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March 15, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-20

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Manning is free:

    Chelsea Manning Supporters Raise A Quarter Million Dollars In Two Days - Caitlin Johnstone

Please use the 2020 Presidential Election Thread for today's debate and other campaign issues.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 15, 2020 at 17:36 UTC | Permalink

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phil E @ 100
I understand you point and it’s fairly made. On one level of course you are right.
And yet ! Beneath the surface both police and army have been training for crowd control, unrest and Civil disorder. This was rationalised as protecting against fictional terrorists, activists and similar.
The fact you may not have noticed the police have taken along step back from simple law enforcement.
There job has been to protect wealth.
Today at 4.45 Boris Johnson will give a speach ! Watch it. They are now putting marital law in place. And i’ll repeat take your money out the bank now. It may be to late!

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 16 2020 14:33 utc | 101

I've said many times that SARS, swine flu and now nCOV are due to Chinese eating more meat.
Apparently I'm not the only one thinking this:
agribusiness link to new diseases

You have been researching epidemics and their causes for several years. In your book »Big Farms Make Big Flu« you attempt to draw these connections between industrial farming practices, organic farming and viral epidemiology. What are your insights?

The real danger of each new outbreak is the failure –or better put—the expedient refusal to grasp that each new Covid-19 is no isolated incident. The increased occurrence of viruses is closely linked to food production and the profitability of multinational corporations. Anyone who aims to understand why viruses are becoming more dangerous must investigate the industrial model of agriculture and, more specifically, livestock production. At present, few governments, and few scientists, are prepared to do so. Quite the contrary.

When the new outbreaks spring up, governments, the media, and even most of the medical establishment are so focused on each separate emergency that they dismiss the structural causes that are driving multiple marginalized pathogens into sudden global celebrity, one after the other.

Who is to blame?

I said industrial agriculture, but there’s a larger scope to it. Capital is spearheading land grabs into the last of primary forest and smallholder-held farmland worldwide. These investments drive the deforestation and development leading to disease emergence. The functional diversity and complexity these huge tracts of land represent are being streamlined in such a way that previously boxed-in pathogens are spilling over into local livestock and human communities. In short, capital centers, places such as London, New York, and Hong Kong, should be considered our primary disease hotspots.

For which diseases is this the case?

There are no capital-free pathogens at this point. Even the most remote are affected, if distally. Ebola, Zika, the coronaviruses, yellow fever again, a variety of avian influenzas, and African swine fever in hog are among the many pathogens making their way out of the most remote hinterlands into peri-urban loops, regional capitals, and ultimately onto the global travel network. From fruit bats in the Congo to killing Miami sunbathers in a few weeks‘ time.

What is the role of multinational companies in this process?

Planet Earth is largely Planet Farm at this point, in both biomass and land used. Agribusiness is aiming to corner the food market. The near-entirety of the neoliberal project is organized around supporting efforts by companies based in the in the more advanced industrialised countries to steal the land and resources of weaker countries. As a result, many of those new pathogens previously held in check by long-evolved forest ecologies are being sprung free, threatening the whole world.

What effects do the production methods of agribusinesses have on this?

The capital-led agriculture that replaces more natural ecologies offers the exact means by which pathogens can evolve the most virulent and infectious phenotypes. You couldn’t design a better system to breed deadly diseases.

How so?

Growing genetic monocultures of domestic animals removes whatever immune firebreaks may be available to slow down transmission. Larger population sizes and densities facilitate greater rates of transmission. Such crowded conditions depress immune response. High throughput, a part of any industrial production, provides a continually renewed supply of susceptibles, the fuel for the evolution of virulence. In other words, agribusiness is so focused on profits that selecting for a virus that might kill a billion people is treated as a worthy risk.


Covid-19 is not the first virus to develop in China that the government tried to cover it up.

Yes, but this is no Chinese exceptionalism, however. The U.S. and Europe have served as ground zeros for new influenzas as well, recently H5N2 and H5Nx, and their multinationals and neocolonial proxies drove the emergence of Ebola in West Africa and Zika in Brazil. U.S. public health officials covered for agribusiness during the H1N1 (2009) and H5N2 outbreaks.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 16 2020 15:34 utc | 102

Alistair Crooke, about how I see it too:

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 16 2020 16:18 utc | 103

Bemildred @104--

Crooke's question filled conclusion:

"Finally, will the western neo-liberal, hyper-financialised model survive the inevitable Covid-19 post mortem? Or, will we witness a return to something like the political economy of the ‘real’ economy? Will political sentiment ultimately shift Right in search for more functional governance; or to the Left in search a less unequal, less rigged, system?"

To expand on what I wrote above about Hudson, we need to not just take control; the ideology and its practitioners within the Money Power and its abettors must be discredited and destroyed for all time such that it can never be resurrected by those same forces of reaction. There were several hints in where to look for examples--prior to the Wall Street and City of London coups that privatized the banking system in 1913. Yet IMO, there's a need to go beyond that: The Class War of Creditors versus Humanity must finally be won by Humanity and the Creditors stripped of their ill-gotten wealth, which should then be used to bring Humanity to a relatively equitable political-economy prior to adapting to the Steady-State situation demanded by Nature.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2020 17:01 utc | 104

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2020 17:01 utc | 105

Well yeah. There are quite a few similar articles popping up now, Luongo, Hudson, ...

But they are not likely to come to Jesus any time soon, our financial bigshots, they are looking into ways to make money off it now, meanwhile it's going to get very disruptive, nothing is too stupid to be tried.

If we want to eat, we are going to have to start paying attention to the "real economy" yesterday.

I give another week before it really starts to hit the fan, the economic consequences start to sink in.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 16 2020 17:25 utc | 105

@105 Cont'd--

Pepe Escobar: "Let that sink in: the Fed pumped $9 TRILLION into Wall Street over the past 6 months."

Bemildred @106--

Hudson's been writing about this for decades going back to 1972's Super Imperialism, with a large update in Killing the Host. Markets are currently drowning in red. Gorgeous day here on Oregon coast. Got plenty of corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes, and brew for tomorrow. Guess I should make some soda bread to make it complete.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2020 17:46 utc | 106

Alistair Crooke, about how I see it too:

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 16 2020 16:18 utc | 104

I see he's a believer in the instant collapse of the EU. Brits - and only Brits - have been believing that for 40 years. The world political and financial chess-game is not how the EU exists. Indeed his is a very British, or perhaps Anglo-American, narrative. Makes you doubt what he says.

It's self-evident that there's going to be a great economic crisis in the wake of Corona. Quite how it's going to take place, I wouldn't be so certain.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 16 2020 17:46 utc | 107

950 confirmed cases and 7 deaths already in New York. If the COVID-19 sets foot on the most important city in the world and the largest city of the USA, it will lay waste on the American economy.

Posted by: vk | Mar 16 2020 18:01 utc | 108

Covid-19 (shorthand for the virus and the disease) spread and ambient temperature, something many wonder about. a blogger:

The original paper is linked in the first para. download free.

Paper, “The Korean clusters” describes the Korean tracking system, and the huge impact of patient 31. (I recommend.)

Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus (hCoV-19)

shows the evolution of the pathogen and has a zoomable map of the different strains and their transmission trajectories, ex:

"Don’t flatten the curve, stop it", by J. Bach, on Medium.

Is worth a read, but imho is also revealing of terrible journalism, superficial, not serious, etc.

a) The very first chart shown does not have the same nos. (area) in its high version vs. flat version, and this isn’t pointed out. b) The whole article is based on the idea that a ‘normal curve’, which is more properly a normal distribution, applies. It does not, for cov-19 and many other situations (diseases, oil well production, bacteria growth in a petri dish, etc.) the curve is more of a Seneca cliff curve (imho), ex. of the top of goog.

...the article is typical of journalisitic pseudo-semi-science...ppl are not given the proper info, some put forward glib 'memes', others debunk them partly, etc. - it is all show.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 16 2020 18:03 utc | 109

Serbian President tells it like it is:

European solidarity doesn’t exist, only China can help us: Serbia goes full emergency over coronavirus

Oh, man, I'm having a great field day with this COVID-19 (and could have an even greater one, if I wanted to). I remember not even one month ago battling here against race supremacists and bioweapon-theory rapturists. It was fun, but they never had any chance of winning.

Posted by: vk | Mar 16 2020 18:07 utc | 110

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2020 17:46 utc | 107

You are in a good spot. I've been waiting for this since Raygun was installed as President and it was clear they intended to continue the warmongering and "privatization". Cleaned up my act ten years ago just so I could be here to watch. Once the Chinese clamped down and it was clear the bug had escaped, I started self-sequestering. And yes, none of this is new, the warnings have been regular since the 50s.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 16 2020 17:46 utc | 108

Nothing instant about it, more like a permanent state of decline of unknown duration, but not short at all. We have been unpreparing ourselves for just this sort of problem for decades. The Brits did the same, as he mentions, and lost their empire and their economy in the same way. We didn't have to, we chose to eviscerate our "real economy" to attack the working class. Now we will pay.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 16 2020 18:08 utc | 111

@Veritas X #91
Thank you for the link. It is really informative.
It provides a lot of the detail which is missing from news reports.
In particular, I really appreciate the detail overview on how nCOV likely proceeds:

1) Virusemia [virus in bloodstream]
2) bacterial *and* viral pneumonia
3) Non-cardiogenic Odema phase [edema: An accumulation of an excessive amount of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or serous cavities.]
4) Sepsis phase [sepsis: Sepsis refers to a bacterial infection in the bloodstream or body tissues. aka bacteremia]

This helps a lot in understanding the many conflicting statements, as well as outright nonsense.

An antiviral would only really help with 1) - but would require being used very early on, before stage 2 in order to really be effective.

Anti-inflammatory is likely to actually harm in 2), no effect in 1), but maybe helpful in 4) if combined with hard core antibiotic treatments. Harm in 2) because it is no longer just the nCOV virus, it is all of the bacteria and other viruses in the upper respiratory tract which take advantage of the open wounds created by nCOV to stage a mass invasion of the lower respiratory tract - which normally is sterile. Anti-virals here probably don't help much because it is also bacteria and even fungi invading.

Not clear what drugs can do about 3) - the problem appears to be the normal edema function has bad effects when applied to the alveoli as opposed to external open wounds. Maybe the anti-inflammatories help here - not at all clear they reduce/prevent the edema function.

But if you get to 3) - you're going to lose lung function permanently.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 16 2020 18:08 utc | 112

vk @109--

NYC isn't anywhere near close to being the world's "most important city", nor will it "lay waste" to the Outlaw US Empire's economy--that latter thing's already occurred. The domestic Outlaw US Empire economy's been a Zombie Economy since the 2007-8 financial crisis, and even prior to that had yet to recover from the crash of the late 1990s. I'm talking about the Real Economy, not the artificial Zombie Economy kept aloft by Fed bubbles of lighter than air fiat cash. Highly suggest reading Shadowstats Daily Update and look at the alternative data charts--particularly real GDP growth which is negative for many years now, and actual unemployment that's on the climb again over 21%

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2020 18:23 utc | 113

More items of interest from Pepe Escobar's Facebook:

1) "Zhang Wenhong, based in Shanghai, is one of China's top infectious disease experts, and his analyses have been spot on so far. He's now saying China has emerged from the darkest days in the 'people's war' against Covid-19. BUT he does not think this would be over by summer.
Now extrapolate what he's saying to the Western world." [My Emphasis]

"Let’s talk about the hardcore stuff.

"Goldman Sachs told no less than 1,500 corporations on Friday that there was NO systemic risk.

"My NYC sources say the truth is that the systemic risk is WAY more severe than 1979, 1987 or 2008 – 'in that the 1.5 Quadrillion Derivative Market was about to collapse which is far higher than then.'

"As you know, I’ve written a lot about the derivative tsunami for the past year or so. Some pretty good Swiss sources swear the tsunami is at 28.4 TIMES THE WORLD’S GDP - at 2.5 quadrillion.

"As one of the NYC sources put it, nothing like this ever happened in history: 'The intervention of the FED is unprecedented in the little understood elimination of commercial bank reserve requirements unleashing a potential unlimited expansion of credit to prevent a derivative implosion stemming from a total commodity and stock market collapse of all stocks around the world.'

"As you all know by now the Fed made an emergency announcement on Sunday saying it would cut interest rates to near zero for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. This had to be on Sunday to avoid panic in Asia on Monday morning. Well, the panic happened – but in coronavirus epicenter Europe.

"The ECB – remember Vuitton Lagarde saying she doesn’t give a damn about Italy – also has its own 'stimulus package'. And on top of it, all coordinated, Fed, Bank of Japan, ECB, Swiss National Bank, Bank of Canada and Bank of England said they would use their swap lines to 'support' the international supply of, you guessed it, US DOLLARS. They even added a weekly offering of US dollars 'over a longer maturity'.

"Once again, the New York guys: 'Instead of the FED buying Dow Jones stocks to forestall a collapse, or oil futures - frantic efforts are being made to reverse the Saudi-Russian oil price war - the commercial banks will engineer the buying which under central bank supervision can ‘guide’ the banks into forestalling a complete market collapse.'

"All this under the assumption that the coronavirus pandemic will fade away by mid-June. The top Chinese specialist – I posted about it earlier today - says it wont. Expect extra turbo-charged FED/ECB scams ahead."

As ought to be clear, the Neoliberals have no tools within their Neoliberalism to solve the problems their Neoliberalism caused as the current crisis has been baking for far longer than many realize. I suggest reading this short Wiki on the "Race to the Bottom" topic and note how it merges with Hudson's description of late 19th Century banking:

"Productive credit was what everybody expected banking to develop in the late 19th century. Germany and Central Europe were leading the way. It was called Middle Europa banking, as opposed to Anglo-American banking. (I discuss this contrast in Killing the Host.) That was essentially following the classical model, as everybody expected banking to evolve prior to World War I."

The key to deliverance is wresting power from the Neoliberals and their institutions, while rebuilding the applecart so they can never hijack it again. But to accomplish that, most people need reeducation, or perhaps genuine education is a better way to describe what must be done.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2020 18:54 utc | 114

Thanks for these Karlof, a good sign people CAN be educated is what the current king of Spain did today. This guy and Meghan's husband give me hope.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 16 2020 19:20 utc | 115

A lengthy legalistic review of the grand jury and 911.

@ ae911truth[dot]org

"Grand Jury, FBI Lawsuits Enter New Phase: An Interview with Mick Harrison and John O’Kelly"

(while everybody is in lockdown, huummm.)

"...The Lawyers’ Committee prepared a 50-some-page petition to the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. That was filed back in July 2018, I believe. The purpose of that petition, which had attached to it a considerable amount of the scientific evidence that has been martialed by architects and engineers and other independent scientists regarding the demolition of the Trade Center towers and Building Seven on 9/11—the purpose of that filing was to get the U.S. Attorney to relay all of that evidence to a federal special grand jury and to have the grand jury investigate, for the first time, this very persuasive and, as we would say, legally dispositive evidence of the use of explosives at the Trade Center on 9/11.

For those who have not heard this before and may not realize, there is a federal statute that mandates that a U.S. Attorney anywhere receiving a report of a federal crime from a citizen must relay the information about that crime to a special grand jury. There is no specification about ..."

(The idea occurs to me that Manning and Assange etc maybe might use the cited statute in defense, since what they reported was crimes, but not of course in a Star Chamber.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 16 2020 21:59 utc | 116

U.S. Moves to Dismiss Case Against Company Linked to IRA Troll Farm.

If you read the motion, it seems that a government decision to classify much of the evidence played a major role in the decision to dismiss. I guess that less painful than admitting that the evidence does not exist.

Posted by: Paul Merrell | Mar 17 2020 10:14 utc | 117

Iraq military bases: US pulling out of three key sites

Some encouraging news. Apparently some US troops may leave while others will be relocated elsewhere in Iraq, but still, this seems to be a step in the right direction.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Mar 17 2020 14:11 utc | 118

According to CGTN Iran's infection to death ratio for coronavirus is down to 1% (85,000 infections vs 850 deaths).

According to NHK News (Japan) China has conducted 2 limited tests of a drug called Avigan which is designed to treat Coronavirus infections. One test involved 80 volunteers and the other involved 200.
The result of the tests was that patients treated with Avigan tested negative for C-v after 4 days, with no adverse side-effects, whereas patients receiving normal hospital care take an average of 11 days to fight off the infection.
Fingers crossed that a useful treatment becomes widely available sooner than the 12 to 18 months originally proposed.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2020 18:43 utc | 119

This is disturbing, but important that people are aware and discussing:

Posted by: jared | Mar 17 2020 19:25 utc | 120

Guys I'm really scared now ... wish our president had closed the borders earlier..

Only in Alabama we have over 150 confirmed cases now according to

Posted by: Charles | Mar 23 2020 23:16 utc | 121

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