Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 26, 2020

Open Thread 2020-15

For commenting on the 2020 presidential election use the 2020 Presidential Election Thread 01.

Other news & views can be posted here.

Posted by b on February 26, 2020 at 14:55 UTC | Permalink

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Vielen Danke *b*.
Die *Bernie Bitchin'*-thread ist undebar.
Grüsse X-
Sorry about the spelling & syntax. I never 'studied' German.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Feb 26 2020 15:02 utc | 1

Craig Murray's report is very disturbing. The outcome has been pre-determined and Julian will be sacrificed to intimidate everyone else into silence. The obvious and extremely visible prejudice of the judge is breathtaking. It reminds me of the Chicago 7 trial.

I hope that it is some solace to Julian and his family that people around the world are watching and are appalled.

Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 2

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Feb 26 2020 15:38 utc | 2

A double-header on the USA from NEO:

America’s Hundred Year War on Socialism

America’s Despair

More and more people in the United States are feeling let down by American capitalism, and the population is being plunged into depression. This was the alarming conclusion reached by two researchers from Princeton University, Anne Case and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Angus Deaton.

Posted by: vk | Feb 26 2020 16:40 utc | 3

Colombia Reports: Colombia’s authorities are ignoring a mass grave with at least 450 victims of executions by the army, newspaper El Espectador reported on Monday.

Chile's main rock festival turned into major clashes and arson between protesters and police: Thousands of protesters armed with stones, sticks and Molotov cocktails clashed with police on Sunday as one of Latin America's biggest music festival opened, in the latest spurt of a four-month-old wave of grassroots anger over economic inequality and other woes.

El Salvador Perspectives: There is a wealth of coverage of El Salvador available in English this week on a potpourri of topics.

Caribbean 360: Haiti’s annual Carnival, scheduled to be staged from yesterday until Wednesday, has been called off following violent clashes between the country’s soldiers and police.

Posted by: Maracatu | Feb 26 2020 16:46 utc | 4

"I hope that it is some solace to Julian and his family that people around the world are watching and are appalled." --Trailer Trash @2

Unfortunately, the emotional discomfort of the spectators rarely offers much consolation to the one being led to the altar for sacrifice.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 26 2020 17:07 utc | 5

I think the point is to stop watching and start acting

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 26 2020 17:12 utc | 6

Assange is doomed. He will be extradited, tried in a US kangaroo court, convicted, and sentenced to life (or the physical equivalent given his health.) There's zero chance he goes free regardless of what anyone says or does about the injustice of it all.

The only question is will he enable Wikileaks to violate Aaron Rich's source privilege and reveal that Seth and Aaron Rich were the email leakers. In my view, he should because the truth in this case is far more important than protecting Wikileaks' policy on protection of sources.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Feb 26 2020 17:26 utc | 7

Gee, I thought for sure there would be more on COVID-19 here!

Have you heard the latest? Trump is going to have a dome put over the White House. And then he's gonna put his feet up and declare: No problema, people, we got Corona under control.

A few months later, CDC/HHS inform: Mr. President, we have to postpone the election.

Trump: Oh, That's okay, I wasn't planning on going anywhere soon! 😉

Posted by: Circe | Feb 26 2020 17:33 utc | 8

The Greatest

Wide ranging interview from 1972 with Muhammad Ali. Best 52 mins you can spend today. Highly entertaining and educational. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.


Posted by: b4real | Feb 26 2020 17:39 utc | 9

Sad day for Oz.

Today the Oz State of Victoria announced that ALL school children in that state will be indoctrinated with irrelevant (to Oz) stories about Jewish Suffering during the Jews' Favourite Holocaust.

But not if I can persuade the Supreme Court that it's a lousy idea and should be declared illegal.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 26 2020 17:40 utc | 10

Pepe Escobar updates us on Afghanistan and the Outlaw US Empire's efforts to make it look like its withdrawing when it has absolutely no intension of doing so. In the course of his prose, Pepe provides us with a lesson in Pashtun culture, which IMO is critical to fully cite:

"Not every Pashtun is a Taliban, but the overwhelming majority of Taliban are Pashtuns.

"The Washington establishment never did their 'know your enemy' homework, trying to understand how Pashtuns from extremely diverse groups are linked by a common system of values establishing their ethnic foundation and necessary social rules. That’s the essence of their code of conduct – the fascinating, complex Pashtunwali. Although it incorporates numerous Islamic elements, Pashtunwali is in total contradiction with Islamic law on many points. [Emphasis Original]

"Islam did introduce key moral elements to Pashtun society. But there are also juridical norms, imposed by a hereditary nobility, that support the whole edifice and that came from the Turko-Mongols.

"Pashtuns – a tribal society – have a deep aversion to the Western concept of the state. Central power can only expect to neutralize them with – to put it bluntly – bribes. That’s what passes as a sort of system of government in Afghanistan. Which brings the question of how much – and with what – the US is now bribing the Taliban.

"Afghan political life, in practice, works out from actors that are factions, sub-tribes, 'Islamic coalitions' or regional groups.

"Since 1996, and up to 9/11, the Taliban incarnated the legitimate return of Pashtuns as the dominant element in Afghanistan. That’s why they instituted an emirate and not a republic, more appropriate for a Muslim community ruled only by religious legislation. The diffidence towards cities, particularly Kabul, also expresses the sentiment of Pashtun superiority over other Afghan ethnic groups.

"The Taliban do represent a process of overcoming tribal identity and the affirmation of Pashtunistan. The Beltway never understood this powerful dynamic – and that’s one of the key reasons for the American debacle." [Emphasis Original]

Pepe also links to a recent State Department Strategy Paper for Central Asia which begins with the usual lies of the Outlaw Empire regarding its benevolence toward those nations. Fortunately, Pepe summarizes it for us, and we find out it's all about countering Eurasian Integration efforts, which should come as no surprise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 26 2020 17:41 utc | 11

On Assange, Daniel Lazare notes importantly that Mueller and his "investigation" ought to be a very important part of Assange's hearing in the UK as "it’s still brimming with unanswered questions no matter how much the corporate media wishes they would go away." And along with BigLie Media is the Establishment and its overall Narrative, much of which hinges on Assange and his exposure of their crimes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 26 2020 17:53 utc | 12

Corona virus
Here in the U.K. this virus hasn’t been declared a pandemic yet ! They’re going to wait till it’s out of control first. Just stop and think about that for a minute! Locking the door after the Horse has bolted.
Sorry i’m not buying that !
They’ve been reasearching this sh*t for years, planning for it.
We new this was coming, but it was to horrific for us to face ! Yes even here on MOA
We know there are 70 million displaced refugees in the world, and yet never never mention it ! Do we ?
We know the truth the white helmets did the chlorine attack in Syria !
The Sykripal false flag poisoning a few miles from Portland down bio war fare research establishment whilst chemical war training was going on near by.

Posted by: Mark2 | Feb 26 2020 17:54 utc | 13

karlofi1 No. 11

'Secure and stable' sounds horribly like 'Strong and Stable': just look where that got us!

Keep up the good work: I always like your posts.

Posted by: Muffelchen | Feb 26 2020 18:00 utc | 14

Circe# 8

Jeff Bezos's Jet touched down in New Zealand a few days ago, but I'm sure it's nothing.

Posted by: dennis | Feb 26 2020 18:05 utc | 15

COVID-19 timeseries for all countries and regions affected, updated daily by John Hopkins University. South Korea, Italy and Iran have seen the quickest growth in confirmed cases over the past week:

             2/19  2/20  2/21  2/22  2/23  2/24  2/25

South Korea 31 104 204 433 602 833 977
Italy 3 3 20 62 155 229 322
Iran 2 5 18 28 43 61 95

             2/19  2/20  2/21  2/22  2/23  2/24  2/25

South Korea 0 1 2 2 6 8 10
Italy 0 0 1 2 3 7 10
Iran 2 2 4 5 8 12 16

Posted by: S | Feb 26 2020 18:08 utc | 16

We also know there is a toxic political alineghment between
Trump US, Johnson U.K. and not least Natenyaho Mossad Israel. Also there servile vassel empire nations.
We know that the above have total dominance of the western world media and social media.
Add this all up ! I did !

Posted by: Mark2 | Feb 26 2020 18:08 utc | 17

@ Circe

Why don't you piss off to the Bernie thread and don't pollute everything in this site with your screams and shouts?

Did I mention piss off?

Posted by: albagen | Feb 26 2020 18:16 utc | 18

Corona Virus
Dont let’s forget Big Pharma.
They’ve turned 1/5 of the population of US U.K. into sedated zombies.
Think profit
The line between medicine and chemical warfare got blurred by Monsanto !
Hell its all profit. Who bought Monsanto ?
Back to the media tv don’t you just feel dumbed down ?
Where do you go for the truth ? ......
This virus will cut clean across the public Politics.
But the elite will gain.
We’ll all look the same in body bags. Wake up people.

Posted by: Mark2 | Feb 26 2020 18:34 utc | 19

According to Mr. Bloomberg this "election" is a referendum between Capitalism and Socialism.

It isn't, considering we, in the U$A, and most of the industrialized world, function with MIXED ECONOMIES.

Just wish all the candidates would grab a clue, and acknowledge that fact.

Posted by: ben | Feb 26 2020 18:36 utc | 20

vk | Feb 26 2020 16:40 utc | 3

Reading Einstein's essay on "Why Socialism" provided for me useful insight; awesome perspective from a credible observer.

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 26 2020 18:41 utc | 21

@ S #16

The Italy outbreak is curious. Milan is a rail hub for a SE China non-stop european rail freight service from Chengdu, running since January 2019:

The service point to point takes between 16 and 18 days (within the live virus surface transfer period).

Chengdu noted on its gov. news web portal the receipt of aid packages from Europe. It's a leap to consider such packages arrived by the same rail service, but is possible and may be of concern.

Posted by: dennis | Feb 26 2020 18:42 utc | 22

Re the Pepe Escobar piece on Afghanistan, maybe now that Trump has made it plain with his biowar on China that America is not a normal country, it's time for the sovereignists to seriously arm the Taliban. If Trump loses two planes a month it will seriously focus the mind of that very stable genius.

Posted by: sarz | Feb 26 2020 19:02 utc | 23

chu teh @ 21; Thanks for the link. It is a good explanation of "Why Socialism", unfortunately, I doubt many rank and file Americans will ever get the chance to read it, let alone, even hear about it.

That's why I favor the mixed economy explanation. Workers can grasp the word socialist,by the fact that everyday life is facilitated by bits and pieces of socialism, such as public streets, public police forces, public fire depts., public schools, social security and medicare.

The only thing that's missing, is our dumb ass candidates to enunciate that simple message.

Posted by: ben | Feb 26 2020 19:04 utc | 24

P.S.- Hey b, thanks for the therapy, it's priceless....

Posted by: ben | Feb 26 2020 19:13 utc | 25

#22 No need to take the train, Chinese and Italian mafias make lot of money in the textile industry, and Milan is the fashion capital.

Posted by: Mina | Feb 26 2020 19:30 utc | 26

I find that labels such as "communism" and "socialism" have been so abused that they are not much use, especially without a specific definition. Here are definitions of socialism and communism I came across someplace. Perhaps someone will find this useful.

A simple example of communism is a water fountain in a public park. No one limits access to it, anyone can drink from it at any time with no prior permission, and no one keeps track of usage.

A simple example of socialism is borrowing a book from a public library. This requires permission of the institution and tracking of who borrows what. Permission is based on rules such as proving local residence. Borrowing a book is essentially a contract that can be enforced by the state. And knowledge of who is reading what is often interesting to the state.

By these definitions the difference between communism and socialism is control by hierarchical state institutions, control that (so far) is inevitably bent to benefit the bureaucracy. If citizens also benefit, that is more of a happy side effect.

A long time ago I regularly went to the state law library to review new labor law rulings. I was amazed when I was able to borrow expensive law books on just my signature - no account, library card, or Official Identification necessary. Obviously they don't expect regular citizens to use the law library. Still, it is interesting that lawyers who run everything think that law library socialism that benefits lawyers is good, but all other forms of socialism are evil, or something.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Feb 26 2020 19:49 utc | 27

@ Posted by: Trailer Trash | Feb 26 2020 19:49 utc | 27

Communism and socialism can only be applied as modes of sociometabolic reproduction, so your example of the water fountain or the public library are not valid.

Posted by: vk | Feb 26 2020 20:00 utc | 28

@ Mina #26

Thanks for considering this matter. If one has ever been to Salone del Mobile Milano, there one can frequently see a number of people mostly of asian origin taking detailed 360º (HD?) video of designer display product models with professional camera equipment which shortly after (coincidentally) become mass produced unauthorised copies of said copyright designer works. The issue for me in this case is not that these things happen, but how goods are shipped, and if that shipping is also a virus transmission conduit to the population of Europe.

Posted by: dennis | Feb 26 2020 20:59 utc | 29

Out of curiosity, I wonder what happened to the US having to leave Iraq, and I believe that Duterte has removed imuunity for US troops in The Phillipines. Have they left anywhere?

Posted by: arby | Feb 26 2020 21:08 utc | 30

Here is an interesting article from - - -
Globle Research (a site with a lot of credabilty)
Regarding the latest corona virus.
The first half we already know, but stick with it half-way down there is this - - -

Posted by: Mark2 | Feb 26 2020 21:11 utc | 31

i guess this is the circe free zone, lol...

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2020 21:14 utc | 32

some brazilian music i am listening to at the moment..

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2020 21:16 utc | 33

And from the above Globle Research article I found this very ‘insightfull’ link (at the bottom)

We can read this as - psychopathic projection on a grand scale ! as only the American govenment can do.

Posted by: Mark2 | Feb 26 2020 21:22 utc | 34

I sadly have lost any shred of faith in organisations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or International Red Cross and their other looky like NGO’s who have long been subverted to the causes of Govt. of the day, narrative generators (White Helmets & that ilk) and the inevitable paymasters mostly lurking at the back.

I would like to think that the British, and perhaps in particular the Irish Public and anyone within their personal budget travel distance of UK grabs a yellow vest and heads down to the courthouse before this last supporter of a free democratic press is hauled off to a whole new distopian nightmare paraded before courts and congressional hearings of Orwellian doublespeak that we can barely imagine in a legal charade that will be abused for máximum effect for the rest of his life. The only way left to prevent this now is by sheer forcé of numbers.

Roger Ver‏Verified account @rogerkver3h3 hours ago
Cheney was never indicted.
Bush was never indicted.
Bolton was never indicted.
Mattis was never indicted.
Revealing crime is more dangerous than committing crime.

Posted by: dennis | Feb 26 2020 21:29 utc | 35

The beginning of the end of Hong Kong:

Helicopter money is being dropped in Hong Kong.

The helicopter has flown and the cash has fallen. Helicopter money is being dropped in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 and above will each receive a cash handout of HK$10,000 (US$1,200) in a HK$120 billion (US$15 billion) relief deal rolled out by the government to ease the burden on individuals and companies, while saving jobs.

This follows similar efforts by Macau, which will offer residents shopping vouchers, and Singapore, which will give people between $100 and $300 in a one-off payment. (Hat-tip to our favourite twitter troll @econhedge for alerting us.)

Much touted but seldom tried, economists have long seen helicopter money as the most radical tool that central bankers could deploy to fight a weak economy. The idea is usually credited to doyen of monetary economics Milton Friedman.*

Has the measure worked in the past? The most often cited example of the policy in action comes from Japan, which in 1999 dolled out consumption vouchers that people had to spend within six months. The results on that occasion were far from staggering.

And HK has done this before to boost the stock market.

Will this ultimate monetary/fiscal stimulus designed to by-pass the banks work?

Western propaganda bastion in China now degenerates to fifth-grade Keynesianism in a desperate attempt to keep up with the Mainland.


Posted by: vk | Feb 26 2020 21:44 utc | 36

Dennis @ 35 said;"Revealing crime is more dangerous than committing crime."

True, but, only if the committer happens to be a member of, or working in the interests of the ruling elites..

Posted by: ben | Feb 26 2020 21:51 utc | 37

...and crash the stock market.

1) Someone takes a photo of what looks like the online coronavirus Epidemic Situation Tracker on the Chinese Tencent news site and posts the photo to the Taiwanese anonymous PTT Bulletin Board System.

The photo shows random numbers that are about 10 times larger than the official numbers and show a death rate of 15.9%. There is no reason to believe the numbers ever appeared on the Tencent site. If they did, there is no reason to believe they have any connection to reality.

It is trivially easy to create face photographs or screenshots of web pages. You can edit your local copy of any web page by by using the Developer Tools on Google Chrome. See instructions on YouTube.

2) The Taiwanese web site Liberty Times publishes an article on the photograph, citing "netizens" as its source: How many times has the number of media updated cases in Wuhan Pneumonia surged? Netizen: Is this real data?

3) Mai He from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis writes a pseudo-scientific paper based on the Liberty Times story and posts it to the SSRN preprint server: Evaluating Incidence and Impact Estimates of the Coronavirus Outbreak from Official and Non-Official Chinese Data Sources

Another source used in the paper is an article in the Epoch Times: Exclusive: No less than 200 deaths from pneumonia in Wuhan every day

The Epoch Times is an anti-Chinese newspaper linked to the Falun Gong movement. The Wikipedia article on Epoch Times mentions Falun Gong 84 times.

4) Epoch Times publishes an article based on the non-peer-reviewed preprint:

Coronavirus Outbreak 5 to 10 Times Worse Than China Admits: Study

The deadly coronavirus that is morphing into a global threat could have infected five to 10 times more people than Chinese officials have acknowledged, a group of U.S. researchers said.

The Feb. 18 study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was co-led by Lucia Dunn, economics professor at Ohio State University, and Mai He, pathology professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.

Drawing from both official and unofficial data sources, the study suggested the cumulative infections and deaths could be “substantially higher” than officially stated—by a factor of 5 to 10.

“So many people are doubting the numbers in China … that we think we should look at alternative numbers,” Dunn said in an interview with The Epoch Times.

5) Epoch Times publishes a follow-up story. It is republished by the stock market site ZeroHedge: Leaked Docs Reveal Covid-19 Infections Up To 52 Times Higher Than 'Official' Figures In China's Shandong Province

6) The same old "two anonymous sources close to the president" tell the Washington Post that President Trump is furious that the stock market is crashing on coronavirus fears. Trump tweets that the situation is under control.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 26 2020 22:13 utc | 38

Petri Krohn 38

I interesting. Gives rise to thoughts of possible Chinese response if they were to believe this outbreak is deliberate bio warfare. Using the momentum of the attack against the attacker type thing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 26 2020 22:32 utc | 39

The Fed letting Trumps precious stock market plunge in an election year over coronavirus proves this is a psyops. The Fed as you know took over the Plunge Protection Teams operations in 2009. The market wont plunge without it standing down. Something big going down.

Mandatory vaccinations coming I think, maybe martial law and postponement of election. This may be just the preconditioning phase. I predict it winds down in April. Another wave in the fall after vaccines are prepared and then martial law to round up everyone for their shots. Trump will be called a hero for saving us, and made President for life. Ivanka will inherit his throne when he dies. No more elections. Yay. Bernie threat alleviated. Dow will go to 50,000. The vaccines will implement Gates digital ID as worked on by his ID2020 Alliance. 5G will allow 24/7 tracking of each individual. Nanobots will monitor health 24/7 and report instantly via 5G to nip future pandemics in the bud. The DHS (department of health security) will keep us safe. This will of course be global in scope.

Hollywood must have worked 24/7 in 2019 on the script. No wonder tv and movies are so awful, the best writers were working on the 2020 reality show.

Posted by: Pft | Feb 26 2020 23:02 utc | 40

this dip in the stock market is a minor blimp.. it might turn into something more significant, but for now the s and p is back around the nov 20th levels... the whole ponzi scheme has lots of room to correct and come back soon enough...

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2020 23:10 utc | 41

@Petri Krohn #38

Great example of information laundering.

Posted by: S | Feb 26 2020 23:37 utc | 42

"Gives rise to thoughts of possible Chinese response if they were to believe this outbreak is deliberate bio warfare."

The Chinese already know that this is a deliberate attack on them by the US. Their response to a bioweapon attack is precisely what we are seeing: Mitigate/defeat the attack by containing and controlling the contagion within their population.

Trying to project western "values" (ingrained perfidiousness, knee-jerk aggression, insatiable greed) onto the Chinese will never result in analysis that matches reality. The Chinese really do think very much differently from typical westerners, and even more so after more than half a century of "socialism with Chinese characteristics".

See if you can possibly comprehend this one simple difference between yourself and the Chinese: You are wandering through a major city in China and you feel thirsty, so you stop at a vending machine to buy a bottle of tea. You see your favorite brand of green tea in two sizes, 500ml and 250ml.

They are the same price.

Your reaction (because you are a westerner afflicted with insatiable greed, even if you believe otherwise) is to wonder who in their right mind would ever buy the smaller bottle for the same price as the larger one.

The Chinese person, on the other hand, would wonder who in their right mind would buy the larger bottle when they were only thirsty enough to drink the smaller one and then throw half of it away.

Honestly try to understand that difference, and try to extrapolate how the underlying difference in perspective impacts various behaviors

The Chinese will not try to punish the West for this attack because the West's mindless viciousness is its own self-punishment. You can attribute this to a belief in karma if you want, but that isn't completely accurate. The Chinese will pursue justice, not revenge.

That doesn't mean that western psychopaths are off the hook for their villainy. When all is said and done they will likely have preferred the revenge rather than the justice.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 26 2020 23:39 utc | 43


Japan 167 *recorded* so far Japan's Ministry of Health

why low ... Japan tested only 1846 people domestically (+ 829 from the charter flights to bring back Japanese nationals from China)

when (not if) the virus spreads more ... the aged population of Japan will take a big hit. depopulation theories ...

Posted by: r | Feb 26 2020 23:41 utc | 44

@ ben #37

Yes, should have read "war crimes":
I was reading earlier accounts of recipients of Nobel Peace prizes and passed over omissions. Whatever happened to righteous indignation? I fear in regard to Julian and the general population's following of news that the pendulum of awareness has swung so far into unconsciousness, that when it swings back it will be with piano wire and lampposts.

Posted by: dennis | Feb 26 2020 23:54 utc | 45

A pity you never come up with anything solid Gruff. Not sure what your problem is here. Coronavirus I leave completely open as to whether it is natural or man made epidemic.
It seems all you are capable of is ranting and raving.
At some point in time, it is likely that China will have to stand up to fight to defend itself and it sees this.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 26 2020 23:59 utc | 46

Thanks for that wisdom from both you and China William Gruff
Iran would have been waiting for the other shoe to drop, how do you see that playing out ?
I think it will be the overlooked and under-estimated detail that will escalate this beyond control !
We don’t know what we don’t know, or is it the known unknown.
Bolton and Pompaeo have got a hand in this i’ll be bound !!

Posted by: Mark2 | Feb 27 2020 0:02 utc | 47

Joe Biden announces his candidacy for US Senate:

Posted by: Mao | Feb 27 2020 0:36 utc | 48

Might be nice to look back on the outbreak and summarize.
The first focus is why China was so insistent the virus came from the market without evidence.

On January 22, Gao Fu, director of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the source of the New Coronavirus in Wuhan was wild animals illegally sold in a seafood market in Wuhan.

On January 26, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that 33 samples tested positive for the New Coronavirus nucleic acid out of 585 environmental samples taken from the South China Seafood Market . They announced that the virus originated from wild animals sold in the South China Seafood Market but did not identify which animals.

On January 27th a report published online by Science cited a paper in the medical journal The Lancet, suggesting that the source of the New Coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan may not be the South China seafood market.

The paper, titled “Clinical Features of New Coronavirus Infected Patients“, was published in The Lancet on January 24. The first author of the paper was Huang Chao Lin, the deputy director of Jinyintan Hospital, the first designated hospital for unknown pneumonia in Wuhan. The rest of the authors included other clinicians in the hospital and members of several research institutions.

This paper revealed the following key information:
* The first patient had an onset of disease on December 1st, which was not associated with the seafood market.
* The first patient had no epidemic association with subsequent patients.
* On December 10th, another 3 cases had occurred, of which 2 were not related to South China seafood market.
* Starting from December 15th, cases with a history of exposure to the seafood market are concentrated.
* The paper counts a total of 41 patients, and 14 cases are not related to the seafood market, the proportion exceeds 1/3.
* No bats are sold in the seafood market and no trace of bats has been found.

On January 29 a study in The Lancet analyzed 99 confirmed cases at Jinyintan Hospital, 50 of which had no history of contact with the seafood market.

The New England Journal of Medicine also published a paper showing that: Of the 425 cases, 45% of those affected before January 1 had no history of exposure to the seafood market.

Why did China require that the “history of seafood market contact” be included in the diagnosis criteria up until January 17th when it knew that at least one third of the cases are not related to the seafood market?

Posted by: Pft | Feb 27 2020 0:51 utc | 49

Did China attempt to manufacture evidence that virus came from intermediate animals to deflect attention from a possible lab source?

On February 7th, the local South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, which was more than 1,000 kilometers away from Wuhan, released the latest research saying that pangolin may be a potential intermediate host for the new Coronavirus.

At the press conference, Liu Yahong, President of South China Agricultural University, revealed that researchers from South China Agricultural University, Lingnan Guangdong Provincial Laboratory of Modern Agriculture, Shen Yongyi, Xiao Lihua and other researchers analyzed a thousand metagenome samples and found a β-crown on pangolins. The virus they said may be closely related to Wuhan Coronavirus.

The team also announced at the press conference that through further isolation and identification of the virus, a typical Coronavirus particle structure was observed under an electron microscope; finally, by analyzing the genome of the virus, the isolated virus strain was found to be infecting human. The similarity of strain sequences is as high as 99% and so they declared that above results indicate that pangolin is a potential intermediate host for new Coronavirus.

Shen Yongyi of Huanong Veterinary College Research Institute stated in an subsequent interview that the pangolin samples found to carry the virus did not come from Guangdong, and were “obtained from certain institutions.” He admits that no such virus was found in the samples of common Chinese pangolins collected by themselves. As to why “a specific agency” took the initiative to provide them with these special samples, it was not mentioned in the report.

Despite efforts to show a natural origin, evidence points to a lab origin. I”ll discuss that separately.

Posted by: pft | Feb 27 2020 0:56 utc | 50

Not much can be taken from that at the moment. If the virus did come through an intermediary animal that is used for food or medicine, would that animal only be sold in the one seafood market. Plenty of unknowns as yet.
Always huge amounts of chaff and crap on the net to sift through in the days and weeks after or during an incident.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 1:07 utc | 51

After the SARS outbreak in 2003, Shi Zhengli led the team to collect bat samples across the country for virus detection. Shi Zhengli’s research on the Coronavirus S protein, the “passport” for infecting humans across species, began as early as 2010. Shi Zhengli’s team conducted a long-term, systematic and in-depth study of how coronaviruses can spread across species barriers.

In 2010, Shi Zhengli’s team published a paper to examine the sensitivity of different types of bat ACE2 to human SARS-CoV spike protein (S protein) using live SARS virus and HIV (AIDS) pseudovirus. In the experiment, they also changed several key amino acids of bat ACE2 to test its binding to the S protein and constructed the HIV pseudovirus HIV / BJ01-S with the SARS virus BJ01-S protein. 

On October 30, 2013, Nature magazine published a paper entitled “Isolation and characterization of a bat SARS-like Coronavirus that uses the ACE2 receptor“, from the research team including Ge Xingyi, Shi Zhengli, Dasak and other experts from Yunnan. The entire genome sequence of the new coronaviruses RsSHC014 and Rs3367 isolated from the chrysanthemum bat (horse hoof bat). Shi Zhengli provided the SHC014 Coronavirus S protein sequence and plasmid, which is her field of expertise.

In 2002 , a year before SARS a patent was obtained by the ‘Godfather’ of coronavirus, Ralph Baric. Ralph Baric is a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . While the patent appears specific for pigs, it can also cover human vaccines made from the same processes

On November 9, 2015 Ralph Baric and Shi Zhengli published a study on their efforts to engineer a virus with the surface protein of the SHC014 coronavirus, found in horseshoe bats in China, and the backbone of one that causes human-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in mice.

The hybrid virus could infect human airway cells and caused disease in mice, according to the team’s results, which were published in Nature Medicine. The main content is that they successfully produced a self-replicating chimeric virus, which has the wild mouse SARS Coronavirus of the aforementioned RsSHC014 coronavirus “S protein” which can bind to human ACE2, and thus has a strong infectious power across species. In the experimental results, mice infected with this “synthetic” virus had severe lesions in their lungs, and there was no cure.

In October 2013, the US government had put a stop to all federal funding for gain-of-function studies, with particular concern rising about influenza, SARS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Baric’s and Shi Zhengli study on the SHC014-chimeric coronavirus began before the moratorium was announced, and the NIH allowed it to proceed.

Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in France, expressed this concern deeply, telling Nature: “If the (new) virus escapes, no one can Predict its path.”

Shi Zhengli name pops up a lot. In January 2014 she'd received a $665,000 grant from NIH for a study titled The Ecology of Bat Coronaviruses and the Risk of Future Coronavirus Emergence (NIAID R01 AI1 10964) as well as $559,500 more from USAID for a study titled Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT_2China (Project No. AID-OAA-A-14-00102). 

Having helped build a virulent coronavirus from scratch at UNC - she went to working at the only BSL-4 virology lab in China that just so happens to be at the epicenter of an outbreak involving a coronavirus

On January 23, 2020, at the time when the new Coronavirus broke out and Wuhan declared lockdown, the Shi Zhengli team published an article on bioRxiv preprinted version of the platform titled, “A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin.” The paper was subsequently published in the journal Nature on February 3.

The article stated that they found that the sequence of the novel Coronavirus was 96.2% identical to that of the Coronavirus numbered RaTG13 derived from Yunnan horseshoe bats.

Shi Zhengli submitted the registration information of RaTG13 bat virus on January 27th, showing that the virus was isolated from the feces of Yunnan horseshoe bats (chrysanthemum bat) as early as July 24, 2013. It was collected three months before Shi Zhengli published the paper in October 2013, but Shi Zhengli’s paper did not mention this particular virus.

In other words, the “new horseshoe bat virus RaTG13”  was likely frozen in the Wuhan P4 laboratory for seven years for use in subsequent experiments. Bats are not sold in the Wuhan market, they are in hibernation for the winter and Yunan is far away. What is the most likely source?

Comparison of the viral gene sequence shows that the envelope protein (E protein) and membrane protein (M protein) gene fragments of the new horseshoe bat virus (RaTG13) and Wuhan virus have amino acid sequence of 100% identical, no mutation after 7 years, yet the S protein is only 97.7% similar to Wuhan virus. If their were natural mutations both the S and E proteins would have mutations. Not just the S protein.

Virology expert Sean Lin, former director of the Virology Laboratory at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute, pointed out that the gene sequence of E protein had a high elastic space. In other words, many positions of this E protein can undergo genetic mutations that will not affect the virus properties much . In other words, there is no strong selection pressures to force E protein to maintain the high fidelity of the entire protein gene sequence and not mutate to some extent as the S protein. Obviously the S protein changes allowed the virus to become more infective, but if these were natural mutations the E protein would have undergone benign mutations. Casting doubt on the natural evolution of the virus.

Boy I don’t know, but lab source is looking like a winner to me. Obviously this is not proof.

However, later I will explore some of the potential winners of this “accident”.

Posted by: Pft | Feb 27 2020 1:17 utc | 52

i apologize if this has been brought up before but is there any connection to Dr. Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology being arrested and his connections to the university in wuhan?? is this just a coincidence or some type of cia-fbi frame up, or what?? i haven't been following it closely...

Posted by: james | Feb 27 2020 1:22 utc | 53

To albagen 18 FOAD

Posted by: LarsRagnar | Feb 27 2020 1:41 utc | 54

Get a life if u wanna believed China manufacture Convid-19.

BTW CANADIAN Dr. Bruce Alyward leading WHO team investigates Coronavirus in China including Wuhan. Over a 2-hrs report never mentioned once China was responsible but we should thank china. Like Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, he too said China should take credit for shutting down Hubei and preventing Convid-19 from spreading. Now Convid-19 tapering down in China as predicted by b in China, but spreading into Korea, Iran, Italy and ZeroHedge reported (if u still believes ZeroHedge) "First US Coronavirus Case "Of Unknown Origin" Reported in Northern California As Trump Speaks: Live Update"

The chickens have back come home to roost!
(more or less the yanks are not in WHO team except maybe one)

Posted by: JC | Feb 27 2020 1:50 utc | 55

Ben @ 24

Re mixed economy, see the Michael Hudson piece up at Unz Review.

Very important and wide-ranging piece, with a good explanation of how the mixed economy works in context of Hudson's discussion of the Dem Party's "quandary" regarding its future.

Personally I think that Bernie, instead of flying the "socialism" flag, which is a red flag to so many, should use the slogan "the Equity Society" or "the Equitable Society." How can anyone look good attacking equity, or an equitable society?

Posted by: Really?? | Feb 27 2020 2:36 utc | 56


I guess 52 is not a direct copy and paste, apart from a few sentences but best to link to site you are taking the information from.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 2:49 utc | 57

To add to my comment at 57, I would take the Indian propaganda with a dose of salt at the moment.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 2:58 utc | 58

@ Posted by: Really?? | Feb 27 2020 2:36 utc | 56

That wouldn't work for two reasons:

1) Americans have anti-communism deeply ingrained in their national ideology. It's elite is highly class conscious. They can smell socialism at thousands of kilometers of distance, no matter the terminology you try to use to hide it.

2) It is the revolutionary's condition sine qua non for truth to be on your side. As such, there's no need to try to deceive the masses - that would only hurt socialism (because, if it's so good, why are you trying to sell it as something else?).

Posted by: vk | Feb 27 2020 3:22 utc | 59

@ Posted by: pft | Feb 27 2020 0:56 utc | 50

Mutations always happen by chance.

The only way for you to prove the COVID-19 came from the laboratory you mentioned is if someone infiltrates there and retrieve a dated sample of an identical virus. Or if someone who works with the virus at the lab whistleblows.

Wuhan is the cradle of Communist China. It right at the heart of the country (Central China). A lot of things happen there. Laboratories that handle dangeours viruses exist all over the developed world (many of them exist in the USA) and are legitimate infrastructure for non-military research.

@ Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 1:07 utc | 51

There's already a study out in China that hypothetizes that, albeit the COVID-19 first spreaded in a seafood market, it was not there that the virus originated.

Posted by: vk | Feb 27 2020 3:30 utc | 60

Its origins I leave open. If it is of natural origin through an intermediary, that could have been passed on to several human in different locations around the same time frame.bHow long before pneumonia cases were noticed to be different. I take this was noticed because of the large number of cases appearing at the same time who had also contact with the seafood market.

Laboratory origins... After MERS and SARS, many labs around would have been studying bat coronavirus, some for good intentions some for not so good intentions. If this turns out to be a lab creation, then I tend to look at the players that do not have good intentions towards China.
Fatalities, or lack of, in five-eyes will be a good indicator.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 4:13 utc | 61

if the virus is such a non thing, not lethal like the current standard flue etc, why the exaggerated responses to it? Why the containment of people in their homes?
What are they worried about?
really, what is it about this flue virus that has china locking up several hundred million people in their homes, other then maybe they just want to know if they could lock up several hundred million people in their homes with everyone complying.

Posted by: Sabine | Feb 27 2020 6:28 utc | 62

to add to my comment above, the why locking up people also applies to the Italy and soon the US.
Is this like a drill run on us unsuspecting citizens by our selected overlord to see if we comply like the good sheep we are supposed to be?

Posted by: Sabine | Feb 27 2020 6:30 utc | 63

I suspect if the new corona virus was allowed to run free it would greatly increase pneumonia deaths.
From wikipedia.
"Pneumonia affects approximately 450 million people globally (7% of the population) and results in about four million deaths per year.[10][11] Pneumonia was regarded by William Osler in the 19th century as "the captain of the men of death".[15] With the introduction of antibiotics and vaccines in the 20th century, survival greatly improved.[10] Nevertheless, in developing countries, and also among the very old, the very young, and the chronically ill, pneumonia remains a leading cause of death."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 6:40 utc | 64

Pft@49 - "...Why did China require that the “history of seafood market contact” be included in the diagnosis criteria up until January 17th when it knew that at least one third of the cases are not related to the seafood market?"

Indeed, why does the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) require travel from Wuhan or contact with another confirmed COVID-19 patient as criteria for accepting samples for testing in Atlanta? The CDC finally made an exception last Sunday for a seriously ill patient at the University of California Davis Medical Center who did NOT meet the criteria. This was after the CDC first refused to test the patient last Wednesday, Feb. 19th, despite a specific request from UCDMC.

Newly diagnosed coronavirus patient being treated at UC Davis Medical Center
By Anne Ternus-Bellamy [link]

An email sent out Wednesday by two UC Davis officials said the patient arrived at the medical center in Sacramento last Wednesday but was only tested for the virus on Sunday despite a request made by med center officials that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conduct a test when the patient was admitted.

“Today the CDC confirmed the patient’s test was positive,” said the email from David Lubarsky, vice-chancellor of human health services, and Brad Simmons, interim CEO of UC Davis Medical Center.

“This is not the first COVID-19 patient we have treated, and because of the precautions we have had in place since this patient’s arrival, we believe there has been minimal potential for exposure here at UC Davis Medical Center,” the email said.

Nevertheless, a small number of medical center employees have been asked to stay home and monitor their temperatures.

Lubarsky and Simmons said the patient was transferred to UC Davis from “another Northern California hospital” on Wednesday, Feb 19.

Tweet with referenced email.

The patient was only identified as being from Solano County, southwest of Sacramento. Travis AFB, formerly holding quarantined Wuhan and Diamond Princess returnees, is in the same county. UC Davis Medical Center is next to Solano County and would normally receive some critically ill patients from hospitals there. They had also treated critically ill confirmed COVID-19 patients from Travis AFB.

The CDC (and pals at the Food and Drug Administration) have a regulatory monopoly stranglehold on approved COVID-19 testing kits, and those kits are designed specifically for equipment at state public health labs. Most kits didn't pass Q/C at the beginning of February (bad reagent) and are not used. CDC says replacement kits mid-March... maybe. The ones the are used produce false positives so the samples still have to be shipped to CDC in Atlanta for 'confirmation' (48 hours turnaround). California doesn't have any of those - everything there must go to Atlanta providing the CDC will accept them.

Other qualified, certified labs in the U.S. are capable of designing a reliable COVID-19 test on their equipment, but they must apply for and receive emergency approval from the regulators first. That would be months of useless bureaucratic nonsense without any guarantee of approval. Hawaii has a lot of visitors from Japan. They asked the CDC for approval for a few thousand Japanese test kits, but the CDC said they need the emergency approval as well. Best to just wait for the CDC to fix their own monopolized botched testing kits by (their unofficial guess) mid-March. That's six weeks into a public health crisis.

Until then, you'll only see a handful of 'exceptions' that will show (like this case) the U.S. population had COVID-19 in the wild since the beginning of February, and those hospitalized probably infected medical workers at the hospitals, who infected other patients before the workers were symptomatic and stopped working.

Viral pneumonia only calls for droplet protection during care. COVID-19 patient care requires stricter airborne and contact protection, in addition to droplet protection.

You have to wonder if this is just normal CDC incompetence or some kind of corruption, e.g., sketchy test kit vendor is someone's brother-in-law. I'm hesitant to rule out abject evil though. The public can't panic about the spread of an infectious disease that hospitals can't test for or confirm.

"You just got a bad case of the flu. You can't have COVID-19 - it's not allowed. Sorry, but this year's vaccine was only 45% effective against the B-Victoria strain, and 50% good against the A-strains going around Oh, and virtually ineffective for A-strains if you are a young adult. Imagine that! We're not sure why."

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 27 2020 7:11 utc | 65

Trailer Trash @27; vk @28:

communism and socialism

Or we could look at the difference from another perspective:

"What’s the difference between a Socialist and a Communist? The Communists are the ones who really mean it."

—Sherwood Anderson

Posted by: Vintage Red | Feb 27 2020 9:03 utc | 66

Slowly but surely Syria is being/will be rebuilt . Great twitter profile too @syriarebuilt.. lovely resilient people, they didn't deserve this.

Posted by: Maximus | Feb 27 2020 9:11 utc | 67

Second link in my comment @68 Lovely people Syrians, who didn't deserve what has been done to them .. I wish it back on the perps in the West/Nato and their despicable allies in spades

Posted by: Maximus | Feb 27 2020 9:16 utc | 68

Assad's forces seem to be on the edge of a route now. I suppose the next 24 hours will be decisive. I think we are looking at the turning point in this war. When Turkey chose to enter the war full force, filling Idlib with overwhelming firepower, Russia chose to do nothing, it seems, in terms of reinforcing their strength or the strength of the SAA.

Posted by: paul | Feb 27 2020 9:25 utc | 69

Syria will be rebuilt as was Grozny. Putin strategy is a winner. Reconciliation, death of the diehards, rebuilding.
In Chechnya, reconciliation meant a reasonable amount of autonomy to live according to Chechen culture, only a few Russian Federation laws over riding that, in return for mutual defence.
Mutual defence means that if traditional Chechen is attacked by the likes of CIA backed wahhabi jihadists, Chechnya has the full power of the Russian federation behind them.
Reconciliation in Syria will be with Syrian characteristics. If he ever writes a book on strategy Sun Tzu, Clausewitz.. I don't think it would pale in comparison.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 9:38 utc | 70

The Syria proxy war was always going to be decided, I think, by the moment when one of the great powers involved decided to fully commit. Turkey has done so.

Posted by: paul | Feb 27 2020 9:45 utc | 71


You will have to go into comedy. You would do well.
When the headchoppers take a bit of territory, they enter a meat grinder. Civilians will have been cleared from the area and anything that moves or is suspected of being able to move is destroyed.
It has occured many times before. SAA will back off when the headchoppers go suicidal and allow air power and artillery to do its job.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 9:49 utc | 72

Paveway IV
"I'm hesitant to rule out abject evil though. The public can't panic about the spread of an infectious disease that hospitals can't test for or confirm."

That would be insane, it would mean the virus would spread across the entire US the way it raged across Hubei for weeks, with similar results. At some point, Americans would notice there's a massive increase in very ill people in critical conditions, and a peak in "unexplainable" deaths, and I assume this would get out faster than in China (specially with the MSM gunning for Trump).

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 27 2020 9:50 utc | 73

Come on man, China and Iran both getting the flu bad? Another Cohencidence I guess

MANPADs for Al CIA-duh in Syria.... what's the asymmetrical response from team Russia?

Posted by: Jezabeel | Feb 27 2020 9:55 utc | 74

Russia was fully committed when on the ground commanders were given the order to destroy not only a threat but where it is launched from. That was quite sometime ag oand very much made public by the Russians.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 9:55 utc | 75

All of the salting of the narrative that the virus was accidentally/intentionally released by the Chinese themselves suggests that there is significant concern among the real perpetrators that the virus will become widely known to be artificial. There is thus a need to throw another layer of misdirection into the mix to help prevent people from reaching the most obvious and plausible conclusion that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is an American bioweapon.

Refer my post above @43 and realize that the Chinese government may not push back against this narrative as the alternative is to admit a de facto state of war, which they are trying to avoid.

Are the Chinese aware that the virus is a weapon? Are they covering it up? Sure, but that doesn't imply the conclusions that westerners are conditioned to jumping to. If the virus had originally appeared in Chicago, for instance, and the US government was covering up its artificial origins, then westerners would likewise assume that the organizations involved in the cover-up are trying to hide their own involvement. It is no surprise that in the ignorance of the differences between eastern and western cultures that Americans would project their own motives and behaviors onto the Chinese in an effort to understand events, and thus assume that the only reason the Chinese would downplay the true origin of the weaponized virus is if it were their own weapon. After all, if America were hit with a deadly bioweapon they would be squealing about it like stuck pigs and threatening to nuke the world. It is inconceivable to westerners that a population targeted with such a weapon could react otherwise.

But China IS reacting otherwise.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 27 2020 10:00 utc | 76

Mark2 @47

I apologize for not being able to comment much about how Iran is dealing with the SARS-CoV Mk2 bioweapon as I am not very familiar with Persian culture or their capabilities.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 27 2020 10:09 utc | 77

William Gruff
Any thought on how China may react if it were a bio weapon must include their actions in Korea and also the last few islands and reefs in the south china sea. I have not researched their actions in vietnam.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2020 10:11 utc | 78

"if the virus is such a non thing, not lethal like the current standard flue etc, why the exaggerated responses to it?"

Because it is a bioweapon attack. The Chinese learned from the last one (SARS-CoV Mk1) and put procedures in place to respond to biological warfare. When they identified the weapon as being similar to the prior one it triggered the biological warfare civil defense protocols. The effectiveness/lethality of the weapon is not a consideration in triggering the initiation of those protocols, only establishing the fact of an attack is required.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 27 2020 10:29 utc | 79

I am struck by the enormous gap between the presentation of the virus and the response to it - it is portrayed as like a bad cold (which will fade with warmer weather) but the response is more telling.

Very telling as to what is the purpose of the media.

I believe there is a psychological affect where a person of authority can do something quite wrong right in front of a subordinate (or when caught in the act) and can then coerce the subordinate to not believe what they just witnessed - its a combination of fear and need to belive as in battered spouse syndrome or as if in a trance.

Our minds truly work against us in many ways as paradoxically as that would seem. Seems to stem from our development as social animals and from fear. As when seriously injured we go into shock and do not feel pail.

No news source is reliable but a scan of news and scepticism re narrative and slow to form opinion may give chance of actual understanding. Or maybe we all lie all of the time each for our own reasons.

Posted by: jared | Feb 27 2020 11:13 utc | 80

Maximus @ 68 says:

Slowly but surely Syria is being/will be rebuilt . Great twitter profile too @syriarebuilt.. lovely resilient people, they didn't deserve this

no, they didn't. thanks for the update! my wife and i are waiting for the green light to visit...

Posted by: john | Feb 27 2020 11:19 utc | 81

We evolved to be social animals but to live in immediate tight-knit groups, not anything remotely like mass societies. These and their institutions are artificial and anti-evolutionary. So when we perceive governments, the mass media, the kind of structures which feature such "persons of authority" and make those the cathexes of our now free-floating social need (since the natural community structures are largely destroyed), we make a maladaptive mistake. People who are healthy in a Darwinian adaptive sense would view all such things as suspicious, potentially harmful external creatures/weather/geology etc.

Of course the answer to civilization's campaign of destruction against all evolutionary social structures isn't to take up liberal individualism. This is equally anti-evolutionary and is a key solvent amid the modern dissolution of all truly human society, which then sets up the basis where a chaotic flux of atoms is easily molded into a large totalitarian mass.

The only way is to lose/jettison faith in the mass and its forms and work to rebuild natural community from the soil up, on the basis of some truly shared, truly non-negotiable value. As I said before, I can't speak for the others who speak of movement building, but it's at the core of what I mean by it.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 27 2020 11:33 utc | 82

Updates on COVID-19:

Coronavirus: Weakest patients could be denied lifesaving care due to lack of funding for NHS, doctors admit

The protocol is called "Three Wise Men": a special board of three people would be responsible to decide who should be treated and who should not in case of scarcity. Well, I'll just call it "British authoritarianism" in homage to the propaganda being spilled against China.

Samsung, Hyundai, SK, LG ramping up coronavirus aid efforts

Come on, guys - you knew it would come eventually.

People joke that the UAE is just "twelve oil wells and one radio station". Well, South Korea is just twelve chaebols and one big kpop stage.

The moment the South Korean government showed its first sign of impotence (and the South Korean knew it would come, very soon), the local media would quickly resort to "faith in the chaebols" narrative in order to calm the masses.

‘Cured’ Japanese ‘positive’; expert sees crossroads


Japan is being exposed as the farce it really is.

Mecca shuts gates as Covid-19 migrates from Iran

God doesn't exist. Nothing is sacred. Everything is politics.

As a very wise man once said: everything solid melts into the air.

P.S.: not seeing the liberals complaining about an alleged attack on "freedom of religion".

Russia and China are taking dangerous approaches to coronavirus (Editorial)

WaPo's Editorial Board is stating Russia and China are approaching the COVID-19 problem "wrongly".

That can only mean one thing: Russia and China are doing everything right. Keep going!


Bonus news:

The Primaries Are Just Dumb: There’s a better way to do democracy.

This op-ed recommends ranked-choice voting - which is indeed a better, more democratic way, of electing people.

The question is: why is the NYT recommending it now? This wasn't a problem when Bill Clinton was chosen, or when Hillary Clinton was chosen. Or any other candidate in the History of the USA was chosen for that matter.

At least the NYT was wiser than the WaPo: it hired a mouthpiece to disguise its Editorial as an op-ed.

Posted by: vk | Feb 27 2020 11:40 utc | 83

Ranked choice voting isn't better than classical election where you have to elect just one person. Many times, there's a huge gap between some of the people you have to rank - as in, sometimes, there's just one valid choice and you wish all the others would be vaporized. Ranked choice will just bring more of the "Lesser of two Evils" situation, except that for most people, it'll be a higher Evil than the one they wanted - and sometimes, it'll be someone that's in the Highest Evils list. This could be fixed to an extent by not having a mere ranking list, but having an amount of electoral points, say 100, and you decide how many you give to people - though this system could just as easily be gamed by having some candidates pushing their supporters to give them all the points.
Bottom line, I don't think there's a good or even a better way than the traditional obvious one, when it comes to choose just 1 single person. Adding write-in option where you can vote for you, your dog or the candidate you supported that didn't make it would be a good idea, though.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 27 2020 11:59 utc | 84

@ Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 27 2020 11:59 utc | 85

In the American system - where there can be only the Democratic and Republican parties - I think you may be right.

But in a truly pluripartidary system (i.e. any other Western Democracy except Japan), ranked is definitely better, because each party represents a separate ideology/manifesto.

Posted by: vk | Feb 27 2020 12:10 utc | 85

@84 VK

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the Three Wise Men system Triage by another name? Triage has operated at UK A&E units for over 25 years.

Posted by: Some Random Passerby | Feb 27 2020 12:14 utc | 86

Posted by: vk | Feb 27 2020 3:30 utc | 60

There's already a study out in China that hypothetizes that, albeit the COVID-19 first spreaded in a seafood market, it was not there that the virus originated.

I have already debunked that study in the previous coronavirus thread.


The phylogenetic network alone cannot determine what was the ancestral haplotype. Mutations can have happened both ways. There are three ways of deriving the ancestral node from a phylogenetic network:

  • Date the appearance of each haplotype.
  • Follow known infection patterns.
  • Compare genomes to known distant ancestor (bat-RaTG13-CoV).
The ChinaXiV paper is doing this wrong. The known cases of H3 appeared one month later than H1. This is evident from the haplotype timeline included in the article.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 27 2020 12:29 utc | 87

Vintage Red | Feb 27 2020 9:03 utc | 67 (apropos of a funny)

Mark Sleboda's twitter had / has a great image of a Red Army toy bear overlain with the slogan "My favorite gender neutral pronoun is Comrade"

Suitable as a lawn poster in our glorious election, or a a rubber stamp with which to deface your favorite wall or currency...the slogan's stamp would be just right on the face of your favorite actor, er, pol.

Marat Sade quote> "It is the height of stupidity to claim that men who for a thousand years have had the power to berate us, to fleece us and to oppress us with impunity, will now agree, with good grace, to be our equals." (Just Hopium... But sure, why not vote?)

Posted by: Walter | Feb 27 2020 13:01 utc | 88

"It is the height of stupidity to claim that men... will now agree... to be our equals."

Most men, at least working class ones in America, actually do agree to be equals. Likewise most working class white Americans agree to be equals with Black Americans as well. Problem is that one cannot be made equal by the actions and good intentions of someone else. A User made an eloquent post about that a few days ago referencing his work among indigenous peoples in the country where he lives. I recommend anyone who has doubts to reread that post.

Basically, no matter how much you may want to do so, you cannot "uplift" the downtrodden as some sort of favor or good deed. Removing the physical chains as a gift leaves the psychological ones in place, and nobody can remove someone else's psychological chains. This is even more the case when those chains become integral components of the individual's "identity", in which case attempting to remove those chains amounts to an effort to destroy the individual's "identity". It is not wise to even attempt this, at least not directly.

Does this mean that western underprivileged groups are forever stuck with their chains built right into their identities? No, there is one possible out from that condition: engaging in the class struggle with other members of their class as equals. In the context of such a struggle the effort of fellow members of one's class to help ditch the personalized chains is no longer an enslaving act of charity but a necessity for class victory... Getting rid of your chains isn't a gift that you owe me for, but something that we as a class need to do in order to place the economy under deliberate and conscious control and thus take control of our society from capital.

Outside of the class struggle there can be no emancipation of women or former enslaved demographics. There is simply no other mechanism in society that can make it happen. After more than a century of trying no progress has been made in this regard except for during those periods when rights movements were linked to the class struggle. It is the realization of this that led MLK to the observation that "You cannot have capitalism without racism." It was that realization that King was assassinated for.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 27 2020 14:29 utc | 89

"But in a truly pluripartidary system (i.e. any other Western Democracy except Japan), ranked is definitely better, because each party represents a separate ideology/manifesto."
In other Western democracies, many other parties represent just variations of the liberal capitalist scum, therefore not worthy of being ranked. I didn't say ranking voting was far from perfect because it wouldn't work in the US, but because it wouldn't work well in any current loosely democratic country.

Still, the key point is to get rid of first past the post and to go for proportional representation - where people should elect at the very least 10 representatives.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 27 2020 14:38 utc | 90

I just find it strange that Iran is on the list of countries most infected.

That country is under severe sanctions from the U.S. and now this?

Very unfortunate for a people already struggling to keep their economy afloat.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 27 2020 14:44 utc | 91

William Gruff | Feb 27 2020 14:29 utc | 90 (men who... plus)

Bill, your ideas are reasoned and seem more or less agreeable to me, but, alas, the quotation with which you begin, being a kind of deception as it's incomplete, seems to weaken your position.

the complete quote is> "It is the height of stupidity to claim that men who for a thousand years have had the power to berate us, to fleece us and to oppress us with impunity, will now agree, with good grace, to be our equals."

Bill, working class men have never held such power for long, and when they have, they did not abuse themselves. The quote is about the character of the ruling class.

Obviously this is class based juxtaposition and theft. I specifically repudiate your implication that I might propose that men are naturally opposed to one another when they are in a given class. If you believe, however, that the ruling class does not take care to create division by all possible means...well, might assume that you have a problem with perception.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 27 2020 15:04 utc | 92

Iran is with China one of the most polluted countries in the world. It does not help to keep good natural defenses. I wonder why India does not have more cases. Either they do not reach the hospitals or that having a vegetarian diet helps? But what of those who do not have a vegetarian diet there?

Posted by: Mina | Feb 27 2020 15:16 utc | 93

I've seen a recent FB comment from someone in Milan: "As we have been severely affected by Covit-9 we are discovering it's actually a strong flue and actually many don't even know they have contracted it.. As it resolves by itself within 3-4 days!! Covit-9 is dangerous only for those above 60s years of age or people with low immune systems or with other illnesses."

This rings true to me. It is obviously a virulent virus that will take out the unhealthy dis-proportionally. However, more people die each day from the traffic accidents -- but nobody stops driving.(*) I see exponential growth charts (on small bases) for 'infections' but far less so for deaths. Why the hyped hysteria?

Rather, I think this looks like an "opportunity" for some and not to be missed by those whose greatest fear is the failure of the underlying economic ideology -- that is, not so much the real systemic failures papered over by central banks and company buy-backs etc. But rather, the awakening by the general populace to the fact that it is mostly BS.

Systemic failure is on the cards and has been for a long time -- 2008 financial crisis basically. They fixed nothing systemic. So, what better way to shift the blame, and thus avoid the consequences (and thus be able to carry on into the next cycle as is), than to blame the system crash on an external 'virus'.

Sure, it is causing problems, but nothing like the problems the hysteria from the official media narrative is doing. Health issues aside, I believe they may be 'crashing' the system now (as controlled demolition) in order to be able to side-step the fallout and hope to carry on as before in the subsequent restart. All the smart money has had ample time to position themselves. Now every economic consequence is virus related -- not ideology related. How convenient. Cui bono?

(*) - " Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44."

Posted by: imo | Feb 27 2020 15:28 utc | 94

Paveway @ 66

To your final query about corruption and incompetence. The CDC lead for this entire affair has been Dr. Nancy Messonier. She is Rod Rosenstein's sister. (Insert rim shot.)

From that basis it would be possible to construct Deep State conspiracy fantasies until the end of time and some might even be plausible. With rather more certainty it appears that everything, absolutely everything, is property of a club. It's a big club and you ain't in it. Membership in the club always trumps competency.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 27 2020 15:40 utc | 95

Walter @93

Very much true! If I believed as you suggested then indeed I would be suffering from a perception problem. The elites do sow division among the working class, and successfully too I might add. Because of this success many would interpret that quote as stating that men in general are the sources of oppression in society and that the quote isn't referring solely to the ones in positions of power. Even when people think in terms of power they will still tend to skip right past those who wield the most power over their lives, their employers, and instead focus on government.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 27 2020 15:43 utc | 96

Mina @94

China is not in the top ten most polluted countries, and is rapidly dropping lower.

India doesn't get epidemics of weird viruses for the simple reason that they are not under attack by the United States. India would certainly "catch a cold" if America were to view them as a serious threat to imperial hegemony. What has saved India so far is that nobody takes them seriously.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 27 2020 15:55 utc | 97

imo @ 95 says:

Sure, it is causing problems, but nothing like the problems the hysteria from the official media narrative is doing

yeah, Italy's backtracking quickly on their initial hysteria of closing schools, cancelling major events, quarantining entire towns, etc.(mostly in the industrious north, btw)

they got a whiff of economic collapse and decided it's not worth it, i mean, not for what is essentially little more than the common cold.

i pretty much agree with your opportunity prognosis...

Now every economic consequence is virus related -- not ideology related. How convenient

Posted by: john | Feb 27 2020 16:07 utc | 98

Circe @ 8. Ha ha. I read somewhere that Trump put Pence in charge of the USA Corona Response. (Sounds more like a beer-monopoly quarrel.) Admittedly I have not delved deeply into Pence’s mind set (argh) but, afaik, he does not believe in Evolution. Therefore presumably not in mutations or antibiotics, etc. Which just goes to show. Well something. :(

Richard S. Hack @ 7 wrote. Re. Assange.

The only question is will he enable Wikileaks to violate Aaron Rich's source privilege and reveal that Seth and Aaron Rich were the email leakers. In my view, he should because the truth in this case is far more important than protecting Wikileaks' policy on protection of sources.

Re. Seth only, as he is deceased, maybe. Aaron is the problem. (I have not followed the stuff about a possible Trump pardon…so don’t know of clues that might have appeared in that story.) It also appears to me that Assange’s lawyers were - are not being forceful or attack-dog enough (easy to say by an outside observer), there might be good reasons for it, so who knows. In any case, Assange’s lengthy stay at the Embassy shows that no negotiations were going on / were brought to any conclusion. Naturally, the partie(s) opposing JA had the luxury of ‘waiting it out’ but they lost their patience. (Note the campaigner Trump repeatedly said he loved Wikileaks but has seemingly…changed his mind.)

The morality of the situation is hard to judge. A promise is a promise, but the barriers for breaking it, in the minds of those involved, are opaque to us.

The ghastly irony of the situation - if one adheres to the scenario sketched - is that Assange is protecting the Corporate Dems via his obstinate silence not revealing internal strife, defection, corruption, not to mention destroying the Russia3x trope. Yet, the no. 1. force to kill him comes from that quarter.

Was this vid posted? > re. Assange.

25 Feb St. Pancreas Church (during trial.)

Speakers. P. Lavelle, A. Mercouris, G. Galloway, Eva Barlett, Joe Lauria, C. Murray, Joti Brar, Mike Barson. Watched the first part, OK, 2nd part, idk.

link is via facebook, couldn’t find orig

For sure the response to JA’s situation is: too little too late, in the sense that various bodies (public, journos defense, etc. etc.) did not act / had no impact / other / etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 27 2020 16:26 utc | 99

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