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

« previous page

@ S 73. I will help you out:

cost to produce a barrel of oil. Not gas. only Oil.
are you relying on the data from moscowtimes? You cannot include Non-income related taxes....government taxes at the wellhead, ...passed on to buyer.

check out Russia's production cost before government taxes at the wellhead and on exports (aka .gov revenues) when compared. A helpful graphics per country from WSJ

and thanks to sanctions, what is Russia's foreign debt? If you missed this LINK. Russia called their bluff.

so far today MbS' oil price war has nibbed KSA in the billions. Stupid to slash price and flood the markets all at once given the high build of oil inventory and double shock of lower demand due a slowing global economy buckling with COVID-19.

Tantrum fogs decisions.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 9 2020 15:13 utc | 101

@Really?? #97
Mercola could be more credible if he hadn't been caught funding the anti-vax movement.
As it is, seems much more a con artist than a concerned citizen - one that has made literal millions preying on the gullible.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 15:44 utc | 102

There is a video circulating. Erdogan had to wait almost 2 minutes in front of closed door before he was allowed to meet Putin.

Says a lot about Erdogan position.

Posted by: pppp | Mar 9 2020 15:46 utc | 103

You know, whether it deserves it or not, I think CV is going to be a "black swan", for "the West" anyway, due to the greed and incompetence of their governments. Think of all the poorly paid and overindebted commoners out there who will go bankrupt, and the domino effect from that in all the "financial institutions", and the utter fecklessness of our government. Think of all the debt, the "derivatives", "just-in-time" inventories, the ignorant management by MBAs, the cash-flow grifter business model, the crapified services and products, the lost technical skills and knowledge, the repeated failures to deal with earthquakes and hurricanes and floods and other crises ...

It just goes on, and out government doesn't really care.

Can the USA afford to shutdown for a month to fight the virus? Will the government step in like the Chinese did? Are they up to the job? I don't think so.

On the other hand, peak oil is now debunked (for a while at least), and I expect Trump is toast, and our monied gerontocracy will have its illusions of invulnerability punctured.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 9 2020 15:47 utc | 104

nCOV note:
I had talked about #s of hospital beds per 1,000 people before: China and the US have about 3, Japan has 13 - 20 depending on source, South Korea has 8.2 - 11 depending on source.
Italy? 1.3

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 15:47 utc | 105

@ a user.. the chinese have definitely eaten up the real estate market in western canada and have had a big influence on why the housing market is so expensive here too.. i guess they want to invest their money outside china and bc / canada is quite happy to take them in, not realizing all the people who can no longer afford to buy a place has risen along with the number of street people.. something is wrong and while i don't want to blame the chinese for this - i see a connectiong here on the westcoast of canada..

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2020 15:49 utc | 106

Unsurprisingly, doctors in Italy are talking about potential triage of hospital beds: Potential Italy Health care guidelines

Place a age limit for access to intensive care, based on the greatest possibilities of survival. That’s what the Italian society of anesthesia, analgesia, resuscitation and intensive care in a technical document related to the emergency coronavirus. “It may be necessary to place an age limit on entry into intensive care. It is not a question of making merely valuable choices, but of reserving resources that could be very scarce for those in the community primis more probability of survival and secondly to those who can have more years of life saved, with a view to maximizing the benefits for the greatest number of people “, reads the report entitled” Recommendations of clinical ethics for admission to intensive treatments and for their suspension , in exceptional conditions of imbalance between needs and available resources “. The report was also disseminated and fully published on the Siaarti website, and is addressed to doctors. What in Lombardy region they decided to write directly to the governor Attilio Fontana to ask him to express their concerns to the central government: “In the absence of timely and adequate provisions by the Authorities we will be forced to face a event that we can only qualify as a disastrous health disaster“

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 15:53 utc | 107

Michael Roberts, the marxist economist who predicted 2008 and then again predicted 2020, is doing his victory lap:

Let’s get fiscal!

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 16:10 utc | 108

The thing is, it takes longer than just a single month of lockdown, assuming you take very serious measures - either massive quarantine like in China or massive testing like in S. Korea. It takes 7 weeks before things begin to go back to normal. If the pandemic spreads a lot before the government reacts, then it'll be longer and nastier. And if the government just decides to take half-measures, just to spread the peak of cases over a longer period, then you half-shut your economy for one full semester.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 9 2020 16:12 utc | 109


Who needs China as an enemy when you guys in the West are so busy selling each other out?

Posted by: JW | Mar 9 2020 16:16 utc | 110

>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.
>Posted by: A User | Mar 9 2020 15:02 utc | 101

Yes to this. I keep trying to find out what is socialistic about China's system but pretty much come up empty. Even simple questions like, does everyone has access to health care, enough food, adequate shelter, etc. never receive replies except silence, which actually says plenty.

Recent events suggest that China has a well-developed system of centralized control mostly staffed by competent people. I appreciate that it is a near-impossible task to keep a billion people pulling more-or-less in the same direction. Their efforts are commendable, but even fascist Italy made the trains run on time. Is that really the best that humans can do?

The Chinese system allows for millionaires and even billionaires. It is easy to see how well that has worked for peons in "The West". Why should we think that a system that allows millionaires and billionaires will work any better for Chinese peons?

I'm not much interested in labels and their various definitions which constantly change. I am interested in, are there formal structures and processes whereby workers actually have control over the means of production and their living conditions?

The party line seems to be that decisions are "democratic" because party leaders "take the pulse of the people". I find that approach to be woefully inadequate.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 9 2020 16:16 utc | 111

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 9 2020 16:12 utc | 110

Yep, sky's the limit here, it may not be that bad, if handled, but nodody knows where it goes if we don't, and we are not ready.

But mostly I am speaking to the fact that our government chooses as much as possible not to govern, and that will not do. We can expect our ruling elites to cover their own ass and rely on PR to deal with the crisis, and that will not do. How long will it take to get our shit together is a good question.

Deflation is coming too. Hmm.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 9 2020 16:23 utc | 112

"I refuse to slap on rose tinted glasses because someone claims to be a socialist, but acts like a capitalist exploiter." --A User @101

I'd be surprised if the reader has not heard the complaints about China's activities in countries other than their own, with China's behavior in Africa being particularly bemoaned by western neoliberals. The narrative is that China uses claims that they do not interfere in countries' internal arrangements to cover for their not attaching political/cultural conditions to development projects the way western countries do. That is to say, they Chinese work with countries that have "regimes" that westerners would like to see adjusted, and that have cultures with characteristics we in the West feel should be changed, but the Chinese do not make changing these things a precondition for their economic activities in those countries like we feel that they should.

Do understand, A User, that the Chinese have never been afflicted with "The White Man's Burden". They do not possess the delusion that they are historically exceptional, and that it is their responsibility to make over the lands that they venture out into in their own image. The Chinese, in fact, are quite serious and honest when they assert that they are not interested in imperialism, cultural or otherwise. This applies every bit as much to your beloved Aotearoa as it does to the Congo. Paying politicians for policy that one would prefer is not something that the Chinese invented, but rather it is part of YOUR capitalist culture. That is precisely how your liberal (capitalist) democracy is intended to work. They didn't install that feature in your culture, they just outbid your local capitalists.

You complain about people buying properties in your beloved Aotearoa, but that is the "free market", is it not? That is not something that the Chinese imposed upon you. That is not a part of Chinese society that they forced you to adopt, but rather that is part of British culture that was imposed upon your beloved Aotearoa culture and that the Chinese are enjoying the use of.

What is most disappointing in the above post is that its author is one who often pens elliptical criticisms of racism, yet the post is racist from beginning to end. Complaints by A User about Chinese people buying properties are absolutely 100% racist. If there is a problem with foreigners owning property in New Zealand that needs correcting, then start by sending the "whitefellas" back to Britain. Or perhaps the reader could take a new look at the concept of private property ownership. The Chinese could teach him a bit about that, but the Chinese don't view it as their prerogative or responsibility.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2020 16:25 utc | 113

nCOV: Interview with SARS veteran Dr. Sarah Borwein: Medlink interview

COVID-19, on the other hand, seems to be more likely to replicate in the upper respiratory tract and it seems like individuals might produce a lot of virus when they are only mildly symptomatic. It’s not known how many people with COVID-19 develop pneumonia, but of the ones who do, about 20% get severely ill and fewer than 2% die. Overall death rates are still not known for sure, but are probably less than 1%.

Note the 20% serious illness number. I don't know how many of these require ventilators/ICU/hospital beds, but consider this in light of the # beds per 1,000 population numbers I posted above.
That's the issue governments need to take into account - and is the backdrop to b's posting of red vs. blue curves.
Until there is a vaccine that is proven to reduce the infection rate and/or the 20% serious illness rate, the only other option is traditional quarantine type measures.

Other notes:

It is true that some viruses that are spread by respiratory droplets, as COVID-19 is believed to, spread more easily when the air is cold and dry. In warm, humid conditions, they fall to the ground more easily and that makes transmission harder.

But there is still a lot we don’t know about exactly how COVID-19 is spread and the effects climate may have on it. We do see it spreading in Singapore, which is warm and humid, so who knows?

Re: Singapore - air conditioning?

How serious is nCOV/COVID-19?

The answer is that from an individual point of view, there is no reason to worry. The disease is probably not that severe for most people, certainly much less severe than SARS was. Early indications are that the illness may be no worse than a flu-like illness for the majority. The elderly, and those with other health problems, especially diabetes or heart disease, do seem to be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill.

But from a public health point of view, this could be very serious. A highly transmissible disease, even with low fatality rates, can cause huge disruption to the healthcare system and can actually end up killing more people than a less contagious disease with higher case fatality rates. That’s why so much effort is being made to stop it.

The good news for the US: Americans have a much higher average social distance than Asia or Europe; they're significantly more isolated (social media yay?); and the infodemic has significant numbers of people avoiding people/public places. The cities are still going to be at risk, but it seems likely the risk is much lower in rural/suburb areas - although schools are still going to be a primary transmission vector.

We'll see how this actually works out.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 16:26 utc | 114

In his essay today, Alastair Crooke weaves together Southwest Asian developments with the spread of COVID-19. It would read even better if he'd waited another 24 hours for what's happened since Saturday's quite special/unique. Thanks to S above for providing the crucial information about Russia's economic stability in the face of low energy prices; clearly, they learned the hard way, but Russia is now far more economically resilient and efficient than the Outlaw US Empire--a truly amazing feat when compared with Russia's condition 30 years ago.

The Sauds have proven themselves to be the King of Basket Cases, but they still have a ways to go to catch up with the Global leaders in that category: Trump/Pompeo/Pence. I linked to an article showing the utterly woeful state of preparedness for COVID-19 to which the closest comparison is GW Bush's handling of Katrina. Check out these comments:

"Asked about the White House's plan for the 3,500 passengers and crew members aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship—which is set to dock Monday at the Port of Oakland after 21 people on the vessel tested positive for COVID-19—U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson insisted that 'the plan will be in place.'

"Pressed to elaborate, Carson admitted the plan 'hasn't been fully formulated.' [Meaning We don't know what the fuck we're going to do.]

"STEPHANOPOULOS: The Grand Princess is docking tomorrow. What's the plan for the 3,500 people on board?

"BEN CARSON: They're coming up with one

"S: It docks tomorrow

"C: The plan will be in place

"S: Shouldn't you be able to say what it is?

"C: It hasn't been fully formulated."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 8, 2020

"U.S. President Donald Trump, for his part, told reporters Friday that he would prefer that the passengers remain aboard the Grand Princess because he doesn't want 'to have the numbers double because of one ship,' referring to the number of known coronaviruses cases in the United States." [My Emphasis]

Trump/Pompeo/Pence are casting blame on everyone/everything except themselves and their subordinates. Given the magnitude of their callous attitude, is it any wonder markets are in freefall? And there couldn't be a better way to promote Sanders proposed Medicare For All versus Biden and Trump's do nothing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 16:45 utc | 115

@ Posted by: james | Mar 9 2020 15:49 utc | 107

Those Chinese who emigrate to Australia, Canada, UK et al are the liberal middle class portion of the Chinese population. They are not representative of China. On the contrary: they are extremely reactionary, anti-communist. They want China to be destroyed so they can come back and buy everything for nothing, Yeltsin era style.

If you're anti-China, you should see them as your friends, as your hope - not as your enemies.

@ Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 9 2020 16:16 utc | 112

China is socialist in the scientific meaning of the term: it is a country in transition, caught between two worlds: communism and capitalism.

It's public services infrastructure is still very far from ideal, that's true. But the CCP openly admits that, and the Chinese people knows that. China still considers itself, officially, an underdeveloped nation. It is only from the Western point of view that China is a "superpower".

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 16:47 utc | 116

Brilliant article on tax havens/offshore incorporation and the British Virgin Islands in particular Granta article

This is a problem that derives from a contradiction at the heart of the world economy: money is transnational, laws are not.

This is an interesting comment - because laws today are mutually exclusive: any nation's laws can only apply to an individual/corporation in exclusion to other nation's laws. But does this have to be true? This is a Newtonian concept - but in quantum physics, we have superposition...

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 16:49 utc | 117

Very well done, Mr. Galloway.

George Galloway talking about the Extradition "hearing" of Julian Assange

Posted by: donten | Mar 9 2020 16:55 utc | 118

@Likklemore #102

In your comment #26 you have used the following title for a link to an article:

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

The linked article explains that “the oil production cost remains about $15.5 per barrel”. You seem to think that this fact alone guarantees that “Russia will be fine”.

But Russia’s goal is not to produce oil at cost. Russia’s goal is to make the life of its citizens better. For that, it needs money to fund social programs, implement major reforms, develop strategic sectors of economy, etc. These things are funded through the federal budget. And Russia’s 2020 federal budget, as I have explained in #73, needs $42.4/bbl (Urals blend) to break even. In #85 I have explained that the Ministry of Finance can cover the budget deficit from the National Wealth Fund (created specifically for that purpose) for 6–10 years if the prices stay at $25–30/bbl. At $20/bbl the fund will run out faster, and the government will have to either cut the budget or devalue the ruble. I argue that Russia will choose the second option—because it can (Russia’s foreign debt is very low). Of course, Russian citizens won’t be too happy about that.

In summary: Russia will be fine at $40/bbl; at $20/bbl it won’t be fine, but it will be okay.

Posted by: S | Mar 9 2020 16:58 utc | 119

More interesting historical facts: J. Edgar Hoover was educated as a lawyer but trained as a librarian - was a library clerk for the Library of Congress before joining the Justice Department (he went to FBI after that).
Lithub article on Hoover
Of course, Hoover's card system isn't much compared to the Nazi use of IBM sorting machines - technology accelerating the use/misuse of information organization science.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 17:00 utc | 120

To William Gruff @ 114,

You make valid points about Chinese investments in New Zealand. I will add that originally, when I was a littlie there, vegetables were sold separately from the grocery stores in stores run and supplied by Chinese immigrants among other Asian and South Pacific families. The name for the current 'kiwi fruit' was 'Chinese gooseberry' when I was growing up.

It is true that wealthy folk from many places have pushed the housing market up beyond the capacity of locals to compete. Not to mention labor practices having been shifted in favor of big corporations moving in to make money. For instance in the case of the Hobbit movies.

Also I do remember tax haven problems that I don't think are or have been China specific, as reported on in the past. (I won't bring up Five Eyes or TPP - oops, I just did, my bad)

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2020 17:01 utc | 121

@103 Mercola could be more credible if he hadn't been caught funding the anti-vax movement. How does someone profit from anti-vaxing? What does that even mean? He supported an anti-vax institution because he doesn't believe in vaccination? I don't see how this is of concern. People like Mercola don't profit from their advocacy or if so very marginally (ads from his sight targeting people who don't believe in vaxing?... maybe). The argument has more credibility the other way. Mandatory vaxing and government contracts would be a huge profit motive. I received vaccinations until I left the military in the mid 90s. I think I have had one tetanus vaccination since when I needed stiches once. I don't really trust the vaccination movement myself. I don't see it as much of a concern. If small pox or polio came back and started seriously causing a lot of health problems again I could understand the hysteria. If people start getting sick and being effected you can bet your ass people will start getting vaccinated again. LOL. The vaccination crowd is actually way out of line in forcing vaccinations on people. Looking at the CDC causes of death statistics going back 30 years could give some people perspective on what they should be worried about. I don't get vaccinated anymore myself. I've never had a flue vaccination mainly because I don't think they are very effective. I'm not against them though. I have no problem with people getting vaccinated. I have no problem with people not getting vaccinated. I do have a problem with governments forcing people to get vaccinated. There should be a line.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Mar 9 2020 17:01 utc | 122

More geofencing fun: Phoenix man unjustly accused of murder after being fingered by geofencing warrant served to Google Source

When Avondale police found themselves without a lead one week later, they drafted a geofence warrant to Google, a type of search warrant that asks the tech giant to produce information on all devices in a given area during a certain time period. Police asked Google to provide information on any wireless communication devices that passed through the same geographical locations that the suspect vehicle did on the night of the murder.

"In direct contravention to two hundred years of American constitutional law, a 'reverse location' search warrant does not seek any specific information regarding an identified suspect based on articulable suspicion but, instead, seeks information to cast a 'digital dragnet:' Information about all Google accounts that show activity in a particular geographic location," the complaint states.

Google complied with the warrant and supplied the Avondale Police Department with a list of four Google accounts that were active in the area at the time of Knight's murder. From there, Avondale police asked Google for even more information on the accounts. Google supplied it.
Blinded by Data

Police found that a device logged into Molina's Google account was in the area at the time of the murder. Another important clue based on the data then surfaced: Whoever was using that account had searched for "shooting in Avondale" on the night of Knight's murder.

It didn't take long for police to find that Molina was the registered owner of a white Honda, a vehicle that matched the one caught on surveillance footage driving by Knight's residence that night.

The culmination of the nine-month investigation came when police arrested Molina and booked him into jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, shooting at an occupied structure, discharge of a deadly weapon, and drive-by shooting.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 17:09 utc | 123

A User james

Our countries are for sale and China has the money. Housing bubbles make the economy look good apparently.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 9 2020 17:11 utc | 124

It has been the FED which has been behind the stock market rise since 2008. Now that that interest rates are near zero they cannot use that as a mechanism to goose stocks. Now we are hearing from the anti-Socialist crowd that the FED needs step in to buy stocks to prop up this stock “market” - socialism for the rich market losses. I guess since the US is the reserve currency because of the Petro dollar deal with the Saudis allows them to currently just print money - now we are seeing an oil collapse. What is the opinion here of what Trump is going to do to keep the stock market Ponzi scheme going - and will it work?

Posted by: SteveR | Mar 9 2020 17:18 utc | 125

This virus has spread right round the world in a couple of months, impacting global finance, health and mortality.
Threatening the food chain leading enytime now to the collapse of the working environment.
Soon our political leaders will introduce martial law, rationalised by this virus.
Yet no one appear’s interested in the most important, Questions? Where did this come from ?
Who released this virus ?
The people we are relying on to protect us, are proven violent psychopathic monsters who say one thing and do the opposite!
When they say they are doing every thing they can, don’t
beleave them, I’m watching and I can tell you were being lined up for mass extermination.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 9 2020 17:20 utc | 126

@Really?? #97
Mercola could be more credible if he hadn't been caught funding the anti-vax movement.
As it is, seems much more a con artist than a concerned citizen - one that has made literal millions preying on the gullible.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 15:44 utc | 103

In your opinion is **this particular advice** and backup information regarding nutritional defenses against infections incorrect, or disinformation?

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 17:20 utc | 127

Earlier in discussions about COVID-19, the plight of low-income and homeless students was briefly alluded to. This is now seen as a major issue:

"In an example of how the coronavirus outbreak is exposing longstanding cracks in U.S. society, New York City schools chancellor Richard A. Carranza said that closing the city's public schools for a prolonged period of time would be a 'last resort' because 750,000 low-income students in the city, 114,000 of whom are homeless, rely on schools for food, bathing, and even laundry.

"'Well this is a tragic embarrassment,' tweeted Bard College professor Emma Briant:

"New York authorities say they can only shut schools during coronavirus as an absolute last resort because 114,000 of the school children are homeless & would have nowhere else to go." [My Emphasis]

Nationwide, that number's close to one million HOMELESS students, in the Wealthiest Nation on the Planet, where its POTUS is currently concerned about the "numbers" since he doesn't want to look bad. More commentary from article:

"Any school closures in the country could have dire effects on poorer populations, as observers like Times reporter Dana Goldstein pointed out on Twitter.

"'I think the main concern I heard from school leaders across the country was about the risk of an overreaction (longterm school closures) that would severely disrupt...pretty much everything, and disproportionately impact poor families,' said Goldstein.

"Writer and educator Clint Smith noted that nationwide school closures could lead to increased food insecurity for the country's children.

"'A reminder that if public schools shut down, millions of children will lose their access to some of the only meals they receive each day,' said Smith." [My Emphasis]

These aren't mere "cracks;" rather, they're chasms that have existed for decades and are for the most part a deliberate aspect of the ongoing Class War. The article also mentions NY State's use of prison slave labor to produce a product they're barred from using that Governor Cuomo boasted about.

Seems it took a viral outbreak to point out the horrifying degree of sickness within the Outlaw US Empire--for the people talked about in this article face a crisis daily, and Sanders is the only national politician having any thoughts of them in formulating policy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 17:35 utc | 128


Good luck with your vaccine treatment. It should be available within 6-12 months following a stage 6 outbreak according to US Influenza pandemic planning documents (e.g. National Strategy for pandemic influenza implementation plan homeland security council, 2006). What do you plan to do in the meantime to support your mitochondrial, hormonal and immune systems?

The good news is that the above mentioned document claims that there is a national stockpile of anti-viral drugs. The bad news is that such a stockpile probably no longer exists and such RNA inhibitors is rough on the patient as it interferes with RNA transcription of cellular proteins too.

Having participated in six incident command (IC) drills I can conclude that government actions in a crisis is FUBAR. In one of my wife's IC drills in the State Police the conclusion was "we are all dead". As with any US government incident command plan, the emphasis is how to bury the dead and rebuild the infrastructure following the crisis.

You are on your own - plan accordingly.

Posted by: krollchem | Mar 9 2020 17:36 utc | 129

c1ue - 115
"The cities are still going to be at risk, but it seems likely the risk is much lower in rural/suburb areas - although schools are still going to be a primary transmission vector."
Just thought about this. It means that, overall, the ratio between Dems and GOP voters will shift in favour of GOP between now and Nov, since the dense cities are blue and the countryside is red. Enough to compensate the coming economic and healthcare fuck-up of the Trump administration? We'll see.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 9 2020 17:40 utc | 130

@krollchem #130
I'm not relying on the vaccine treatment - I am not in a demographically vulnerable group (i.e. old and/or smoke), and I don't work in a job that exposes me to likely nCOV infectees. This means my individual chance of dying from nCOV is lower than a car accident.

Systemically though, the vaccine is the only thing that can change the fundamental dynamic of nCOV: 20% serious illness - higher for vulnerable, but less likely to die for younger. Either the vaccine lowers the infection rate or - better - reduces the serious illness rate. That would be enough to change red curves to blue, regardless of health care system incident response.

As for anti-virals: not at all clear they will help. Keep in mind the anti-virals just shorten the duration of a normal flu - they don't stop it. Will this actually help someone who has entered into serious respiratory illness due to nCOV?
Not at all clear to me, as opposed to say taking the anti-viral the moment you get sick - which is not an optimal use for them if the supply is at all limited, and of course assuming they remain affordable ($100 for a course right now, before demand spike).

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 17:45 utc | 131

Very interesting read:

Traitors to Become Lawmakers: “People’s Savior” and Story Teller with Disabilities

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 17:57 utc | 132

@Really?? #128
You said:

In your opinion is **this particular advice** and backup information regarding nutritional defenses against infections incorrect, or disinformation?

Disinformation. Flat out.

NPR: NPR article on nutrition and infection resistance

"We know for a healthy immune system you need a healthy diet," says Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian nutritionist and clinical associate professor at Boston University. You need protein as well as micronutrients including vitamins C, A, and E and zinc, she says.

The ideal way to get those nutrients, however, is to eat a healthful, varied diet, including sufficient protein and a variety of fruits and vegetables, says Poland. If you're already doing that, it's unlikely that you have major nutritional deficiencies. One exception is vitamin D, which is necessary for bone health and can be hard to get from food alone, though there's not a consensus on the cutoff for a vitamin D deficiency.

So if you have a bad diet, getting onto a good diet will improve your immune system because it is compromised by the bad diet. But no diet will make your immune system above normal. Supplements don't do diddly vs. just having a balanced diet, and no diet "fights off" infection.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 18:01 utc | 133

On the virus, I have seen several posts recommending anti-viral remedies, so having just had my chile fix breakfast here, I would strongly recommend that as an accompanying enjoyable way to clean out one's sinuses. Don't overdo if you are not used to chile - it comes in varying intensities and at my age I go for the lower side of the spectrum. I grow my own, have a couple of the varieties I like planted in pots as they are perennials. I bring them into my sunroom for the winter. They produce enough for me to enjoy, can be dried for future meals, healthful and native to the Americas!

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2020 18:07 utc | 134

@Clueless Joe #131
You said:

Just thought about this. It means that, overall, the ratio between Dems and GOP voters will shift in favour of GOP between now and Nov, since the dense cities are blue and the countryside is red. Enough to compensate the coming economic and healthcare fuck-up of the Trump administration? We'll see.

That is a possibility, but only if nCOV infection rates ramp up in cities (which are fairly uniformly blue) *and* self-quarantines reduce turnout. Even then, what about mail-in ballots? And what about nCOV infected mail-in ballots?
I don't think any conclusions can be drawn either way...

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 18:07 utc | 135

>It is true that wealthy folk from many places have pushed
>the housing market up beyond the capacity of locals to compete.
>Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2020 17:01 utc | 122

This is a global phenomenon promoted by zero and negative interest rate policies. It happens within nation states as well. Twice I have lived in places where outside people with more money than the locals drove real estate prices and rent out of sight. It causes massive disruption, as shown by all the homeless people everywhere.

It doesn't matter whether the people with money are from New York or China, the effects are the same. Real estate speculation is pure parasitism with deadly results. Yelling "Racist! Rascist!" at other posts is not a very convincing argument (I'm looking at you, Mr Gruff, not juliania) in favor of allowing rampant speculation.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 9 2020 18:08 utc | 136

I thought this Tom Luongo article was already linked to, but I find it nowhere on this thread. It's perhaps the best article by him I've read. It's about Russia and its saying Nyet! not just to the Saudis and OPEC, but to the West most importantly:

"There comes a point where negotiating with your adversaries ends, where someone finally says, 'Enough.' Russia has been attacked mercilessly by the West for the crime of being Russia.

"And I’ve documented nearly every twist and turn of how they have skillfully buttressed their position waiting for the right moment to get maximum return to reverse the tables on their tormentors.

"And, to me, this was that perfect moment for them to finally say 'No,' to get maximum effect.

"When dealing with a more-powerful enemy you have to target where they are most vulnerable to inflict the most damage.

"For the West that place is in the financial markets."

Oh, and Russia doesn't seem to have the same problems with COVID-19 as the West. Perhaps because like China they were ready and had anticipated correctly based on earlier outbreaks. Recall which nations best aided Africa with its rash of odd viral outbreaks and learned the most.

And be sure to read the cartoon at the bottom of the article.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 18:10 utc | 137

@goldhoarder #123
You said:

How does someone profit from anti-vaxing? What does that even mean? He supported an anti-vax institution because he doesn't believe in vaccination? I don't see how this is of concern. People like Mercola don't profit from their advocacy or if so very marginally (ads from his sight targeting people who don't believe in vaxing?... maybe).

Given the Mercola's messaging is that his supplements and "medical" advice is more reliable than the gubmints or health professionals, also that the demographic that is anti-vax is also a big believer in "natural" remedies - I don't see any discontinuity at all between funding anti-vax and benefiting a multi-million dollar supplement and natural food business.
Just because there are/may be profiteers on one side, does not mean there aren't profiteers on the other side.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 18:12 utc | 138

@karlof1 @129

Thanks for bringing more attention to the suffering brought by coming school closures in the pandemic panic. I am a longtime substitute teacher in North Texas. We are well aware of many students who are essentially raising themselves outside of school, who have hygiene issues because no one is looking after them when school is out. It it painful when a kid will seriously say, "I am hungry". Most substitute teachers I know subsist paycheck to paycheck, as well, as a lot of Americans do. If schools close, even the problem of paying the rent is insurmountable.

Socialism or barbarism--or at the very least--reformed capitalism instead of barbarism; and you are right, Sanders is a real candidate for president, and he is the only one who formulates policy we can live with.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 9 2020 18:15 utc | 139

and no diet "fights off" infection.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 18:01 utc | 134

I was wondering who asserted that diet "fights off" infection.
I did not find this formulation in my own post.
The point is to fortify the body so that is able to marshal its defenses.

What I posted was this:

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 18:19 utc | 140

@S #120
You are right concerning Russia's use for oil proceeds.
Right now, we have a giant game of chicken:
Russia is probably the best positioned - they've been prepping for low oil prices for a long time.
Saudi Arabia and the US oil frackers have the most need: both are hemorrhaging cash at enormous levels.
The thing is - the rest of OPEC is going to get hurt too. How will Algeria, Angola, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, UAE and Venezuela react? Each of these nations produces more than 1M bpd, each.
It seems pretty clear the Saudis have a severe budget need - will this outweigh the strategic implications of an OPEC breakup? (OPEC+ is dead)
Can the rest of OPEC outlast the US frackers?
Many questions...

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 18:20 utc | 141


Vaccines are somewhat effective for uninfected people but will complicate recovery with patients already shedding virus particles due to immunological enhancement of the cytokine storm. Unless the infection rate is high there is the possibility of adverse consequences among uninfected individuals exposed to the vaccine will exceed the benefits of a vaccine. This is why I choose to build up my immune system as a first line of defense.

"Keep in mind the anti-virals just shorten the duration of a normal flu - they don't stop it."

The anti-viral Remdesivir "is a prodrug that metabolizes into its active form GS-441524. GS-441524 is an adenosine nucleotide analog that confuses viral RNA polymerase and evades proofreading by viral exoribonuclease (ExoN), causing a decrease in viral RNA production. It was unknown whether it terminates RNA chains or causes mutations in them.[24] However, it has been learned that the RNA dependent RNA polymerase of ebolavirus is inhibited for the most part by delayed chain termination.[25]"

"In late January 2020, remdesivir was administered to the first US patient to be confirmed to be infected by SARS-CoV-2, in Snohomish County, Washington, for "compassionate use" after he progressed to pneumonia. While no broad conclusions were made based on the single treatment, the patient's condition improved dramatically the next day,[7] and he was eventually discharged.[19]"

Posted by: krollchem | Mar 9 2020 18:22 utc | 142

@Really?? #141
The title of the article: protect against coronavirus. No.
The supplements that "boost" the immune system: no, unless you're already nutritionally compromised.
Sorry, but the article is misinformation at its best, by a pro.

If Mercola were really interested in fact vs. promoting his interests, the title of the article would be: A healthy diet ensures a strong immune system followed by an examination of ways to determine if your diet is poor.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 18:28 utc | 143

@krollchem #143
As the article you posted notes: a single case does not ensure identical results in a larger population.
More importantly, what was the dosage used?
Remdesivir can be pretty damn expensive: Remdesivir cost
And what is the availability? The drug is experimental. I doubt there are tens of thousands of doses available, much less the tens of millions needed. The production time might well be longer than a vaccine. And while a Chinese company has already copied it, not clear what their capacity is either - even disregarding patent issues Brightgene producing remdesivir
If the effectiveness proves out and the cost doesn't skyrocket, and there is sufficient supply, then the nCOV scare is over.
I'm 100% sure we're not there yet.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 18:39 utc | 144

Up here on the Eastern Seaboard the moon is full tonight.

It's the Worm Moon.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 18:44 utc | 145

Trailer Trash @137

I am not arguing in favor of allowing rampant speculation. When I point out that something is capitalist, I am calling it a bad thing... a very bad thing. I use that term ("capitalism")as something of a catch-all for all that is evil in the world, kinda like how brainwashed people used "communism" for many years in the West, with the difference being that I have a reasoned and informed argument for my using the term in that manner.

Speculation is a built-in part of capitalism, as is buying politicians. When one's deity is The Market, then everything is a commodity. For their part, the Chinese are just playing by the local rules in the Congo and New Zealand alike. If people don't like that then they should change their local rules.

As I vaguely suggested above, I think a good case can be made for outlawing private ownership of real estate, as the Chinese do within their own country but don't try to force on others. Why would anyone need more than a lifetime lease on a piece of property anyway?

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2020 18:44 utc | 146

@ 11 JW... what are your thoughts? you don't say...

@ 117 vk... well that is my problem actually... i would prefer the non capitalists and ordinary person in china comes, as opposed to the capitalist bankers, accountant types... it is nothing racist.. the chinese are great people by and large, but the ones coming in today - it is all about the money and status and i think you are exactly right - these are the same capitalist types i have a problem with here who are not chinese!! so that is where i am at in this.. basically capitalism sucks..

@ 125 peter au... i would prefer a socialist system where this shit ain't happening... i guess it would be something different then..

@ 137 trailer trash.. ditto your comment.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2020 18:49 utc | 147

@ 147 william gruff... why would anyone need more then one house to own and live in as well? all the rest of it is exploitation as i see it.. and it is so taken for granted in the west, no one questions it.. it's bullshit as i see it.. i live in a town under 100,000 and people own 6, 8 or however many house - all for speculative purposes and everyone suffers..

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2020 18:52 utc | 148

Disinformation. Flat out.

NPR: NPR article on nutrition and infection resistance

Can't help it.
NPR is corporate mouthpiece.
Only, not when they are presenting "neutral" health info?!

(1) There is little consensus as to exactly what constitutes a "healthy diet." The corporate narrative and regular misinterpretation of the actual finding of the Framingham Heart Study are just the tip of the iceberg of corporate disinformation regarding a healthy diet. If our corporate food elites cared about our health or that of the earth they would not be pushing GMO foods onto us. Oh, right, I forgot: there is no difference between the nutritional value of GMO and non-GMO foods . . .

(2) I think there is evidence (I don't have sources) that food produced by agribusiness, with the use of synthetic fertilizers, is less nutrient-rich than food produced on smaller farms, in backyard gardens, etc. and also than the same foods as grown in the past.

(3) There is plenty of scientific evidence as to the efficacy of various supplements and supplemental vitamins to improve a person's nutritional profile and improve health. Why else, then, fortify milk with vitamins D and I think often the Bs? Why else, then, take a multivitamin? If these practices are pointless, who is getting paid to fortify milk and produce multivitamins? Who is getting paid to disseminate disinformation by recommending these practices?

I was raised on a one-cow farm and drank milk literally from the teat until the age of about 8. I liked to sit next to my father while he was milking our cow. I never saw a multivitamin until I went to live with an aunt who insisted I take a pill every day. This personal experience and my overall good health do not blind me to other p.o.v.'s.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 19:18 utc | 149

@Really?? #150
I don't disagree that corporate farmed food may be different than "natural" farmed food, although I am fairly sure it is the post-processing more than anything else (which includes churning butter out of milk).
However, there is a huge difference between different quantities of micro-nutrients in food vs. actual nutritional deficiencies in people.
Asserting one does not mean the other - do you have evidence that Americans are deficient in micro-nutrients? Because they're short, disease prone, etc?

Secondly, the examples you showed:
1) Vitamin D fortification: the value for adults is questionable although less so in areas with poor sunshine (NorthEast in winter, Northwest).
The reason we fortify milk, however, is primarily for babies - who definitely are disadvantaged regarding vitamin D - particularly in this era of non-universal breast feeding.
Again, a specific situation doesn't indicate an overall problem.
2) multi-vitamins: I have never seen a credible study that said anyone needed a multi-vitamin. What I have seen is that it is a relatively harmless safeguard, which I can believe.

So, again, the burden of proof is that Americans are significantly deficient nutritionally. Is this true?

If it were true, I'd expect to see a lot of diseases caused by micro-nutrient underconsumption: scurvy, ricketts, pellagra, beri beri, gout.
There is a little increase in gout levels in the 75+ demographics - there is none in the rest of the population.
And if these diseases aren't occurring, that raises the bar even further to say that other nutritional deficiencies are occurring but not these big historical ones.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 19:32 utc | 150

Copeland @140--

Thanks for your reply! I knew many teachers working second jobs to make their way.

james, William Gruff, et al--On the subject of Chinese purchasing realty, they're forced to do that as the national policies of the Outlaw US Empire, Canada, Australia, New Zealand is to disallow the purchase of companies with their excess dollars they'd like to part with--trading fiat for fixed if you will. Since multimillion$$ corporations can't be bought, the only remaining unprotected assets for sale are realty, so they get bought up. The actual culprit here isn't China or Chinese; rather, it's our national governments who've forced them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 19:35 utc | 151

james @149: "why would anyone need more then one house to own and live in as well?"

There are of course edge cases, like politicians needing a place to stay when they are away from their constituency and in the capital, though as far as I am concerned they can beg a place to sleep on some local's couch or perhaps stay in dormitories. There are also places where it is part of the local culture, as in Russia with their dacha culture, where it is normal to have a city residence as well as one in the countryside. As you suggest, though, landlording and rentierism is bad news and is a corrupting influence on society as well as a force distorting the economy. Sadly, that is not only legal but how the game is supposed to be played as economic relations are currently configured.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2020 19:46 utc | 152

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 19:32 utc | 151
Your argumeents are weak to actually, obviously, reinforcing my own points.

Secondly, the examples you showed:
1) Vitamin D fortification: the value for adults is questionable although less so in areas with poor sunshine (NorthEast in winter, Northwest).

The reason we fortify milk, however, is primarily for babies - who definitely are disadvantaged regarding vitamin D - particularly in this era of non-universal breast feeding.
Again, a specific situation doesn't indicate an overall problem.

2) multi-vitamins: I have never seen a credible study that said anyone needed a multi-vitamin. What I have seen is that it is a relatively harmless safeguard, which I can believe.


So, again, the burden of proof is that Americans are significantly deficient nutritionally. Is this true?


Frankly, I think all of the self-appointed experts who post here with their "I'm an expert" know-it-all tone should provide documentation as to the source of their qualifications as experts in the field in which they choose to browbeat those who are more humble in their presentation.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 20:00 utc | 153

Is this another form of RussiaGate?

Why is KSA "Off the Hook" on this Crude War?

Posted by: IronForge | Mar 9 2020 20:16 utc | 154

IronForge @156--

The irony is quite high isn't it?! The West bitched mightily when OPEC raised prices, and moaned even more when Russia teamed with OPEC to regulate output for a stable price. Now Western Media's bewailing no cuts in production and rapid falling of price--BUT--Western Media can't truthfully say oil prices must remain high for frackers to profit as it appears the fact that the frack-patch hasn't been making money and is in reality a Ponzi Scheme must be kept from the public.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 20:31 utc | 155

c1ue 151:

You are conflating/confusing two separate issues:

1. The efficacy of supplementation

2. The adequacy of nutrition in the USA, hence the need/not need for supplementation or the possible existence of deficiencies in portions of the American populace (and perhaps elsewhere, since the main topic here is steps one can take to boost immune system or generally just be healthier in face of potential COVID-19 infection)

1. Done. Positive.
Your own responses are that vitamin D supplementation is efficacious. It doesn't matter that this supplementation is most important for certain subpopulations. (Actually, vitamin D is generally actually considered a hormone, necessary for virtually all physiological functions of H. sapiens sapiens of all ages. (see the third graf).

2. Punt. You assert that nutrition is adequate in the United States because you don't see beri beri etc. This is a weak contention, but it is even weaker when bent to the burden of proving that supplementation is ineffective anyhow.

Go back to listening to NPR. Maybe they have segment on the eradication of beri beri in the USA.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 20:34 utc | 156

C1ue said:

Re: Singapore - air conditioning?

I haven't lived there since more than a generation ago but: yes.

Way back then almost everyone had air conditioning, even in most HDB (High-rise Development Buildings, not sure if they're still called that) apartments and at least in the slightly fancier malls and "plaza's". I was glad I didn't because it was very easy to catch a cold from over-using it and if I had one I would likely never have acclimatized properly which would have made being outside (or trekking through primal jungle) painful rather than fun and exiting :) Ceiling fans or the occasional other fan could be a godsend though when the days were at their hottest. If it didn't already shine through I miss the place and its neighbor countries an awful lot despite some of the "scary"/unwelcome insects, my best dreams are dreams of there; seems I left my heart behind :D

The other thing is that being equatorial the temperatures drop like a rock (relatively speaking) after sundown and monsoon season can be chilly as well, so it is quite easy to catch a cold if one isn't careful and if one is a "t-shirt only" kind of person like me.

- - - - - - - - -

About Chinese people as well as everyone else: people are more than their political views (which are seldom simple anyway, just look at MoA), sometimes good to remember that if one wants to appreciate anyone on this planet at all. 7 plus billion people with different views, different experiences, and different thoughts, much of it might look similar or perhaps identical on the surface but not a single one has lead exactly the same life.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 9 2020 21:14 utc | 157

About Chinese people as well as everyone else: people are more than their political views (which are seldom simple anyway, just look at MoA), sometimes good to remember that if one wants to appreciate anyone on this planet at all. 7 plus billion people with different views, different experiences, and different thoughts, much of it might look similar or perhaps identical on the surface but not a single one has lead exactly the same life.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 9 2020 21:14 utc | 159
So true and so important to remember. Every mind teeming with thoughts, images, every one a complete world . . . Not one of these minds asked to be born. At least, I don't think so . . . some believers would say differently. Anyhow, Beautifully expressed in the film Wings of Desire.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 9 2020 21:38 utc | 158

Very good summary on Israel's economy:

While Lebanon goes bankrupt...

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2020 21:45 utc | 159

"After IS declared itself as a caliphate in 2014 – until its defeat by a multinational military coalition in 2017 – more than 30,000 fighters from 85 countries , including Indonesia, who felt compelled to live under an Islamic caliphate travelled to IS-held territory."
Interesting figures when considering the website seems to be US/Jordan owned.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 9 2020 21:49 utc | 160

@Really?? #155, 158
Thank you for showing your TRUE COLORS!!!
You have again shown that you have zero interest in actually debating and/or learning something as opposed to confirming your own biases.
The inability to understand the difference between a precautionary measure for babies vs. a general health condition for the population - pretty big miss.
The inability to demonstrate any evidence of widespread dietary inadequacy in Americans is another. Dietary imbalances that might exist in large numbers of Americans would manifest in a subset as one or more of the 5 nutritional imbalance diseases I noted.
But then again, it seems clear that you have swallowed the line where dietary health is a function of origin/natural food as opposed to the actual contents - the worse parts of the "organic" story.
The reality is that human beings are a lot more resilient and tough than lily livered modern people believe.
It takes literally months at sea, without fresh foods, to get scurvy even though humans can't synthesize vitamin C - unlike most mammals.
Equally, pellagra used to be very common in the South from 1900 to before World War 2 - the Inca and what not didn't suffer from it - it was food processing which removes tryptophan and niacin from corn.
Beri beri - the major deficiency cause is eating too much white rice - the polishing is what removes nutrition.
Lastly rickets - that's precisely why there's Vitamin D in milk.
But hey, surely if you scream loud enough, people will agree? /sarc

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2020 23:14 utc | 161

@ 152 karlof1.. yes, that is maybe true in some respects - chinese not allowed to buy corporations, but in canada i know they have controlling stakes in some large oil based companies - suncor is one example.. perhaps the west is quite happy to make a bubble in the residential real estate as that is what they have done the past 10-15 years around here.. the chinese new to where i am are buying up local businesses though.. it isn't just residential... they are buying them up and keeping the same management and staff in place usually, so you don't know they are now owned by new arrivals from china that can barely speak english... i get it..

@ 153 willam gruff.. yes... speculation and bubbles in real estate and the markets reflect how a currency is essentially worthless, but those who have it and advocate constantly for it - bankers, and rich people - are quite happy so long as it continues.. we all need money to get by, but it is not an obsession of most people, although it has become one over the course of my life... money has been the god of the west for some time now, in spite of whatever religion these people claim - money is the religion.. and in that regard we are no different then many other cultures.. thus, i think we need to move in a more socialistic direction..

@ 159 sunny runny b.. that is true what you say and i think most of us here appreciate you saying that and share your viewpoint..

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2020 23:22 utc | 162

King Lear @154 @162

Those socialist countries that you support wouldn't last very long after the Empire defeats Russia and China.

The mad King is a poor strategist.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 10 2020 0:37 utc | 163

@Really?? #155, 158
Thank you for showing your TRUE COLORS!!!
Oh, cut the shite.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 10 2020 0:38 utc | 164

re karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 19:35 utc | 152 another bloke I rarely disagree with said:
On the subject of Chinese purchasing realty, they're forced to do that as the national policies of the Outlaw US Empire, Canada, Australia, New Zealand is to disallow the purchase of companies with their excess dollars they'd like to part with--trading fiat for fixed if you will. Since multimillion$$ corporations can't be bought, the only remaining unprotected assets for sale are realty, so they get bought up."

Now I don't know about other nations because I haven't bothered to check it out, but as I said above Aotearoa (NZ to the uninitiated) was the first country to sign a free trade agreement with China and Chinese people & business entities are not restricted from buying corporations at all, in fact the trade deal puts them on a better footing than EU nations.
Australia is the same, altho both countries have the standard 'strategic assets' proviso which is meant to ensure that a monopoly or 'strategically important' entity is subject to review by a 'foreign investment review board'. That essentially operates as a rubber stamp especially when the complaint is more about xenophobia than an actual strategic issue. The balance of payments issues as well as neoliberal policies connected to privatisation of once social assets has caused China to invest heavily in kiwi corporations.
The issue there isn't China or anyone, it is the foolishness of trying to get short term revenue from selling what should be long term assets.
The biggest barney over foreign investment was when a French water corporation bought the Auckland city reservoir & pumping & reticulation assets of what up until that point had been a municipal asset from the most populous city in the nation (pop a little over 1 million).

Kiwi & Australian real estate is regarded as a sort of bolt hole by bourgeois Chinese. It provides a really good return on investment & if things in China go bad, they have an alternative. The problem is the numbers of bourgeois Chinese wanting to invest in real estate far outnumber the populations of the two nations. Nobody finds a society rife with absentee landlordism great.
I'm not gonna harp on about this stuff my original post was about something else, that post here enough and there will always be some drongo who doesn't grasp what you are saying who calls you a troll. Myself I find that amusing .

Posted by: A User | Mar 10 2020 1:02 utc | 165

re William Gruff | Mar 9 2020 16:25 utc | 114 Talk about miss the point!
You write this total tosh:
"Or perhaps the reader could take a new look at the concept of private property ownership. The Chinese could teach him a bit about that, but the Chinese don't view it as their prerogative or responsibility."
after presumably having read my posts about the plentiful instances of PRC interfering in Aotearoa's political structure. If chinese are intervening in the political structure, does that not indicate a desire to have that 'prerogative'.

Worst of all you accuse my post of being racist from beginning to end -where? The post qualified comments by pointing out it wasn't about race, that there has been plenty of times when whitefella meddling from USuk was worse.

But Gruff you really disappoint - just another blind dingbat unable to properly take on-board issues which may confront your purely theoretical knowledge.
I feel sad for you - someone unable to see all around himself without bias. I have a huge bias against englanders & amerikans a result of having observed the incredible damage done to pacific cultures by england, amerika & france. I'm aware of my bias & try to make sure my prejudice against englanders & amerikans in particular doesn't impinge on my personal relationships when interacting with people from england or amerika.

I certainly do the same when meeting and socialising with Chinese & Chinese kiwis two quite distinct mobs. The latter having lived in Aotearoa for as long as pakeha (whitefella kiwis) have. I would never allow frienships with Chinese by citizenship or Chinese by race humans be affected by my concerns over the current accomodation crisis.

But now this is getting stupid & demeaning, I know who I am - you have no idea who is A User - especially since you appear to lack insight into yourself.
I didn't want this discussion to degenerate right up until you accused me of being a racist & a hypocrite.

My original comment was about how various PRC entities especially military intelligence have penetrated conservative & neoliberal political movements in Aotearoa & Australia.
As soon as it became apparent that the free trade agreement signed between Aotearoa & PRC was having deleterious effects to the supply of affordable accomodation, citizens began agitating for a remedy. There is nothing in the least racist about this. It also pointed out that usuk had tried to exploit the issue for their own gain sure, but that did not make the issue any less real.

My & many others view has always been that there are already sufficient whitefellas here, people from other cultures are needed to leaven the mix, especially since newer whitefella arrivals aren't nearly as open to other cultures as most local whitefellas.

This property speculation isn't about the race of new arrivals that since most foreign investors use the property as a basis to get permanent residence, then return back to PRC. A few englanders & amerikans do the same any change would be directed at them as well.
No one can get the neolib or conservative pols to pay heed to this issue because those pols have been bought.

Tell me again how this is all our fault when electoral laws are being broken but the authorities refuse to act. How lobbyists for residential property speculators are provided with space in the parliamentary offices.

Posted by: A User | Mar 10 2020 2:15 utc | 166

Below is a short from a ZH posting bout Trump trying to calm the markets

As CNBC's Wilfred ZFrost reports that I can confirm that the White House meeting with bank CEO's will be on Wednesday at 3p ET. The nation's biggest 7 banks have all been invited - maybe more too. I know at least 2 will send their CEO - I imagine all (other than JPM) will do so. Some industry bodies like ABA invited.

These are the same private bankers that got bailed out in 2008 and have been getting QE money since last September, even though they will say it is now just needing to start again.

How much of tomorrow's equity market will be bought by taxpayer dollars? Or are they going to wait until after it has been blessed by the White House? All I know is that history tells us real bad shit gets done under the cover of crisis situations.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 10 2020 2:21 utc | 167

A User | Mar 10 2020 2:15 utc | 169 Just a comment>

"racist". Is highly emotional and also misunderstood term. The idea, originally was that if a nationality, naturally a "race", refused to join the Red Army, they were called "racists" as a political pejorative label designed to de-legitimize their moral standing in order to create an exception, to make legitimate their liquidation, more or less.

That was then.

Isn't it ok to stand up for your family, kin, and nation? Of course you're a "race" and obviously standing up for your "tribe" is "racist".

"race" being a non precise word, emotionalised.

So, now, when I hear "racist" I wonder who is speaking, and what their agenda might be.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 10 2020 2:58 utc | 168

@Really?? #167

Oh, cut the shite.

Another eloquent, well reasoned and documented response.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 10 2020 4:50 utc | 169

A User #101

YES to that. Personal financial greed. Regardless of ideology.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 10 2020 7:25 utc | 170

karlof1 #157

Thank you. I see the fracker ponzi frenzy coming to a well deserved crash. Good riddance. The fact that OPEC is about to crash the USA balloon stock market is a twisted irony lurking inside a black farce.

To think that the Saudis are now leading a production free for all is justice as only the 1% deserve it.

Maybe the Saudis want the US dollar to crash so they can purchase lots of cheap munitions to continue their Yemeni slaughterhouse. You cant blame Russia for this sweet fiasco. Ho ho Trump "all that lovely oil, we have got the oil", doesn't sound so good now does it. Watch him disintegrate as the USA hits skid row on on OPEC oil slick.

Now who is OPEC?

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. They were to become the Founder Members of the Organization.

These countries were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975), Angola (2007), Equatorial Guinea (2017) and Congo (2018).

Ecuador suspended its membership in December 1992, but rejoined OPEC in October 2007. Indonesia suspended its membership in January 2009, reactivated it again in January 2016, but decided to suspend its membership once more at the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 30 November 2016. Gabon terminated its membership in January 1995. However, it rejoined the Organization in July 2016. Qatar terminated its membership on 1 January 2019.

[from OPEC official site]

Think about that for a moment. All good friends of the USA ?? We are in the lap of interesting times.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 10 2020 8:56 utc | 171

"If chinese are intervening in the political structure, does that not indicate a desire to have that 'prerogative'." --A User @169

Sorry, A User, but it indicates nothing of the sort. As I clearly stated, that is precisely the way your political structure is designed to function. That is liberal (capitalist) "democracy", and it is functioning as designed.

"No one can get the neolib or conservative pols to pay heed to this issue because those pols have been bought."

You are just not paying enough. Up your offer high enough and they will listen, guaranteed.

That's liberal (capitalist) "democracy" for you. It is a sweet deal when you are moderately well-off and nobody else is bidding up the selling price of the politicians, but that condition can only persist so long as your little paradise islands fall below the radar of the global lords of capital, which just so happen to now include some "yellowfellas".

This reminds me of an interesting incident. In my travels I once stumbled across a bar full of expat whore mongers. As the newly arrived foreigner in "their" territory, they accosted me with warnings that I only pay less than some certain amount to hire the services of the local professional companions. Apparently wealthy sex tourists had found "their" little playground and were paying extravagant wages to the prostitutes and driving up the costs for the full time mongers, ruining their good deals. Such a tragedy.

Politicians are oftentimes referred to as prostitutes. This description is entirely appropriate.

Deal with it. Maybe you can take the Chinese investors aside and ask then not to pay so much for your local prostitutes?

It is important to reiterate that this is entirely by design. This is why the empire has always been so keen on "spreading democracy". It is not because they are humanitarians but because that is how capitalism rules.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 10 2020 9:27 utc | 172

"@Really?? #155, 158
You showed your TRUE COLORS!!!"

ciue 164

ciue's "debate style"!!!

ciue is apparently unable or unwilling to follow very simple syllogisms derived from his own statements. All of the rest is hot air and misdirection.

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 10 2020 10:57 utc | 173

@Really?? #175
Hardly, I just don't mind stooping to your level.
I posted a series of questions and ways by which data could be provided/examined to learn more.
You went right to ad hominem, CAPITAL LETTERS, and no data.
And your ongoing childishness is extremely entertaining.
Shall you call for your mommy, next?
Or some other authority figure to prevent intrusion into your safe zone?

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 10 2020 15:38 utc | 174

@krollchem #143
It seems a whole lot of measures were attempted for Dr. Li Wenliang - and weren't successful. Not clear if remdesivir was one of the antivirals.

Still, even healthy younger adults have succumbed to the illness. Li Wenliang, the 34-year-old ophthalmologist who was one of the first to warn about the coronavirus in Wuhan, died last month after receiving antibodies, antivirals, antibiotics, oxygen and having his blood pumped through an artificial lung.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 10 2020 15:45 utc | 175

karlofi may take interest in article "Last Surviving Soviet Ace of Korean War Opens Up on Clandestine Ops Against US Air Force" (sputnik). We know there was a planned nuclear attack on USSR from even before the war in Europe was "paused"...and that this plan evolved to include a really massive attack plan with hundred of bombs...well, the last Soviet Ace claims that the Soviet success in Korea against B-29's and escorts was a deciding factor in preventing that atomic attack. An article to save and file away. He also says the US pilots were not very enthusiastic.

That correlates to pilot testimony at the International Investigation into biowar circa 1952 - where US airmen related stories of "poor morale". Lots of drinking and fists fights at the O club...shame about the napalm - reprimands for not strafing roads

Posted by: Walter | Mar 10 2020 16:18 utc | 176

I'll be interested to see if KSA is still capable to increase oil production for bringing the oil price down. They will have some buffers here and there they can empty allowing them to give the impression of extra production but not for long. So I think they're bluffing.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 10 2020 20:56 utc | 177

@Walter 178
That is a nonstandard etymology vs the norm. Could you provide a reference?

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Mar 11 2020 1:22 utc | 178

YNMS reports UKUSA has landed forces in Aden.

Y.N.M.S @ynms79797979
US, UK troops arrive in Aden, to reoccupy southern parts of Yemen
US, UK troops arrive in Aden, to reoccupy southern parts of Yemen - Sanaa Post
SANAA - A media leader in the so-called UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) has revealed

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 12 2020 8:12 utc | 179

uncle tungsten 181

Doesn't surprise me. Trump is after Iran and to defeat Iran he has to first take out their allies.

Hopefully Russia adds a bit of intel into the mix. US boots in bodybags go a long way towards stopping a war.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 12 2020 8:56 utc | 180

An interesting thread by Magnier.
"At least 2 #US, 1 coalition member were killed and 12 wounded by 18 Katyiuha attack on Camp Taji, 17 miles north of #Baghdad, #Iraq, on Wednesday night, a U.S. military spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Urban said.

The rockets were launched from the Rashediya area of northeast Baghdad"

Placing marine and other US militants boots in bodybags is the deciding factor in any US war of choice.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 12 2020 11:13 utc | 181

Ref Yemen, Iraq, it is clear that the warmongers are going to use the 'window of opportunity' offered the virus smokescreen.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 12 2020 11:27 utc | 182

: Johan Meyer (2) | Mar 11 2020 1:22 utc | 180 (non standard "racism" & source.

My understanding is that the term originated in translations of Trotsky's writings in Russian, said translations being done by a Frenchman.

The canonical origin/definition is subsequent. I would say deceptive.

This question was discussed previously at MoA, and the specific references (by others) moved me to do a casual search, the version I mooted aligned with that which I found. And it aligned with usage. "Racist", like "terrorist, is a term to de-legitimize your opponent in non-logical attack, pejorative - an argumentum ad hominem.

As to the date, well Gustave de Beaumont's "Marie, Or Slavery in the United States (1835) rather sets the concept a bit further back into History.

Sorry that I haven't a better response, but "racist" originates from Rhetoric (of a low quality). "Race" of course, is an entirely different matter...which is a clue to the perverted use in political manipulation - which is essentially "A" saying to the crowd, "those "B" guys are racists because they do not agree to give up their prerogatives, let's go get 'em!"

(In fact I heard that particular definition from a lawyer back about 1962...rather a fascist lawyer, but competent)

Posted by: Walter | Mar 12 2020 11:43 utc | 183

In my comment @ 183, I should have separated my opinion from Magnier's take better. Placing US boots in bodybags to beat the yanks is my opinion.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 12 2020 11:55 utc | 184

Boeing says they want the money right now...but why? Well...

At ZH "Boeing To Drawdown Full $13.8 Billion Revolver, Hinting At Bank Lending Freeze".

Get the money an' run away...weeeee!

Posted by: Walter | Mar 12 2020 12:16 utc | 185

Walter @178 & 187--

Sorry, but didn't see your 178 until now and will look into it. As for Boeing, IMO they need to get that cash so they can pay themselves one final dividend before completely bailing. Boeing stock price ought to be under $100 come Monday or Tuesday--it should have fallen to zero by now except for options play by insiders. Elsewhere, I suggest following this story beyond what's published to here. If you haven't yet, I suggest watching the last 3 Keiser Reports. As you know, they're all 1/2 hour programs, so they won't take up too much of your day.

As for the shutdowns, I applaud the NBA. The NCAA ought to do the same but it won't unless forced to as with the NBA. Trump's latest round of lies are disgusting.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 12 2020 16:36 utc | 186

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