Apr 232022
 
 April 23, 2022  Posted by at 8:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Jackson Pollock Number 31 1949

 

Does Paul Craig Roberts like Genocide? (Orlov)
Zelensky Gets John F. Kennedy Award For Defending Democracy (AP)
Daddies in Mommie-land (Kunstler)
Migratory Birds Of Mass Destruction (IPL)
Xi Echoes Putin in Proposal for New ‘Global Security Initiative’ (ET)
Biden Proposes $500 Million In Aid For Ukrainian Government (Hill)
Turkey Says Some NATO Members Want Longer Ukraine War to Hurt Russia (Antiwar)
Russia Warns Greece of Complete Breakdown in Relations (GR)
FDA and Pfizer Knew COVID Shot Caused Immunosuppression (Mercola)
Patients Report A Rebound Of Covid-19 Symptoms After Taking Paxlovid (BGlobe)
The IMF and the Law of Unintended Consequences (CTH)
Staring Into the Abyss (CHS)
Woke Elitists Are Too Stupid To See Elon Musk Is Saving Twitter (Smith)
The Coming Removal of the Mandate of Heaven, Part 2: Water (GCW)

 

 

Gonzalo Lira

 

 

A different view.

 

 

Attacking PCR without even linking to what you’re citing is not great.

But Orlov’s view of the future is interesting.

Does Paul Craig Roberts like Genocide? (Orlov)

3. Russia has a great and prosperous future as a wealthy, well-educated, civilized, vast and resource-rich country, but this future has nothing to do with Europe or the rest of the West, which are going to collapse. The fact that Russia has been rather tightly integrated with the West ever since Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg has complicated its transition away from the West and its turn eastward. Western sanctions, rampant Russophobia and the application of cancel culture to Russian culture has made this transition inevitable in the eyes of most Russians, but the process takes time. It would not be helpful if tensions with the West decreased prematurely or if anti-Russian sanctions were removed before they are made completely irrelevant. Also, the West’s unwillingness to buy Russian energy, metals, fertilizer and other essentials speeds up its collapse timeline and that, for Russia, is also a positive.

4. Immediately after Russia commenced its Special Operation in the Ukraine, much of Russia’s remaining fifth-columnists departed for other lands. They already had no impact on Russian politics, but they still exerted some amount of influence in culture and education, and their departure has been most welcome. Given the absolutely overwhelming public support for the Special Operation in Russia, those liberals who have spoken out against it have thereby excused themselves from Russian public life, making room for new talent and new blood. This is also a process that needs to run its course and should not be rushed.

5. The Special Operation has allowed Russia to demonstrate the overwhelming superiority of its armed forces vis-à-vis NATO. All of the weapons that the West has managed to infiltrate into the Ukraine are either being destroyed by rocket attacks or are accumulating in stockpiles after being abandoned by retreating or surrendering Ukrainian troops. None of the obsolete Stingers, Javelins or other military junk has made much of a difference at all. There is very little of any significance that the West can do to hurt Russia’s careful and measured progress in the Ukraine. Once more, time is on Russia’s side: it will take another few months for it to register in the West that all those billions spent on aid to the Ukraine have gone into a black hole with nothing to show for it.

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We all know what award he’ll be heavily nominated for. That’s how crazy this has all become.

Zelensky Gets John F. Kennedy Award For Defending Democracy (AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is among five people named Thursday as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for acting to protect democracy. Zelensky was chosen because of the way he has “marshaled the spirit, patriotism and untiring sacrifice of the Ukrainian people in a life-or-death fight for their country,” as Russia pours in troops and assaults cities and towns, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said. The foundation said four U.S. officials were chosen for standing up for free and fair elections, as the system is challenged in ways it has never been before. They are: Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Fulton County, Georgia, elections worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss.


Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the awards May 22 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. The award was created by the family of the late president to honor public figures who risk their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good, and is named after Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage.” “There is no more important issue facing our country, and the world, today than the fight for democracy,” Kennedy said in a statement. “The war in Ukraine has shown the world that we can’t take freedom for granted, and the courage of our elected officials in the U.S. reminds us that as citizens we each have a responsibility to protect our democracy and exercise our fundamental right to vote.”

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“..a shell of a man who, in his prime, lived just to work his official positions for millions in grift.”

Daddies in Mommie-land (Kunstler)

If the USA and its NATO allies actually cared about Ukraine, we would have just left the place alone to slowly settle into the de-industrialized agricultural backwater it was becoming. And if we wanted to prevent widespread devastation once Operation Z got underway, we would have promoted peace talks, with an emphasis on our previous declaration that Ukraine would not be a candidate to join NATO. Instead, we set up Ukraine as a launching pad for annoying Russia (while also using Ukraine as a money laundromat for public officials and arms-makers). America is a drama queen, like the Queen Bee in one of those Real Housewives shows on cable TV, whose entire purpose in life is creating colorful conflicts within her circle of sisters. Daddy is not needed around that house, except offstage maybe as the wide-receiver for a multi-million-dollar paycheck courtesy of the NFL (a rival entertainment).

When one of America’s drama queen stunts goes wrong, the Queen Bee melts into a puddle of tears — boo hoo — tripping the empathy toggle.The sisters cluster around her, beating their wings. Somebody, please, help her feel better… fetch her a glass of pino grigio or a Xanax! Drama Queen Bee America does not like how the Ukraine drama is playing out. The mean old Daddy Putin is rocking the joint, cleaning out the place like Gary Cooper in some Long Branch Saloon of the Eurasian steppe — heaving all those Azov Nazis through the swinging doors out into the dusty street. The other sisters in the NATO circle were induced to acting as cheerleaders for the Azov boys, and now Mr. Putin has gone and turned off Europe’s gas. Western Civ is about to be sent to bed without dinner — the ultimate daddy trick. Now the sisters are all going boo hoo. Nothing is working for the sisterhood.

America’s president, “Joe Biden,” suits the current national script perfectly. He’s a mere prop for the drama queens. No one mistakes him for “Daddy.” He’s the old, impotent, intemperate, often confused “Grampy,” a figure of bathos and derision, a shell of a man who, in his prime, lived just to work his official positions for millions in grift. How, otherwise, do you account for his fortune? The Ukraine money laundromat was one of his favorite stops, managed carefully by cheerleaders Victoria Nuland, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and NSC official Fiona Hill, America’s foreign policy establishment there back in the day. But who, exactly, is managing Grampy now backstage in the White House? My guess would be Susan Rice because you never hear anything about Susan Rice or her role there: Director of the Domestic Policy Council of the United States. Wow! Sounds weighty. When was the last time you saw her name in The New York Times or cable TV news? You’d think they’d be interested in her doings.

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“But the cover-up was only partially successful. Indeed, Russia is in possession of highly incriminating evidence.”

Migratory Birds Of Mass Destruction (IPL)

The UN Security Council held an extraordinary event on April 6 under the rubric Arria Formula Meeting on Biological Security regarding the biological activities in countries including Ukraine. Predictably, the US and UK representatives didn’t show up at the event and the western media also blacked out the proceedings. But that does not detract from the profound significance of what transpired. The highlight of the Security Council proceedings lasting over two hours was the disclosure by General Igor Kirillov, chief of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces of the Russian Armed Forces, that Washington is creating biological laboratories in different countries and connecting them to a unified system.

He said the US has spent more than $5 billion on military biological programs since 2005 and detailed that in territories bordering Russia and China alone, about 60 facilities have been modernised during this period. The Ukrainian network of laboratories is designed to conduct research and monitor the biological situation consisting of 30 facilities in 14 populated locations. Highly sensitive materials from the Ukrainian biological laboratories were exported to the US in early February just before the Russian special operation began, and the rest were ordered to be destroyed lest they fell into Russian hands. But the cover-up was only partially successful. Indeed, Russia is in possession of highly incriminating evidence.

Previously also, Russia had released a number of documents related to the biological military activities of the Pentagon, which pointed toward a worldwide project to set up biological laboratories in rival countries with the goal of developing targeted viral weapons against those countries. The proceedings of the Security Council conference on April 6 are in the public domain and are accessible. Russia has made specific allegations, pointing finger at:
• Pentagon funding for the bio-labs in Ukraine;
• Location of these bio-labs (not only in Ukraine but in 36 countries around the world);
• Diseases and epidemics on which research work is going on, focusing on the means for their release, the countries where they are being tested (even without the knowledge of the governments of these countries); and, of course,
• Experiments relating to coronavirus (and bats used to transmit this virus).

However, the US has so far point-blank refused to accept any supervision and verification of such incriminatory evidences and has stonewalled the demand for a verification mechanism. It is unlikely that the US will permit an international verification process that holds the potential to expose it as indulging in crimes against humanity — although there are appropriate frameworks in place including the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the UN, to hear the clarifications from the relevant country in a fair and impartial manner.

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Xi doesn’t echo anyone.

Xi Echoes Putin in Proposal for New ‘Global Security Initiative’ (ET)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping on April 21 took several veiled swipes at Washington and allies’ sanctions on Russia, while proposing what he called a new China-led “global security initiative.” Xi said the new initiative takes “legitimate security concerns of all” and upholds “the principle of indivisibility of security,” key concepts that Russia has used to justify its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its current assault on Ukraine. The “indivisibility of security” broadly refers to the idea that the security of one state is inseparable from that of other countries in the region, and thus no state should enhance its security at the expense of another’s. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in justifying his invasion of Ukraine, had argued that NATO’s strategy breached this principle.

The Chinese leader’s remarks, made during a video speech to the annual Boao Asia Forum, came as Beijing continues to strengthen its ties with Moscow even after Putin’s invasion. Earlier this week, a top Chinese diplomat pledged to deepen links with the aggressor state during a meeting with Russia’s envoy to China in Beijing. Since the war, the Chinese regime has repeatedly criticized Western sanctions and refused to condemn Moscow. It has also echoed Moscow’s propaganda claim that the United States and NATO instigated the conflict. During his speech, the Chinese leader said the security initiative would uphold “non-interference in internal affairs” and respect “sovereignty and territorial integrity,” slogans consistently used by Beijing to justify and deflect criticism of its aggression towards Taiwan. Beijing views the self-ruled island as its own territory to be taken by force if necessary.

The Chinese leader also reiterated Beijing’s opposition to “long-arm jurisdiction” and “unilateral sanctions,” without directly naming any country. Last month, Western officials warned that Beijing had signaled a willingness to provide Moscow with economic and military aid for its war effort. This prompted President Joe Biden to warn Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a March 18 video call of unspecified “consequences” should the regime materially support Moscow.

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It will all land in the pockets of the oligarchs.

Zelensky wants $7 billion per year.

Biden Proposes $500 Million In Aid For Ukrainian Government (Hill)

The Biden administration is seeking to send Ukraine $500 million to help keep its government services running as the war with Russia stretches into its third month, the Treasury Department announced Thursday. The administration will ask Congress to approve $500 million to cover the cost of Ukraine’s basic government services, including pensions, salaries and aid programs, the Treasury Department said. The aid package would be in addition to another $800 million in military support proposed by Biden on Thursday, which would also require approval from Congress. Biden said Thursday the U.S. has almost exhausted the $13.6 billion in Ukraine aid approved in a March government funding bill. Any new federal spending must be approved by the House and Senate before the president can sign the bill and send out the money.


“This is money the government can help use to stabilize their economy, to support communities that have been devastated by the Russian onslaught and pay the brave workers that continue to provide essential services to the people of Ukraine,” Biden said in remarks from the White House Thursday morning. Both Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met separately Thursday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Wasington, D.C. Yellen and Shmyhal were joined by Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko. The U.S. and its allies have provided tens of billions of dollars in military and economic support to Ukraine as it attempts to fend off the Russian invasion. Mass emigration, compulsory military service for working-age men, the destruction of Ukrainian cities and the upended wheat planting season have derailed the Ukrainian economy, exacerbating the deep humanitarian costs of war.

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“The [Washington Post] report said: “For some in NATO, it’s better for the Ukrainians to keep fighting, and dying, than to achieve a peace that comes too early or at too high a cost to Kyiv and the rest of Europe.”

Turkey Says Some NATO Members Want Longer Ukraine War to Hurt Russia (Antiwar)

In an interview on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said some NATO member states want the war in Ukraine to last longer as a way to hurt Russia. “There are countries within NATO who want the war to continue,” Cavusoglu told CNN Turk. “They want Russia to become weaker.” According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, Cavusoglu did not think the war would last long after Russia and Ukraine held peace talks in Istanbul last month. But following a NATO foreign ministers meeting, he was given the impression that some alliance members don’t want the war to end.


Since Russia invaded on February 24, the US and many of its NATO allies have abandoned diplomacy with Russia. Instead of seeking a diplomatic solution, the Western powers are pouring weapons into Ukraine and waging an economic sanctions campaign against Russia. The view among some NATO members on the war was summarized by a recent report from The Washington Post. The report said: “For some in NATO, it’s better for the Ukrainians to keep fighting, and dying, than to achieve a peace that comes too early or at too high a cost to Kyiv and the rest of Europe.”

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“this happened despite the fact that we share the same faith with the Greeks, the same traditions, and were always there to help our Greek friends.”

Russia Warns Greece of Complete Breakdown in Relations (GR)

Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned Greece on Friday that the relations between the two nations that “share the same faith” have been “reduced to almost nothing.” Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, warned in a statement released on social media that the “historical parallels” between Greece and Russia were in danger of becoming “a solid double line between us.” The Russian official focused on Greece’s decision to declare 12 Russian officials “personae non-gratae,” on April 6 joining other European states that had taken similar steps in response to accusations of atrocities committed by Russian forces against civilians in Ukraine. The Foreign Ministry said the decision was made in line with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.

Russia’s embassy in Athens condemned Greece’s decision and warned of consequences. “We have strongly protested against this unjustified and hostile step which aims to further destroy our bilateral relations,” the Russian embassy announced in a statement. “We made clear that this action will not remain without consequences,” it further said. In her social media post, Zakharova lamented the breakdown of relations between Russia and Greece and delved in the historic ties between the two countries. “There was a time when Russia helped Greece achieve independence and restore its statehood, and its first head was previously Russia’s foreign minister, but now this country’s diplomatic relations with Russia have been reduced to almost nothing,” Zakharova warned.

She added that “this happened despite the fact that we share the same faith with the Greeks, the same traditions, and were always there to help our Greek friends. “This is not so much an issue of Euro-Atlantic solidarity erasing the past, since it is a sovereign choice for every nation to decide whom to honor. Even worse, this deprives people and nations of their future, independence and the right to make sovereign choices,” Zakharova concluded.

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“Pfizer’s own consent form clearly states: “Although not seen to date, it cannot yet be ruled out that the studied vaccine can make a later COVID-19 illness more severe.“

FDA and Pfizer Knew COVID Shot Caused Immunosuppression (Mercola)

With another batch of 11,000 Pfizer documents, released April 1, 2022, old suspicions have gained fresh support. As reported by “Rising” cohost Kim Iversen (video), the first bombshell revelation is that natural immunity works, and Pfizer has known it all along. The clinical trial data showed there was no difference in outcomes between those with previous COVID infection and those who got the shot. Neither group experienced severe infection. Natural immunity was also statistically identical to the shot in terms of the risk of infection. The second revelation is that side effects from the shots were more severe in younger people, aged 18 to 55, than those aged 55 and older. (The risk of side effects also increased with additional doses, so the risk was higher after the second dose than the first.)

As many of us have said all along, the risk of severe COVID is dramatically lower in younger people than those over 60, which makes an elevated risk of side effects unacceptable. As noted by The Naked Emperor on Substack,[1] “with a vaccine that is producing more frequent and more severe reactions and adverse events in younger individuals, the vaccine should have been restricted to those who were actually at risk of severe COVID-19.” Interestingly, Pfizer’s documentation also includes medical information that mainstream media and fact checkers have labeled as misinformation or disinformation. A pediatric consent form lists several possible side effects, including a myocarditis rate of 10 in 100,000 — far greater than the 1 in 50,000 (i.e., 2 in 100,000) rate previously reported.

We also know that myocarditis is far more frequent in young males, so for them, the risk is significantly higher than 10 in 100,000, as they make up the bulk of these injuries. Many who have warned about the possibility of mRNA shots causing antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) — a situation in which you end up being more susceptible to serious infection than you would have been otherwise — have been smeared and demonized by media and labeled as disinformation spreaders. Yet Pfizer’s own consent form clearly states: “Although not seen to date, it cannot yet be ruled out that the studied vaccine can make a later COVID-19 illness more severe.” As noted by Iversen, if ADE truly was of no concern at all, the consent form would not include it. Yet there it is.

Vaccine-associated enhanced disease (VAED) is also listed as an “Important Potential Risk” in Table 5 on page 11 of a document called “5.3.6 Cumulative Analysis of Post-Authorization Adverse Event Reports.”As of February 28, 2021, Pfizer had 138 cases of suspected VAED, 75 of which were severe, resulting in hospitalization, disability, life-threatening consequences or death; a total of 38 cases turned out to be lethal and 65 remained unresolved. Moreover, as noted by the Daily Expose, “Phase 3 clinical trials are designed to uncover frequent or severe side effects before a vaccine is approved for use, including ADE. But herein lies the problem, [because] none of the COVID-19 vaccines have completed Phase 3 trials.”

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Anyone surprised?

Patients Report A Rebound Of Covid-19 Symptoms After Taking Paxlovid (BGlobe)

When it first hit the market in December, the COVID-19 antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, was hailed as a game-changer, an effective medicine that kept at-risk people out of the hospital. But now some patients are reporting on social media an unusual and unnerving phenomenon: their COVID symptoms appear to rebound after taking the medication. And it’s not just their symptoms that reappear. Many report that after finishing their five-day course of treatment, feeling better, and testing negative on an at-home rapid test, they then test positive again a few days later. The issue has captured the attention of at least two teams of Boston-area scientists, who are trying to understand what might be fueling the problem. Resistance to the drug? Patients being quickly reinfected?

Or maybe some people just need to take the medicine longer to mount a more effective immune response. Twitter and Reddit have been filled with patients and doctors sharing their experiences and hypotheses over the past few days, including John Donoghue, a 71-year-old emeritus physics professor in Amherst. “We had three cases in the house with the same pattern,” Donoghue said, in an interview. He, his wife, and her 95-year-old mother all were infected with COVID in the last month. All three received Paxlovid, felt better, and tested negative on rapid tests for four or five days. Then their symptoms returned and each one tested positive again.

“The symptoms the second time were milder,” Donoghue said. “In some ways, we feel that Paxlovid did its job. It took away the extreme symptoms of the first round and reduced them very quickly in all three cases.” Paxlovid, granted an emergency use authorization by federal regulators in late December, is an at-home treatment prescribed at the first sign of infection to patients at high risk of serious COVID complications. The treatment consists of a series of three pills taken twice a day for five days. In its clinical trial, Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant that manufactures Paxlovid, reported an 89 percent reduction in COVID-related hospitalization or death from any cause in patients who received Paxlovid within three days of symptoms, compared with patients who received a placebo.

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“Now, the world is facing massive inflation, economic contraction, looming hunger, widespread famine and a pending global financial collapse.”

The IMF and the Law of Unintended Consequences (CTH)

It’s not exactly a confidence builder when the Director of the International Monetary Fund answers the question about forward priorities by saying, “Perhaps we need to pay attention to the law of unintended consequences.” You had one job Kristalina, one job. During an International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring debate and discussion segment, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, outlined her perspective against the backdrop of massive inflation caused by the global financial institutions telling government to spend money and they will print it, during COVID. [The video is prompted to 01:04:50].


The discussion included EU Central Bank President Lagarde, US Fed Chair Powell, Indonesian Finance Minister Mulvani – when IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva admitted they channeled their COVID fear and emotions by unsustainably printing money without pausing to think through the consequences. Now, the world is facing massive inflation, economic contraction, looming hunger, widespread famine and a pending global financial collapse. Their response? “Whoops.” Not to worry, they’ll have a little wine and chocolate and figure things out. Swear.

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“..the Fed has exacerbated socially fatal neofeudal inequality..”

Staring Into the Abyss (CHS)

The global economy is perched on the edge of an abyss, and averting our gaze doesn’t actually lessen the risk, it increases it because problems which aren’t faced directly and addressed directly fester and rot the system from within. This is why we’re collectively staring into the abyss: all the big problems have been dismissed, ignored or papered over with PR-happy-talk “solutions” that only make the problem worse. There are three basic techniques that our “leadership” (public and private) have used to avoid dealing directly with our pressing problems: 1. Appear to address the problems by doing more of what’s failed spectacularly. 2. Propose magical-thinking happy-happy technological “solutions” that are appealing but impractical. 3. Keep the status quo glued together to maximize quick-buck gains for the elite while guaranteeing long-term catastrophe for the entire society / economy.

Doing more of what’s failed spectacularly is one of the phrases you’ve seen here over the years. This generates an illusion of control because the tried-and-true Band-Aid makes it look like the problem is being addressed. Since doing more of what’s failed spectacularly doesn’t break the system immediately, everyone incorrectly assumes it’s benign or actually helping. The Federal Reserve’s blowing of serial speculative credit-asset bubbles is a good example. With the bogus goal of generating a “wealth effect” that only rewards the already-rich, the Fed has exacerbated socially fatal neofeudal inequality and created guaranteed-to-pop bubbles that each collapsed with devastating consequences for the credulous who believed the Fed’s poisonous assurances that a) this isn’t a bubble and b) bubbles never pop.

The Fed’s “solution”–blowing an even bigger bubble to paper over the catastrophic losses when the previous bubble popped–has finally reached the endgame: three bubbles and you’re out (2000, 2008-09 and 2021-22). Sorry to disappoint the beneficiaries of the three Fed bubbles, but there won’t be a fourth bubble. Bubbles don’t inflate at the bottom of the abyss.

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Does woke Twitter have a future?

Woke Elitists Are Too Stupid To See Elon Musk Is Saving Twitter (Smith)

In the past year Big Tech and Big Media are learning a valuable lesson – That “Get Woke, Go Broke” is not just a mantra, it’s a rule. We’ve just seen companies like Netflix take a massive market beating because of their hubris and their presumption that they can simply dictate the path of our culture from on high through leftist propaganda. CNN just shut down their premium “+” service after a single month because no one trusts them enough to pay them pocket change for content. And Disney is about to lose their municipal charter in Florida because they thought they were in charge of the state and its laws, when in fact they are not. Woke corporations are slowly but surely dying and leftists don’t seem to grasp the situation.

They’ll never admit openly that the reason these companies are seeing declines is because of their cult-like political stance that justifies the forced indoctrination of everyone, including children. They’ll say it was covid, they’ll say it was inflation, they’ll say it was bigotry, but in reality it was always them. No one likes them, and people are finally realizing they don’t have to spend money buying products from insane leftists they don’t like. In this regard Twitter is a bit of an enigma. The social media company has gone from a relatively innocuous space for people to market online businesses and for politicians and celebrities to engage with their followers or detractors, to a vicious battleground overrun with leftist zealots hellbent on using the platform as a weapon to silence dissent and destroy the lives of people that disagree with them. The platform went from average social media outlet to becoming a birthplace for evil behavior.

If I was to describe what Twitter really stands for today, I would say it is an attempt to build a global hive mind; a place where everyone is coerced into conformity with establishment ideals through peer pressure and mob aggression. That is to say, Twitter is the antithesis to a free speech society; a beta test for the future of authoritarianism where you THINK you are allowed to speak your mind but only the “correct” opinions are allowed to pass. How this happened is hard to say. Some theorize that leftist cultists scrambled like rats from the sinking ship of Tumblr and found their way over to Twitter to take up residency. I would argue that maybe Twitter was always intended to become what it now is. Just take a look at the monster’s gallery of its largest shareholders.

If Elon Musks Takes Over, He’ll Expose Twitter

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The water wars will not be pretty. Promise.

The Coming Removal of the Mandate of Heaven, Part 2: Water (GCW)

In order to understand the grave danger China is facing, we need to understand water usage and thresholds below which the population begins to face some level of danger. For that, we’re going to turn to Reuters for an overview. At a minimum, a civilization requires 1,700 cubic meters of water per person per year to be considered water secure. This amounts to 373,947 gallons of water per person, with a minimum of 4,156 gallons of water per year to ensure good health. Freshwater is used for everything from industry to agriculture to power generation, and our infrastructure is rated for a minimum level of water moving through the pipes. If that water falls below that level, pressure drops and the water can become unsafe.

This starts to become a problem at 1,000 cubic meters per person per year, and reaches a threat level at 500 cubic meters per person per year. Beijing is currently sitting at 100 cubic meters of fresh water per person per year. Barely seven times the necessary minimum for a person to remain healthy, with the rest stretched thin and endlessly recycled as it eventually becomes useless for any purpose which brings it into contact with humans in any way. When examining the water situation in a given country, the first place to look is always the groundwater situation. Which, in China’s case, isn’t very positive. Over 80% of the groundwater in China is unsafe, according to publicly available data attained from a Chinese government survey. Information which is normally a closely held secret.

Same with the fact that 47% of the groundwater in China is so badly polluted it can’t even be used for industrial purposes. Note, Beijing gets almost a third of their water from groundwater sources, which must be thoroughly treated at massive cost in man-hours, materials, and energy before it can be used by the general public. This has resulted in Beijing sinking at a rate of 11 cm per year as the depleted aquifer results in subsidence. Assuming its even at a level which can be affordably treated. Which 47% of the groundwater can’t be. This situation is even worse in the cities, where 90% of the groundwater is unusable for purposes which would bring it into contact with people. And, ironically, although the groundwater pollution is worse in the cities, rural areas are more heavily affected due to the fact most rural communities lack the resources to treat either the water they take in for normal usage or the waste water they release back into the wild.

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Brand

 

 

 

 

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Nov 272021
 
 November 27, 2021  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  85 Responses »


Henri Rousseau The waterfall 1910

 

Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (WHO)
This Is How Scientists Detect New Variants Of Covid-19 (WEF)
New Covid-19 Variant Could Show Immune Evasion, Enhanced Transmissibility (CNN)
Big Pharma Unveils Plans To Tackle New ‘Omicron’ Strain (RT)
Biden Delayed Africa Travel Ban On Advice Of Advisers Led By Fauci (NYP)
Decolonize This! (Kunstler)
Why The Retail Industry Is Fighting Vaccine Mandates (NYT)
A Pandemic Of The Vaccinated Or Ivermectin Ignored? (Hope)
Florida Reports Lowest Daily Coronavirus Cases Per Capita In Nation (Fox)
Pharmacy Chains Found Liable For Opioid Crisis In Ohio (PM)
Ukraine Says It’s Ready To Defend Itself Against Russia (RT)
US Stonewalls Probe Into Firm That Spied On Assange For CIA – Spanish Judge (Y!)

 

 

All 4 cases of the new variant in Botswana were in fully vaccinated people.

 

 

Zuby Tucker

 

 

 

 

McCullough Oz

 

 

Dr. Doug Corrigan @ScienceWDrDoug
1) Unleash billions of leaky, mono-antigenic vaccines that create the perfect pressure to generate Spike variants/vaccine-escape mutants.
2) Track variants globally, and when a vaccine resistant strain is found, create media hysteria and blame the unvaccinated.
3) Repeat 1-2.

Something curious about the dates. The WHO on Nov 26 2021:

Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (WHO)

The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses if specific mutations and combinations of mutations alter the behaviour of the virus. The TAG-VE was convened on 26 November 2021 to assess the SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529.The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this variant. Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected (called S gene dropout or S gene target failure) and this test can therefore be used as marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation. Using this approach, this variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.

There are a number of studies underway and the TAG-VE will continue to evaluate this variant. WHO will communicate new findings with Member States and to the public as needed. Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC, and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron.

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And the WEF 4 1/2 months ago, on Jul 12 2021. B.1.1.529 wasn’t just discovered.

This Is How Scientists Detect New Variants Of Covid-19 (WEF)

Scientists in South Africa have discovered a small number of cases of a new COVID variant. They’re working to understand its potential implications but told a news conference that it had a ‘very unusual constellation’ of mutations. They’re concerned that they could help it evade the body’s immune response and make the variant – named B.1.1.529 – more transmissible. These scientists are part of a global network of government scientists and academics searching for new strains of COVID-19, like this and other previous variants – like Delta.

[..] Viruses are microscopic parasites that can’t survive for long outside the body of a host animal. As living organisms, they are much smaller than bacteria – the polio virus, for example, is 10,000 times smaller than a grain of salt. But they do have their own DNA or RNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid and Ribonucleic acid), the building blocks of life. This allows them to mutate into new forms. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, scientists have so far identified four variants that have been classified as being of concern because they spread more easily, are more virulent or resistant to vaccines.

[..] It’s too early to tell whether vaccines will offer the same level of protection against B.1.1.529 as they do against previous COVID variants. But, vaccine makers, like Pfizer, have been preparing for a scenario where a new COVID variant is able to evade immunity established by existing vaccines and previous infection. However, existing vaccines have continued to offer protection against other variants, such as Delta. “The good news is that all of the WHO emergency use-listed vaccines do protect against developing severe disease, hospitalization and death due to the Delta variant,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, on 1 July.

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Or it could not. We just don’t know. Do let’s panic.

New Covid-19 Variant Could Show Immune Evasion, Enhanced Transmissibility (CNN)

South Africa’s health minister announced Thursday the discovery of a new coronavirus variant that appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of the country. “Initially it looked like some cluster outbreaks, but from yesterday, the indication came from our scientists from the Network of Genomic Surveillance that they were observing a new variant,” Minister of Health Joe Phaahla said, stressing that it is currently unclear where the variant — currently dubbed B.1.1.529 — first emerged. It has so far been detected in South Africa, Botswana and in a traveler to Hong Kong from South Africa, Phaahla added. During a news briefing, genomic scientists said the variant has an unusually high number of mutations, with more than 30 in the key spike protein — the structure the virus uses to get into the cells they attack.


Professor Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation, said the variant has “many more mutations than we have expected,” adding it is “spreading very fast and we expect to see pressure in the health system in the next few days and weeks.” He advised the public to “try to avoid super spreading events.” Officials also expressed concern that the mutation could result in immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility of the virus, but added it is too early to tell what kind of impact the mutations will have on vaccine efficacy. More studies also need to be conducted to understand the clinical severity of the variant compared to previous variants, officials said. “The full significance of this variant remains uncertain and the best tool we have is still the vaccines,” De Oliveira said. He added that lab studies still need to be carried out to test vaccine and antibody evasion.

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200-300 days of Delta: nothing.

But after 100 days of Omicron a tailor-made vaccine is supposed to be available.

Let me guess: $1,000 a pop?

Big Pharma Unveils Plans To Tackle New ‘Omicron’ Strain (RT)

A number of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms have announced strategies to address a newly identified Covid-19 variant, dubbed Omicron, including plans to alter existing vaccines and develop new boosters. With the World Health Organization (WHO) designating Omicron the latest “variant of concern” following an emergency meeting on Friday, warning that the highly mutated strain could be more infectious than those seen before it, Big Pharma quickly launched into PR-mode, as several firms rushed to outline how they would combat the new variant. Pfizer – which has produced one of the world’s most commonly used Covid immunizations alongside its German partner BioNTech – told Fox Business that it is “remaining vigilant” and “constantly” monitoring new variants that could “potentially escape protection” from its vaccine.

“In the event that [a] vaccine-escape variant emerges, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval,” the company added, though did not say whether any specific research had been conducted into Omicron so far. BioNTech, in a separate statement, noted that Omicron “differs significantly from previously observed variants as it has additional mutations located in the spike protein,” referring to the mechanism by which the coronavirus gains access to host cells and causes infection. The company also said that a so-called “escape variant” could “require an adjustment of our vaccine if the variant spreads globally.”

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, two other major Covid vaccine developers, issued similar missives on Friday, with the latter company stating that it’s already testing a booster shot for healthy adults that contains twice the vaccine dosage than what is currently approved. Moderna also said that it is now studying two booster candidates specially designed to “anticipate mutations such as those that have emerged in the Omicron variant.” J&J, whose single-dose vaccine differs from the others on the market, also told Fox that it is testing its Janssen immunization efficacy against Omicron and “closely monitoring” mutations in the virus’ spike protein.

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“Obviously as soon as we find out more information we’ll make a decision as quickly as we possibly can.”

Biden Delayed Africa Travel Ban On Advice Of Advisers Led By Fauci (NYP)

President Biden said Friday that he delayed implementation of a new ban on travel from southern Africa on the advice of his medical advisers, who are led by Dr. Anthony Fauci. A reporter asked Biden why the emergency precaution will take effect Monday, rather than immediately to contain the potentially more contagious Omicron version of COVID-19. “Why not do it now like other countries have done?” the journalist asked Biden, who is spending a long Thanksgiving weekend in Nantucket. Biden said “because that was the recommendation coming from my medical team.” Fauci is Biden’s chief medical adviser and led a half hour briefing for Biden on Friday.

Biden said “we don’t know a lot about the variant except that it is of great concern and it seems to spread rapidly — and I spent about a half hour this morning with my COVID team led by Dr. Fauci and that was the decision we made.” But Biden seemed to have a poor grasp on the travel rules. He misstated the number of countries impacted and said the policy would bar people traveling “to and from” the region, despite official releases only noting restrictions on travel from — but not to — southern Africa. “I’ve decided that we’re going to be cautious and make sure there is no travel to and from South Africa and six other countries in that region, except for American citizens who are able to come back,” Biden said. The eight countries covered by the ban are Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Biden also attempted to reassure spooked financial markets. He called a steep drop in stock values during the holiday weekend-shortened session “expected” because of prior drops after poor pandemic news and said he was “not at all” worried. Just hours before the new travel ban was announced, Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave the impression he wasn’t recommending such bans and cited a need for more data. “There is always the possibility of doing what the UK has done, namely block travel from South Africa and related countries,” Fauci said in a CNN interview. “That’s certainly something you think about and get prepared to do. You’re prepared to do everything you need to protect the American public. But you want to make sure there’s a basis for doing that.” Fauci added in that interview: “Obviously as soon as we find out more information we’ll make a decision as quickly as we possibly can.”

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“..the blue mommies of America follow Pied Pipers like NPR and Sanjay Gupta holding hands with Big Bird to vax-up the kids.”

Decolonize This! (Kunstler)

Now that Thanksgiving with all its racist trimmings is put to bed, will Americans be able to “decolonize” their minds? Not if the masters of universal hysteria can help it. Here it comes, just in time to reignite the limbic channels in your brain with pulses of cosmic terror on the runway to Christmas: The B.1.1.529 Covid-19 variant out of Botswana. It’s a beauty, with thirty-two mutations on its decorative spike protein, supposedly making it a deadly hazard to the already-vaccinated. Except the already-vaccinated were already catching the boring old Delta variant that so energized the year 2021, with its Fauci-inspired affronts to the Bill of Rights, working needle-in-arm with the mystery managers of “Joe Biden,” the cigar-store Indian who has decolonized the oval office from the brutish grip of western civ and all its dastardly legalities.

Yes, I am sorry to tell you that the mRNA “vaccines” are just not working that well. The already-vaccinated millions, marinated in the goodness of their obedience to authority, live in terror of the unvaccinated, who so knavishly spread disease to those vaccinated against it. Say, what? Something ain’t workin’ right here. Half the nation can’t think straight, and for a good reason: The relentless mindfuckery abroad in this land courtesy of your politicized news media, the despotic social networks, the bottomless greed of the pharmaceutical-makers and their errand boys in the CDC, plus the malevolent generosity of sponsors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and George Soros. Thus, the blue mommies of America follow Pied Pipers like NPR and Sanjay Gupta holding hands with Big Bird to vax-up the kids.

It’s just a cult initiation ceremony, you understand. Vaxing the kids reinforces the psychotic mass formation intoxication of the blue mommies. It does absolutely nothing good for the kids, who realistically have a near-zero chance of being harmed by Covid-19 — but have a fair chance of being harmed by the mRNA “vaccines,” which will mess with their still-developing immune systems and their various organs. All the authority of Anthony Fauci’s officialdom presses remorselessly toward the ever-receding horizon of max vax. It begins to look like enough parents are onto the game and will refuse to go along with it.

Dr. Fauci and his evil network are in the process of being smashed at long last. First, there is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s book just out, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health. I was up reading it at two-thirty in the morning. The Kindle version is $2.95, cheap. Get it. It’s a seamless, gripping, and lucid legal brief against a bureaucratic monster who was allowed to run amuck in forty-plus years of power-seeking, malicious money-grubbing, and death-dealing, and who has capped that career by destroying the economies of the western world and our accustomed liberties with it. RFK lays out exactly what Dr. Fauci has done, footnoted to the max with fact and numbers to back it all up, so that the people still capable of thinking cannot avoid the conclusion that they have been viciously played.

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Survival instinct.

New York Times through a local Greek paper.

Why The Retail Industry Is Fighting Vaccine Mandates (NYT)

The holiday shopping season has arrived, and retailers are ringing it in by doing everything from cutting prices to stocking showrooms to lure back customers who stayed at home last year. What the biggest of them are not doing is the one thing the White House and many public health experts have asked them to: mandate that their workers be vaccinated. As other industries with workers in public-facing roles, like airlines and hospitals, have moved toward requiring vaccines, retailers have dug in their heels, citing concerns about a labor shortage. And a portion of one of the country’s largest workforces will remain unvaccinated, just as shoppers are expected to flock to stores. At the heart of the retailers’ resistance is a worry about having enough people to work.

In a tight labor market, retailers have been offering perks like higher wages and better hours to prospective employees in hopes of having enough people to staff their stores and distribution centers. The National Retail Federation, the industry’s largest trade group, has estimated that retailers will hire up to 665,000 seasonal workers this year. Macy’s, for example, said it planned to hire 76,000 full- and part-time employees this season. The retailer has offered referral bonuses of up to $500 for each friend or relative whom employees recruit to join it. Macy’s asked corporate staff this fall to be vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 to enter its offices. But store workers are a different story.

“We have a lot of stores that have a lot of openings, and any ruling that we have to mandate those colleagues be vaccinated prior to Christmas is just going to exacerbate our labor shortage going into a really critical period for us,” Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chief executive, said in an interview. The industry showed how strongly it feels about the issue this month when the Biden administration directed companies with 100 or more workers to mandate vaccines or weekly tests by Jan. 4. Five days after that announcement, the National Retail Federation sued to stop the effort.

“We all agree with the premise that vaccines are good and vaccines save lives,” Stephanie Martz, chief administrative officer of the NRF, said in an interview Monday. “But by the same token, you can’t just say, ‘OK, make it so.’” The order is now held up in litigation, challenged by a number of lawsuits from a broad coalition of opponents, and could make its way to the Supreme Court. Court filings by the administration warn that blocking the rule would “likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day.”

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The anti-IVM campaign will continue.

A Pandemic Of The Vaccinated Or Ivermectin Ignored? (Hope)

Gibraltar is the most vaccinated place on the planet with more than 99% of its population fully vaccinated, and with many also having received a booster. A total of 94,019 vaccine doses have been administered to Gibraltarians. Considering Gibraltar has a population of some 30,000, that works out to an average of three shots per person. Newsweek reports that Gibraltar has administered enough shots to have vaccinated about 140% of its population. One might expect that they have no COVID-19 cases. After all, the rest of the world is led to believe that the Holy Grail of herd immunity will come once we have sufficiently jabbed enough people with vaccines and boosters.

However, the truth of the matter is much simpler. Attempting to vaccinate into an active pandemic involving a rapidly mutating virus is not working. It does not prevent transmission, nor does it prevent infection. While smallpox is a DNA virus that is very slow to mutate, COVID-19 is caused by an RNA virus that is prone to rapid mutation. While the vaccines were highly protective against the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2, they are no longer as effective against the Delta variant. Gibraltar is not alone among highly vaccinated populations exhibiting massive virus surges. According to the CDC, Vermont has a higher vaccination rate – at 72% – than any other state, yet it also has one of the highest rates of new COVID cases, according to an ABC news report.

Where do we find low or no rates of COVID-19 cases, you might ask? Perhaps we could observe those countries or areas and note what they are doing differently to account for their success. For example, we know that India has eliminated its COVID-19 Pandemic after implementing a national Ivermectin policy in the protocol. As a result, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have no more problems with pandemic surges. Over the last 75 days, Delhi has recorded less than 10 COVID-19 deaths. Likewise, Uttar Pradesh, with more than 230 million people, has recorded fewer than 20 COVID deaths in the past 60 days, while the United States, with a roughly similar population, has recorded some 87,300 deaths – more than 4,000 times as many.

India’s only remaining hotspot remains the highly vaccinated state of Kerala, which continues to pay the price. Over the last 30 days alone, Kerala has logged over 10,000 deaths. The main difference between Kerala and the rest of India was its lower use of Ivermectin, as I wrote on August 23, 2021, in an article published in the Desert Review. Out of India’s 267 deaths reported on November 19, 2021, fully 204 came from Kerala. With 36 million people, tiny Kerala represents only 2.5% of India’s population of 1.399 billion. However, they have 76% of India’s daily COVID-19 deaths. In other words, it is 30 times more likely for an Indian resident of Kerala to die from the virus compared to a resident outside the state.But look at other cases. For example, Indonesia adopted Ivermectin and saw their COVID-19 cases drop from 45,000 in July to 347 cases per day in November of 2021 – a drop of 99.2%.

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“Since then our cases are down by over 95% with no restrictions on people’s freedom.”

Florida Reports Lowest Daily Coronavirus Cases Per Capita In Nation (Fox)

Florida is reporting the lowest amount of coronavirus cases per capita in the nation after Gov. Ron DeSantis was widely criticized by media outlets for his handling of the virus. The Sunshine State reported a daily average of 1,393 coronavirus cases as of Friday, six per 100,000, which was a two percent decrease over the last two weeks. DeSantis has been slammed by critics in the media since the start of the pandemic over his opposition to government-imposed mask and vaccine mandates. In 2020, DeSantis was accused by a Democratic politician of going on a “killing spree” for opposing mask mandates and a Vanity Fair headline from September of this year referred to the governor as an “angel of death.”

At the same time Florida reported the lowest amount of new cases in the country per capita, coronavirus cases are surging in many states where strict lockdown orders were issued by Democratic governors. Michigan, where Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer imposed some of the most controversial restrictions in the nation during the height of the pandemic, leads the nation in daily coronavirus cases per capita. New York is reporting a daily average of 6,666 cases which amounts to 34 per 100,000. Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who resigned in disgrace earlier this year, was widely praised by the media for his handling of the coronavirus and even received an Emmy Award.

“It just shows once again the success of Governor DeSantis’s science based and data based policies,” DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News Digital about the case levels in Florida. “He’s always made decisions based on the data and that continued even during the Delta surge this summer what he realized would help was not mask mandates in school or lockdowns but provide treatment that actually works.” “He opened the 25 state-supported monoclonal antibody sites and provided that treatment all over the state free of charge to over 150,000 Floridians, saved thousands of lives, and that happened starting in August,” Pushaw added. “Since then our cases are down by over 95% with no restrictions on people’s freedom.”

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Next: Covid vaccines.

Pharmacy Chains Found Liable For Opioid Crisis In Ohio (PM)

Walgreens, Walmart, CVS and several other pharmacy chains have been found partially responsible for the opioid crisis in Ohio. According to The Daily Wire, the chains were found liable by a federal jury. “This decision was the first-ever ruling against the retail pharmacy industry and could set the tone for countless other lawsuits across the country that seek to hold pharmacies responsible for the flood of highly addictive opioid pills into communities,” The Hill reported. “For decades, pharmacy chains have watched as the pills flowing out of their doors cause harm and failed to take action as required by law. Instead, these companies responded by opening up more locations, flooding communities with pills, and facilitating the flow of opioids into an illegal, secondary market,” said the plaintiffs who want a payout of about $1 billion to both Lake and Trumbell counties in Ohio.


The opioid crisis is a significant issue in the state of Ohio. J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Ohio, has even highlighted the crisis in his campaign. “Opioid addiction has devastated my family and my community. More and more Ohioans are falling victim to addiction, which means an entire generation of children orphaned, and another generation of grandparents forced to step up for our community’s kids,” Vance says on his website. As noted, J.D Vance’s family has had a history with opioid addiction, which is visualized in his biographical Netflix film, Hillbilly Elegy. The pharmacy chains also responded to the decision. CVS has expressed interest in appealing the ruling. “[T]he simple facts are that opioid prescriptions are written by doctors, not pharmacists; opioid medications are made and marketed by manufacturers, not pharmacists; and our health care system depends on pharmacists to fill legitimate prescriptions that doctors deem necessary for their patients,” Mike DeAngelis of CVS said in a statement.

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They’re capable of starting a war in their own territory, and blame Russia.

Ukraine Says It’s Ready To Defend Itself Against Russia (RT)

The Ukrainian armed forces are preparing to use all available resources to hold the front line against any Russian invasion, the country’s foreign minister has insisted, as the war of words between East and West ramps up. Speaking during a closed online discussion with French foreign policy think tanks and reporters, Dmitry Kuleba said that Kiev, with Paris and Berlin, continues to stress the importance of negotiating a political and diplomatic solution to avoid a potential conflict with Russia.The top official claimed that his country and its partners are now focusing all of their efforts on deterring Moscow from hostile actions. “At the same time… no one should have any doubts that in the case of a new stage of full-scale aggression from the Russian Federation against our state, Ukraine will be protected by all available means,” he insisted.

Kuleba’s comments come amid rumors of a buildup of Russian troops and military hardware near Ukraine’s border. Several publications have published stories in recent days about a possible armed conflict breaking out between the two Eastern European states after Kiev’s domestic intelligence agency published a theoretical plan of how Russian troops could invade. Ukraine’s top diplomat sounded the alarm earlier this month in communication with his French and German counterparts, urging the two nations to be prepared for the possibility of a Russian attack against his country. “If Russia starts acting, you simply won’t have time physically to coordinate, to go through all the bureaucratic procedures, to coordinate decisions.”

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the allegations and derided photographs purporting to show military hardware stationed hundreds of kilometers from the border, accusing the US of being behind a disinformation campaign designed to inflame tensions. President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, hit back by arguing that “the movement of some of our military equipment or army units across the territory of the Russian Federation is exclusively our business.”

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Allegedly.

US Stonewalls Probe Into Firm That Spied On Assange For CIA – Spanish Judge (Y!)

The Justice Department has failed to respond to multiple requests from Spanish authorities for help in an investigation into a local security firm suspected of being used by the CIA to conduct aggressive — and potentially illegal — surveillance of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “I am not so pleased about it,” said Santiago Pedraz, the investigating judge in charge of the case, in an exclusive interview with Yahoo News, when asked about the failure of officials in Washington so far to cooperate with his probe. “They have absolutely not answered anything.” Since June of last year, Spanish judges have sent three requests for information to the Justice Department primarily seeking information about the ownership of IP addresses believed to be in the United States that had access to files documenting Assange’s activities while he was holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, according to copies of the requests reviewed by Yahoo News.

Despite a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) between the U.S. and Spain pledging to assist each other in criminal investigations, none of the Spanish requests have yet elicited any substantive responses from the United States, the judge said. Instead, Justice Department lawyers have asked Spanish authorities for more information about the basis for the inquiry before taking any action. Chief among those puzzle pieces is whether U.S. intelligence officials — as Assange’s lawyers have alleged — arranged for the Spanish security firm UC Global to violate Spanish privacy and bribery laws by installing cameras and hidden microphones inside the Ecuadorian Embassy, including in a women’s bathroom where Assange would sometimes take meetings.

This in turn allowed the company to secretly record or otherwise eavesdrop on conversations that Assange had with his lawyers, doctors, advisers, journalists and others, including in one case a U.S. congressman, according to internal documents from the Spanish case.“We want to find out what was done with this material,” Pedraz said. He pointed to the CIA’s potential role as a principal “theory” that “we are trying to investigate.” He did not rule out, however, that there could be other explanations for the alleged data transfer.

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Selfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solari

 

 

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

 

Sep 182021
 
 September 18, 2021  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Starry night over the Rhône 1888

 

To Governor DeSantis, Ivey, Lee And Others (Denninger)
FDA Advisory Panel Rejects Widespread Pfizer Booster Shots (AP)
FDA Advisory Panel Rejects COVID Booster Shot for Most Americans (NR)
How ‘Witch Hunts’ ALWAYS Start… (Denninger)
24 State AG’s Challenge Biden’s Vaccine Mandate For Private Sector (JTN)
Biden To Host Covid-19 Summit On Wednesday (Y!)
Excess Death:Life Ratio Is Unacceptable (Kirsch)
11 of 15 NYC Restaurants Not Enforcing Vaccine Mandate (NYP)
Vaccine Nasal Sprays Aim To ‘Shut Door’ On Virus (Y!)
Ronapreve: ‘Most Vulnerable’ To Get New Covid Drug Next Week (BBC)
Lions and tigers at National Zoo Being Treated For Covid-19 (JTN)
Morrison, The Third Amigo, Speaks Loudly To Xi (SMH)

 

 

Remarkable.

 

 

 

 

Less than a year ago.

 

 

Ron Paul

 

 

Karl leaves out the vit. D. Not great. But a good initiative.

To Governor DeSantis, Ivey, Lee And Others (Denninger)

It is time to respond to this outrage: BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – “The increase in usage of monoclonal antibodies has caused federal officials to place new limits on how much of them Alabama will get. We’ve learned that state health officials and legislators are fighting to make sure the state gets as much as it needs. The interesting twist is that there is no shortage of monoclonal antibodies of any kind nationwide. As of this week, the more than 200 providers offering monoclonal antibodies will see a roughly 30 percent reduction in what they requested.”

Ok, fine. Which one of you Governors would like to have a basically-zero Covid rate? Which one of you would like to be the State with the lowest rate of coronavirus disease, a collapsed health-care burden (to near-zero) and a collapsed rate of death too. How would you like to see this start to happen within two weeks and be so apparent every news stations has to report on it within a month?Here’s how — which, if you read when I put this forward, was something I promoted in early December of 2020. It costs about $2 per person in a household.

It’s simple: For anyone suspected (test results not back yet) you dispense to them five doses of Ivermectin to be taken every day if they are obese or otherwise morbid, and every second day if not along with one dose per every two days for everyone in the household, calibrated by their weight. Everyone in the household also gets ten days of a 1,000mg Vitamin C tablet and ten days of 30mg of Zinc, both dietary supplements. The exception is anyone on a blood thinner; you simply ask and, if they are, they don’t get the drug (but do get the supplements.) The State buys the drug in bulk, from India if you have to (fly a charter over there to pick it up; **** the Feds) and dispenses it.

Why? Read the linked article. This is is not just about treatment; it is also about cutting off forward transmission of the virus. It will not work every time but it doesn’t have to work every time — just often enough to suppress Rt below 1.0 and the virus dies out. The risk of someone having a serious adverse event from this is 1 in 600,000. If Florida has ten percent of their population that gets infected (or suspected to be) or is in a household with someone who is over the next three months (improbably high, but let’s go with it) that would be a cost of about $5 million. For Alabama it would cost about a million. That’s it. Who’s got the stones to do this?

Whoever does it first and collapses their Covid-19 case, hospitalization and death rate is President in 2024 — that is, if the other 49 States don’t have their residents lay siege to DC and their State governments as soon as they see the first State’s results. It won’t work? Yes it will — it did in a State in India too with over 200 million people. Grow a set, governors. The Federal Government cannot prevent you from doing this.

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AP changed the headline on the fly. From the one I used it became: “US Panel Backs Covid-19 Boosters Only For Seniors, High-risk”. Curious.

The rejection was massive, that is noticeable. 16-2.

FDA Advisory Panel Rejects Widespread Pfizer Booster Shots (AP)

Dealing the White House a stinging setback, a government advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected a plan Friday to give Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots across the board, and instead endorsed the extra vaccine dose only for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease. The twin votes represented a heavy blow to the Biden administration’s sweeping effort, announced a month ago, to shore up nearly all Americans’ protection amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. The nonbinding recommendation — from an influential committee of outside experts who advise the Food and Drug Administration — is not the last word. The FDA will consider the group’s advice and make its own decision, probably within days. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to weigh in next week.

In a surprising turn, the advisory panel rejected, 16-2, boosters for almost everyone. Members cited a lack of safety data on extra doses and also raised doubts about the value of mass boosters, rather than ones targeted to specific groups. Then, in an 18-0 vote, it endorsed extra shots for people 65 and older and those at risk of serious disease. Panel members also agreed that health workers and others who run a high risk of being exposed to the virus on the job should get boosters, too. That would help salvage part of the White House’s campaign but would still be a huge step back from the far-reaching proposal to offer third shots of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to Americans eight months after they get their second dose. The White House sought to frame the action as progress.

“Today was an important step forward in providing better protection to Americans from COVID-19,” said White House spokesman Kevin Munoz. “We stand ready to provide booster shots to eligible Americans once the process concludes at the end of next week.”

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Same thing, but I noticed this sentence: “..data from Israel which shows that a booster can strengthen protection for a few weeks in older adults.”

FDA Advisory Panel Rejects COVID Booster Shot for Most Americans (NR)

An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended against approving a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to most Americans. The scientific advisory committee voted 16-to-3 against recommending the additional shots, thwarting the Biden administration’s hopes that the FDA would approve the third shot in time to begin rolling out the extra dose for Pfizer recipients next week. However, the panel voted 18-0 in favor of recommending a booster shot for anyone over 65 or anyone who is at high risk of severe disease from COVID-19.

The vote followed a daylong debate in which a number of the panel’s independent experts questioned whether the data justified a broad rollout of an additional shot to most Americans while the vaccines still appear to offer strong protection against severe COVID-19 disease and hospitalization. “It’s unclear that everyone needs to be boosted, other than a subset of the population that clearly would be at high risk for serious disease,” said Dr. Michael G. Kurilla, a committee member and official at the National Institutes of Health. The CDC’s Dr. Sara Oliver presented data showing that vaccines continue to offer robust protection against severe forms of COVID-19 in the U.S., even in people 75 and older.

Jonathan Sterne, a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology in the U.K., said his analysis of 76 different studies on the vaccines’ real world effectiveness found that a number of factors can skew the results, including how many unvaccinated people in a study have natural immunity from earlier COVID-19 disease. He cautioned against drawing conclusions from short-term results from booster shots, such as data from Israel which shows that a booster can strengthen protection for a few weeks in older adults.

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“..the reason the town has a rat problem is that they’re leaving their damned trash outdoors and have killed all the cats who would otherwise control the rodents.”

How ‘Witch Hunts’ ALWAYS Start… (Denninger)

Non-sterilizing vaccines increase infection prevalence markedly because someone who is infected yet has protection does not know they’re infected and thus spreads it all over the place until it hits someone who has had a vaccine failure (not “breakthough”) or is unvaccinated. You then see actual symptomatic disease yet the vaccinated people may well have passed the pathogen through a dozen or more of them before that happened. In short the vaccines we’re using today cause VACCINATED PERSONS to screw both the unvaccinated and those who have waning immunity which incidentally is extremely common with narrowly-focused non-sterilizing vaccines (again, witness the “aP” versions of the pertussis vaccine .vs. the “wP” versions which are durable) and that does not even account for the coronavirus mutational factor which we’ve also know about for decades and, in non-sterilized vaccinated persons promotes mutational escape since the odds of being symptomatic go down.

Who doesn’t get screwed? Those who got the pathogen and built durable and broad natural immunity, as well as those who used sterilizing vaccines — if there is one. For coronaviruses there isn’t one so in point of fact the actual plague rats are calling everyone else a “witch” and threatening to drown or burn them when in fact the reason the town has a rat problem is that they’re leaving their damned trash outdoors and have killed all the cats who would otherwise control the rodents. And the worst part of it are the grifters who have 40+ years of actual scientific knowledge that they’re 100% full of **** and yet run around scaring everyone and telling them that if they just drown a few more witches the rats will go away. It was a damnable lie hundreds of years ago, it was used for profit hundreds of years ago and it remains a damnable lie used for profit today. Worse is a “vaccine passport”; that provides the plague rats the ability to congregate with more plague rats and wildly spread disease among them so as to find more susceptible hosts!

Such schemes with non-sterilizing vaccines ridiculously increase disease propagation.The absolute worst of this is forced, encouraged or, dare I say, allowed non-sterilizing vaccination among health care workers. That’s manslaughter because some percentage of their patients cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and by definition those who seek health care are already compromised in some fashion or they wouldn’t be there. Perhaps they have cancer and are taking chemotherapy or have some immunological disorder. A non-sterilized vaccinated nurse or doctor treating them is going to kill them as certain as the sun will rise in the East tomorrow because said doctor or nurse has no idea they’re infected and passing the pathogen to others; as soon as it hits someone who is actually susceptible to get sick that person is screwed.

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“..a public health disaster that will displace vulnerable workers and exacerbate a nationwide hospital staffing crisis, with severe consequences for all Americans.”

24 State AG’s Challenge Biden’s Vaccine Mandate For Private Sector (JTN)

24 Republican attorneys general, led by South Carolina AG Alan Wilson, have joined a coalition to stop President Joe Biden’s recent order that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate that private sector employers with 100 or more employees require them to receive a COVID-19 shot, submit to weekly testing, or lose their jobs. The order, the AGs argue, would drive some workers to leave their jobs (in an already tight labor market not yet recovered from last year’s shutdowns) — including those in the healthcare industry. Calling Biden’s plan “disastrous and counterproductive,” the AGs’ letter warns the “vaccination mandate represents not only a threat to individual liberty, but a public health disaster that will displace vulnerable workers and exacerbate a nationwide hospital staffing crisis, with severe consequences for all Americans.”

Nurses have already been refusing vaccine mandates imposed by their employers in many states, and filed lawsuits arguing their natural immunity protects them and others. After working for over a year in hospitals and urgent care centers being exposed to those who had the coronavirus, plaintiffs in several lawsuits argue they were considered heroes. Now, they’re losing their jobs or being vilified for choosing not to take an experimental drug only available, in some cases, through emergency use authorization, according to their complaints. Biden’s mandate doesn’t include exemptions for those who work remotely, have religious objections or health concerns, or have already obtained natural immunity following recovery from the virus.

The attorneys general argue Biden’s “edict is also illegal,” relying as it does on a rarely used emergency temporary standard under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Exempt from the normal public notice and comment period, the emergency standard can go into effect immediately upon publication. In June, the Department of Labor attempted to adopt an emergency temporary standard for the first time since 1983, and that attempt is currently under challenge. “Regardless of how you feel about vaccines, President Biden’s edict is illegal and if the administration doesn’t change course we’ll pursue every legal option to strike it down,” S.C. AG Wilson said in a statement. “I’m fully vaccinated and encourage everyone who can to get the shot, but this is a question of following the law. We think it will also mean fewer people will get vaccinated, which we’ve already seen in New York, where healthcare workers quit because of New York’s vaccine mandate.”

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More vaccines.

“..NGOs, philanthropists, and industry..”

Biden To Host Covid-19 Summit On Wednesday (Y!)

President Joe Biden will host a virtual summit with world leaders on the coronavirus pandemic next Wednesday, a day after he addresses the United Nations General Assembly, the White House said Friday. “This meeting is about expanding and enhancing our shared efforts to defeat Covid-19” and will seek to “align on a common vision” against the virus, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. The summit will be “on the margins of the UN General Assembly.” Biden, due to address the annual UN meeting on Tuesday, has pitched the United States as the global leader on the fight to get the world vaccinated, even if the claim is greeted with skepticism by some health NGOs and others.


No details about participants were provided. Psaki said in her statement that the summit will build “from previous gatherings of world leaders and ministers in fora like the G7, G20, and Act Accelerator to rally civil society, NGOs, philanthropists, and industry along with world leaders and align on a common vision for defeating Covid-19 together.”

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Kirsch’s slides don’t fit well into Debt Rattle format.

Steve Kirsch Founded COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund (CETF). Entrepreneur, philanthropist, environmentalist.
Tweet: “@stkirsch had his Twitter account suspended for asking people to read his article on # of people killed by the vaccines. If Twitter thinks he’s wrong on this important issue, why not debate him instead of censoring him? You can follow him on GETTR. Slide 6 offered $1M bet to anyone who thought he was wrong. Where’s the misinfo? But if I tweet a link to his article, my account will be taken down so go to his GETTR account to see the post.”

Excess Death:Life Ratio Is Unacceptable (Kirsch)

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They need to make a living.

11 of 15 NYC Restaurants Not Enforcing Vaccine Mandate (NYP)

Most of the 15 Manhattan restaurants visited by undercover sleuths this week were not enforcing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s city-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for people dining inside, according to a new investigation. Only four of the 15 restaurants asked reporters for ID along with proof of vaccination before seating them inside, according to a segment from Inside Edition. At an Upper East Side location of the BurgerFi chain, the restaurant let a producer for the show order and eat inside without showing proof of vaccination — even though the eatery had small signs at each table that read “show me your vax.” When confronted the following day about the lax enforcement, a manager of the store said, “I’m shocked right now, not gonna lie. I’m shocked because I know that I’ve definitely been asking everyone.”


BurgerFi is now investigating the matter, a representative for the company told The Post. “After learning about the incident, we immediately began an investigation, and will continue to work with all BurgerFi locations to ensure all proper steps are taken to abide by vaccination dining regulations and policies appropriate to each restaurant location,” the spokesperson said. Hummus Kitchen, an Upper East Side Mediterranean restaurant, also didn’t ask to see proof of vaccination and matching ID when visited by an Inside Edition producer. Among the four restaurants that did cooperate with the order was SoHo’s Mercer Kitchen, where a hostess asked to see a vaccine card at the door.

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“.. trigger production of an antibody known as immunoglobulin A..”

Vaccine Nasal Sprays Aim To ‘Shut Door’ On Virus (Y!)

Could delivering Covid-19 immunity directly to the nose — the area of the body via which it is most likely to be transmitted — help conquer the pandemic? The World Health Organization says clinical trials are underway to evaluate eight nasal spray vaccines that target Covid-19. The most advanced effort so far by China’s Xiamen University, the University of Hong Kong and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy has completed phase-2 trials. “When the virus infects someone it usually gets in through the nose,” said researcher Nathalie Mielcarek who is working with the Lille Pasteur Institute to develop a nasal spray vaccine against whooping cough. “The idea is to shut the door.”


An article published in Scientific American in March urged developing nasal spray vaccines because they have an immediate effect on the virus in an infected person’s mucus. There they trigger production of an antibody known as immunoglobulin A, which can block infection. “This overwhelming response, called sterilising immunity, reduces the chance that people will pass on the virus,” said the article. The vaccines currently available offer strong protection against severe forms of Covid-19 but are less reliable at preventing the spread of the virus. Stimulating immunity directly in the nose “lowers the risk of infecting other people”, said Mielcarek. “From there you have less of the virus infecting the lungs and so fewer severe cases since the viral load is lower,” she added.

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“..uses a pair of laboratory-made antibodies to attack the virus..”

“The UK is leading the world in identifying and rolling out life-saving medicines..”

Ronapreve: ‘Most Vulnerable’ To Get New Covid Drug Next Week (BBC)

The UK’s “most vulnerable” hospital patients, who are unable to build up an antibody response to Covid, will be offered new drug Ronapreve from Monday. The new Covid treatment, approved just last month, uses a pair of laboratory-made antibodies to attack the virus. It was famously used as part of the suite of experimental medicines given to US President Donald Trump last year. The antibody cocktail has been shown to reduce hospital stays by four days and cut the risk of death by a fifth. The government said it had secured sufficient supply of the new therapeutic for eligible NHS patients across the four nations to cover the forthcoming winter.


Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he was “thrilled it will be saving lives from as early as next week”. “The UK is leading the world in identifying and rolling out life-saving medicines, particularly for Covid 19, and we will continue our vital work to find the best treatments available to save lives and protect the NHS,” he said. The new treatment is expensive and priority will be given to those patients at greatest risk of becoming severely ill. It will be offered to those over-50 without the necessary antibodies, and those aged 12-49 who are immuno-compromised – for example those with certain cancers – who struggle to mount an antibody response, either through being exposed to Covid, or from vaccination.

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“..the Zoetis covid vaccine..”

Lions and tigers at National Zoo Being Treated For Covid-19 (JTN)

Nine big cats at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. are being treated for COVID-19 after testing positive for the virus, according to reports. According to zoo officials, six African lions, two Amur tigers, and a Sumatran tiger fell ill earlier this week. Animal keepers at the zoo say they observed decreased appetites, coughing, sneezing, and lethargy in several lions and tigers last weekend. After running a fecal test on the large cats, it was confirmed they had contracted the virus.


“The tigers are less affected than the lions, showing fewer symptoms. The varying degrees of symptoms have us watching all of the animals very carefully,” a zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson told WTOP. ”We’re being as positive as possible.”The nine animals are being treated with anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea medication, along with an antibiotic to prevent pneumonia. The rest of the animals at the zoo are expected to be given the Zoetis covid vaccine, which is made specifically for animals. All of the large cats are expected to recover.

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“.. In the time it takes China to build 10 new submarines, Australia will be taking delivery of exactly none…”

Morrison, The Third Amigo, Speaks Loudly To Xi (SMH)

Beijing decided to break Australia’s will. It imposed trade bans on more than $20 billion worth of exports last year and published a list of 14 demands on Australia’s sovereignty. Australia’s reply was delivered this week. In co-ordinated appearances by Scott Morrison, Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, Australia elevated its relationships with the US and Britain to pool their efforts on the most important next-generation warfighting technologies. This so-called “trilateral security partnership” is to be known as AUKUS. In some ways this was mildly comical. The Dad’s Army Anglophone allies who fought together in World War II getting back together for one more fight, led by an American President who forgot Scott Morrison’s name at the critical moment – “that fella down under”, he improvised, “I appreciate you, pal” – in their joint video appearance on Thursday.

The three amigos – an Aussie marketing huckster, an English buffoon and an American senior citizen. Fresh from being chased out of Afghanistan and humiliated by barbarian terrorists they’d set out to defeat 20 years earlier. Their marquee initiative – for Washington and London to supply nuclear propulsion technology for Australian submarines – is serious. But Canberra has no ability to make use of it in a deployable submarine for at least another 20 years. What’s the point of giving an engine to someone without a car? In embracing AUKUS, Australia tore up its $90 billion deal with France for the supply of 12 conventionally powered submarines. Meaning that, from Thursday, Australia has no arrangements with anyone to supply any new submarines whatsoever.

China has 66 submarines. It’s expected to have 10 more by 2030. Six of those new boats will be nuclear-powered, according to the US Office of Naval Intelligence. In the time it takes China to build 10 new submarines, Australia will be taking delivery of exactly none.

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Sep 052021
 
 September 5, 2021  Posted by at 8:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler 1910

 

UK Care Workers Leave En Masse After Being Told To Get Vax Or Quit (RT)
Israel Virus Czar Calls To Begin Readying For 4th Vaccine Dose (ToI)
Give Pupils Covid Jab To Prevent Virus Running Through UK, Expert Says (G.)
The Virus That Stole Christmas (Sky)
Slowly But Surely, The Stupid Is Failing (Denninger)
Vaccine Voodoo (Rickards)
Rolling Stone ‘Horse Dewormer’ Hit-Piece Debunked (ZH)
I Have Not Been Silenced (Malcolm Kendrick)
The Road to Totalitarianism (CJ Hopkins)
China’s Marxist “Profound Revolution” Is Here (Every)

 

 

Good morning from Athens.

 

 

I hear you can deworm your horse with it too.

 

 

Natural Immunity (compiled)
https://twitter.com/i/status/1432342656642867207

 

 

They make £9.30 an hour and then the gov’t comes in demanding they obey or else.

UK Care Workers Leave En Masse After Being Told To Get Vax Or Quit (RT)

Many care workers in the UK who were told to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or lose their jobs have left the industry en masse for better paid positions at companies such as Amazon, creating massive staffing shortages. According to the Guardian, which spoke to several care home industry officials, “three-quarters of care home operators are reporting an increase in staff quitting since April,” with the reasons being “a desire for less stress and for higher pay” and “to avoid mandatory vaccination, which comes into effect on 11 November.” The newspaper reported that many care workers are leaving for other positions in the NHS, where vaccination has not yet been made compulsory, and for unrelated jobs at companies such as Amazon where they have been offered a 30% increase in pay and other incentives.

One care worker left their £9.30 an hour job to work as an Amazon warehouse picker, which pays £13.50 per hour and also offers a £1,000 joining bonus, according to the report. In response to the mass exodus, the industry is now desperately calling on the government to end its mandatory vaccination policy for care workers, warning that a “catastrophe” is on the horizon. National Care Association executive chairman Nadra Ahmed told the Guardian that the National Health Service (NHS) will ultimately “have to pick up this mess” and called on the government to reconsider its policy, while public service union Unison declared that ministers “must immediately repeal ‘no jab, no job’ laws for care home staff in England to avert a staffing crisis that threatens to overwhelm the sector.”

Unison warned that the “draconian” mandatory vaccination policy is “pushing thousands to the brink of quitting care work” and said the government is “sleepwalking into a disaster” by ensuring a massive shortage of staff during a pandemic. The union also revealed that many care workers – who are already underpaid and overworked – “feel totally undervalued” and that “being bullied” into taking a vaccine they didn’t want was “the last straw” for many in the industry.

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How many people still get how idiotic this is?

Israel Virus Czar Calls To Begin Readying For 4th Vaccine Dose (ToI)

Israel’s national coronavirus czar on Saturday called for the country to begin making preparations to eventually administer fourth doses of the coronavirus vaccine. “Given that that the virus is here and will continue to be here, we also need to prepare for a fourth injection,” Salman Zarka told Kan public radio. He did not specify when fourth vaccine shots could eventually be administered. Zarka also said that the next booster shot may be modified to better protect against new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, such as the highly infectious Delta strain. “This is our life from now on, in waves,” he said. Zarka made similar comments in an interview with The Times of Israel last month. “It seems that if we learn the lessons from the fourth wave, we must consider the [possibility of subsequent] waves with the new variants, such as the new one from South America,” he said at the time.


“And thinking about this and the waning of the vaccines and the antibodies, it seems every few months — it could be once a year or five or six months — we’ll need another shot.” Zarka said that he expects that by late 2021 or early 2022, Israel will be giving shots that are especially adapted to cope better with variants. Israel — the first country to officially offer a third dose — began its COVID booster campaign on August 1, rolling it out to all those over the age of 60. It then gradually dropped the eligibility age, expanding it last week to everyone age 12 and up who received the second shot at least five months ago. As of Friday, over 2.5 million Israelis had received the third dose.

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When the JCVI, the experts, say something we don’t like, well, we have other experts. This is full-on Groucho.

Give Pupils Covid Jab To Prevent Virus Running Through UK, Expert Says (G.)

Schoolchildren should be given the Covid vaccine to avoid allowing the virus to “run through the population”, a leading scientific expert has said, after official vaccine advisers concluded the net health benefit in vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds was too small. On Friday, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) stopped short of a recommending vaccinating healthy 12- to 15-year-olds against Covid, saying “the margin of benefit is considered too small” to support universal vaccination. Ministers could now for the first time defy the advice of the scientific watchdog and push ahead, in a move that highlights a growing divide between government and scientific advisers over the next phase of the vaccination programme.

Prof John Edmunds, a member of the government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies, said ministers must consider the “wider effect Covid might have” on unvaccinated children. “It’s a very difficult one, they’re going to take a wider perspective than the JCVI took, I think that’s right,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday. “I think we have to take into consideration the wider effect Covid might have on children and their education and developmental achievements. “In the UK now, it’s difficult to say how many children haven’t been infected but it’s probably about half of them, that’s about 6 million children, so that’s a long way to go if we allow infection just to run through the population, that’s a lot of children who will be infected and that will be a lot of disruption to schools in the coming months.”

The chief medical officers of the UK’s four nations will now weigh up whether or not to give the vaccine to younger schoolchildren, with a decision due within days. The JCVI recommended an expansion to an existing programme of vaccinations for older children with health conditions, including heart disease, type 1 diabetes and severe asthma, increasing the eligible group to about 200,000. But the decision came as a blow to the government, which has in recent days both quietly agitated for a decision from the JCVI, given most schools in England have returned this week, and pointed to existing mass vaccination programmes for such children in places including Israel, the US and Germany.

Immediately after the announcement, Sajid Javid, the health secretary, and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, wrote to the chief medical officers in their countries, asking them to “consider the matter from a broader perspective”. Prof Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of the JVCI, said on Saturday that while past decisions had been “fairly clear cut”, it was “quite reasonable for the government to seek further advice about other aspects” and “go ahead and have a look at it from an educational point of view”. When asked about the possibility of extending the vaccine rollout to younger children, he told BBC Breakfast: “Parents need to understand what the risks are, what the benefits are, and make up their own mind about whether they offer consent or not.”

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Famous last words.

The Virus That Stole Christmas (Sky)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says by the end of the year, Australians should be able to reunite with family across the country, enjoy a proper summer holiday, and New Year’s Eve celebrations where friends can “hug and kiss” at midnight. Under the national plan, interstate travel will occur once 80 per cent of eligible Australians are double jabbed, Scott Morrison tells Sunday Herald Sun. “We don’t have to fear the virus, but we do have to live with it,” he says. “Holding onto COVID zero will only hold Australians back as the world moves forward.” Mr Morrison described the freedoms once 70 per cent and 80 per cent of eligible Australians roll up their sleeves for the jab.


“Grandparents in the east can hold their new grandchild in the west for the first time,” he tells Sunday Herald Sun. “Kids in the south can be excited for holidays up north, long days on the beach and rollercoasters. “Friends can make plans for New Year’s Eve where they can hug and kiss at midnight. “And everyone can make plans for a family Christmas, with all our loved ones at the dinner table, cracking bon-bons and bad jokes together. “Nobody wants COVID to be the virus that stole Christmas, and we have a plan and the vaccinations available to ensure that’s not the case.” “This means that in coming months, lockdown states can look forward to a return to backyard barbecues, kids’ birthday parties with all of their friends, gathering with the whole family for important moments like christenings, weddings and funerals.”

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“I have a right to be unvaccinated against this virus since neither being not-fat or vaccinated confers a health benefit to others..”

Slowly But Surely, The Stupid Is Failing (Denninger)

As for those who have not been infected the data on personal risk allocation is less-clear. Certainly, Covid-19 can seriously injure or kill you. But, since we now know the vaccines neither prevent infection or passing the virus on to others, and have a wildly higher hazard rate than any of the other commonly-used vaccines the equation is now entirely personal. That is, there is no social or employment and customer-related benefit to be had and thus we are now talking about the same classification of personal choice as is packing on that extra 100lbs or choosing to engage in anal sex, both of which are personally dangerous but do not impact other, non-consenting people except, perhaps, by consuming medical system resources someone else might want or need.

Indeed, the data is that being morbidly obese puts 60% or more on your risk of hospitalization or death from Covid-19. Since every single person who is morbidly obese willingly put every item of food and beverage down their own throat should we not hold them accountable for the load they are now placing on the medical system, especially since we knew this in early 2020 and they willingly and intentionally remained obese rather than lose the weight in the intervening 18 months? If I have a right to be fat (and not be discriminated against on the basis of being fat) then I have a right to be unvaccinated against this virus since neither being not-fat or vaccinated confers a health benefit to others; any benefit, such as may exist, is mine and mine alone.

If you think this is some sort of esoteric argument it is not. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that bodily autonomy is sacrosanct. As just one example you have every right to screw another man in the ass so long as you both are adults and consent, which is why the laws related to such sexual practices across the United States in any public accommodation, housing, employment and similar have been progressively, over the last decades, struck down as unconstitutional. Indeed just last year firing someone for being gay become formally illegal. In short the USSC has, on a consistent basis over the last hundred years, ruled that what you choose in terms of personal risk as a consenting adult is nobody else’s damned business and absent hard, scientific proof that someone else is harmed you are on extremely thin ice legally with an attempt to discriminate on any such basis. The legal record is very clear in this regard; that which used to be able to be proscribed 100 years ago as “immoral” or “dangerous” for a particular person has been repeatedly and almost without exception greatly narrowed as the USSC has considered various cases before it.

I remind you that at the time of Jacobson the Court saw such things very differently and personal choice was much less-respected than it is today. Around the same time as Jacobson, for example, the state legislature of Oregon passed a law allowing forced sterilization of “sexual perverts” — aimed straight at homosexuals and the feeble-minded. Oregon was not alone in passing and enforcing these laws. Do you really think jabbing people was a big deal to the Supremes while the State of Oregon was cutting off people’s balls due to their sexual preference?

Do you think the Judge in Chicago did not take all of this into consideration when he reversed his former ruling that an unvaccinated mother by virtue of refusal lost her rights as a parent? I’d like to see the history on exactly why he originally thought that was a good idea, and if perhaps a little off-the-record urging was involved. Family courts are known for hair-raising rulings and such off-the-record games but this one got reversed awfully-quickly, didn’t it? Perhaps the light went on in his head — since the jabs do not produce sterilizing immunity to the virus and do not interrupt transmission his ruling was that one can be dispossessed of their civil rights for a personal medical, social or political decision with the boundary of impact encompassing nobody but herself. It was likely wise to walk away from that voluntarily before he got slapped in the face on appeal.

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“How many people died because they were denied access to these therapies, especially early on in the disease cycle when treatment is more effective? It’s impossible to say, but they could potentially run into the hundreds of thousands.”

Vaccine Voodoo (Rickards)

The data indicate that the most vaccinated countries have the most cases and deaths per million people, while the least vaccinated countries have the fewest cases and deaths per million people. Israel is providing a useful case study in the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of vaccines. Israel is one of the most heavily vaxxed countries in the world, with over 60% of the population fully vaccinated and almost 100% of the elderly. But now Israel is experiencing a massive increase in infections, including cases among the fully vaxxed. The government has also determined that the vaccines wear off after six months or less and is recommending a third shot for everyone. The problem, of course, is that the third dose will wear off too, so a fourth, fifth or sixth dose will be needed.

And with every new dose comes a new risk of dangerous side effects, including the small but real possibility of death. The vaccinated will be getting boosters for the rest of their lives, and the virus still won’t go away. Meanwhile, effective treatments, including ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, vitamin D, zinc and other inexpensive measures, are being suppressed by the medical establishment. How many people died because they were denied access to these therapies, especially early on in the disease cycle when treatment is more effective? It’s impossible to say, but they could potentially run into the hundreds of thousands.

A new study by the U.K.’s National Health Service and a Canadian biotech company revealed that a nitric oxide nasal spray slashed SARS-CoV-2 viral load by 95% within 24 hours and 99% within 72 hours. If further trials pan out, early treatment with a similar cheap therapeutic could cut serious cases down to almost nothing. But it doesn’t matter. The medical establishment will continue pushing the narrative that only universal vaccination will stop the virus. The media continue to hyperventilate about “cases” but ignore the fact that death rates have declined since January. When one accounts for the 38 million Americans who have survived COVID and already have antibodies, then herd immunity is already here. Data indicate that people who had COVID between January and February of 2021 and recovered have 13 times more immunity to the Delta variant than vaccines provide.

We’re at the stage where we can learn to live with COVID as we do with many other endemic diseases such as the seasonal flu. There’s no reason for fear. But the public health authorities insist that these people with natural immunity must also be vaccinated. It’s not “science.” The zero-COVID policies many governments have pursued are completely unrealistic. The virus goes where it wants. The only real solutions are patience, herd immunity and effective therapies. The time has come to stop living in fear and start treating COVID as an endemic disease that will be with us for a long time, like the seasonal flu or diabetes. Unfortunately, government authorities continue to insist they can control the situation with orders and mandates.

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All it took to find out was one phone call. But nobody at Rolling Stone had a spare dime.

Rolling Stone ‘Horse Dewormer’ Hit-Piece Debunked (ZH)

After Joe Rogan announced that he’d kicked Covid in just a few days using a cocktail of drugs, including Ivermectin – an anti-parasitic prescribed for humans for over 35 years, with over 4 billion doses administered (and most recently as a Covid-19 treatment), the left quickly started mocking Rogan for having taken a ‘horse dewormer’ due to its dual use in livestock. [..] On Friday, Rolling Stone’s Peter Wade took another stab – publishing a hit piece claiming that Oklahoma ERs were overflowing with people ‘overdosing on horse dewormer.’ It was suspect from the beginning. The report, sourced to local Oaklahoma outlet KFOR’s Katelyn Ogle, cites Oklahoma ER doctor Dr. Jason McElyea – claimed that people overdosing on ivermectin horse dewormer are causing emergency rooms to be “so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting” access to health facilities.

“As people take the drug, McElyea said patients have arrived at hospitals with negative reactions like nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and cramping — or even loss of sight. “The scariest one that I’ve heard of and seen is people coming in with vision loss,” the doctor said.” -Rolling Stone. Except, the article provided zero evidence for McElyea’s claims, causing people to start asking questions. And while neither KFOR or Rolling Stone mention the hospital McElyea worked for, NHS Sequoyah, located in Sallisaw, Oklahoma – just issued a statement disavowing McElyea’s claims, which pops up when you visit their website. It reads:

“Although Dr. Jason McElyea is not an employee of NHS Sequoyah, he is affiliated with a medical staffing group that provides coverage for our emergency room. With that said, Dr. McElyea has not worked at our Sallisaw location in over 2 months. NHS Sequoyah has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose. All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate. Our hospital has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care. We want to reassure our community that our staff is working hard to provide quality healthcare to all patients. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this issue and as always, we value our community’s support.”

[..] McElyea is also listed as working at Integris Grove Hospital in Grove, OK as a general family practitioner – not in the ER. A phone call to them provided no insight as to any ivermectin overdoses, however the gentleman who answered the phone sounded quite amused. What’s more, Grove, OK – with a population of 7,129, had just 14 aggravated assaults in all of 2019 according to the FBI’s latest data. We somehow doubt that ‘gunshot victims were lining up outside the ER,’ while just 11 ivermectin related hospital cases have been reported in the entire state since the beginning of May.

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“Very little is referenced, because I can very easily find a contradictory reference to any reference I provide. For each fact, there is an equal and opposite fact.”

I Have Not Been Silenced (Malcolm Kendrick)

Thank you to the many people who have e-mailed me recently and asked if I have been silenced. I have not. I have had letters from Public Health England and the General Medical Council, informing me that I was under investigation for daring to question anything about COVID19, particularly vaccines. The good news is the investigations ended up nowhere, and were closed down. I have also had irate phone calls from doctors, telling me that I must not question vaccination and suchlike. This has been somewhat wearing and has caused me to remain silent for a while and think about things. However, I do know how to play the medical regulations game. Don’t make a statement you cannot reference from a peer-reviewed journal.

Don’t give direct advice to people over the internet. Provide facts, and do not make statements such as ‘vaccines are killing thousands of people.’ Or suchlike. Not that I ever would. My self-appointed role within the COVID19 mayhem, was to search for the truth – as far as it could be found – and to attempt to provide useful information for those who wish to read my blog. The main reason for prolonged silence, and introspection, is that I am not sure I can find the truth. I do not know if it can be found anymore. Today I am unsure what represents a fact, and what has simply been made up. A sad and scary state of affairs. This is not just true of the mainstream and the mainstream media, which has simply decided to parrot all Government and WHO statements without any critical engagement…or thought.

For example, the BBC intones that ‘In the last day, fifty people died within twenty-eight days of a positive COVID19 test…’ Or a hundred, or six. What the hell is this supposed to mean? It means nothing, it is the very definition of scientific meaninglessness. Especially when it seems that very nearly a half of those admitted to hospital with COVID19 were not admitted to hospital with COVID19. They were admitted with something else entirely, then had a positive test whilst in hospital. In short, they were not admitted to hospital with COVID19, and almost certainly did not die of COVID19. They died with a positive COVID19 test. With, not of. But the misinformation is equally a problem for those on the other side. Claims are made for the benefits of Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine that simply do not stand up to scrutiny.

Yes, I believe both drugs may provide some benefit, but not the claimed 90% reduction in deaths that I have seen trumpeted. So, I have given up on COVID19. It is a complete mess, and I feel that, without being certain of the ground under my feet, I have nothing to contribute. I too am in danger of starting to make statements that are not true. However, before leaving the area entirely, I would like to make clear some of the things I currently believe to be true, and what I do not believe to be true. If this is of any assistance to anyone. Very little is referenced, because I can very easily find a contradictory reference to any reference I provide. For each fact, there is an equal and opposite fact.

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“And that, my friends, is where we are. We didn’t get here overnight.”

The Road to Totalitarianism (CJ Hopkins)

The time for people to “wake up” is over. At this point, you either join the fight to preserve what is left of those rights, and that sovereignty, or you surrender to the “New Normal,” to global-capitalist totalitarianism. I couldn’t care less what you believe about the virus, or its mutant variants, or the experimental “vaccines.” This isn’t an abstract argument over “the science.” It is a fight … a political, ideological fight. On one side is democracy, on the other is totalitarianism. Pick a fucking side, and live with it. Anyway, here’s where we are at the moment, and how we got here, just the broad strokes. It’s August 2021, and Germany has officially banned demonstrations against the “New Normal” official ideology. Other public assemblies, like the Christopher Street Day demo, one week ago, are still allowed.

The outlawing of political opposition is a classic hallmark of totalitarian systems. It’s also a classic move by the German authorities, which will give them the pretext they need to unleash the New Normal goon squads on the demonstrators tomorrow. In Australia, the military has been deployed to enforce total compliance with government decrees … lockdowns, mandatory public obedience rituals, etc. In other words, it is de facto martial law. This is another classic hallmark of totalitarian systems. In France, restaurant and other business owners who serve “the Unvaccinated” will now be imprisoned, as will, of course, “the Unvaccinated.” The scapegoating, demonizing, and segregating of “the Unvaccinated” is happening in countries all over the world. France is just an extreme example. The scapegoating, dehumanizing, and segregating of minorities — particularly the regime’s political opponents — is another classic hallmark of totalitarian systems.

In the UK, Italy, Greece, and numerous other countries throughout the world, this pseudo-medical social-segregation system is also being introduced, in order to divide societies into “good people” (i.e., compliant) and “bad” (i.e., non-compliant). The “good people” are being given license and encouraged by the authorities and the corporate media to unleash their rage on the “the Unvaccinated,” to demand our segregation in internment camps, to openly threaten to viciously murder us. This is also a hallmark of totalitarian systems. And that, my friends, is where we are. We didn’t get here overnight. Here are just a few of the unmistakable signs along the road to totalitarianism that I have pointed out over the last 17 months.

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Xi is getting bold.

China’s Marxist “Profound Revolution” Is Here (Every)

Political developments in China have been front page news in the financial press over the past few months. Beijing’s crackdown on Ant Financial, largely dismissed by Wall Street, then spread to Didi and on to the broader sectors these championed, fin- and transport-tech; then it grew to encompass swathes of the economy, from tech to health to education to property to private equity to gaming. In terms of tech, there are now sharp limits on IPOs in the US (mirrored from the US side) and new algo/pricing and data regulations that require Beijing to hold on to it; the private tuition field was made non-profit; there has been a sharp reduction in credit to property developers along with the official message that “houses are for living in, not speculation”, and rental increase caps of 5% annually; under-18s have been limited to just 3 hours of computer gaming a week, in allotted slots; and private equity has been cut off from residential investment.

Beijing has also called for curbs on “excessive” income, and for the wealthy and profitable firms “to give back more to society.” (Tencent already pledged $15bn.) This is also matched by: a social campaign against excessive business drinking, “unpatriotic” karaoke songs, and celebrity culture; ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ made obligatory at all schools and universities; and, as Bloomberg puts it, controls on social media financial commentary – “China to Cleanse Online Content that ‘Bad Mouths’ its Economy”. This has all taken place under the slogan of “Common Prosperity”. Going further, commentary reposted by Chinese state media on 30 August stressed these changes are a “profound revolution” sweeping the country, warning anyone who resisted would face punishment.

It added: “This is a return from the capital group to the masses of the people, and this is a transformation from capital-centred to people-centred,” marking a return to the original intention of the Communist Party, and “Therefore, this is a political change, and the people are becoming the main body of this change again, and all those who block this people-centred change will be discarded.” Notably, a WeChat blogger originally made the post, but it was then reposted by major state-run media outlets such as the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, PLA Daily, CCTV, China Youth Daily, and China News Service. The author also wrote that high housing prices and medical costs will become the next targets of the campaign –which was backed by an official announcement on 1 September– and that the government needed to “combat the chaos of big capital,” adding “The capital market will no longer become a paradise for capitalists to get rich overnight… and public opinion will no longer be in a position worshiping Western culture.”

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Dave Collum: “Yeah. It had nothing to do with those last 2,000 Whoppers and 2,500 bags of Funions…”

Do read the story below the photo.

 

 

God

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime; donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Jul 172021
 
 July 17, 2021  Posted by at 9:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Edward Hopper Summer interior 1909

 

Something Really Odd Is Going On (CR)
As Covid Cases Rise, Gibraltar Tightens Rules On Isolation (GBC)
Pfizer Covid Vaccine Significantly Less Effective Against Delta Variant (JP)
Biden’s Vaccine “Strike Force” Plan Stinks Of Desperation (Smith)
Biden Says Social Media Misinformation On Covid ‘Killing People’ (Y!)
White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook (Turley)
Sorry, But No. And I Do Mean *NO* (Denninger)
Enemies of the People (Kunstler)
‘If I Was Going To Do A Coup, It Wouldn’t Be With Him’ (RT)
Hunter Biden Prosecutor Paused Investigation Before Election (NYP)
Quantitative Easing: How The World Got Hooked On Magicked-up Money (Pettifor)
Xi Jealous Of Biden Admin’s Ability To Censor Speech On Social Media (BBee)

 

 

Think this is from France. Could be anywhere though. It’s the simplicity that counts.

 

 

 

Twitter thread.

We’re going to see lockdowns implemented just to hide the fact that it’s the vaccinated who get infected most. If you lock down before that becomes public knowledge, you can still blame the virus itself.

Something Really Odd Is Going On (CR)

Something really odd is going on: In Europe we are seeing surges at many places where most of the population has already been vaccinated. At the same time, the 15 least vaccinated countries don‘t seem to face any problem. At some point, denying this problem will get painful.

Also take a look at what went on in the 15 most vaccinated countries worldwide:

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Time to count hospitalizations only. “Cases” has become meaningless.

As Covid Cases Rise, Gibraltar Tightens Rules On Isolation (GBC)

The rules which require close contacts of a positive case to self-isolate have been tightened in view of the increase in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Gibraltar. 32 new cases were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases up to 164. Of the new cases, 29 are vaccinated, and only three are unvaccinated. There is one case in the Covid ward, but none in Critical Care or ERS. There are now 574 in self-isolation. Up until now, a vaccinated close contact of a positive case didn’t need to self-isolate. That person could leave home as long as a mask was worn in all settings, and could even continue to go to work depending on the circumstances of the workplace.


Those rules have now changed. The Delta variant of the virus is more contagious and therefore spreads more quickly – this means that if someone in a household contracts the disease, the likelihood is that other members of that same household will follow. Household contacts of a positive case are now required to self-isolate whether they have been vaccinated or not. The Contact Tracing Bureau will at first circulate a text message to all known contacts. This will be followed by a telephone call to each of them where the details surrounding the nature of the contact will be discussed, looked at more closely and new instructions issued accordingly.

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“..the “Happy Badge” that only gives access to weddings and similar events with more than 100 guests to those who are vaccinated, recovered or holders of a recent negative coronavirus test.”

But you just said half of the current virus carriers are vaccinated! And they can still go to weddings?

Pfizer Covid Vaccine Significantly Less Effective Against Delta Variant (JP)

The effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against the Delta variant is “weaker” than health officials hoped, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Friday, as 855 people tested positive for coronavirus and more countries were added to the list of places having high infection rates. “We do not know exactly to what degree the vaccine helps, but it is significantly less,” Bennett said. The prime minister held a meeting of top health officials and ministers to discuss the next steps for managing the virus in light of the numbers in Israel and what Bennett described as “the Delta mutation leaping forward around the world, including in vaccinated countries such as Britain, Israel and the US.”

He said that in “Britain, in recent days, we have seen a jump in the number of children who are being hospitalized on a daily basis. This is a development that we are aware of; we are dealing with it rationally and responsibly.” The highest number of coronavirus cases since March was diagnosed on Thursday, with 1.52% of tests returning positive, the Health Ministry said in a Friday announcement. While the spike in daily cases continues, the increase in serious morbidity has remained limited. Of those infected, 52 were in serious condition, two less than the day before. A week earlier, there were 41. In April, with about 5,900 active cases, similar to the current number, more than 340 patients were in serious condition.

The likely explanation is that among the current virus carriers, some 2,000 are schoolchildren, and half of them were fully vaccinated. Both groups are very unlikely to develop severe forms of the disease, even though it occasionally happens. At the moment, around 60% of the patients in serious conditions were vaccinated. “Percent of cases that turn critically ill is now 1.6%, compared to 4% at a similar stage in the 3rd wave when there were no vaccines,” Prof. Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science who advises the coronavirus cabinet, tweeted on Friday. He said that “In case of continued increase in cases, many more cases will be needed than in the 3rd wave to reach similarly high numbers of critically ill patients in the hospitals. This will contribute significantly to population-level immunity.”

[..] .. the ministers agreed to prepare for enforcing the “Happy Badge” that only gives access to weddings and similar events with more than 100 guests to those who are vaccinated, recovered or holders of a recent negative coronavirus test. The system is only relevant for indoor gatherings where food and drinks are served and people both sit and stand. There will be no cap on participants, and people will be required to wear masks.

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In almost very country, estimates of people vaccinated are grossly exaggerated.

Biden’s Vaccine “Strike Force” Plan Stinks Of Desperation (Smith)

In the meantime, Biden has shipped over 500 million covid vaccine doses overseas in June while at the same time claiming that the US was on track to meet his 70% vaccination goal by July 4th. Needless to say this never happened. The Biden admin now claims that the US population is now 67% vaccinated, and if this was actually true then it would be very close to meeting Anthony Fauci’s original guidelines for herd immunity. So why all the frantic hype about unvaccinated people? Firstly, Fauci has continually moved the goal posts for herd immunity to the point that he is now telling the public to ignore herd immunity altogether and that the only option is to get EVERYONE vaccinated. Many of us in the liberty media said this is exactly what he would do, and he has proven to be incredibly predictable.

Secondly, the CDC vaccination numbers seem to be inflated in order to create a manufactured consensus. While claiming an overall vaccination rate of 67%, CDC stats indicate a maximum of around 184 million Americans with at least one dose, then indicate 160 million people with a double dose. Yet, according to the Mayo Clinic data map, only four states have a vaccination rate of 67% or more, all in the Northeast. Even California and New York are well under 67%, and the vast majority of states are sitting at around 50% or less. Frankly, I don’t believe the CDC vaccine numbers at all. New dosage numbers are plunging across the US according to state officials; anyone who hasn’t been jabbed by now is not going to get jabbed unless they are forced to. There are no long lines for vaccines. No wait times.

The CDC has even removed the wait time between doses. And still, CVS and Walgreens have been throwing away expired doses by the hundreds of thousands. If we look at the CDC stats for full vaccination we are closer to 51% of the total US population, which matches more accurately with the Mayo Clinic state statistics. There is no indication that this percentage will be growing beyond the 51% mark anytime soon, if the stats are accurate at all. This means that at least half the US population is in defiance of the program. This is probably why Fauci and Biden have become more aggressive in their vaccination agenda the past month. If they were getting the nearly 70% vax rates they claim, then they would not be stomping their feet indignantly over unvaccinated people.

The stats show a HUGE number of Americans are refusing to take the jab – There’s a vast army of us out there, and this is a good thing. Why? Because there is simply no reason to take the experimental mRNA vaccine.

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Don’t be fooled by Facebook protesting this. This is a multi-headed monster.

Biden Says Social Media Misinformation On Covid ‘Killing People’ (Y!)

President Joe Biden said Friday that social media misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccinations is “killing people” and the White House said Facebook needs to clean up its act. “They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” Biden told reporters at the White House, as he left for a weekend at the presidential retreat in Camp David. The White House is turning up the pressure on social media companies to weed out what officials say is widely spread misinformation on coronavirus vaccinations. According to US health officials, a current spike in Covid-19 deaths and illnesses around the country is almost exclusively hitting people who remain unvaccinated.

“There is a clear message that is coming through: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Friday. Many of those refusing vaccinations, despite the ease of availability throughout the United States, have said they do not trust the shots. Skepticism is being fueled both by false posts spread by anti-vaccine activists online and by Republican politicians claiming the vaccinations are part of attempts at government control. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Facebook and others are not doing enough to push back. “Everybody has a role to play in making sure there’s accurate information,” she said.

Psaki said the White House was taking a more active approach in calling out what it sees as misinformation but insisted that Facebook in particular should react more quickly in taking down problematic posts. “There’s about 12 people who are producing 65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms. All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms,” Psaki said, without identifying those dozen posters. The White House has “proposed that they create a robust enforcement strategy that bridges their properties and provides transparency about the rules,” she said.

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Must make AG Garland nervous too.

White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook (Turley)

We have previously discussed the extensive censorship programs maintained by Big Tech, including companies like Twitter and Facebook taking sides in major controversies from gender identification to election fraud to Covid-19. The rise of corporate censors has combined with a heavily pro-Biden media to create the fear of a de facto state media that controls information due to a shared ideology rather than state coercion. That concern has been magnified by demands from Democratic leaders for increased censorship, including censoring political speech, and now word that the Biden Administration has routinely been flagging material to be censored by Facebook.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden administration is working with Facebook to flag “problematic” posts that “spread disinformation” on COVID-19. She explained that the Administration has created “aggressive” policing systems to spot “misinformation” to be “flagged” for the social media companies. Obviously, anyone can object to postings. There is a greater danger when the government has a systemic process for aggressively flagging material to be censored. The real problem however is with the censorship system itself. We have seen how there needs to be little coordination between political figures and the media to maintain controlled narratives in public debates and discussions. The concern is obvious that this allows for a direct role of the government in a massive censorship program run by private companies.

There have been repeated examples of the censoring of stories that were embarrassing or problematic for the Biden Administration. Even when Twitter expressed regret for the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election, there was an immediate push back for greater censorship from Democrats. The concern is that these companies are taking to heart calls from Democratic members for increased censorship on the platform. CEO Jack Dorsey previously apologized for censoring the Hunter Biden story before the election. However, rather than addressing the dangers of such censoring of news accounts, Senator Chris Coons pressed Dorsey to expand the categories of censored material to prevent people from sharing any views that he considers “climate denialism.”

Likewise, Senator Richard Blumenthal seemed to take the opposite meaning from Twitter, admitting that it was wrong to censor the Biden story. Blumenthal said that he was “concerned that both of your companies are, in fact, backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” Accordingly, he demanded an answer to this question: “Will you commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election, including fact checking, labeling, reducing the spread of misinformation, and other steps, even for politicians in the runoff elections ahead?” “Robust content modification” seems the new Orwellian rallying cry in our society.

The same problems have arisen on Covid stories. For a year, Big Tech has been censoring those who wanted to discuss the origins of pandemic. It was not until Biden admitted that the virus may have originated in the Wuhan lab that social media suddenly changed its position. Facebook only recently announced that people on its platform will be able to discuss the origins of Covid-19 after censoring any such discussion.

The back channel coordination with Facebook further supports the view that this is a de facto state-supporting censorship program. That is the basis for the recent lawsuit by former President Donald Trump. As I have previously noted, there is ample basis for objection to this arrangement but the legal avenue for challenges is far from clear. The lawsuit will face difficult, if not insurmountable, problems under existing law and precedent. There is no question companies like Twitter are engaging in raw censorship. It is also true that these companies have censored material with a blatantly biased agenda, taking sides on scientific and social controversies. A strong case can be made for stripping these companies of legal protections since they are no longer neutral platforms. However, private businesses are allowed to regulate speech as a general matter. It will take considerable heavy lifting for a court to order this injunctive relief.

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“The very first element of evidence for any medical intervention of any sort is that you can personally benefit from it. This must be established with scientific certainty — not that you get antibodies from the shot but that you actually get a material benefit in excess of where you were in terms of risk before you got jabbed”
.

Sorry, But No. And I Do Mean *NO* (Denninger)

We must force the existing manufacturers and FDA to prove that giving someone a vaccine if they have pre-existing resistance has value to them in reducing serious or fatal outcomes, and by how much. 80% of the population had known resistance to Covid-19 before the virus got here. The study establishing this was first published in the summer and then, peer-reviewed, was released in September before the first jab went into the first arm. We knew this had to be true all the way back to Diamond Princess and I reported on that fact but we did not know why; June told us why, and September scientifically established both the fact and the reasons for it beyond reasonable challenge. If the companies and FDA, whether through malice, speed or incompetence destroyed the ability to collect and analyze that data by polluting the data set it all must stop now …

… because there is no way to easily detect if you’re in that 80% and if, by January, you hadn’t gotten seriously sick the odds are very high you are in that resistant and cannot become seriously ill with Covid-19 simply because the odds of you having being exposed by then are overwhelming. The very first element of evidence for any medical intervention of any sort is that you can personally benefit from it. This must be established with scientific certainty — not that you get antibodies from the shot but that you actually get a material benefit in excess of where you were in terms of risk before you got jabbed. It is wildly unethical, immoral and constitutes gross malpractice to advise anyone to take a medical treatment from which there is no reasonable possibility of benefit. This was intentionally not done before we issued EUAs due to “Warp Speed” — that is, speed (and profit) came before proof of benefit.

We must force both pharma and the regulators, along with our government at all levels to account for now-apparent, clear and outrageous failure of the existing shots along with the flat-out lies being told today as regards their efficacy. Specifically, 100 out of 700 (1/7th) of the crew on the HMS Queen Elizabeth have become infected with Covid-19. Every one of the crew was fully vaccinated and thus any attempt to blame this on “plague rats” that aren’t vaccinated is obvious bull****. I note that this rate of infection (14%) is within statistical spitting distance for population pre-existing resistance as documented in June of 2020 (80%) which strongly implies that the jabs are very close to worthless if not completely worthless in preventing both infection and transmission.

Through March of 2021 just 24 military personnel in the US have died allegedly from Covid out of nearly 170,000 cases, or a rate of approximately 0.014%; as such “serious and fatal” events on the HMS QE are unlikely even if nobody had been vaccinated. In short the British Military jabbed everyone and put them at risk of severe or fatal adverse effects for zero benefit; the existing shots have no statistically-material benefit in preventing either infection or transmission of the virus. In addition we have known since the polio vaccine development that using non-sterilizing vaccines during an active outbreak causes mutational adaptation and escape and thus is dangerous. It is for this reason that IPV (non-sterilizing) was followed by OPV (sterilizing) in the United States until well after there was no circulating polio in America. There is no longer any scientific dispute in this regard and anyone claiming otherwise is a lying sack of crap. All alleged “public health” justification for the existing shots has been conclusively and scientifically destroyed by this event and, in addition the shots have now been conclusively identified as placing the population at severe and direct risk of mutational escape.

We must identify and publish detailed, de-identified associated harms from the jabs and norm them to the population segment and existing morbidities as a whole. Every health insurance company in the private sector and CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) have this data and, since the vaccine rollout is in fact not “free” if you’re insured (it’s billed to your insurance company) the firms know conclusively what events coincided with or were closely associated with these shots and how that compares with their last five years of data in the same population and morbidity segments. In short the data across over 150 million Americans does exist to show what, if anything, is happening and at what rate. This excess forms the denominator of harms from the shots.

This is not a function of nor can it be dismissed as “clinical judgment”; there are many reports of doctors refusing to make entries into VAERS or otherwise dodging that the jabs are related to new illnesses, hospitalizations and concerns. I don’t care what a doctor thinks; I care very much about who’s getting paid to do what and how that has changed over the last eight months. Until that data is released to the public under penalty of life in prison if falsified or otherwise misrepresented there must be no further activity with regards to these shots. THE PEOPLE MUST HAVE THE DENOMINATOR — THAT IS, THE ADVERSE EVENT NUMBER, AGAINST THE NUMBER OF VACCINATED PERSONS BOTH FOR DEATH AND ANY OTHER SERIOUS CONDITION INVOLVING A HOSPITAL ADMISSION OR TRIP TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

We must have full, free and open access to inexpensive and known safe drugs for early interdiction as an option. This means Ivermectin, Budesonide and HCQ + Doxycycline or Zpak for starters. All of these are drugs that are known to be quite safe, they are all off-patent and inexpensive and it must be the choice of the patient whether to use them if suspected or confirmed infected. It is their ass, not the doctor’s, and thus their choice. Any doctor who refuses must lose their license. Any medical group that promotes or enforces a policy adverse to this must be destroyed, literally and to an individual employee, director and officer, as they have and are killing people for money. This is especially true when there are no approved treatments under full FDA protocol and Remdesivir, which is under EUA, has twice proved worthless in formal studies, a third now shows it causes harm and yet the EUA is still there and it is still being recommended and used. Whether said drugs are inferior, equal or superior to a vaccine is immaterial. It is the patient’s decision.

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“Jacob Marley in Uncle Sam drag..”

Enemies of the People (Kunstler)

America is oh so problematic! You people are working a little too hard to think for yourselves — you basket of deplorable, brain-damaged, flyover gorks — so pardon us while we remove your impure thoughts from the nation’s thought-spaces. We will do your thinking for you, because 1) we know better, and 2) we say so…. Can you see now how things are working perfectly toward an autumn explosion of, shall we say, unpleasant disagreeableness?

Meanwhile, “Joe Biden” and “Biden allied groups” have engineered the US intel and security agencies to label anyone and anything that opposes the shutdown of wrong-think as “white supremacist domestic terrorism.” the FBI officially tweets: “Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit https://go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI.” Nice set-up. Thus, Nancy Pelosi and Merrick Garland’s year-to-date production of the “Capitol Insurrection” pageant, and the captivity, in solitary confinement for months on end, in defiance of habeas corpus, of January Sixth’s hapless, selfie-snapping trespassers. That should prevent any outfit beside BLM and Antifa from mounting mostly peaceful protests, especially against “Joe Biden’s” creeping totalitarianism.

Yet, the flop-sweat is running like a babbling brook from end-to-end down Pennsylvania avenue as, in actual fact, the “Joe Biden” show lurches into its final act — which will be the collapse of the “Joe Biden” show in an odoriferous heap of bad faith and criminality. The specter of election audits is getting to the animatronic teleprompter-reader heading the federal regime. His chamberlains foolishly sent him out to Philadelphia this week to squelch any rising sentiment among PA state legislators to audit alleged ballot irregularities of 11/3/20. “Joe B’s” legitimacy is shredding and he looks more and more like a mere ghoul in the Oval Office, Jacob Marley in Uncle Sam drag, wailing and whispering of his political sins.

In Philly, the poor boob said, “For those who challenge the results and question the integrity of the election: No other election has ever been held under such scrutiny and such high standards!” That mouthful was followed by an even bigger gulp: “The Big Lie is just that: a big lie.” Did he know what he said there? (Cue: Joseph Goebbels spinning in grave with admiration.) The utterance was the perfect companion to his Big Brag on the campaign trail last October, saying, “We have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.” Indeed, you did, Joe — or, at least, your worker bees in the DNC did, with, perhaps, some help from the Deep State’s Intel Community.

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Milley’s a few cents short of a buck.

‘If I Was Going To Do A Coup, It Wouldn’t Be With Him’ (RT)

Former President Donald Trump has issued a scathing rebuke of US General Mark Milley, after book excerpts revealed Milley had allegedly compared Trump’s supporters to Nazis and planned to resist a hypothetical “coup” by Trump. Excerpts from an upcoming book by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker describe how, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, as Trump disputed Joe Biden’s victory, Milley, the nation’s highest military officer, summoned the rest of the Pentagon’s top brass to discuss the possibility of Trump attempting to use them in a “coup” attempt to stay in power. Milley, according to the excerpts seen by CNN, drew on numerous World War II cliches, comparing Trump’s rhetoric of a ‘rigged’ election to “the gospel of the Fuhrer,” his supporters to the Nazi “brownshirts,” and Trump himself as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.”

As Milley and his deputies discussed the possibility of Trump’s supporters directly attacking Washington DC, he flexed his military muscles. “They may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,” he reportedly said. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.” Trump issued a lengthy response on Thursday. “I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government,” the former president said in a press release. “So ridiculous! Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of ‘coup,’ and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.”

[..] Trump’s statement went on to list more of the former president’s grievances with Milley, beginning with a typically Trumpian explanation for how the general got his job: “He got his job only because the world’s most overrated general, James Mattis, could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him,” Trump explained, referring to his former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “To me the fact that Mattis didn’t like him, just like Obama didn’t like him and actually fired Milley, was a good thing, not a bad thing. I often act counter to people’s advice who I don’t respect.”

Read more …

He still has his job.

Hunter Biden Prosecutor Paused Investigation Before Election (NYP)

The top federal prosecutor in Delaware decided to pause a criminal investigation of Hunter Biden months before the 2020 election to prevent the public from learning about it, according to a report. US Attorney David Weiss, appointed by former President Donald Trump, decided not to seek search warrants or issue grand jury subpoenas so as not to “alert the public to the existence of the case in the middle of a presidential election,” Politico reports. The prosecutor’s office reportedly was torn over whether to continue its probe or pause it due to the election, and Weiss, who remains in his job leading the case, sided with those who wanted to wait. “To his credit, he listened,” an unnamed source told the publication.

The Justice Department’s role in the case has faced criticism from Trump allies, who note that a Delaware computer repairman gave the FBI a laptop formerly belonging to Hunter Biden in December 2019, according to records first reported by The Post. In the final months of the 2020 presidential race, The Post revealed a trove of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop that appeared to link his then-candidate father to his foreign business ventures in China and with Ukrainian energy company Burisma. The emails revealed that the younger Biden introduced a top Burisma executive to his father, then vice president, less than a year before the elder Biden admittedly pressured Ukrainian officials into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.

The water-damaged MacBook Pro — which bore a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation — was dropped off for repair at a Delaware computer shop in April 2019, but the individual who dropped it off never returned to pick it up. It was seized by the FBI in December of that year. In addition to his Ukrainian connections, other emails on the computer showed Hunter discussing potential business deals with China’s largest private energy company. One deal seemed to draw considerable attention from the younger Biden, who called it “interesting for me and my family.” Senate Republicans revealed the findings of their investigation into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings in September. They said the Obama administration ignored “glaring warning signs” when the then-vice president’s son joined the board of Burisma when he had no energy experience.

Read more …

Excellent by Ann Pettifor.

Quantitative Easing: How The World Got Hooked On Magicked-up Money (Pettifor)

Central banks—backed by royal charters and the state—have always had the power to create credit and expand the money supply. They have, since at least the founding of the Bank of England in 1694, provided credit to their clients in government and in commercial banks, accepting collateral in exchange for the money they create—a routine process known in the jargon as Open Market Operations (OMOs). They can run OMOs in reverse, too, selling the securities on their balance sheets in exchange for cash, taking money out of circulation, contracting the supply and raising its “price”—the rate of interest. Through such means, central banks have long used their power of credit creation to help fund the government, keep commercial banks afloat and then, from the 20th century, to keep the economy in balance too.

At one level, QE is just another name for OMOs—newly “minted” electronic money is paid into the accounts of the central bank’s clients, who in exchange offer up collateral in the form of bonds. By buying them up, central bankers contract the supply of bonds in the market, which raises their price or, equivalently, lowers their yield—the interest that’s paid on them. In that way, the process puts downward pressure on the borrowing costs of governments and other debtors. So what’s really new here? The difference between OMOs and QE is in the scale and the wider array of assets involved. Whereas OMOs typically purchase short-term government debt, QE programmes snap up government debt of all maturities, including long-term bonds. In the US, the EU and UK, central banks also extended the definition of eligible collateral to include riskier corporate bonds, and began buying them up too.

As to the scale, already by 2009 the Bank of England had purchased bonds to the value of £200bn. By August 2016, after the Brexit vote, purchases rose to £445bn. During the market’s grave March 2020 wobble, purchases rose to £645bn. By November 2020, the bank had acquired assets of £895bn. This stock of purchases is now equivalent to about half the annual flow of UK national income. Moreover, with QE, the old two-way traffic of OMOs seems to have become a one-way street. While central bankers are acquiring bonds, they are not, as yet, selling them back into the market. The fear is that doing so would flood it, slashing bond prices and forcing up their yields—making it harder for borrowers, not least governments, to service their debts.

Read more …

“President Xi had phoned Biden on his special “red phone” that lets him speak directly to his friend Joe to get more tips on how to rule his people with an iron fist.”

Xi Jealous Of Biden Admin’s Ability To Censor Speech On Social Media (BBee)

In a candid statement today, President Xi Jinping admitted he’s “actually pretty jealous” of the United States government’s ability to censor information it doesn’t like over social media. Sources close to the ruler of China’s communist party and government said he was “fairly envious” of how effective the U.S. system of censorship works. He was particularly impressed with how the Biden White House doesn’t even have to censor information themselves, but can simply flag posts as problematic and private companies will jump to take care of dissenters automatically. Even President Xi usually has to “lift a finger” to censor someone, so he’s pretty jealous of the way the U.S. is handling censorship of “misinformation.”


“Honestly, I’m impressed, and a little jealous,” said China’s dictator after he heard Press Secretary Jen Psaki say the White House flags posts for Facebook to remove and that someone who gets banned on one social network should get banned on all of them. “And I thought I had absolute control over the speech of my people! This is next-level stuff. Really quite something.” “And having a private company do it so the people can’t complain about freedom of speech – brilliant. My hat is off to the United States.” At publishing time, President Xi had phoned Biden on his special “red phone” that lets him speak directly to his friend Joe to get more tips on how to rule his people with an iron fist.

Read more …

 

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“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
– H. L. Mencken

 

 

So the Kids are now calling the Vaccines “clot shots”
And the ambulances “Jab Cabs”

 

 

WH controls narrative
https://twitter.com/i/status/1416194845924802563

 

 

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Jan 132021
 
 January 13, 2021  Posted by at 10:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  61 Responses »


Alfred Wertheimer Elvis entering the Warwick 1956

 

The Ireland Event (Ben Hunt)
Japan To Suspend Entry Of All Foreigners (NHK)
China Sees Growing COVID-19 Threat As More Cities Locked Down (R.)
Ron Paul Criticized Social Media Censorship Before Being Blocked (Turley)
How Silicon Valley Monopolistic Force Destroyed Parler (Greenwald)
Pence Responds To Pelosi, Won’t Invoke 25th Amendment (Mike Pence)
Trump’s Last Chance to Declassify Secrets of the Russia Collusion Dud (Maté)
Israel Isn’t A Democracy, It’s An ‘Apartheid Regime’ – Rights Group (CNN)
Upbeat Xi Says “Time And Situation On China’s Side” (ZH)
Food Hampers In Wales As English Mum Posts Picture Of £30 Package (WO)
Top Scientists: ‘Ghastly Future Of Mass Extinction’, Climate Disruption (G.)

 

 

“There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right: It is the ideal American who is all wrong.”
– G.K. Chesterton

 

 

 

 

“..a 30x spike in Covid cases in Ireland over the span of two weeks in late December..”

The Ireland Event (Ben Hunt)

And when I say “insane infection numbers” I mean a 30x spike in Covid cases in Ireland over the span of two weeks in late December, where the R number – the basic reproductive rate of the disease – went from something around 1.2 to something around 3. Where you suddenly went from a few hundred new Covid cases every day to more than six thousand cases every day. All in a country the size of Alabama (which, btw, currently has about 4 thousand cases every day). [..] I believe there is a non-trivial chance that the United States will experience a rolling series of “Ireland events” over the next 30-45 days, where the Covid effective reproductive number (Re not R0) reaches a value between 2.4 and 3.0 in states and regions where a) the more infectious UK-variant (or similar) Covid strain has been introduced, and b) Covid fatigue has led to deterioration in social distancing behaviors.

A single Ireland event is a disaster. A series of Ireland events on the scale of the United States is catastrophic. If this were to occur, I’d expect to see a doubling of new Covid cases/day from current levels in the aggregate (today’s 7-day average is 240k/day), peaking somewhere around 500,000 new daily cases before draconian economic shutdowns (more severe than anything we’ve seen to date) would occur in every impacted major metro area. Hospital systems across the country would be placed under enormous additional strain, leading to meaningfully higher case fatality ratios (CFRs) as medical care was rationed. Most critically, this new infection rate would far outpace our current vaccine distribution capacity and policy. Assuming that vaccines are preferentially administered to the elderly, aggregate infection fatality ratios (IFRs) should decrease, but the overall burden of severe outcomes (death, long-term health consequences) would shift to younger demographics.

Current US government policy rejects the possibility of an Ireland event, largely because of what I believe is a politically-motivated analysis by the CDC that models more than 100 million Americans already possessing Covid antibodies, prior to any vaccination effort. Using data from flu monitoring programs in prior years, the CDC models project that 70 MILLION Americans have already gotten sick with symptomatic Covid, but decided to just write it off as a bad cold and never got tested. I am not making this up. Add in another 10 million or so Americans who the CDC models as having already had asymptomatic Covid, add in the 23 million Americans who we know have had Covid, and voila! – per the CDC, one-third of the American population is already effectively immunized against getting Covid in the future. And obviously enough, if >30% of Americans are already effectively immunized against Covid because they’ve already gotten sick, then it’s very difficult to hit the Re numbers of 2.4 – 3.0 that Ireland is currently experiencing.

I think this model is wrong, and I think the CDC knows that it’s wrong. I think it’s wrong because the 2021 behavior of someone who thinks they might have Covid is very different from the 2015 behavior of someone who thought they might have had the flu, but the CDC assumes it is the same in their models. You don’t ignore Covid. You don’t just brush it off. I’d say that no one just brushes off Covid symptoms the way they might have brushed off flu symptoms in the past, but of course that’s not true. I’m sure there are millions of Americans who have, in fact, had symptomatic Covid and ignored it, particularly in spring and early summer when our national testing capability was pathetic. But 70 MILLION Americans? Twenty percent of ALL Americans? More than three times the number of known Covid cases? C’mon, man.

I think the CDC knows this model is wrong because if it were true – if they actually thought that one-third of Americans were already effectively immunized by having Covid antibodies – this would be an ENORMOUS factor in determining vaccination policy. Otherwise, you are going to be wasting one-third of your precious supply of vaccines on people who don’t need it. I think the CDC knows this model is wrong because if it were true, how do you make sense of Covid hospitalization rates?

Read more …

Soon to come in a country near you.

Japan To Suspend Entry Of All Foreigners (NHK)

The Japanese government plans to suspend the entry of all foreigners as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world. Japan halted all new arrivals of non-nationals last month after new strains of the coronavirus that are believed to be highly transmissible were confirmed in the UK and elsewhere. But it continued to allow entry by businesspeople from 10 Asian countries and Taiwan. The government plans to suspend the entry of travelers, regardless of whether a coronavirus variant has been detected in their country, as part of its tighter entry restrictions following the declaration of a state of emergency.


No foreigners will be allowed to enter Japan, except for special reasons, such as a relative’s funeral or childbirth. Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said last week he plans to ban travel to and from countries and territories where a new strain of the coronavirus has been confirmed. But members of his party and others described the measure as confusing.

Read more …

China’s nervous.

China Sees Growing COVID-19 Threat As More Cities Locked Down (R.)

China has recorded the biggest daily jump in COVID cases in more than five months, despite four cities in lockdown, increased testing and other measures aimed at preventing another wave of infections in the world’s second biggest economy. Most of the new patients were reported near the capital Beijing, but a province in northeast China also saw a rise in new cases, official data showed on Wednesday, amid a resurgence that has seen more than 28 million people under home quarantine. The National Health Commission said in a statement that a total of 115 new confirmed cases were reported in the mainland compared with 55 a day earlier. This was the highest daily increase since July 30.

The commission said 107 of the new cases were local infections. Hebei, the province that surrounds Beijing, accounted for 90 of the cases, while northeastern Heilongjiang province reported 16 new cases. [..] Hebei has put three cities – Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang – into lockdown as part of the efforts to keep the virus from spreading further, while Beijing city authorities have stepped up screening and prevention measures to prevent another cluster from developing there. Heilongjiang province on Wednesday declared a COVID-19 emergency. The city of Suihua, which borders the provincial capital Harbin, put its 5.2 million people under lockdown.

Most of the cases in Heilongjiang have been found in Wangkui county, under Suihua’s jurisdiction, which had already been put into a lockdown earlier this week. Tieli, a city of about 300,000 people that borders Suihua, said on Wednesday it will not allow any people or vehicles to leave for three days as part of new COVID-19 prevention measurs.

Read more …

An 85-year old apostle for peace. Boy, you guys screwed up.

Ron Paul Criticized Social Media Censorship Before Being Blocked (Turley)

We have been discussing the chilling crackdown on free speech that has been building for years in the United States. This effort has accelerated in the aftermath of the Capitol riot including the shutdown sites like Parler. Now former Texas congressman Ron Paul, 85, has been blocked from using his Facebook page for unspecified violations of “community standards.” Paul’s last posting was linked to an article on the “shocking” increase of censorship on social media. Facebook then proceeded to block him under the same undefined “community standards” policy. Paul, a libertarian leader and former presidential candidate, has been an outspoken critics of foreign wars and an advocate for civil liberties for decades. He wrote: “With no explanation other than ‘repeatedly going against our community standards,’ @Facebook has blocked me from managing my page. Never have we received notice of violating community standards in the past and nowhere is the offending post identified.”

His son is Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted, “Facebook now considers advocating for liberty to be sedition. Where will it end?” Even before the riot, Democrats were calling for blacklists and retaliation against anyone deemed to be “complicit” with the Trump Administration. We have been discussing the rising threats against Trump supporters, lawyers, and officials in recent weeks from Democratic members are calling for blacklists to the Lincoln Project leading a a national effort to harass and abuse any lawyers representing the Republican party or President Trump. Others are calling for banning those “complicit” from college campuses while still others are demanding a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” to “hold Trump and his enablers accountable for the crimes they have committed.” Daily Beast editor-at-large Rick Wilson has added his own call for “humiliation,” “incarceration” and even ritualistic suicides for Trump supporters in an unhinged, vulgar column.

After the riots, the big tech companies moved to ban and block sites and individuals, including Parler which is the primary alternative to Twitter. Also, a top Forbes editor Randall Lane warned any company that they will be investigated if they hire any former Trump officials. The riots are being used as a license to rollback on free speech and retaliate against conservatives. In the meantime, the silence of academics and many in the media is deafening. Many of those who have spoken for years about the dark period of McCarthyism and blacklisting are either supporting this censorship or remaining silent in the face of it. Now that conservatives are the targets, speech controls and blacklists appear understandable or even commendable. The move against Paul, a long champion of free speech, shows how raw and comprehensive this crackdown has become. It shows how the threat to free speech has changed. It is like having a state media without state control. These companies are moving in unison but not necessarily with direct collusion.

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“..exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country…”

How Silicon Valley Monopolistic Force Destroyed Parler (Greenwald)

Critics of Silicon Valley censorship for years heard the same refrain: tech platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter are private corporations and can host or ban whoever they want. If you don’t like what they are doing, the solution is not to complain or to regulate them. Instead, go create your own social media platform that operates the way you think it should. The founders of Parler heard that suggestion and tried. In August, 2018, they created a social media platform similar to Twitter but which promised far greater privacy protections, including a refusal to aggregate user data in order to monetize them to advertisers or algorithmically evaluate their interests in order to promote content or products to them. They also promised far greater free speech rights, rejecting the increasingly repressive content policing of Silicon Valley giants.

Over the last year, Parler encountered immense success. Millions of people who objected to increasing repression of speech on the largest platforms or who had themselves been banned signed up for the new social media company. As Silicon Valley censorship radically escalated over the past several months — banning pre-election reporting by The New York Post about the Biden family, denouncing and deleting multiple posts from the U.S. President and then terminating his access altogether, mass-removal of right-wing accounts — so many people migrated to Parler that it was catapulted to the number one spot on the list of most-downloaded apps on the Apple Play Store, the sole and exclusive means which iPhone users have to download apps. “Overall, the app was the 10th most downloaded social media app in 2020 with 8.1 million new installs,” reported TechCrunch.

It looked as if Parler had proven critics of Silicon Valley monopolistic power wrong. Their success showed that it was possible after all to create a new social media platform to compete with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And they did so by doing exactly what Silicon Valley defenders long insisted should be done: if you don’t like the rules imposed by tech giants, go create your own platform with different rules. But today, if you want to download, sign up for, or use Parler, you will be unable to do so. That is because three Silicon Valley monopolies — Amazon, Google and Apple — abruptly united to remove Parler from the internet, exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country.

If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor.

Tucker Greenwald
https://twitter.com/i/status/1349174579105656833

Read more …

They smell blood, this won’t stop them.

Pence Responds To Pelosi, Won’t Invoke 25th Amendment (Mike Pence)

Dear Madam Speaker:

Every American was shocked and saddened by the attack on our Nation’s Capitol last week, and I am grateful for the leadership that you and other congressional leaders provided in reconvening Congress to complete the people’s business on the very same day. It was a moment that demonstrated to the American people the unity that is still possible in Congress when it is needed most. But now, with just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution. Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.

As you know full well, the 25th Amendment was designed to address Presidential incapacity or disability. Just a few months ago, when you introduced legislation to create a 25th Amendment Commission, you said, “[a] President’s fitness for office must be determined by science and facts.” You said then that we must be “[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior that we don’t like, but based on a medical decision.” Madam Speaker, you were right. Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.

After the horrific events of this last week, our Administration’s energy is directed to ensuring an orderly transition. The Bible says that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…a time to heal, … and a time to build up.” That time is now. In the midst of a global pandemic, economic hardship for millions of Americans, and the tragic events of January 6th, now is the time for us to come together, now is the time to heal. I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment. Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God.

Read more …

Last chance for lots of things.

Trump’s Last Chance to Declassify Secrets of the Russia Collusion Dud (Maté)

President Trump’s last days in office offer a final opportunity to declassify critical information on the Russia investigation that engulfed his lone term. Already voluminous public records – including investigative reports from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Congress and the Justice Department’s inspector general – have established that Trump and his associates were targeted with a baseless Russian collusion allegation. The fraudulent claim originated with the Hillary Clinton campaign, was fueled by a torrent of false or deceptive intelligence leaks, and was improperly investigated by the FBI, potentially to the point of being criminal. Despite these disclosures, key questions remain about the origins and the spread of the conspiracy theory.


And with a Biden administration set to take office and Democrats taking control of both chambers of Congress, there are no guarantees that the ongoing probe of Special Counsel John Durham will fill in the remaining gaps. Both the CIA and FBI have been slow to produce much material that Trump reportedly wants declassified. They argue that disclosure would reveal sources and methods vital to national security. Such claims arouse skepticism because they have been used in the past to cover up malfeasance – as the public learned when deceptive FISA warrant applications used to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were finally released.

Read more …

What’s striking here is that it’s CNN covering it.

Israel Isn’t A Democracy, It’s An ‘Apartheid Regime’ – Rights Group (CNN)

Israel is no longer a democracy but an “apartheid regime” devoted to cementing the supremacy of Jews over Palestinians, the country’s best-known human rights group said in a report published Tuesday. B’Tselem, which until now has confined its work to scrutiny of human rights issues in the Palestinian territories, has now also decided to look at what it calls Israel’s “regime” between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. “More than 14 million people, roughly half of them Jews and the other half Palestinians, live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea under a single rule,” B’Tselem said in a new analysis titled: “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.”


The human rights group says that the traditional view of Israel as a democracy operating side-by-side with a temporary Israeli occupation in the territories “imposed on some five million Palestinian subjects … has grown divorced from reality.” “Most importantly, the distinction obfuscates the fact that the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group — Jews — over another — Palestinians,” B’Tselem said in its controversial analysis. Years of injustice against Palestinians, culminating in laws that have entrenched discrimination, mean that “the bar for labeling the Israeli regime as apartheid has been met,” B’Tselem said. The allegation that Israel is an “apartheid state” has often been dismissed by rightwing Israelis and their support groups as anti-Semitic. But this argument will be harder to make now that Israel has been labelled this way by such a well-respected Israeli institution, albeit one that enjoys only minority support in its home country.

Read more …

“..build and maintain a “super-sized domestic market” to boost consumption…”

Upbeat Xi Says “Time And Situation On China’s Side” (ZH)

While the political gridlock and alarmist headlines out of Capitol Hill as well as a dramatic Democratic move to impeach look to define Trump’s final week in office, Bloomberg notes that China’s President Xi Jinping is sounding “unusually upbeat”. According to the publication he issued an unusually upbeat assessment about China’s future, noting that “time and the situation” were on the country’s side in a new year marked by domestic turmoil in the U.S. The purpose of the speech before a top-level meeting of government officials in Beijing on Monday was to lay out the Communist Party vision over the next three decades, which included the presence of the Politburo Standing Committee, Beijing’s highest decision-making body.

“The world is in a turbulent time that is unprecedented in the past century,” Xi said, striking a tone which many pundits observed stood in contrast to recent more dire sounding warnings. “But time and momentum are on our side. This is where we show our conviction and resilience, as well as our determination and confidence.” And further according to the Monday remarks in the closed-door meeting: “At the same time, we must see clearly that, for now and until this upcoming period of time, while our country is at an important period of strategic opportunity for development, there will always be changes to our opportunities and challenges,” Xi was quoted as saying. “The extensiveness of these opportunities and challenges is unprecedented but, all in all, the opportunities we face outweigh our challenges,” he added, calling for unity, diligence and flexibility to achieve the party’s goals.

The cautious optimism continued, as South China Morning Post writes, while he made vague or remote references to both the pandemic and political turmoil and uncertainty afflicting the United States: In his speech, Xi also again emphasised Beijing’s new “dual circulation” economic strategy first announced in May amid global challenges brought by the pandemic and China’s slowing growth. “Only by being self-reliant and developing the domestic market and smoothing out internal circulation can we achieve vibrant growth and development, regardless of the hostility in the outside world,” Xi said. Elsewhere in the speech he continued urged that self-reliance would in part come through rapid technological innovation in order to build and maintain a “super-sized domestic market” to boost consumption.

Read more …

Scum.

Food Hampers In Wales As English Mum Posts Picture Of £30 Package (WO)

An investigation has been launched in England after images shared online showed “woefully inadequate” free school meal parcels sent to families. One mum criticised the free school meals scheme after she claimed she was sent just a few pounds worth of food to feed her children for 10 days. It was claimed the image of a £30 parcel contained just over £5 worth of food. Posting the image on Twitter, user Roadside Mum said: “2 days jacket potato with beans, 8 single cheese sandwiches, 2 days carrots, 3 days apples, 2 days soreen, 3 days frubes. “Spare pasta & tomato. Will need mayo for pasta salad. “Issued instead of £30 vouchers. I could do more with £30 to be honest.”


Footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford tweeted another picture and wrote: “3 days of food for 1 family… Just not good enough. “Then imagine we expect the children to engage in learning from home. “Not to mention the parents who, at times, have to teach them who probably haven’t eaten at all so their children can… We MUST do better.” England children’s Minister Vicky Ford said she would be “urgently” look into the matter. England’s Department for Education wrote on Twitter: “We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed. “Parcels should be nutritious and contain a varied range of food.” Chartwells, the company which the mum in England said provided the parcel, said it will investigate.


The hamper received in Caerphilly (left) compared to the hamper received by a mum in England

Read more …

Paul Ehrlich. Long time no see.

Top Scientists: ‘Ghastly Future Of Mass Extinction’, Climate Disruption (G.)

The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises. The 17 experts, including Prof Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University, author of The Population Bomb, and scientists from Mexico, Australia and the US, say the planet is in a much worse state than most people – even scientists – understood. “The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms – including humanity – is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts,” they write in a report in Frontiers in Conservation Science which references more than 150 studies detailing the world’s major environmental challenges.


The delay between destruction of the natural world and the impacts of these actions means people do not recognise how vast the problem is, the paper argues. “[The] mainstream is having difficulty grasping the magnitude of this loss, despite the steady erosion of the fabric of human civilisation.” The report warns that climate-induced mass migrations, more pandemics and conflicts over resources will be inevitable unless urgent action is taken. “Ours is not a call to surrender – we aim to provide leaders with a realistic ‘cold shower’ of the state of the planet that is essential for planning to avoid a ghastly future,” it adds. Dealing with the enormity of the problem requires far-reaching changes to global capitalism, education and equality, the paper says. These include abolishing the idea of perpetual economic growth, properly pricing environmental externalities, stopping the use of fossil fuels, reining in corporate lobbying, and empowering women, the researchers argue.

Read more …

 

 

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Feb 252020
 


Andreas Feininger Production B-17 heavy bomber at Boeing plant, Seattle Dec 1942

 

The Fall of Wuhan (Ben Hunt)
40-70% Of People Will Be Infected With COVID19 – Epidemiologist (Atl.)
Xi Jinping Rings Alarm On Economy As China Shifts Priority To Growth (SCMP)
Confusion In Wuhan As Move To Ease Coronavirus Lockdown Is Reversed (SCMP)
How Iran’s Death Toll Came To Be The Highest Behind Only China (SCMP)
China Overestimating Economic Recovery By Leaving Out Small Businesses (SCMP)
South Korea To Test 200,000 Sect Members As Pandemic Fears Hit Markets (G.)
Virus Spreads Despite Best Efforts Of Top Healthcare Systems (Fox)
Closures Reveal Vast Scale Of China’s Secretive Wildlife Farm Industry (G.)
Why Didn’t We See That Coming? (Kunstler)
Airline Stocks Tumble As Coronavirus Spreads Outside Of China (CNBC)
Weinstein To Face 8 More Allegations After New York Verdict (G.)
US Proposals To Whitewash Idlib Terrorists Unacceptable – Lavrov (RT)
Julian Assange ‘Suicide Risk’ If Extradited From UK To US – Lawyer (SCMP)
Assange Fight Draws In Trump’s New Intel Chief (Pol.)
Julian Assange ‘At High Risk Of Suicide’ If Extradited To US -Lawyer (Ind.)

 

 

Now that the MSM is slowly and finally waking up to the reality of the virus, the information to read and post and comment on, becomes overwhelming. Last week I twice took out the virus-related info to include in separate articles (Virus Rattles if you will), but today I need the extra time doing that involves, for other things.

Still, one observation: yesterday, we saw the highest daily death toll of the entire crisis. Today, we see the lowest. As Xi is pushing hard for the economy. Credibility remains a major issue.

 

Cases 80,328 (+ 621 from yesterday’s 79,707).

Deaths 2,707 (+ 81 from yesterday’s 2,626)

 

From SCMP:

 

 

 

 

From Worldometer:

 

 

Ben Hunt keeps his eyes on the ball:

“..build dedicated treatment wards before they’re required..”

“..protect healthcare professionals before they get sick..”

“..update our testing and diagnostic capabilities before they are swamped..”

“..bolster our healthcare systems BEFORE the need overwhelms the capacity..”

The Fall of Wuhan (Ben Hunt)

Last week I wrote about the corrupt political response of the World Health Organization to COVID-19. This week I’m writing about the corrupt political response of the United States to COVID-19. Because it’s happened before. In August 2005, the city of New Orleans fell. New Orleans did not fall because of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans fell because of the corrupt political response to Hurricane Katrina. “We can stabilize the situation. Again, I want to thank you all. Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job!” – President George W. Bush. In January 2020, the city of Wuhan fell. Wuhan did not fall because of COVID-19. Wuhan fell because of the corrupt political response to COVID-19.

“Wuhan is a heroic city, and people of Hubei and Wuhan are heroic people who have never been crushed by any difficulty and danger in history. All regions and departments performed their duties actively and conscientiously.” – Xi the Commander (no, I am not making this up; this is how the Xinhua news service describes him now … “Xi the Commander”) A corrupt political response is always the same. It never changes in form. It never changes in function. A corrupt political response occurs when a political leader sacrifices national interest for regime or bureaucratic interest … when a constructed narrative of “Yay, Calm and Competent Control!” is maintained for the political benefit of the Leader at the expense of the Led.

Oh, the Leader and his flunkies will convince themselves that the narrative “is in the public interest” … that the narrative will “buy them time” … that the narrative is necessary because “the other side” would do the same or worse if given half a chance. It’s all the excuses that all the Renfields to all the professional politicians tell themselves as they slowly sell their souls. It’s what every President and every Director-General and every Senator and every CEO eventually comes to believe, that their personal interests are identical to “their” people’s interests.

[..] Every once in a very great while, an honest-to-god crisis reveals the political self-interest and mendacity behind your carefully constructed narrative of “Yay, Calm and Competent Control!” . Like the fall of New Orleans revealed George W. Bush. Like the fall of Wuhan revealed Xi Jinping. What we must prevent today is the NEXT city to fall. We must prevent the fall of Daegu. We must prevent the fall of Qom. We must prevent the fall of Milan. Looking ahead, we must prevent the fall of Yokohama. We must prevent the fall of San Francisco. Because containment has failed. What we’re seeing in South Korea, Iran and Italy is what exponential disease propagation looks like in the real world. Real world data is spiky. Real world data is messy. Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing … then cluster, cluster, cluster … then BOOM!

[..] Containment has failed. And so now we must fight. As individuals that means social distancing. As individuals that means doing what we can to stay healthy and prepare for a storm. As a nation that means a war-footing to build dedicated treatment wards before they’re required, to protect healthcare professionals before they get sick, to update our testing and diagnostic capabilities before they are swamped … to do everything possible to bolster our healthcare systems BEFORE the need overwhelms the capacity. Above all, that means calling out our leaders for their corrupt political responses to date, and forcing them through our outcry to adopt an effective virus-fighting policy for OUR benefit, not theirs. We got this.

Read more …

2nd-3rd scientist saying this. By then mortality rate will likely be 1% or so. But 1% of a huge number is a huge number in itself.

40-70% Of People Will Be Infected With COVID19 – Epidemiologist (Atl.)

The Harvard epidemiology professor Marc Lipsitch is exacting in his diction, even for an epidemiologist. Twice in our conversation he started to say something, then paused and said, “Actually, let me start again.” So it’s striking when one of the points he wanted to get exactly right was this: “I think the likely outcome is that it will ultimately not be containable.” [..] Lipsitch predicts that, within the coming year, some 40 to 70 percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. But, he clarifies emphatically, this does not mean that all will have severe illnesses. “It’s likely that many will have mild disease, or may be asymptomatic,” he said. As with influenza, which is often life-threatening to people with chronic health conditions and of older age, most cases pass without medical care. (Overall, around 14 percent of people with influenza have no symptoms.)

Lipsitch is far from alone in his belief that this virus will continue to spread widely. The emerging consensus among epidemiologists is that the most likely outcome of this outbreak is a new seasonal disease—a fifth “endemic” coronavirus. With the other four, people are not known to develop long-lasting immunity. If this one follows suit, and if the disease continues to be as severe as it is now, “cold and flu season” could become “cold and flu and COVID-19 season.” At this point, it is not even known how many people are infected. As of Sunday, there have been 35 confirmed cases in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization. But Lipsitch’s “very, very rough” estimate when we spoke a week ago (banking on “multiple assumptions piled on top of each other,” he said) was that 100 or 200 people in the U.S. were infected.

That’s all it would take to seed the disease widely. The rate of spread would depend on how contagious the disease is in milder cases. On Friday, Chinese scientists reported in the medical journal JAMA an apparent case of asymptomatic spread of the virus, from a patient with a normal chest CT scan. The researchers concluded with stolid understatement that if this finding is not a bizarre abnormality, “the prevention of COVID-19 infection would prove challenging.” Even if Lipsitch’s estimates were off by orders of magnitude, they wouldn’t likely change the overall prognosis. “Two hundred cases of a flu-like illness during flu season—when you’re not testing for it—is very hard to detect,” Lipsitch said. “But it would be really good to know sooner rather than later whether that’s correct, or whether we’ve miscalculated something.

The only way to do that is by testing.” Originally, doctors in the U.S. were advised not to test people unless they had been to China or had contact with someone who had been diagnosed with the disease. Within the past two weeks, the CDC said it would start screening people in five U.S. cities, in an effort to give some idea of how many cases are actually out there. But tests are still not widely available. As of Friday, the Association of Public Health Laboratories said that only California, Nebraska, and Illinois had the capacity to test people for the virus.

Read more …

The sleight of hand used to argue for factories restarting: “Xi said that as many as 1,396 counties and districts, some 46% of the nation’s total, had not reported a single confirmed case of the coronavirus.”

Xi Jinping Rings Alarm On Economy As China Shifts Priority To Growth (SCMP)

President Xi Jinping has rung the alarm bell on China’s economic growth as worries mount over the coronavirus’ impact on the economy, unemployment and global supply chains. Speaking on Sunday, Xi made it clear that the priority for most of the country was to get the world’s second biggest economy up and running after extensive delays. “It is unavoidable that the novel coronavirus epidemic will have a considerable impact on the economy and society,” said Xi in a lengthy televised address that was watched by as many as 170,000 officials and published by state news agency Xinhua. But Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, added the country’s social and economic system “can’t be paused for a long”.


The edited version of Xi’s speech was published soon after it was delivered, reflecting the urgency of the guidelines. Containment measures including mandatory quarantine for workers, partial shutdowns of factories and transport restrictions have caused significant disruptions to the economy, which was already growing at record low levels before the virus outbreak. Xi said that as many as 1,396 counties and districts, some 46 per cent of the nation’s total, had not reported a single confirmed case of the coronavirus. These low-risk zones, along with areas with only a small number of infections, should “comprehensively restore production” and life as usual, he said. “Medium-risk” regions should resume production in an “orderly manner”, while the priority for hard-hit areas like Hubei, the province at the centre of the outbreak, was still containing the virus, he said.

Read more …

Comments about Wuhan from the video:

• 40 portable incinerators X 30 corpses/incinerator/day = 1,200 corpses/day
• 100 additional portable incinerators ordered
• In addition to 47 crematories running in full capacity
• Another 1MM incinerators on the way!

And people tell me I’m exaggerating!

Confusion In Wuhan As Move To Ease Coronavirus Lockdown Is Reversed (SCMP)

Just three hours after announcing that visitors trapped in Wuhan – the Chinese city at the heart of the coronavirus epidemic – could leave on Monday, authorities reversed the decision, saying it had been made without approval. The local government revoked the notice it said had been issued by a subordinate working group from the city’s disease control command centre without approval from their superiors. “The centre, headed by Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang, said the officials who had issued the order without authorisation had been reprimanded. “Wuhan resolutely adheres to the spirit of Chinese President Xi [Jinping] … strictly controls every exit from Wuhan and the management of personnel, in order to prevent the spread of the [coronavirus],” it said in a statement retracting the earlier notice.

Extreme lockdown measures have been in place in Wuhan – capital of Hubei and home to 11 million people – since January 23, with all residential areas quarantined and roads and transport links closed. The retracted order would have allowed non-residents who did not have symptoms of the virus and had not had contact with infected patients to leave the city. It had also said locals involved in disease control efforts or essential daily services such as utilities and the delivery of necessities, as well as those who needed specialist medical treatment outside Wuhan, could leave without permission.

[..] More than 75 per cent of deaths in China from the new coronavirus – which causes a disease known as Covid-19 – have been in Wuhan, where the outbreak is believed to have originated in December. [..] According to Taoran Notes, a social media account affiliated with the official Economic Daily newspaper, the earlier notice had been issued by one of Wuhan’s five deputy mayors without authorisation, but it did not name the official.

Read more …

600 “official” cases, 50 deaths. That rhymes with Worldometer’s 9% mortality rate. But sure, it could also mean a huge amount of undetected or unconfirmed cases.

How Iran’s Death Toll Came To Be The Highest Behind Only China (SCMP)

Iran has been thrust to the forefront of rising global concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus after reporting by far the most deaths of any country apart from China. Iranian health officials have confirmed 12 deaths from the Covid-19 disease among 61 cases in the country, while a parliamentarian representing the city at the centre of the outbreak in the country has claimed the death toll stands at 50. Either figure would dwarf death tolls in South Korea, Japan and Italy, until now the most severely-affected countries outside China…

After insisting as recently as last week that the country had no cases of the coronavirus, Iranian authorities on February 19 confirmed the deaths of two elderly people in the city of Qom, about 145km south of the capital Tehran, followed by more fatalities in subsequent days. On February 24, officials raised the death toll to 12, from eight the previous day – making the outbreak in Iran the deadliest outside China. Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani, a lawmaker for the city of Qom, said on the same day there had been in fact 50 deaths, claiming the government was late to announce the outbreak and his city was ill-equipped to deal with the public health emergency.

Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi disputed those claims in a press conference on state television, pledging to resign if the death toll was even one-quarter of the higher figure. [..] After officials earlier speculated about possible sources of the outbreak including Chinese workers and pilgrims from Pakistan, Iran’s health minister Saeed Namaki on Sunday said the contagion was believed to be linked to a merchant from Qom who regularly travelled between Iran and China. The Iranian, who died from the virus, had been using indirect flights to get around a ban on direct flights between the countries introduced at the end of January.

[..] The disproportionately high fatality rate in Iran’s official figures – with about one in five of those infected succumbing to the virus, compared to one in 50 in China – has been taken by some experts as a sign the true number of cases in the country is far higher than currently known. Assuming a fatality rate of about 2 per cent, the official death toll so far would translate into about 600 cases overall in Iran, about 10 times the current count.

Read more …

More sleight of hand. I’ve been saying for a long time that it’s sbout SMEs, not Apple suppliers. Small firms account for at least 80% of jobs.

China Overestimating Economic Recovery By Leaving Out Small Businesses (SCMP)

China’s economic recovery amid the coronavirus outbreak has likely been overstated as data only covers larger companies and excludes the vast majority of the smaller workshops and manufacturers. [..] On Monday, National Development and Reform Commission spokesman Cong Liang said that over 90 per cent of industrial enterprises in Zhejiang province, one of the country’s top manufacturing bases, had resumed operation. According to Cong, over 70 per cent of production in the manufacturing and export hubs of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong and Liaoning had also restarted. However, the official figures only cover larger firms, namely enterprises with capacities “above state designated sizes”, which are enterprises that have a minimum annual turnover of 20 million yuan (US$2.85 million), according to the government’s official definition.


China’s state statistics system normally only covers industrial enterprises with an annual turnover above this level as they accounted for around 90 per cent of the nation’s output in terms of value. In addition, the figures concerning firms that have resumed operation overlook the level of production within a specific factory, as the official data classes a factory that may have only resumed slightly more than half of its capacity as having resumed production. [..] The smaller firms, for example, are often unable to met virus prevention conditions set by local governments, including having enough facial masks for employees. A monthly survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China, conducted by Standard Chartered Bank for the period up to the start of last week, found that firms were on average operating at 42 per cent, while only 47 per cent of workers had returned on average.

Read more …

Please imagine how you would test 200,000 people. Do they really have that many test kits? Where do they buy them?

South Korea To Test 200,000 Sect Members As Pandemic Fears Hit Markets (G.)

South Korea has stepped up its “maximum measures” to contain the coronavirus with plans to test around 200,000 members of a secretive church believed to be at the centre of the country’s outbreak. Along with an emergency budget and a crackdown on the hoarding of face masks, the government in Seoul will test members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus after its founder agreed to provide authorities with the names of all its members in the country. It came as financial markets saw more heavy losses across Asia Pacific on Tuesday over fears the coronavirus was spreading more widely from China and will cause disruption in countries such as South Korea, the world’s 12th biggest economy.

The Nikkei in Tokyo was down 3.3% while the Shanghai Composite sank 2%. Stocks in Australia fell 1.6% and Hong Kong was also in the red although futures trading pointed to a recovery later in the day in European and US markets. In Japan, a fourth person from the Diamond Princess cruise ship died and the country’s education minister said schools with reported coronavirus cases should be temporarily closed. Koichi Hagiuda told reporters on Tuesday that education boards of Hokkaido in northern Japan and Chiba City near Tokyo have been told to take this preventive measure, NHK says.

In China, where 71 new deaths and 508 new cases were reported on Tuesday, health officials said strict control and prevention measures would remain in place in Hubei province, the epicentre of the global outbreak. The national health commission added it would also strictly control the outbound movement of people in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province with existing traffic controls. At Tianjin University, near Beijing, scientists said they had developed an oral vaccine for Covid-19. The professor who led the project, Huang Jinhai, said the vaccine could also serve as a potential therapy for infected patients. Chinese state media said the university was looking for partners to run clinical trials.

Read more …

” South Korea has a fantastic health care system. They tested over 20,000 people and ended up with over 800 positive cases. That’s showing that this is a highly contagious virus..”

Virus Spreads Despite Best Efforts Of Top Healthcare Systems (Fox)

Fears of a global pandemic continue to grow as coronavirus cases spike in several countries, including Italy, South Korea and Iran, as the U.S. stock market nosedived early Monday. A staggering 50 people died in the Iranian city of Qom from the new coronavirus in the month of February, Iran’s semiofficial ILNA news agency reported on Monday. The new death toll is significantly higher than the latest number of confirmed cases that Iranian officials had reported just a few hours earlier, which stood at just 12 deaths out of 47 cases, according to state TV. The 50 deaths date back as far as Feb. 13, according to an Iranian official. Iran previously reported its cases and deaths from the virus on Feb. 19.


Authorities are struggling to contain and understand the outbreak in those countries, where infected cases have skyrocketed as they have increased over 2,000 percent in the past couple of weeks. Italy is considered the site of Europe’s first major outbreak and the largest outside of Asia. The number of infected cases jumped to 152, compared to just three 10 days ago. Siegel told anchor Ed Henry that it’s even “more concerning” to hear there are more than 800 cases reported in South Korea. “I’ve been saying that it’s all about health care infrastructure, that China doesn’t have it, we have it, other Western countries have it. Well, guess what, South Korea has a fantastic health care system. They tested over 20,000 people and ended up with over 800 positive cases. That’s showing that this is a highly contagious virus that is spreading despite the best efforts of top health systems to contain it,” he said.

Read more …

China is also the main market for many endangered species from elsewhere in the world. Can we please stop that too? Just boycott the country for allowing rhino, tiger and elephant body parts trade. Full boycott. Here’s our chance..

Closures Reveal Vast Scale Of China’s Secretive Wildlife Farm Industry (G.)

Nearly 20,000 wildlife farmsraising species including peacocks, civet cats, porcupines, ostriches, wild geese and boar have been shut down across China in the wake of the coronavirus, in a move that has exposed the hitherto unknown size of the industry. Until a few weeks ago wildlife farming was still being promoted by government agencies as an easy way for rural Chinese people to get rich. But the Covid-19 outbreak, which has now led to over 1,800 deaths and more than 72,000 known infections, is thought to have originated in wildlife sold at a market in Wuhan in early December, prompting a massive rethink by authorities on how to manage the trade. China issued a temporary ban on wildlife trade to curb the spread of the virus at the end of January and began a widespread crackdown on breeding facilities in early February.


The country’s top legislative officials are now rushing to amend the country’s wildlife protection law and possibly restructure regulations on the use of wildlife for food and traditional Chinese medicine. The current version of the law is seen as problematic by wildlife conservation groups because it focuses on utilisation of wildlife rather than its protection. “The coronavirus epidemic is swiftly pushing China to reevaluate its relationship with wildlife,” Steve Blake, chief representative of WildAid in Beijing, told the Guardian. “There is a high level of risk from this scale of breeding operations both to human health and to the impacts on populations of these animals in the wild.” Further instructions from the National People’s Congress are expected next week to give authorities more tools to enforce the ban and restrict trade until the law is amended.

Read more …

“The China boom was a lot like the shale oil “miracle.” They were both great stunts. They produced a lot of stuff by borrowing from the future. Now we have all that stuff and we have to maintain it, keep if running, borrow more money to make that happen… and suddenly, that’s no longer plausible. ”

Why Didn’t We See That Coming? (Kunstler)

And now the Corona virus steps onstage to ramify that situation, beginning with a virtual shut-down of the excessively complex, over-engineered, just-in-time global economy. Things are not being produced and supply lines are shutting down. Car-makers outside China have a couple of weeks before their production lines halt for a lack of parts. But, of course, every other industry will have similar problems and stoppages. Many working Americans are barely getting by from one paycheck to the next. How many missed paychecks will it take for genuine hunger to kick in and desperation with it? We don’t know because the US news media has been busy conjuring the many loves of Vlad Putin.

This is getting serious now. Some of you may have noticed this morning that the stock indexes are heading into the worst open in years. Today, Mr. Market woke up, like Rip Van Winkle, and discovered that the world changed while he was sleeping. There’s a fair chance that the conditions of daily life in America will deteriorate sharply in the months ahead. We’ve been remote-viewing the empty streets of Wuhan and other Chinese cities since January, thinking it was like one of our cable-network horror shows. It’s not inconceivable that an American City, or more than one, will be subject to quarantine, or that a whole lot of people just won’t leave their houses for a period of time. Will the truckers still truck things that people need? We don’t know. How do you hold a political convention in a situation like that, or even an election?

The situation in China may be too far gone already. The country’s finances were a gigantic game of pretend. In the old Soviet Union, beloved by Bernie, the joke was, “they pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work” — not a great formula for enduring prosperity. In China, the updated joke was “we pretend to make loans, and you pretend to pay them back.” The China boom was a lot like the shale oil “miracle.” They were both great stunts. They produced a lot of stuff by borrowing from the future. Now we have all that stuff and we have to maintain it, keep if running, borrow more money to make that happen… and suddenly, that’s no longer plausible. The entire industrialized world has fallen for the debt stunt. Observers have been waiting to see what would finally provoke the unwinding of massive false promises. Looks like the wait is over.

Read more …

Gee, what a surprise.

Airline Stocks Tumble As Coronavirus Spreads Outside Of China (CNBC)

Airline stocks fell Monday as fears about the spread of the coronavirus beyond China added to worries about travel demand and the broader economy, despite a drop in fuel prices. American Airlines shares led the S&P 500 lower with an 9.8% slide in midday trading, hitting a more than four-month low. Delta Air Lines’ stock lost 7.2% to the lowest price in nearly four months, while United Airlines was off 4.3%. All U.S. airline stocks were down more sharply than the broader market. The S&P 500 fell 2.6%. Close to 80,000 cases of the virus, now known as COVID-19, have been reported along with at least 2,621 deaths. Cases outside of China, where most of the infections are located, have increased, with Italy reporting more than 220 and South Korea confirming more than 830.


Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warned citizens not to travel to affected areas, helping drive down shares of European carriers. Budget airline easyJet lost more than 16% while rival Ryanair was down 12%. Deutsche Lufthansa fell 8.8%, British Airways’ parent, International Consolidated Airlines Group, was off 9% and Air France-KLM fell 8.4%. More than 200,000 flights to, from and within China have already been canceled because of the virus, according to aviation consulting firm Cirium, and more disruptions are possible if the virus continues to spread. The coronavirus is expected to eat into carriers’ revenue this year. Air travel demand globally is set to fall for the first time since 2009 and cost airlines some $29 billion — mostly in the Asia-Pacific region — in revenue, the International Air Transport Association warned last week.

Read more …

Weinstein still has plenty money to pay for whoever he wants. They couldn’t get him on the most serious charges. Just throw away the key.

Weinstein To Face 8 More Allegations After New York Verdict (G.)

The verdict in the New York case against Harvey Weinstein is only the beginning of the movie mogul’s prosecution, with separate charges against the disgraced producer ahead in Los Angeles. In the most high-profile trial of the #MeToo movement yet, a New York jury on Monday found Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape for an attack in a New York hotel and guilty of a criminal sex act for forcing oral sex on a former television production assistant. The fallen titan of Hollywood, who was taken away in handcuffs, could face 25 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender. Next, Weinstein is due to face a criminal case in LA, which stems from investigations by law enforcement in southern California into eight allegations.


LA prosecutors have filed charges for two incidents that allegedly occurred within a two-day period. Those charges include forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint, carrying a potential 28-year prison sentence. It’s not yet clear how LA prosecutors plan to proceed following Monday’s verdict in New York. Weinstein could be immediately brought to California after his 11 March sentencing in New York. He could pursue a plea deal in LA after his guilty verdict in Manhattan, or he could end up facing a second trial, said Laurie Levenson, criminal law professor at Loyola Law School. Either way, it’s an uphill battle for the former movie producer, she said: “When he heads to LA, he’s already a convicted rapist.”

Read more …

Putin is about to hand Erdogan an ultimatum or two. The US must go home.

US Proposals To Whitewash Idlib Terrorists Unacceptable – Lavrov (RT)

Moscow will resist any attempts to whitewash the terrorists holed up in Idlib, Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that engaging in talks with them as the US is hinting is out of question. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an Al-Qaeda offshoot previously known as Al-Nusra, which controls Idlib, has been designated as a terrorist organization not only by the UN, but by the US itself, Lavrov said. However, officials in Washington, including the special envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, “allow themselves statements, from which a conclusion can be made that ‘it’s not such a terrorist organization anymore’ and that dialogue with it can be established under some circumstances,” he said. “It’s not the first time we hear such hints and we consider them absolutely unacceptable.”


The foreign minister also said that another round of consultations between Russia and Turkey is currently being prepared in ordered “to agree on ways of turning Idlib into a real de-escalation where the terrorists aren’t in charge.” Tensions are high between Moscow and Ankara after Turkey sent troops to Idlib a few weeks ago amid a large-scale offensive by the Syrian military on the last terrorist stronghold in the country. The move provoked clashes between the Turkish and Syrian forces, with casualties on both sides. Ankara is demanding that Moscow pressure Damascus into ceasing its operation, while Russia has told Turkey that its promise to separate the ‘moderate opposition’ from the terrorists still remains unfulfilled.Lavrov insisted that it was no surprise for the Turkish military that the terrorists were being targeted. Earlier Russian-Turkish agreements on Idlib never envisaged that strikes against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham would stop, he added.

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“Edward Fitzgerald QC: Mental state of Assange deteriorating such that there is possibility he may not be able to participate in his own trial. Defense outlines why they believe it’s unjust an oppressive to pursue trial so long after alleged offenses..”


“Julian Assange faces life in prison for publishing true information that was in the public interest..if truth becomes treason we are all in trouble.”

Still, making it all against Trump doesn’t seem the wisest move. Try US Intel. Obviously, Trump’s role is terrible as well, but Assange went into the Embassy in 2012. Trump became president in 2017.

Julian Assange ‘Suicide Risk’ If Extradited From UK To US – Lawyer (SCMP)

Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States as he would not get a fair trial and would be a suicide risk, his lawyer told a British court hearing on Monday. Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, said extradition would expose Assange to inhumane and degrading treatment by a disproportionate sentence and prison conditions. Fitzgerald said the extradition request was motivated by politics rather than any genuine crimes. He said it would be unjust and oppressive to extradite him because of his mental state and risk of suicide. He said the US attitude to Assange had changed when Donald Trump came to power and that the US president wanted to make an example of his client.


Fitzgerald said in 2013 the US government under former President Barack Obama had decided that Assange should not face any action. But that in 2017, after the 2016 election of Trump, an indictment was brought against Assange. Why the change? “The answer is President Trump came into power with a new approach to freedom of speech and a new hostility to the press amounting effectively to declaring war on investigative journalists,” Fitzgerald said. The indictment was brought, “not on the basis of new revelations, but because it had become politically expedient and desirable,” Fitzgerald said.

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The background Assange’s lawyers will provide. They promise big surprises.

Assange Fight Draws In Trump’s New Intel Chief (Pol.)

Attorneys for Julian Assange [..] plan to introduce evidence in the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition hearing involving President Donald Trump’s new intel chief Richard Grenell. Gareth Peirce, a lawyer representing Assange in his extradition proceedings in London, plans to argue this week that the process to try to extradite her client was abused from early on. Representatives for Assange’s defense team say they expect to introduce recordings and screenshots of communications of a close Grenell associate, including a secondhand claim that Grenell was acting on the president’s orders. Grenell’s sudden embroilment in Assange’s extradition fight comes at an inconvenient time, as Democrats and national security veterans criticize him as ill-suited and unqualified to be the acting director of national intelligence.

And it threatens to spotlight his close relationship with President Trump, feeding the widespread perception that the president is politicizing intelligence work for partisan ends. At the heart of the Assange team’s argument is an ABC News report from last April alleging that, while serving as Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Grenell told Assange’s Ecuadorean hosts that the U.S. government would not pursue the death penalty for Assange if Ecuador allowed British officials to enter its embassy in London and arrest him. Assange’s legal team will claim that Grenell’s role was more extensive than previously known, and that it corrupted the extradition process early on. The suggestion will be that the U.S. was so desperate to get Assange in its custody that American officials, via Grenell, agreed in advance to take a particular sentence off the table before even allowing a trial and sentencing to play out.

The WikiLeaks founder’s attorneys are also expected to present evidence that they believe shows Trump explicitly tasked Grenell with making the offer, thereby politicizing the process. One of Assange’s lawyers, Edward Fitzgerald, hinted at this argument in his opening statement on Monday, when he said that Assange’s prosecution was “not motivated by genuine concerns for criminal justice but politics.” The evidence submitted this week will include new materials submitted to Assange’s legal team by political activist and journalist Cassandra Fairbanks, a staunch defender of Assange who has worked for the Russian state-run news site Sputnik and the far-right outlet Gateway Pundit. She is expected to be listed as a formal witness in the case.

Fairbanks recorded two phone calls she had with one of Grenell’s close associates, Arthur Schwartz, and took screenshots of their conversations about Assange and Grenell. [..] Schwartz appeared to grow frustrated and fearful after Fairbanks tweeted, on Sept. 10, 2019, that Grenell “was the one who worked out the deal for Julian Assange’s arrest.” “I don’t want to go to jail,” Schwartz told Fairbanks in a September 2019 phone call, accusing her of posting “classified information” in the tweet. Fairbanks posted the tweet around the time Grenell’s name was being floated to replace John Bolton as Trump’s national security adviser. “Please. I’m begging you,” Schwartz says in the recording. “They look at you, they see that we speak, that’s bad.”

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The US is trying to make this about the risk Assange has exposed sources to. But in 2013, even anti-Assange paper the Guardian said

The US counter-intelligence official who led the Pentagon’s review into the fallout from the WikiLeaks disclosures of state secrets told the Bradley Manning sentencing hearing on Wednesday that no instances were ever found of any individual killed by enemy forces as a result of having been named in the releases.

Not only did none of them die, they weren’t even hurt. It’s all a fable, coming from US intel hiding behind state secret veils. The actual story for at least some of the releases is more or less the opposite: that Assange spent entire sleepless nights redactingout namea and details in docs that sources like the Guardian wanted to publish in full.

Julian Assange ‘At High Risk Of Suicide’ If Extradited To US -Lawyer (Ind.)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is at “high risk of suicide” if he is sent to the US to face claims he endangered the lives of whistleblowers around the world, a court has heard. At an extradition hearing in London, Assange’s lawyers argued he is the victim of a politically motivated prosecution that forms part of Donald Trump’s “war on investigative journalists”. But the US government claimed some sources had “disappeared” after the WikiLeaks founder put them at risk of “serious harm, torture or even death” by leaking classified information. James Lewis QC, opening the case against Assange, said on Monday that information published by WikiLeaks was useful to enemies of the US.Mr Lewis told Woolwich Crown Court, which is sitting as a magistrates’ court, that most of the charges related to “straightforward criminal activity” in a “conspiracy to steal from and hack into” the Department of Defence computer system.


“These are ordinary criminal charges and any person, journalist or source who hacks or attempts to gain unauthorised access to a secure system, or aids and abets others to do so, is guilty of computer misuse,” the barrister said. “Reporting or journalism is not an excuse for criminal activities or a licence to break ordinary criminal laws.” Mr Lewis said that the US identified hundreds of “at-risk and potentially at-risk people” around the world due to WikiLeaks’ actions and made efforts to warn them of the danger they faced. “The US is aware of sources, whose redacted names and other identifying information was contained in classified documents published by WikiLeaks, who subsequently disappeared, although the US can’t prove at this point that their disappearance was the result of being outed by WikiLeaks,” he added.

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Size matters.

 

 

 

If you read us, please support us. It’s the only way the Automatic Earth can survive. Donate on Paypal and Patreon.

 

Feb 242020
 


John Vachon Rain. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1941

 

 

Wuhan Eases Coronavirus Lockdown As Xi Warns Of Historic ‘Crisis’ (G.)
Large Parts Of China Relax Coronavirus Curbs, Many Report Zero New Cases (R.)
Coronavirus China’s Fastest-Spreading Public Health Crisis – Xi Jinping (SCMP)
Chinese Workers Refuse To Go Back To Work Despite Beijing’s Demands (ZH)
Coronavirus Credit Crunch Hits Millions Of Chinese Firms (BBC)
85% Of Chinese Businesses Set To Run Out Of Cash In 3 Months (ZH)
“Tsunami-Like” Coronavirus Floods South Korea With New Cases (ZH)
COVID19 Did Not Originate In Wuhan Seafood Market – Chinese Scientists (SCMP)
Austria Stops Passenger Train Traffic With Italy Amid Coronavirus Panic (RT)
North Korea Quarantines Foreigners Amid Virus Fears (BBC)
Record Two Million Britons At Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes (Ind.)
What If Bernie Has Already Won This Thing? (Hill)
Chris Matthews Faces Calls For Resignation (Hill)
Chief Magistrate In Assange Case Was Funded By Shadowy Groups (DMav)
An End of Aboriginal Rights and Title (IC)

 

 

Before we get to the virus news, an observation: I was watching Trump arrive in India today on CNN, and thought: poor CNN, they have no choice but to cover this. How can they make him look bad now? Imagined Jeff Zucker, who wanted ONLY impeachment news as that circus went on, pacing up and down his office trying to find an angle. Then they found it: one of the talking heads said Trump and Modi are both right-wing populists who don’t like Muslims! AND they made sure that during Trump’s speech a bit later, there was always a talking head talking, so nobody could hear what Trump said. Well done!

 

As the virus continues to spread, rapidly, China starts to relax lockdown measures in certain regions, citing zero new cases there. For some reason this coincides with plummeting western stock markets and an incredible surge in gold (almost 3%). “As virus fears mount” says the media. “As China relaxes lockdown measures”, says I.

In reality, China makes a Russian roulette (Chinese roulette?) kind of gamble. Beijing realizes that if it doesn’t restart the economy real fast now, problems risk becoming insurmountable. So they say: no new cases in 1-2 days? Let’s go! Workers are less eager to get back, however. After all, they see President Xi declaring this the biggest health crisis, and 2 minutes later telling them it’s safe to take the subway or bus to work.

South Korea (red alert, 800 cases), Italy (152 cases) and Iran (12 deaths) are in various stages of exponential outbreak, and maybe Japan should be in that list as well, if only because infections aboard the Diamond Princess rose to 691. Oh well, maybe it’s good news that the Worldometer mortality rate has dropped to 9% (see below).

Turkey, Pakistan have closed borders with Iran, while Austria and soon others closed them with Italy. Note that the Schengen Treaty is under severe threat from this. Oh, and Axios reports shortages of 150 essential drugs likely.

 

Cases 79,707 (+ 841 from yesterday’s 78,866).

Deaths 2,626 (+ 162 from yesterday’s 2,464, a sharp rise from 102)

 

From SCMP:

 

 

Note: Worldometer mortality rate has dropped to 9%

 

 

 

 

The vast majority of cases and deaths are still in Hubei province, but who cares, we must produce. The economy forces us into the worst possible decisions.

Wuhan Eases Coronavirus Lockdown As Xi Warns Of Historic ‘Crisis’ (G.)

Wuhan, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in China, has loosened lockdown measures and several provinces have lowered their emergency alert levels, as top officials sought to assure the public that the virus is being contained. On Monday, China’s National Health Commission reported its highest number of deaths in 11 days, with another 150 dead and 409 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in China to 77,150. All but one of the fatalities and 11 of the new infections were in Hubei province, the centre of the outbreak.


Officials had delayed the daily announcement of the data, a day after a major speech and meeting held by China’s leader, Xi Jinping. Xi warned the Covid-19 crisis was “both a crisis and a big test” for the country, according to Xinhua News agency. Xi said the virus was a major public health emergency, which had spread quickly, causing the most extensive and difficult-to-contain infection since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. “The outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia will inevitably have a relatively big impact on the economy and society,” Xi said, but added that the impact would be temporary and generally manageable. Some observers greeted Monday’s figures with scepticism and as part of efforts to project a sense of control over the crisis. Chinese officials have twice changed the criteria for confirmed infections, making the data harder to parse.

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Key: “China’s GDP may slow in the first quarter, possibly easing to 3% growth or even lower..”

Large Parts Of China Relax Coronavirus Curbs, Many Report Zero New Cases (R.)

Urged to restore economic activity by President Xi Jinping, large parts of China relaxed curbs on transport and movement of people on Monday as reported new cases of the coronavirus outside the worst-hit province fell to the lowest in a month. Figures released by the national health authority on Monday showed 24 out of China’s 31 provinces and regions – including Beijing, Shanghai and populous provinces such as Henan and Anhui – reported zero cases of new infections on Feb. 23, the best showing since it began publishing nationwide figures on Jan. 20. There were just 11 new cases in six other provincial-level jurisdictions, while in Hubei province, the epicenter of the epidemic, the number of new cases fell to 398 from 630 a day earlier.

On Sunday, President Xi hailed the positive trend, and urged businesses to resume work and safeguard jobs. He also told low-risk provinces to restore economic activity and output, while high-risk regions focused on controlling the epidemic. Yunnan, Guangdong, Shanxi and Guizhou on Monday lowered their coronavirus emergency response measures from the most serious level, joining the provinces of Gansu and Liaoning in relaxing restrictions on traffic and movement of people. The coronavirus has infected nearly 77,000 people and killed more than 2,500 in China in one of the most serious public health crises in decades. The pathogen has also spread to other countries such as South Korea, Italy and Iran. Whether or not China can defeat the epidemic is “a major test of (Communist) Party organizations, party members and cadres of all levels,” Xi said, warning officials to avoid complacency.

In the rest of China, factories, businesses and construction sites have already gradually restarted. Large state-owned enterprises have been told to spearhead a recovery in industry while policymakers roll out measures to support struggling small and medium-sized companies. China’s GDP may slow in the first quarter, possibly easing to 3% growth or even lower, from 6% in the previous quarter – which was already the weakest pace in nearly 30 years, economists estimated. “The risk is that, with the emphasis on the economy and a differentiation of regions based on the number of new infection cases, the quality of new infection data reported by local governments could be compromised again,” Nomura wrote in a research note. “Cover-ups could lead to slack preventions…” it said.

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But do go to work!

Coronavirus China’s Fastest-Spreading Public Health Crisis – Xi Jinping (SCMP)

In a meeting on an unprecedented scale, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the coronavirus epidemic was the country’s most serious public health crisis and promised more pro-growth policies to help overcome it. According to state news agency Xinhua, Xi’s address via teleconference on Sunday was open to every county government and every military regiment throughout the country. He said the epidemic was “the fastest spreading, with the most infected and was the most difficult to prevent and control” since the founding of the People’s Republic. “This is a crisis for us and it is also a major test,” he said, acknowledging that the country needed to learn from the “obvious shortcomings exposed” in its response, so it could improve its ability to handle future crises. But Xi also told the Communist Party cadres that “the party Central Committee’s assessment of the epidemic is accurate, all the work arrangements are timely, and the measures adopted are effective”.


“The effectiveness of the prevention and control work has once again demonstrated the significant advantages of the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics,” he said. He said that controlling the outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and the wider province of Hubei as well as preventing the epidemic from spreading to Beijing, China’s political centre, were the country’s top two strategic goals. “First, [we must] resolutely curb the spread of epidemic … increase the rate of treatment and cure, and reduce the infection and death rates effectively in Hubei and Wuhan,” he said. “Second, [we need to] make every effort to prevent and control the spread in Beijing … strengthen joint defenses and control in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and cut off the source of infection as much as possible.”

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Your virus or your money…

Chinese Workers Refuse To Go Back To Work Despite Beijing’s Demands (ZH)

When we commented earlier that the coronavirus pandemic means that the vast majority of Chinese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have at most 2-3 months of cash left, a potentially catastrophic outcome that will not only crippled China’s economy but its $40 trillion financial system, we summarized the circular quandary in which Beijing finds itself, to wit: “… unless China reboots its economy, it faces an economic shock the likes of which it has never seen before in modern times. Yet it can’t reboot the economy unless it truly stops the viral pandemic, something it will never be able to do if it lies to the population that the pandemic is almost over in hopes of forcing people to get back to work. Hence the most diabolic Catch 22 for China’s social and economic system, because whereas until now China could easily lie its way out of any problem, in this case lying will only make the underlying (viral pandemic) problem worse as sick people return to work, only to infect even more co-workers, forcing even more businesses to be quarantined.”

Shockingly (or perhaps not at all in light of China’s tremendous human rights record), Beijing has picked output over life expectancy, and in a furious scramble to restart its economy, which as we showed earlier remains flatlined… … according to most high-frequency metrics, it has been “advising” people to get back to work, even as new coronavirus cases are still coming in, in the process threatening to blow out the current epidemic with orders of magnitude more cases as places of employment become the new hubs of viral distribution.

As Bloomberg picked up late on Sunday, following what we said earlier namely that “local governments around the country face a daunting question of whether to focus on staving off the virus or encourage factory reopenings” China’s central and local governments are one again easing the criteria for factories to resume operations “as they walk a tightrope between containing a virus that has killed more than 2,400 people and preventing a slump in the world’s second-largest economy.” This schizophrenic dilemma for a government which faces two equally terrible choices, was best summarized by the following two banners observed in China:

And yet, even with both options equally terrible, Beijing also has no choice but to pick one. As a result, as Bloomberg writes, “the rush to restart has been propelled by China’s leader Xi Jinping and top leaders, who are urging companies to resume production so the country can continue to meet lofty goals for growth and economic development in 2020.” Regular Zero Hedge readers know the rest: with most of Chinese economic output paralyzed, officials in China’s provinces have taken up Xi’s call, with one region after another relaxing rules that had kept more than half the nation’s industrial base idle following the Lunar New Year holiday.

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Why I warn for too much focus on Apple and iPhones: “Small- and medium-sized companies account for 60% of the economy and 80% of jobs..”

Coronavirus Credit Crunch Hits Millions Of Chinese Firms (BBC)

Mounting debts have hit Chinese companies struggling to pay workers and suppliers amid the coronavirus outbreak. President Xi Xinping said on Sunday that China faces a “big test” to combat the virus. The government has asked banks to offer more credit for an economy stunned as the virus spreads rapidly. But a survey of small and medium Chinese firms found millions at the edge of survival. The Chinese Association of Small and Medium Enterprises said around 60% could cover regular payments for only one to two months before running out of cash. Only 10% said they could hold out six months or longer. At the same time, the industry group said that “nearly 60% of the enterprises (surveyed) have resumed work.” Small- and medium-sized companies in China are a particular focus because they account for 60% of the economy and 80% of jobs, according to the People’s Bank of China.

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“..as of last Monday, only about 25% of people had returned to work in China’s tier-one cities..”

85% Of Chinese Businesses Set To Run Out Of Cash In 3 Months (ZH)

And here is the stark reality of China’s T-minus 3 months countdown: 85% of 1,506 SMEs surveyed in early February said they expect to run out of cash within three months, according to a report by Tsinghua University and Peking University. And forget about profits for the foreseeable future: one-third of the respondents said the outbreak is likely to cut into their full-year revenue by more than 50%, according to the Nikkei. “Most SMEs in China rely on operating revenue and they have fewer sources for funding” than large companies and state-owned enterprises, said Zhu Wuxiang, a professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management and a lead author of the report.

The problem with sequential supply chains is that these also apply to the transfer of liquidity: employers need to pay landlords, workers, suppliers and creditors – regardless of whether they can regain full production capacity anytime soon. Any abrupt and lasting delays will wreak havoc on China’s economic ecosystem. “The longer the epidemic lasts, the larger the cash gap drain will be,” Zhu said, adding that companies affected by the trade war face a greater danger of bankruptcy because many are already heavily indebted. “Self-rescue will not be enough. The government will need to lend help.”

So where are we nearly two months after the epidemic started? Well, as of last Monday, only about 25% of people had returned to work in China’s tier-one cities, according to an estimate by Japanese brokerage Nomura, based on data from China’s Baidu. By the same time last year, 93% were back on the job. And making matters worse, as we first noted several weeks ago, local governments around the country face a daunting question of whether to focus on staving off the virus or encourage factory reopenings, as the following tweet perfectly captures.

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“..bringing the total of 763, a 25-fold increase in cases in one week,..”

“Tsunami-Like” Coronavirus Floods South Korea With New Cases (ZH)

Update (2200ET): In a release that was about 4 hours late, China’s Hubei province said it has 398 New Coronavirus Cases As Of Feb 23 and 149 New Coronavirus Deaths. Overall, China reported an additional 409 coronavirus cases across the entire nation, and 150 additional deaths as of February 23 vs. 648 additional cases and 97 deaths on February 22. This brings the total number of cases across China to 77,150, and total deaths to 2592. None of these numbers are even remotely credible any more, and serve merely the propaganda purpose of giving the impression that Beijing is winning the war against the spread of the Coronavirus, when in reality nobody has any idea anymore what is going on on the ground in China, and is why workers refuse to show up to their place of business.

Consider this: two days ago, WaPo reporters pointed to a clear case of manipulation where the authorities suppressed the true number of cases. Authorities in Hubei province reported good news Thursday: There were only 349 new coronavirus cases the previous day, the lowest tally in weeks. The bad – and puzzling – news? Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, reported 615 new cases all by itself. And then there was the Hunan doctor who said he had treated no less than 50 patients with coronavirus on the same day official data reported just one new case.

Update (2015 ET): The epidemic in South Korea is accelerating exponentially, with the country reporting 161 additional virus cases, bringing the total of 763, a 25-fold increase in cases in one week, along with two more deaths bringing the death toll there to seven. The Kospi is continuing its decline and is down 3.0% and approached the 2100 level on the downside. More ominously, the number of cases under inspection is nearly 10,000. Earlier in the day, S.Korea elevated the virus alert level to “red”, the highest in its four-tier system. According to Yonhap, in escalating the virus alert level, President Moon said, “a few days from now is a watershed moment.” In the first 30 days, S. Korea seemed to have been effectively combating the Covid-19. But within the past few days, the number of confirmed cases spiked, first linked to a religious sect and now starting to spread across the country. Yet, the city of Daegu and the Gyeongbuk area have a higher concentration of virus cases – representing 84% of the total number of infections – than other regions.

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Let’s check that lab, shall we?

COVID19 Did Not Originate In Wuhan Seafood Market – Chinese Scientists (SCMP)

The novel coronavirus that has claimed the lives of more than 2,400 people did not originate at a seafood market in the central China city of Wuhan as was first thought, according to a new study by a team of Chinese scientists. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was instead imported from elsewhere, said researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Institute for Brain Research. The team, led by Dr Yu Wenbin, sequenced the genomic data of 93 SARS-CoV-2 samples provided by 12 countries in a bid to track down the source of the infection and understand how it spreads.

What they found was that while the virus had spread rapidly within the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, there had also been two major population expansions on December 8 and January 6. According to the study, which was published on the institute’s website on Thursday, analysis suggested that the coronavirus was introduced from outside the market. “The crowded market then boosted SARS-CoV-2 circulation and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019,” it said. Earlier reports by Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organisation said that the first known patient showed symptoms on December 8, and that most of the subsequent cases had links to the seafood market, which was closed on January 1.

The research went on to say that based on the genome data it was possible that the virus began spreading from person to person in early December or even as early as late November. “The study concerning whether Huanan market is the only birthplace of SARS-CoV-2 is of great significance for finding its source and determining the intermediate host, so as to control the epidemic and prevent it from spreading again,” the research team said.

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Note the use of the word “panic”.

Austria Stops Passenger Train Traffic With Italy Amid Coronavirus Panic (RT)

Authorities in Austria have stopped an incoming train at the Italian border, after it emerged that two passengers may be infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus. Later, all train traffic to and from Italy was halted.
The Eurocity 86 train was stopped at the Brenner Pass border crossing on Sunday, after officials at Italian State Railways told their Austrian counterparts that two passengers on board had fever symptoms consistent with the Covid-19 coronavirus.The train, bound for Munich in Germany, was halted and returned to the Italian side of the alpine crossing, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer confirmed.

Austrian authorities later stopped all train traffic to and from Italy, tabloid newspaper OE24 said on its website. The stoppage marks the first time European borders have been shut following the outbreak of the deadly disease, which surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has to date spread to more than 30 countries worldwide, killing nearly 2,500 people. At least 100 cases and three deaths have been recorded in Italy, making the Mediterranean country Europe’s coronavirus hotspot, and the only European country to see fatalities. Cities and towns in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto have been placed on lockdown, and Venice’s world-famous carnival has ended two days early, as authorities grapple to stop the spread of the illness.

In Milan, grocery stores were emptied by panic-stricken shoppers, and shortages of disinfectant and respirators have been reported. Europe’s largely porous borders could pose a serious risk for further transmission across the continent. However, EU officials have told the public that “there is no need to panic.” “The EU has full confidence in the Italian authorities and the decisions they are taking,” the bloc’s economic affairs commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni, said on Sunday.

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If they have an outbreak, will we ever know?

North Korea Quarantines Foreigners Amid Virus Fears (BBC)

North Korea has quarantined 380 foreigners in a bid to stop the coronavirus from breaking out. The foreigners are mostly diplomats stationed in the capital Pyongyang, said news agency Yonhap, quoting the Korean Central Broadcasting Station. Around 200 foreigners had already been confined to their compounds for the past 30 days – but as that came to an end, the quarantine has been extended. There have not been any reported cases of Covid-19 in North Korea. It’s not known how long the new quarantine for foreigners will last. [..] North Korea has not confirmed any cases – but there are clearly fears of it spreading, as the country shares a border with China.


All foreigners coming into the country must be quarantined for 30 days. There are relatively few foreigners in North Korea, and only around 200 westerners, according to one expert. North Korean authorities have also cancelled the annual Pyongyang marathon, which typically sees people from all over the world participating. Around 3,000 people in North Pyongan province – a north-western region bordering China – are also now under monitoring for reportedly showing suspected symptoms, said state media.

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Reminds me of a doctor in the southern States who said a few years ago: We’re raising a generation of blind amputees.

Record Two Million Britons At Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes (Ind.)

A record number of people are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, increasing their chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke, the NHS has warned. A “growing obesity crisis” has led to nearly two million people in England being exposed to the condition that causes the level of sugar in the blood to become too high. As part of efforts to tackle the problem, a radical new liquid diet will be available on the NHS to put type 2 diabetes into remission. Five thousand patients will be restricted to 800 calories per day for three months in a pilot to be rolled out from April.


This will be followed by a further nine months of support to help them maintain weight loss. According to new NHS figures, there are 1,969,610 patients registered with a GP who have non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, a condition that puts people at risk of type 2 diabetes. The health service warned the problem could become greater still due to the rise in obesity levels. Projections indicate the growing number of diabetes sufferers could lead to 39,000 extra people suffering a heart attack in 2035 and more than 50,000 experiencing a stroke. One in six hospital beds are now occupied by someone with diabetes, the NHS said.

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If it were just about the votes, sure.

What If Bernie Has Already Won This Thing? (Hill)

Virtually all of the political oxygen in the room over the past two weeks has been consumed by former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg’s recent rise in the polls. After skipping almost an entire year of campaigning, more than half a dozen debates, as well as the first four caucuses and primaries, suddenly Bloomberg is finding himself taken seriously. Spending nearly half a billion dollars will buy you some attention, it turns out. Certainly, Bloomberg is due for scrutiny, with his extensive history of horrifying statements about the trans community, the financial collapse, stop and frisk, sexual harassment, the NSA — honestly pick a topic and Bloomberg has been on the wrong side of it…

…but I want you to consider the possibility that this 24/7 Bloomberg media frenzy is hiding the real story of the 2020 Democratic primary: Has Bernie Sanders already won this thing? I know. I know. I’m probably getting ahead of myself. We hit Nevada, but we’re still waiting on a Super Tuesday and the truly delegate-rich states. There’s a lot of campaign left to be had, and any number of twists and turns could develop between now and the (possibly contested) Dem convention. But hear me out. By every traditional standard, Bernie Sanders is in a stronger position at this point in the primary process than any Democratic candidate stretching back decades. Bernie received the most votes in the disastrous Iowa caucuses and won the New Hampshire primary as well.

South Carolina follows, and while Bernie is not yet positioned to definitively take first there, he has turned Biden’s once-dominant lead into an effective tie. In the most delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, the RealClearPolitics polling average for California has Bernie up by 12, and Texas effectively tied between Sanders and Biden. He’s looking quite strong in a number of other states. Nationally, Bernie Sanders now holds a 15 point lead over second-place Joe Biden. That’s a jump of 8 points in just one month, as Biden has plummeted. The story is effectively the same when you turn to the much talked about “electability” measure, with Bernie now leading at 30 percent when asked who has the best chance to defeat Donald Trump.

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Bernie the Jewish anti-semite.

Chris Matthews Faces Calls For Resignation (Hill)

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is under fire after comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) decisive win in the Nevada caucuses to the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, with some on social media calling for the “Hardball” host to resign. “I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940,” Matthews said during MSNBC’s live coverage of the caucuses on Saturday. “And the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says, ‘How can that be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.'” Criticism quickly poured in on social media over Matthews using the analogy.


Sanders, who is Jewish, had most of his family killed in the Holocaust. One such response came from Mike Casca, who serves as Sanders’s 2020 communications director. “..never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the nazis to the third reich…but here we are.”

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Please let something good come out of Julian’s extradition hearing today. Only 16 spots for the media, that’s not a good sign.

Chief Magistrate In Assange Case Was Funded By Shadowy Groups (DMav)

The senior judge overseeing the extradition proceedings of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange received financial benefits from two partner organisations of the British Foreign Office before her appointment, it can be revealed. It can further be revealed that Lady Emma Arbuthnot was appointed Chief Magistrate in Westminster on the advice of a Conservative government minister with whom she had attended a secretive meeting organised by one of these Foreign Office partner organisations two years before. Liz Truss, then Justice Secretary, “advised” the Queen to appoint Lady Arbuthnot in October 2016. Two years before, Truss — who is now Trade Secretary — and Lady Arbuthnot both attended an off-the-record two-day meeting in Bilbao, Spain.

The expenses were covered by an organisation called Tertulias, chaired by Lady Arbuthnot’s husband — Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former Conservative defence minister with extensive links to the British military and intelligence community exposed by WikiLeaks. Tertulias, an annual forum held for political and corporate leaders in the UK and Spain, is regarded by the UK Foreign Office as one of its “partnerships”. The 2014 event in Bilbao was attended by David Lidington, the Minister for Europe, while the Foreign Office has in the past funded Lord Arbuthnot’s attendance at the forum. The Foreign Office has long taken a strong anti-Assange position, rejecting UN findings in his favour, refusing to recognise the political asylum given to him by Ecuador, and even labelling Assange a “miserable little worm”.

Lady Arbuthnot also benefited financially from another trip with her husband in 2014, this time to Istanbul for the British-Turkish Tatlidil, a forum established by the UK and Turkish governments for “high level” individuals involved in politics and business. Both Tertulias and Tatlidil are secretive gatherings about which little is known and are not obviously connected — but Declassified has discovered that the UK address of the two organisations has been the same. Lady Arbuthnot personally presided over Assange’s case as judge from late 2017 until mid-2019, delivering two controversial rulings. Although she is no longer personally hearing the Assange extradition proceedings, she remains responsible for supporting and guiding the junior judges in her jurisdiction. Lady Arbuthnot has refused to declare any conflicts of interest in the case.

The new revelations follow previous investigations by Declassified showing that Lady Arbuthnot received gifts and hospitality in relation to her husband from a military and cybersecurity company exposed by WikiLeaks. Declassified also revealed that the Arbuthnots’ son is linked to an anti-data leak company created by the UK intelligence establishment and staffed by officials recruited from US intelligence agencies behind that country’s prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder.

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Canada’s Supreme Court was very clear in 1997. But various governments, including Trudeau’s, piss on them. Love the photo, and the cape.

No Surrender: An End of Aboriginal Rights and Title (IC)

The Wet’suwet’en Nation has never signed treaties or ceded territory to the Canadian government — a fact that its leaders have defended fiercely in court as well as on the ground. Its hereditary chiefs were behind a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision in 1997 known as Delgamuukw vs. the Queen, which recognized the existence of aboriginal title, whereby Indigenous people have the right to “exclusive use and occupation” of territory. However, because of a technicality, the court did not resolve the boundaries of the Wet’suwet’en’s claim to 8,500 square miles of land, stating that title would have to be sought through separate legal or treaty-making proceedings, which were never completed.

Documents obtained by the Canadian publication The Narwhal show that the Delgamuukw decision sent chills through Canadian extractive industries. The documents indicate that the government of British Columbia, a province largely made up of unceded territory, rushed to reassure industry officials, inviting them to provide input on a treaty-making process meant to settle questions over authority on unceded land. In one memo, describing a meeting held in the wake of the ruling, Marlie Beets, then vice-president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries, told B.C. officials that Indigenous nations must hand over their land to Canada. “The decision makes the need for certainty through surrender all the more clear,” she said. “We see no other alternative.”

Other industries echoed the alarm. “The oil and gas industry in particular has expressed concern about their ability to continue to do business in the province absent a clear direction from the government on how it will address the implications of the Delgamuukw decision,” stated a memo by a Delgamuukw strategy team formed by the government. At a meeting set up by British Columbia’s treaty officials, one lawyer, whose client is unclear, underlined that “what is needed is a clear exchange and an end of Aboriginal rights and title for a defined set of treaty rights.”


Ts’akë ze’ Howihkat, Freda Huson, passes an installation of red dresses as she waits for police to enforce Coastal GasLink’s injunction at the Unist’ot’en healing center on Feb. 9, 2020. The red dresses are a symbol of the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Photo: Amber Bracken

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Feb 152020
 


Harris & Ewing Gettysburg 50th reunion: Grand Army of the Republic and the United Confederate Veterans 1913

 

Massive Medical Response As China Death Toll Reaches 1,526 (SCMP)
Beijing To Quarantine All Arrivals As Economic Life Struggles To Pick Up (R.)
Xi Puts On Brave Face, Vows To Deliver Economic Goals Amid Coronavirus (SCMP)
Egypt Confirms Coronavirus Case, The First In Africa (AlJ)
Chinese Medical Staff Pay ‘Too High A Price’ In Battle To Curb Virus (SCMP)
Wandering Ship Becomes ‘Best Cruise Ever (R.)
Sidney Powell: One Atrocity After The Other In Michael Flynn Case (SAC)
Barr Assigns Outside Prosecutor To Review Case Against Flynn (ZH)
DOJ Drops Investigation Of Former FBI Deputy Andrew McCabe (UPI)
Roger Stone Asks For New Trial (Hill)
Carville Slams Sanders For ‘Hack’ Slam: ‘At Least I’m Not A Communist’ (Hill)
United Airlines Pulls Boeing 737 MAX From Schedule Until September 4 (R.)
Impure Thoughts (Kunstler)
US Soldiers in Deathly Scuffle With Syrian Civilians (Whitney Webb)
Varoufakis Submits Recordings Of Eurogroup Talks To Greek Parliament (K.)
Multibillion Mystery Of The Great British Gold Sale (Conway)

 

 

And we’re off to the races again. With the renewed attention for the FBI and DOJ shenanigans in the cases past and present of Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and even Andrew McCabe, it’s easy to get too many articles for an effective aggregator.

 

• Cases 67,102, up 2,661 from yesterday. 11,053 – 18% of cases listed as severe.

• Deaths 1,526, up 143 from yesterday

First death in Europe, a Chinese tourist in France. Close the borders!

• 2,420 new cases (total 54,406) and 139 new deaths in Hubei province

• Chinese experts expect surge in confirmed cases inn coming days.

• 4 more cases in Japan, 3 more cases in Hong Kong

• Infected passengers and crew aboard ‘the Diamond Princess’ climbs to 218

• Lockdown in Beijing

• 217 medical teams sent to provinces, including 25,033 medical professionals to Hubei, in addition to 181 teams of army doctors in Wuhan and 36 army medical teams across Hubei

 

 

 

 

They’re even sanitizing coins and bank notes with UV light.

Massive Medical Response As China Death Toll Reaches 1,526 (SCMP)

China reported 2,641 new confirmed cases and 849 new severe cases on Saturday. A total of 143 more people have died, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,526. There are 2,277 suspected new cases. The total number of confirmed cases across the country stands at 66,492, of which 11,053 – 18 per cent – are severe. In Hubei province – epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak – 2,420 new confirmed cases were reported with 1,923 of those in provincial capital Wuhan. The city also accounted for 107 of the 139 new deaths reported in Hubei on Saturday. National Health Commission deputy director Wang Hesheng said nine medical shelters had been opened to accommodate patients with mild symptoms, as well as people with suspected infections.

It was Wang’s first press conference since his arrival in Wuhan – provincial capital of Hubei where the novel coronavirus emerged – about a week ago. Wang and Chen Yixin, secretary general of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the Communist Party’s top law enforcement body, were sent to Wuhan in response to public uproar about the death of ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, widely regarded as a whistle-blower about the new virus. Wang said China had sent 217 medical teams across provinces, including a total of 25,033 medical professionals to Hubei. These were in addition to the 181 teams of army doctors in Wuhan and a further 36 military medical teams in other cities in the province.


[..] Fan Yifei, vice-governor of the People’s Bank of China, said money supply in the country would be ensured, with 4 billion yuan (US$572 million) in new bank notes already allocated to Hubei before the Spring Festival holiday. Fan said the central bank would temporarily store bank notes from major government institutes or state enterprises in warehouses to prevent the disease spreading through the handling of cash. Banks have also been told to sanitise notes before giving them to enterprises. Fan said cash from hospitals and wet markets were being stored and bank notes and coins sanitised with UV light before they were released back into circulation.

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Imagine this in Paris, London, New York.

Beijing To Quarantine All Arrivals As Economic Life Struggles To Pick Up (R.)

The Chinese capital Beijing on Friday imposed a 14-day self-quarantine on people returning to the city from holidays to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, and threatened to punish those who failed to comply. It was not immediately clear how the restriction, relayed by the official Beijing Daily newspaper, would be enforced, or whether it would apply to non-residents of Beijing or foreigners arriving from abroad. [..] Wuhan, the city of 11 million people where the outbreak began, has the most acute problem. With all public transport, taxis and ride-hailing services shut down in the city, volunteer drivers are responding to requests on ad hoc messaging groups to ferry medical staff and others in vital jobs to and from work, risking their own health.


Others work round the clock to find accommodation for medical workers in hotels that have volunteered rooms. Many of the drivers keep their identities secret to avoid objections from family and friends. “Everyone in our group has such a strong sense of mission,” said 53-year-old Chen Hui, who runs one of the ad hoc ride services. [..] “From now on, all those who have returned to Beijing should stay at home or submit to group observation for 14 days after arriving,” read the notice from Beijing’s virus prevention working group cited by the Beijing Daily. “Those who refuse to accept home or centralised observation and other prevention and control measures will be held accountable under law.”

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He’s starting to acknowledge he can’t do both. How to save face?

Xi Puts On Brave Face, Vows To Deliver Economic Goals Amid Coronavirus (SCMP)

Shrouded in utmost secrecy, the Politburo Standing Committee is the inner circle of China’s power structure. The seven-member body, which is the core of the 25 member Politburo cabinet with general secretary Xi Jinping as its head, rarely publishes meeting schedules or agendas before or even after meetings. The details of only four standing committee meetings have been published in the two and half years since Xi consolidated his power in late 2017, even though the group is believed to have met on a weekly basis. Two of the meetings were to listen to work reports from China’s government, parliament and the top court, one was a discussion about a grand plan to build an entirely new city in Xiongan, Hebei province, and the fourth concerned a low-quality vaccine scandal.

This all changed last month with the outbreak of the coronavirus, which causes the disease now officially known as Covid-19. The conclusions of three standing committee meetings in three consecutive weeks have since been published, an attempt to make it clear that China’s leadership, in particular Xi himself, has a strong message to send to the country’s ruling apparatus and the general public. During Wednesday’s meeting, Xi said control of the coronavirus had entered a critical stage despite “positive developments” in containing the outbreak, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. However, Xi emphasised that the outbreak of coronavirus should not stop China from achieving its social and economic goals, while also continuing the country’s long-term rise.


“This year is the last year to complete the goal of building up a comprehensively well-off society” said Xi, with all levels of the government expected to ensure economic stability and social harmony to achieve set goals despite the coronavirus. The meeting came just a day after Xi told his Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo, that China “has the capability, confidence and certainty to score an outright victory over the epidemic”. “We must see that the long-term sound fundamentals of our economy haven’t changed. The impact of the outbreak will only be short-term and [China] won’t be intimidated by the current problems and difficulties,” Xi said according to Xinhua.

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Africa is an ideal breeding ground for a virus like this. But who’s going to do the testing, and with what? A hospital in Cairo may do it, but what about the Congo for instance? There are at least a millionn Chinese working in Africa. Come to think of it, what will COVID19 mean for Belt and Road?

Egypt Confirms Coronavirus Case, The First In Africa (AlJ)

Egypt has confirmed its first case of a deadly coronavirus that emerged in central China at the end of last year and has since spread to more than two dozen countries around the world. Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Mugahed said in a statement on Friday that the affected person was a “foreigner” who did not show any serious symptoms. Officials were able to confirm the case through a follow-up programme implemented by the government for travellers arriving from countries where the virus has spread. The ministry statement said the person was hospitalised and in isolation. It did not specify the person’s nationality or their point of entry. The development made Egypt the first country in the African continent to report a confirmed case, and the second in the Middle East region, after the United Arab Emirates late last month diagnosed its first cases.

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China must ask for mass assistance.

Chinese Medical Staff Pay ‘Too High A Price’ In Battle To Curb Virus (SCMP)

More than a thousand health care workers have been infected with Covid-19, many of whom contracted the virus that causes the disease in the early weeks of the outbreak when there was a shortage of protective equipment and the authorities said there had been few cases of human-to-human transmission. One specialist warned that frontline medical workers were paying “too high a price” in the battle to contain the disease and warned that the high number of infected health care staff increased the risk of cross-infection in hospitals. On Friday the government said a total 1,716 health care workers had been infected with the disease. The number is far higher than that recorded during the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) epidemic, although there have been 12 times more confirmed cases of Covid-19.

[..] Cai Haodong, a communicable diseases specialist from Beijing’s Ditan Hospital, said the absolute number of health care worker infections was far higher than during the Sars epidemic because there were many patients who had not initially shown any symptoms. “The enemy (coronavirus) is in the dark. The awareness of doctors of non-communicable disease was not strong. They may have lowered their guard when the patient did not show any symptoms.” Health care workers were also forced to go to the frontline without proper protective clothing and masks, she added. “The doctors in Wuhan don’t have sufficient protective gear and they are forced to go to the frontline. The price is just too high,” she said.


The large number of health care worker infections increases the risks of cross-infection in hospitals. “When doctors are infected, they may infect patients and cause cross-infections. That is why the United States requires doctors to have influenza vaccines so that they won’t pass it on to patients,” Cao said.

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How much did the industry pay for this commercial?

“We had free internet and free wine. We had three-course meals. There was so much choice..”

Wandering Ship Becomes ‘Best Cruise Ever (R.)

After nearly two weeks cast away in search of a port that would take them, passengers aboard the MS Westerdam cruise ship spoke of an ordeal that was anything but harrowing. “Everyone says ‘poor you’. But there was no poor you. We had free internet and free wine. We had three-course meals. There was so much choice,” said Zahra Jennings, a retired staff nurse from Britain. How was it? “Lovely,” she said. The 1,544 passengers and 802 crew had never expected a port stop in Hong Kong to metastasize into full-blown fear that some of the ship’s passengers carried the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, late last year and has killed more than 1,500 people.

Turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand, it was Cambodia that finally let the lost ship dock – and it was discovered there that none of the passengers was infected. The only complaint aboard? “They ran out of hash browns a couple of days ago, and tomato sauce,” said Robert Sayers, a 60-year-old chemical company employee from New Zealand. “But that was it. It was fine, really.” Cruise ships around Asia face widespread fears they may be spreading the virus since it was found aboard the Diamond Princess that is now at anchor in Yokohama and where 218 of the passengers have been diagnosed with the virus.

Vietnam turned back two ships on Friday. It was Valentine’s Day when the first passengers disembarked from the Westerdam. The prime minister, Hun Sen, flew in from the capital, shaking hands with passengers and handing out roses. Government officials draped “Welcome to Cambodia” banners on buses. All passengers were given free visas. Hun Sen, an authoritarian ruler condemned by Western countries for human rights abuses said: “Our current disease around the world is fear and discrimination,” he said. “If Cambodia didn’t allow this ship to dock, where should these 2,000 passengers go?”


Holland America sent letters to all passengers saying it would reimburse the cost of the cruise, give them another free 14-day cruise, and charter them flights home. The company, it said, would do its best to match the class of flight they had originally booked. The cruise had been scheduled to end in Shanghai on Saturday. In Shanghai it was 14 Celsius, overcast and raining. In Sihanoukville, it was 27C and sunny.

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He was led to believe that he wasn’t being investigated, so he didn’t need a lawyer, and now we’re off to the races.

Sidney Powell: One Atrocity After The Other In Michael Flynn Case (SAC)

Sidney Powell, the attorney for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn told Sean Hannity on Friday that there has been “one atrocity after another” in the proceedings. “So not only was [Michael Flynn] not warned of his rights, he didn’t even know that he was being investigated,” Powell told host Sean Hannity. “In fact, he was led to believe that he wasn’t being investigated.” Powell added that Michael Flynn’s case was the first instance she had heard of in which a defendant accused of making false statements to the FBI was not warned of his rights or informed that he was under investigation. “They say they can’t find [it], he can’t produce it [the 302 form],” she said of Michael Flynn prosecutor Brandon Van Grack. who she claimed has a separate conflict of interest in the case. “There is one atrocity after the other in this case.”

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Would this have happened if Powell hadn’t taken over? I don’t believe it for a second.

Barr Assigns Outside Prosecutor To Review Case Against Flynn (ZH)

A week of two-tiered legal shenanigans was capped off on Friday with a New York Times report that Attorney General William Barr has assigned an outside prosecutor to scrutinize the government’s case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, which the Times suggested was “highly unusual and could trigger more accusations of political interference by top Justice Department officials into the work of career prosecutors.” Notably, the FBI excluded crucial information from a ‘302’ form documenting an interview with Flynn in January, 2017. While Flynn eventually pleaded guilty to misleading agents over his contacts with the former Russian ambassador regarding the Trump administration’s efforts to oppose a UN resolution related to Israel, the original draft of Flynn’s 203 reveals that agents thought he was being honest with them – evidence which Flynn’s prior attorneys never pursued.

His new attorney, Sidney Powell, took over Flynn’s defense in June 2019 – while Flynn withdrew his guilty plea in January, accusing the government of “bad faith, vindictiveness, and breach of the plea agreement.” In addition to a review of the Flynn case, Barr has hired a handful of outside prosecutors to broadly review several other politically sensitive national-security cases in the US attorney’s office in Washington, according to the Times sources. Of particular interest will be cases overseen by now-unemployed former US attorney for DC, Jessie Liu, which includes actions against Stone, Flynn, the Awan brothers, James Wolfe and others. Notably, Wolfe was only sentenced to leaking a classified FISA warrant application to journalist and side-piece Ali Watkins of the New York Times – while prosecutors out of Liu’s office threw the book at former Trump adviser Roger Stone – recommending 7-9 years in prison for process crimes.


[..] New York Times: “The moves amounted to imposing a secondary layer of monitoring and control over what career prosecutors have been doing in the Washington office. They are part of a broader turmoil in that office coinciding with Mr. Barr’s recent installation of a close aide, Timothy Shea, as interim United States attorney in the District of Columbia, after Mr. Barr maneuvered out the Senate-confirmed former top prosecutor in the office, Jessie K. Liu. Mr. Flynn’s case was first brought by the special counsel’s office, who agreed to a plea deal on a charge of lying to investigators in exchange for his cooperation, before the Washington office took over the case when the special counsel shut down after concluding its investigation into Russia’s election interference”.

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But that’s not the end of the line for McCabe, says Jason Chaffetz. Stay tuned.

DOJ Drops Investigation Of Former FBI Deputy Andrew McCabe (UPI)

The Justice Department has dropped its investigation into former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over accusations he leaked information to news media, his attorneys said Friday. A letter to McCabe’s lawyers said the Justice Department declined to pursue criminal charges. “Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed,” said the letter, signed by J.P. Cooney and Molly Gaston of the Fraud & Public Corruption Section of the Justice Department. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe from the FBI in March 2018 after the Justice Department’s inspector general determined he’d authorized FBI officials to reveal sensitive information to media about an investigation related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


The IG report accused McCabe of subsequently misleading investigators about his role in the matter. McCabe had stepped down from his role as deputy director of the FBI months earlier. McCabe’s lawyers, Michael Bromwich and David Schertler, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Washington, D.C., notified them the case was closed.

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How can the request be refused? Hard to see.

Roger Stone Asks For New Trial (Hill)

Attorneys for Roger Stone on Friday requested a new trial, a day after saying they were looking into potential bias by a juror who voted to convict the longtime Trump associate of lying to Congress and witness tampering. The request also comes after President Trump accused the juror of harboring “significant bias” following reports that her social media activity contained posts that were critical of Trump. “Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias. Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the “Justice” Department. @foxandfriends @FoxNews,” Trump tweeted Thursday.

Stone’s attorneys would not reveal the contents of the motion, which was filed under seal to protect sensitive information, saying only that an un-redacted version will be submitted later for public filing. However, a day earlier they indicated they were looking into the newly surfaced social media activity of jury foreperson Tomeka Hart. “Mr. Stone and his defense team are diligently reviewing the newly reported information to determine any appropriate next steps,” said attorney Grant Smith, who did not refer to the juror by name. Hart’s role as the jury foreperson became publicly known Wednesday when she confirmed to CNN that she had written a Facebook post defending the prosecutors in Stone’s case.


The four-person prosecution team quit Tuesday after their recommended sentence of seven to nine years in prison was overruled by top Justice Department officials, sparking questions about whether the White House had put undue political pressure on the department to seek a lighter sentence for Trump’s longtime associate. Stone, a 67-year-old right-wing provocateur, was found guilty in November of lying to Congress and witness tampering related to his efforts to provide the Trump campaign inside information about WikiLeaks in 2016. [..] It was unclear if the request for a new trial — Stone’s second attempt after the first was denied — would delay his scheduled Feb. 20 sentencing.

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Carville is THE symbol of the demise of the Democratic Party in the past 30 years. He’s a sleaze like Roger Stone, only he’s free.

Carville Slams Sanders For ‘Hack’ Slam: ‘At Least I’m Not A Communist’ (Hill)

James Carville fired back at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for calling him “a political hack,” calling the self-described democratic socialist “a communist.” The back and forth follows a week in which Carville has repeatedly sounded the alarm about a potential Sanders match-up against President Trump in November, calling the scenario “the end of days” for the Democratic Party while referring to Sanders supporters as “a cult.” Sanders returned fire on Wednesday night during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, arguing that “political hack” Carville represents the establishment his campaign is running against.

“James, in all due respect, is a political hack,” Sanders said. “We are taking on Trump, the Republican establishment, Carville and the Democratic establishment. But at the end of the day, the grassroots movement that we are putting together — of young people, of working people, of people of color — want real change.” Carville, who worked as a campaign strategist for former President Clinton, escalated the feud Thursday on Snapchat with former CNN reporter Peter Hamby. “Last night on CNN, Bernie Sanders called me a political hack,” Carville said. “That’s exactly who the f— I am! I am a political hack! I am not an ideologue. I am not a purist. He thinks it’s a pejorative. I kind of like it! At least I’m not a communist.”


Trump also recently referred to Sanders as a communist. “I think he’s a communist. I mean, you know, look, I think of communism when I think of Bernie,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity before the Super Bowl. Sanders dismissed Trump’s comment a week later in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “Obviously I am not a communist,” Sanders said, adding that maybe Trump “doesn’t know the difference.”

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Does anyone think the 737 MAX will fly again this year? How about ever?

United Airlines Pulls Boeing 737 MAX From Schedule Until September 4 (R.)

United Airlines said on Friday it is extending the cancellation of Boeing 737 MAX flights until Sept. 4, a fresh delay that comes as sources told Reuters that the timing of a key certification flight may not happen until at least April. U.S. airlines that operate Boeing’s737 MAX, which was grounded worldwide last March after two fatal crashes, had last pulled the jet from their flight schedules until early June. On Thursday, Southwest Airlines extended its MAX cancellations until Aug. 10.

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“..it is a peculiar feature of our times that a lot of things have an appearance that doesn’t sync with reality..”

Impure Thoughts (Kunstler)

..companies doing business need a revenue stream to service their revolving debts. They have to make stuff, and move stuff, and get paid for it. What happens when there is no revenue stream? The workings of this hyper-complex financial system depend utterly on the velocity of these revenue streams. They can’t just… stop! Everybody who follows these things understands that China’s banking system is 1) a hot mess of confabulated public and private lending relationships, 2) completely opaque as regards the true workings of its operations, and 3) shot through with fraud, swindling, and Ponzis. Did China’s ruling party just put its banking system in an induced coma while Corona virus plays out? How can that possibly not affect the rest of global finance, which is plenty janky, too?

The USA gets everything from car parts to pharmaceuticals from China. How long will it take for the manufacturing lock-down to show up in American daily life? What if it continues for some months going forward? You can easily draw your own conclusions. Here’s another interesting angle on that: Corona virus might give President Donald Trump an easy out from being the bag-holder for a stock market crash and banking train wreck. The signal weakness of Mr. Trump’s term-in-office was his taking ownership of a magical mystery stock market that climbs ever-higher day after day, defying all known rules of physics as applied to money.


This longest “expansion” in US history (if that’s what it was, and I’m not so sure about it) seems to have hit a speed bump last September when something broke in the short-term “re-po” lending markets, at which time (and ever since), Jay Powell’s Federal Reserve began jamming hundreds of billions of dollars into them to smash down zooming interest rates and prevent a heart attack in the system. That creation of “liquidity” — money from thin air — appears to have stabilized the situation. But then, it is a peculiar feature of our times that a lot of things have an appearance that doesn’t sync with reality.

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Time to go before things get out of hand.

US Soldiers in Deathly Scuffle With Syrian Civilians (Whitney Webb)

As resistance to U.S. troop presence in both Iraq and Syria gains steam, a rare scuffle between Syrian civilians and U.S. forces broke out on Wednesday resulting in the death of one Syrian, believed to be a civilian, and the wounding of another. A U.S. soldier was also reportedly injured in the scuffle. The event is likely to escalate tensions, particularly in the Northeastern region where the incident took place, as Syria, Iraq and Iran have pushed for an end to the U.S. troop presence in the region following the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The clash between U.S. forces and Syrian locals took place near the town of Qamishli where the U.S. forces were conducting a patrol that, for reasons that are still unclear, entered into territory controlled by the Syrian government instead of territory occupied by the U.S. and its regional proxy, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). At a Syrian military checkpoint, the U.S. patrol was met by Syrian civilians of a nearby village who gathered at the checkpoint and began throwing rocks at the U.S. convoy. Then, one Syrian took a U.S. flag off of one of the military vehicles. Reports from activists on the ground and Syrian media then claim that U.S. troops opened fire using live ammunition and fired smoke bombs at the angry residents, killing one and wounding another.


A U.S. soldier was said to have received a superficial wound, though the nature of the wound was not specified. After the scuffle, the protests grew larger, preventing more U.S. troops from arriving at the scene. In one video of the protests, a local was seen ripping a U.S. flag as he approached an American soldier. The obstruction of the road prevented the U.S. patrol from advancing and two military vehicles had to be towed after becoming stuck in the grass after an apparent attempt to circumvent the roadblock created by the Syrian military checkpoint and supportive Syrian civilians.

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After the Greek House speaker refused to accept the recordings, Varoufakis -through DiEM25- said this:

“No one has the right to keep a sovereign Parliament, nor citizens, in the dark. This is why by the end of February we will release all recordings, so that all European citizens finally get to see the hypocrisy of the Establishment and the despicable way in which governments behave, in their name, behind closed doors.”

Varoufakis Submits Recordings Of Eurogroup Talks To Greek Parliament (K.)

The head of Mera25 party and former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on Friday submitted to Parliament an envelope allegedly containing his secret audio recordings from the Eurogroup meetings while he was negotiating for Greece’s SYRIZA-led government in the first half of 2015. Varoufakis said he expected House speaker Kostas Tasoulas to forward the content to Greek lawmakers. Tasoulas, however, said he had no intention of sharing the recordings. “Parliament will not shoulder [Varoufakis’] responsibilities,” he said. The exchange took place during a debate on labor issues.


Tasoulas’ reaction was welcomed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. In a statement, Mera25 said that Tasoulas’ refusal to accept the transcripts “confirms that Eurogroup’s wall of intransparency suited and still suits many people, while truth and transparency terrifies [them].” “All European citizens have a right to directly access the statements, the dialogues and the decisions that shape their future,” it said. Eurogroup rules do not explicitly prohibit participants from recording talks as long as the contents are kept confidential.

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Intruiging. But no answer.

Multibillion Mystery Of The Great British Gold Sale (Conway)

Every so often you encounter a chart that takes your breath away. This week I saw just such a graph and I’m still struggling to get my head round it. It depicts something which on the face of it sounds mundane — exports of gold from the UK — and it looks like a hockey stick. You’ve probably seen a hockey-stick chart before. There’s the one Al Gore put up on the big screen in An Inconvenient Truth showing temperatures hovering at about the same level for century after century before shooting up in recent decades. Or the one of GDP going back to the dark ages: for most of history we subsisted on meagre earnings until the industrial revolution came along and catapulted GDP into the stratosphere.

The one this week has much the same shape. Not much of anything for month after month from 1998 when it begins until October 2019. Sure, there were occasional months when the amount of gold leaving British hands would hit a few hundred million pounds. Once or twice it ticks over a billion. But nothing like what occurs in November and December last year: in those months it skyrockets at a rate that doesn’t make any sense. Until then, the monthly average of gold exports was £126 million. Then in November they leapt to £4 billion. In December they doubled to £8 billion. [..] Britain does not mine any significant quantity of gold yet we are the world’s hub for the trade in physical bullion.

This is something of an accident of history, in much the same way as we are also the world’s centre for the trade in fine wine, despite the fact that we produce very little of the stuff ourselves. Yet gold bullion is so valuable that every time it changes hands it massively distorts the trade figures. Consider: Britain has not achieved a goods trade surplus, which is where we export more goods than we import, in any single month since comparable records began more than two decades ago. Yet in December that astonishing leap in gold exports meant that the headline figures published this week showed Britain achieving its first goods trade surplus in modern times. That this was almost entirely down to a mysterious movement of gold bars was seemingly lost on Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, who promptly issued a press release hailing a “record-breaking year for UK exports”.

[..] why did gold exports soar at the end of last year? Was it down to Brexit, with traders switching out of gold in the run-up to Brexit day? Was it to do with the election? Was it central banks repatriating gold or investment banks shifting their portfolios from UK-domiciled funds to EU ones? We still don’t know. I have spoken to statisticians, to gold analysts and economists, to traders and industry experts. None of them have the foggiest idea what is going on. One analyst took a look at the chart and spluttered a four-letter word. “That’s crazy,” he said. “Must be a mistake.” Another person pointed to the fact that Poland flew back about £4 billion worth of gold from the UK last year, before remembering that this happened before December and, oh, these kinds of things don’t count as official exports anyway.


The most plausible explanation I’ve heard is that this was simply an accounting change: one of London’s leading gold custodians, an American investment bank, shifted some of the gold from one column of its accounts to another. The gold didn’t leave the country; someone simply fiddled with a spreadsheet. Even so, that raises further questions: is that bank in trouble? Why do it now? Who ordered it: the bank holding the gold or the gold’s owners? If the latter, then who owns so much gold that they could single-handedly distort this country’s trade figures and surface in Britain’s national accounts?

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Valentine’s.

 

 

 

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Feb 112020
 


René Magritte La belle captive 1946

 

 

Today I took a few things out of my daily Debt Rattle news aggregator because I think they shouldn’t get lost in there. It’s interesting, for instance, that the coronavirus incubation period is now thought to be 24, not 14 days. It’s also interesting that the Chinese government tells local officials not to be too strict on companies wanting to re-open plants: “We will strictly stop restricting the production resumption in an oversimplified and crude way”.

If you ask me, that’s asking for trouble. What if one of those factories becomes a petri dish for new infections? Yesterday perhaps 10% of workers are thought to have reported back to their workplaces, today it might be 30%. Then again, in certain places the Lunar New Year has apparently been extended to February 18, so let’s not read too much into this-yet.

But that I’ll deal with later today in the February 11 Debt Rattle, which will be a bit later than usual because of this article. I’ll start this with Hong Kong University Professor Gabriel Leung, around whose January 31 report I based my February 5 article The Big Lockdown. Professor Leung has some more BIG numbers today. We’re getting into Spanish Flu territory now:

Expert Warns Infection Could Reach 60% Of World’s Population

The novel coronavirus epidemic could spread to around two-thirds of the world’s population if it cannot be controlled, according to Hong Kong’s leading public health epidemiologist. His warning came after the head of the WHO said recent cases of coronavirus patients who have never visited China could be the “tip of the iceberg”. Professor Gabriel Leung, chair of Public Health Medicine at Hong Kong University, said the overriding question was to figure out the size and shape of the iceberg. Most experts thought that each person infected would go on to transmit the virus to around 2.5 other people. That gave an “attack rate” of 60-80%.

“Sixty per cent of the world’s population is an awfully big number,” Leung told the Guardian in London, en route to an expert meeting at the WHO in Geneva. Even if the general fatality rate is as low as 1%, which Leung thinks is possible once milder cases are taken into account, the death toll would be massive. He will tell the WHO expert meeting that the main issue is the scale of the growing worldwide epidemic and the second priority is to find out whether the drastic measures taken by China to prevent the spread have worked – because if so, other countries should think about adopting them. [..]

At the end of January he warned in a paper in the Lancet that outbreaks were likely to be “growing exponentially” in cities in China, lagging just one to two weeks behind Wuhan. Elsewhere, “independent self-sustaining outbreaks in major cities globally could become inevitable” because of the substantial movement of people who were infected but had not yet developed symptoms, and the absence of public health measures to stop the spread.

Epidemiologists and modellers were all trying to figure out what was likely to happen, said Leung. “Is 60 to 80% of the world’s population going to get infected? Maybe not. Maybe this will come in waves. Maybe the virus is going to attenuate its lethality because it certainly doesn’t help it if it kills everybody in its path, because it will get killed as well,” he said.

About that fatality rate, we read today that “The Hubei health commission said the province had a total of 31,728 cases with 974 deaths by the end of Monday – a fatality rate of 3%..

 

The most interesting part of the numbers game comes from Ben Hunt at Epsilon Theory, who ‘normally’ writes about finance, investing, not viruses or epidemics. He’s the Chief Risk Officer of Salient Partners, an $18 billion asset manager. Hunt starts out his piece with showing how the US and Vietcong incessantly lied about casualties in the Vietnam war.

He then cites someone with the moniker Antimonic, I think on Reddit, who predicted the coronavirus death tolls of the past 5 days, 5 days ago, before they happened, using very simple math.

Hunt on Twitter: “I just published an update to this note, where I developed an absurdly simple model of how I’d show “Progress in the War against Coronavirus!”. It predicts the DAILY reported death rates with ridiculous accuracy. They’re. Not. Even. Pretending. Anymore.

Here’s how Hunt summarizes it in his own words:

Let’s imagine, for example, that you’re President Xi, and you’d like to show that you are Winning the War ™ against nCov2019. You can’t just say that the epidemic is over and the disease is cured, because you’ve got more than 100 MILLION people in a military quarantine, and it’s kinda obvious that the disease is anything but cured. But you want to show progress in Winning the War ™. So maybe you come up with a rough formula that goes something like this …


Yesterday we told everyone that 500 people have died since the outbreak. That’s a made-up number, of course, but that’s what we told everyone. Today let’s tell everyone that an additional 15% of that number died yesterday, so 75 new deaths for 575 total dead. And tomorrow let’s tell everyone that 14% of that total number died, and the day after 13%, and then 12% and then 11%. Clear progress! Got it, my loyal cadres?

This way, the absolute numbers can rise, while the percentages fall.

 

Body Count (Ben Hunt)

The daily body count of killed and wounded North Vietnamese soldiers was, in Epsilon Theory-speak, a cartoon – an abstraction of an abstraction in service to the creation of Common Knowledge. Hey, everyone knows that everyone knows that we’re winning the war in Vietnam. Didn’t you see the body count numbers on CBS last night? Once you start looking for cartoons, you will see them everywhere. Inflation numbers? Cartoon. Employment data? Cartoon. Asset allocation? Electoral coverage? Financial journalism? Cartoon, cartoon, cartoon. And yes, we write a lot about cartoons. But this is the kicker.


Because it was so important to maintain the fiction that we were Winning the War ™, and that fiction required metrics like a body count of North Vietnamese that was always a multiple of the South Vietnamese casualties and always a factor of the American casualties, American war-fighting policy was soon driven by the narrative requirement to find and count the “right number” of North Vietnamese casualties! These were the infamous search-and-destroy missions of the Vietnam War. This is The Maw in action. Do a little research on search-and-destroy. Read about My Lai and Son Thang. Read Matterhorn. And then take a fresh look at the coronavirus stats coming out of China. Here’s the core post in a reddit thread that’s Matterhorn-esque in its truth (and a heck of a lot shorter to read).

 

 

The point of this quadratic regression on Chinese infection and death numbers as reported by the World Health Organization from the first official announcement through February 4 was the publication of this projection.

 

 

Sure enough, the WHO announcements since this prediction was published have been eerily close.
• 2/5 — 24,363 cases — 491 fatalities
• 2/6 — 28,060 cases — 564 fatalities
• 2/7 — 31,211 cases — 637 fatalities
• 2/8 — 34,598 cases — 723 fatalities
• 2/9 — 37,251 cases — 812 fatalities
• 2/10 — 40,171 cases — 908 fatalities


Crazy, right? The deaths being reported out of China are particularly accurate to the model, while the reported cases are leveling off (which is what you’d expect from a politically adjusted epidemic model over time … at some point you have to show a rate-of-change improvement from your epidemic control measures). But wait, there’s more. The really damning part of Antimonic’s modeling of the reported data with a quadratic formula is that this should be impossible. This is not how epidemics work. All epidemics take the form of an exponential function, not a quadratic function.

 

 

All epidemics – before they are brought under control – take the form of a green line, an exponential function of some sort. It is impossible for them to take the form of a blue line, a quadratic formula of some sort. This is what the R-0 metric of basic reproduction rate means, and if – as the WHO has been telling us from the outset – the nCov2019 R-0 is >2, then the propagation rate must be described by a pretty steep exponential curve. As the kids would say, it’s just math.

Read more …

Today according to “official” numbers we have 43,103 cases and 1,018 fatalities, which is up 108 from yesterday’s 910. What’s that, 10.5%? Close enough for discomfort.

And we now have a whole new way to interpret the offical numbers.

 

 

 

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