminder, for the past four years, researchers at MIGAL have been developing a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which causes a bronchial disease affecting poultry. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven in preclinical trials carried out at the Veterinary Institute. “Our basic concept was to develop the technology and not specifically a vaccine for this kind or that kind of virus,” said Katz. “The scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen into mucosal tissues by self-activated endocytosis, causing the body to form antibodies against the virus.”

In preclinical trials, the team demonstrated that the oral vaccination induces high levels of specific anti-IBV antibodies, Katz said. “Let’s call it pure luck,” he said. “We decided to choose coronavirus as a model for our system just as a proof of concept for our technology.”

Read more …

This can’t be the exception. Such “counting errors” maust be commonplace.

France’s Coronavirus Death Toll Jumps As Nursing Homes Included (R.)

The coronavirus death count in France surged to nearly 5,400 people on Thursday after the health ministry began including nursing home fatalities in its data. The pandemic had claimed the lives of 4,503 patients in hospitals by Thursday, up 12% on the previous day’s 4,032, said Jerome Salomon, head of the health authority. A provisional tally showed the coronavirus had killed a further 884 people in nursing homes and other care facilities, he added. This makes for a total of 5,387 lives lost to coronavirus in France – an increase of 1,355 over Wednesday’s cumulative total – although data has not yet been collected from all of the country’s 7,400 nursing homes. “We are in France confronting an exceptional epidemic with an unprecedented impact on public health,” Salomon told a news conference.


The country’s broad lockdown is likely to be extended beyond April 15, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday, extending a confinement order to try and deal with the crisis that began on March 17. The government was racing to try to ensure it can produce or procure itself certain medications needed to treat coronavirus patients as stocks were running low, Philippe told TF1 TV, echoing concerns across Europe as the pandemic places a huge strain on hospitals in Italy, Spain and elsewhere. More than two-thirds of all the known nursing home deaths have been registered in France’s Grand Est region, which abuts the border with Germany. It was the first region in France to be overwhelmed by a wave of infections that has rapidly moved west to engulf greater Paris, where hospitals are desperately trying to add intensive care beds to cope with the influx of critically ill patients.

Read more …

A few remarks: Germany has a huge amount of ICU places. Neighbor the Netherlands has far fewer. But that’s also partly due to a different philosophy: where most countries try to keep people alive as long as possible, the Netherlands has a tradition, way before corona, of focusing more on quality than quantity of life. Old people with multiple ailments are not kept alive at all costs.

And if Andrew Cuomo is correct when he stated that of all people put on a ventilator only 20% survives, a question mark may be suitable. Is Germany’s low death rate a result of them keeping people on ventilators for a long time that will not have a quality life again? Religion is a big issue, but on the other hand there’s a huge increase in Do Not Resuscitate documents.

Note: Germany this morning, like many other countries have, issued a warning that it may run out of ICU places. That may lead to German doctors having to make decisions that they’re not used to making, unlike their Dutch counterparts.

Germany Has A Low Coronavirus Mortality Rate: Here’s Why (CNBC)

Germany seems to be taking the epidemic in its stride with a high number of cases but a low number of deaths, thanks to a number of factors. In Europe, while Italy and Spain are the worst hit countries with over 100,000 cases each, as of Friday, Germany has recorded 84,794 confirmed cases but has witnessed just 1,107 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The low mortality rate in Germany, at just over 1%, is far below its neighboring European countries, and this has been put down to Germany’s decision to implement widespread testing of people suspected of having the virus, as opposed to Italy or the U.K.’s decision to only test symptomatic cases.

Karl Lauterbach, a professor of health economics and epidemiology at the University of Cologne, and a politician in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany, told CNBC that Germany’s less severe experience of the pandemic so far was down to a handful of factors. “I think so far we’ve been lucky because we were hit by the wave of new infections later than many other European countries, for example Italy, Spain and France,” he told CNBC Thursday. “So we had a minor but important delay in the wave of infections coming to Germany. Secondly, the first people that got infected in Germany tended to be younger than the average of the population … so we were hit later and with younger patients initially.”

Lauterbach noted that a third factor that helped Germany was a slow increase in the number of infections, allowing those patients to be treated at the country’s top medical institutions, including some of the country’s best university hospitals (including those in Bonn, Dusseldorf, Aachen and Cologne) in the Heinsberg region where there was a cluster of infections at the start of the outbreak. “Number four, all things considered, the German health-care system and hospital system has been modernized by the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats over the last 20 years … this meant we had more hospital beds, more ventilators, more ICU (Intensive Care Units) beds and more hospital doctors, roughly speaking, than any other comparable country in Europe … So our system is in a reasonable shape for such an epidemic.”

While almost all European countries have introduced lockdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, fatality rates have differed wildly. The mortality rate in Italy around the end of March stood at 11%, for example. Germany’s rate is comparable with South Korea, a country that has also attracted plaudits for its management of the coronavirus crisis with extensive testing, contact tracing and digital surveillance of its citizens. Germany’s lockdown, alongside a rigorous testing regime, has also helped, Lauterbach said. While countries like the U.K. now have to build a diagnostics industry from scratch, Germany already had one built around the multinational might of Roche.

The country reportedly has the capacity to carry out up to 500,000 tests a week, whereas the U.K. can currently only manage just over 10,000 a day. Asked about the possible trajectory Germany’s coronavirus rate could take, Lauterbach said his worst-case scenario was that 10% of Germany’s 83 million population contract the virus, and with a 1% fatality rate, then 80,000 people would die. “It must be lower than that, it would be a tragedy if 10% of the population get infected, that’s my personal worst-case scenario.”

Read more …

We all know who will be the winners.

Fed’s Dilemma: Picking Winners For $4 Trillion In Credit (R.)

When the Federal Reserve polled Wall Street about financial stability risks last fall, “global pandemic” didn’t make the list. But the coronavirus outbreak has triggered virtually every other shock that was mentioned – from a stock market rout to a looming global recession – and is forcing the U.S. central bank and the U.S. Treasury to triage a system springing leaks by the day. Compared with the 2007-2009 meltdown, which was centered in the mortgage and financial markets, the current crisis is a massively more complex problem with the Fed pulled to intervene in virtually every aspect of U.S. household and corporate commerce and finance.

The challenge now facing the central bank, in consultation with the Treasury, is prioritizing which market, set of companies or group of institutions to help next as it plans how to leverage more than $450 billion of seed money from the Treasury into perhaps $4.5 trillion in credit programs. It is an uncomfortable role that could push the Fed beyond its traditional job of keeping financial markets open and running smoothly, to picking winners and losers in whatever economy emerges from a pandemic that has brought business activity to a virtual standstill.

“You’ve entered not just the world of accepting credit risk but of allocating it as well,” said Mark Spindel, a Fed historian who is the chief executive officer of Potomac River Capital. Through the emergency $2.3 trillion legislation passed last week, “Congress and Treasury have decided to cast the Fed as the only balance sheet large enough” for the measures that might be needed. In the extreme, that could include roughly $26 trillion in debt held by non-financial companies and households – $16 trillion if home mortgages are excluded.

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Keith Jurow omits one way the housing zombie has been kept alive: ultra low rates.

This Hard Truth About The Mortgage Markets Isn’t Being Told (Jurow)

Everyone wants to know what impact the coronavirus and the government response to it will have on housing markets. While it is too early to hazard a guess, some things are becoming increasingly clear. Already, it looks as if the U.S. is moving towards a temporary moratorium on mortgage payments. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled an emergency program which provides a two-month deferral of mortgage payments for any homeowner who claims to be facing a hardship because of the virus. The payments will be tacked on at the end of the mortgage term. The coronavirus rescue law just enacted by Congress includes a provision which requires all firms that service federally-backed mortgages to grant a forbearance of up to 360 days for any borrowers who say they have been harmed by the coronavirus outbreak.

It is not much of a stretch to say that this virus has changed everything. Many of you may sense that the virus has undermined what you thought was still a fairly strong housing market around the country. In truth, the so-called housing recovery since 2010 has been little more than a carefully constructed illusion. The belief in a strong housing recovery was carefully devised using a strategy of misleading information, withheld data and false impressions. As I have explained in recent columns, the strategy to turn around collapsing housing markets unfolded in three parts: (1) restrict the number of foreclosed properties placed on the market; (2) radically reduce the number of seriously delinquent homes actually foreclosed and repossessed, and (3) provide millions of delinquent homeowners a mortgage modification as an alternative to foreclosure.

This strategy fooled nearly everyone into believing that the disaster has been overcome. The best example is Los Angeles County — ground zero for the collapse. In 2008, more than 37,000 properties were foreclosed. The plunge in foreclosures didn’t really kick in until 2012 when the number dropped to slightly over 10,000. The next year, foreclosures plunged to 3,340. Don’t think for a minute that this was due to an improving economy. Not at all. It was simply the strategy of desperate servicers. With so few properties foreclosed and even fewer placed on the market, home prices had no where to go but up.

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The Fed will be dragged to the ground by the zombies it’s carrying.

A Corporate Debt Reckoning Is Coming (13D)

Corporate debt is the timebomb everyone saw ticking, but no one was able to defuse. Ratings agencies warned about it: Moody’s, S&P. Central banks and international financial institutions did too: the Fed, the Bank of England, the Bank for International Settlements, the IMF. Financial luminaries expressed concern: Jamie Dimon, Seth Klarman, Jes Staley, Jeffrey Gundlach, Henry McVey. Even a presidential candidate brought the issue on the campaign trail: Elizabeth Warren. Yet, as we’ve documented in these pages for more than two years, corporations have only piled on more debt as their balance sheet health has deteriorated.


Total U.S. non-financial corporate debt sits at just under $10 trillion, a record 47% of GDP. One in six U.S. companies is now a zombie, meaning their interest expenses exceed their earnings before interest and taxes. As of year-end 2019, the percentage of listed companies in the U.S. losing money over 12 months sat close to 40%. In the 12 months to November, non-financial S&P 500 cash balances had declined by 11%, the largest percentage decline since at least 1980.
For too long, record-low interest rates inspired complacency, from companies to lenders to regulators and investors. As we warned in WILTW August 8, 2019, corporate fundamentals will eventually matter. Now, with COVID-19 grinding the global economy to a halt, that time has come.

Systemic threats are littered throughout the corporate debt ecosystem. Greater than 50% of outstanding debt is rated BBB, one rung above junk. As downgrades come, asset managers will be forced to flood the market with supply at a time demand has dried up. Meanwhile, leveraged loans — which have swelled by 50% since 2015 to over $1.2 trillion — threaten unprecedented losses given covenant deterioration. And bond ETFs could face a liquidity crisis as a flood of redemptions force offloading of all-too-illiquid bonds. Red lights are now flashing. Distressed debt in the U.S. has quadrupled in less than a week to nearly $1 trillion. Last week, bond fund outflows quadrupled the previous record, which was set the previous week. Moody’s and S&P have already declared a significant portion of outstanding debt under review for potential downgrade.


Source: FInancial Times

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Boeing’s miliary division is as fault-prone as its 737MAX part. And that’s what the country’s security depends on.

US Air Force To Release $882 Million To Boeing (R.)

The U.S. Air Force will release $882 million in payments to Boeing that were held back due to flaws in the KC-46 air refueling tanker, a Pentagon official said on Thursday. The release of the payment to Boeing is part of a broader recommendation sent to Air Force contracting officials, according to a memo seen by Reuters, aimed at maintaining the financial health of suppliers to the Department of Defense. Will Roper, the Air Force’s chief buyer, told reporters the initiative will free up billions of dollars in funding for numerous contractors, not just Boeing. “If we want to have a defense industrial base coming out of COVID-19, that’s able to continue building,” Roper said, “every day is a new challenge.”


Boeing’s financial situation has become increasingly precarious as economic fallout from the coronavirus has frozen key lending markets and cut off demand for Boeing’s commercial aircraft. The Air Force had the right to hold back about $28 million of the cost of each of the first 52 KC-46 Pegasus jets on order to ensure Boeing delivers fully functional tankers. With 33 jets delivered thus far, the Air Force could have withheld up to $924 million. The Air Force plans to buy 179 of the aircraft, which refuel other aircraft mid-air, but the program has been plagued with problems, including foreign object debris found onboard the planes and issues with a camera system used during the refueling process.

Read more …

A lot of money changed hands yesterday. But who won?

US Crude Futures Trim Record Gain (R.)

Benchmark U.S. crude fell more than 1% in early trade on Friday, coming off its biggest one-day gain in the previous session after U.S. President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to announce a major oil production cut. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 1.4%, or 36 cents, at $24.96 a barrel at 2223 GMT, after having surged 24.7% on Thursday. Even with the huge gains, prices have still slumped nearly 60% this year as oil demand has plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic while Saudi Arabia and Russia have flooded the market with crude in a price war.


Trump said he had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut oil output by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels, as the two countries signaled willingness to make a deal. Analysts said even if Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to cut production by as much as 15 million barrels per day (bpd) that would not be enough to balance the market in face of a deep economic recession. “The 10-15 million bpd oil production cut reportedly being brokered by President Trump is a great start, but deeper cuts will likely be needed to get through a difficult Q2,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp. A deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia could effectively establish a floor for WTI in the $30s, he said.

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At times it feels like he closely follows a Rudy Giuliani scenario. Rule of thumb: if someone has never been really popular and all of a sudden is, do ask why.

Cuomo’s Bubble is Starting to Burst (Lauria)

Cuomo’s present regard for the well-being of every New Yorker, rich or poor, and his lyrical demands to ramp up the number of hospital beds and ventilators is undermined by an ongoing record of drastically cutting back on the state’s assistance to public medical facilities that serve the poor. While he is now frantically trying to add hospital beds in the state (which has lost 20,000 in the past 20 years), Cuomo, over the past decade, agreed to close and consolidate numerous public hospitals, mostly serving the poor, to save money. For instance, in 2013 he approved the closure of the 500-bed Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, despite objections from the community.

Even in these extraordinary circumstances his budget proposal to shave $400 million off the state’s $35 billion Medicaid bill—which provides care to the poorest New Yorkers—was accepted by the state Senate on Thursday when it passed Cuomo’s 2020 budget. It comes precisely as Medicaid recipients need it most. The state Assembly is to vote on the budget Friday. “So determined is Cuomo to slash Medicaid spending that he’s prepared to reject more than $6 billion in matching federal aid approved earlier this month because it would force him to alter his austerity strategy,” The Nation reported on Monday. It said:

“If Cuomo gets his way with the state budget [which the Senate has now given him], many of the city’s most besieged hospitals will lose money at a time when Covid-19 is threatening to crash New York’s health care system. Central Brooklyn hospitals, serving many of the borough’s working class and poor, could lose $38 million a year. Manhattan hospitals could lose up to $58 million a year.” Naomi Zewde, an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy at CUNY, told the magazine: “’The proposal to cut funding to public hospitals during a pandemic reflects really poor decision-making.’” Making it worse, is that Cuomo’s budget did not include rises in property or wealth taxes, despite a $10-15 billion shortfall. “There were no new taxes on the ultrarich, a measure many liberals had clamored for,” The New York Times reported.

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Yes, surveillance state. But no, it’s nothing new.

Google Releases Location Data On Lockdowns In 131 Countries (R.)

Google’s analysis of location data from billions of users’ phones is the largest public dataset available to help health authorities assess if people are abiding with shelter-in-place and similar orders issued across the world. Its reports show charts that compare traffic from Feb. 16 to March 29 at subway, train and bus stations, grocery stores and other broad categories of places with a five-week period earlier this year. In Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by the virus, visits to retail and recreation locations, including restaurants and movie theaters, plunged 94% while visits to workplaces slid 63%. Reflecting the severity of the crisis there, grocery and pharmacy visits in Italy dropped 85% and park visits were down by 90%.

In the United States, California, which was the first in the with a statewide lockdown, cut visits to retail and recreation locations by half. By contrast, Arkansas, one of the few states without a sweeping lockdown, has seen such visits fall 29%, the lowest for a U.S. state. The data also underscore some challenges authorities have faced in keeping people apart. Grocery store visits surged in Singapore, the United Kingdom and elsewhere as travel restrictions were set to go into place. Visits to parks spiked in March in some San Francisco Bay Area counties, forcing them to later put the sites off limits. By contrast, in Japan where authorities have been relatively relaxed in urging social distancing measures but where calls have been growing daily for a state of emergency, visits to retail and recreational places fell 26%. Visits to workplace dropped a mere 9%.

[..] Facebook Inc, which like Google has billions of users, has shared location data with non-governmental researchers that are producing similar reports for authorities in several countries. But the social media giant has not published any findings. Infectious disease specialists have said analyzing travel across groups by age, income and other demographics could help shape public service announcements. Google, which infers demographics from users’ internet use as well as some data given when signing up to Google services, said it was not reporting demographic information. The company said, though, it was open to including additional information and countries in follow-up reports.

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The biggest winner in the lockdown economy still finds time to abuse its workers.

Leaked Amazon Memo Details Plan to Smear Fired Warehouse Organizer (Vice)

Leaked notes from an internal meeting of Amazon leadership obtained by VICE News reveal company executives discussed a plan to smear fired warehouse employee Christian Smalls, calling him “not smart or articulate” as part of a PR strategy to make him “the face of the entire union/organizing movement.” “He’s not smart, or articulate, and to the extent the press wants to focus on us versus him, we will be in a much stronger PR position than simply explaining for the umpteenth time how we’re trying to protect workers,” wrote Amazon General Counsel David Zapolsky in notes from the meeting forwarded widely in the company. The discussion took place at a daily meeting, which included CEO Jeff Bezos, to update each other on the coronavirus situation.

Amazon SVP of Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney described the purpose to CNN on Sunday: “We go over the update on what’s happening around the world with our employees and with our customers and our businesses. We also spend a significant amount of time just brainstorming about what else we can do” about COVID-19. Zapolsky’s notes also detailed Amazon’s efforts to buy millions of protective masks to protect its workers from the coronavirus, as well as an effort to begin producing and selling its own masks. So far, the company has secured at least 10 million masks for “our operations guys,” with 25 million more coming from a supplier in the next two weeks, Zapolsky wrote. Amazon fired the warehouse worker Smalls on Monday, after he led a walkout of a number of employees at a Staten Island distribution warehouse.

Amazon says he was fired for violating a company-imposed 14-day quarantine after he came into contact with an employee who tested positive for the coronavirus. Smalls says the employee who tested positive came into contact with many other workers for longer periods of time before her test came back. He claims he was singled out after pleading with management to sanitize the warehouse and be more transparent about the number of workers who were sick. [..] “We should spend the first part of our response strongly laying out the case for why the organizer’s conduct was immoral, unacceptable, and arguably illegal, in detail, and only then follow with our usual talking points about worker safety,” Zapolsky wrote. “Make him the most interesting part of the story, and if possible make him the face of the entire union/organizing movement.”

Read more …

 

It must be possible to run the Automatic Earth on people’s kind donations. These are no longer the times when ads pay for all you read, your donations have become an integral part of it. It has become a two-way street; and isn’t that liberating, when you think about it?

Thanks everyone for your wonderfully generous donations over the past days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support us in virustime. Help the Automatic Earth survive. It’s good for you.

 

Mar 242020
 


DPC City Hall subway station, New York 1904

 

Coronavirus Survived In Vacated Cruise Ship Cabins For Up To 17 Days (CNBC)
46.5% Of Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Passengers, Crew Were Asymptomatic (CNN)
Italy Has A Brief Glimpse Of Hope As New Cases Drop To A 5-Day Low (SCMP)
India Faces Spike In Coronavirus Cases – Study (R.)
Coronavirus Treatment Developed By Gilead Granted “Rare Disease” Status (IC)
Man Dies After Ingesting Chloroquine (NBC)
‘Miracle’ Malaria Drug Saved Us From Coronavirus, Claim Americans (DM)
War Couldn’t Stop Parliament, So Why Should COVID-19? (Aus.)
Ecuadoreans Print 3-D Protective Gear For COVID-19 Doctors (Telesur)
Electricity Consumption In Italy Plummets Amid Countrywide Quarantine (ZH)
China’s Propaganda Campaign in Europe (Kern)
All the Fed’s Corporate & Investor Bailout Programs and SPVs (WS)

 

 

Scariest bit today? Here it is:

 

 

Cases 391,947 (+ 46,654 from yesterday’s 345,292)

Deaths 17,138 (+ 2,213 from yesterday’s 14,925)

 

 

 

From Worldometer yesterday evening (before their day’s close)

One look at the US suffices. It was up 9,293 at 42,893. So far today another 2,434 were added, total now 46,168. Death toll yesterday was 522, now 582.

 

 

From Worldometer -NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases is at 14% !! 2 weeks ago it was at 6%-

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID2019Live.info:

 

 

From COVID2019.app:

 

 

 

 

Just today, March 24, two more deaths from the Diamond Princess were announced. The last crew members left the ship March 1.

Coronavirus Survived In Vacated Cruise Ship Cabins For Up To 17 Days (CNBC)

The coronavirus survived for up to 17 days aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, living far longer on surfaces than previous research has shown, according to new data published Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study examined the Japanese and U.S. government efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreaks on the Carnival-owned Diamond Princess ship in Japan and the Grand Princess ship in California. Passengers and crew on both ships were quarantined on board after previous guests, who didn’t have any symptoms while aboard each of the ships, tested positive for COVID-19 after landing ashore.

The virus “was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted,” the researchers wrote, adding that the finding doesn’t necessarily mean the virus spread by surface. “COVID-19 on cruise ships poses a risk for rapid spread of disease, causing outbreaks in a vulnerable population, and aggressive efforts are required to contain spread,” the CDC wrote, reiterating its guidance to vulnerable populations to avoid cruises during the pandemic.

[..] The new study set out to determine how “transmission occurred across multiple voyages of several ships.” They noted that as of March 17, there were at least 25 cruise ship voyages with confirmed COVID-19 cases that were detected either during or after the cruise ended. Almost half, 46.5%, of the infections aboard the Diamond Princess were asymptomatic when they were tested, partially explaining the “high attack rate” of the virus among passengers and crew. [..] The researchers found that 712 of 3,711 people on the Diamond Princess, or 19.2% were infected by COVID-19.

Read more …

And why wouldn’t this be true everywhere?

Note: the -unrelated- explainer video is pretty much a must see

46.5% Of Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Passengers, Crew Were Asymptomatic (CNN)

Nearly half of the Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers and crew who tested positive for the novel coronavirus were asymptomatic at the time they were tested, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 712 passengers and crew members of the ship who tested positive for coronavirus, 331 – or 46.5% – were asymptomatic at the time of testing, the CDC said. The agency said that the high rate of asymptomatic infections could partly explain the high rate of infection among cruise ship passengers and crew.


Traces of the virus were found “on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted,” the CDC said. However, the surface contamination on the ship can’t be used to determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces without further study, the CDC cautioned. As of March 13, 107, or 25%, of the 428 Americans on the Diamond Princess tested positive for coronavirus, the agency said.

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Italian newspaper La Repubblica apparently reports that infection rate in Italy is 10x higher than acknowledged. I like the tweeted response:

“That’s actually good news (if true). Death rate much lower and also means everyone has it.”

If everyone’s infected, there’s no more need for lockdowns.

Italy Has A Brief Glimpse Of Hope As New Cases Drop To A 5-Day Low (SCMP)

Italy’s number of new Covid-19 cases dropped to a five-day low on Monday, easing tension on overstretched hospitals and bringing a glimmer of hope to a nation that has lost more lives than any other country to the pandemic. In Spain, however, more people died in the last 24 hours than at any point since the coronavirus outbreak erupted in what has become Europe’s second most devastated country. Italian health authorities announced 4,789 new cases in the last 24 hours, a drop from 5,560 on Sunday and 6,557 on Saturday. It was also lower than the levels of Thursday and Friday, when the figures for confirmed cases were still rising. The number of hospitalised cases in Lombardy – the Italian region enduring the most serious outbreak – also declined for the first time since the contagion took root.


“Today is perhaps the first positive day we have had in this hard, very tough month,” said Giulio Gallera, the top health official in Lombardy, an area known as the economic engine of Italy. “It is not the time to sing victory, but we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has risen to 63,927 – compared to 81,093 in mainland China. [..] The overall death rate from the pandemic in Italy has further risen to 9.5 per cent, far exceeding the global average of 4.4 per cent. Of the confirmed cases, 3,204 were in intensive care, while 26,522 were under home quarantine.

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The US went from 409 cases two weeks ago to 46,000 now, sure to cross the 100,000 line in a few days, i.e. in under 3 weeks. This “study” claims this could take almost 2 months in India.

India Faces Spike In Coronavirus Cases – Study (R.)

India could face between around 100,000 and 1.3 million confirmed cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus by mid-May if it continues to spread at its current pace, according to a team of scientists based mainly in the United States. The estimates reinforce concerns among some medical officials and experts in India that the country of 1.4 billion people could see coronavirus cases jump sharply in the coming weeks and put its health system under severe strain. The scientists said projections could change as the country conducts more testing, while also putting in place stricter restrictions and measures to stem the spread of the virus.

“Even with the best case scenarios, probably, you are in a very painful crisis,” said Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan who was involved in the study. The study was carried out by the COV-IND-19 Study Group of scholars and scientists looking into the threat posed by the coronavirus, and COVID-19, the disease it causes, in India. [..] India probably has only around 100,000 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 40,000 ventilators, said Dhruva Chaudhry, president of the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine, based on industry estimates and other data. “We can handle it if an even number (of cases) come over a period of time,” Chaudhry said. But he warned that there was not sufficient infrastructure or staff to handle a sharp spike in critical patients.

[..] So far, India has reported 471 cases of the coronavirus and 9 deaths, numbers dwarfed by countries like China, Italy and Spain, but which are nonetheless beginning to accelerate. Authorities have imposed a lockdown across large parts of the country, including in the capital city New Delhi and the financial hub of Mumbai. The original study was based on data up to March 16, but following a request from Reuters, the team updated their model using cases from Indian health authorities up to March 21.

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Yeah, this stinks. But it’s not a “coronavirus treatment”. Remdesivir is an antiviral that’s alleged to be effective against Ebola and Marburg.

Coronavirus Treatment Developed By Gilead Granted “Rare Disease” Status (IC)

This afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration granted Gilead Sciences “orphan” drug status for its antiviral drug, remdesivir. The designation allows the pharmaceutical company to profit exclusively for seven years from the product, which is one of dozens being tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Experts warn the designation, reserved for treating “rare diseases,” could block supplies of the antiviral medication from generic drug manufacturers and provide a lucrative windfall for Gilead Sciences, which maintains close ties with President Donald Trump’s task force for controlling the coronavirus crisis. Joe Grogan, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force, lobbied for Gilead from 2011 to 2017 on issues including the pricing of pharmaceuticals.

“The Orphan Drug Act is for a rare disease and this is about as an extreme opposite of a rare disease you can possibly dream up,” said James Love, the director of Knowledge Ecology International, a watchdog on pharmaceutical patent abuse. “They’re talking about potentially half the population of the United States,” said Love, adding that “it’s absurd that this would happen in the middle of an epidemic when everything is in short supply.” The 1983 Orphan Drug Act gives special inducements to pharmaceutical companies to make products that treat rare diseases. In addition to the seven-year period of market exclusivity, “orphan” status can give companies grants and tax credits of 25 percent of the clinical drug testing cost. The law is reserved for drugs that treat illnesses that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S.

But a loophole allows drugs that treat more common illnesses to be classified as orphans if the designation is given before the disease reaches that threshold. As of press time, there were more than 40,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the U.S, and some 366,000 worldwide. The distinction could severely limit supply of remdesivir by granting Gilead Sciences exclusive protection over the drug and complete control of its price. Other pharmaceutical firms, including India-based pharmaceutical firm Cipla, are reportedly working towards a generic form of remdesivir, but patients in the U.S. could be prevented from buying generics with lower prices now that Gilead Sciences’ drug has been designated an orphan.

The distinction could severely limit supply of remdesivir by granting Gilead Sciences exclusive protection over the drug and complete control of its price. Other pharmaceutical firms, including India-based pharmaceutical firm Cipla, are reportedly working towards a generic form of remdesivir, but patients in the U.S. could be prevented from buying generics with lower prices now that Gilead Sciences’ drug has been designated an orphan. Today, Gilead abruptly announced that it would no longer provide emergency access to remdesivir, telling the New York Times that “overwhelming demand” left it unable to process requests for the drug through its compassionate use program. Hours later, the Food and Drug Administration gave the drug orphan status. Almost immediately, Gilead’s stock price shot up.

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Okay, I’m confused. Time for Dr. John Day and other medical commentariat to chime in. This suggests the “human” version’s generic name is hydroxychloroquine, but when we started discussing it here 5 weeks ago, we were talking about chloroquine phosphate, which the article says is for fish only.

Also, we don’t read how much these people took. And the woman is critical but still does elaborate interviews?

Man Dies After Ingesting Chloroquine (NBC)

An Arizona man has died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate — believing it would protect him from becoming infected with the coronavirus. The man’s wife also ingested the substance and is under critical care. The toxic ingredient they consumed was not the medication form of chloroquine, used to treat malaria in humans. Instead, it was an ingredient listed on a parasite treatment for fish. The man’s wife told NBC News she’d watched televised briefings during which President Trump talked about the potential benefits of chloroquine. Even though no drugs are approved to prevent or treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, some early research suggests it may be useful as a therapy.

The name “chloroquine” resonated with the man’s wife, who asked that her name not be used to protect the family’s privacy. She’d used it previously to treat her koi fish. “I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, ‘Hey, isn’t that the stuff they’re talking about on TV?'” The couple — both in their 60s and potentially at higher risk for complications of the virus — decided to mix a small amount of the substance with a liquid and drink it as a way to prevent the coronavirus. “We were afraid of getting sick,” she said. Within 20 minutes, both became extremely ill, at first feeling “dizzy and hot.” “I started vomiting,” the woman told NBC News. “My husband started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand.”

She called 911. The emergency responders “were asking a lot of questions” about what they’d consumed. “I was having a hard time talking, falling down.” Shortly after he arrived at the hospital, her husband died. [..] On Monday, Banner Health, based in Arizona, said the couple took the additive called chloroquine phosphate. The couple unfortunately equated the chloroquine phosphate in their fish treatment with the medication —known by its generic name, hydroxychloroquine ..

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One coin, two sides.

‘Miracle’ Malaria Drug Saved Us From Coronavirus, Claim Americans (DM)

People across the US have come forward to call the anti-malaria drug a ‘miracle’ coronavirus treatment as New York state officials announce they will start trials with the medication on Tuesday. On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will doctors will start trialing hydroxychloroquine this week after the number of coronavirus cases in New York City alone rose to 12,000, an increase of more than 3,000 overnight. The drug has not yet been proven as effective in battling the virus, but President Donald Trump drummed up excitement over it when he called it a ‘game changer’ last week. Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House coronavirus expert, said more work was needed before it could be heralded as a solution. But people like Rio Giardinieri, Margaret Novins and Lost star Daniel Dae Kim are praising the drug for saving their lives.

Giardinieri, who is the vice-president of a company that manufactures cooking equipment for high-end restaurants in Los Angeles, said his doctors administered the drug as a last hope for his recovery. The 52-year-old believes he contracted the virus during a conference in New York and immediately fell ill with a fever for five days, back pain, headaches, a cough and fatigue. ‘I was at the point where I was barely able to speak, and breathing was very challenging,’ he told Fox 6. He went to Joe DiMaggio Hospital in South Florida, where doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and coronavirus. Giardinieri explained that he was placed on oxygen but he was still unable to breath. After a week, doctors told him there was nothing else they could do and on Friday evening he said goodbye to his wife and three children.

‘I really thought my end was there. I had been through nine days of solid pain and for me, the end was there, so I made some calls to say, in my own way, goodbye to my friends and family,’ he told the news site. Giardinieri said a friend then told him about the anti-malaria drug. He immediately asked a doctor to administer the medication. He then explained what came next, including the moment when he felt like his heart was beating out of his chest. ‘They had to come in, and get me calmed down, and take care of me,’ Giardinieri said. But then the next morning he says he ‘woke up like nothing ever happened’ and feeling much better. The doctors said they don’t believe Giardinieri’s episode was a reaction to the anti-malaria drug but instead was likely the virus progressing in his body. ‘To me, the drug saved my life,’ Giardinieri said.

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Keep distance everywhere except in parliament? There are pictures of UK nurses in overloaded London subway trains. Because the risk of infection at work is not high enough, I guess.

War Couldn’t Stop Parliament, So Why Should COVID-19? (Aus.)

The decision to shut down parliament until August goes against the entire underpinnings of our Westminster political democracy. The argument that it practically needs to happen is just rubbish. Parliament kept operating through both World Wars. It operated during the Great Depression and even the Spanish Influenza of 1919. In those days we didn’t have the technology nor know-how we do today to make it even easier to keep parliament open, whether from a transport or communications perspective. The same reason that well prepared private schools have seamlessly moved to online learning systems is the reason the nation’s parliament could operate — at the very least — as a virtual chamber if necessary. Or as it did this week with social distancing and limited attendance.


What message does it send culturally that parliament is apparently so irrelevant it can pack up until the second half of the year without concern? Our democracy is not about the executive running the joint without parliamentary oversight — especially in times of crisis when scrutiny and accountability become even more important. While parliament inevitably includes no small degree of buffoonery, the role of Question Time and the platform the chamber gives individual MPs to voice the concerns of their local communities is vital. As are the committee processes.

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Shouldn’t everyone be doing this? Where are governments’ purchases of 3D printers?

Ecuadoreans Print 3-D Protective Gear For COVID-19 Doctors (Telesur)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ecuador has become the second worst-hit country in the region with over 980 infected as of Monday and with the rapid spread of the virus the country now faces a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its health workers. Yet this grim reality became an opportunity for a group of Ecuadoreans business owners and enthusiasts of 3-D printing to join together and apply their knowledge to produce much-needed equipment for the doctors and nurses fronting the virus. “As soon as the news came, we started to think and talk about ways to help…we saw there was a need for protective gear and realized we could help,” Mateo Arcos, co-coordinator of the Hacking COVID-10 EC initiative told teleSUR.


The group began with 60 volunteers that decided to produce face shields, which are PPEs that provide over the top, side, and front face protection against splash and splatter of fluid-borne pathogens. Now the initiative has over 280 volunteers. The decision to opt for this was based on the fact many medical personel across the country were cutting off plastic bottles in order to make their own masks, crippling health workers’ ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. “There is a clear scarcity of it so we opted to make them, also as it was the more viable option,” Arcos added.

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Imagine the earth protecting herself from mankind by debilitating its powers to destroy her any further.

Electricity Consumption In Italy Plummets Amid Countrywide Quarantine (ZH)

Italy has gone full “Wuhan” with a massive lockdown across the country amid a virus crisis that has paralyzed its economy. So far, 63,927 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported, with 6,077 deaths. The Italian economy is being dragged into a depression as the fast-spreading virus cripples its northern regions, forcing the government to ban travel and close all industrial production across the country. The impact of the virus on Italy’s economy led to the collapse of electricity consumption last week. Electricity usage fell 16% YoY for March 16-22, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Terna SpA data.

Diego Marquina, an analyst covering European power markets at BloombergNEF, noted on Monday that electricity demand in every European country has declined due to the impact of quarantine measures to mitigate the virus spread. Marquina said if declining electricity consumption is “sustained…weekday power demand would most likely fall to Sunday levels – a 10-26% reduction, depending on the country.” He estimates that power prices could drop between 6-18 EUR/MWh.

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Remeber that, as I wrote yesterday in , the leadership in all these countries failed miserably. All of them, including China.

China’s Propaganda Campaign in Europe (Kern)

Fortune magazine explained the motivation behind China’s propaganda push: “For China, the outreach to Europe is part of an effort to claw back an international leadership role after early cover-ups helped the virus spread well beyond its borders. President Xi Jinping’s government has sought to silence critics, including reporters and online commentators, and also spread conspiracy theories about where the virus originated. “Geopolitically, China’s move to brand itself as Europe’s savior aims to improve its standing on a global stage as both spar with the Trump administration. China and the U.S. have continued a wider fight for global influence — Beijing kicked out more than a dozen American journalists this week — while also seeking to deflect blame for their handling of the disease.”

On March 12, China sent to Italy a team of nine Chinese medical staff along with some 30 tons of equipment on a flight organized by the Chinese Red Cross. The head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca, said that the shipment “revealed the power of international solidarity.” In recent days, China has also sent aid to:

• Greece, March 21. An Air China plane carrying 8 tons of medical equipment — including 550,000 surgical masks and other items such as protective equipment, glasses, gloves and shoe covers — arrived at Athens International Airport. The Chinese Ambassador to Greece, Zhang Qiyue, referred to words by Aristotle: “What is a friend? A single soul living in two bodies.” He said that “difficult times reveal true friends” and that China and Greece are “working closely together in the fight against the coronavirus.” This, he said, “confirms once again the excellent relations and friendship between the two peoples.”

• Serbia, March 21. China flew six doctors, ventilators and medical masks to Serbia to help Belgrade halt spreading of the coronavirus infection. “A big thank you to President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people,” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. China’s ambassador to Belgrade, Chen Bo, said the aid was a sign of the “iron friendship” between the two countries.

• Spain, March 21. The founder and president of the Chinese technology company Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, donated one million face masks. They were expected to arrive at Zaragoza Airport in northeastern Spain on March 23. The masks will be stored at a warehouse belonging to the Spanish apparel retailer Zara. From there, Zara will put its logistics network at the service of the Spanish government.

• Czech Republic, March 21. A Ukrainian cargo plane reportedly carrying 100 tons of medical supplies from China arrived at the airport in Pardubice, a city situated 100 kilometers east of Prague. On March 20, a Chinese plane carrying one million masks arrived in the Czech Republic, which reportedly ordered another 5 million respirators from China along with 30 million masks and 250,000 sets of protective clothing.

• France, March 18. China sent to France, the second-most powerful country of the European Union, a batch of medical supplies, including protective masks, surgical masks, protective suits and medical gloves. The Chinese Embassy in France tweeted: “United we will win!” The following day, China sent a second batch of supplies. The Chinese Embassy tweeted: “The Chinese people are next to the French people. Solidarity and cooperation will allow us to overcome this pandemic.”

• The Netherlands, March 18. China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines, codeshare partners with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, donated 20,000 masks and 50,000 gloves. The shipment arrived at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on a Xiamen Airlines flight. “These are extremely difficult times for our country and our company, so we are very happy with this help for KLM and for the Netherlands,” KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said. “Less than two months ago, KLM made a donation to China and now we are being helped so wonderfully and generously.”

• Poland, March 18. The Chinese government pledged to send Poland tens of thousands of protective items and 10,000 coronavirus test kits. On March 13, the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw sponsored a videoconference during which experts from China and Central Europe shared their knowledge on tackling the coronavirus.

• Belgium, March 18. A Chinese cargo plane carrying 1.5 million masks landed at Liege Airport. The masks, which will be distributed to Belgium, France and Slovenia, were donated by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, a Chinese ecommerce giant known as the “Amazon of China.”

• Czech Republic, March 18. A plane carrying 150,000 test kits for coronavirus landed in Prague. The Ministry of Health paid about CZK 14 million ($550,000) for 100,000 testing kits, while another 50,000 kits were paid for by the Ministry of the Interior. Transport was provided by the Ministry of Defense.

• Spain, March 17. A Chinese plane carrying 500,000 masks arrived at Zaragoza Airport. “The sun always rises after the rain,” Chinese President Xi Jinping told Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. He said that the friendship between China and Spain will be stronger and bilateral ties will have a brighter future after the joint fight against the virus. Xi said that after the pandemic, both countries should intensify exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of fields.

• Belgium, March 16. Another shipment of medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation for epidemic prevention in Europe arrived at Liege Airport.

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Unlimited purchases announced and stocks tank. Is that the end of the line?

All the Fed’s Corporate & Investor Bailout Programs and SPVs (WS)

With its announcement this morning, the Fed expanded its three fundamental mechanisms in which it is once again bailing out the biggest risk takers, over-leveraged companies, hedge funds, mortgage REITs, and PE firms; wiping out cash-flows for crash-averse savers and holders of Treasury securities; and creating special opportunities for well-connected individuals who have access to the Fed’s programs. And let’s get this straight: None of the programs are going to fix the economy.

These bailout programs fall into three mechanisms:
1. Fed buys assets directly. Until this morning, this was limited to Treasury securities, agency debt, and residential MBS backed by Ginnie Mae (US government agency) and the GSEs, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. This morning, the Fed added agency-backed commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) to the list.

2. Fed sets up special purpose vehicles (SPV) and lends to the SPVs which then buy assets or lend. These SPVs can buy assets the Fed is not allowed to buy and they can lend to entities and individuals to buy certain assets. Under the Federal Reserve Act, these SPVs require taxpayer backing from the Treasury Department to protect the Fed from losses.

3. The Fed lends to its 24 Primary Dealers against collateral, and that collateral can be anything the Fed decides, including now stocks – and in the end finally old bicycles.

The entire alphabet soup of new programs will take a while to get set up and get started. And since they won’t fix the economy and its underlying problems, they might not work as well in accomplishing their goals – making the wealthy wealthier – as they did during the Financial Crisis. So we’ll have to see how this works out.

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