Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 05, 2020

Open Thread 2020-17

For commenting on the 2020 presidential election use the 2020 Presidential Election Thread 02.

Other news & views can be posted here.

Posted by b on March 5, 2020 at 14:55 UTC | Permalink


Well stay safe every one, it's still very dangerous out there.

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 5 2020 14:57 utc | 1

If starvation was contagious perhaps the 8 million lingering, excruciating deaths per anum would finally be seen as the pan-global crisis it is and people would finally care to mobilize to stop these preventable deaths we already know how to stop but haven't yet. No vaccine needed, ahem.

A just cap on fortunes beats all methods past, present, and future to move the human species to justice, peace, safety.

Strike the root.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Mar 5 2020 15:14 utc | 2

Washington, Florida and California have all now declared a state of emergency.
In Iran 35 MP’s have now got the virus.
In the U.K. we now have 90 cases ! Some of which infected with in the community (no one knows where)
Boris Johnson say’s ‘’wash your hands more often’’
We’re stuffed I tell you ‘’stuffed’’

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 5 2020 15:26 utc | 3

This election makes it crystal clear that the "race" is not about Dem vs Rep, L vs R, it is about the wealthy represented by both parties and 100s of billion$ vs the 99% without any representation. Allowing Bernie in means giving the 99% representation which can not be allowed.

When/if the 99% realise they have no representation they might just demand it.

Posted by: jef | Mar 5 2020 15:37 utc | 4

New research by Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese scientists seems to indicate that the Covid-19 coronavirus did not originate in China. In fact, Japanese and Taiwanese scientists have gone a step further and have stated that the virus came from the USA.

The same scientists claim that they believe the virus first appeared in the USA back in September 2019. At around the same time, two other things occurred. 200 Americans died of pulmonary fibrosis (inability to breathe) but the conditions and symptoms were not typical of the illness (these deaths were blamed on E-cigarettes and then hushed up). Oh, and just before this incident, the bio-weapons research laboratory at Fort Detrick was hastily closed down...

Posted by: Richard | Mar 5 2020 15:41 utc | 5

The 22,000 children who die every day due to poverty; maybe we should stuff their bodies and lay them out on an enormous hillside so the starving being continued to starve would be SEEN as a problem?

3.5 million children younger than 5 die from malnutrition every year, and it isn't in the news.

WHY is that not news? Because starvation/extreme malnutrition happens every day? BECAUSE it happens every day is why we never read about it or discuss it? A simple mal-distribution of wealth issue is so beastly deadly easy to ignore?

Before humans can awaken FROM the nightmare of history they must awaken TO the nightmare of history!

We are supposed to be the adults. In light of what is happening to us all around us, we are compelled to build some mental muscle, prioritize correctly, focus on pay injustice because it is the issue that all other issues hinge on. We must overcome our inertia and start to learn and teach principles of pay justice. We do not have time nor right to continue to wallow in the far-too-manyness, seeking agreement on answers to all the wrong questions.

So can we please talk about the only thing that is not subversive of government, democracy, liberty, fraternity, peace, happiness, security and survival?

The reason the American Dream is in reverse on steroids is because no one will go near, no one will even consider, nor talk about, changing from a system of everybody going for as much as they can get out of the pool of wealth - never mind who actually earned it, to a system of everyone going for what they contributed to the pool of wealth, no less and no more.

"The person who stands up and says, "This is stupid", either is asked to behave, or worse, is greeted with a cheerful "Yes, we know! Isn't it terrific!"
“If our children knew what we’re really doing to them, they would rise up and murder us in our sleep.”
-Frank Zappa

Our purpose is to stop people getting to maximize human happiness - and that means to maximize human freedom - and that requires as little as possible overpay and underpay - ie, as little as possible theft of earnings, which confers overpower on the thief [power to control and manipulate others] whoever he is, and confers underpower on the robbed. There is theft, there is legal theft, there is hyper-extreme overpay and underpay. Market forces do not distribute money and power in proportion to work - market forces do the opposite: work drifts one way and money drifts the other. We can retain all the advantages of market forces, of private property, of free market AND correct for the ceaseless automatic unjust thieving drift of money and power. We leave all the capitalist mechanisms alone and we merely establish a figure for the most one person can deserve to be paid by warrant of their contribution to society by their own work - and spread the overfortune among the taking water that has pooled and re-spraying it over the crop...and thus provide a counterbalance to the ceaseless automatic drift of wealth and power away from the people to a tiny few.

If we DON'T do this, there will always be a very few somebody's who are going to continue to make happen what they want to happen, which involves the sacrifice of any and all who stand in the way of their monomania for money and power.

Why is it that people have never said: "Hey, I work as hard as you, in fact I work harder than you - you can't have any more than me." Why has overwealth never been universally condemned by all? Why has no one ever worked it out that transaction shifts money from earners to non-earners? Why is no one even *interested* in the fact that transaction automatically steals earnings from earners and gives them to non-earners?

We have the will, the wish, the want. We just have to add the whatever is lacking to bring us to act according to our own universal will, and do the obvious: realize the perfect good sense of those unheard very few wise and awake who always wish to counter the automatic ceaseless drift from justice, freedom, and peace - to injustice, tyranny, and re-a-justicing wealth.

To be rich is not glorious. To aim for unlimited fortunes out of limited work is shameful, ridiculous, wicked, foolish, self-harming. Justice is glorious.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Mar 5 2020 15:54 utc | 6

From Magnier,..."Turkey is more isolated than it has ever been. It has lost its privileged position within the US by buying the S-400 and hosting the Turkstream pipeline selling Russian gas to Europe. It has lost European respect by organising the transfer of over 110,000 Syrian and other nationalities’ refugees to the borders, allowing them to reach the borders with Greece and refusing to close the Turkish borders to prevent the crossing. This Turkish blackmail is not winning friends on the European continent, especially since Erdogan is at the same time asking for more money to compensate the refugees’ presence in his country."...

Looks like Putin is going to put on his Botas picudas Mexicanas(Mexican pointy boots) and finish this rat off that is cornered. Erdogan is finally have to make his choice, NATO or Russia. His prospects at home are looking dire also, nothing like some domestic displeasure to make him sweat.

Posted by: Taffyboy | Mar 5 2020 15:58 utc | 7

Well said to Phrybe's frock. I will add - we are supposed to be all atwitter because a handful of people have died (condolences to their families) MY God!!! One Whole Person died in New York. And yet the sanctions preventing food and medicine from reaching Yemen, Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran - who have I missed? are all still in place. Forgive me, I'm all out of crocodile tears. The US truly is the epicenter of ignorance and cruelty. Who can let children die an excruciating death from cholera and starvation and claim to be a Fucking Christian?!

And the beat goes on. Hahahahahaha! Pompeous has announced that the virus in china will be good for murka because it will bring manufacturing back. Right. Well while you get that dialed up Mikey, keep in mind that 97% of antibiotics used in murka come from - wait for it - china! BTW, they also make face masks. Really, the level of stupidity is beyond belief.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Mar 5 2020 16:07 utc | 8

to Richard: Very interesting. I remember that e-cigarrette dither which suddenly went away. The Trumpalator had some twitter moments about it and then went silent, if I recall correctly.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Mar 5 2020 16:11 utc | 9

Hysteria here in NYC is palpable, even more so than usual. I still look to the cruise ship. 600 people on a boat with CoV19. Perfect conditions for virus to spread with common eating and common ventilation/AC. Many, many infected. How many dead? Two, both persons in their 80s.

Posted by: casey | Mar 5 2020 16:15 utc | 10

To all candidates for political office who sincerely seek to reverse America’s obscenely unjust concentration of wealthpower:
It would enormously strengthen your position in every debate to define pay justice.

We must define pay justice. How can we know just how much people should have and should pay unless we have sound, fundamental ideas of pay justice? James Madison said "The purpose of government is justice". The state built on injustice cannot stand - so to be democratic, for the people to do their job of ruling, to save the state, to be patriotic, to love your country, to love yourself, to pursue happiness (of which pay justice is a very important part), you need to be able to locate pay justice.

At the moment, many are saying: these people should have less, these others have more. But how much should they have? What are the principles of pay justice? Happiness [everyone's everything], safety, good governance, peace, order, satisfaction – all depend on justice.

Those are 'pretty important' things, yet we look in vain for thoughtful study of where pay justice is. It should have been the focus of all education, from young age right through. People should have been very sophisticated about pay justice, able to pinpoint it by good principles. Instead, all the debate we hear boils down to: they should have less, no, they shouldn't have less, they should have more, no, they shouldn't have more.

Pay justice is the great wallflower, waiting to give us the world average pay per hour, which is approximately US $40 per hour including paying housewives and students. Pay justice waits to give us peace and plenty - and give us our future back.

Pay ranges widely while no one asks how widely it should range. How are people going to be able to say: "This far and no further. This is the line between right and wrong, between fairpay and robbery, between fairpay and overpay-underpay." Children should all grow up knowing that overpay-underpay is the cause of the shaking of societies to pieces. People should worry about their society being shaken to pieces. People should know that every empire so far has been shaken to pieces by pay injustice. There is no subject closer to civic responsibility and pursuit of happiness - no subject more worth our care and mental labour - and it is utterly neglected. Vigilance is the price of liberty – but vigilance about what? Very few can answer that question.

Proper pay is what a person's work would win them in a state of nature, plus an equal share of the benefits of division of labour. An equal share, since division of labour is a community effort, with equal contribution, so everyone has right to reap the benefits equally.

Pay justice is no-pay for no-work, pay only for work [= sacrifice], equal pay for equal sacrifice. Pay justice is taking out of the social pool of work as much as you put in, as your work puts in. We pool the workproducts because of division of labour, and trade is ideally the exchange of items of equal workvalue, in order to remix goods separated by division of labour, job specialisation, to get the mix of goods everyone wants and needs. The variety of goods we take out is ideally (justly) of equal workvalue to the workproducts we produced in our job. Anything more or less than this is overpay or underpay, and overpay-underpay is unjust, causing tensions which escalate endlessly as people try to get justice and people tug to and fro, causing violence, war, crime, weaponry growth - which has grown for 3000 years - and brought us to superextreme pay injustice and danger, and corruption, tyranny, slavery, wageslavery, disorder, undemocracy, falling states - all our gigantic problems.

What things are there, that justify unequal pay per unit of work, unequal pay per hour, unequal pay per year? Are there any? Provided society pays students for studying, there are NO reasons for unequal pay per hour. Close scrutiny of the reasons given for unequal pay do not, as far as I can see, stand up to rational examination. (I’m open to rational discussion.)

One common, universally accepted reason given for payment is personal gifts – he's really smart, she's especially talented, but reason says that these gifts are work done by mother nature. It doesn't take any work, any sacrifice, by anyone, to have these gifts, and using them doesn't mean the gifted person is sacrificing any more than a lesser gifted person does who uses the gifts he got. No one got to choose greater or lesser gifts. No one who has lower intellect or more fragile health or lesser innate abilities chose that for themselves, so it is no part of justice to force the lesser-gifted to give up equal pay in order to give overpay to those who won greater gifts. Rationally, [as distinct from the irrational invalid fallacious argument to the authority of irrational but accepted ideas, in which people put such great reliance] pay for natural gifts is as irrational as payment for receiving Christmas gifts, which has not received the fallacious support of custom.

Personal sacrifice of time and effort spent developing one's gifts is different. Pay for developing gifts [of commercial value] is just, because developing gifts is work. There is no *reason* anyone can give for payment for natural gifts, and no reason anyone can give for others having to fund this payment, and because the pool of wealth is finite, it is the underpaid who must take less for their sacrifice in order for there to be more to give the better-gifted. Everyone loves being paid for gifts, because they hope to benefit by them, but it hasn't worked out like that and it never will work out like that. 99% are paid less than the world average pay per hour. The downside of funding this payment is, for 99% of people, much greater than the benefit, but few are aware of this - of how they rob themselves by supporting this payment, of how they con themselves out of money by this, of how they open the floodgates of limitless overpay-underpay [and consequent violence and misery] by this support.

Again, and similarly, people support pay for experience - but cold, hard sense says that experience is gained at no extra sacrifice of time and effort beyond that made in doing the paid work that provided the experience. Again, people support it, defend it, although for 99%, the costs of funding this exceed the financial benefit to them. They con themselves out of their full rightful pay by mis-thinking that pay for experience gives them more money, and they thus open the floodgates to unlimited uncontrollable growth of overpay-underpay [and consequent unlimited uncontrollable violence, war, crime, weaponry ever-growing]. People don't want to look at justice because they fear it will mean less money - they never suspect that justice will mean more money and the destruction of violence.

How could stopping myself from getting pay for things like gifts and experience give me *more* money? It doesn't make sense to people - it doesn't make sense to people because they are looking at a tiny part of the picture – themselves only. Not being paid yourself for non-work things gives you more money because it stops others being paid for these things at your expense. Overpay, pay for nonwork, is funded by work for no pay, underpay, by others. The overpay buys things other people have worked to make. Your participation in this injustice prevents you stopping others benefiting from this leak - the line is crossed, erased, and there are no principles of justice left to limit pay, to prevent unlimited pay/hr, hence we have pay per hour, after 3000 years' growth of inequality, from $10,000,000 to 1cent - an inequality violence misery war crime weaponry tyranny slavery undemocracy unliberty unfraternity corruption brutality torture state-terrorism private-terrorism warmongering cannonfoddering disinformation rights-trampling factor of one billion, and rising - to extinction soon, thanks to e=mc2. Happy people have no history. We have heaps of history - and history is now accelerating exponentially.

Get the idea of pay justice, and we get a history-free golden age. Keep faith with pay injustice, and we get oblivion. The bombs are global. Global means every house. Culture is based on ideas. Our idea for 3000 years has been wrong - it has produced underpay misery for 99%, overpay misery for 1%, and violence for everyone.

Overpay is necessarily always happiness-negative, because 1. satisfaction waits on desire, overpay is just 3000 pairs of shoes for two feet, 1000 rooms for one body, etc., and 2. erosion of overpay [individual, national and imperial] [by both underpaid and overpaid] is myriad and relentless, so the labour of keeping it is constant and danger-fraught: the sense of justice is indestructible.

The same “logic whoopsie” governs the universal support for private inheritance. The heir has done nothing to deserve that money, done nothing to earn/create that wealth. People see themselves getting money from private inheritance, they don't see themselves funding this gift, impoverishing themselves, and they don't see they are thereby starting the evergrowth of inequality violence misery.

The same logical error governs the universal support of profits above fairpay for work. By definition, the owners have done nothing to earn profits above fairpay for work - others fund that gift. For various reasons, it is not good to interfere directly with this injustice. It can be controlled at the macro-macro level by making everyone equal heirs of large deceased estates. Everyone has done the work that the overfortunes represent and buy, so overfortunes belong to everyone.

And the same logical error [seeing only part of the picture, imagining themselves gaining, not seeing themselves losing by funding the bigger gains for others, not seeing themselves opening the gates to ever-growing inequality violence misery, which gets to everyone, overpaid and underpaid] governs the support of capital gains. People do the work that builds cities or other infrastructure, but only landowners get the added value - and get it in proportion to their fortunes - for no work, for no sacrifice of personal time and effort to working.

We only have to see the reality, we only have to see the real enormous badness of pay injustice, and the real enormous goodness of pay justice, and human culture is changed forever, violence dies forever - [war is not human nature - human nature is unchanging and violence has grown for 3000 years - no correlation, therefore no causality. And so-called religious and racial wars are pay-injustice wars along religious or racial lines; where there are religious or racial differences without pay injustice, there are no wars - again, no correlation, so no causality.] Culture is ideas. A change of ideas is change of culture. And the ideas are not hard to see.

No force is needed, just education, just epiphany - no evergrowing bureaucracy, but a massive reduction of bureaucracy [lower taxes, more money and freedom for productivity] - no group, just individual realization and tell your friends - no economic upheaval, just a little law with gigantic benefit - no restriction of ambition, just efficient prevention of evergrowth of pay injustice. Pay injustice is the vital justice, because money is the joker good, good for most things, including social power.

Justice causes happiness. We can secure far, far greater happiness for this whole planet, but not by pretending to believe in justice but by knowing the reality: pay injustice is theft, theft is injury, injury ricochets untiringly as atoms. As doormats, people are totally unreliable - every plutocracy has fallen. Where is Spanish Inca gold today? Honey attracts bears. The Golden Rule is ironclad: hurt people and they hurt back. Other-injury is self-injury - ask Hitler, Marie Antoinette, Ceausescu, Nero, Richard III.

Justice is not a cost, it is happiness out of the vast quagmire, at the cost of objective, patient examination of a new expression of an ancient idea, at the cost of ditching idols that have hurt us enormously, that are set to kill us - is the price too high?

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Mar 5 2020 16:16 utc | 11

Miss Lacey @ 8
Don’t forget the effect the virus will have on the very poor people you mention !
It’s designed to wipe them out.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 5 2020 16:31 utc | 12

Richard and miss lacy
I read that article too, interesting points especially the focus on events in September-November of last year these include
World military games in wuhan October
Closing of fort Detrick - main us bioweapons lab
Dr peng posting help wanted for bat research November
Early Chinese whistlblowers in November - December
And the worlds largest banquet in Wuhan
There is also a $500 million bond payment from The Who that is basically a bet saying there won’t be a pandemic, should there be a pandemic the money will be sent to developing nations and not bond holders
Also keeping into account that this virus spiked right at the Chinese New Year there are too many coincidence

That being said I believe the us origin theory but not that vaping deaths are Coronavirus. Covid19 patients need to be quartintined properly or the nurses and the rest of the hospitals they visited would have already had disease spikes

Posted by: Garrett | Mar 5 2020 16:35 utc | 13

Richard | Mar 5 2020 15:41 utc | 5 200 US soldier participated at Wuhan in a joint exercise last October. The first cases in China followed two weeks later. Pure coincidence? Youbetcha! Nothing to see there, move along.

Start with John Helmer's old posts on his site and trace out the links...

Posted by: Walter | Mar 5 2020 16:39 utc | 14

Anybody else having trouble connecting to Consortium News today? I get a message that the website is likely mis-configured and there is nothing that can be done about it.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 5 2020 16:42 utc | 15

Speaking of viruses: 90% of brains are too poor (on less than 100th of world-average pay) to become educated. And 90% of the 10% educated brains are tied up in the effects of the super-extreme pay injustice, in the military-industrial complex, universities, hospitals, government, legal system and business. So, how many Mozarts, Einsteins, cures, and disease preventers etc etc has the human species cheated itself out of due to its tradition of overpay-underpay? Would we indeed, with the ETHICAL progress of pay justice, have technological progress at 100 times the present rate?

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Mar 5 2020 16:42 utc | 16


Barak Ravid
BREAKING: The Israeli central elections committee published the results of the elections: Netanyahu's right wing bloc with only 58 seat (Likud 36 seats) and Benny Gantz's center-left bloc with 62 seat (Blue and White 33 seats). Netanyahu doesn't have majority to form a government

CET: 5:06 em · 5 mars 2020

Posted by: Kaj Jakobsson | Mar 5 2020 16:48 utc | 17

I just tried it - get the same

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Mar 5 2020 17:03 utc | 18

The Dubai dream

Posted by: Mina | Mar 5 2020 17:05 utc | 19

Thanks, Blue Dotterel.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 5 2020 17:05 utc | 20

Consortium News is, indeed, unavailable. I was on the site less than two hours ago, so this is a recent development. John Helmer-Dances with Bears- has some interesting stuff about attacks on his site and The Blogmire.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 5 2020 17:19 utc | 21

@casey #10
Actually, the count is a bit over 700. But yes, death rate is really low.

More interesting fun disease facts: apparently quarantine comes from Italian - referring to the 40 day line between chronic and short term illnesses and then embodied into 40 day blockades of all transport into/out of a zone (quaranta = 40 in Italian) - started in the 13th century in Italy to combat the Black Plague.

More fun facts (from Wiki): the Spanish Flu, there is a theory that it was so bad because of World War 1. In particular, normally a flu gets milder over time because the deadlier strains die out faster than they can spread whereas the less deadly spread more. But in World War 1 - really sick soldiers would be evacuated to back line hospitals whereas less sick ones would stay in the front - effectively grouping all the really sick people together. And while more deadly typically is harder to spread, that's less of an issue if you put enormous numbers of victims together - some will survive as carriers...

Did this happen in Wuhan? Seems possible...

And more fun Spanish flu (from Wiki also): Copenhagen may have experienced less deaths from Spanish flu because it was heavily infected by first stage Spanish flu, which was less deadly than the 2nd wave.

So does this mean we should all go out and get nCOV sick now, or later?

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 5 2020 17:23 utc | 22

@Phryne's frock #16
You said:

Speaking of viruses: 90% of brains are too poor (on less than 100th of world-average pay) to become educated.
You are saying that education is a function of money?
I'm curious as to what you consider "educated" to mean.
Also, it seems the corollary to your statement is that 10% of brains are able to become educated regardless of "world average pay" status?
Also curious why "world standard" matters, as opposed to say, relation to standard of living?

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 5 2020 17:28 utc | 23

@ bevin 21
I was on Helmer's site earlier and I started getting a "redirect" window.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 5 2020 17:44 utc | 24

spudski @15
No problem here. Probably something could be done about it.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 5 2020 17:45 utc | 25

RT announces it will be more "jaw, jaw, jaw" instead of "war, war, war", at least until the Turks violate the newest ceasefire agreement...

Russia & Turkey agree on de-escalation in Idlib, Syria, after Putin-Erdogan talks in Moscow

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 5 2020 17:49 utc | 26

spudski @15

Yes, immediately got message that their validation certificate was not correct. More troubling, the message said "YOU SHOULD NOT CONNECT TO THIS WEBSITE" because they might be trying to steal your (my) information. Tried also from a link on a Google search. Tried once again from my favorites, got message, clicked "more info" and another link provided "go to site (anyway)" did so, and CN came up, appeared normal, and no mention there (so far) of a cyber attack or "mysterious" interference.

My computer hasn't been right since the Feb. patch Tuesday latest effed-up Windows updates. Lost functioning of at least two valid paid-for 3rd party programs (a drafting/design program and a music "audio restoration tool"/recording program.) As usual the a-hole geniuses at Microsoft aren't talking. Several other left/progressive/alternative sites I've been reading for years have also developed buggy/crashing behavior over the last 4-6 weeks.

Update: just went (again) to CN from my favorites and it came up with address bar colored red and "Invalid Certificate" warning, but it came up, and no mention there (yet) of a problem. Should send messages to CN admin. about the problems out here.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Mar 5 2020 17:51 utc | 27

Turkey deploys 1,000 police at Greek border to stem push-back of migrants

Erdogan is getting desparate

Posted by: Nick | Mar 5 2020 17:51 utc | 28

RE: Consortium News: I removed the 's' from "https" in the URL and it came up, looks OK.

I read recently one of the certificate athorities was cancelling some certs, so I expect that is what is going on. Seen at a couple other places recently too. (Using Chromium, which is very unhelpful about what is going on.)

Hope that helps.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 5 2020 17:52 utc | 29

Here's something I believe would be really fun to see. Bernie Sanders walking on stage in front of millions of television viewers across the nation and challenge the Senate's former resident village idiot "uncle" Joe Biden, to a one-on-one debate on Medicare for All, right in front of Biden's face. I'm not a religious person, but I would pray to see this. Fat chance of seeing this.

Posted by: GeorgeV | Mar 5 2020 18:05 utc | 30

As I predicted, capitalism wouldn't suffice. South Korea is now desperately resorting to socialist policies to contain the COVID-19:

Government to ban export of face masks

Of course just printing and injecting money wouldn't solve the problem. The private sector would simply hoard it and play "siege economy", just to get out even richer after the ravage of the epidemic is gone.

This mask export ban is, in the greater scheme of things, just symbolic, since these cloth masks won't stop the virus, but it's something.


Beginning of the end? Reject the politics of fear and embrace hope and cooperation instead

But the same SCMP was trumpeting the "this is the beginning of the end for the CCP tyranny" when the COVID-19 was ravaging just China.

Now that the virus is wrecking havoc in the West, the narrative has quickly changed: it's all "hope and cooperation".


CCP's official newspapers humiliates western MSM, MoA commenters with this:

Conspiracy theories won’t hold water when evaluated with science, rationality

Do yourself a favor: don't play the dumb racist christian westerner. That's the life lesson to be learned with the COVID-19.

Posted by: vk | Mar 5 2020 18:08 utc | 31

Thank you, Miss Lacy 8. You said "The US truly is the epicenter of ignorance and cruelty. Who can let children die an excruciating death from cholera and starvation and claim to be a Fucking Christian?!" You made me recall a relevant bit I wrote long ago. I am handing it off to you now:

Dear self-labeled Christians in America (and elsewhere)

Why don’t you take a test to see if you or your America has been on the same side as God. It is easy to say you are godly, and God is on your side, but how’s your record?

How many times did you murder the innocent? – the Indians who saved your lives and taught you to grow corn who you massacred – the striking mining families you burned alive in their holes in the ground homes – the Vietnamese you slaughtered for their resources –

What is God seeing in his little black book?

How many faces of the poor did you grind today?

To be a Christian, it is not enough to say I am a Christian and give your heart to Jesus and sing songs in church regularly – you have to love – how well did you love? To love, you have to give when you see need when you have means – how many times did you give when you saw need when you had means?

Be perfect even as your Father is perfect – been perfect lately? Have you even tried to be perfect? Do you do anything that entitles you to the name Christian? How is your heart? God sees hearts not labels – hearts not churches – hearts not songs – seek and you shall find – how much seeking have you done? Have you sought anything lately? Have you really sought the truth about life? – or have you rested on the laurels of the Bible? Have you said in your heart: I am Christian because I go to church and therefore that makes me superior?

Going to church doesn’t make you Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car. Have you loved your enemies? Have you loved others as yourself? Have you acted toward others exactly as if they were you?

Proud of being a Christian nation, are you? Proud of being Christian? Think you are good because you are nominally Christian? How many satanic people have been high up in the churches? How many monks have burned people alive?

What is your record? How many points can you give yourself as a Christian? By every test of what a Christian is, how well do you rank?

How vigilant have you been to ensure that your country acted in a Christian manner? – or did you just assume: it’s our country, so it must be good? Did you look at your country’s sins and fear the wrath of God, the condemnation of God?

‘test everything and hold on to what is good’ – did you obey this biblical injunction? – did you once in your life ever think of obeying this biblical injunction?

Did you keep any eye on how much your country took and how much it gave, and whether it stole or plundered, and exhort it to return the plunder lest it burn in hell?

How is your country doing? – does it look as though it is heaven-blessed? – is there sweetness and light, or ugliness and bitterness? – is your country floating near heaven or is it burning in hell?

Did you grapple with the contradictions in the bible and strive to pierce them to understanding?

If god exists, and is right, and is love, then obedience to him is happiness, is peace and joy and safety and the love of other nations.

Is justice a virtue? – is justice part of godliness? – did you establish what is justice in pay and strive to keep your country on that path of justice? – did you ever worry about the range of pay in your country and other countries? – did you worry about the amount your country stole by stealing people from Africa? – did you move towards full just compensation for the robbery? – did you work out how much slave labor gave to america and pay it back?

Did you suspect that there might be overpay when people got a million times the average hourly pay, although they were not, could not, have worked a million times harder per hour than the average – could not have worked even twice as hard per hour as the average?

Did you look at liberty, equality and fraternity on one side, and look at your country on the other, and see some difference, some distance? did you ponder why even with all their flaws the founding fathers first thing passed laws to limit fortunes, to prevent concentration of wealth? – did you meditate the relation of concentration of wealth and injustice, and the relation of injustice and disobedience to god?

Did you pay the slightest attention to the causes of happiness and unhappiness, peace and violence, in states?

Did any of your presidents say: my fellow americans, it is very worrying, we have wealth and poverty, although people are working equally hard – we have people working harder and getting little and people working less hard and getting heaps – this is injustice – the purpose of government is justice, because without justice there is no peace and happiness – we have to correct this – we are grinding the faces of the poor, we are becoming an unchristian nation – we will all go to hell if we continue injuring so many people!

Did you obey the golden rule? – did you earnestly strive to do no injury? – did you see that injustice in pay was a great injury? – did you fear for your place in heaven if this injury to the underpaid continued?

No – you bathed in the glory of being christian, of being good, of being noble and great and wonderful, without ever testing yourself against Christian standards – you put on a mask of being christian, by going to church and priding yourself on your greatness and goodness, and your soul and your country continued to sink into hell

you completely failed at being Christian
you are not Christian
God is not proud of you – he leaves you to the fate you have chosen – you are a child that has gone ever downhill, from worse to worse, all the time raising your head higher and higher in pride and vanity

you cannot hear and you cannot see what you have done – ‘they don't know what they are doing’
God is love, so his commands make you happy – and even with that, you did not make a list of all the commands and check yourself weekly against them

did you obey the command to lower the proud and raise the meek? – have you ever once thought of obeying that command?
not once!
did your preachers ever preach any of these things?
no, you have never heard such things before

not once!

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Mar 5 2020 18:41 utc | 32

C1ue, I’m surprised by your question. I thought it was self-evident that, yes, formal/tertiary education costs money, to provide and to consume. Resources; buildings, books, labs, equipment – teachers need pay, etc. If you’re one of the millions going blind every year from lack of 4 cents worth of vitamin A, you can’t even read a free child’s book, eh? A quarter of all humans live without electricity, did you know?

LESS than a quarter of the income of the top 100 richest billionaires would end extreme global poverty.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Mar 5 2020 18:47 utc | 33

Consortium News' Certificate expired this morning at 3/5/2020, 7:54:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time) -- seems to be the only issue.
I am not familiar with their CA (Cert Authority) "Starfield", but I have gotten certs from Geotrust/Digicert, Entrust and GoDaddy before. An existing cert from these can conceivably be renewed and applied within a day, sometimes two depending on if you have to prove authorization to purchase for the domain.

Posted by: laughingsong | Mar 5 2020 18:51 utc | 34

Posted by: vk | Mar 5 2020 18:08 utc | 31

Well said: "Do yourself a favor: don't play the dumb racist christian westerner. That's the life lesson to be learned with the COVID-19.

I have no love for communism not now or ever, but Capitalism is dead. Covid-19 proves it. Been a strong believer of god and country. Not now! The only way to beats Convid-19 is total lockdown.. If you wanna save the country that's the only recourse.

Do it the Socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Posted by: JC | Mar 5 2020 20:23 utc | 35

@Phryne's frock #33
You said:

I thought it was self-evident that, yes, formal/tertiary education costs money, to provide and to consume. Resources; buildings, books, labs, equipment – teachers need pay, etc.

There is no self-evidence when the assumptions are undocumented.
Again, what are you assuming the definition of education to be and how to provide it? I am asking you what your standards are by which you derive your previous statement.

You said:

If you’re one of the millions going blind every year from lack of 4 cents worth of vitamin A, you can’t even read a free child’s book, eh? A quarter of all humans live without electricity, did you know?

4 cents worth of Vitamin A sounds nice, but the real issue there is distribution. But more importantly, what does this have to do with the cost of education? You said 90% - a very large number - and so I am asking to understand what this hyperbolic statement is based on. Millions of children - let's say 10 million - is a tiny fraction of the world's population - both overall and of children.
Equally, living without electricity is not great, but it also doesn't exclude education.
Put another way: global literacy levels average 90% for males and 82.7% for females. Even Sub-Saharan Africa - literacy averages 64%. A far, far cry from 90% cannot be educated - which is what you said.
So clearly your definition of "education" doesn't equate to literacy levels - hence my questions.

You said:

LESS than a quarter of the income of the top 100 richest billionaires would end extreme global poverty.

This statement is also unclear.

I've seen estimates of $175 billion per year for 20 years to end all poverty source; the total net worth of the top 100 billionaires might pay for 3 or 4 of those 20 years.

While I'm no fan of economic oligarchs - it is really difficult to link the poverty in 3rd world nations with most of the billionaires in the world. Warren Buffet, Jobs family, Waltons, Bezos etc make their bones in the 1st and 2nd world, not the poor of the 3rd world.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 5 2020 20:30 utc | 36

Did you know in China everyone are encourage or force to check if they're infected with Convid-19. It's free, really free food and lodging. The provincial gov, States and Insurances will pay full. However, if you're not affected you will change not more than 25% if you are too poor unable to pay it free!

This is Socialism with Chinese characteristics.. Gov for the people and by the people.

Watch this video (repost)

Posted by: JC | Mar 5 2020 20:41 utc | 37

Court rules that vaccines caused death attributed to SIDS:

"Petitioners have put forth preponderant evidence that the vaccines J.B. received on September 2, 2011 actually caused or substantially contributed to his death from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome."

Posted by: evilempire | Mar 5 2020 21:12 utc | 38

JC. At the beginning of the outbreak testing and treatment were paid by their national insurance up to 50%. Like any other lung infection. Insurance is not socialism. Those who could not afford to pay after their money ran out could not get treated and were discharged (some of the treatments are expensive for serious cases) . Sort of like the US. By mid January when they decided to take it seriously, about 6 weeks after the first case, they made testing and treatment free . If you came in with pneumonia but tested negative you got sent home, even if you could pay, because they wanted to save room for COVID patients. How many died at home with pneumonia caused by other viruses (the cause of many more than COVID pneumonia) we will never know

The US has an emergency procedure where the government will pay all costs for testing associated with a pandemic declaration. I suppose they wait until 10,000 cases like China did.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 5 2020 22:08 utc | 39

Are people here in denial ? Like the general public ?
Don’t trust the govenment, as psychopaths they will tell you one thing but continue there sick agender.
Don’t trust the media, there unreliable track record speaks for it self, look who owns them.
In short beware of ‘Stockholm syndrome ‘
We here knew this was coming, didn’t we ? So let’s keep to the ‘true’ reality !!
As a reminder - - -

Look at the time scale . As most times M O A called it !!

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 5 2020 23:00 utc | 40

Netanyahu swings from hubris to hate in 48 hours after Israeli election:

Mondo Weiss

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 5 2020 23:26 utc | 41

New leaked documents in the mh17 investigation revealed by Max Van der Werff
and expounded upon by John Helmer:

"These records show that at their meeting on February 12, 2016, the JIT officials agreed that the “requested information” identified in the December 4, 2015, meeting and including the US satellite data, was “yet to be completed.”

Instead, the only civilian satellite evidence which the JIT later said it has used, comes from the European Space Agency. In the JIT report of September 28, 2016, the Dutch said “the European Space Agency (ESA) has aided the investigation team extensively in the search for relevant images from satellites. This has shown to be of great value: Not only did ESA obtain images of all relevant civilian satellites, but they also have experts who have assessed these images. The conclusions drawn by ESA confirm the conclusions of the investigation team with regard to the launch site.”

Note that the JIT refers here to civilian satellites.

The leak last month from the JIT files of two reports from MIVD, the Dutch military intelligence agency, both dated September 21, 2016, has identified US and NATO military satellite intelligence (“partner informatie”) as the source for MIVD’s conclusions that no Russian BUK missile radar and launch units had crossed the border into Ukraine before or on July 17, 2014; no BUK missile radar targeting or firing on MH17 had been detected; and no identified Russian units on the Russian side of the border had launched missiles."

If the US and military satellite images contradict the ESA images, then one set of images is a fabrication. We
can deduce that the ESA images are almost certainly fabrications because if no Russian buk crossed the border then
all those photos and videos the jit lynch mob have been trumpeting are fake, essentially reducing the jit's credibility to zero.

Posted by: evilempire | Mar 6 2020 1:01 utc | 42

@casey #10:

I still look to the cruise ship. 600 people on a boat with CoV19. Perfect conditions for virus to spread with common eating and common ventilation/AC. Many, many infected. How many dead? Two, both persons in their 80s.

There are 6 deaths and 696 confirmed infections out of 3,711 passengers and crew. The conditions for virus to spread are not as perfect as you think. Restaurant tables on a cruise ship are placed quite sparsely, so the setting is much less transmissive than riding in a packed subway car during rush hour. Common ventilation is not a problem because fresh air is admitted through one set of vent pipes and stale air is taken away through another.

Posted by: S | Mar 6 2020 1:58 utc | 43

One thing to consider is the accuracy of the tests. These tests were rushed to market and most likely based on early Chinese sequence data out of the Wuhan strain

It has since come to light there are actually 2 different strains in China and the predominant strain outside Hubei is different. This was reported in SCMP following a study published in China. So we dont really know if the test is specific for both strains.

If the PCR test has lets say 99.5% specificity (we don't know) but the prevalence of the virus is in the community is lets say 0.2%, then wide screening in the community will yield more false positives than true positives. So if a country does wide spread testing of low risk patients (no symptoms or close contacts) they will probably overstate reported cases since many will be false positives.

The other thing to consider is a positive PCR test in a asymptomatic patient does not mean the patient is infectious. It is possible to detect traces of the pathogen for some period after the patient is no longer infectious. That is, the patient’s immune system has killed the virus and what you are detecting is nonviable nucleic acid fragments of the virus. To investigate one would have to attempt to culture out the virus from the original swab specimens. If the virus grew you would know the virus was viable.

I would suggest that the numbers out of China and Iran perhaps overstate the mortality rate due to lack of testing of mild cases. In South Korea and the Cruise ship they are perhaps overstating the number of tru cases due to more extensive testing (and thus understating mortality).

One thing that seems clear, older people and those who are sick suffer the more serious symptoms, and in China at least men seemed more affected.

One reason for this is its been reported in some studies that pathogenic coronavirus is more severe in those with a more robust complement response.

Complement is part of the innate immune system. Studies have also shown elderly and men have higher complement levels and activity than young and women.

A possible solution would be a complement inhibitor such as Soliris (Eculizumab)

Posted by: Pft | Mar 6 2020 2:05 utc | 44

@c1ue #22:

And more fun Spanish flu (from Wiki also): Copenhagen may have experienced less deaths from Spanish flu because it was heavily infected by first stage Spanish flu, which was less deadly than the 2nd wave.

So does this mean we should all go out and get nCOV sick now, or later?

A new paper on SARS-CoV-2, “On the origin and continuing evolution of SARS-CoV-2”, has identified two types:

Population genetic analyses of 103 SARS-CoV-2 genomes indicated that these viruses evolved into two major types (designated L and S), that are well defined by two different SNPs that show nearly complete linkage across the viral strains sequenced to date. Although the L type (∼70%) is more prevalent than the S type (∼30%), the S type was found to be the ancestral version. Whereas the L type was more prevalent in the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan, the frequency of the L type decreased after early January 2020. Human intervention may have placed more severe selective pressure on the L type, which might be more aggressive and spread more quickly. On the other hand, the S type, which is evolutionarily older and less aggressive, might have increased in relative frequency due to relatively weaker selective pressure.

This suggests that it’s better to get sick later.

Posted by: S | Mar 6 2020 2:40 utc | 45

From TRNN;
"The documentary "Solidarity: Five Largely Unknown Truths about Israel, Palestine and the Occupied Territories" debunks the myths that lie at the center of the injustice in the region. We discuss the film with its director, Bob Peck."

Posted by: ben | Mar 6 2020 4:12 utc | 46

From TRNN;
"The documentary "Solidarity: Five Largely Unknown Truths about Israel, Palestine and the Occupied Territories" debunks the myths that lie at the center of the injustice in the region. We discuss the film with its director, Bob Peck."

Posted by: ben | Mar 6 2020 4:12 utc | 47

Woops, double post, sorry...;

Posted by: ben | Mar 6 2020 4:13 utc | 48

SCMP constant China bashing...

What's Happening with Coronavirus (YouTube)

"Jude Blanchette, who holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington."

The above idiots, yes Idiots> (Blanchette and Stephen Morrison) not only ignorance but behind time...

Posted by: JC | Mar 6 2020 4:40 utc | 49

Very bad news: Coronavirus has struck in Palestine with 7 confirmed cases in Bethlehem. Many Palestinians living there survive off the tourist industry so an outbreak will have devastating consequences for their lives as they are already suffering numerous restrictions and hardships under Israeli oppression and occupation.

chaos as 7 cases confirmed in bethlehem

Especially worrying is if the virus hits Gaza.

What if coronavirus reaches Gaza?

Palestinians are separated by an Israeli matrix of control that has excluded many communities behind large cement walls, military checkpoints, and impossible to navigate army ordinances that are inherently designed to weaken the Palestinian community and to ease the Israeli government’s mission of controlling Palestinians and colonizing their land.

What can the PA do to come to the aid of tens of thousands of Palestinians in the so-called Area C of the occupied West Bank? This region is entirely under the control of the Israeli army, which has little interest in the welfare of the Palestinian inhabitants there.

Such questions would have to be considered in the context of what WHO refers to as “health inequalities” among Palestinians, on the one hand, and between Palestinians and privileged illegal Jewish settlers, on the other.

In some way, many Palestinian communities are already quarantined by Israel, but for political, not medical reasons. An outbreak of the Coronavirus in some of these communities, especially the ones that are cut off from proper healthcare and well-equipped medical facilities, would prove disastrous.

The worst of fates, however, awaits Gaza, should the deadly and fast-spreading virus find its way from all directions through the hermetic siege, which engulfs this minuscule, but densely populated region.

Gaza, which is enduring its 12th year of Israeli siege and is still reeling under the massive destruction of several Israeli wars, has already been declared “uninhabitable” by the United Nations.

However, the misery of Gaza never ceases to unfold. Not a single UN report on Gaza’s ailing medical facilities or preparedness for at least the last ten years has used any positive or even hopeful language.

Last March, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, bemoaned Gaza’s “chronic power outages, gaps in critical services, including mental health and psychosocial support, and shortages of essential medicines and supplies.”

In January, the Israeli rights group. B’Tselem, spoke of an unprecedented health crisis in besieged Gaza, one that is not fueled by the Coronavirus or any other such epidemics but by the fact that Gaza’s barely functioning hospitals are desperately trying to deal with the fall-out of the thousands of injuries resulting from the Great March of Return which has taken place on the Gaza side of the dividing fence.

Now, Netanyahu is emboldened by the fact that he is on the winning side of the election able to form a coalition majority. This is a dire situation for Palestinians.

The U.N. Security Council must meet to stop U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, Iran and Syria and force Israel to end the siege on Gaza and to facilitate shipments of humanitarian and medical supplies necessary to help in the containment of the virus. Same goes for Saudi Arabia's blockade on Yemen.

Oh wait, I'm dreaming, I just recalled there's a Ziofascist in the White House.

It's an outrage, depraved and immoral to keep human beings under siege in these circumstances! As with climate change disaster, pandemics threaten everyone on the planet and existential threat against humanity must override imperial interests and tyranny!

Posted by: Circe | Mar 6 2020 7:48 utc | 50

illustration of socialist vs capitalist methods
Japan last Tuesday

Posted by: Mina | Mar 6 2020 11:51 utc | 51

Japan’s school closures offer lessons in managing family stress amid coronavirus anxiety

What was an "authoritarian" policy in China suddenly became a chick flick middle class light existential drama in Japan. Funny how the goalposts change position when the shit hits the Western Democracies.

But there may also be another reason for this light approach to Japan's "draconian measures". The subheadline of the same news states:

One Japanese family’s experience offers a potential peek into what’s ahead for many in the United States if more schools are shuttered.

The American MSM is already preparing the masses to what's to come to their own country.


Meanwhile, in Cuba:

Gobierno cubano actualiza el Plan para la prevención y control del Covid-19

The very first paragraph of the article states that, albeit having zero cases, the Consejo de Ministros (Ministers' Counsil, literal translation) did an extraordinary session to make a complete plan to stop and contain the contagion if it comes.

You won't see this in a capitalist country, kids.

Posted by: vk | Mar 6 2020 11:54 utc | 52

Coronavirus Could Threaten U.S. Economy Even More Than China’s

If people stop traveling and going to the dentist, the gym or even March Madness basketball games, the impact could be enormous, an economist says.

This subheadline encapsulates what the American economy has become: a postmodern economy, services-based, dependent on March Madness games.

Posted by: vk | Mar 6 2020 12:00 utc | 53

No one here will be shocked, but it's an interesting read. See "Through apps, not warrants, ‘Locate X’ allows federal law enforcement to track phones"

"U.S. law enforcement agencies signed millions of dollars worth of contracts with a Virginia company after it rolled out a powerful tool that uses data from popular mobile apps to track the movement of people's cell phones, according to federal contracting records and six people familiar with the software.

The product, called Locate X and sold by Babel Street, allows investigators to draw a digital fence around an address or area, pinpoint mobile devices that were within that area, and see where else those devices have traveled, going back months, the sources told Protocol."

Posted by: Walter | Mar 6 2020 13:08 utc | 54

ooops! at protocol dot com

Posted by: Walter | Mar 6 2020 13:09 utc | 55

The Swiss Propaganda Research Group (SPR)

Understanding the geopolitical and psychological war against Syria.
Published: March 2020; Languages: DE, EN, NO

The Syria Deception—a position paper by the Swiss Propaganda Research group


Contrary to the depiction in Western media, the Syria war is not a civil war. This is because the initiators, financiers and a large part of the anti-government fighters come from abroad.

Nor is the Syria war a religious war, for Syria was and still is one of the most

secular countries in the region, and the Syrian army, like its direct opponents,
is itself mainly composed of Sunnis.

But the Syria war is also not a pipeline war, as some critics suspected, because

the allegedly competing gas pipeline projects never existed to begin with, as even the Syrian president confirmed.

Instead, the Syria war is a war of conquest and regime change, which developed

into a geopolitical proxy war between NATO states on one side – especially the

US, Great Britain and France – and Russia, Iran, and China on the other side.

Posted by: Ashino Wolf Sushanti | Mar 6 2020 13:34 utc | 56

I find it a little bit odd not to call it a civil war. Even if the civil war in 2011 was clearly ignited from outside, you cannot deny that some people in Jisr al Shughur, Daraa, Homs, Ma'arrat al-Numaan,Idlib or the Ghouta, both petty criminals and some people who were close to either the Salafists and the Muslim Brothers, played an active role in calling for the murder of Shiites and Christians. What happened next was a mixture of war by proxy and active war (sending the djihadist international brigades).

Posted by: Mina | Mar 6 2020 17:36 utc | 57

@S #45
I don't care about the communicability differences between the strains - I care about the lethality.
In general, variants which are less lethal tend to evolve, but we really don't know yet with these 2 nCOV variants.
Also not clear if there are driving factors for evolution toward more lethality such as may have existed in World War 2.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 6 2020 19:05 utc | 58

A Russian in Wuhan, Hubei YouTube (below)- 1,209,416 views, 31:29 minutes
Must watch real autocratic LOCKDOWN. CGTN reported Hubei should be free from Covid-19 by end of April, maybe not 100% but at least close.

Pompeo Blames China For US Outbreak, Says Lack Of Transparency "Left Us Behind The Curve"

China. Trip to Infected Zone. What's Fake and Truth about Coronavirus // How People Live(2020)

Posted by: JC | Mar 6 2020 19:27 utc | 59

Interesting and somewhat cheering post on Z/H about US Congress kof all things) fairly excoriating FAA and Boing regarding there laxity i maintaining any standards in designing or building planes.

Good words. Awaiting action.

Max should never fly.

Posted by: jared | Mar 7 2020 13:29 utc | 60

More climate change fun:

1) Rather than water vapor accelerating the impact of CO2 - it might actually slow it down: American Meteorological Society paper

We propose that the vapor buoyancy effect increases Earth’s outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and that this negative radiative effect increases with warming, stabilizing Earth’s climate.

2) US East Coast warming due to hydrothermal vents, not CO2: East Coast Warming study

A well-defined ocean warming trend originating off the United States East Coast is likely from super-heated and methane-enriched fluids emitted from numerous seafloor hydrothermal vents/hot springs

3) Jet stream not changing due to CO2/climate change: Nature study

Despite the initial scepticism that greeted the iron hypothesis, 12 separate experiments8 were carried out between 1993 and 2005 in which around 300–3,000 kilograms of dissolved iron were injected into small patches of the Southern Ocean, the equatorial Pacific Ocean and the north Pacific. The biomass of algae increased wherever iron was added, as biological production surged.

Why does this matter? The primary source for oceanic iron is dust carried on winds, which means there is a mechanism by which enormous changes in atmospheric CO2 levels can occur naturally.

5) CO2 emissions in the real world are far lower than "consensus"/IPCC projections: Roger Pielke overview

According to projections of major energy outlooks, by 2040 carbon dioxide emissions (from FF) may fall below the entire range of IPCC AR5 and AR6 baseline scenarios, even assuming that no new major climate policy efforts are undertaken between now and then.


In climate research, everything from projection of near-term (to mid-century) climate impacts to cost-benefit analysis of the near-term costs and benefit of mitigation will be impacted adversely by utilizing overly aggressive projections of carbon dioxide emissions. Similarly, work that depends upon projections of population, per capita GDP, energy intensity and carbon intensity will be impacted by models that no longer correspond with the real world.

Note that none of these studies say that there is no CO2 impact. The degree of actual impact matters, though - particularly when enormous sums of money and societal redirection is being pushed politically.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 7 2020 19:48 utc | 61

Maybe my last chance to offer what I have to give to the world, this is composed from letters between myself and my teacher back in 2009. Does not address Covid19, but if you will read with care you will see why I feel I cannot in good conscience keep it unposted and concealed. I will do my best to reply to comments about it, but I cannot guarantee anything. I believe with all my being it is very worth your time to read - and please pass along if you agree with the thinking:

Collapse can be avoided. We hear ever-more-dire expectations of full-on econo-socio-political collapse, and while escalating fears of impoverishment and chaos are all too easily understood in light of events and people’s degree of economic confusions, I’d like to add these considerations to the “collapse conversation”:

First, the convulsion is in money and credit, not in substantial wealth. The substantial wealth is still there; the fields, the plants, the animals, the buildings, the people who labour.

Second, the response to the crisis will always be underestimating the size of the crisis - will always be “behind-hand” in facing facts. People will continue to respond late and inadequately – they will be slow to look outside their paradigms - but there will be responses, which will be increasingly realistic, so there will be money and therefore some transport and trade. Collapse is never total, and every incremental collapse will increase realism and thus reduce suffering. The demands of the people will produce some response, for no ruling class can afford to secure themselves against a too-angry populace; they have to give something to keep anger sufficiently low for them to be safe.

The trouble is that when there is no obvious trouble, people are too unreal to face facts and do anything practical, and when there is trouble, there is little leisure to consider solutions. Like with fixing the hole in the roof: no need to (they think) when it isn’t raining, and no chance to when it is. Countering inequality is the realism that people will be driven to by crisis, and doing so will reduce the crisis. The collapse will continue until people become realistic.

The collapse can be avoided at any time by countering the inequality. Insofar as people reduce the inequality, the crisis will be reduced - nothing else will reduce the collapse. There is plenty of substantial wealth; the only lack is distribution of means to trade (money).

People think we’ll experience a single sharp total collapse, but it happens in stages, and some response is made – never fully realistic, but partially realistic. It can’t collapse to zero in one go. Loss of confidence in the money is a matter of degree. Even false confidence keeps the money up. And the more money evaporates, the more confidence there is in the remaining money. The money collapses towards reaching equality with the substantial wealth. The closer it gets to substantial wealth, the slower it falls. Eventually the substantial wealth (goods and services) holds up the money. Loss of money of course impacts on production, which requires trade, which requires money – but money never collapses totally, but collapses in stages. All the safety nets in society do not disappear totally, at once, but in stages. And the more things fall, the closer they are to recovery.

Administrators come and go, but Governments have never fallen, never disappeared: there is always someone picking up the pieces and starting again. Government will disappear only when the second to last person disappears: as soon as you have group, you have government. People will always try to increase their safety, comfort, etc. There can be a degree of anarchy (using the term as commonly understood to mean chaos, loss of beneficial social order), but there cannot be total anarchy, because people are not totally anarchic. Some people can have anarchic episodes, but all the people cannot have total anarchy all the time. If people were totally anarchic, they would never have planted a crop or built a house.

The functional value of money is proportional to confidence. When there is overconfidence, as we have experienced, and that confidence declines, money disappears – but money is prevented from going to nothing by the work and people and products, which are the substance behind the money. There may be a period of under-confidence (after a crash), when people underestimate the value of money, but the substantial wealth will buoy this up – will after a time show that people are underestimating the substantial wealth backing the money.

At any of these stages, all money is worth something, and a billion dollars is ALWAYS worth a billion times as much as one dollar.

We can remind nervous, concerned people that if they don’t understand it all then they do not know that there is no solution. There is still land and people and work and systems and buildings and money. These will produce something, and the production will buoy the money to some extent. The fundamentals are still there – the ultimate safety net is people, who do stuff. Forget money for the time and look at the fundamentals, the substantial wealth, which is everywhere: people, land, etc. The money at the top doesn’t disappear - a billion is still worth a billion times as much as one dollar: a part of the value of every dollar disappears. There will be a contraction, not a disappearance. The snail is pulling in his horns – he’s not vanishing. Part of the lifestyle will disappear – something off the top – a drop - but not to zero, but to 70% or 50%. Food doesn’t disappear till you reach 1%. Luxury spending increased after the 1929 crash, because those who cashed up just before the crash could then buy cheap. So clearly wealth didn’t disappear.

Pay justice is always a live issue, always the issue that cuts across all other issues *especially* in depressions! In good times, the people don’t mind super-overpay. In bad times, FDR’s appear. FDR nearly put a 100% tax on income over $25,000 ($300,000 in modern dollars) and regretted he didn’t. The next FDR may do it in this bigger depression.

Again, total collapse is impossible. Under-confidence is possible for a time – money is proportional to confidence – confidence never totally disappears, because there is still people, workers, land, buildings, infrastructure, systems, etc. Even the unrealistic confidence (the delay in facing facts) holds up money. There can only be a correction to the overconfidence, which for a while produces an over correction, but this overcorrection gets corrected by the substantial wealth showing the value of the money. There cannot be a total collapse, because land and people and infrastructure do not disappear. The stages of the collapse may be terrible in local effects (riots, etc), but overall, the substantial wealth sustains in a substantial way. It may look like things are in freefall, and headed for zero, but the trampoline of substantial wealth is below – the momentum of the fall to the trampoline drives the trampoline down below its level for a while, but the trampoline pulls the level of money back up to level.

Even if all the governments and money and trade disappeared, there would be people and work, options, efforts, rolling up of sleeves and fulfilling needs using whatever was available. The ultimate wealth is people and nature – they produce everything, and will continue to do so.

Oil will decline over 50-100 years, the price of oil will gradually rise and there will be less and less movement, but food transport will be the last to go – and local food use will happily increase; at the moment New Zealand is importing Italian kiwifruit! At the worst, we will go back to pre-oil lifestyle – the lifestyle that got us through till 1900. The higher the price goes, the slower we will use up oil – the more economical we will be with it. There is plenty of coal, and people will plant more trees if they need them – just like they bred horses when they needed them.

People’s first reaction to change is big reaction – then they settle down and bear it. The rhetoric you get now is their first reaction, expressing the change in the most dramatic terms because change is new to them – but they quieten down as they get used to it. If you woke up tomorrow and found the skies were now red instead of blue, your first reaction would be strong, but after a while you would get used to it.

The drop in confidence has removed something like 5-10% of world apparent wealth (the figure they put on wealth) – which is not a big difference. Of course, this is trillions, which sounds very dramatic and frightening, (which sells newspapers) but as a percentage, it is not large. It will drop to something around 15-20% at the bottom of under-confidence, before realism will reassert itself and bring the under-confidence back up to a realistic figure, between the peak and the trough.

And all the time this is going on, the substantial wealth is undiminished.

The thing is, people forget to look for the whole picture. They mistake part of the picture as being the whole reality – they mistake jigsaw puzzle piece for puzzle picture. One piece may be dark, and they think the picture is dark because the brighter parts of the picture are not in view from their perspective, are not in their consciousness – “omg! Loss of trillions! The sky is falling!” – but no.

You just have to make a big noise around some hypothesis long enough and people will take it for truth. Throw a smokescreen of words and people will shout fire. Combine inadequate education in fallacious reasoning, the assertive overconfidence a PHD gives some people, the people’s naïve reliance on PHD’s and government and the media’s profiting from sensational news…and you get universal untruth. Add the universal hatred of being proved wrong and you have untruth set in concrete.

When you have a little pay injustice, then something like 40% of people will be slightly overpaid. As the pay injustice grows, the top overpay grows and the percentage of overpaid shrinks. The more extreme overpay (which is now 100,000 times average pay) takes more underpaid people (99% are currently underpaid) plus more extreme degree of underpay to finance it. We now have 90% of people on 100th to 10,000th of average pay. That is the point, and no financial crisis changes that.

Also, volatility in markets is proportional to pay injustice. More power in fewer hands means more power to make huge bubbles and be way above the law, buying the law, owning the law, making the laws, doing exactly as they please, without any checks or scrutiny. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance and vigilance about fairpay has been zero – he’s a billionaire, ah, how lovely, what a great man, we owe him a lot, we must be gentle with him, not anger or doubt him. God and the rich – these are how people project their great desire for a good loving father to take care of them, so they can live thought-free, without civic responsibility. No matter that it isn’t a loving father above us, it’s a burglar who slipped in over the windowsill, it doesn’t matter how much he beats people, we don’t lose faith in him because it would mean we had to think and seek the truth and keep watch. What luck for governments that people don’t think (Hitler said that, Hitler, whose Nazi party seeded and fomented hatred of intellectuals until the people bought into it and then the educators were purged.)

Not all the leverage ratio of the banks will disappear in the correction. People who say that this thin-air money isn’t real don’t understand money. There is the substantial wealth (the trampoline) and there is the confidence level, which goes overconfident and then under-confident and then returns to level (the trampoline). In the panic, the confidence level goes below trampoline level and the trampoline pulls it back up. After the correction, the trampoline level for bank leverage ratio may be 20-1, 10-1, whatever, but not 1-1.

The bank leverage ratio creates money out of thin air, but this DILUTES all the money, it doesn’t destroy all the money. Twice the money means each dollar buys half as much, and incomes double. The injustice arises between old dollars and new dollars – getting paid in old dollars and buying in new dollars. The injustice in inflation is the government and banks stealing the national credit to back the dollars. The national credit belongs to the people who work, who have made the infrastructure, the substantial wealth that gives the nation its credibility or credit rating. The nation can sustain a certain level of debt without creditors losing confidence in that level of debt, and the level of debt is forced to return to a credible level of debt. There is never total loss of confidence in a nation, because there are still workers, and infrastructure, and nature’s bounty (land, sun, muscles, brains etc).

Like bubbles in a bath; the bath can sustain a certain level of bubbles (credit) because there is soapiness (infrastructure, systems) and there is agitation of the bathwater (work) – but sometimes there is a big bubble that is going to burst and the level of bubbles is going to suddenly drop.

The stock market steadily grows with infrastructure growth. In a depression there is a blip of overconfidence and under-confidence, but it returns in around 3 years after the crash to the steady rising line (the trampoline).

The point remains that we should prevent individuals (wealthpower giants) being able to blow huge bubbles that temporarily affect the national credit and stability and order when they burst.

At the peak of the overconfidence before the correction, the national wealth is of the order of 5-10% overvalued. The correction comes when the overvaluation becomes large enough to be visible to creditors, who are of course keeping a sharp lookout; it is their money on the chopping block.

It takes time to work through the system, but if central banks double the money, income and prices double, too. Incomes and prices have been rising for many decades, for centuries. You know what prices and incomes were 200 years ago – a penny bought you a good hot meal, incomes were $100 a year – that sort of thing. $25,000 in 1930 is $300,000 now. Global inflation at 4% a year doubles the money every 18 years. In the cold war years, there was about 10% a year inflation, which is why house prices rose 10% a year in that period. The inflation is a sneaky tax, which they used to finance the cold war, buy all those bombs. They then lend the new (stolen) money back to the people, making the people pay maybe three times the loan on a 30 year mortgage (stealing again) – for the privilege of borrowing money the government (devoured by the superrich) stole by the inflation, which dilutes your dollars, making you need to borrow more.

Keynes said: governments can take money from the people through inflation. He should have said: governments DO take money…but he was going soft on the ruling class, to which he belonged. People find it very hard to believe the rich are thieves. The rich fool themselves and then fool the people, who they keep ignorant of economic realities by promoting economists who are fooled, who can’t see what the rich don’t want people to see. False arguments are cheaper than guns to keep the people suckers. It is only in the last 200 years that the ruling classes have allowed the people to be literate, and they haven’t yet allowed the people to be economically literate. And the people are too unwilling to think their way through the smokescreen thrown up by self-deception and greed.

The strong point we have to make is that overpay is bad, is happiness-negative for the overpaid as well as the underpaid. If people see this (and good sense and all history prove it), justice will start looking good to them.

At the moment, most of both underpaid and overpaid are thinking overpay is good. People are thinking in twos, in opposite poles, not seeing the option of the middle as the best alternative. They are thinking: underpay is bad, so overpay must be good - instead of thinking: underpay and overpay are bad, so fairpay justice is good. Like the Sophie Tucker saying: I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich – rich is better. But it isn’t; what’s better and best for prosperity, safety, and happiness is fairpay. Most of the present overpaid is new money, so old money has (with some few exceptions) fallen from overpay and overpower. Rags to riches to rags. The turnover among the overpaid is very high – crests don’t stay up.

US $40 per hour for all working people globally including housewives, and students who successfully study in fields society wants studied, is a good but not exact figure for fairpay before the meltdown, and the meltdown takes off around 5-10%, and inflation is running at 4% a year, so the figure is perfectly good. It is a round figure anyway ($100,000 per year means $100,000 plus or minus 20%) – and it doesn’t matter what the figure is anyway, as long as it makes the point that something like 99% of people are now underpaid, that fairpay is higher for most people than what they get now or have ever got, that extreme pay injustice means most are below fairpay and will be paid more, they deserve to be paid more (they are creating that much substantial wealth (goods and services) by their work). All the work is equal to all the workproducts is equal to all the money, so world-average pay per hour is world-annual income divided by total workhours – around $40 US. World annual income is $25 trillion (1987) inflation adjusted – global inflation since 1987 has been between 32% and 4% - $25 trillion compounded with global inflation each year since 1987 brings it to $300 trillion (2009). Total workhours is total workers (around 4 billion), times world-average hours per year (around 2500).

No work equals no workproducts equals money worth nothing. Twice as much work equals twice as much workproduct equals money worth twice as much (a dollar buying twice as much).

These figures are still good figures in the crisis – they are not just guesses – they are round figures because there are a million minor factors that affect figures to a small extent, and all the figures are constantly changing (a little) all the time - but they are solid within plus or minus 20%.

One thing is absolutely solid – when you have super-extreme pay injustice, most people are below the average. The average is higher than anyone imagines – and that average is plenty for all. When you have a very skewed graph, with most low and a few very, very, very, very high, the average has to be well above what most get. The very, very, very high incomes ‘pull up’ the average – and we have highest income 10,000,000 times what 90% of people are getting, so they are pulling up the average well above what most people are getting, above what 99% are getting, above what 80% of Americans are getting.

People see many poor, and they understandably but mistakenly think that the average will be below what ordinary Americans are getting – that the many poor will pull down the average below the ‘American ordinary’ level. But it is not the ‘ordinary’ American (neither rich nor poor) who is richest. The relatively few, the 1% who are overpaid up to 100,000 times average, pulls up the world average well above the American average. 50% of Americans have less than $2000 net equity (net assets – wealth) and 80% of Americans are below the average.

People got by up to 1800 – in fact pretty well, worldwide, before the first world imperialism (plunder) went into high gear with industrial technology (guns, trains, etc) and impoverished the third world (after impoverishing most in the first world). And productivity has multiplied 20-fold since 1800 – so, again, there is plenty – there is super-abundance. If average income in 1800 was adequate, average income (substantial wealth, goods and services) today is 20 times adequate.

My figures are from Sprout and Weaver, International Distribution of Income 1960-1987 Kyklos journal, volume 45 1992 pages 237-258 - inflation adjusted using IMF/ILO inflation figures. You have to compound the annual inflation figures – global annual income is now $300 trillion. Since 1987, global inflation went from 15% up to 32% in the early 90s and then down to 4% now. The Sprout and Weaver figures are PPP figures (purchase price parity figures) – which adjusts for the fact that products are cheaper in poor areas - supermarkets in poor areas have cheaper prices than supermarkets in ‘upmarket’ areas – they take smaller profits (= they steal less per customer).

With pay injustice, the majority are always going to be below the average. The larger the pay injustice, the larger the majority who are below. With today’s super-extreme pay injustice, 99% are below. Think of a swimming pool graph – if the pay justice level = one metre deep, and in reality 90% of the pool area ranges between 1 cm and 1/10th mm deep, then obviously most of the pool is practically empty and most of the water is up in the thin but very tall (100 kilometres tall!!) needle of overpay. The giant sucking machine of the legal thefts (and the successful illegal thefts) has done its work: we are relatively very close to one person having all (very close to maximal pay injustice).

The 1000+ billionaires are economically the third richest country in the world. People dismiss the superrich because they are few, and because people cannot really conceive how extreme a billion dollars income per year is, relative to average or ‘ordinary’. A billion is 10,000 times average and 20,000 times American ‘ordinary’. The billionaire is taking out 10,000 times what the billionaire puts in to the social pool of wealth by his work. The highest annual revealed income is $70+ billion – and the highest annual concealed income is higher. Obviously the super-duper-gigarich have good reason to conceal, for if people knew the highest income they might wake up to the fact they are being robbed, and take action. Every plutocracy has fallen when things (poverty-wealth, slavery-tyranny) got so extreme that the people finally woke up: witness the American, French and Russian revolutions. Unfortunately, even then, the people still did not ‘get’ the absolute essential importance of pay justice, and let it go away again - pay ranged from 1cent to $10,000 per hour in America in the 1880s.

NO ONE is a winner with inequality. The overpaid (both nations and individuals) are constantly falling and being replaced, like the water in a Las Vegas high, thin needle fountain – because overpay is attacked by both overpaid and underpaid, both internally and externally – attacked with intensity proportional to the extremeness of the pay injustice. Both overpay and underpay are stimuli to attack. The overpaid are attacked by both overpaid and underpaid – by everyone, including their subordinates, including their families. It stands to reason – and all history has no exceptions to this.

People think that more money is always better because they ignore or forget the attack element. They focus only on the money, using selective consciousness, deleting or censoring the reality of the attack element. Conquering is the beginning of troubles – look what troubles came to the whites in South Africa – what troubles come to America today. Plundering makes enemies, enemies make defence needs, defence needs force more plundering (both internal and external), which makes more enemies (both internal and external). Eventually cost of defence exceeds income and the empire falls. Name one time it didn’t happen. The largest fortune is always smaller than the rest of the world, so it must fall – simply because people have stomachs to feed and need a place (land) to put their feet. The defence needs force robbing the people, so the plutocracy is attacked both internally and externally, by the underpaid within the country and by the overpaid and underpaid external to the plutocracy. Pay injustice says to invaders: we have gathered the wealth, and weakened and alienated our people – ie, pay injustice causes invasions (eg, undocumented immigrants, eg the Sicilian mafia).

The idea is to get people to open their spotlight focus on the money to see also the inevitable necessary attack element in overpay – and to see also that there is diminishing marginal utility in more money, which you can see by looking at the fact that the loss of $1000 in income when income is $1000 is catastrophic, and loss of $1000 when income is $100,000 is a very minor difference - still bad but far less bad – ie, all income money is not equal. 100 times the income is not 100 times the happiness, pleasure, satisfaction etc. – income money is very unequal. Satisfaction waits on desire; when the tummy is full, all food is worthless, more food can add nothing to happiness. The increase of happiness in going from $0 to $1000 is huge, the increase going from $1000 to $2000 is a bit smaller – and each additional $1000 income can do less and less, because more desires have been already satisfied. A $4000 plate of truffles is not 4000 times as good as a good $1 meatball – maybe more like 4000th more pleasurable.

Therefore overpay can do little good and must do harm proportional to the size of the overpay, therefore the net gain in overpay is negative. You gain constant worry over security, constant labour to maintain security, constant cost in life-time, money, and psychological wear and tear. Look at the labour of Hitler, Caesar, Cardinal Wolsey. Look at the history of desperate activity purging suspected subordinates, look at Richard III’s troubles, the South African whites’ troubles, the British Indian Colonial troubles – do you think that people had much freedom from troubles when they had stolen so much, killed so many? What does it take out of you when you have to respond to troubles whether you are exhausted or not, when you have to respond to the constant eroding energy of the robbed?

That more money is always better has been the simplistic leading idea of humanity for 1000s of years – and it is simply horribly wrong – and sense and all history shouts so. Violence gets to everyone, gets wherever humans get, and violence is proportional to pay injustice, is caused by pay injustice. Overpay is theft is injury, and injury is always paid back with interest. Injury never fades away – it just keeps attacking however it can. It is the golden rule we have never learned: when you hit people they hit back. Kindness (non-injury) is essential for survival and happiness - it is the lesson of history we have not yet learned: Injustice is a vice (a cause of misery). It is love of overpay that is the root of all evils – which is good news, because we only have to see this to cut ‘all evils’ (99% of social problems) at the root.

People think justice is a sacrifice, because they think more money is always better. It is very hard for them to realise that justice has her arms full of happiness for overpaid and underpaid – waiting…waiting…waiting through the ages for people to see reality – the whole picture – the downside of overpay - the Lindberg’s child kidnapped and murdered – Barbara Woolworth dying with $3000. People think the rich are secure, up there permanently – it is everyone’s dream to be rich and free from troubles – it is easy for them to believe it because they want to believe it – and they want to believe it because they have troubles. If they placed their hope in pay justice, their hopes can be realised, far beyond their fondest dreams. Change their dream from: The landlords oppress the peasants, may I be a landlord – to: The landlords oppress the peasants, may there be an end to the sufferings of landlords and the sufferings of peasants. Look at the present wars among the Mexican druglords – look at the present endless struggles and dangers of the sheiks in northern Iraq – at the endless troubles of Queen Elizabeth I – at the electric fence prison of Rockefeller – at Howard Hughes dying alone, his teeth rotting in his head.

But alas, it seems there is just not enough will in people to learn the truth – not enough alarm – not 100th enough realism or willingness to think. Not even though it means survival, $40 an hour, and world peace and friendliness and calm and democracy and freedom like they have never known. Since they can’t even understand that giving unlimited fortunes for what is absolutely limited work means having super-extreme, ever-growing overpay-underpay, unlimited tyranny-slavery and violence for everyone, what hope is there? They think that Bill Gates can do 180,000 years’ work in one year - they think Gates can build 18,000 $1 million homes in a year – so what sanity is there?

As for the importance of nationalizing the fed reserve – it is very important, but is a branch problem. How are you going to do it before you fix the root problem, everyone thinking that overpay is good when it is evil for everyone? Fix the root problem and the branch problems fix themselves – or get fixed easily, with universal will to change it. If you nationalize the fed reserve without correcting the error in majority thinking, the same overpaid will dominate the nationalized reserve – nothing will change – the ‘public money’ will still concentrate in private hands – the bad root will still drive the branch problems.

The solution is never near the problem – did Pasteur find penicillin near the beds of the dying? No, he went away, following the causative line back from the beds to the root – and he cut the root and the people in the beds got well. People are trying to solve the problem near the problems – they are shortsighted.

Same with all problems – they all go back to pay injustice, super-extreme undemocratic bias of power, the super-powerful way above the law, driven by defense costs to steal ever faster both internally and externally.

Making the swimming pool of wealth vertical like a Las Vegas needle fountain (with all the water that rises falling) is like building a building ever-taller on an ever-shrinking base. It’s bound to collapse. Things haven’t changed since the tower of Babel, which was a metaphor for what was happening then – same as now – pay injustice creates confusion of tongues – everyone talking and no one learning or hearing.

We need to make the point strongly that pay injustice is not just one more problem: it is the root problem, fixing which fixes all the problems – fixes suffocating bureaucracy, disinformation, tyranny, war, warmongering, starvation, overcrowding, corporate fascism, corruption, poverty, terrorism – it fixes everything. How can anything work when a few have most of the money, which is the lubrication for the social machine, the blood of the social body?

If you want to stop raccoons becoming roadkill, only teaching raccoons traffic will do it: if you put up barriers they will just go round them.

The elite have always been under extreme attack, always been miserable, desperate, hard-laboured, doomed. Happiness is horizontal not vertical. Kindness (non injury, non theft) is good, practical, real self interest, is happiness for everyone – therefore justice is good, beneficial, not a sacrifice for anyone. It’s amazing that history and story are unanimous, the desperate struggles of the overpaid, and no one has learned it.

The rich may enjoy comforts and luxuries etc in the short run, but they can get no more enjoyment than the fairpaid on $40 an hour, because of physical limits of desires. All overestimation of rich enjoyment is moonshine glamour illusion – driven by underpaid people still having substantial desires to satisfy, by underpaid people living vicariously through their dreams of the fabulousness of being wealthy. The greater the underpay, the more glamourous and wonderful overpay appears. Ray Kroc said about his wealth: So what? I still only have two feet.

Some rich do not fall within their own lifetimes, but people should be reminded that the overpaid experience power struggles all the time before they fall – family who want a piece of it, subordinates who want to take over – it is a hill of humans where everyone is being attacked from below and beside and above. Everyone below is trying to get higher to be less attacked/oppressed from above – corporate infighting, competing for jobs, golddiggers, kidnappers, thieves, embezzlers, hostile takeovers etc etc – necessarily so, inevitably, because no one settles for discomfort, everyone is uncomfortable, so everyone is moving in the hill.

Equality: no one above or below, everyone happier, freer, safer, liberated from troubles, struggles, conflict, betrayal – in all groups – crime gangs, families, companies, nations, empires.

Being rich – getting overpay – is not a win. It isn’t a win relative to pay justice, it is a vast loss of ease, trust, safety, leisure, relaxation, enjoyment, confidence. Everyone is a giant loser in the hill of humans – but people would rather kid themselves they are happy and right than face reality and improve their happiness really. Modern man’s pride is stronger than his will to live to be realistic to be sane to be practical to be happy.

The rich have as much enjoyment as the fairpaid have – apart from the danger, which is proportional to the pay injustice – and the enjoyment is spoiled by the danger, by the absence of trust and safety. Like children with party cake - it is hard to enjoy what cake one has if everyone is constantly, ever more desperately and violently and sourly grabbing from everyone.

It looks as though the problem is the human insistence that the solution be where people are looking – at the symptom level, at the detail level, at the part-picture level. People are mopping the floor instead of turning off the broken tap. They cannot understand why someone is leaving the problem of the wet floor in the living room and going away, upstairs (into the bathroom where the broken tap is) – they just ‘know’ that is the wrong thing to do – and they keep mopping the floor. They think the pay-justice solution is unrealistic because it isn’t addressing (directly) the wet floor.

It is like looking for the lost keys where the light is better for looking, and not looking where the keys fell. You have to teach people that the solution (to the immediate problems and most other problems) is simple if they look where the keys fell, where the problem started. It takes mental discipline not to pluck off the vine where it is strangling the roses, but to trace the vine back to the root, where one cut will kill the whole vine and keep it in check permanently with little effort.

People are fascinated by the immediate problems and can’t take their eyes off them to look at the big picture and see the root cause.

Inability to pay debt causes a contraction, a drawing in of expansion, a re-structuring – never a total collapse – not even a half collapse or a quarter.

Pay justice will always maximise spending, the efficiency of the cycle of production and consumption – and reduce violence which is a waste of money, lives, property, energy, confidence. The giant sucking machine has taken spending away from most, breaking the cycle.

Pay justice will always be the only answer – one can’t steal and steal and steal without end. They saw this (to some extent) at the end of the 19th century, when economics practice changed from low wages to high wages. The Marshall Plan saw this, as the way to avoid loss of European markets and thus global loss of confidence.

Increasing the money supply say 1% a month and GIVING this to everyone equally (only to save the vast bureaucratic cost of distinguishing the 1% overpaid and 99% underpaid) – which can be done by a computer, ie low bureaucracy - will increase spending, increasing production, increasing market confidence: you have to water the plants to make them grow. The gift (actually return of stolen earnings) overcompensates all the underpaid for the inflation effect and ‘robs’ the overpaid gently, unobtrusively, automatically through their spending. If the superrich cannot understand pay justice, they can at least understand that you have to leave enough wool on the sheep so you can fleece them again.

Lastly, Hate is a luxury item – when things are tough, people rally round, know they have to be tolerant, loving, cooperative, caring, communal. When things are tough there is a rise in that sort of attitude – some turning from competition and antagonism to cooperation and compassion. Even if you do nothing, you have safety nets – family, friends, society. Very, very few people in America will starve. When one is going down, one feels that ‘maybe I will keep falling forever’, but there is the trampoline below – the energy of people, the productivity, even in social disorder, nature’s bounty. Things will come up again, even as they did after the last boom and bust and boom again. Life is a wave - the very fact of things going down stimulates people to turn things around. The 800 who own everything may even let Obama do an FDR – the big enough bust makes even republicans more responsible and realistic. People may even feel some shame – there has to be something good about the bottom of the wave because it is all up from there.

I am reading The Greening of America (1970) – about the last time Americans tried to grow up, before the oil price hike made them scurry back into old patterns, shoveling heaps to their superrich father figures to get them out of the mess.

I saw the movie Sharpe’s Challenge, with Sean Bean, about the struggles and dangers of the overpaid (and underpaid) in British Colonial India, wherein Sharpe says:

And I thought for a moment all this [trouble] might have been for more than just to make rich men richer.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Mar 18 2020 21:50 utc | 62

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