Jun 162021
 
 June 16, 2021  Posted by at 12:54 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  11 Responses »


Nikolay Dubovsky Became Silent 1890

 

 

Ivan Illich (1926-2002) was a Austrian priest and philosopher who used the term “institutionalization” to describe what happens in several fields of knowledge, when these fields are monopolized by a subset of that knowledge. For instance, he saw schools and universities claim a monopoly on education, and doctors and hospitals (medicine) claim a monopoly on health care.

This is both utter nonsense and at the same time widely accepted. In reality, your education comes from everywhere around you, family, friends etc., and schools can merely add a layer to it. While medicine is sick care, not health care: it fails almost entirely in preventing your health from deteriorating (see the food most people eat) and focuses only on “curing” you once you’re already sick. Case in point: covid patients are left to their own “devices”, and no prophylactics are used until it’s time for a respirator. It’s a dangerous monopoly. But people accept it as some god-given truth.

Someone linked to a 2020 piece on Illich recently by David Cayley -see below-, and though it’s good -albeit very long- I think we can do better than that, in light of what Illich’s words mean in our current predicament. Illich said the monopoly claims in various fields would lead to “counterproductivity”, aka diminishing returns, indicating that at some point not only do additional steps no longer lead to progress, they cause regression.

This is very much what we see today when people like Anthony Fauci, politicians across the globe, Big Pharma, the MSM, talk about “The Science”, and don’t you dare question it, because they have the monopoly on it. There is one truth only, and it consists of facemasks, lockdowns and very poorly tested vaccines, and anyone questioning that is a danger to the entirety of mankind.

The reality is we can’t afford not to ask questions, and we can’t afford to stifle questions and dissent. We need every voice. The efficacy of masks and lockdowns is shaky at best, look around you, and so is the efficacy of the vaccines, while the latter raise many new questions about blood clots, heart inflammation, spike proteins accumulating in ovaries and testes etc etc. We’d be crazy not to ask questions.

 

In terms of Illich terminology, the concept of “The Science”, which cannot be questioned, means we have reached institutionalization on steroids, runaway institutionalization. And given the variety of severe adverse reactions to the vaccines, including 1000s of deaths, we also appear to have reached diminishing returns on steroids; in children, for instance, the vaccines appear much more dangerous than the virus they are supposed to fight.

While at the same time, “The Science” monopoly rejects any and all other approaches, vitamin D, ivermectin, HCQ etc. They do that because there are still laws and protocols in place that date from before “The Science”, and spell out procedures that have to be followed to get a novel approach, or drug, approved or even authorized. One of which is that if there is any other effective method for the purpose the vaccines are developed for, there can be no approval.

And that leads to regression in medicine. It also leads to media bans, scientists who are “cancelled”, the works. There is no logical reason to ban certain medicines, and use only certain -new- others. Well, other than money, that is. It would better for mankind to try everything we can, but not for The Science, which revels in its monopoly. And Ivan Illich saw all that coming.

 

Meanwhile, the list of very competent medical professionals who are getting banned, deleted, ostracized, keeps growing. There’s Kary Mullis, the inventor of the PCR test, who said before his death in 2019 that it was unfit for the purpose it’s presently used for. There’s Robert Malone, one of the inventors of mRNA vaccines, who’s very critical of how these are used today and recently said: “What happens to confidence in public health and USG if ivermectin turns out to be safe and effective for COVID, and the genetic vaccines turn out to have significant safety issues? This looks like a very plausible scenario from where I sit.”

Then we have former Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Michael Yeadon, who said about mRNA vaccines: “There is something very, very bad happening and if you don’t pay attention, you will soon lose any chance to do anything about it. And don’t say you weren’t warned.” as well as “I’d pay a vaccinated person to shop for me before getting vaccinated myself.” We have Nobel Prize virologist Luc Montagnier, we have Roger Hodkinson, and of course FLCCC member Pierre Kory, a fierce advocate for ivermectin. And Peter McCullough:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1404716387247996928

Take all of them together, and I’m sure I forget a few, and you start to realize how insane it is that these people are banned from the discussions and policy decisions. All that expertise that is discarded in favor of a few opinions, it can not be a positive thing. And it’s not science, either: science requires constant questioning and discussion. Yeadon: “There is something very, very bad happening and if you don’t pay attention, you will soon lose any chance to do anything about it.”

 

Here’s from David Cayley’s April 2020 piece on Ivan Illich:

Questions About the Current Pandemic From the Point of View of Ivan Illich

At the beginning of his 1973 book Tools of Conviviality, Illich described what he thought was the typical course of development followed by contemporary institutions, using medicine as his example. Medicine, he said, had gone through “two watersheds.” The first had been crossed in the early years of the 20th century when medical treatments became demonstrably effective and benefits generally began to exceed harms. For many medical historians this is the only relevant marker – from this point on progress will proceed indefinitely, and, though there may be diminishing returns, there will be no point, in principle, at which progress will stop. This was not the case for Illich. He hypothesized a second watershed, which he thought was already being crossed and even exceeded around the time he was writing.

Beyond this second watershed, he supposed, what he called counterproductivity would set in – medical intervention would begin to defeat its own objects, generating more harm than good. This, he argued, was characteristic of any institution, good or service – a point could be identified at which there was enough of it and, after which, there would be too much. Tools for Conviviality, was an attempt to identify these “natural scales” – the only such general and programmatic search for a philosophy of technology that Illich undertook.

Two years later in Medical Nemesis – later renamed, in its final and most comprehensive edition, Limits to Medicine – Illich tried to lay out in detail the goods and the harms that medicine does. He was generally favourable to the large-scale innovations in public health that have given us good food, safe water, clean air, sewage disposal etc. He also praised efforts then underway in China and Chile to establish a basic medical toolkit and pharmacopeia that would be available and affordable for all citizens, rather than allowing medicine to develop luxury goods that would remain forever out of reach of the majority.

But the main point of his book was to identify and describe the counterproductive effects that he felt were becoming evident as medicine crossed its second watershed. He spoke of these fall-outs from too much medicine as iatrogenesis, and addressed them under three headings: clinical, social and cultural. The first everyone, by now, understands – you get the wrong diagnosis, the wrong drug, the wrong operation, you get sick in hospital etc. This collateral damage is not trivial. An article in the Canadian magazine The Walrus – Rachel Giese, “The Errors of Their Ways, April 2012 – estimated 7.5% of the Canadians admitted to hospitals every year suffer at least one “adverse event” and 24,000 die as a result of medical mistakes. Around the same time, Ralph Nader, writing in Harper’s Magazine, suggested that the number of people in the United States who die annually as a result of preventable medical errors is around 400,000. This is an impressive number, even if exaggerated – Nader’s estimate is twice as high per capita as The Walrus’s – but this accidental harm was not, by any means, Illich’s focus.

What really concerned him was the way in which excessive medical treatment weakens basic social and cultural aptitudes. An instance of what he called social iatrogenesis is the way in which the art of medicine, in which the physician acts as healer, witness, and counsellor, tends to give way to the science of medicine, in which the doctor, as a scientist, must, by definition, treat his or her patient as an experimental subject and not as a unique case. And, finally, there was the ultimate injury that medicine inflicts: cultural iatrogenesis. This occurs, Illich said, when cultural abilities, built up and passed on over many generations, are first undermined and then, gradually, replaced altogether. These abilities include, above all, the willingness to suffer and bear one’s own reality, and the capacity to die one’s own death.

The art of suffering was being overshadowed, he argued, by the expectation that all suffering can and should be immediately relieved – an attitude which doesn’t, in fact, end suffering but rather renders it meaningless, making it merely an anomaly or technical miscarriage. And death, finally, was being transformed from an intimate, personal act – something each one can do – into a meaningless defeat – a mere cessation of treatment or “pulling the plug,” as is sometimes heartlessly said. Behind Illich’s arguments lay a traditional Christian attitude. He affirmed that suffering and death are inherent in the human condition – they are part of what defines this condition. And he argued that the loss of this condition would involve a catastrophic rupture both with our past and with our own creatureliness. To mitigate and ameliorate the human condition was good, he said. To lose it altogether was a catastrophe because we can only know God as creatures – i.e. created or given beings – not as gods who have taken charge of our own destiny.

Medical Nemesis is a book about professional power – a point on which it’s worth dwelling for a moment in view of the extraordinary powers that are currently being asserted in the name of public health. According to Illich, contemporary medicine, at all times, exercises political power, though this character may be hidden by the claim that all that is being asserted is care. In the province of Ontario where I live, “health care” currently gobbles up more than 40% of the government’s budget, which should make the point clearly enough. But this everyday power, great as it is, can be further expanded by what Illich calls “the ritualization of crisis.” This confers on medicine “a license that usually only the military can claim.” He continues:

Under the stress of crisis, the professional who is believed to be in command can easily presume immunity from the ordinary rules of justice and decency. He who is assigned control over death ceases to be an ordinary human…Because they form a charmed borderland not quite of this world, the time-span and the community space claimed by the medical enterprise are as sacred as their religious and military counterparts. In a footnote to this passage Illich adds that “he who successfully claims power in an emergency suspends and can destroy rational evaluation. The insistence of the physician on his exclusive capacity to evaluate and solve individual crises moves him symbolically into the neighborhood of the White House.” There is a striking parallel here with the German jurist Carl Schmitt’s claim in his Political Theology that the hallmark of true sovereignty is the power to “decide on the exception.”

Schmitt’s point is that sovereignty stands above law because in an emergency the sovereign can suspend the law – declare an exception – and rule in its place as the very source of law. This is precisely the power that Illich says the physician “claims…in an emergency.” Exceptional circumstances make him/her “immune” to the “ordinary rules” and able to make new ones as the case dictates. But there is an interesting and, to me, telling difference between Schmitt and Illich. Schmitt is transfixed by what he calls “the political.” Illich notices that much of what Schmitt calls sovereignty has escaped, or been usurped from the political realm and reinvested in various professional hegemonies.

 

 

 

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Jun 042021
 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder Dulle Griet, also known as Mad Meg 1563

 

Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins (Vanity Fair)
How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media (NW)
Fauci Kept Funding Daszak’s Experiments after Trump Canceled Grant (NF)
Fauci Defends China, Doubles Down On Animal Origins Of Covid (DM)
Ex-CDC Director Threatened For Saying Covid-19 Likely Originated In A Lab (DM)
Where’s The Tar and Feathers? (Denninger)
Covid-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point In US Since Pandemic Began (Axios)
EU Purchases Its First Monoclonal Antibodies Cocktail For Covid-19 (RT)
The Netherlands Used Children As A Weapon In The Fight Against Corona (AD)
Delhi Reports Over 1,000 Cases Of ‘Black Fungus’ Amid Shortage Of Drugs (RT)
Nord Stream 2 To Cost Kiev $3 Billion In Transit Fees A Year – Zelensky (RT)
Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets (ZH)

 

 

When both Vanity Fair and Newsweek come out with in-depth articles about the very same topic (in this case how the DRASTIC group reported the lab leak theory), at the very same moment, that makes me nervous.

What also makes me nervous is the one-dimensional attention for Fauci. Much as I dislike the man, it starts to feel as if others are hiding behind him.

 

 

“Ivermectin is an off-patent drug that is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, and we know it is able to reduce Covid-19 symptoms at any stage of the disease by about 90%, so there is no need for vaccines.”

– Michael Yeadon, former CSO of Pfizer

 

 

 

Kory

 

 

“The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users..”

Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins (Vanity Fair)

The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users, who began sharing their suspicions as early as January 2020. Then, in February, a research paper coauthored by two Chinese scientists, based at separate Wuhan universities, appeared online as a preprint. It tackled a fundamental question: How did a novel bat coronavirus get to a major metropolis of 11 million people in central China, in the dead of winter when most bats were hibernating, and turn a market where bats weren’t sold into the epicenter of an outbreak? The paper offered an answer: “We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus.”

The first was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which sat just 280 meters from the Huanan market and had been known to collect hundreds of bat samples. The second, the researchers wrote, was the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The paper came to a staggeringly blunt conclusion about COVID-19: “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan…. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.” Almost as soon as the paper appeared on the internet, it disappeared, but not before U.S. government officials took note.

By then, Matthew Pottinger had approved a COVID-19 origins team, run by the NSC directorate that oversaw issues related to weapons of mass destruction. A longtime Asia expert and former journalist, Pottinger purposefully kept the team small, because there were so many people within the government “wholly discounting the possibility of a lab leak, who were predisposed that it was impossible,” said Pottinger. In addition, many leading experts had either received or approved funding for gain-of-function research. Their “conflicted” status, said Pottinger, “played a profound role in muddying the waters and contaminating the shot at having an impartial inquiry.”

Read more …

The bat lady returns.

How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media (NW)

If there is a moment when the DRASTIC team coalesced into something more than its disparate parts, it would be this thread. In real time, for all the world to see, they worked through the data, tested various hypotheses, corrected each other, and scored some direct hits. The key facts quickly came together. The genetic sequence for RaTG13 perfectly matched a small piece of genetic code posted as part of a paper written by Shi Zhengli years earlier, but never mentioned again. The code came from a virus the WIV had found in a Yunnan bat. Connecting key details in the two papers with old news stories, the DRASTIC team determined that RaTG13 had come from a mineshaft in Mojiang County, in Yunnan Province, where six men shoveling bat guano in 2012 had developed pneumonia. Three of them died.

DRASTIC wondered if that event marked the first cases of human beings being infected with a precursor of SARS-CoV-2—perhaps RaTG13 or something like it. In a profile in Scientific American, Shi Zhengli acknowledged working in a mineshaft in Mojiang County where miners had died. But she avoided connecting it to RaTG13 (an omission she had made in her scientific papers as well), claiming that a fungus in the cave had killed the miners.

[..] One of those scientists was Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard who recognized the value of the information DRASTIC was producing and began to interpret it for scientists and nonscientists alike in crisp explainers on Twitter that made her a star science communicator. Chan acknowledged the group’s accomplishments in a long thread on Twitter. “Without the work done by the DRASTIC team, I don’t really know where we would be today with the origins of covid-19,” she wrote, adding, “The work of these outsiders…has had a measurable impact on the scientific discourse.” That scientific discourse jumped tracks on January 6, 2021, when the University of Washington virologist Jesse Bloom, one of the country’s most respected COVID-19 researchers, became the first major scientific figure to publicly legitimize DRASTIC’s contributions.

“Yes, I follow the work,” he tweeted, sending tremors through the scientific establishment. “I don’t agree [with] all of it, but some parts seem important & correct.” Bloom singled out Mona Rahalkar’s paper on the Mojiang mine, then added that in the early days of the pandemic, “I thought lab escape very unlikely. Based on subsequent work, I now say quite plausible.” Other scientists pressured Bloom to reconsider, but he held his ground, and the wall of silence began to crumble. In May, 17 scientists from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, and other leading institutions, including Chan, joined Bloom in a letter in Science calling for a thorough investigation of the Wuhan lab. On nearly the same day, The Seeker struck again. Visiting a database hosted by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, he searched for all theses supervised by Shi Zhengli. Boom. Three hits. “I got it on my first try,” he says. “Not sure why no one else thought of this before, but I guess no one was looking.”

If there had been any remaining doubt about the WIV’s pattern of deception, these new theses put it to rest. They indicated that the WIV researchers had never believed a fungus had killed the Mojiang miners, contradicting Shi’s remarks in Scientific American and elsewhere. In fact, WIV researchers had been so concerned about a new SARS-like outbreak that they’d tested the blood of neighboring villagers for other cases. And they had known the genetic sequences for the eight other SARS-like viruses from the mine—which could have helped researchers to understand more about SARS-CoV-2 in the early days —long before the pandemic started, and had kept the information to themselves, until DRASTIC called them out.

Read more …

THIS should be investigated. Fauci as a state within a state.

Fauci Kept Funding Daszak’s Experiments after Trump Canceled Grant (NF)

Peter Daszak, who studied controversial “gain of function” experiments on coronavirus elements in Wuhan, received $7.5 million from Anthony Fauci after Trump cancelled his grant. Last April, reports emerged that the EcoHealth Alliance, an organization run by one Peter Daszak, was involved in funding and collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were examining coronaviruses extremely similar to the one behind the COVID-19 outbreak, and allegedly engaging in “gain of function” research relating to them. In an April 17th press conference, President Trump confirmed that a grant worth around $3.7 million since 2015 given to Daszak’s group by the National Institute for Health would be ended “very quickly” following the reports.

Only one week later on April 24th, all future funding for the EHA was cut, and they were ordered to stop spending the $369,819 remaining from its 2020 grant. “At this time, NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities,” Michael Lauer, the agency’s deputy director for extramural research, wrote in a letter to EcoHealth Alliance officials. From within the treasure trove of 3,200 pages of emails obtained from Anthony Fauci, one email can be found from Daszak, who thanked Fauci for dismissing the lab leak theory as being simply conspiratorial the day after President Trump announced the funding would be cut.

[..] Only a few months later in August, Fauci, who along with being put in charge of America’s response to COVID-19, is the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the NIH, helped confirm that Daszak’s organization would receive a new grant of $7.5 million to study coronaviruses as part of a new network. The CREID network, which contains 11 institutions including the EHA, “coincidentally” will continue to study the emergence of coronaviruses in Southeast Asia. Fauci said that the network will help “enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses,” while Daszak boasted that they will be working in rural hospitals, according to a statement, “in remote parts of Malaysia and Thailand to get to the front line of where the next pandemic is going to start.”

Video of Anthony Fauci announcing “NIH Lifts Funding Pause on Gain-Of-Function Research” at a NIAID Advisory Council meeting on January 29, 2018.

Read more …

That train has passed.

Fauci Defends China, Doubles Down On Animal Origins Of Covid (DM)

Dr. Anthony Fauci doubled down on claims that the coronavirus likely originated from an animal then was transmitted to humans in a Thursday morning interview on CNN, despite increasing speculation that it leaked from a China lab. Fauci, who served under former President Trump and President Joe Biden, continues to fight the idea that he downplayed theories that the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a trove of emails exchange at the beginning of the pandemic revealed he was warned about a potential lab leak. ‘I have always said and will say today to you … that I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human,’ Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday on CNN.

Although he said he’s keeping an open mind about the possibility of a lab leak, Fauci said it was ‘far-fetched’ to think the Chinese would kill their own people. ‘The idea, I think, is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out.’ In a separate Thursday morning interview on MSNBC, Fauci said they want to definitively find the cause of the coronavirus pandemic – whatever that origin is – but pointing the finger at China isn’t going to help. ‘It’s in China’s interest to find out exactly what it is,’ Fauci said. ‘Obviously, you want openness and cooperation. One of the ways to get it is not to be accusatory. Try to get a forensic, scientific and investigational approach. I think the accusatory part about it is only going to make (China) pull back more.’

Fauci was asked during the MSNBC interview if he thought it was in China’s best interest to hide information if the origin was a lab leak or if it was designing a weapon. He sidestepped, saying no matter what he says, ‘it will be taken completely out of context,’ which he said has already happened after more than 3,200 of his emails from January to June 2020 were obtained and published by Buzzfeed on Tuesday. The emails showed leading virus experts warned him COVID-19 may have been created in a lab while he publicly played such claims down.

GoF

Read more …

“The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists..”

Ex-CDC Director Threatened For Saying Covid-19 Likely Originated In A Lab (DM)

The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists after he said during a TV interview that he believed COVID-19 originated in a lab, according to an interview released Thursday. Robert Redfield, who served as the CDC director under Donald Trump when the pandemic began, told CNN on March 26 that he thought the most likely ‘etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory – you know, escaped.’ He said he wasn’t insinuating that there was ill intent, but that was his opinion. After that 10-second sound bite, he told Vanity Fair he was ‘threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis.’ At the time, the Wuhan lab leak was widely considered a ‘fringe theory’ at best, in favor of transmission from an animal to a human.

The Vanity Fair article said ‘death threats flooded his inbox’ from strangers who said he was being racist to prominent scientists, even some he considered friends. One told him to ‘wither and die,’ Vanity Fair reported. ‘I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science,’ Redfield said. Stephen Goldstein, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Utah, wrote an opinion piece on Webpagetoday on April 5 shooting down Redfield’s assertions on CNN. ‘Questions are undoubtedly going to persist about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 until, and if, a definitive answer is uncovered (and perhaps beyond),’ Goldstein wrote. ‘Until then, it’s imperative that leaders in science, public health, and government continue to call for rigorous study and stick to the science of viral evolution and viral ecology in their public commentary. ‘One of the fundamental principles of a life in science is to admit what you don’t know, and never be afraid to look it up. That’s where Redfield falls short, unfortunately on a big stage.’

[..] The magazine outlined the first moments Redfield heard about a mysterious new pneumonia affecting people in a Wuhan market from Dr. George Fu Gao, head of the Chinese CDC, on January 3, 2020. Redfield told Vanity Fair that he thought it was odd that family clusters were getting sick, and Gao later told Redfield that many cases had nothing to do with the market. That’s when it became apparent the virus was jumping from person to person, and Redfield told Vanity Fair he immediately thought of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He wanted to send researchers to the facility to rule it out, but the Chinese didn’t allow it, Vanity Fair reported. ‘A team could rule it out as a source of the outbreak in just a few weeks, by testing researchers there for antibodies,’ according to Vanity Fair.

Read more …

“All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die..”

Where’s The Tar and Feathers? (Denninger)

The so-called “MSM” isn’t even debating these parts of the email dump — they’re playing Ostrich instead, hoping they can bury it by “touting” all the “pressure” that was seen in the trove while ignoring that the archive damns not one man but entire professions including the vaccine/pharma connection. Yes, there is even evidence that the intentional refusal to look at and use existing drugs and the “decision” on how they were going to deal with this goes back that far, before the first American died. Bluntly put these people didn’t just ignore the evidence that accumulated by the summer months they literally ignored it all the way back to the start and thus it can be reasonably argued they are personally responsible for all of the deaths. If you want to know how you generate international hysteria you don’t need some cabal pulling a puppet string.

All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die with nothing they can do about it, and if it gets pinned on them as it should since they caused it every one of them deserves to be swinging from a rope. Oh, incidentally, Fauci also knew that masks in the general population were worthless. He pointed this out directly; that the virus was too small and would go right though it. His own words folks, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out but cannot say as “it’s against the consensus of experts”, according to Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, without being de-monetized, having videos pulled and risking being banhammered.

Now we know factually that Fauci stated this himself, so now the media and other “tech companies” are enforcing a position that the so-called “expert” generated with an intentional lie and they’ve maintained and forced that intentional lie for a year and are continuing to do so to this day. Now you know how the hysteria, cover-ups and outright lying happened. Now contaminate that with pharma money and you get what we’re doing now.

Read more …

This reads like a vaccine ad. “..the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines.”

But remember this graph, and remember they refused to use HCQ and ivermectin.

Covid-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point In US Since Pandemic Began (Axios)

The U.S. has brought new coronavirus infections down to the lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic began. Nearly every week for the past 56 weeks, Axios has tracked the change — more often than not, the increase — in new COVID-19 infections. Those case counts are now so low, the virus is so well contained, that this will be our final weekly map. The U.S. averaged roughly 16,500 new cases per day over the past week, a 30% improvement over the week before. New cases declined in 43 states and held steady in the other seven. The official case counts haven’t been this low since Americans went into lockdown in March last year — when the pandemic was still new, no one knew how long this would go on, and inadequate testing meant that cases were undercounted.

Overall, roughly 33 million Americans — about 10% of the population — have tested positive for COVID-19. About 595,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S., making it deadlier for Americans than the past 80 years of wars and other armed military conflicts combined, including World War II. The U.S. largely failed to contain the virus until the vaccines arrived. Cities and businesses began shutting down last March. From there, the virus rolled into a second wave last summer, when cases climbed to over 65,000 per day, on average, and hospitals in many parts of the country said they were overwhelmed. That failure was then eclipsed in the winter, when hundreds of thousands of people per day were contracting the virus and deaths climbed over 3,000 per day for about a month.

But now, the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines. Just over half of American adults are now fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Cases and deaths are still soaring around the world, especially in the developing world, and the Biden administration is facing consistently mounting pressure to export more vaccines, now that the U.S. has contained the virus. The U.S. was never able to control the virus without vaccines, and it still can’t. The risk is still about as high as it’s ever been for unvaccinated people, as the Washington Post recently reported. An average of about 500 Americans per day are still dying from COVID-19, almost all of them unvaccinated.

There will still be some localized outbreaks in the U.S., especially in areas where relatively few people are vaccinated. But they will likely be small, and vaccinated people will be protected. Over time, the immunity from vaccines will likely wane, which, together with new variants of the virus, will likely require booster shots to stay ahead of another outbreak. For now, though, the U.S. has finally gotten the virus down to a level that just about every expert agrees is safe. Fewer than 20,000 cases per day, spread across the U.S. population of 331.5 million people, is a relatively low number of cases, and that number continues to improve across the board.

Read more …

Why not simply get ivermectin? Too cheap?

EU Purchases Its First Monoclonal Antibodies Cocktail For Covid-19 (RT)

The European Union has announced the purchase of 55,000 doses of the Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 drug, marking its first foray into potential treatments involving a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies. The EU announced it secured the shipment of the doses on Wednesday, as the bloc seeks to expand its portfolio of drugs and explores potentially promising treatments that can help in the fight against the virus. The deal was agreed earlier this year but the details were only confirmed on Thursday by an EU spokesperson, who said 55,000 doses of the single-shot treatment had been purchased. Roche stated that the company’s contract will cover 37 countries in Europe, including the UK and other non-EU nations. The cost of the shipment has not been made public by the EU or the pharmaceutical companies.


While the deal agreed between the companies and the EU is for the drug’s infusion version, there is also a shot that has been tested and developed. The Roche-Regeneron treatment is still awaiting formal approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before the shipment is dispatched, with formal authorization expected between August and October 2021. The EMA is currently in the process of conducting a rolling review of preliminary data. The Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 treatment has already been granted emergency US approval for patients with mild to moderate symptoms, with Washington ordering 1.5 million doses. The monoclonal antibodies treatment seeks to replicate or boost the body’s natural immune response, helping to support Covid-19 patients who are at high risk of developing severe disease.

Read more …

Google translate. Holland closed schools not to protect children, but to make parents stay home. Think about how crazy that is.

The Netherlands Used Children As A Weapon In The Fight Against Corona (AD)

Due to the Dutch corona policy to close schools and thus keep parents at home, children have been used as a means to fight the epidemic. Our cabinet receives that hard slap on the fingers today in the annual worldwide children’s rights report, the KidsRights Index. According to the makers, the Netherlands has set a very bad example internationally, by not even trying to keep schools open safely. With all the consequences that entails for the mental health of our youth. The corona guidelines from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have also been neglected. Youth has not been given any priority in Dutch policy, it sounds.

Statements by corona minister Hugo de Jonge, dated mid-December 2020, are presented as proof. Then De Jonge indeed mentioned on television as the reason why the cabinet decided to close the schools, that parents with children sitting at home will therefore start working from home more quickly. When parents take their children to school, that is another moment of contact, De Jonge explained at the time. “And we also learned from the first wave, when the schools were also closed, that the fact that primary education does not provide physical education also ensures that parents adhere better to another advice, namely: work from home as much as possible. ”, said the minister at the time.

“Children’s rights have been put in second place by the cabinet during corona time,” Marc Dullaert, founder of the international children’s rights organization KidsRights, now told this site. “They were the ankle bracelet for parents. These had to be kept at home in order to effectively fight the epidemic. At the expense of their mental health.” In the first phase, when everyone was looking for the right approach, this was understandable according to Dullaert. ,,But De Jonge’s statements came at a time when it was really no longer acceptable, in the second phase. And other countries – such as Belgium and Sweden – have done everything they can to keep the schools open, so there were alternatives on the table.”

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“..it has a fatality rate of around 54%..”

Delhi Reports Over 1,000 Cases Of ‘Black Fungus’ Amid Shortage Of Drugs (RT)

The number of cases of so-called black fungus, or mucormycosis, has almost doubled in Delhi over the past seven days, reaching 1,044 infections, the local health minister has said. The disease has particularly affected India’s Covid patients. A further 440 people have been diagnosed in the city since last week, when the number of afflicted patients stood at 600. Health minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday that 89 people had succumbed to the disease in Delhi to date, while 92 others had recovered. The shortage of drugs to treat mucormycosis still remained a problem for the city of 29 million, the minister added. Cases of black fungus have been on the rise in India during the harsh second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.


As of May 25, the country saw 11,700 infections, which prompted several states to declare mucormycosis an epidemic. It also soon became clear that the health authorities didn’t have sufficient quantities of the antifungal drug Amphotericin B for the number of patients. Capitalizing on the weakened immune system in Covid sufferers, the fungi most commonly enter the human body through the nose and mouth before spreading to the lungs, heart, or brain. Its symptoms include facial swelling and black lesions – hence its name – and it has a fatality rate of around 54%. The spike in black fungus incidences among Indian coronavirus patients has been largely linked to the steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed during their treatment for Covid-19.

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The US did this to Ukraine.

Nord Stream 2 To Cost Kiev $3 Billion In Transit Fees A Year – Zelensky (RT)

The completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 project will deprive Ukraine of about $3 billion annually, with the country’s pipelines no longer necessary for the transportation of Russian gas to Western Europe. That’s according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who told a delegation from the US Congress that America should do what it can to prevent Nord Stream 2 from being completed. Once finished, the pipeline will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea. It aims to protect Berlin’s energy security and make the process less reliant on third countries transiting gas, thereby lowering the price. As things stand, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, around 100km remains to be completed, which should be achieved by the end of 2021.


“Only the United States and the administration of President Joe Biden can prevent the completion and commissioning of Nord Stream 2,” Zelensky explained. “Nord Stream 2 will disconnect Ukraine from gas supplies, which means ‘disconnecting’ us from at least $3 billion a year… We will have nothing to pay for the Ukrainian Army.” According to the Ukrainian leader, without this money, the country will no longer have a “powerful and well-supplied army” to continue “defending Europe and European values.” The construction of Nord Stream 2 has been significantly hindered by US sanctions, with Washington imposing numerous packages of measures against companies involved in the building, maintenance, insurance, and certification of the project. The American authorities have claimed that its completion would “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.” However, some have accused the Americans of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of liquefied natural gas to the continent.

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They’ll move into gold.

Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets (ZH)

Following a series of corporate cyberattacks that American intelligence agencies have blamed on Russian actors, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (officially the National Wellbeing Fund) has decided to dump all of its dollars and dollar-denominated assets in favor of those denominated in euros, yuan – or simply buying precious metals like gold, which Russia’s central bank has increasingly favored for its own reserves. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov made the announcement Thursday morning at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “We can make this change rather quickly, within a month,” Siluanov told reporters Thursday.

He explained that the Kremlin is moving to reduce exposure to US assets as President Biden threatens more economic sanctions against Russia following the latest ransomware attacks. The transfer will affect $119 billion in liquid assets, Bloomberg reported, but the sales will largely be executed through the Russian Central bank and its massive reserves, limiting the market impact and reducing visibility on what exactly the sovereign wealth fund will be buying. “The central bank can make these changes to the Wellbeing Fund without resorting to market operations,” said Sofya Donets, economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. “This in some sense a technical thing.”

Jordan Rochester, currency strategist at Nomura International PLC, said, “This is a transfer of euros from the central bank to the wealth fund, we’ll then see the central bank the holder of the USDs and it’s up to them to manage it. No initial market impact.” The news isn’t a complete surprise: The Bank of Russia, Russia’s central bank, has steadily reduced its dollar holdings over the last few years amid increasing sanctions pressure from the US and Europe. That trend continued through President Trump’s term. Just a few days ago, we reported that the Russian parliament had just authorized the sovereign wealth fund to buy gold through the central bank. However, the central bank reports its holdings with a six-month lag, making it impossible to determine its current holdings.

Read more …

 

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Brilliant Ali on how he wants to be remembered.

 

 


The red train, Landwasserviadukt, Switzerland. Drone photo by Sebastianmzh

 

 

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May 232021
 
 May 23, 2021  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


Edvard Munch Separation 1894

 

160+ Experts Slam Covid Vaccines As ‘Unnecessary, Ineffective And Unsafe’ (LSN)
Second And Last Reply To M. Yeadon (Van Den Bossche)
The Danger Of Claimed ‘Statistics’ (Denninger)
Daily US Covid Cases Lowest In A Year, Pandemic Worsens In Latin America (F.)
No 10 ‘Tried To Block’ Data On Spread Of New Covid Variant In UK Schools (O.)
Fauci Faces Drop In Confidence From 40% Of Americans Over Past Year (RT)
The Disintegrated States Of America (Escobar)
The New “Rush Hour” (ZH)
Lithuania Pulls Out Of China’s 17+1 Bloc In Eastern Europe (Pol.eu)

 

 

Yeadon

 

 

Michael Yeadon’s group.

160+ Experts Slam Covid Vaccines As ‘Unnecessary, Ineffective And Unsafe’ (LSN)

In their letter earlier this month, Doctors for COVID-19 Ethics emphasized serious health implications of the vaccines for both the healthy and ill, saying that the shots “are not safe, either for recipients or for those who use them or authorize their use.” They pointed to risks of “lethal and non-lethal disruptions of blood clotting including bleeding disorders, thrombosis in the brain, stroke and heart attack,” “antibody-dependent enhancement of disease,” autoimmune reactions, and potential effects of “vaccine impurities due to rushed manufacturing and unregulated production standards.”

“Contrary to claims that blood disorders post-vaccination are ‘rare’, many common vaccine side effects (headaches, nausea, vomiting and hematoma-like ‘rashes’ over the body) may indicate thrombosis and other severe abnormalities,” the experts said. “Clotting events currently receiving media attention are likely just the ‘tip of a huge iceberg.’” “Due to immunological priming, risks of clotting, bleeding and other adverse events can be expected to increase with each re-vaccination and each intervening coronavirus exposure,” Doctors for COVID-19 Ethics added. “Over time, whether months or years, this renders both vaccination and coronaviruses dangerous to young and healthy age groups, for whom without vaccination COVID-19 poses no substantive risk,” they argued.

“Just as smoking could be and was predicted to cause lung cancer based on first principles, all gene-based vaccines can be expected to cause blood clotting and bleeding disorders, based on their molecular mechanisms of action,” they said. “Consistent with this, diseases of this kind have been observed across age groups, leading to temporary vaccine suspensions around the world.” “Since vaccine roll-out, COVID-19 incidence has risen in numerous areas with high vaccination rates. Furthermore, multiple series of COVID-19 fatalities have occurred shortly after the onset vaccinations in senior homes,” the doctors said. “These cases may have been due not only to antibody-dependent enhancement but also to a general immunosuppressive effect of the vaccines, which is suggested by the increased occurrence of Herpes zoster in certain patients.”

“Regardless of the exact mechanism responsible for these reported deaths, we must expect that the vaccines will increase rather than decrease lethality of COVID-19,” they continued. The group stressed that the jabs remain technically experimental – a fact that legally precludes mandatory vaccination in many cases: “The vaccines are experimental by definition. They will remain in Phase 3 trials until 2023. Recipients are human subjects entitled to free informed consent under Nuremberg and other protections, including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s resolution 2361 and the FDA’s terms of emergency use authorization.”

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Van Den Bossche has problems with Yeadon. I’m not going to pretend I understand his every word here. But I’d like to know what everybody thinks.

Second And Last Reply To M. Yeadon (Van Den Bossche)

Michael Yeadon’s rhetoric that mass vaccination campaigns do not have the potential to promote circulation of more infectious immune escape variants and that more infectious variants are not problematic are not based on sound immunological grounds at all. This will be my second but last reply to his erroneous and misleading interpretations. I hate to do this since this may leave the public with the opinion that people like me have nothing else to do than to focus on their own ego, although nothing is less true. However, when the most compelling arguments for my warning about the potentially disastrous consequences of mass vaccination are wiped from the table with scientifically hollow and invalid arguments, one has no choice but to react.

Now, more than ever before, criticism is indispensable to build and consolidate a consensus on why mass vaccination campaigns (using the current vaccines in the heat of a pandemic caused by a highly mutable virus) are highly problematic. However, it doesn’t help when people bring to the table arguments that are scientifically incorrect. Yeadon is basically not understanding the difference between viral escape from protection-blocking immunity and viral escape from infection-/ transmission-blocking immunity. His rhetoric about conserved T cell epitopes and long-lived cross-reactive MHC cl I-restricted responses to those, relate to protection against clinical disease but not against infection!

Yeadon doesn’t seem to understand the mechanism of S-directed immune selection, let alone adaptation of variants to conditions of suboptimal, S-directed immune pressure, which become increasingly prevalent upon mass vaccination. I can barely believe that someone who claims to be a skilled expert in immunology doesn’t see the parallel to serial in vitro cell culture passage of a mutable virus in the presence of suboptimal antibody (Ab) concentrations. In case of CoV inoculated on permissive cells, one would incubate the inoculated cell culture in the presence of suboptimal S-specific Abs to place infectious pressure on viral infectiousness. Provided you harvest the viral progeny and use it to repeat this procedure a number of times, you’ll manage to progressively enrich the viral progeny with naturally occurring S variants that have been selected to overcome the immune pressure placed on the S protein and which are, therefore, more infectious in nature.

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“If you’re offered some type of lottery-style prize to do a potentially dangerous thing — run.”

The Danger Of Claimed ‘Statistics’ (Denninger)

Let’s say that a “bad thing” is likely to happen to 50 in 100,000 people, that is, 0.05%. This is quite rare. Let’s say you do something with 30,000 people. You’d expect to see 15 bad things to happen. Well, let’s say you see three bad events. How confident are you that you just reduced the risk by 80%? If your answer is “not very” you’re wise. If you go cheering in the streets you’re stupid. Now might you try that thing that appears to be 80% effective? Sure, provided the risk of it doing something else that’s bad (which you don’t want to have happen) is also vanishingly small. But it’s one thing to try, and other to rely or make public policy based on those numbers. Remember that for any individual you are a trial of one; you’re not a trial of 100,000 or 330,000,000.

That is the roulette-wheel statistical fallacy and every single casino on the planet uses it to entice you to place a bet that in fact has no better or worse odds than the next table down the row! Assuming that there is no cheating going on and the wheel and ball are in fact “fair” (that is, the ball is round and balanced, and all of the spaces on the wheel have the same characteristics) each roll of the ball has exactly the same odds of landing on a given number on the wheel as every other roll of the ball. The distribution of former outcomes on that board is pure random chance and so is the next throw of the ball. So if the odds are in fact 0.05% of the bad thing then whether 10, 100 or 10,000 people all didn’t have it happen — or some did have it happen — prior to you doing it makes no difference whatsoever.

That five blacks all came up in sequence does not make either black or red (or green for that matter) more or less likely on the next throw of the ball. Your throw is a trial of one and so if the true odds are 0.05% then they are irrespective of all the other trials before. In addition be very careful that risks you think are not related are truly unrelated. For example the risk of being killed in a car accident is approximately 1 in 8,000 per year for a person in the United States. But that’s across everyone; your personal risk, if you drive while intoxicated, is likely quite a bit higher. How much higher? Don’t know, but I bet it’s higher. At the same time if you never take your vehicle outside of city limits where the speed limit is 25mph I bet it’s quite a bit lower. Not your risk of smashing the car, mind you, but your risk of dying due to a car smash.

This becomes quite important when we start talking about actions that have inherent risk to try to reduce a related risk. For example let’s say you take a drug for a given condition. The condition is dangerous and could kill you. The drug could kill you too; all drugs have some risk of doing bad things. Be careful assuming the risk of the drug is the same in everyone because it probably isn’t, just as the risk of the condition is probably not the same in everyone too. If the condition is more-dangerous in certain people for some reason and you know it’s more dangerous in you then you need to be extremely careful to find out whether the risks from the drug scale and, if they do, is their scaling more, equal or less than the factors for the condition. The best situation of course is that whatever makes the condition more-dangerous makes the drug less-so, but this is rare. That the two correlate is common, and that the two are uncorrelated is less-common, but certainly possible.

By the same token the reasonable risk from the drug depends greatly on the hazard from not using it, and instead employing all other known and available countermeasures that may exist. This is why companies look for cancer drugs, incidentally — it’s not just the money to be made but also the degree of risk that is acceptable. If you are searching for a drug that treats ordinary headaches it has to be extremely safe because headaches don’t kill people. Therefore the risk of not using the drug is zero and as a result the risk of using the drug has to be extremely small. But if you’re attempting to find a drug that cures pancreatic cancer then a risk of 1 in 100 or even 1 in 50 of the drug killing you outright looks very reasonable since at present pancreatic cancer is almost-always fatal even with the best of existing treatment.

One final point: If you’re offered some type of lottery-style prize to do a potentially dangerous thing — run.

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“In Russia, confirmed cases have fallen to 8,000 from almost 24,000 in early January. In Africa, daily confirmed cases have fallen to under 10,000 from 38,000 in early January.”

Daily US Covid Cases Lowest In A Year, Pandemic Worsens In Latin America (F.)

The seven-day average of new Covid cases in the U.S. fell to 27,815 on Friday, the lowest level since last June, but the pandemic is gathering strength in Latin America, where the number of virus-related deaths has passed 1 million, with almost half of them in Brazil, while the virus is spreading to rural parts of India from urban centers. A report from the Biden Administration released Friday showed that the number of U.S. counties with “high” levels of Covid transmission has been cut in half since mid-April to 694 But the Covid pandemic is worsening in some of the most heavily populated countries in Latin America, which accounted for 31% of global Covid deaths in May, while representing only 8.4% of the global population.

The seven-day moving average of confirmed Covid cases has risen in Brazil to more than 78,000 from about 57,000 in early May, and in Argentina to almost 37,000 from 5,760 in early February, according to Johns Hopkins. In India, the seven-day moving average of confirmed cases has fallen to about 265,000 from 382,000 a week ago, but health officials warn the pandemic has spread to rural areas amid a second wave. The U.S. is currently averaging about 552 Covid-related deaths per day, according to Johns Hopkins data, the lowest level since last July. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projects that the number of daily deaths will fall to under 120 by early September, down sharply from 5,500 in early January.

In South America, only 15% of people have received at least one vaccination dose, versus 28% in Europe, while Asia and Africa have even lower rates of 5% and 1%, respectively, according to the website Our World in Data through May 19. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world reported infection rates are generally declining. Daily new infections in Europe have dropped to about 86,000 from 116,000 in early April, according to the Reuters tracker, while newly reported deaths have plunged to under 2,000 from almost 7,000 in late January. In Russia, confirmed cases have fallen to 8,000 from almost 24,000 in early January. In Africa, daily confirmed cases have fallen to under 10,000 from 38,000 in early January. In East Asia, Japan’s daily confirmed cases have jumped to about 5,250 from 1,530 in mid-March, while in South Korea, confirmed new cases have dropped to about 650 from 840 in early January.

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What a bunch of amateurs.

No 10 ‘Tried To Block’ Data On Spread Of New Covid Variant In UK Schools (O.)

Downing Street leaned on Public Health England not to publish crucial data on the spread of the new Covid variant in schools, documents seen by the Observer have suggested. Scientists, union officials and teachers said that the lack of transparency was “deeply worrying”. The focus of their anger concerns the pre-print of a PHE report that included a page of data on the spread of the India Covid-19 variant in schools. But when the report was published on Thursday 13 May, the page had been removed. It was the only one that had been removed from the pre-print. Days later, the government went ahead with its decision to remove the mandate on face coverings in English schools. Evidence seen by the Observer suggests No 10 was directly involved in the decision not to publish it.


The prime minister’s office acknowledged it was in correspondence with PHE officials about presentation of the data but vigorously denied this constituted “interference” or “pressure”. Data on the spread of the new variant in schools has still not been published, despite calls from union officials and scientists who say teachers and families are being put at risk. In hotspots such as Bolton, cases involving the variant are rising fastest among school-age children. Information seen by the Observer reveals that 164 cases of the new variant were linked to schools up to 12 May, or 13% of a total of 2,111 cases. Since then, the number of total cases of the new variant has risen to 3,424 cases, a rise of 160%. The number of cases now linked to schools is unknown.

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He’s just another politician.

Fauci Faces Drop In Confidence From 40% Of Americans Over Past Year (RT)

A new poll has found that over 40% of Americans have lost confidence in White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci in the past year. When asked whether their confidence in Dr. Fauci has gone up or down over the past year, 42% of respondents said their confidence had either “decreased significantly” or just “decreased.” The past year thrust the infectious disease expert into the national spotlight as he became a leader in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Fauci’s support of lockdown measures and seeming flip-flops on issues like the safety of masking have earned him plenty of critics, however, especially among conservatives, which shows in the poll from Trafalgar Group. Among Republicans, 66% said their confidence in Fauci has waned.


Only 20% of Democrats said they were less confident in the health expert, and 34% even said they now have more confidence in the man. A YouGov and Yahoo News poll released last week reflected similar party-line results, as nearly 80% of Democrat respondents said Fauci was doing an excellent or good job, while less than 20% of Republicans described his job performance as either good or excellent. Over half of Republican respondents (55%) believed Fauci was doing a poor job. In the same poll, over 60% of Republicans said Fauci had actually “hurt” the US during the pandemic. Overall, 46% of participants said the doctor has “helped.”

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Changes. Greatly underappreciated in the West.

The Disintegrated States Of America (Escobar)

Here, Martyanov, in meticulous detail, analyzes the imperial decline thematically – with chapters on Consumption, Geoeconomics, Energy, Losing the Arms Race, among others, composing a devastating indictment especially of toxic D.C. lobbies and the prevailing political mediocrity across the Beltway. What is laid bare for the reader is the complex interplay of forces that are driving the political, ideological, economic, cultural and military American chaos. Chapter 3, on Geoeconomics, is a joy ride. Martyanov shows how geoeconomics as a field separate from warfare and geopolitics is nothing but an obfuscation racket: good old conflict “wrapped in the thin shroud of political sciences’ shallow intellectualism” – the stuff Huntington, Fukuyama and Brzezinski’s dreams are made of.

That is fully developed on Chapter 6, on Western Elites – complete with a scathing debunking of the “myth of Henry Kissinger”: “just another American exceptionalist, mislabeled a ‘realist’”, part of a gang that “is not conditioned to think multi-dimensionally”. After all they’re still not capable of understanding the rationale and the implications of Putin’s 2007 Munich speech that declared the unipolar moment – a crude euphemism for Hegemony – dead and buried. One of Martyanov’s key assessments is that having lost the arms race and every single war it unleashed in the 21st century – as the record shows – geoeconomics is essentially a “euphemism for America’s non-stop sanctions and attempts to sabotage the economies of any nation capable of competing with the United States” (see, for instance, the ongoing Nord Stream 2 saga). This is “the only tool” the US is using trying to halt its decline.

On a chapter on Energy, Martyanov demonstrates how the US shale oil adventure is financially non-viable, and how a rise in oil exports was essentially due to the US “pickin up’ quotas freed chiefly as a result of Russia and Saudi Arabia’s earlier cuts within OPEC + in an attempt to balance the world’s oil market”. In Chapter 7, Losing the Arms Race, Martyanov expands on the key theme he’s the undisputed superstar: the United States cannot win wars. Inflicting Hybrid War is another matter entirely, as in creating “a lot of misery around the world, from effectively starving people to killing them outright”. A glaring example has been “maximum pressure” economic sanctions on Iran.

But the point is these tools – which also included the assassination of Gen Soleimani – that are part of the arsenal of “spreading democracy” have nothing to do with “geoeconomics”, but have “everything to do with the raw power plays designed to achieve the main Clausewitzian object of war – ‘to compel our enemy to do our will’”. And “for America, most of the world is the enemy”. Martyanov also feels compelled to update what he’s been excelling at for years: the fact that the arrival of hypersonic missiles “has changed warfare forever”. The Khinzal, deployed way back in 2017, has a range of 2,000 km and “is not interceptable by existing US anti-missile systems”. The 3M22 Zircon “changes the calculus of both naval and ground warfare completely”. The US lag behind Russia in air-defense systems is “massive, and both quantitative and qualitative”.

Read more …

More changes.

The New “Rush Hour” (ZH)

With everybody moving out of cities and into the suburbs to work from home during the pandemic, there’s officially a “new rush hour”. Gone are the days of waiting on the interstate to get in and out of your local metro area around the edges of the nine to five workday. Here now are the days of a different kind of rush hour: one where running errands in the afternoon, while working from home, has suburban streets filling up. Afternoon traffic has “come roaring back” while traditional rush hour times across the U.S. still show traffic below pre-pandemic levels. Marjorie Crosbie, profiled in a new Wall Street Journal article, experienced this change firsthand. The 10 mile trip to pick up her daughter at an after-school program recently took her 45 minutes instead of the usual 22-23 minutes.


Crosbie works as a senior finance manager for PwC and has been working from home full time since the pandemic. In her area, Tampa, afternoon vehicle trips are at 105% of levels they were at pre-pandemic. “In more than 40 of the 100 biggest U.S. metros, roads are more congested on weekday afternoons than they were pre-pandemic,” the report notes. Tim Rivers, Florida market director for commercial real-estate firm JLL, told the Journal: “People are working from home, so the suburbs have tremendous traffic. They’re going out for a morning coffee at Starbucks to take their Teams or Zoom call, or going for a workout midday.” Traffic in the afternoon has come back quicker in metro areas that have reopened earlier, the report notes. 7 of the top 10 trafficked areas have been in Florida, with notable upticks in areas like Fort Myers and Sarasota. In places like San Francisco, New York and Detroit, afternoon weekday trips are still below 80% of pre-pandemic levels, the report notes.

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Why would China care about Lithuania? Eurovision?

Lithuania Pulls Out Of China’s 17+1 Bloc In Eastern Europe (Pol.eu)

Lithuania has dropped out of China’s “17+1” group and urged other EU countries to follow suit, the Baltic state’s foreign minister told POLITICO. “There is no such thing as 17+1 anymore, as for practical purposes Lithuania is out,” Gabrielius Landsbergis said in an email, referring to Beijing’s decade-old initiative to engage Central and Eastern European countries, most of which are from the ex-Soviet bloc. The Lithuanian foreign minister called on other EU countries to also abandon the initiative. “From our perspective, it is high time for the EU to move from a dividing 16+1 format to a more uniting and therefore much more efficient 27+1,” Landsbergis said. “The EU is strongest when all 27 member states act together along with EU institutions.”

“Vaccination rollout, tackling pandemics are just [a] few recent examples of the EU27 united in solidarity and purpose. Unity of [the] 27 is key to success in EU’s relations with external partners. Relations with China should be no exception,” he added. A spokesman for the Chinese Mission to the EU said China was “not aware” of Lithuania’s move, adding: “China-CEEC [Central and Eastern European countries] cooperation mechanism is a cross-regional cooperation mechanism jointly initiated by China and Central and Eastern European countries. It meets the desire of all parties to seek development together. “Rather than being dominated by China, the mechanism involves all parties in cooperation based on voluntarism, extensive consultation, joint contribution, openness and inclusiveness.

“China-CEEC cooperation has been very fruitful in the past nine years since its inception. It has brought tangible benefits to the nations involved and added a new dimension to China-EU relations,” he said. Lithuania’s move is the latest indication of an increasingly shaky relationship between China and the European Union. On Thursday, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to freeze the legislative process for ratifying the EU’s investment pact with China, unless Beijing lifts sanctions against EU lawmakers that were imposed after the 27 EU countries slapped Xinjiang officials with sanctions over mass internment of the Uyghur minorities.

Read more …

 

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