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November 27, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-092

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:


Joe Biden @JoeBiden - 3:16 UTC · Feb 2, 2020

Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “African Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed.

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-092

Posted by b at 17:56 UTC | Comments (73)

November 26, 2021

The New Virus Variant Has Lots Of Mutations - That Does Not (Yet) Mean It's 'Very Bad'

Yesterday the chief of the World Health Organzation warned about a 'false sense of security' around Covid-19 vaccines:

In a news briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said many vaccinated people were wrongly thinking receiving the COVID shot meant they no longer needed to take any other precautions.

“In many countries and communities, we are concerned about a false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic, and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions,” Tedros told reporters.
“We cannot say this clearly enough: even if you are vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent becoming infected yourself, and infecting someone else who could die.”

“That means wearing a mask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside if you can, or in a well-ventilated space inside.

The warning was a shot against the Biden administration which has done away with all non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) measures. These will be again needed if the news from South Africa of a new variance of concern turns out to be as bad as it sounds:

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the variant was linked to an “exponential rise” of cases in the last few days, although experts are still trying to determine if the new variant, named B.1.1.529, is actually responsible.

From just over 200 new confirmed cases per day in recent weeks, South Africa saw the number of new daily cases rocket to 2,465 on Thursday. Struggling to explain the sudden rise in cases, scientists studied virus samples from the outbreak and discovered the new variant.
It appears to have a high number of mutations — about 30 — in the coronavirus’ spike protein, which could affect how easily it spreads to people.

Sharon Peacock, who has led genetic sequencing of COVID-19 in Britain at the University of Cambridge, said the data so far suggest the new variant has mutations “consistent with enhanced transmissibility,” but said that “the significance of many of the mutations is still not known.”

A presentation by the Health Ministry of South Africa can be viewed here. The slide show at 5:10 forward is the interesting part.


This (blue) variant seems to out-compete others very fast.

Cont. reading: The New Virus Variant Has Lots Of Mutations - That Does Not (Yet) Mean It's 'Very Bad'

Posted by b at 18:43 UTC | Comments (199)

November 25, 2021

'Democracy' Circus

The Biden administration has invited 110 'participants' to its 'Summit for Democracy' which is to take place virtually on December 9 and 10.

The use of 'participants' was necessary as not all 'participants' are recognized international states. Biden wanted to piss off China. He therefore invited Taiwan which is not recognized as a state by the United Nations nor by the U.S.

Source: Axios - bigger

The Biden administration did not invite Hungary, a democratic NATO and EU member, where, according to polls, the opposition is poised to win next years election. Poland, which is governed more illiberal than Hungary is invited. Likewise the Ukraine even as the Zelensky government has put the opposition leader under house arrest and has shut down opposition TV stations and newspapers.

Turkey, also a NATO member, was left off the list. Turkey's president Erdogan may be autocratic but so is prime minister Modi of India which is invited.

Singapore, a democracy and somewhat U.S. ally, is not on the list. This is likely because its prime minister had rejected to take part in Biden's proposed 'coalition of democracies' as a cold war style entity aimed against China.

U.S. 'enemies' like Russia, Venezuela and Iran are of course not invited even while they regularly have free elections.

The event is thus what it could be expected to be. It is not about democracy but a propaganda show which is supposed to demonstrate strong 'U.S. leadership' where none exists.

The propaganda is not even aimed at a foreign public. It is supposed to assure the U.S. that it still has the credentials it claims to have.

The system has become so weak that it sees a need to assure itself.

Posted by b at 17:59 UTC | Comments (158)

November 24, 2021

Open Thread 2021-91

News & views ...

Posted by b at 16:42 UTC | Comments (250)

November 23, 2021

Biden's Play In Today's Oil Market Is A One-Time Trick That Will Backfire

The White House announced today that the U.S., together with a few other countries, will release crude oil from its strategic petroleum reserve:

Today, the President is announcing that the Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices for Americans and address the mismatch between demand exiting the pandemic and supply.

The President has been working with countries across the world to address the lack of supply as the world exits the pandemic. And, as a result of President Biden’s leadership and our diplomatic efforts, this release will be taken in parallel with other major energy consuming nations including China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom.

The U.S. will make a onetime release of 50 million barrels while the other countries together are expected to release 20 million barrels. For comparison the global consumption is about 100 million barrels per day.

Of the U.S. 50 million release 32 million are only an exchange. Refineries which buy those will later have to provide back a similar amount. The White House assumption is that future crude oil prices will sink. The refiners are likely smarter. They know that future prices will rise and are therefore unlikely to buy any of the 32 million barrels.

The total amount is thus too small to make a reasonable difference in the global market.

Oil prices have been sinking over the last days as rumors about the release made the rounds. But today they were back at rising:

Cont. reading: Biden's Play In Today's Oil Market Is A One-Time Trick That Will Backfire

Posted by b at 18:01 UTC | Comments (86)

November 22, 2021

The White House Needs An Off-ramp From War In Ukraine

Ten days ago I wrote about the potential of war in the Ukraine:

There is fear in Russia that the U.S. is egging the Ukraine into a renewed active conflict with its renegade eastern Donbass region and thereby into a war with Russia.
The Biden administrations war mongering towards Russia may be seen to be free of cost. But it takes only one miscalculation in Kiev or some unforeseen incident in the Black Sea region and the situation could seriously escalate.

Moscow sees a salami slicing tactic at work that would only end with NATO directly confronting it on all its borders:

Moscow’s narrative is that the Western powers are deliberately fueling Ukraine’s revanchist instincts by arming it and encouraging President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is fighting for political survival, to believe that with Western support, a window of opportunity is opening to recapture the lost territories in Donbas and Crimea and thereby redeem his pledge to be his country’s savior.

And second, as Moscow sees it, the rising tensions with Russia have become a convenient alibi to involve NATO directly in Ukraine’s security and make it a template of the West’s containment strategy against Russia.

The level of alarm in Russia continues to be high. The current ticker on the right side of the TASS website includes these headlines:

The above are more then half of the links in the ticker column. It is thus extremely conflict heavy, far more than usual.

Russia has stated that it would intervene in the Ukraine should Kiev decided to invade Donbass. It would be the end of the Ukraine Moscow has said. (Russia would likely end up with taking the majority Russian east and south of the Ukraine. The rest would end up as a landlocked agricultural Nazi infested enclave.)

The Kremlin has also multiple times complained about the ever increasing amount of NATO activities near its border. A U.S. study confirms those activities:

Cont. reading: The White House Needs An Off-ramp From War In Ukraine

Posted by b at 18:25 UTC | Comments (139)

November 21, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-090

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-090

Posted by b at 14:12 UTC | Comments (410)

November 19, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse Is Not Guilty

The jury in the contentious Rittenhouse trial has made its judgment.

On the five counts Kyle Rittenhouse was accused of it found: Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty. The decision was unanimous.

Some here have repeated the 'woke' media claims which falsely accused Rittenhouse of being a racist murder.

For starters the three people he shot were all white just as he is. In each case he defended himself from people who directly attacked him. They were obviously seeking to severely harm him.

All the available video evidence, aptly combined in this 13 minute clip, proves that the verdict is fully justified.

It also confirms the judgment I had made on August 27 2020 after reviewing the evidence:

Yesterday a white teen with a semi-automatic weapon had the stupid idea to join others in 'protecting the businesses' in Kenosha from further looting. He ended up killing two people and wounding more after he was attacked by some of the rioters. The teen was arrested and he is facing charges but I doubt that he is guilty of more than sheer stupidity and manslaughter in self defense.

The case the prosecutors had was very thin. I doubt that they will try to appeal the case.

I am for one satisfied and happy with this outcome.

Posted by b at 18:32 UTC | Comments (565)

New York Times Invents 'Sexual Assault' #MeToo Case To Blame China

The 'news' over last years have again and again demonstrated the notorious unreliability of woke 'western' media.

Andrew Sullivan @sullydish - 21:27 UTC · Nov 12, 2021
2016 election. Rittenhouse. Covington. Russian collusion. Vaccines. Bounties on US soldiers. Lab-leak theory. Jussie Smollett. The Pulse shooting. The Atlanta shootings. Hunter Biden laptop. Inflation. Steele Dossier.

The MSM got every single one wrong.

When All The Media Narratives Collapse
In case after case, the US MSM just keeps getting it wrong.

To those U.S. centric stories one must add all the false claims made about foreign countries - see Syria and Belarus for recent example.  One then finds that the media do not report but, as Sullivan writes, "make the news fit the broader political fight".

There is currently a push for a boycott of the winter Olympics in Beijing. Western media are busy to push for an anti-China angle of the games. Their aim is a political boycott so no one 'in good standing' dares to visit them.

On November 2, by timely chance, some well known Chinese sportswoman posted a sad story about the end of her love affair with a once powerful older man on the Chinese social media site Weibo. That post was soon taken down, likely by the woman herself, but that was too late to prevent that the 'woke' western media and Olympic boycott campaigners made a hash out of it.

A day after the post was published and unpublished the New York Times mangled the facts to make it into a 'woke' anti-China story:

A Chinese Tennis Star Accuses a Former Top Leader of Sexual Assault
Peng Shuai’s accusation against Zhang Gaoli takes the country’s budding #MeToo movement to the top echelons of the Communist Party for the first time.

Peng Shuai, the professional tennis star, publicly accused a former vice premier of China of sexual assault, igniting an online firestorm of attention to a #MeToo allegation that for the first time touched the pinnacles of Communist Party power.

Ms. Peng made the accusation in a post on Tuesday night on her verified account on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. In it, she described an assault by Zhang Gaoli, who from 2012 to 2017 served on the party’s Politburo Standing Committee, the top ruling body in China. She also described having had an on-and-off consensual relationship with Mr. Zhang.

The post was removed within minutes, but the allegations swirled through the country’s heavily controlled internet, fueled by the fame of the accuser and the accused. That kept the censors inside China’s Great Firewall scrambling.
Ms. Peng’s accusations could not be corroborated.

Where is the headlined 'sexual assault' one might ask. The NYT piece wont say:

Cont. reading: New York Times Invents 'Sexual Assault' #MeToo Case To Blame China

Posted by b at 15:55 UTC | Comments (83)

November 18, 2021

Turkey - A Crazy Economic Theory Is Ruining The Country

The wannabe Sultan is in trouble. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes in an economic theory that few others support. He has argued over and over again that high central bank interest rates are causing inflation.

The more accepted theory is that inflation is caused by too much money chasing too few goods (among other reasons). An increase of interest rates above the level of inflation lessens the amount of available money to buy goods and will thereby, over time, lower inflation.

Erdogan has been told that over and over again but he sticks to his personal theory. Over the last 18 months he has fired three central bank governors because they would not lower the interest rates as much as he had wanted them to do.

Şahap Kavcıoğlu, a banker and columnist from Erdogan's own party, had defended his policies. In March Erdogan elevated him to be governor of Turkey's central bank. Interest rates were promptly lowered from 19 to 16% while inflation in Turkey was running up to 20%.

Yesterday Erdogan demanded another interest rate drop:

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he will continue his battle against interest rates “to the end”, sending the lira currency to new depths a day before the central bank is expected to slash rates further.
A day before a central bank policy meeting at which it is expected to ease again, the president repeated his unorthodox view that higher rates were the cause of inflation and questioned why some of our “friends” defended tight policy.

“We will lift this scourge of interest rates from people’s backs. We certainly cannot allow our people to be crushed by interest rates,” he told lawmakers from his ruling conservative AK Party in parliament.

“I cannot and will not stand on this path with those who defend interest rates,” Erdogan said.
The central bank has bucked expectations and cut its policy rate by 300 basis points since September, even as inflation climbed to near 20%, delivering the stimulus long sought by Erdogan.

Unfortunately for Erdogan the policy of keeping interest rates below the inflation rate has the side effect of lowering the value of Turkey's currency. Yesterday the Turkish lira had already dropped 1.5%. Today, after the central bank lowered the interest rate to 15%, the lira dropped further.


Nine months ago it took seven Turkish lira to buy one U.S. dollar. A month ago it took nine Turkish lira to buy one U.S. dollar. Today it takes more than eleven lira for one dollar.

Cont. reading: Turkey - A Crazy Economic Theory Is Ruining The Country

Posted by b at 15:49 UTC | Comments (79)