Pieter Bruegel the Elder Hunters in the snow 1565
New York has its first official breakdown of what share of people are hospitalized for COVID vs. how many are hospitalized with incidental COVID. In NYC it’s 49% for COVID, everyone else just happened to test positive
"The latest data from the [UKHSA] 2022 Week 1 report that dropped yesterday reveal an even more pronounced pattern, with negative efficacy returning to every age bracket over 18" https://t.co/dDYInlr1ce pic.twitter.com/YUBVONag2F
— Doctor Fate (@georg3) January 7, 2022
COVID in Europe: Italy introduces mandatory vaccination for the over 50s pic.twitter.com/L9JWlpeWZp
— Nietzsche fan (@nietzsche_1984) January 7, 2022
“Lunacy is exhausting.”
• When That Ol’ Mojo Stops Workin’ (Kunstler)
You will have to be nimble and resourceful. The Covid lockdowns of the past two years have destroyed many small businesses, but think of that as the tide going out before the blowback of a tsunami that will sweep away the large businesses next. The WalMarts, the automobile industry, the airlines, trucking, Amazon.com, major league sports, the fast-food empires, the oil industry, the mega-banks — all these systems have gone into speed-wobble and most of them will crash hard. It’s an issue of scale. The broken giants will have to be replaced by lower-scaled systems for producing stuff, moving it, and selling it. That includes food, especially, by the way. How are you going to be part of that where you live? What role can you imagine yourself in? What are you good at? What do you dream of being good at? Can you assemble a social network for yourself?
Do you have any ability to look after the public interest? Can you speak coherently? Do you mean what you say? Are you grounded morally in right-and-wrong? Can others depend on you to keep your word? These are the questions that will matter going forward, not whether you were vaccinated, or voted for Mr. Trump, or know the lyrics to God Bless America. It looks like the disorders of economy and community are heading to center stage as the Covid-19 melodrama closes down. Since human nature is perverse, the current mass formation psychosis may transfer its energy onto new hobgoblins. But the mass of Americans — putting aside blue and red insignia for a moment — might simply be tired of lunacy. They may even begin to show some impatience with those who generate it, for instance the cable TV news channels.
Some of the most practiced conveyers of lunacy are heading out the door in the months ahead. Joy Reid of MSNBC is reportedly on her way off-camera (not by choice), and a while back the redoubtably dishonest Rachel Maddow announced her exit for April of this year, probably in anticipation of all her beloved narratives falling apart. Lunacy is exhausting. Soon enough, even the crazed governments of Euroland and Australia will suddenly drop their lockdowns and vaccination tyrannies as reality presses on the bubbles they occupy. In the face of the Omicron fade-out, they’ll turn 180-degrees and try to pretend that the episode of madness never happened. I doubt they will get away with it. Many politicians in these lands will be bum-rushed from office at the first opportunity.
Yeah, yeah, more studies needed, yada yada, but they easily know enough already to take their hands off the panic button. They don’t.
• CDC Director Says US May See ‘Precipitous Decline’ In Omicron Cases (ABC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday there is a good chance that the U.S. will follow the “ice-pick”-shaped curve of South Africa’s omicron surge of the COVID variant, but cautioned that it could roll through different parts of the country at various times, as previous waves have. “I do think in places that we are seeing this really steep incline, that we may well see also a precipitous decline, but we’re also a much bigger country than South Africa,” Walensky said in a briefing with reporters. “And so it may very well be that we see this ice-pick shape, but that is it travels across the country,” she said.
As far as the rapid spread of coronavirus cases contributing to that decline, Walensky said there was not yet conclusive data to say for sure that people who recovered from omicron would be protected against reinfection. The CDC is setting up studies to find out more, Walensky said. There is data to show that previous delta infections do not fully protect against omicron infections, but that lab studies have shown omicron infection may protect against future delta infections, she said. “But we don’t yet have data that has demonstrated, at least clinically, that omicron protects against omicron,” Walensky said. “We are setting up studies to evaluate that, but we don’t have that information quite yet.”
As for the record-breaking high rates of pediatric hospitalizations, Walensky described a culmination of winter bringing higher rates of hospitalizations, many kids testing positive in hospitals when they come in for other issues and the low vaccination rates among kids in the face of the most transmissible variant yet. For the week ending Jan. 1, Walensky said the rate of hospitalization for kids up to age four was 4.3 per 100,000, but that the population over 65 was seeing rates of 14.7 hospitalizations per 100,000. “So, rates are higher in the pediatric populations than we’ve seen previously, but they’re also higher among our other populations and many populations that are also vaccinated,” Walensky said, reflecting how much the virus has spread.
The SCOTUS justices performed a weird sort of comedy there, showing off their utter ignorance. And THEY get to decide?
• Justice Sotomayor Claims 100,000 Children in ‘Serious Condition’ from Covid (Y!)
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor falsely claimed that 100,000 children are in “serious condition” from Covid during oral arguments on the Biden administration’s employer vaccine mandate on Friday. “We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators. We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition, and many on ventilators,” Sotomayor claimed. The current number of confirmed pediatric hospitalizations with Covid in the U.S. is 3,342, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services released on Friday. The average number of children admitted to the hospital per day with Covid was 776 as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, the total number of children hospitalized with Covid from August 2020 through January 4, 2022 is 81,923, the CDC states.
CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement on Friday that “pediatric hospitalizations are at their highest rate compared to any prior point in the pandemic.” However, Walensky also told reporters that CDC data on pediatric Covid hospitalizations included some patients who were admitted to the hospital for a separate issue. Sotomayor’s comments came as the Court heard arguments on the Biden administration’s employer vaccine mandate, which states that businesses with 100 or more employees must require Covid vaccinations for all workers and weekly testing for those workers who do not get vaccinated. Challengers claim that the agency charged with developing and enforcing the mandate, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, does not have the Constitutional authority to do so.
“Fauci [..] not only isn’t trained in public health but “has interests that do not align with the public health interests of the United States,”
• Top Epidemiologist Harvey Risch Blasts Fauci’s Covid Strategy, CDC Data (JTN)
President Biden can claim that COVID-19 remains a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” partly because “the CDC has played fast and loose with a lot of studies and data,” Yale School of Public Health epidemiologist Harvey Risch says. “We have not been careful or objective with our data,” he told the John Solomon Reports podcast Friday. “We don’t even know, for example, the mortality from COVID,” which the CDC pegs at more than 800,000. Risch noted the agency told physicians to put COVID on death certificates regardless of whether they think the infection played a role. Hospitalizations have also conflated admissions “with” and “from” COVID, he said. As a member of a committee advising Connecticut early in the pandemic, Risch urged ignoring case counts and focusing on hospitalizations and deaths.
That advice was largely ignored until the current “sky-high” yet mild Omicron variant wave, but now “finally people are waking up to say that the cases don’t matter,” he said. The U.K. is among countries that more carefully track COVID, according to Risch. Its data show vaccinated adults constitute the majority of cases, “and it’s not a hospitalization of the unvaccinated” either. While vaccines are a “potential and reasonable component” of COVID mitigation, those developed are “somewhat ineffective” and their large-scale deployment has driven an unexpected number of “mutant strains” extending the pandemic and causing higher mortality, Risch said. President Biden’s chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, not only isn’t trained in public health but “has interests that do not align with the public health interests of the United States,” Risch argued.
The Guardian manages to draw conclusions from the insurance story that are 180º different. Not one word about vaccine deaths as a possible factor.
• True Number Of US Covid Deaths Likely Undercounted, Experts Say (G.)
The true number of deaths from the Covid pandemic in the US are likely being undercounted, due to the long-lasting and little-understood effects of Covid infection and other deadly complications that surged during the past two years. “We are seeing right now the highest death rates we have ever seen in the history of this business,” J Scott Davison, CEO of insurance company OneAmerica, told journalists on 30 December. “Death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic,” he said, among working-age people between 18 and 64. Deaths among older Americans have also increased, with one in 100 Americans over the age of 65 dying. There have been an estimated 942,431 excess deaths in the US since February 2020, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hispanic, Black and Native American and Alaska Native populations have been disproportionately affected with high death rates, research shows. The pandemic pales in comparison to other previous crises, Davison said. “A one-in-200-year catastrophe would be a 10% increase over pre-pandemic [levels]. So 40% is just unheard of.” Many of the deaths aren’t counted in the official Covid tally, he said, because they happen months after Covid infections. “The deaths that are being reported as Covid deaths greatly understate the actual death losses among working-age people from the pandemic. It may not all be Covid on their death certificates, but deaths are up in just huge, huge numbers.”
[..] “We’re seeing the statistics get written as we go, almost,” Micah Pollak, associate professor of economics at Indiana University Northwest, said. And high rates of mortality and disability will only continue as more people get infected, he said. “We really don’t know what the tail of this thing looks like,” Pollak said of long Covid. “The further you get out [from infection], the longer time you have to potentially develop some kind of complications.” The high rates of death haven’t surprised him, Pollak said, given the equally high rates of cases and the unknown effects of a novel virus. “There’s just so much evidence of these long-term effects of Covid that I naturally assumed people realized that, hey, we’re gonna see probably a lot of deaths down the road – not necessarily soon after infection, but indirectly as a result of infection, as well as not just deaths but disability.”
“..two-dose mRNA vaccines are “not protective against” the new variant, while the booster shot only improves effectiveness to 37% seven or more days later.”
• Global Research On Omicron Raises Questions About Unvaccinated Blame Game (JTN)
President Biden’s oft-repeated belief that COVID-19 remains a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” is running headlong into global data on the real-world performance of vaccines against the Omicron variant, which the CDC estimates now accounts for 19 in 20 U.S. infections. A new study by Ontario, Canada’s public health agency and health researchers at Canadian universities found that two-dose mRNA vaccines are “not protective against” the new variant, while the booster shot only improves effectiveness to 37% seven or more days later. That’s in stark contrast to the 93% effectiveness against the Delta variant they observed among vaccinated and boosted individuals seven or more days later.
Researchers reviewed provincial data on 3,442 Omicron positives, 9,201 Delta positives and 471,545 “test-negative controls.” There were important differences between the populations testing positive for each variant. Omicron cases were 10 years younger on average, more likely to be male and two-dose vaccinated, and less likely to have “any comorbidities” or a booster, relative to controls. Delta cases were far less likely to be vaccinated at all, relative to controls. Digging further into the preprint, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed, California-based epidemiologist Tracy Hoeg was floored that two-dose vaccination actually reduced protection from reinfection by Omicron 38% four to six months after injection, and 42% by eight months.
“Why mandate?” Hoeg tweeted while acknowledging the Ontario Public Health study didn’t look at vaccine effectiveness against severe COVID infections. The Danish-American citizen highlighted official Denmark data suggesting two-dose vaccine recipients are “equally” protected against ICU admissions as boosted individuals. Their reinfections have surpassed those of the unvaccinated, however, and the boosted are “catching up.”
The wild success of dictatorship.
And Djokovic had every right to his exemption. But is still locked up.
Australia will have very few politicians left if it does what needs to be done.
• Victoria Records Huge Spike In Cases (G.)
Victoria has reported a massive jump in Covid cases, a day after launching its online system allowing people to self-report rapid antigen test results for the first time. New Covid cases surged above 100,000 per day nationally for the first time, with Victoria reporting 51,356 new cases and nine deaths, New South Wales 45,098 cases and nine deaths, Queensland 11,174 cases and two deaths, and South Australia 4,274 cases and five deaths. The Australian Capital Territory recorded 1,305 cases and Tasmania had 2,223 cases. Saturday’s case numbers in Victoria are more than double Friday’s figure, but health authorities say almost half (26,428) the positive cases in the past 24 hours were RAT results, with many of those taken earlier in the week.
Only 5,923 of Saturday’s positive RAT results were from the latest 24-hour reporting period. “We don’t want Victorians to think that the daily transmission has doubled overnight,” the health minister, Martin Foley, said on Saturday. “The reported figure has certainly significantly spiked based on that week’s worth of unreported figures that we are now capturing in the system.” The new RAT reporting system was set up after the PCR testing regime came under extreme pressure, with suspected cases queuing for hours to get tested and results taking several days to come through. Saturday’s figures included a further 24,928 cases identified through PCR lab tests, of which more than 89,000 were conducted.
No, really, straight faced, and not from the government, but from the opposition:
“..our greatest asset… is and remains our freedom..”
You wouldn’t know freedom if it hit you between the eyes.
• Scholz Pushes Mandatory Jabs As Resistance Grows In Germany (RFI)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted Friday that his plan to introduce mandatory coronavirus jabs was on track, despite fierce debate about the controversial move and growing resistance from his own coalition partners. Scholz, who recently took over as chancellor from Angela Merkel, in late November touted compulsory jabs for all adults as the surest way out of the pandemic. The centre-left Social Democrat asked MPs in the lower of house parliament to draft the necessary legislation with the goal of introducing the measure in “late February or early March”. Little progress has been made since then however, and the fast-spreading but less severe Omicron strain has raised fresh doubts about the project, particularly among the pro-business FDP party.
Speaking after a meeting with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states on tighter coronavirus curbs, Scholz reiterated that “it would be good if we ended up with a general vaccine mandate”. He said all of Germany’s state premiers had declared their backing for the plan. “I feel fully supported” by them, he said. The same cannot be said for the FDP, who along with the Greens make up Scholz’s three-way coalition government. Although coronavirus cases are rising, Germany has so far been spared the steep Omicron surge that has swept other nations — prompting Justice Minister Marco Buschmann from the FDP to call for a wait-and-see approach on a general vaccine mandate.
FDP chief Christian Lindner said new findings “could play a role in the decision”, in a nod to Omicron infecting even the triple jabbed, and studies suggesting a lower hospitalisation rate than with the Delta variant. “Protecting human health and life is highly desirable. But our greatest asset… is and remains our freedom,” he said on Thursday.
Not everyone is crazy.
“The vaccines are reducing transmission only for about eight weeks for Delta, with Omicron it’s probably less. “And for that, I would be dismissed if I don’t have a vaccine?”
• Sajid Javid Directly Challenged On Mandatory Coronavirus Jabs (Sky)
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been directly challenged by an unvaccinated hospital consultant over the government’s policy of compulsory COVID jabs for NHS staff. During a visit to King’s College Hospital in south London, Mr Javid asked staff members on the intensive care unit about their thoughts on new rules requiring vaccination for NHS workers. And Steve James, a consultant anaesthetist who has been treating coronavirus patients since the start of the pandemic, told the health secretary about his displeasure. “I’m not happy about that,” he said. “I had COVID at some point, I’ve got antibodies, and I’ve been working on COVID ICU since the beginning.
“I have not had a vaccination, I do not want to have a vaccination. The vaccines are reducing transmission only for about eight weeks for Delta, with Omicron it’s probably less. “And for that, I would be dismissed if I don’t have a vaccine? The science isn’t strong enough.” Mr James also revealed another of his colleagues held the same position.
WOW. Consultant Dr Steve James, 10yrs at KCH, today courageously told the Health Secretary why vaccine mandates are wrong, even more so in light of omicron.
Imagine losing this talent from the NHS, let alone ending his career.
Vaccine mandates *must* be reconsidered @sajidjavid pic.twitter.com/HoUdQ3BZHu
— Silkie Carlo (@silkiecarlo) January 7, 2022
“Throughout this entire pandemic, our kids have paid a tremendous price for adults’ mistakes and miscalculations, and now the teachers’ union has hastily and recklessly put them on their political roller coaster again..”
• Parents Sue Chicago Teachers Union Over School Closures, ‘Illegal Strike’ (JTN)
Seven parents of Chicago Public Schools students are suing the district’s teachers’ union, calling this week’s closure of schools over union claims they were unsafe an “illegal strike.” The parents are asking the court to rule that the Chicago Teachers Union’s action violates its collective bargaining agreement with CPS and prevent the union from continuing “to authorize its members to stop in-person teaching,” among other demands. “CTU’s resolution calling members to not show up for work in-person is a strike regardless of what CTU calls it and violates both the collective bargaining agreement with CPS and Illinois law,” Jeffrey Schwab, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, which is representing the parents, said in a statement. “CTU cannot unilaterally decide what actions should be taken to keep public schools safe, completely silencing parents’ input about what is best for the health, safety, and well-being of their children.”
The CTU voted late Tuesday to urge Chicago Public Schools to switch to fully remote learning because of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, and authorized teachers to refuse to report to work is CPS refused. Schools have been closed since Tuesday with no remote learning options, and CPS on Friday said schools also would be closed Monday as negotiations continue with the union. “Throughout this entire pandemic, our kids have paid a tremendous price for adults’ mistakes and miscalculations, and now the teachers’ union has hastily and recklessly put them on their political roller coaster again,” Laurel Golden, one of the parents named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said in a statement. “The science is clear, and so is the desire of parents: Our kids need and deserve to be in school. This illegal strike must be ended immediately, and we must get kids back into the classroom.”
The crisis hits everywhere!
• Norwegian Conscripts Told To Return Underwear As Covid Hits Supplies (G.)
Norwegian conscripts are to return their underwear after completing military service for the next recruits, as the army struggles with dwindling supplies due to Covid. Norway, which guards Nato’s northern borders and shares a border with Russia, calls up about 8,000 young men and women for military service every year and until recently allowed newly discharged conscripts to leave barracks with the underwear they were issued. But the pandemic has seriously strained the flow of supplies with factory shutdowns and transport problems, leading the Norwegian military to ask conscripts to hand over underwear, including bras and socks.
Though originally voluntary, it has now been made mandatory, public broadcaster NRK reported on Friday. “Now that we have chosen to reuse this part of the kit, it helps us. … We don’t have enough in stock,” the defence logistics spokesman Hans Meisingset told NRK. “The textiles are washed, cleaned and checked. What we distribute is in good condition,” he said. A conscripts’ representative, however, criticised recurrent shortcomings, saying they could end up affecting operations. “Severe shortages of equipment and clothing can potentially affect operational readiness and, in the worst case, the safety of the soldier,” Eirik Sjohelle Eiksund told trade publication Forsvarets Forum.
“..CNN and Tapper provide Pfizer a platform to market its products and allow the drug company — a serial felon — to dictate content on CNN..”
• The Day Jake Tapper Sold His Soul to Pharma (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr)
In 1999, in response to exploding epidemics of autism and other neurological disorders, CDC decided to study its vast Vaccine Safety Datalink — the medical and vaccination record of millions of Americans, archived by the top HMOs — to learn whether the dramatic escalation of the vaccine schedule, beginning in 1989, was a culprit. CDC’s in-house epidemiologist, Thomas Verstraeten, led the effort. Verstraeten’s initial data run suggested that mercury-containing hepatitis B vaccines — administered during the first month of life — were associated with a wide range of neurological injuries, including a dramatic 1,135% rise in autism risks among vaccinated children.
[..] Tapper saw an early draft of my Rolling Stone story and proposed that, in exchange for exclusivity, he would do a companion piece for ABC timed to air on the magazine’s publication day. Tapper spent several weeks working on the story with me and a team of enthusiastic ABC reporters and technicians. During his frequent conversations with me over that period, he was on fire with indignation over the Simpsonwood revelations. He acted like a journalist hoping to win an Emmy. The day before the piece was to air, an exasperated Tapper called me to say that ABC’s corporate officials ordered him to pull the story. The network’s pharmaceutical advertisers were threatening to cancel their advertising. “Corporate told us to shut it down,” Tapper fumed. Tapper told me that it was the first time in his career that ABC officials had ordered him to kill a story.
ABC had advertised the Simpsonwood exposé, and its sudden cancellation disappointed an army of vaccine safety advocates and parents of injured children who deluged the network with a maelstrom of angry emails. In response, ABC changed tack and publicly promised to air the piece. Instead, following a one-week delay, the network duplicitously aired a hastily assembled puff piece promoting vaccines and assuring listeners that mercury-laden vaccines were safe. The new “bait and switch” segment precisely followed Pharma’s talking points. “I’m putting my faith in the Institute of Medicine,” ABC’s obsequious medical editor, Dr. Tim Johnson, declared in closing. Two pharmaceutical advertisements bracketed the story. After that piece aired, I called Jake to complain. He neither answered nor returned my calls.
During the 16 intervening years, Pharma has returned Mr. Tapper’s favor by aggressively promoting his career. Pfizer shamelessly sponsors Tapper’s CNN news show, announcing its ownership of the space — and Mr. Tapper’s indentured servitude — before each episode with the loaded phrase: “Brought to you by Pfizer.” Under the apparent terms of that sponsorship, CNN and Tapper provide Pfizer a platform to market its products and allow the drug company — a serial felon — to dictate content on CNN. This arrangement has transformed CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper into a propaganda vehicle for Pharma and effectively reduced Mr. Tapper to the role of a drug rep — shamelessly promoting fear porn, confusion, and germophobia, and ushering his audience toward high-yield patent pharmaceuticals. Tapper’s main thrust during the pandemic has been to promote levels of public terror sufficient to indemnify all the official lies against critical thinking.
This one is easy: anything to do with Democrats.
• What the Jan. 6 Panel Won’t Probe (Strassel)
Select committees come and go, with varying impact. The growing risk of Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 Committee is that it will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. A year after the riot, it’s a fair time to evaluate what that committee has and hasn’t accomplished since its summer creation. By its charter, the committee is assigned with investigating “the facts, circumstances and causes” of the event, as well as those “relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police” and other law-enforcement agencies. The country would hugely benefit from a straightforward accounting of that day. Committee members have so far met with some 300 witnesses, received thousands of documents, and subpoenaed some 50 individuals, as well as phone and bank records.
The committee’s leaks, and releases of White House text messages, have provided color, while its litigation and contempt citations have kept the press in gravy. Yet the body’s near-manic focus on Donald Trump’s culpability (the facts of which have been known for a year) has also meant it has produced little that’s new. On “Face the Nation” this week, the committee’s Vice Chairman Elizabeth Cheney waxed about the committee’s “tremendous progress,” yet cited as her only example that it now had “firsthand testimony” that “President Trump was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office, watching on television as the Capitol was assaulted.” “Six hours of paralysis: Inside Trump’s failure to act after a mob stormed the Capitol,” was a headline from a Jan. 11, 2021, story in the Washington Post, which reported the president “was too busy watching fiery TV images of the crisis unfolding” to listen to pleas from family and colleagues to intervene.
Thanks to the committee we now know where Mr. Trump lounged, and how many people he ignored. More notable is what the committee has failed to find. Members made no secret they hoped to prove a coup plot run from the White House. Yet in all its 725 prosecutions, the Justice Department hasn’t presented a scintilla of evidence supporting the hypothesis. Neither has the committee—even after 300 witnesses, or texts of the former White House chief of staff. Twisting in the wind are the urgent issues the committee won’t explore. In a memo this week to colleagues, Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis—the ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Capitol complex—noted that the select committee, a year after the riot, is “no closer to finding out what led to the catastrophic security failure,” even as the security situation has arguably deteriorated because of Capitol Police resignations and poor morale.
Between 2002 and 2004, Craig Murray was the British ambassador to Uzbekistan.
• What Kazakhstan Isn’t (Murray)
When you jump into a taxi in Kazakhstan, getting your suitcase into the boot is often problematic as it will be already full with a large LPG canister. Roof racks are big in Kazakhstan. Most Kazakh vehicles run on LPG, which has traditionally been a subsidised product of the nation’s massive oil and gas industry. Fuel price rises have become, worldwide, a particular trigger of public discontent. The origins of the gilets jaunes movement in France lay in fuel price rises before spreading to other areas of popular greivance. The legacy of fuel protests in the UK have led for years cowardly politicians to submit to annual real reductions in the rate of fuel duty, despite climate change concerns.
The current political crisis in Kazakhstan was spiked by moves to deregulate the LPG market and end subsidy, which led to sharp price increases. These brought people onto the streets. The government quickly backed down and tried to reinstate price controls but not producer subsidies; that would have led gas stations to sell at a loss. The result was fuel shortages that just made protest worse. Kazakhstan is an authoritarian dictatorship with extreme divisions in wealth and power between the ruling class – often still the old Soviet nomenklatura and their families – and everybody else. No political opposition is permitted. Infamously, after a massacre of striking miners, Tony Blair contacted former dictator Nazarbayev offering his PR services to help limit political fallout.
This resulted in a $4 million per year contract for Blair to assist Kazakhstan’s PR, a contract on which BBC favourites Jonathon Powell and Alastair Campbell both worked. One result of the Blairite media management for Kazakhstan was that the Guardian, publishing US leaked diplomatic cables in cooperation with Wikileaks, refused to publish US Embassy reports on corruption in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh dictatorship is also a favourite destination of troughing royals Prince Andrew and Prince Michael of Kent.
Not sure what the use is supposed to be of a prediction like this.
• 2022, The Year of The Hangover? (Lacalle)
The global recovery has slowed down significantly since the peak of the re-opening effect in June 2021. What many expected would be a multi-year cycle of above-trend growth is proving to be a more modest bounce. Furthermore, according to Bloomberg Economics, the global economy will likely grow in the next ten years at a slower pace than in the decade prior to the pandemic. The causes of the slowdown are clear. On one hand, China’s real estate bubble is a larger problem than anticipated, and there is no way in which the Chinese authorities can engineer higher growth from other sectors to offset real estate, which accounts for almost 30% of the country’s GDP and was growing at double-digit rates in the past years.
Additionally, Inflation is rising all over the world due to a combination of excessive monetary policy and supply chain challenges brought by the lockdowns. Global food prices reached a new record-high, making it more difficult for the poor to navigate the crisis. Finally, large stimulus plans have delivered no significant multiplier effect. Why would 2022 be the year of the hangover? Because the signs of overheating of the global economy are multiplying. 2021 was a year of massive demand-side policies. To the effect of the re-opening, policy makers added enormous deficit-spending plans, infrastructure and current spending boosts, and a massive monetary stimulus. The triple effect of the largest monetary stimulus in years, the re-opening and enormous government spending programs have overheated the economy. It is evident in inflationary pressures, housing, indebtedness, and twin deficit imbalances in most large economies. And those effects will not be there, or at least be present in the same proportion, in 2022. 2021 was the year of binge spending. 2022 is likely to be a hangover.
Canadians are blind to their own madness. Here’s how we know:
COVID-19 vaccines (5 to 11 year olds): It's time for kids to make memories again pic.twitter.com/6GR30vD7Hw
— Nietzsche fan (@nietzsche_1984) January 7, 2022
“I am an awful lot of things so I wish you would pay me the respect & not just ask me about my blackness”
Sidney Poitier, who has died aged 94, speaking to journalists about his treatment at the hands of the media in 1968.#RIPSidneyPoitier #SidneyPoitier pic.twitter.com/v405ecfxjq
— Stefan Simanowitz (@StefSimanowitz) January 7, 2022
Where in the mouth sounds and letters are formed
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