Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 08, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-18

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

The U.S. decided to run along the red curve while China, with less than 100 new cases today, has moved from the red to the blue curve.

> The effective reproductive number [in Wuhan] dropped from 3.86 (95% credible interval 3.74 to 3.97) before interventions to 0.32 (0.28 to 0.37) post interventions. <


Other issues:

Inside the World Uyghur Congress: The US-backed right-wing regime change network seeking the ‘fall of China’ - Grayzone

Erik Prince Recruits Ex-Spies to Help Infiltrate Liberal Groups - NY Times

Thousands of U.S. Areas Afflicted with Lead Poisoning beyond Flint's - Scientific American

SUVs and Pickup Trucks Are Now Too Big For Our Already Gigantic Garages - Vice

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 8, 2020 at 14:22 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Craig Murray: Julian Assange Hearing – Your Help Wanted.

Posted by: S | Mar 8 2020 14:47 utc | 1

Colombia Reports: Calls for President Ivan Duque to resign grew louder on Friday as Colombia was bombarded with evidence of the close ties between his party, the security forces and the mafia. The scandal has stunned Duque and his political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, who used mafia associates to rig the 2018 election, according to mounting evidence.

El Salvador Perspectives: In the first week of March, experts from the Attorney General’s office will resume digging a trench in the middle of the campus of the University of El Salvador—the largest and only public university of the country—searching for the bodies of students who were assassinated in the beginning of the war.

NYT: Guyana: The discovery of a wealth of oil in the tiny country, one of the poorest in South America, has deepened ethnic divisions and exacerbated tensions during a crucial election.

MercoPress: A research by Argentine investigator Pedro Filipuzzi revealed a list of 12,000 Nazis in Argentina that apparently have money in accounts at the Zurich-based Credit Suisse investment bank, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement.

Posted by: Maracatu | Mar 8 2020 15:05 utc | 2

New developments in the OPCW Douma fraud story:

Posted by: S | Mar 8 2020 15:06 utc | 3

Momento Mori" by Craig Murray

Sadly, Craig ignores the real problem: that Western governments haven't adequately prepared despite having had time to (as b illustrates with the graphic in the post). Craig's comment effectively excuses Western governments. IMO the lack of preparation may rise to criminal negligence and if the lax response is (as Craig suggests) because the threat is mostly to the elderly then it is also elder abuse.

If some capitalist said outright that the elderly cost too much and we should get rid of 'em, they would be rebuked. But if the government throws them under the virus bus, then we all watch silently as they die a "natural death"?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 8 2020 15:33 utc | 4

Lebanon will default for the first time in its history

Posted by: vk | Mar 8 2020 15:43 utc | 5

Bentley's Thesis is that the virus is part of a larger campaign, a deliberate part. I mooted this before, but assume it's interesting and that readers are like myself, not entirely thorough. Bentley's essay > "Donbass and Syria – A Perfect Storm Approaching?" attempts to tie the entire global "battle-space" into a coherent explanation that's not very nice... Wally thinks he's probably about right. see" fort-russ [dot] com

If Bentley's right the adequate preparation exists, but it's not what people think it means.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 8 2020 15:50 utc | 6

Meanwhile in Iraq...

Secretary of #Iran’s SNSC Shamkhani has landed in Iraq for a meeting with chief of #Iraq’s intelligence service. Maybe the countdown for expelling the US from the region has started

Posted by: ARN | Mar 8 2020 15:58 utc | 7

Posted by: Walter | Mar 8 2020 15:50 utc | 6
Well I bit and had a look.

If my hypothesis is correct, the US will be able to use proxy troops (Turkish and Ukrainian) to do the hard fighting while maintaining some political distance, but still dealing multiple major political and military blows to Russia.

Huuumm, I think not but will see. The Project for the New American Century is in full gear. If I could read it I have no doubt the "right people" have read it also. The only question that remains is , Will it work ?

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 8 2020 16:10 utc | 8

Tom_LX | Mar 8 2020 16:10 utc | 8

Yeah. Bentley's sorta "paranoid"...people get that way in a combat zone... I see that, right or wrong, it looks plausible, and thus liable to look that way to Putin's Government. Still, it ties together. Recall too that he's an Officer in a foreign Militia - and an "information officer" - so propaganda agent - one might bear in mind both that he's hearing things through the grapevine, and also that he represents an agenda and sometimes is obliged to say things that he might not believe.

That plausibility may then incline them to act according to the Thesis...

That may mean "shoot first", it may mean all sorts of unintended secondary effects.

Bentley has been saying for some time that there's a show-down scheduled for April...not he say April-May. The elements sure seem to be coming together for such a situation.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 8 2020 16:23 utc | 9

Posted by: Walter | Mar 8 2020 16:23 utc | 9

The elements sure seem to be coming together for such a situation.

Yes, I get the sense that things are accelerating on all fronts all over the Globe. Covid-19 on Chinese New Years just smell so "Neocon" (or their agents) that nothing else makes sense to me to explain it.

Rebuilding Americas Defenses

by Project for the New American Century/Foreign Policy Initiative/

where we find,

And advanced forms of biological warfare
that can “target” specific genotypes may
transform biological warfare from the realm
of terror to a politically useful tool.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 8 2020 16:31 utc | 10

Tom_LX | Mar 8 2020 16:31 utc | 10 PNAC Yes, and it's been policy since Korea 1952 and the take-over of the Japanese biowar program, according to tons of evidence, mostly public.

As to the global (apparent) campaign> Sleboda's twitter show Turks are still invading Syria...with video.

Mark Sleboda
The Erdogan regime's invasion & occupation of #Syria continues, under cover of the latest "ceasefire"
Quote Tweet
Mohamad Rasheed محمد رشيد
· 3h
A large Turkish military convoy entered via the "Kafar Lousin" crossing towards the depth of Idlib. This was the third convoy to enter today.
#Syria #Idlib

Posted by: Walter | Mar 8 2020 16:41 utc | 11

Let's add cinnamon to the mix. Drinking a lot is always recommended (even by real doctors and not just by grandmas).
In the world of real docs, some have mentioned Quercetine (found in onion and garlic and a number of other veggies) and an anti-malaria medicine you can find at the chemist, but which has awful side effects.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2020 16:50 utc | 12

Houps sorry! please remove that from here. Wrong thread.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2020 16:51 utc | 13

Re: Idleb and Erdogan...
We're about to find out whether Erdogan's ears are working OK.
In the post-confab presser I saw on TV, Putin apologised to Erdo for killing all those Turkish soldiers, but qualified the apology by virtually scolding Erdo for "not telling us they were there."

There aren't many interpretations one can read into what Putin told Erdo. My interpretation is that any combatants who fail to identify themselves and clear their presence AND movements on Syrian soil with Syria-Russia will find themselves on the Stairway To Heaven.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 8 2020 17:01 utc | 14

thanks b... always interesting and informative! glad someone wrote the pickup truck article.. they could extend on that one.. gigantic houses that require heating, and etc. etc.. same deal... bigger is not better, but it works for some... unfortunately it usually isn't the consumer, but their vanity and ego are being looked after. welcome to consumer culture..

Posted by: james | Mar 8 2020 17:22 utc | 15

truck alternatives..

Posted by: james | Mar 8 2020 17:24 utc | 16

What’s remarkable about China is that the domestically spread cases and deaths outside of Hubei (which is a province of 60 million, meaning 1.32 *billion* or 1320 million outside Hubei) are near zero now. There are more *imported* cases now being reported.

Here’s a chart I created showing the trends. (Note the caveats and the fact that this is a logarithmic - not linear - graph.)

Posted by: Ludwig | Mar 8 2020 17:27 utc | 17

Maracatu @ 2

Guyana: The discovery of a wealth of oil in the tiny country, one of the poorest in South America, has deepened ethnic divisions and exacerbated tensions during a crucial election.

Guyana is a country to watch. Is is vastly mineral rich. Its population lives on the coast as the interior is inhospitable. Attempts to exploit it has gone on for over a century. Oil was not "discovered", it was long know to be there but now the empire is going to use the location to get at some of Venezuelans oil in a similar fashion to Kuwait slant drilling into Iraq.

There were several attempts to send in people to colonize these inhospitable areas to lay the groundwork to exploit its mineral wealth. In a deep dark article John Judge contented that Jones town was one of these efforts...The Black Hole of Guyana

He also goes into the historical background of attempted re-colonization..

In the current period, Jonestown is being "repopulated" with 100,000 Laotian Hmong people. Many of them grew opium for CIA money in Southeast Asia. Over 1,000 reside there already under a scheme designed by Billy Graham's nephew Ernest, and members of the Federation of Evangelical Ministries Association in Wheaton, Illinois (World Vision, World Medical Relief, Samaritan's Purse, and Carl McIntyre's International Council of Christian Churches).[194] Similar plans devised by the Peace Corps included moving inner-city Blacks from America to Jamaica, and other Third World countries. And World Relief attempted to move the population of the Island of Dominica to Jonestown.[195] It is only a matter of time before another Jonestown will be exposed, perhaps leading again to massive slaughter.

Drugs, slavery, mental experimentation, forced labor, kidnapping. It is a deep dark tale fairly well documented and bound to be repeated as the media fails us with their false narratives.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 8 2020 17:35 utc | 18

The World Uyghur Congress, brought to you by the US government’s regime change arm..

that article b linked to on this topic is really interesting... thanks b..

Posted by: james | Mar 8 2020 17:37 utc | 19

The current NYRB has this:

"The United States is in the throes of a colossal health crisis. In 2015 life expectancy began falling for the first time since the height of the AIDS crisis in 1993. The causes—mainly suicides, alcohol-related deaths, and drug overdoses—claim roughly 190,000 lives each year.

"The casualties are concentrated in the rusted-out factory towns and depressed rural areas left behind by globalization, automation, and downsizing, but as the economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton demonstrate in their new book, Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism, they are also rampant in large cities. Those most vulnerable are distinguished not by where they live but by their race and level of education. Virtually the entire increase in mortality has been among white adults without bachelor’s degrees—some 70 percent of all whites. Blacks, Hispanics, college-educated whites, and Europeans also succumb to suicide, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related deaths, but at much lower rates that have risen little, if at all, over time.1

"The disparity is most stark in middle age. Since the early 1990s, the death rate for forty-five-to-fifty-four-year-old white Americans with a BA has fallen by 40 percent, but has risen by 25 percent for those without a BA. Although middle-aged blacks are still more likely to die than middle-aged whites, their mortality has also fallen by more than 30 percent since the early 1990s. Similar declines occurred among middle-aged French, Swedish, and British people over the same period.

"Case and Deaton show how this crisis worsened over generations, beginning with the Baby Boomers. College-educated whites born before World War II were slightly more vulnerable to suicide, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related deaths than non-college-educated whites, but these trends reversed among those born after the war, and then the fates of those with and without a BA continued to diverge.

"Growing economic insecurity is a major cause of the problem...."
The myriad links between this actual crisis-exemplified in the utter vacuity of the 'Obamacare' postponement of reform- and the current Primary campaigns are glaringly obvious.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 8 2020 17:39 utc | 20

Interesting information from Salon magazine. Besides a very supportive headline about Biden candidacy I read one story, about the decline of DOJ prosecutions of white collar crimes under Trump. There is roughly 20% decline compared with the last Obama year, and 50% compared with the peak Obama year.

The table linked in the article,
shows a more complicated story. White collar prosecutions were steady under Reagan, ca. 8000 year. They increased in Bush older years to 10500, slided down under Clinton to 9500, slided more under Bush younger and rebounded a bit to 8000, Reagan level. Under Obama there was a sharp rise to more that 10000, a bit below
late old Bush/early Clinton, followed by steady decline to 6000. And this declining trend continued, more slowly, under Trump.

Seem that Obama and Trump shared the attitude to white collar crime, together pushing them to a much lower level compared with all previous presidents in the table.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 8 2020 17:42 utc | 21

The interpretation of the cdc graph is bullshit. The death rate is not going down due to interventions (like quarantine), it is going down because in the beginning only the most sick patients were tested for COVID 19, and now large swats of the population are tested.

This phenomenon is also known as diagnostic suspicion bias for which you can find more info here

Posted by: Willem | Mar 8 2020 17:59 utc | 22

thanks b... always interesting and informative! glad someone wrote the pickup truck article..

Posted by: james | Mar 8 2020 17:22 utc | 15

From personal experience, I can gush about the benefits of having an oversized garage. When I leave my home, I start with a U-turn inside the garage, so no blind backing up when I go out. That is but one advantage of using a bicycle. You have to invest a bit for layered multi-weather apparel, paneer bags, lights, lubricants and periodic maintenance. There is also fuel cost, I use a mix of buttermilk, defrosted fruit and malted barley. Parking is easy, there are shortcuts that car driven do not even know about, you can save on an exercise machine. If you hit a critter, in most cases the victim is alive (I regret one pregnant squirrel in 20 years, I collided with some woodchucks. a non-pregnant squirrel and rabbits, and they simply run away), deer have no problems avoiding bicyclists.

A nice concept for using green fuels is allowing horse riders to commute to their work. As you toil in the office or a shop, your mount can replenish energy on a pasture.(what would be an appropriate parking fee?) This transportation mode would be green in many ways....

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 8 2020 18:14 utc | 23

"I have a hunch that this is a normal flu" (Donal I The Retard)

Posted by: DFC | Mar 8 2020 18:22 utc | 24

@Piotr Berman #23
The problem is: if you ride in the road like you're supposed to, being struck by a car isn't particularly healthy for the bicycle rider.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 8 2020 18:25 utc | 25

Thanks b, it was the week of impactful news:

Tomorrow in Kabul, Afghanistan Trump and Pompeo meets conundrum - their peace deal with the Taliban and the two swearing - ins:
Taliban say parallel presidential ceremonies threatens progress on peace talk

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban militant group said peace talks with the Afghan government next week were unlikely to take place because rivals for the presidency were both holding swearing-in ceremonies on Monday, and urged them instead to focus on an end to the war.[.]
In February, Afghanistan’s Electoral Commission announced incumbent Ashraf Ghani as the winner of September’s presidential election, but his bitter rival Abdullah Abdullah said he and his allies had won and insisted that he would form a government.

Both Abdullah and Ghani, have issued invitations to parallel swearing-in ceremonies on Monday.

MbS of KSA threatens to turn on the oil spigots and flood the world with oil, slashing price//bbl.
Who is he kidding? How much water and air is there?. Who is he hurting?... only his best friends and his Aramco IPO.

Russia will be fine all the way down to $20//bbl

Putin will be seen to have pulled the plug and the cartel is all but for the burial.

Also of note this week, Mr. Putin did a two-fer. He sent Erdo and the clown Prince packing..

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 8 2020 18:26 utc | 26

@ Piotr Berman | Mar 8 2020 17:42 utc | 21

Coincidentally (perhaps), I just saw this article: "Prosecutions of White-Collar Criminals Plunge to All-Time Low", credited to Jake Johnson at Common Dreams, and re-published at Truthdig. No mention of "Salon", but all of these progressive-liberal sites are sympathetic to the Democratic Party and the anti-Trump "Resistance".

FWIW, I'm recycling my TD comment because it presents one aspect of the "more complicated story" you mention:

What a surprise! Still another article based on the shopworn innuendo that the US's dystopian history began in November, 2016. Here, the implication is that it's the dastardly Trump and his minions reprehensibly turning a blind eye to white-collar crime.

True, Trump is no friend of justice and accountability-- especially when it comes to dispensing "Get Out of Jail Free" cards to (fellow) plutocrats and war criminals.

Still, it's too bad that this admittedly brief overview was so focused on the usual Trump-bashing that it omitted even the slightest reference to, you know, inconvenient history-- to wit:

Obama's first Attorney General, Eric Holder, is the corporate lawyers' corporate lawyer-- he was the ideal choice for Team Obama consiglieri.

As the "Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Land", Holder distinguished himself by pointedly and repeatedly explaining in numerous speeches during his tenure that prosecuting corporate "white collar" crime, especially Wall Street/bankster crime, had become hopelessly impractical-- far too difficult and complex from a cost/benefit perspective.

Holder superciliously explained that corporate crime had become so sophisticated and complex that triers of fact-- judges and juries-- were simply incapable of comprehending the highly abstruse technical issues; therefore, such prosecutions had reached a point of diminishing returns. Prosecutors were frustrated and demoralized by the prospect of investing hard work that yielded disappointing results. Thus, "policing" corporate officers had become impractical from a cost-benefit perspective.

Holder ostensibly "sweetened" this troubling position by suggesting that building a less adversarial, and more accommodating, relationship with the corporate/financial criminal class was a win-win approach.

Because, as the overclass has always insisted, banksters and tycoons (and sympathetic high-level political officials) make the US economy go 'round-- so why harass, hamper, and undermine the geese who lay the golden eggs?

Holder may have been referring to Wall Street's financial criminals, but his "pragmatic" argument conferring perpetual overclass amnesty obviously extends to the entire business sector.

Yeah, I know: that was a long time ago, so it really doesn't matter now. Because Trump!

Posted by: Ort | Mar 8 2020 18:41 utc | 27

On the Skrpials: This recently appeared on the MSN website, supposedly from the Daily Mail. Claimed leaks from "eecurity insiders" as well sa "unconfirmed reports".

Posted by: Dave | Mar 8 2020 18:57 utc | 28

@Piotr Berman #21
Do you think the focus on Russiagate may have had an effect on white collar criminal prosecutions?
It is the same skill set, thus the same people who would conduct the work.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 8 2020 18:58 utc | 29

@ Ort 27.

It's the club - some lie to the FBI and Congress and are imprisoned others lie and are rewarded. I don't think you will be invited; not that you would accept the invitation.

This is how justus is delivered in the US.

Harvey Weinstein Enjoys Whole Floor of Prison to Himself, Medical Care, Junk Food – Reports

[.] Convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein is living alone on the sixth floor of the main building of the North Infirmary Command at Rikers Island, New York City’s main jail complex, TMZ has reported, citing senior Department of Corrections sources.

According to the outlet, the floor Weinstein is living on has 30 dorm-style beds, but apart from himself, is currently empty.

Weinstein has also been assigned round-the-clock security, including monitoring by surveillance cameras and regular checkups by guards. He is reportedly moved to a cell with two other inmates at night.
The disgraced Hollywood mogul also gets an hour of recreation time each day, access to a law library and religious services, and health-conscious options for meals, but also the right to ask for junk food from the commissary as well as free medical care, including access to an on-duty physician.

Btw, where is Bill Cosby?

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 8 2020 19:09 utc | 30

@Piotr Berman #23
The problem is: if you ride in the road like you're supposed to, being struck by a car isn't particularly healthy for the bicycle rider.
Posted by: c1ue | Mar 8 2020 18:25 utc | 25

I had one emergency room visit followed with 1 week course of painkiller pills, my insurance paid 2k+ for damaging Mercedes van, the bicycle was fine... I had another insurance claim for damaging the front bumper of a pickup (some damage to the bike that was squashed a bit, minor bleeding from a finger). Car accidents can be traumatic and fatal to drivers too.

On the other hand, as I get older and more timid, I use many options to avoid "riding the road like you are supposed to": trails, residential streets, sidewalks, good illumination in the dark etc. A healthy notion of mortality improves judgement and survival.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 8 2020 19:30 utc | 31

Dave @28

Interesting that that evidence free article should show up just as voices in the alternate media start speculating on what happened to the Skripals.

Posted by: arby | Mar 8 2020 20:10 utc | 32

Keep hearing people ask what Tulsi is still doing in the race. This answers that to all the suckers who rely upon the establishment tools (Neera Tanden's ex-crew btw) running Bernie's campaign into the ground: Q: Why is Tulsi Gabbard Still In The Race? A: To Bring The Ruckus!

Posted by: Pam Ho | Mar 8 2020 20:29 utc | 33

>Btw, where is Bill Cosby?
>Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 8 2020 19:09 utc | 30

He is in prison in Pennsylvania, and likely to die there.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 8 2020 20:44 utc | 34

These house arrests belong to the old tradition of taking hostages for negociations. Practiced in Yemen forever too, and already by the Byzantine emperors long ago.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2020 20:48 utc | 35

@Piotr Berman #31
You said:

Car accidents can be traumatic and fatal to drivers too.

I doubt this happens - if the accident is between a car and a bicycle.
Many drivers are bad at driving - some bicyclists are bad at biking.

You said:

On the other hand, as I get older and more timid, I use many options to avoid "riding the road like you are supposed to": trails, residential streets, sidewalks, good illumination in the dark etc. A healthy notion of mortality improves judgement and survival.

As a pedestrian, and also as a matter of law in most cities (if not all), bicycles aren't allowed on the sidewalk.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 8 2020 22:08 utc | 36

arby @32

Interesting that that evidence free article should show up just as voices in the alternate media start speculating on what happened to the Skripals.

Yes, one would think that wouldn't be necessary if they were alive.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 8 2020 22:47 utc | 37

#10 JR

" IMO the lack of preparation may rise to criminal negligence and if the lax response is (as Craig suggests) because the threat is mostly to the elderly then it is also elder abuse."

Perhaps the negligence should extend to the MIC for supplying Iraq with CW effecting 70,000 Iranians from the Iran Iraq war. Unfortunately success would be similar to Nicaragua taking the Regan administration to the World Court.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi
"I survived 2 chemical weapons attacks. If I or my friends die because of the #coronavirus, will anyone be able to sue European regimes & companies or press charges against individuals for willfully providing Saddam with these weapons? Can the US be punished by victim's families?"

Zahra Shafie
"18 chemically affected veterans have passed away due to COVID-19 infection.
More than 70,000 Iranians are living with the injuries caused by the western chemical bombs that Saddam used against our troops and civilians for 8 years."


"The evidence of the Salisbury hospital personnel has been reviewed by a sharp-eyed English analyst who prefers anonymity and an internet handle called Twiki. He has discovered that the blood testing of the Skripals for at least 36 hours after their hospitalisation – that is between their admission on Sunday afternoon March 4, and the following Tuesday morning March 6 – did not (repeat not) reveal a marker for organo-phosphate nerve agent poisoning; that is, the level of acetylcholinesterase (ACE) in the bloodstream.*"

It seems to me that HMG fiction writers need to up their game. HMG novel on what happened to the Skripal's is unbelievable. Has the quality of modern day Agatha Christie's deteriorated that much? It seems that the events on March 4th in Salisbury were not anticipated and a clusterfuck of the coverup has no clothes on it.

Posted by: Tom | Mar 8 2020 22:57 utc | 38

@ Mina 35

MbS has more worries than aspiring to take the crown. Restless citizens, Yemen adventure and other fiscal commitments.

6:00 PM Futures opened and Crude Oil Brent is down 31% now at $35.08 was as low as $31.02 due failure to reach OPEC+1 agreement.

Shale boys see West Texas (WTI) crude at $31.82 as low as $30.00 as I write.

COVID-19 will add to the woes. Double whammy for the economy with supply side disruptions and no demand...

Carnage: DJIA (Dow) -995.00. The Feds' NY trading desk will be at work 7:30 AM instead of the usual 3:30 PM.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 8 2020 22:59 utc | 39

Regulations about sidewalks vary, in my "metro area" sidewalks restricted to pedestrians are only in so-called downtown. I live outside downtown near two streets with 4 lanes, along one there is a bike path, sidewalks along the other are bicycle-permitted. Optimum routes for bicycles differ a lot from optimum routes for cars, and quite a bit from Google Maps advise. E.g. there are many ways of making a left turn when you go along a 4-lane street, some better, some worse. It is fun to investigate. This is a small-medium town in Appalachia, plenty of hills, woody areas etc.

Inside Chicago city sidewalk are mostly a no-no but there are some bike paths, same very nice. Also, city street traffic tends to be slow and non-lethal (same in our small downtown). In the surrounding communities pedestrian traffic is minute and sidewalks are very practical for bicycling, while street traffic is fast.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 8 2020 23:07 utc | 40

@30 Weinstein's situation is standard for prison. You get all those things he gets no matter who you are - with the exception of an empty dorm, since all prisons are overcrowded. They're probably doing that to keep him from getting shanked for his sex crimes. The fact that he is moved to a cell with two other inmates at night is to increase his security - those other two inmates are probably sex criminals, too. After the Epstein suicide, the prison officials are probably sensitive to Weinstein just "suddenly committing suicide."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 8 2020 23:19 utc | 41

Not sure if it is true but if so Turkey is getting crazy on border with Greece.

A Turkish armoured vehicle with a rope attached to it was reportedly trying to pull down the Greek border fence this evening #Turkey #Greece
— CNW (@ConflictsW) March 7, 2020

Southfront also posted it there

Posted by: Nick | Mar 8 2020 23:47 utc | 42

- New ~45min video report from ANNA NEWS that covers recent events in Idlib.

- One of the best Russian political scientist analyzes the outcome of the talks between Putin and Erdogan on March 5 and the reasons for the significant concessions from Turkey.

Posted by: alaff | Mar 8 2020 23:57 utc | 43

Ort #27

Thank you... exactly that.
Obummer handed billions to the banksters and Holder prosecuted none. Obummer was a filthy f'ing fraud. The DNC was his handmaiden and Holder his faux incompetent prosecutor.

Running that story without the slightest criticism of Obummers record of failure is just gross disingenuous stenography.
Only a stenographer would include data of the Obummer era and not critique it.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2020 0:00 utc | 44

to maracatu. Thanks for links concerning south america. Lots of changes going on. Exxon has the contract for the offshore guyana oil. I read somewhere that the country has a population of less than one million. Likely Exxon will have then for breakfast and leave them with all the pollution .... a la ecuador. Saludos

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Mar 9 2020 0:01 utc | 45

ut @ 44; Thanks for that true appraisal of the Obama years. As it turned out, just another "caretaker" for the empire, all for personal gain. And, we're about to run another one against DJT in 2020...

Posted by: ben | Mar 9 2020 0:35 utc | 46

It seems this nice;) senator may have corona CNN reporting..

"Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will self-quarantine after CPAC interaction"

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz will self-quarantine in Texas after interacting with an individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference who tested positive for the coronavirus.
"The interaction consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake," Cruz said in a statement. "

Cruz said in a statement he is "not experiencing any symptoms" but "out of an abundance of caution" he will remain in Texas until a full 14 days passes after the interaction.

"The people who have interacted with me in the 10 days since CPAC should not be concerned about potential transmission," Cruz said.

Posted by: ARN | Mar 9 2020 1:14 utc | 47

ben #46

And, we're about to run another one against DJT in 2020...

Thank you ben. I actually don't see Biden as anything more than a faux candidate to exhaust Bernie Sanders and the immense wave of support he and Gabbard have generated. Biden is clearly too impaired to be the final candidate (and the DNC too malign for that matter).

Certainly the DNC will attempt another Obummer or HRC clone (if not HRC). They have plenty to choose from as they have ensured the ranks of congress have been infiltrated with veterans of all the belligerent forces the USA hosts. Some bright young thing with service in Iraq or Afghanistan will come forth as hero and be and do everything the permanent state dictates. A sort of parallel dark universe version to Tulsi Gabbard perhaps.

I am not that close to point at any one chancer but the locals will have a list I trust.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2020 1:26 utc | 48

Likklemore @39--

That futures price drop will act like a Tsunami on Imperial Frackers whose Ponzi Scheme was going to bust and send the NYSE even farther down. Perhaps this will finally burst the out-of-control asset price bubble and drop-kick the Outlaw US Empire's economy into the sewer as the much lower price will rapidly slow the recycling of what remains of the petrodollar. Looks like Trump's reelection push just fell into a massive sinkhole as the economy will tank.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 1:29 utc | 49

re alaff | Mar 8 2020 23:57 utc | 43

I read Rostislav Ishchenko's puff piece about how well Russia had done in the negotiations with Turkey, yet as suspected couldn't find one example of wins for the Syrian administration.
We are told "Russia showed tremendous indifference to the Turkish threats"
"Turkey gave too much, even for its current (far from brilliant) position."
But no evidence is supplied to support either broad but utterly flimsy statement
Joint Turko-Russian patrols on the M4 means two things detrimental to Syria, it is the perfect excuse for Turkey to keep troops inside Syria's borders and, it makes it impossible for Syria to reclaim it's highway.

The most accurate statement I found in the article was:
"In the end, Ankara knew that Russia also did not want a direct conflict with Turkey and would not bring the matter to a break."
Many people who like to maintain the self-delusion that Russia is a non-interventionist state, will disagree but rather than argue in circles I say 'let's check out the state of play at the end of August, when if Russia hadn't backed down the Syrian government would have won back total control of M4 & M5 as well as the administration of all major population centers in the Idlib Governorate.

It always saddens me when humans rightly swear off one brand of propaganda only to lap up the same type of tosh generated by the original brand's major competitor.
They all lie this is evidenced by simply swapping the placename's in Ishchenko's article for those of a state amerika has invaded by stealth, say Colombia with FARQ as the enemy protagonist. Do that and the article reads like a b grade NYT pile of steaming tosh, full of historical analogies which have little relevance other than a vain attempt to boost the author's credentials.
It makes me mad because it has become obvious that Syria isn't ever going to completely recover it's territory.

Posted by: A User | Mar 9 2020 1:30 utc | 50

Turkey still playing games?? posted at Syrian perspective blog: RUSSIAN “CHOPPER” GOT IN THE WAY OF THE TURKISH F-16 IN SYRIAN IDLIB
Lajoie Parrot
”Russian aviation using an electronic warfare system (EW) prevented the Turkish F-16 fighter from shooting down the Syrian fighter-bomber Su-22 in the sky over Idlib province. The incident occurred on March 4, and now it became known that Russian reconnaissance aircraft equipped with the Il-22PP Porubshchik jamming system helped to get away from the Turkish missile to the Syrian Air Force combat vehicle.
Over the past few days, Syrian aircraft have been repeatedly attacked by Turkish forces. In particular, a combat training L-39 was recently shot down, before which the Turkish Air Force destroyed two Syrian Su-24 bombers. All three combat vehicles of the Arab Republic were hit after the Turkish Army launched Operation Spring Shield in Syrian Idlib on March 1. Earlier, several unsuccessful attempts were made to shoot down Russian bombers from man-made anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) FIM-92 Stinger American-made.
The situation is complicated by the fact that attacks, as military experts note, are carried out by Turkish F-16s with long-range AIM-120 air-to-air missiles (up to 105 km range), and the target is guided by a Boeing early warning and control reconnaissance aircraft 737AEW & C Turkish Air Force (equipped with electronic warfare, which includes the system of optoelectronic counteraction AN / AAQ-24 (V) “Nemesis”). It is important to note that Turkish fighters conducted operations on Idlib without entering Syrian airspace, thus avoiding getting into the affected area air defense systems from the Russian Khmeimim air base, since Moscow had previously warned Ankara that it did not guarantee the safety of Turkish aviation in the sky of the northwestern ATS region.
However, a recent incident showed that in this case, the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force have prepared countermeasures. The Syrian Su-22 last Wednesday, March 4, was able to escape from the AIM-120 rocket, launched by the Turkish F-16. According to military experts, such a maneuver was made possible thanks to the Russian integrated reconnaissance aircraft Tu-214R. “Syrian troops, with the support of the Russian air forces, responded to the insidious strategy of Turkey with deterrence tactics. Russia has significantly increased its EW forces in the region. First of all, due to the Tu-214 and Il-22PP, which were able to not only detect the approaching Turkish F-16s, but also warn Syrian fighters, ”writes the Chinese news portal Sina.
The Russian “Logger” also disrupted the tactical network Link 16, which made the Turkish Boeing 737AEW & C useless in monitoring the terrain and warning strike fighters. In fact, experts say that Moscow, having not entered into an open confrontation with Ankara, competently neutralized the Turkish Air Force in the region, which again realized that they could neither control the airspace over Idlib nor provide support to their ground forces and allied fighters.
“The Russian air forces continue to provide air support to the Syrian government forces, thereby condemning the Turks and their allied gangs to failure. A vivid example of this is the restoration of Syrian army control over the city of Sarakib,” notes Sina.”
[note that this may now be altered by the agreement reached in Moscow under the new ROE, which prevent the Turk turd from any hostile act against Russian assets, no matter where initiated. Maybe.] ... numbers of missiles doesn't matter if you have effective/electronic warfare capabilities that enable setting missile neutralization fields (fry all the electronics in the missile/plane/ship etc) ...which is what Russia has - quality beats quantity any day... Got that Uncle Sam and friends?

Posted by: Maximus | Mar 9 2020 1:38 utc | 51

I did some research on lead poisoning two years ago (privately distributed, as my research is as much an attack on current epidemiology as it is on e.g. the beliefs of the race realist movement), and have a brief summary that touches on the US problem.

Firstly, the US practice is to report *geometric means* rather than *arithmetic means* of blood lead levels. This is a scam, that serves to hide the scale of poisoning. To avoid the scam from becoming too obvious, zero readings of blood lead level are recorded by the US government as 6ug/l (5 in some years). Geometric means are only justified if the dose response is logarithmic.

The only studies of which I am aware, that claim a logarithmic dose response of IQ to lead are European blood lead at birth versus IQ, where the logarithm can be an artefact of biological half-life of lead in blood (35 days) after regular exposure ends (beginning of maternal leave, during an era of leaded petrol), given a *linear* underlying dose response.

There is evidence that much of the lead poisoning in the US is sporadic (mean interpoisoning time per Poissonian process much greater than biological half-life)---look at the distribution of blood lead levels in NHANES III and later---high blood lead tails closer to truncated hyperbolic rather than Gaussian). A simple Monte Carlo estimate assuming comparable dose from frequent as from sporadic poisoning, coupled with use of "confirmatory" blood lead test after 12 weeks (iirc) gave a factor of ~8 ratio between geometric and arithmetic means, where the frequent dosing by itself gave a ratio of 1.2. Thus the mean dose effect would be grossly underestimated using the geometric mean dose after the phase-out of leaded petrol versus before.

Secondly, there is evidence that uptake of lead per unit exposure is a function of genes. This leads both to lead poisoning being a "black problem," and to gross misestimates of dose response.

Sub-Saharan Africa largely skipped the bronze age. At the oldest iron workshop sites, i.e. in Nigeria and southern Africa (see Mining and metallurgy in Negro Africa, George Bantam books), the tool inventory for working iron is Stone age rather than bronze age. Many African ethnic groups did later work copper alloys, for status objects and cult objects, but useful tools were usually made of iron.

As lead is always present in soft metal ores (e.g. gold, silver, copper and tin), bronze ages always lead to mass lead poisoning. As adult lead poisoning leads to fertility problems, a genetic selection is expected during a bronze age, for reduced lead uptake. Also note that empires tend to show up during bronze ages, or where gold or silver is worked (Egypt, Ashanti, South and Central American empires, Mongol empire). Presumably lead-induced popular thuggery leads to empire formation.

As lead exposure in antiquity would be minimal for Sub-Saharan Africans, higher blood lead levels and crime rates would be due to lower evolved resistance to lead uptake. Genes that are good candidates for investigation for lead uptake variation include those identified early on by Davide Piffer in his polygenic IQ models.

IQ is seems as primarily caused by genes in twin studies so parental IQ is included in studies on lead, but the measurement of dose response of lead on IQ is confounded when parental IQ is included in the dose response model, without including the parents' exposure to lead in their infancy and prenatally. Where a linear regression is used in a model where the underlying dose response is linear, the apparent dose response (\beta_{apparent}) will be related to the underlying dose response (\beta_{actual}) by

\beta_{apparent}=\beta_{actual} (1-R_{Pb:parent,Pb:child} \sigma_{Pb:parent}/\sigma_{Pb:child}) +
\sigma_{\delta IQ}/\sigma_{Pb:child} R_{Pb:child,\delta IQ}

Where R_{Pb:parent,Pb:child} is the correlation between the dose (or proxy) that the parents received in their childhood to the dose (or proxy) received by the children being measured,

\sigma_{Pb:parent} and \sigma_{Pb:child} are the standard deviations of parental and child dose (or proxy),

\sigma_{\delta IQ} is the standard deviation of IQ variation not caused by lead, and

R_{Pb:child,\delta IQ} is the correlation between the non-lead variation in IQ (e.g. gene fluctuation relative to parental mean per individual) and lead dose or proxy (e.g. gene environment correlation, see comment below).

When a study is done that bins individuals according to apparent dose received, individuals with very low dose are probably less exposed compared to their parents, relative to medium exposure individuals. Thus one may find the various funny curves of apparent dose response as an artefact of not including parental dose.

It is not clear how one might distinguish genetic variation in uptake from gene-environment correlation, without doing a controlled uptake experiment.

Canada also has a severe water lead problem, e.g. Montreal, Regina, Moose Jaw and Prince George...

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Mar 9 2020 2:23 utc | 52

tomorrow starts the trial to determine guilt of 4 men accused of bringing down Flight MH17. It's a beautiful thing....secret evidence, anonymous witnesses, none of the accused will be present in the court but can give testimony if they like over a video link.

the BBC presents a fair and balanced report.

I wonder if the writers of this stuff are snickering to themselves.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 9 2020 2:24 utc | 53

I must admit that I’m a little bit torn on this issue surrounding COVID-19. After all, one of my most favorite economic and financial bloggers thinks it’s something to be deeply concerned about to the point of near panic, while my favorite physics blogger as well as my VERY favorite foreign policy blogger both think that there is not much to be concerned about. To them, you can rest comfortably at night knowing that much of it is just media hype mixed in with layers and layers of political hype.

Therefore, thanks mostly to Bernhard for his strong track record for reading the proverbial tea leaves correctly, as well as his extremely sharp analytical skills regarding just about anything here on planet Earth, I’ve come to the conclusion, at least for now, that the whole coronavirus story is way overblown, and the very viral nature of social media deserves most of the blame for overblowing it way, way out of proportion.

Now if we can only develop a virus against social-caused hysteria. Some will say such a virus would fall under the definition of censorship. Well, if that’s the case, so be it, and thus let the social-media virus work itself through the virtual world of the internet until it finally dies out on its own. That’s kinda what I’m hoping will happen to the real virus as well. I’m hoping it will work its way around the globe and slowly but surely die out, or at least go into hibernation for a while until we can develop a viable vaccine against it.

Posted by: Cynthia, The First | Mar 9 2020 2:26 utc | 54

Cynthia, The First #54

Now if we can only develop a virus against social-caused hysteria. Some will say such a virus would fall under the definition of censorship. Well, if that’s the case, so be it, and thus let the social-media virus work itself through the virtual world of the internet until it finally dies out on its own.

The social amnesia virus is an associated problem as I see it. If we could eradicate that we may get serious social betterment and a chance to eradicate social-caused hysteria.

There was an attempt in the early 1600's to eradicate the Venice Oligarch virus but it has persisted for centuries and once again dominates humanity in a very threatening form. I suspect that if we vanquished the Venice Oligarch virus and redirected global wealth to education, good science and healthy communities we may get one more step up the Gross Human Happiness and Wellbeing index.

That would be an achievement.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2020 2:45 utc | 55

@dan of Steele 53
That sounds like the Rwanda, Sierra Leone/Liberia and Yugoslav ad hoc tribunals. Christopher Black and John Philpot remain the best sources on these corrupt practices to hide the criminality of the tribunal sponsors, although Prof NA Combs (Fact finding without facts) is also very important, perhaps foundational. Recall that contrary to the propaganda, the beheaded bodies floating down a certain river into Tanzania (iirc) were baHutu beheaded by Kagame's soldiers, not baTúutsi beheaded by baHutu. On this, Judy Rever is correct, despite her overall abiding by the party line regarding 1994.

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Mar 9 2020 2:55 utc | 56

"Perhaps this will finally burst the out-of-control asset price bubble and drop-kick the Outlaw US Empire's economy into the sewer as the much lower price will rapidly slow the recycling of what remains of the petrodollar. Looks like Trump's reelection push just fell into a massive sinkhole as the economy will tank."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 1:29 utc | 49

Call me crazy- but this Virus provides great cover as to why the economy plummets, the Murikan sheeple will eat it up. Prepare for the double media blitz on the virus AND the economy tanking as its result.

Don't worry...just continue to go shopping and take those selfies.

Posted by: CitizenX | Mar 9 2020 2:58 utc | 57

Parliamentary Elections in Venezuela this year and a warehouse fire has destroyed the stored voting machines.
"Nearly 50,000 voting machines and almost 600 computers went up in flames as a result of the fire that broke out on Saturday, said elections council chief Tibisay Lucena."
"Venezuela holds elections this year for parliament, which is currently controlled by the opposition. Maduro’s adversaries are demanding that the country instead hold a new presidential election, and have not yet said whether they will participate in the legislative election."

I would guess that with the shit they have pulled, the so called opposition wouldn't get too many votes in an election. Team Trump would know there's no chance of their proxy ever taking power via elections so a few dirty tricks coming up I guess.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 9 2020 3:13 utc | 58

@ 23 Piotr Berman.. that's a good reminder... i do a lot of walking myself.. apparently lots of bike riding isn't so good for the bones as you get older...i don't know if anyone is talking about that... we all have to go sometime and the vehicle ( body) we use in this life only has a certain shelf life.. i used to ride motorcycle and one could do the same in the garages going today as you do with your bike!... cheers james

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2020 3:14 utc | 59

Pompeo accuses China of giving "imperfect data" on COVID-19, blame it for US failure in containing the virus:

In new low, Pompeo passes buck to Beijing

It will be hard for the American people to swallow that one. From day 1 I've read a lot of "articles" and "papers" from know-it-all Western doctors and researchers from commenters here in this blog, all of them claiming to have very precise and definitive data on what was happening. A lot of bombastic conclusions I've read here (including one that claimed R0 was through the roof - it's funny how the R0 is being played down after it begun to infect the West; suddenly, it's all just a stronger cold...).

And that's just here, in MoA's comment section. Imagine what was being published in the Western MSM. I wouldn't be surprised there was a lot of rednecks popping their beers celebrating the fall of China already.


China to back global virus fight with production boost

Since China allegedly had a lot of idle industrial capacity - that is, if we take the Western MSM theories seriously (including the fabled "ghost towns" stories) - then boosting production wouldn't be a problem to China.

Disclaimer: it's normal for any kind of economy - socialist or capitalist - to have a certain percentage of idle capacity. That's necessary in order to insure the economy against unexpected oscillations in demand and to give space of maneuvre for future technological progress. Indeed, that was one of the USSR's mistakes with its economy: they instinctly thought unemployment should be zero, and waste should also be zero, so they planned in a way all the factories always sought to operate at 100% capacity. That became a problem when better machines and better methods were invented, since the factory manager wouldn't want to stop production so that his factory would fall behind the other factories in the five-year plan's goals. So, yes, China indeed has idle capacity - but it is mainly proposital, not a failure of its socialist planning.


The US wants to get out of Afghanistan so it can deal with China

This is an important take on Afghanistan, because it refers to Trump's broader geopolitical project (and, therefore, America's).

Today, a USD 100 billion military fund between Brazil and USA was created. It seems the fund already existed at least in some form between the NATO countries, but this move - which is conditioned to Brazil blocking Huawei (since it would, obviously, hurt American capacity to gather and share intelligence with the Brazilian Government).

Well, of course that Bolsonaro wants a police state apparatus he can use to exterminate the Brazilian Left and govern forever etc. etc. But the interesting thing here is that Trump is trying to suck Brazil more and more to the American gyre, in a way he can form some kind of "Arc of Freedom" around China in order to siege it and anihilate it, transform it into a giant Haiti/North Korea so that socialism cannot rise for the next 1,000 years.

That also explains Trump's obsession with being friends with Russia: without it, the geographic fence around China cannot be closed.

If this hypothesis is true, then it is patent Trump is America's last chance of continuing to be the "lonely superpower", i.e. unipolarity's last stand.

Will Trump enter History as the American version of Diocletian? Or will he enter History as the American Severus Alexander?

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 3:37 utc | 60

This is important. The only reason I didn't comment about it is I hadn't the data:

Follow the money: Understanding China's battle against COVID-19

By the latest count, in addition to yuan loans worth 113 billion U.S. dollars granted by financial institutions and more than 70 billion U.S. dollars paid out by insurance companies, the Chinese government has allocated about 13 billion U.S. dollars to counter fallout from the outbreak.

The numbers could look abstract. However, breaking the data down reveals how the money is being carefully targeted. The government is allocating the money based on a thorough evaluation of the system's strengths.


Local governments are equipped with more local knowledge that allows them to surgically support key manufacturers or producers that are struggling.

Together, they have borne the bulk of the financial responsibility with an allocation of equivalently more than nine billion U.S. dollars. It is carefully targeted, divided into hundreds of thousands of individual grants that are tailor-made by and for each county, town, city and business.

This is the mark of a socialist system.

The affected capitalist countries will simply use monetary devices (so the private sector can offset the losses) and burn their own reserves with non-profitable palliatives such as masks, tests, other quarantine infrastructure etc.

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 3:56 utc | 61

Dan of Steele @ 53:

Apparently according to Bonanza Media the Dutch members of the JIT considered breaching Russian territorial sovereignty in order to find, entrap and kidnap the four suspects. Surprisingly the idea passed muster with Belgium while the Ukrainian representative wanted more discussion. Perhaps because the SBU has been lagging in its corner of the investigation and might have to do the bulk of the heavy work if the idea had been agreed upon by all four members.

Needless to say the Malaysians hadn't been consulted on the idea since they are no longer part of the JIT.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 9 2020 4:32 utc | 62

Sounds like US socialism. Basically corporate socialism. Loans are just dollars created out of thin air, same as in US. Insurance payouts come from premiums, nothing socialist about that, pure capitalism. Government hand outs to provinces, cities, state owned corporations,well all of these are run by the party elite, its called pork. US handed out a lot of pork during the last financial crisis. None of it trickled down to the little people. I doubt it does in China either.

All crisis are opportunities for the elite to get richer. Those Biolake firms in Wuhan will make out like bandits. Chinese firms will double the price of API’s sold to India and US. China will knock out the small farmer in the wake of concurrent chicken and swine flu so the big enterprises take over, a mimicry of the US practice over the last century. China tech firms will double up on surveillance apps, censoring tools, surveillance and toughen up social credit restrictions. 5G will allow China to experiment with nanobots to monitor citizens health from afar (thanks to Harvards Dr Leiber).

Oh yes, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a technocratic capitalists dream. Thats why the West has never imposed sanctions on China since welcoming them to the global elites club. Sanctions are reserved for those with true socialism, especially those who preach equality and god forbid, democracy.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 9 2020 4:44 utc | 63

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 3:56 utc | 61

Thanks. I love CGTN. Should watch The Point Liu Xin , Zoom in with Zou Yue and Tian Wei Insight. On your Android smartphone click top R/H - CGTN webpage on TV look at local time for the above programs.

"In Huzhou City, farmers who harvest fast-growing vegetables in greenhouses I was in Huzhou many times in the 90's. I speak many Chinese dialects beside putonghua.

Posted by: JC | Mar 9 2020 4:44 utc | 64

So Bill Gates is funding home test kits for Washing State. Fill out an online questionaire, get a kit sent over to you, fill it with snot and send it in, test results issued to public health who will notify you (or come for you). No word on who pays. He certainly has his fingerprints all over covid-19

Just wondering when governments will start forcing hair cuts on people. After all, how much virus is bring carried around on peoples hair, ready to pounce on others with the slightest breeze?. Off with their hair. Hair is the new public health threat. Next Gates will be providing free hair cuts for all. Those who wish to keep their heads best tip the barber in advance.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 9 2020 4:52 utc | 65

So let's see..... Syria gains yet more territory, erdogan is shown the limits of his power and now Turkey will be led on the Russian Czar's leash. Here come the disingenuous concern trolls telling all how Putin is a fool and the empire is invincible. Rinse and repeat. Keep on navel gazing while the wheels of history are turned by others.

Posted by: Nemo | Mar 9 2020 4:56 utc | 66

@ vk | Mar 9 2020 3:56 utc | 61 with their documentation of $13 billion dollars in China outbreak funding as example of appropriate socialism...thanks

If indeed the coronavirus is as disruptive as it seems it would be to the the US economy, that is already crashing, then what will happen in the US is that the homeless and street folk will suffer the most followed by the working poor.....because, in the West, we really aren't equal humans, are we?

We can only hope that more see what government can do for its constituents.....and it doesn't have to be a copy of China but only must start with a public core of finance instead of the private one in dictatorship status currently in the West.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 9 2020 5:04 utc | 67

oil taking a big hit... another nail in the coffin of the walking dead - KSA...

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2020 5:05 utc | 68

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 3:56 utc | 61

No, Socialism with Chinese characteristics work - Top down with the central gov set the pace and direction for its citizens. Asia stock market tumbling, watch tomorrow S&P - slaughter. and just in case I forget, oil price falling below $25?, Italy's Salvini short selling Ban, citing "Soros".... Ted Cruz Says He Plans To Work From Home.... His supports for HK rioter, his chickens come home to roost Revolution of Our Time", "Five Demands, Not One Less",

Posted by: JC | Mar 9 2020 5:11 utc | 69

Very sorrie correction Posted by: Pft | Mar 9 2020 4:44 utc | 64 and NOT
Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 3:56 utc | 61

Posted by: JC | Mar 9 2020 5:14 utc | 70

Uncle Tungsten @48:

Re: "parallel dark universe version to Tulsi Gabbard" . . . how about one of the "CIA Democrats" made a little famous by WSWS, such as Elissa Slotkin?

Posted by: jalp | Mar 9 2020 5:37 utc | 71

@Likklemore #26:

Russia will be fine all the way down to $20//bbl

Russia’s 2020 federal budget assumes a price of $42.4 per barrel of Urals crude oil blend (the prices of other oil & gas exports, such as other crude oil blends, natural gas, LNG and petroleum products, are converted into Urals blend prices using statistical formulas). If the market price turns out to be higher, the surplus goes into the National Wealth Fund ($124 bn as of December 1, 2019; currency composition is 45% U.S. dollars, 45% euros, 10% pound sterling); conversely, if the price is lower, the deficit is financed from the NWF. This is known in Russia as “the budget rule” (бюджетное правило).

You can see the prices of various crude oil blends at the’s Oil Price Charts page, but note that the Urals blend prices shown are lagging by three days as of the time of this comment. Generally, Urals blend price is somewhere between WTI and Brent blend prices, so it should be around $32/bbl at the moment. Meaning, Russia will now have to start taking money from the NWF.

If the low prices persist for a long period of time, Russia can balance the budget by devaluing the ruble, as its foreign debt is one of the lowest in the world—no budget cuts are necessary. Russia’s foreign exchange reserves currently stand at $570 bn (77.1% foreign currencies, 1.2% SDR, 0.7% reserve position in the IMF, 21.0% gold).

Posted by: S | Mar 9 2020 6:19 utc | 72

vk 60 "If this hypothesis is true, then it is patent Trump is America's last chance of continuing to be the "lonely superpower", i.e. unipolarity's last stand."

Oil and Israel.
Control the oil and US would control a good portion of the world. Energy dominance was a big part of MGA.
Whatever Trump and Bolsonaro are cooking up, it will have to do with Venezuela.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 9 2020 6:29 utc | 73

SARS-CoV2 preparation advice:

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 9 2020 6:38 utc | 74

I'm not sure if this is meaningful but what if it's not about for example socialism or not socialism but instead about parasitism (as a behavior and not any kind of ideology) in all its forms.

Likewise what if it's not only about systems per se but also about the people in the system: where a perfect system without "good" people is worthless. What if any -isms that define "good" self-servingly (and they all seem to) disappear down a hole chasing after and constantly repeating the initial tautology/circular reasoning of being self-serving.

Thus all the empty political verbiage and mostly meaningless historical to and fro is primarily creating comfortable niches for parasites.

Not looking for a discussion, only throwing it out there for people to think about while we wait to see just how bad things will get concerning the virus.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 9 2020 6:53 utc | 75

re donkeytale | Mar 9 2020 4:27 utc | 62
Tsk tsk Donkeytale, see what you done done.
You've got the sheep accusing us (well maybe just me of being a troll, lol) hey that rhymes must remember it for the next time a human incapable of discerning their asshole from their elbow accuses me of trolling. commie pinko troll, nazi troll. hasbara trol (that was for pointing out that elements of the palestinian administration were little better than the zionists), faggot (scuse my french) troll, PC troll, Trump troll, imperial troll (that for pointing out that China has been spending millions paying off conservative pols throughot the South Pacific to get pro business anti chinese racist administrations. I have no problem with the latter as long as it doesn't catalog genuine issues as racist when that is far from the issue at hand, but I don't care who is paying to keep corporatist/globalist governments in power, they are not a friend to humanity no matter where they come from) libtard troll etc etc.

Anyone who has the gall to try and scratch the pr bullshit off the nonsense and get to the bottom of any contemporaneous issue de jour, better get ready for the troll call.
Heaven forfend any of us who challenge the delusion that all former socialist states have kept their humanity despite evidence which demonstrates they are nearly as greedy & self-serving as those they claim to oppose.

It is water off a duck's back, but I still lie awake considering the bathos of posts/posters who reject the amerikan empire's crooked take on reality only to buy into another nation's egocentric bulldust.

But there you go eh donkeytale.

Posted by: A User | Mar 9 2020 6:56 utc | 76

Important note on the “Houthi rebels” term:

Rune @ragerhus - 18:56 UTC · 8 Mar 2020

This is the "The Yemeni Political Parties against Aggression" Coalition. It consists of nasserists, socialists, Ansarallah, GPC, Baathists and many more.

In the mainstream press they are all called "houthi rebels".

But that's not the case. The media is lying.


Posted by: S | Mar 9 2020 7:20 utc | 77

U.S. 10-year Treasury yield is at 0.74%, an all-time low.

Posted by: S | Mar 9 2020 7:48 utc | 78

Tim Anderson calls on the world to shave the children of Idlib.

Posted by: S | Mar 9 2020 7:56 utc | 79

I think anyone who has attended an AIPAC conference at anytime should self isolate and self reflect

Posted by: Jezabeel | Mar 9 2020 8:17 utc | 80

With a WTI at 20$ by the end of the week and a serious unpreparedness in the dealing with covid-19, hard times are comin'for the US. Or not ?

Posted by: alain | Mar 9 2020 8:18 utc | 81

CitizenX #57

Call me crazy- but this Virus provides great cover as to why the economy plummets, the Murikan sheeple will eat it up. Prepare for the double media blitz on the virus AND the economy tanking as its result.

Don't forget the Russians.. They have to be to blame. See they just kept the price of oil low so now the rest of the world gets gas cheaper than the USA. The USA motorist now has to bail out the dopey frackers and shale oil ponzis.

Global envy will eat murica. Maybe they will just pull out all their troops and go home. ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2020 8:35 utc | 82

jalp #72

Re: "parallel dark universe version to Tulsi Gabbard" . . . how about one of the "CIA Democrats" made a little famous by WSWS, such as Elissa Slotkin?

Thank you jalp, that link led me to the series in the WSWS where the 2018 runners are all named:
The CIA Democrats and take a look at part three for more.

If the Dem takeover is on then the real Pres and VP will come come from these POS.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2020 8:48 utc | 83

@S #73:

Russia’s Ministry of Finance has just announced that with $150 bn in the National Wealth Fund and the “additional oil & gas income tracking account” it is prepared to finance the federal budget deficit for 6–10 years if the oil prices stay at $25–30/bbl.

Saudi Arabia had a budget deficit of $35 bn in 2019 (financed by asset sales and debt issuance)⁠—it will skyrocket this year. Saudi Aramco’s shares are in freefall: trading was stopped after the shares hit a 10% daily drop limit. There’s no way Saudi economy will survive intact for 6 years at current oil prices.

Posted by: S | Mar 9 2020 8:59 utc | 84

The way Europen MSM report the stock crash:
it is the fault of the virus panick
it is the fault of the Russians
it is the fault of KSA decision

No mention of the simple fact that China, the main buyer, is not buying as much as usual. That would go against the pseudo green concerns which they serve the rest of the year.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 9 2020 9:02 utc | 85

ANNA-News has released a new 44-minute documentary Idlib: Undeclared War.

As usual, there are two versions available:

  1. Russian version in high quality (1080p);

  2. Russian version with English subtitles in low quality (720p, but feels like 480p).

Posted by: S | Mar 9 2020 9:55 utc | 86

About politicians and elections and such.

In my opinion one should assume that anyone at all anywhere close to either power, genuine opposition, or something interesting (which could be anything) has a nice collection of different and (at least in some places) pretty hefty "files" available at all the different "powers (plural) that be" (who all try to keep an eye one each other to see what the competition seems interested in).

That includes the janitors in various government buildings and more. It's called "security clearance" and doesn't only look at the individual :)

They're the bureaucratic equivalent of $10000 hammers and are always "a lot of work" to cover/pay for all the unrelated unofficial non-public effort in places and systems that supposedly don't exist and thus can't be reviewed and can't be subjected to any pesky laws :P

Our modern world is a DDR clone only with super-human abilities and the evolutionary pressure it generates is intense, perhaps simply too intense for the (or any?) systems to survive.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 9 2020 10:00 utc | 87

@All, especially to @b

The Turkish Lira went down since Friday, 1 Euro was 6,84 TL, to 7.02 this morning, now 6,98. In the past some hidden powers always intervened to stop that process. The value of the Lira is important for the local standing of E. Anybody here who knows who intervenes?

Second: the oil price fall. Which consequences will this have for the further financing of the islamistic terrorists in ME?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 9 2020 10:34 utc | 88

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 9 2020 10:34 utc | 89

The Turkish central bank? Lira going down would mean they are printing money.
You do that when you want to kickstart the economy.

Second question - none. It just means that terrorism will get cheaper as more people will be in the need of money.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 9 2020 10:46 utc | 89

DJIA premarket at 7:00am est. -1304

Could it drop 2000 pts. today?

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 9 2020 11:02 utc | 90

somebody | Mar 9 2020 10:46 utc | 90

Thank you. If the Turkish Central Bank does not want exactly this, if it wants to fight this drop: what can it do then? I would have supposed that they need to sell dollars to counterbalance it. Wrong?

The labour expenses of terrorism is one aspect. But one needs a lot of money to buy fresh weapons for them. Somebody needs to finance that. Wrong idea?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 9 2020 11:09 utc | 91

A User @77 Re: "pr bullshit"

I am just curious what brands the consumers are familiar with down there on the planet's underside. Ford? Apple? Levis? Coke? Louis Vuitton? Bayer?

Any Chinese brands?

Other than Huawei, a name you only know about because they are being attacked by western capitalism and not due to their own marketing, there are no Chinese brands that any of your neighbors are familiar with, are there? This is a very crucial data point that tells you a great deal about China and their "pr". You see, the very same skills, technology, and techniques are used to sell corporate brands as are used to sell geopolitical brands and narratives... and I do mean precisely the same, from paid advertisements to product placement in popular media to online guerrilla marketing using nickel posting trolls like the mule posterior that you fed above.

Brand popularity is manufactured. To put it crudely, it is brainwashing that causes people to prefer carbonated sugar water with one label over carbonated sugar water with a different label, or to wear a t-shirt with one logo rather than a t-shirt with another logo. If the Chinese were employing these techniques then there would be a Chinese competitor to Pepsi at your local convenience store, and you'd be wear jeans with a Chinese logo (that came out of the exact same factory that Levis come out of, no less!). The choice of the brainwashed has little to do with it.

But we do not see that in the West, do we?

Once you are surrounded by Chinese brands, then and only then do you need to start worrying that they might be programming people with false geopolitical narratives. Until then you can safely disregard hype about "pr bullshit" coming from China. Whether it is technique or inclination that they lack, they are not a global source of "pr bullshit".

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2020 11:23 utc | 92

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 9 2020 11:09 utc | 92

Terrorist weapons are cheap nowadays, they used to own some weapon factories. The price sinks with sinking labour costs. Should Turkey support them, Turkey has got a lot of local weapon production.

A central bank raises the value of currency by reducing the amount of currency, ie stop printing and higher the credit rate. To sell dollars would be no use as it would increase the amount of currency. They would have to buy dollars (this could be the most efficient tool). Actually this might be the natural outcome of Lira inflation - everybody buying dollars for safety and thereby reducing inflation.

What sinking oil prices do is raising the price of imports for oil producing countries. So countries like Saudi will be hit for everything they need to import but not for stuff that is produced locally (without imports). As they have to import a lot, this sure will be a problem should it continue. I would not count on being terrorism being hit - it is extremely cheap.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 9 2020 13:36 utc | 93

Piotr Berman | Mar 8 2020 18:14 utc | 23

Excellent observations on the sanest way to get around.
More challenging in the USA than in, say, the Netherlands, Denmark, or East Asia. The problem is the automobile drivers. In the Netherlands if a car hits a biker the car driver is automatically the guilty party. Promotes defensive driving on the part of car drivers.

I ride my bike as much as possible---a good reason for living in a small town---but otherwise have a 96 Outback. A pretty small car. SUVs and large trucks are a real hazard. You cannot see over or around them, so if you are at a T-junction with one of these monsters next to you, you cannot see oncoming traffic until the monster gets out of the way. The people who drive these vehicles also seem to be generally oblivious to others. Changing lanes suddenly without signaling, generally behaving antisocially on the road.

And I do believe their driving skills are sub-par. It is pretty funny to me to think that these monsters are guided by drivers who who would be helpless if faced with a gear shift.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 13:42 utc | 94

Well boys and girls the panic is now full-on. From CNN:

The New York Stock Exchange has halted stock trading for 15 minutes after the S&P 500 fell 7% on Monday morning.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 9 2020 13:43 utc | 95

Dr. Mercola, "Essential Nutrition to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus,"

may be useful to some. He starts with the recap of the Boyle thesis, which can be skipped to get to the nutritional info/studies/rationales and a clear list of supplements and dosages that can help boost the immune system and fend off cell depredations of infection and secondary infections.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 13:49 utc | 96

@ Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 9 2020 13:43 utc | 96

Why did they halt it? Let the free market "self-correct"!

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 14:19 utc | 97

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 13:49 utc | 97

Dr. Mercola, "Essential Nutrition to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus,"

may be useful to some.

Posted by: jrkrideau | Mar 9 2020 14:32 utc | 98


please provide medical research papers supporting your thesis. Thanks...

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 9 2020 14:48 utc | 99

re William Gruff | Mar 9 2020 11:23 utc | 93
One of the most annoying points about posting to any blog is when people completely miss the point of what you wrote. Often because their personal biases take over and prevent objective appraisal.

eg I said nothing about chinese brands, what I was discussing is that the Chinese government has been giving large amounts of donations to conservative politicians in Aotearoa & Australia to ensure that globalist free trade deals which have closed down all manufacturing industries in both nations remain in place. In Australia the pols have been bribed to continue mining coal & selling it to power PRC generators -nevermind global warming & bushfires eh? Aotearoa was the first country to enter into a free trade deal with China.

Nothing against Chinese people per se but when a member of China's foreign intelligence service is fast tracked into the kiwi parliament, when no political party is willing to stop foreign ownership of residential housing despite Aotearoa & Australia having major accommodation crises and it is residents of the PRC who are make up the bulk of foreign home ownership, it is necessary to question the bland, anodyne statements offered up to concerned citizens by both local politicians and their PRC counterparts.
Inevitably both groups try to make it about race when it is about compatriots most of whom are indigenous, being unable to afford a home despite being employed.
Actually I'm familiar with a number of PRC brand names particularly those on clothing and motor vehicles, maybe Chery, Ssangyong & Dongfeng cars aren't sold where you are but they are sold in Aotearoa, and are just as widely advertised on TV as Ford or Toyota.
PRC buys most of Aotearoa's primary produce, consequently we buy a lot of their stuff - nothing wrong with that but for a consumer the relationship with the manufacturer is pretty much the same no matter where the product originated.

This is an issue which brings out the worst sort of PR from all the oppressors, including PRC pols, but I guess you will shut your eyes to what I write lest it conflict with your idealistic view that PRC politicians and business-people are all good marxists, despite the fact the people currently running China come from the groupings that Mao & Zhou Enlai had to send for re-education during the cultural revolution.

Look I'm sure we agree on most things but I refuse to slap on rose tinted glasses because someone claims to be a socialist, but acts like a capitalist exploiter.
There are many great things about the PRC and their interference in the domestic affairs of the countries of the pacific is less heavy-handed than usuk's has been, but there is no doubt PRC does interfere in our business and it doesn't matter where such interference comes from it is still nasty and unwelcome.
I don't want any foreign agents of influence pushing their stickybeaks into any other nation's business (except maybe occupied Palestine and that isn't a real nation anyway its a prison camp run by greedy & vicious jailers) apart from that no nation should be interfering in the business of a nation especially one that has always offered support to it back in the 50's & 60's when USuk & nato were causing it so much trouble.

This is no Russiagate tosh, this is real, and just because usuk try to twist what has been happening to their advantage, that does not negate the reality of it.
I don't like the term sheeple as it is demeaning to people who are decent, try to do it right but have no interest in politics, that said the way that many people who are interested in politics can pick a side and refuse to consider that group objectively are in a way, as sheep-like as Jo/Joe Blow who grabs his/her point of view from some msm news outlet.

Posted by: A User | Mar 9 2020 15:02 utc | 100

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