Feb 052022
 


René Magritte The black flag 1937

 

Why Are People Deliberately Infecting Themselves With Covid-19? (RT)
Don’t Overload The Immune System With Repeated Vaccinations – EMA (FS)
It’s Really Rather Simple (Denninger)
The Mass Formation Madness Must Stop (Malone)
Fauci Says He’s Mystified by Lagging Vaccine Booster Rates
Attorney Representing Freedom Convoy Shares a Message (CTH)
GoFundMe Shuts Down Freedom Convoy Fundraiser (RT)
Freedom Convoy Finds New Crowdfunding Platform & Crashes It (RT)
Elon Musk Slams GoFundMe Over Protesting Truckers (RT)
GoFundMe Supported Antifa’s ‘CHAZ/CHOP’ Even After People Were Murdered (PM)
New Filing Accuses Feds Of Snooping On Bannon Lawyer (JTN)
What a US Trap for Russia in Ukraine Might Look Like (Lauria)
Death Wish (Jim Kunstler)
Record-Breaking Artist Pak Joins Forces With Assange To Make NFT History (CF)

 

 

Based on wastewater surveillance data. Infections in Massachusetts back down to Pre-Omicron surge levels. Hospitalizations, & deaths should follow in upcoming weeks

 

 

Unmitigated disaster

 

 

After 37 weeks, 20% of myocarditis cases have not healed. Not so mild?!

 

 

So they will be able to work. How sad it that?

Why Are People Deliberately Infecting Themselves With Covid-19? (RT)

If you are, like me, vaccinated against Covid-19 and do not want to catch this nasty virus, you may find it counterintuitive that some people are deliberately infecting themselves with it. But that is what is happening, especially in places with strict rules placing limits on what unvaccinated people can do. Where I live in Italy, there is increasing evidence of Covid self-infection as limitations on unvaccinated people are strengthening. I first noticed news of Corona ‘parties’ for people to get infected last November in northern Italy.Sky reported these parties were attracting a lot of attention in Telegram groups in the Bolzano area and that these had spread from Austria and Germany, where the report claimed the superspreading shindigs were born. Indeed, the report noted the tragic death of a 55-year-old man in Austria after he was infected at a Corona party.

At the time, I thought self-infection involved very few people and mostly hard core ‘anti-vax’ activists in places like Bolzano, which has had a reputation for low Covid-19 vaccination rates for a long time. Yet self-infection with Covid-19 has become more widespread in Italy, as laws restricting participation in work, education, and social life for unvaccinated people are implemented. Since last summer, to work in healthcare in Italy, it has been necessary to possess a green pass, which indicates being vaccinated against Covid-19 or recently having recovered from the virus. “We have received various notifications of dinners with positive people organized by unvaccinated nurses,” stated Samanta Grossi, the president of the Professional Nurses association in my nearby city of Treviso. Unvaccinated nurses and other healthcare employees who test positive for Covid-19 avoid suspension from work and pay.

Similarly, employees in education in Italy have been required to demonstrate they are vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid-19 since last September. An unvaccinated preschool teacher who has been suspended from work recently decided to infect herself with the virus. Police and school headteachers have reported that teachers have been able to get infected and continue teaching in schools by attending dinners with people who are positive with Covid-19. In some instances, they were told some teachers were prepared to pay 200 to 300 euros to do so.

Read more …

Google translation from France Soir.

Don’t Overload The Immune System With Repeated Vaccinations – EMA (FS)

For the past few weeks, several scientists have been increasing warnings against vaccine reminders against Covid-19, warnings confirmed on January 11, during a press briefing held at the EMA (European Medicines Agency). While the vaccine booster started several weeks ago in the vast majority of European countries, the United States and Israel, Marco Cavaleri, head of biological health threats and vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency , made known his fears about too frequent booster shots. Boosters every four months could cause a problem with the immune response, insists this vaccination official who is also concerned about the risk of fatigue among the population with the continuous administration of boosters.

Boosters “can be done once or even twice, but we don’t think they need to be repeated constantly,” said Marco Cavaleri, who urges countries to allow more time between booster programs and advises perform at the beginning of the cold season in each hemisphere, following the plan established for influenza vaccination strategies. It also invites reflection on how we can move from the current pandemic framework to a more endemic one. The advice comes as several countries consider the possibility of offering people a second booster shot to further protect them against a resurgence of infections with the Omicron variant. A pioneering country in vaccination, Israel believed for a few weeks that it had overcome the epidemic. Now, with more than 40,000 a day, the government has reserved the fourth injection for people over 60 and those with co-morbidities.

In a lengthy interview with CNBC, Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer , echoed the European Medicines Agency’s recommendation. “I don’t know if there’s a need for a fourth booster. It’s something that needs to be tested. And I know that Israel has already started some of these experiments, and we’re going to be running some of these experiments as well. to make sure that if necessary, we will use it,” he said. Indeed, clinical trials to know the quality of the protection of these booster doses, but also the tolerance, would have been desirable before they are administered in the general population.

Whether they are biologists or doctors, big names in science such as Professors Didier Raoult, Jean-Marc Sabatier or Jacques Fantini and his team have made known their doubts about the effectiveness of a vaccination developed from the wild strain from Wuhan and which would have become completely obsolete since the appearance of the Delta variant and especially the Omicron variant. Guest of the program Touche pas à mon poste, Professor Raoult said last week: “It is in the countries where the most vaccines have been made that there are the most cases”. A fact that he supports with scientific explanations still little known to the general public. “There is a significant number of cases that follow a vaccine injection within 15 days to three weeks. This is due to a scientific phenomenon called facilitating antibodies. That is, there are antibodies that facilitate infection. Their effect is seen in the three weeks following the injection” also added the professor.

Read more …

“Is this proof that the jabs killed those people? No, but its damn good evidence.”

It’s Really Rather Simple (Denninger)

There is a clear elevation of all-cause mortality in the 25-44 age bracket coinciding with Covid-19 showing up. There is also an elevation in the other age brackets, by the way. All-cause is just that – while some of this is undoubtedly Covid-19, policy-driven deaths are also in there. Suicides, ODs and similar were and are up materially over the 2019 numbers, and these are also in that figure. Dead is dead, I remind you; why is not material to either the dead person or their loved ones. But what we do know, by simple comparison with other age brackets, is that most of it wasn’t Covid. How do we know this? Because the winter of 2020 came and went, where a huge number of older people died as a result of Covid-19 and during most of it there were no jabs available to anyone. This age group saw a small – measurable, but small – bump during that time.

We thus know that Covid simply doesn’t kill people in this age group all that frequently — and, in fact, the mitigations killed far more people than the disease. But then….. Joe Biden’s administration and private employers started issuing threats: Take the jab or get fired. And…. there were a lot of jabs given to people who would have otherwise not taken them, most of which came after the big summer spike of Delta cases. There was an exact correlation in the rise of deaths with the threats. Remember that Biden (and many others) crowed that threats work.

Well, they sure do work, by the data: Threats are deadly and they did in fact kill. Is this proof that the jabs killed those people? No, but its damn good evidence. What’s worse, however, is that post the spike the death rate did not go back to baseline among this age group — and now, it STILL hasn’t. In other words the intervention was worthless and might actually be enhancing infections since (1) you can only die once, (2) the >85 cohort IS seeing reduced mortality (they got hit hard prior, and once dead they no longer can die again) and the same is true, to a lesser-extent, in the 65+ group. There is no net benefit if for a given number of jabs one person is killed by the jab and one person doesn’t die from Covid. That’s a net zero and the only valid means of computing public health benefit is a decrease in all-cause mortality.

Everyone of working age either got nothing or was harmed and worse, there is no follow-on benefit either as in these groups the mortality rate has not decreased compared to prior to jabs being available which, if they actually did reduce all-cause mortality, would be evident in the data. This is now established; net-net on a broad societal basis they’re worthless at best*.

Read more …

“Society, our government, is doing an unprecedented and known amount of damage to the healthy development of our children. This has to stop.”

The Mass Formation Madness Must Stop (Malone)

I have written and spoken out about vaccine mandates for children and why they are wrong. Children are rarely at risk of severe disease from COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 and almost all deaths of children have been those with co-morbidities. The vaccines have a high adverse event profile in children that has not been fully analyzed. This is reason enough to not allow mandates, even State government or regional school board mandates. But I have not written as much about masks, school closures, and the selfishness of teacher’s unions, who are more interested in protecting themselves than children. Children are at very little risk from COVID-19 severe disease. Most kids in the USA now have natural immunity, many have been vaccinated, and Omicron is nothing more than a cold for the vast majority of children and adults.

Even during Delta, children rarely develop severe COVID-19 disease. They have strong, healthy immune systems. This disease is stratified by age and co-morbidities. We all know this by now. Furthermore, neither masks nor vaccines prevent infection, replication or transmission of the Omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2. There is no reason to mask children in schools. There is no reason to mask children in shops, restaurants, parks, after school program, etc. There is no reason for children to have plexiglass shields around them in the class room. There is no reason why we need to deny children exercise programs, sports, after school care and physical education. It is time to end social distancing programs and let kids be kids. Children are social beings.

Having normal social interactions with other people, with other children is critical to growing up in a healthy environment. Social isolation of children is not ok. Sports, after school program, childcare, recreational activities and extracurricular activities need to return to normalcy. One important way children learn is by mimicry. Facial expressions of friends, teachers, mentors, parents not only are important for speech development, they are important for children to learn emotional norms and behaviors. We do not know what damage we are doing by masking. At this point, long term effects are unknown.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 unvaccinated children must be treated no differently than any other child. It is not anyone’s business other than the parent’s whether a child is vaccinated for COVID-19 or not. American’s have a fundamental right to privacy and there is no exclusionary clause for people younger than a certain age. Unvaccinated children or unmasked children should not be segregated, shamed or put in special rooms. They should not be excluded from the playground or sports activities. Society, our government, is doing an unprecedented and known amount of damage to the healthy development of our children. This has to stop.

Read more …

Listen to The Science, damn it!

Fauci Says He’s Mystified by Lagging Vaccine Booster Rates

White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci said he is confused as to why booster rates are lagging and said he doesn’t “have an easy explanation” for the phenomenon. When asked by a reporter on Wednesday about why fully vaccinated individuals aren’t getting as many boosters, Fauci noted that “about half” of all eligible Americans have received booster doses so far. Fauci made the remarks alongside COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients at a White House briefing. “Why would people who had enough understanding of the risk to go ahead and get the primary series—why we don’t have more getting the booster,” Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, said in response. “I don’t have an easy explanation for that.”

Fauci said that he believes that federal health data suggests that it is “stunningly obvious” that vaccinated people should get a booster dose. “So, the only thing that we can do is to continue to come out with the data and to make sure the American public appreciates why it is so important for optimal protection to get boosted,” he said. Fauci’s comments come as several recent studies have shown that natural immunity, or the immunity achieved by prior COVID-19 infection, provides effective and lasting protection. One preprint study published in Italy in late January suggested that natural immunity lasts about 18 months.

“At 18 months, 97 percent participants tested positive for anti-NCP, hinting towards the persistence of infection-induced immunity even for the vaccinated individuals,” researchers wrote in a study posted to the Medrxiv website, referring to nucleocapsid, a type of protein within the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Read more …

“Chief Sloly outlined that federal intelligence authorities will be “collecting financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status and other related evidence that will be used in prosecution.“

Attorney Representing Freedom Convoy Shares a Message (CTH)

Keith Wilson is the lawyer representing the “Truckers for Freedom” organization. Earlier today, prior to the GoFundMe announcement, Mr. Wilson posted a video message for everyone concerning the earlier announcement made by the Ottawa Police chief Peter Sloly. One note: I believe the referenced Canadian Freedom Charter was suspended as part of the national state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the justification for the restrictions now being protested.

Earlier Today – Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly held a press conference on Friday announcing measures to combat the continued Freedom Convoy protests in the streets, and to block any additional protesting support from arriving. In essence, the Ottawa police are going to use domestic terrorism authority against the Canadian freedom protest groups. The outlined measures include deploying an additional 150 municipal police officers and undercover federal agents to infiltrate the protest and gather intelligence useful for the purpose of eliminating their effort. Chief Sloly outlined that federal intelligence authorities will be “collecting financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status and other related evidence that will be used in prosecution.” The jackboots will focus on using acts of mischief, hate, harassment, intimidation and other threatening behaviors, whether real or created by Canadian intelligence operations, to target the protestors.


Additionally, a “surge and contain” strategy will be used to isolate the protest in the red zone area in front of Parliament Hill. Ottawa police will use heavy concrete barriers as barricades, to create no-access roadways throughout the downtown core, and they will likely close highway off-ramps and bridges to stop additional support and/or protest groups from arriving. The goal is to isolate the current protest groups, cut off their supply and support logistics, and pick them off. Further, any police officer who is caught aiding, assisting, supporting, sympathizing with or facilitating the ongoing freedom protest in the city, will be removed from duty and subject to arrest. All Ottawa police officers are to regard the protesting group as an unlawful, extremist and hate-filled mob and have a duty to comply with the instructions of the command and control structure.

Read more …

GoFundMe will become a lot smaller. People don’t like their money stolen, or redirected.

GoFundMe Shuts Down Freedom Convoy Fundraiser (RT)

Crowdfunding site GoFundMe has shut down a campaign in support of the anti-vaccine mandate movement in Canada, after it amassed nearly $8 million, claiming that the protest is no longer peaceful. Following a review of “relevant facts” and “multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials,” the fundraising was found to be in violation of the platform’s rule that “prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment,” the company said in a statement on Friday. The platform admitted that the organizers “provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest,” but claimed that the situation has since “evolved” and no further funds will be released.


“Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities verified by GoFundMe.” The fundraiser has garnered $7,964,141 (Can$10,096,400) as of Wednesday night, when it was suspended for “review.” GoFundMe said all donors may now submit a request for a full refund until February 19, 2022. The crowdfunding site said it wants to remain a “trusted platform” and insisted that it “supports peaceful protests.” The Freedom Convoy kicked off last week in protest of a vaccination mandate for truckers traveling between the United States and Canada, seeing scores of vehicles blockade a border crossing near Coutts, Alberta and create a miles-long backup stretching into Montana.

Convoy Milk River

Read more …

GiveSendGo is working hard to accomodate the overwhelming amount of donations.

Freedom Convoy Finds New Crowdfunding Platform & Crashes It (RT)

A website hosting a new fundraising effort to support truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates in Canada is experiencing major technical difficulties, with a wave of traffic crashing the platform after GoFundMe canceled a prior campaign that garnered millions of dollars. Shortly after GoFundMe gave the boot to the ‘Freedom Convoy 2022’ campaign on Friday afternoon, organizers made another attempt on Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo, raising more than $150,000 in just a matter of hours. A spike in visitors has caused problems for the website, however.

“We know the site is slow, or getting a server error. We are working on it! All hands on deck. There’s thousands on [the site] making successful donations so please try again if you get an error!” it said. The new fundraiser features a brief video from organizer Tamara Lich, who explained that GoFundMe had shut down the previous campaign that raised around $8 million (Can$10 million) after only disbursing $1 million, freezing the rest. “We decided to team up with an organization called GiveSendGo, which is going to enable us to get donations into the hands of the truckers much, much quicker while everybody gets the rest of this stuff sorted out,” she said, adding “You know we plan to be here for the long-haul, as long as it takes to ensure that your rights and freedoms are restored.”

The money is being raised to support a convoy of truckers who have descended on the Canadian capital to demand an end to cross-border vaccine requirements, staging a massive protest in Ottawa. Others have gathered near the border with the US, creating a blockade of big rigs and other vehicles. While local police have denounced the gatherings as disruptive and unlawful, authorities have been unable to disperse the demonstrators for several days. On the heels of GoFundMe’s decision to scrap the original fund drive, the Ottawa Police Service cheered the move, thanking the site for “listening to our concerns as a City and a police service.” “The decision to withhold funding for these unlawful demonstrations is an important step and we call on all crowdfunding sites to follow,” it said.

The Canada I love
https://twitter.com/i/status/1489334216672305152

Read more …

“Protesters in downtown Ottawa “remain highly organized, well-funded, extremely committed to resisting all attempts to end the demonstration safely,” Sloly said.”

That’s the same guy who said last week that the protest was uniquely peaceful.

And they’re quite willing to end the demonstration safely, just not on Trudeau’s terms.

Elon Musk Slams GoFundMe Over Protesting Truckers (RT)

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted a meme on Saturday, calling US-based fundraising platform GoFundMe “professional thieves.”Musk also posted a screenshot of the platform’s 2020 tweet promoting a campaign to raise money for farming inside the ‘CHOP’ zone (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) in downtown Seattle, Washington, which was occupied by activists during the peak of the anti-racism and police brutality protests in the US that year. GoFundMe’s tweet from two years ago said: “In a community with no police, this farmer is feeding people and bringing them closer together.” “Double standard?” Musk wrote on Saturday, referring to the platform’s recent decision to stop the campaign to raise money for Canadian truckers protesting the country’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate. Musk also denied reports that he had donated to the protesters.

[..] Ottawa Police thanked GoFundMe on Twitter. “The decision to withhold funding for these unlawful demonstrations is an important step and we call on all crowdfunding sites to follow,” they wrote. Police earlier said they were aware of “inappropriate and threatening language on social media” related to the protests. Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly described the protests on Friday as “increasingly volatile and increasingly dangerous.” Protesters in downtown Ottawa “remain highly organized, well-funded, extremely committed to resisting all attempts to end the demonstration safely,” Sloly said.

Read more …

What Musk was referring to.

GoFundMe Supported Antifa’s ‘CHAZ/CHOP’ Even After People Were Murdered (PM)

GoFundMe, the crowdfunding platform that recently seized over $10 million in funds intended for the Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy, financially supported and promoted the illegal “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” or CHAZ/CHOP in Seattle, Washington during the height of the summer 2020 riots that broke out in the wake of George Floyd’s death. As detailed by Jack Posobiec on Twitter, GoFundMe tweeted an advertisement publicizing one of the many crowdfunds set up in the CHAZ/CHOP, which was established by Black Lives Matter supporters, local gangs, and elements of Antifa, who set up a cop-free perimeter that encased several neighborhoods in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district. Several people, including three minors, were gunned down at the location.


In a tweet, GoFundMe promoted the CHAZ/CHOP: “In a community with no police, this farmer is feeding people & bringing them closer together.” The organization linked to a Bloomberg Quicktake video about revolutionary gardening – an endeavor that was widely mocked on social media after videos and pictures showed a “garden” being planted by CHAZ/CHOP “residents” who spread cardboard on turf with soil above it. Crucially, GoFundMe has supported violent, illegal movements such as CHAZ/CHOP but has cited “police reports of violence and other unlawful activity” and its policies against “violence and harassment” as its reason for seizing the Freedom Convoy’s crowdfund.

Read more …

“If the Government failed to follow the applicable rules – which will be revealed through additional discovery – a ground may exist to dismiss the indictment.”

New Filing Accuses Feds Of Snooping On Bannon Lawyer (JTN)

The legal team for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon leveled explosive charges Friday night, accusing federal prosecutors of snooping on one of his defense lawyers and the FBI of misleading the grand jury through omissions. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court where Bannon is charged with contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena for the Jan. committee, lawyers disclosed evidence the Justice Department and phone carriers turned over to them show prosecutors obtained phone and email records for defense lawyer Robert J. Costello. “The Government used grand jury subpoenas to investigate Mr. Bannon’s attorney, Robert J. Costello, Esquire, at the very time that Mr. Costello was communicating with the prosecution team and advocating on Mr. Bannon’s behalf,” the defense motion stated.

“There are stringent rules that apply to the investigation of attorneys. Such rules exist because these types of investigations may constitute an impermissible interference with the attorney-client relationship, and the effective assistance of counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” it added. “If the Government failed to follow the applicable rules – which will be revealed through additional discovery – a ground may exist to dismiss the indictment. The lawyers submitted evidence turned over by the DOJ that appears to confirm Costello’s email and phone records were obtained, including a letter from the prosecutors themselves, but it does not indicate whether the records were obtained as a result of Bannon’s case or another. Costello also represents former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“Mr. Costello represented Mr. Bannon before the January 6th Select Committee in relation to the subpoena it issued to Mr. Bannon and is, therefore, a witness to the conduct charged in the Indictment,” prosecutor Amanda Vaughn explained in a Jan. 7 letter. But Vaughn wrote that “the Government has not taken any steps to obtain any attorney-work product relating to any attorney’s representation of Mr. Bannon or to obtain any confidential communications between Mr. Bannon, Mr. Costello, and Mr. Katz, or between Mr. Bannon and any other attorneys.”

Read more …

Do you see Putin walking into a trap? Or is he the one setting the trap?

What a US Trap for Russia in Ukraine Might Look Like (Lauria)

United States plans to weaken Russia by imposing punishing sanctions and bringing world condemnation on Moscow depend on Washington’s hysteria about a Russian invasion of Ukraine actually coming true. At his press conference on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin said, “I still believe the United States is not that concerned about Ukraine’s security, though they may think about it on the sidelines. Its main goal is to contain Russia’s development. This is the whole point. In this sense, Ukraine is simply a tool to reach this goal. This can be done in different ways: by drawing us into some armed conflict, or compelling its allies in Europe to impose tough sanctions on us like the US is talking about today.”

At the U.N. Security Council on Monday, Russia’s U.N. envoy Vassily Nebenzia said: “Our Western colleagues say that de-escalation is needed, but they are the first to build up tension, enhance rhetoric and escalate the situation. Talks about an imminent war are provocative per se. It might seem you call for it, want it and wait for it to come, as if you wanted your allegations to come true.” The war mania being drummed up in U.S. and British media recalls even Zbigniew Brzezinski‘s warning that “whipping up anti-Russian hysteria … could eventually become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Without an invasion the U.S. seems lost. No sanctions, no world opprobrium, no weakening of Russia. If the U.S. is trying to lure Russia into a trap in Ukraine, what might it look like?

Ukraine says it is not planning an offensive against the breakaway provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, which border Russia in the east. But just ten days ago Ukrainian President Zelensky said: “We have learned to contain external threats. It is time we begin offensive actions aimed at securing our national interests. Our citizens are united in wanting their territory returned” Joe Biden has said a Russian invasion will come in February, when the ground freezes. But it could also be the time for a Kiev offensive to recover the two Donbass provinces. NATO nations are pouring weapons into Ukraine supposedly to defend it against the “invasion.” But the weapons transfers could instead be preparation for an offensive, on orders from Washington. Since the 2014 U.S.-backed coup the U.S. essentially runs the country and all Ukrainian leaders, including Zelensky, serve at the pleasure of the U.S. president.

The ground will also be frozen for Kiev’s forces in February, which was the month of the 2014 coup, while Putin was in Sochi for the Winter Olympics. He is now in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics, away from the command center in Moscow. (The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing was also the time Georgia instigated its war with Russia against its renegade provinces at the behest of the United States.) When Kiev stepped up attacks against Donbass in March and October 2021, Russia both time increased its troop deployments near the Ukraine border, which this time is being interpreted by Washington as plans for an “imminent” invasion. It is an invasion the U.S. absolutely needs to implement its plans to weaken Russia (and ultimately to replace Putin with a pliable leader in the mold of Boris Yeltsin.) As Moscow has never openly threatened such an invasion, the U.S. appears to be devising ways to get it.

Read more …

“..even the news media is tired of its role in the controlled demolition of our country.”

Death Wish (Jim Kunstler)

Looks like the backup plan is for “Joe Biden’s” geniuses in the foreign affairs and intel bureaucracy to start a war with Russia over Ukraine, our dearest ally in the whole wide world (not). Yesterday, State Department spox Ned Price floated up a raggedy balloon about Russia pulling a “false flag” stunt in Ukraine’s Donbass frontier to get things going. It sounded like he was just making shit up. And he was conspicuously short on details. “Our intel people something something, blah blah….” Skeptical reporters shot the balloon down with a few barbed remarks — the darn thing just zinged around the press room with the air rushing out and crashed on the spox’s podium — suggesting that even the news media is tired of its role in the controlled demolition of our country.

More likely, though, the financial scaffold of Late Modernity gives way under the burden of rackets and Ponzis it has been asked to support. This week, Facebook (a.k.a. Meta) scored the world record for biggest single-day market value drop ever, shedding $232-billion in capital losses. You go, Zuck! The Everything Bubble has achieved supernova scale and everybody knows she’s gonna blow as soon as Jay Powell lifts the Fed Funds rate twenty-five basis points. When that finally happens, things get realer than real and Truth comes marching in like the saints with bells on. It’ll be the Left’s Masque of the Red Death… ashes, ashes, all fall down.

The actual global economy itself — the thing that sends, you know, products from one place to another — is seizing up like the engine on a beater 1998 Buick Regal. Long about right now, lots of things are not going from point A to Point B, including stuff of a food nature. It’s starting to irk the home-folks. When all that goes south, you’ll hear no more about Covid-19, systemic racism, the patriarchy, the drag queen story hour, and all the other hobgoblins that infest the Left’s gospel garden of Wokery. The kryptonite is coming on hard. They are done… and for the moment we are stuck with them running the country.

Read more …

“..his collection ‘The Merge’ set a new record for an artwork sold publicly by a living artist at US $91.8 million..”

Record-Breaking Artist Pak Joins Forces With Assange To Make NFT History (CF)

Censored’ is a digital art collection created by NFT artist Pak in collaboration with imprisoned WikiLeaks-founder Julian Assange.The art collection titled ‘Censored’ will be unveiled shortly in time for the auction on February 7th. ‘Censored’ is shrouded in mystery and is set to make NFT history.Pak has dropped some hints with tweets about censorship and freedom. On January 5th, Pak’s Twitter account @muratpak tweeted “nine hundred ninety nine”, signifying the number of days that Julian Assange had spent in prison. The following day, @muratpak tweeted “define freedom”, followed by “freedom as a medium” and linked to a WikiLeaks tweet. Renowned digital artist Pak is one of the highest grossing artists alive, known for pushing conceptual and stylistic boundaries. Pak became a household name in the traditional art world after Sotheby’s auctioned his collection ‘The “Fungible’ in April 2021, selling for US $16.8 million. In December 2021, Pak again made headlines as his collection ‘The Merge’ set a new record for an artwork sold publicly by a living artist at US $91.8 million, surpassing Jeff Koons’s “Rabbit”. [..]


‘Censored’ is a two-part NFT collection: The first part is a one of a kind (“1/1 edition”) NFT, which Pak describes as “dynamic and generative”. “Dynamic” means that the digital art piece changes over time. “Generative” means that the artwork is generated from the artist’s instructions on the blockchain. The single edition NFT is expected to attract major collectors and NFT-world cooperative funds known as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). The second part of the collection is an “open edition,” which in addition to being “dynamic” will also be participative. The open edition is designed to be more accessible and therefore draw a broader pool of collectors. As a reference point, Pak’s record-breaking collection ‘Merge’ set the record for open editions with 30,000 collectors and grossing US $91.8 million.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Oct 232017
 
 October 23, 2017  Posted by at 9:19 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  4 Responses »


Gordon Parks Place de la Concorde, Paris 1950

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go? (IceCap)
Americans Have More Debt Than Ever – And It’s Creating An Economic Trap (BI)
Crisis, What Crisis? Banks Pile Back Into China (BBG)
China’s Home Price Growth Steadies In September (R.)
Jimmy Carter Unleashed: Russians Didn’t Alter Election (DaWi)
Italy Regions Back ‘Big Bang’ Autonomy (AFP)
Noble, Once Asia’s Largest Commodity Trader, Struggles To Survive (BBG)
Washington To Back Greek Call For Debt Relief (K.)
Car Pollution Causes A Huge Salmon Die-Off (WaPo)
CO2 Rise ‘Will Affect All Sea Life’ (BBC)

 

 

“..a +0.7% increase in the US 10-Year Treasury market yield created chaos, havoc and over $1.7 Trillion in losses..”

Should I Stay or Should I Go? (IceCap)

Life was so bad – especially for bond investors, that by the time 1982 rolled around you couldn’t give a bond away. If you were an investor or working in the investment industry at the time – you were painfully aware of the bond market and you were schooled to never, ever buy a bond again. Of course, 1982 was actually the best time ever to buy a bond. With long-term rates dropping like a stone over the next 35 years, bond investors and bond managers became known as the smartest people in the room. But, that was then and this is now. There are 2 points to remember forever here: 1) What goes down, must come up 2) There’s no one around today to remind us of what life was like for bond investors when long-term rates marched relentlessly higher

Interest rates are secular. And with interest rates today already hitting the theoretical 0% level – they have started to rise. And when long-term rates begin to rise, (unlike short-term rates) it happens in a snapping, violent manner. Neither of which is good for bond investors. Of course, there’s another important point to consider, the rise in long-rates from 1962 to 1982 occurred when there wasn’t a debt crisis in the developed world. And since 99% of the industry has only worked since 1982 to today, then 99% of the industry has never experienced, lived or even dreamt of a crisis in the bond market. This of course is the primary reason why all the negative stories about the stock market are alive and well played out in the media – they simply don’t know any better. And this is wrong. Very wrong. After all, the bond bubble dwarfs the tech bubble and the housing bubble. Think about it.

To grasp why the bond market is on the verge of crisis, and why trillions of Dollars, Euros, Yen and Pounds are about to panic and run away, we ask you to understand how free-markets really work. For starters, all free markets have two sides competing and participating. There are natural buyers and there are natural sellers. The point at which they meet in the middle is the selling/purchase price and the entire process is called price discovery. Price discovery is a wonderful thing. It always results in the determination of a true price for a product or service. However, a big problem arises when there is an imbalance between the buyers and sellers, and when one of the sides isn’t a natural buyer or seller. This is what has happened in the bond market. And this is why bond prices (or yields) have become so distorted; the true price of a bond hasn’t existed now for almost 9 years.

[..] over the last year, we’ve seen the most significant market reaction in the history of the bond world, not once but twice. Yet, the talking heads, the big banks and their mutual fund commentaries, and the stock market focused world have completely missed it. Almost a year ago in November immediately after the American Election, over a span of 54 hours – the bond market blew up. To put things into perspective, Chart 2 shows what happened during those fateful days. Ignoring the why’s, the how’s and the who’s – the fact remains that this tiny, miniscule increase in long-term interest rates caused the bond market to vomit over itself. Yes, a +0.7% increase in the US 10-Year Treasury market yield created chaos, havoc and over $1.7 Trillion in losses around the world.

Read more …

“Most consumers, especially those in the bottom 80%, are tapped out..”

Americans Have More Debt Than Ever – And It’s Creating An Economic Trap (BI)

There’s a scary little statistic buried beneath the US economy’s apparent stability: Consumer debt levels are now well above those seen before the Great Recession. As of June, US households were more than half a trillion dollars deeper in debt than they were a year earlier, according to the latest figures from the Federal Reserve. Total household debt now totals $12.84 trillion — also, incidentally, around two-thirds of GDP. The proportion of overall debt that was delinquent in the second quarter was steady at 4.8%, but the New York Fed warned over transitions of credit card balances into delinquency, which “ticked up notably.” Here’s the thing: Unlike government debt, which can be rolled over continuously, consumer loans actually need to be paid back. And despite low official interest rates from the Federal Reserve, those often do not trickle down to many financial products like credit cards and small business loans.

Michael Lebowitz, co-founder of market analysis firm 720 Global, says the US economy is already dangerously close to the edge. “Most consumers, especially those in the bottom 80%, are tapped out,” he told Business Insider. “They have borrowed about as much as they can. Servicing this debt will act like a wet towel on economic growth for years to come. Until wages can grow faster than our true costs of inflation, this problem will only worsen.” The IMF devotes two chapters of its latest Global Financial Stability Report to the issue of household debt. It finds that, rather intuitively, high debt levels tend to make economic downturns deeper and more prolonged. “Increases in household debt consistently [signal] higher risks when initial debt levels are already high,” the IMF says.

Nonetheless, the results indicate that the threshold levels for household debt increases being associated with negative macro outcomes start relatively low, at about 30% of GDP. Clearly, America’s already well past that point. As households become more indebted, the Fund says, future GDP growth and consumption decline and unemployment rises relative to their average values. “Changes in household debt have a positive contemporaneous relationship to real GDP growth and a negative association with future real GDP growth,” the report says. Specifically, the Fund says a 5% increase in household debt to GDP over a three-year period leads to a 1.25% fall in real GDP growth three years into the future.

“Housing busts and recessions preceded by larger run-ups in household debt tend to be more severe and protracted,” the IMF said. Is there a solution? If things reach a tipping point, yes, says the IMF — there’s always debt forgiveness. Even creditors stand to benefit. “We find that government policies can help prevent prolonged contractions in economic activity by addressing the problem of excessive household debt,” the report said. The Fund cites “bold household debt restructuring programs such as those implemented in the United States in the 1930s and in Iceland today” as historical precedents. “Such policies can, therefore, help avert self-reinforcing cycles of household defaults, further house price declines, and additional contractions in output.”

Read more …

“.. it’s odd that banks would think China is getting debt under control even as they provide more of it.”

Crisis, What Crisis? Banks Pile Back Into China (BBG)

China has been working hard to convince the world that it’s not a financial crisis waiting to happen. Judging from the latest data on cross-border lending, banks are buying it. Foreign banks’ total exposure to China reached $750 billion in June 2017, up from $659 billion a year earlier, according to the Bank for International Settlements. That’s a big contrast to a couple of years ago, when lenders were pulling tens of billions out amid concerns that a combination of high indebtedness, excessive investment and slowing growth would precipitate a wave of defaults. Here’s how that looks:

What changed? For one, China’s economy (according to the suspiciously smooth official data, at least) has proven more resilient than expected: The pace of growth has accelerated from a mid-2016 low of 6.7%, and forecasters have raised their projections for 2018. Perhaps more important, Chinese officials have advertised their commitment to controlling debt and containing an overheated property market. That said, it’s odd that banks would think China is getting debt under control even as they provide more of it. Although the accumulation has slowed in some areas, it has boomed in households and elsewhere. By one early-warning measure – the difference between the current and long-term levels of business and household credit as a share of GDP, also known as the credit gap – China and Hong Kong are still by far the riskiest countries tracked by the BIS.

Read more …

As Beijing buys 25% of sales.

China’s Home Price Growth Steadies In September (R.)

China’s new home prices registered a second straight month of weak growth in September, with prices in the biggest markets slipping and gains in smaller cities slowing as government measures to cool a long property boom took hold. China’s housing market has been on a near two-year tear, giving the economy a major boost but stirring fears of a property bubble even as authorities work to contain risks from a rapid build-up in debt. While monthly price rises peaked in September 2016 at 2.1% nationwide, they have softened only begrudgingly since then, regaining momentum as buyers shrugged off each new wave of measures to curb speculation. Analysts say more tightening could still be expected in lower-tier cities with relatively fast price gains, as critics argue China’s ever-growing administrative control over its property market has only reaffirmed speculator views that prices will remain steady.

“China’s property prices are still rising even as sales are falling off a cliff, which suggests the market still sees property as an investment product in the belief that the government won’t let prices fall,” said Yi Xianrong, a Professor of Economics at Qingdao University. Still, signs of a more stable and less frothy housing market for now will be welcome to the country’s leaders as they attend a critical Communist Party Congress to set political and economic priorities for the next five years. President Xi Jingping opened the twice-a-decade gathering last week, stressing the need to move from high-speed to high-quality growth. Average new home prices rose 0.2% month-on-month in September, the same rate as in August when prices rose at the slowest rate in seven months, according to Reuters calculations from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data out on Monday.

“The curbs are in general still intensifying, which have gradually impacted property buyers’ expectations,” said Zhang Dawei, an analyst with Centaline, a property agency. New home prices rose 6.3% year-on-year in September, decelerating from August’s 8.3% increase, partly thanks to last September’s high base. Higher prices are also eating up more of home buyers’ disposable income, which could dampen future demand.

Read more …

Truth to power.

Jimmy Carter Unleashed: Russians Didn’t Alter Election (DaWi)

At 93, Jimmy Carter is cutting loose. The former president sat down with The New York Times recently and chatted about all kinds of subjects. The Times decided to play up the fact that Carter — one of the worst presidents in U.S. history — would love to go over to North Korea as an envoy. But the Times is steadily proving how out of touch it is, and how it no longer seems to actually “get” what real news is. Here are some major highlights from the interview:

1. The Russians didn’t steal the 2016 election. Carter was asked “Did the Russians purloin the election from Hillary?” “I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes — or any votes,” Carter said. So the hard-left former president doesn’t think the Russians stole the election? Take note, Capitol Hill Democrats.

2. We didn’t vote for Hillary. Carter and his wife, Roselyn, disagreed on the Russia question. In the interview, she “looked over archly [and said] ‘They obviously did'” purloin the election. “Rosie and I have a difference of opinion on that,” Carter said. Rosalynn then said, “The drip-drip-drip about Hillary.” Which prompted Carter to note that during the primary, they didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. “We voted for Sanders.”

3. Obama fell far short of his promises. Barack Obama whooshed into office on pledges of delivering “hope and change” to the country, spilt by partisan politics. He didn’t. In fact, he made it worse. “He made some very wonderful statements, in my opinion, when he first got in office, and then he reneged on that,” he said about Obama’s action on the Middle East.

4. Media “harder on Trump than any president.” A recent Harvard study showed that 93% of new coverage about President Trump is negative. But here’s another shocker: Carter defended Trump. “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” Carter said. “I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”

5. NFL players should “stand during the American anthem.” Carter, who joined the other four living ex-presidents on Saturday for a hurricane fundraiser, put his hand on his heart when the national anthem played — and he has a strong opinion about what NFL players should do, too. “I think they ought to find a different way to object, to demonstrate,” he said. ” I would rather see all the players stand during the American anthem.”

Read more …

Expect more of this. Much more.

Italy Regions Back ‘Big Bang’ Autonomy (AFP)

Two of Italy’s wealthiest northern regions on Sunday voted overwhelmingly in favour of greater autonomy in the latest example of the powerful centrifugal forces reshaping European politics. Voters in the Veneto region that includes Venice and Lombardy, home to Milan, turned out at the high end of expectations to support the principle of more powers being devolved from Rome in votes that took place against the backdrop of the crisis created by Catalonia’s push for independence. Veneto President Luca Zaia hailed the results, which were delayed slightly by a hacker attack, as an institutional “big bang”. But he reiterated that the region’s aspirations were not comparable to the secessionist agenda that has provoked a constitutional crisis in Spain.

Turnout was projected at around 58% in Veneto, where support for autonomy is stronger, and just over 40% in Lombardy. The presidents of both regions said more than 95% of voters who had cast ballots had, as expected, done so to support greater autonomy. The votes are not binding but they will give the right-wing leaders of the two regions a strong political mandate when they embark on negotiations with the central government on the devolution of powers and tax revenues from Rome. Secessionist sentiment in Veneto and Lombardy is restricted to fringe groups but analysts see the autonomy drive as reflecting the same cocktail of issues and pressures that resulted in Scotland’s narrowly-defeated independence vote, Britain’s decision to leave the EU and the Catalan crisis.

“What this vote has shown is that there is no ‘autonomy party’ in Veneto – what there is is an entire people who back this idea,” said Zaia. “What’s won is the idea that we should be in charge of our own back yard.” Lombardy governor Roberto Maroni said he would be looking to present detailed proposals on devolution within two weeks, in a bid to ensure they are considered before national elections due by May next year. “I will go to Rome and ask for more powers and resources within a framework of national unity,” he said.

Read more …

Too much debt?!

Noble, Once Asia’s Largest Commodity Trader, Struggles To Survive (BBG)

Embattled commodity trader Noble Group warned of a more than $1 billion third-quarter net loss and agreed to sell most of its oil-liquids unit to Vitol Group at a loss, further complicating its fight for survival. The long-awaited deal to sell its prized oil business provided little relief to Hong Kong-based company, with shares falling the most in three months. Details of the sale announced on Monday failed to give much clarity on how much Noble Group would ultimately receive from Vitol, while the third-quarter results highlighted the company’s struggle to return to profitability as it offloads assets to repay debt. “They’re still fighting to survive,” Nicholas Teo, a trading strategist at KGI Securities said by phone. Noble Group’s stock slumped as much as 12% in Singapore, extending a more than 90% retreat since questions over its financial reporting emerged in early 2015.

While the company has defended its accounting, it has also written down the value of its long-term commodity contracts, ousted senior managers and put almost all of its businesses outside Asia up for sale. Noble Group’s 2020 notes are trading at about 39 cents on the dollar, with analysts at BNP Paribas and Nomura predicting that the company will eventually be forced to restructure its debt. Noble Group said that based on its end-June accounts it would have received net proceeds of $582 million from the oil unit deal after paying back borrowings under a secured credit facility. But that figure included proceeds from the earlier sale of its gas-and-power unit, the company said, and was prior to a third quarter in which the business was “adversely impacted” by “capital constraints.” Based on that number, the company would report a $525 million loss on the sale.

Read more …

As US alienates itself from Erdogan. For good reasons.

Washington To Back Greek Call For Debt Relief (K.)

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears set to spearhead initiatives for Greek debt relief as part of Washington’s efforts to bolster Greece as a bastion of stability in the wider region, according to Kathimerini sources. Mnuchin took part in a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the White House last week that addressed ways to promote investments in Greece, strengthen defense cooperation and push Greek debt relief demands. It was, reportedly, made clear at the meeting that Trump has made a strategic decision to support Greece as a reliable ally in the Eastern Mediterranean.

As a first step, the US may ask for an informal meeting of the IMF’s Executive Board to be convened – after a government is formed in Berlin and provided the third Greek bailout review is completed – where pressure will be applied for a specific time frame with regard to Greece’s debt. Another indication that the ball is beginning to roll was the result of talks between Tsipras and IMF chief Christine Lagarde a day before the meeting with Trump. Mnuchin told Trump and Tsipras that Lagarde had contacted him saying her talks with the Greek premier went well and there will be no surprises during the negotiations to complete the review. Mnuchin added that Lagarde said the IMF will push for debt relief.

Read more …

A curious story.

Car Pollution Causes A Huge Salmon Die-Off (WaPo)

Silvery coho salmon are as much a part of Washington state as its flag. The fish has a sacred place in the diets and rituals of the state’s indigenous peoples, beckons to tourists who flock to watch its migration runs, and helps to sustain a multimillion-dollar Pacific Northwest fishing industry. So watching the species die in agony is distressing: Adult coho have been seen thrashing in shallow fresh waters, males appear disoriented as they swim, and females are often rolled on their backs, their insides still plump with tiny red eggs that will never hatch. “Coho have not done well where a lot of human activity impacts their habitat,” said Nat Scholz, a research zoologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That’s to say the least.

A recent study traced a major coho salmon die-off to contaminants from roads and automobiles — brake dust, oil, fuel, chemical fluids — that hitch a ride on storm water and flow into watersheds. The contaminants are so deadly, they kill the salmon within 24 hours. “Our findings are . . . that contaminants in stormwater runoff from the regional transportation grid likely caused these mortality events. Further, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse historical coho declines without addressing the toxic pollution dimension of freshwater habitats,” said the study, published Wednesday in the journal Ecological Applications. This sort of point-source pollution from antiquated sewer systems is a problem across the nation, including the Chesapeake Bay region. Rain overwhelms storm drains, commingles with human waste and surface road garbage, then flushes into ponds, creeks, streams and rivers.

In Seattle and large cities across the Pacific Northwest, those waters are stocked with salmon. The finding could be a breakthrough in a mystery that has vexed scientists for years. But it fell short of explaining another mystery: Why are coho the only one of five salmon species to be affected? Chinook, sockeye, pink and chum don’t remotely experience the same mortality. “This is the great mystery that we are working on,” Scholz said. The future for a species that experiences up to 40 percent mortality before spawning in Puget Sound is no mystery. “The population will crash,” said Jay Davis, an environmental toxicologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who coordinated field research for the study.

Read more …

“.. an increase in acidity of about 26%…”

CO2 Rise ‘Will Affect All Sea Life’ (BBC)

All sea life will be affected because carbon dioxide emissions from modern society are making the oceans more acidic, a major new report will say. The eight-year study from more than 250 scientists finds that infant sea creatures will be especially harmed. This means the number of baby cod growing to adulthood could fall to a quarter or even a 12th of today’s numbers, the researchers suggest. The assessment comes from the BIOACID project, which is led from Germany. A brochure summarising the main outcomes will be presented to climate negotiators at their annual meeting, which this year is taking place in Bonn in November. The Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification report authors say some creatures may benefit directly from the chemical changes – but even these could still be adversely affected indirectly by shifts in the whole food web.

What is more, the research shows that changes through acidification will be made worse by climate change, pollution, coastal development, over-fishing and agricultural fertilisers. Ocean acidification is happening because as CO2 from fossil fuels dissolves in seawater, it produces carbonic acid and this lowers the pH of the water. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the average pH of global ocean surface waters have fallen from pH 8.2 to 8.1. This represents an increase in acidity of about 26%. The study’s lead author is Prof Ulf Riebesell from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel. He is a world authority on the topic and has typically communicated cautiously about the effects of acidification. He told BBC News: “Acidification affects marine life across all groups, although to different degrees.

“Warm-water corals are generally more sensitive than cold-water corals. Clams and snails are more sensitive than crustaceans. “And we found that early life stages are generally more affected than adult organisms. “But even if an organism isn’t directly harmed by acidification it may be affected indirectly through changes in its habitat or changes in the food web. “At the end of the day, these changes will affect the many services the ocean provides to us.”

Read more …