Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 22, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-22

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> Go hard right now. Order heavy social distancing. Get this thing under control.
Then, release the measures, so that people can gradually get back their freedoms and something approaching normal social and economic life can resume. <
Harry Moroz @hrmoroz - 15:35 UTC · Mar 20, 2020
For the average American the best way to tell if you have covid-19 is to cough in a rich person’s face and wait for their test results
> Overall, we rate Moon of Alabama Left Biased based on story selection and word choices that consistently favor progressives and Mixed factually due to anonymity associated with who runs the site. Otherwise, Moon of Alabama is well sourced to credible/factual information. <

---
Other issues:

Ukraine:

Six years and $20 billion in Russian investment later, Crimeans are happy with Russian annexation - Washington Post!
Ukraine’s Zelensky wants to end a war in the east. His problem: No one agrees how to do it. - Washington Post

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 22, 2020 at 14:21 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

apoligies for the typos - that- they and etc. etc..

Posted by: james | Mar 24 2020 1:02 utc | 301

You are saying it is a non-conspiracy government action to kill lots of people and crash the economic system for selfish benefit.

Wrong again. I am saying it is flocking behavior among bankers and other super-rich sociopaths. Just because these guys own the government does not make them identical with the government. They use govt when they can; ignore it or oppose it when they can't.

These guys have been keeping the economy afloat with QE and Repo-QE for years, inflating away the currency. Then the virus shuts down China (which would have hurt less if we hadn't already sent our manufacturing there to make a quick buck) and the lunatic prince in KSA starts an oil war (it wasn't Russia who started it). These bankers realize that their house of cards won't withstand these combined shocks; but some of them realize that if the government overreacts and quarantines everything, it will give them cover. The economy will crash and it won't be their fault. So, they are fine with the overreaction. So, those thinking this way float there ideas, and like-minded sociopaths pick up on it.

No conspiracy. No government conspiracy. Just a lot of corporate media panic mongering and suddenly civic-minded corporations screwing their workers and the society out of a "genuine" desire to help, out of concern for the senior citizens they have spent decades trying to cheat out of social security and medicare (thanks, Pete Peterson - may you rot in hell).

Why do you keep misunderstanding this narrative, that I have recited at least three times to you specifically? Why must you keep trying to push me into CT land?

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 24 2020 1:03 utc | 302

Karlof1

Thank you for those links and the info about Michael Hudson. I've heard of him and read one of his recent commentaries posted on another website a few weeks ago. Smart guy!
I'll be checking out his website and your book suggestions. Thanks again

Posted by: krypton | Mar 24 2020 1:14 utc | 303

Hi john brewster,

I hear where you're coming from in that the whole COVID-19 panic/shutdown is all just too much to swallow. Now the thing that I don't get is when you consider that almost all CEO's and directors of corporations from the biggest to the smallest have much of their personal wealth tied up in large stock holdings in their companies. With the collapse of the stock market these people have seen there net worth sink by 30-50%. Clearly they can't be included in the club of "bankers and other super-rich sociopaths" or even guys like Warren Buffet. I mean it wouldn't make any sense for them to take down the very system that supports their wealth.

What am I missing here?

Posted by: krypton | Mar 24 2020 1:43 utc | 304

c1ue 300

I cannot find median age for 1917-1918 in the US but looking at life expectancy 25 year old median age may be correct.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 2:46 utc | 305

I had thought mid thirties to fourty for median age earlier.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 2:52 utc | 306

@ james 303

Personally, I am not seeking a bailout. I just dont want to be someones serf. I do want repercussions and justice and fairness and a bit of creative destruction.

I find the whole capitalism v socialism to be a false binary. Neither exists in pure form and each borrows from the other. They are just labels used to polarize.

Posted by: jared | Mar 24 2020 3:16 utc | 307

krypton 307 "What am I missing here?"

Tin foil hat perhaps. A major necessity in understanding how the invisible 'they' control everything.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 3:38 utc | 308

jared @ 310 said;"I find the whole capitalism v socialism to be a false binary. Neither exists in pure form and each borrows from the other. They are just labels used to polarize."

Absolutely.. I'ts a damn shame Sanders couldn't find those words months ago, at the very least, the words mixed economy.

Your explanation rocks......

Posted by: ben | Mar 24 2020 3:56 utc | 309

krypton @ 307

What am I missing here?

You assume that the bubble could have been maintained indefinitely by financial manipulation. But the people on the top know very well that its a bubble. They know that it was harder and harder to keep the bubble inflated, that they had stolen almost all they could under the current scam.

The choice that China shutdown + oil war presented them with was do you want to keep 50% of your ill-gotten gains by pretending the virus did it, or do you want to take the rap for the latest bubble and have the people finally get some law enforcement to put your sorry ass in jail and confiscate ALL your assets.

Not to mention that while their assets fall by 50%, the 99% are wiped out. The super rich can park their assets in some safe currency or commodity, wait out the crash, and come back in to buy up everything. In the end, the 1% wins big even by losing 50%.

Please do not tell me this narrative is CT. It is how the ripoff artists have behaved since the beginning of so-called civilization.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 24 2020 4:01 utc | 310

@ 310 jared.. i like what you say about false binaries... don't you think a lot of polarization has been happening thanks for huge income divide of the past 60 years among the people? that to me spells trouble and it continues to get worse.. this set up will make it worse as well..

Posted by: james | Mar 24 2020 4:17 utc | 311

Tin foil hat perhaps. A major necessity in understanding how the invisible 'they' control everything.

You seem to have nothing to offer except misunderstandings and insults.

Read what I have written to c1ue and krypton. There is no invisible controller, unless you mean the market. Financial speculators and swindlers have always behaved like a pack of jackals. They "control" the economy only in the sense that if enough of them independently decide to do something, that something happens. If enough pack leaders go for something, they cause other jackals to "flock" to their strategy.

No conspiracies. No secret cabal controlling the government from some elaborate plan. Just filthy rich crooks (or crime families) looking to grab as many assets as they can with whatever tools are at hand, including the parts of government that they influence through their revolving door symbiosis.

America's democracy (if it ever really had one) has been subverted the same way the so-called "magnates" subverted the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth 200 years ago. It was simply bought off. Paralyzed. The Masters of the Universe on Wall St. are nothing new. The destruction they bring and the mechanisms by which they bring it are well understood.

Its human nature. Pretending that crooks aint gonna be crooked is the tin foil in my book.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 24 2020 4:43 utc | 312

c1ue @ 299

However, the reality is that the lockdowns are being enacted by states - not by the federal government. So who is the conspirator(s) here?

Gee, which states jumped first: New York (Wall St.), Illinois (Midwest corporate HQ for uncounted companies, including Boeing, plus the Chicago Board of Trade), California (another huge aerospace venue, slavering for handouts).

My recent political experience is that money has long since bought DC, recently bought all the state governments, and is now working on municipal government. Citizens United is the gift that keeps on giving for big money. So, I find your concept that big money only bribes the Feds to be completely naive.

Now, if you said every corporation was going to take advantage of this crisis and the emergency spending bill to get free money - I would 100% agree with that.

Well, at least we can agree on that.

It still does not mean the crisis is fake, the disease is fake, that there is any type of coherent government plan, etc etc.

I repeat for the fourth time. I never said the disease was fake. I never claimed it was the government that started the ball rolling, in a coherent way, towards shutdown.

What I have repeatedly said is that the statistics of the disease are still anecdotal or of poor statistical power, inflated by hysteria-mongering talking points (I'm looking at you, Peter AU1), and twisted by the corporate media conflating "tested positive" (on a test with 50% false positives and 50% asymptomatic infectees) with "fatalities". And that the hysteria driven lockdowns have led to the economic crisis that has led to the attempt of Wall St. and corporations to grab all they can from a willing Fed and, soon, from a Congress that is bought and paid for.

I have repeatedly pointed to solid data that has even been picked up by the WSJ, admitting that 99% of the victims are elderly or impaired. That says to me that there are alternatives to mass shutdowns that are not being considered, such as locking down the most succeptible, due to corporate media hysteria. I have repeatedly pointed to the most bulletproof statistics available: the Diamond Princess, with a 0.2% fatality rate, a 20% infection rate, and a 50% asymptomatic rate, pretty much constant across all age groups.

Do you challenge those stats as some kind of CT?

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 24 2020 5:06 utc | 313

This from Gunsandbutter, an interview with Michael Chossudovsky. It'll blow your mind.

http://gunsandbutter.org/home.htm

VERY interesting take..

Posted by: ben | Mar 24 2020 5:36 utc | 314

jb @ 315&316;"And that the hysteria driven lockdowns have led to the economic crisis that has led to the attempt of Wall St. and corporations to grab all they can from a willing Fed and, soon, from a Congress that is bought and paid for."

I don't put ANYTHING out of my mind, when we're dealing with the complete and total psychopaths of the caliber we now have running the nation.

Good posts..

Posted by: ben | Mar 24 2020 5:51 utc | 315

@c1ue

Is there a single group that "runs things"? Not as micro-managers that "control everything". That is a strawman.

It would be foolish to ignore the hierarchical nature of government and even more foolish to think that the most powerful people don't collude to advance their own interests. And, we see certain trusted individuals that time and again move the ball for the establishment and/or help to ensure that the establishment maintains control.

These distinguished public figures are 'untouchable' as they are respected by everyone in the establishment and establishment media. People like Hillary, McCain (before he passed away), Bush (before he passed away), Mueller, Biden, Kissinger, Soros, Pelosi, etc. This cast of characters keep the balls in the air (pushing establishment agendas) and the people distracted and misdirected.

<> <> <> <>

@brewster

I think the virus crisis is real and not hyped. IMO it's the response that has been 'gamed.'

I think you've got a point that there's much that we don't know, yet we KNOW ENOUGH to know that the virus is a real threat.

Aside: One can be forgiven for questioning EVERYTHING after the many lies/psyops we've seen in recent years like the White Helmets, Skripals, MH-17, "Moderate Rebels", false flags, and other fakery.

It's easy to be confused by the relatively low number of infections and deaths and then think that the virus is hyped. But that's not the whole story.

While serious cases are a low percentage of infections, it doesn't take many cases to overload the healthcare system. And once that happens then a great number of people start to die because they can't get a ventilator or because they can't get treatment for other serious ailments (like a heart attack) because healthcare resources are too strained.

If 'only' 0.5% of 300 million people need intensive care, that's 1.5 million people and there may be only 30- or 40-thousand ICU beds. Then, instead of 50,000 deaths, you get >1 million deaths. That's the math that is driving the response.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

The establishment's slow response to a pandemic that they should've been prepared for is what caused the crisis. A crisis that they are doing their best to take advantage of.

And now they are slow to change course given that effective treatments have been proven.

There's no longer a need for massive lock-downs if we simply find those who are infected and treat them with Chloroquine (which most can tolerate well). Asian countries are taking such an approach: FREE testing and treatment for EVERYONE. Western political and medical establishments seem to prefer a approach that increases the need for expensive drugs instead.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 24 2020 6:22 utc | 316

Jackrabbit
Doctors here were using other drugs as first choice and if they were not available would use chloroquine. Apparently the government has now told doctors not to use chloroquine.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 6:54 utc | 317

Meanwhile back at the ranch---

"US House Rams Through Nicaragua Regime-change Bill with Zero Opposition"

link

Posted by: arby | Mar 24 2020 12:13 utc | 318

ben #317

Thanks for that link to the interview with Michael Chossudovsky. Very interesting indeed!

https://soundcloud.com/guns-and-butter-1/covid-19-coronavirus-the-crisis-michel-chossudovsky-420

His reference to Event 201 that took place on Oct 18, 2019 and was sponsored by World Economic Forum, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is all too coincidental to say the least. This whole coronavirus thing is stinking more and more.

Event 201 simulates an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen and the disease it causes are modeled largely on SARS, but it is more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms. The disease starts in pig farms in Brazil, quietly and slowly at first, but then it starts to spread more rapidly in healthcare settings. When it starts to spread efficiently from person to person in the low-income, densely packed neighborhoods of some of the megacities in South America, the epidemic explodes. It is first exported by air travel to Portugal, the United States, and China and then to many other countries. Although at first some countries are able to control it, it continues to spread and be reintroduced, and eventually no country can maintain control. There is no possibility of a vaccine being available in the first year. There is a fictional antiviral drug that can help the sick but not significantly limit spread of the disease. Since the whole human population is susceptible, during the initial months of the pandemic, the cumulative number of cases increases exponentially, doubling every week. And as the cases and deaths accumulate, the economic and societal consequences become increasingly severe. The scenario ends at the 18-month point, with 65 million deaths.

Posted by: krypton | Mar 24 2020 12:29 utc | 319

What seems clear is that the big players are going to invest all their money in Asia (and the US? big enough to afford big pop losses? those queuing for a green card will replace them on the spot). Tokyo stocks up today. Big losers: Europe and Africa.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 24 2020 12:50 utc | 320

Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 6:54 utc | 320

"Apparently the government has now told doctors not to use chloroquine."
Did the government give any reason? "Apparently": where do you know it from? - In Europe they started yesterday a project callen „Discovery“, 7 countries participating, to test medical treatmens of Corona. They also check chloroquinone. The first results with it are on PubPeer-Review: Review

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 24 2020 13:10 utc | 321

Hausmeister
My wife had heard it, I think on the news on the car radio, not long before I posted that comment which is why I put apparently. Looking it up now, I cannot find any mention of it. Its late here now so will ask her about it again tomorrow.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 13:30 utc | 322

Concerning Debt Jubilee

There's already a debt jubilee of sorts. It's called Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection that's available to individuals, corporations, and partnerships. However you better not own any property or other significant assets as these would have to be liquidated first to repay debts. High income earners also don't qualify.

Posted by: krypton | Mar 24 2020 14:08 utc | 323

Pursuant to the idea that this crisis spells the end of neo-liberalism as an ideology see this Alistair Crooke article at Strategic Culture
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/03/23/helicopter-money-this-is-the-game-changer-geo-politically/

Far from being a'false binary' the choice between socialism and capitalist barbarism is very clear. Attempts to restore the basic communal ideas underlying socialism and human society itself, always fail because the capitalist class retains a sector of the economy which it employs to corrupt the system. The most obvious example is capitalist control over newsmedia. Another is the history of the NHS in the UK and the current stealth degradation/privatisation of the single payer system in Canada.
As RH Tawney, a lifelong Fabian, pointed out towards the end of his long life: "You cannot tame a tiger claw by claw."

Posted by: bevin | Mar 24 2020 14:16 utc | 324

" the lunatic prince in KSA starts an oil war (it wasn't Russia who started it). "

The lunatic prince started war in Yemen, hugely contributed to war in Syria, and wages a war on his admittedly huge and parasitic family. But the oil war is largely initiated by USA. For Russia, KSA etc. oil is a source of income, Russia did a better job than most to be less dependent. For USA it is the destination of artificially cheap capital, so USA cranked up the production of so-called shale oil to a level that is hard to sustain.

The first drop of oil price, to 50-60 USD/bbl did not slow down the shale production, in part by squeezing the profit away from services and supplies, and by sheer shoddiness, like postponing pipeline construction -- cheap natural gas is flared rather then replacing coal as a cleaner fuel. Pipelines were lagging, profits were questionable, long term prospects were questionable, but US government and banking system kept pushing the expansion. The question to Russia + KSA is: wait 10 years or crush that bubble now?

Somewhat temporary impact of coronavirus made the same production "war" much more effective. Shale will undergo consolidation and curtailing of marginal capacity, oil will probably return to 50, perhaps 40-50.

Private speculation: it seems that Huthis are advancing in some fronts, is the insane prince more stingy now in war spending? Weapon imports and mercenary salaries are the easiest expense to cut... Coronavirus may end up saving lives.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 24 2020 14:18 utc | 325

vk commented that in Seoul, main Korean metro area, there are hardly any restrictions. From what I heard, it is not true. Food shopping is still by delivery to the door, no contact. I am guessing that some workers from small food places got delivery jobs in supermarket chains. Everybody with symptoms or pointed out by contacts is tested with "no wait" result, everybody else can get a test, also for free, but waiting for results (not sure how much time is involved). With prompt testing in place and therapeutics in place, Korea can survive well with small outbreaks caused by asymptomatic people.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 24 2020 14:27 utc | 326

Posted by: ben | Mar 24 2020 5:36 utc | 317

Guns & Butter

One of the Best Programs in the US !!!! That station was one of the earliest to start the process of awakening me to the Dirt in the System.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 24 2020 14:33 utc | 327

No conspiracies. No secret cabal controlling the government from some elaborate plan. Just filthy rich crooks (or crime families) looking to grab as many assets as they can with whatever tools are at hand, including the parts of government that they influence through their revolving door symbiosis.

America's democracy (if it ever really had one) has been subverted the same way the so-called "magnates" subverted the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth 200 years ago.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 24 2020 4:43 utc | 315
----------------
The analogy points out to the mechanism of multiple cabals that share some common interests, like keeping serfs in their place while screwing them better -- in the case of magnates, they literally had serfs. Cabals have some pecking order, but they lack a central demonic intelligence. In fact, intelligence seems to be in short supply.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 24 2020 14:42 utc | 328

krypton @307 raises a critical point. Capitalists are having their wealth massacred right now, which is why I am extremely reluctant to buy into the narrative that the empire's economic meltdown was part of the plan of the psycho gangsters who launched the attack on China.

There are thus two possibilities that I can see. The first is that the perpetrators are afflicted with delusional magical thinking and are far less competent and intelligent than they consider themselves to be. This is the point I frequently make here in my posts and explains much of the bizarre behavior of the agents of empire these last several years. Screwing up the escalation of their war on China is entirely in character for the gangsters who screwed up their own rigged elections in 2016. We can discuss how America's economy being detached from reality (primarily finance based upon fiat currency) has caused American perceptions to detach from reality, and how that detachment from reality increases the further one gets from fundamental economic functions in society (further from being a clock-punching workers), but the root cause for the delusion afflicting the gangsters of the Deep State is not necessary to acknowledge that they have been enjoying one remarkable failure after another for years. Is it really such a stretch to see the gang whose election rigging in 2016 backfired spectacularly as being behind an attack on the nation's chief adversary du jour that also backfired in an epic manner?

Assuming that all of the self-destructive outcomes of these CIA plots are intended and parts of the original plans is ridiculous. Not only do these people have the "American exceptionality" Hollywood/identity politics delusions in their most acute forms, they are also simply not very bright and have difficulties with basic cause and effect relationships. While they may have considered that some old folks in the West might die from their actions, they certainly never considered that their empire's economy might take a significant hit from it. After all, SARS Mark I and MERS didn't cause the global economy to melt down, and SARS Mk II was supposedly just a little bit better than the prior version. How much worse could that be?

The next possibility is that the CIA did invest in having some epidemiologists game out how bad the pandemic would get in America and figured it was manageable before going ahead with it, but they overlooked a key feature of capitalism before launching their attack on the godless commies.

Aside for background: A key selling point for capitalism is that critical economic decisions are not made by fallible and corruptible humans, but rather by the "Invisible Hand of the Market™" (Hallowed be Its name!). "The Market" is non-sentient and functions strictly on knee-jerk instinct, with all of the intellect and deliberation of a planarian. This is a feature that communists understand full well.

Back to our CIA attack on China: Karlof1 earlier suggested that the Chinese might have "known what they were doing" in their response to that attack, implying some sort of misdirection had taken place. I think that notable poster has a point. Of course, China had to react to the attack to save lives, but it seems that perhaps they may have added some artistic embellishments to that reaction. A few dramatic flourishes here and there, so to speak.

SARS Mk II is bad enough, so why might the Chinese exaggerate its impact?

Perhaps the Chinese were attempting to deliberately "trigger" panic in the mindless "Invisible Hand of the Market™" (Hallowed be Its name). America's (not really so) secret gangsters attack China with a bug to "give them a cold", and China retaliates with a little bit of theater that exploits the supposed strength of "Invisible Hand of the Market™" (Hallowed be Its name) and turns that strength into a liability.

This second explanation seems to match the evidence as well. Of course, the two explanations are not mutually exclusive. Current conditions could very well be a combination of yet another boneheaded screw-up by the CIA with a tai-chi style throw using the attacker's (USA's) momentum and power against them.

The empire's economy is taking epic damage. Claiming that the empire did this to itself intentionally is not logical. This damage being the result of an equally epic blunder by the empire, along possible with a deft defensive move by the Chinese, makes far more sense.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 24 2020 14:44 utc | 329

William Gruff
Much research needs to be done into the Trump faction. That includes sponsors. Who is losing what ect.
Trump is genuine about draining the swamp. His swamp is not our swamp. To him, the swamp are those who squander the power the US held at the fall of the Soviet Union. He has given the date the 'again' in MAGA refers to. Shortly after inauguration he had a meeting with Kissinger at the white house. Bit of a presser thing before or after the meeting. Trumps words were to the effect "regain the importance America held in the world 25 years ago".
25 years prior to early 2017 is 92. I see the Soviet Union officially ended 26 Dec 91.
The swamp also includes those who have not put Israel number one.

Trump wanted to turn US in a new direction, but the US system is simply too much mass to turn on a new course by normal politics. An outside force was required and is also a useful scapegoat or proxy domestic ire can be directed at. I believe this is the reason team Trump are pumping the China dunnit propaganda.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 15:14 utc | 330

@james #302
I live in the SF Bay Area and am currently locked down.
I have witnessed the panic buying firsthand - I have been taking pictures as people have progressed from toilet paper - the initial panic buy - to pasta, canned soup, flour, and bagged beans/rice/grains.
On March 7, right before the lockdown, I told my wife and close friends about how the lines in the grocery stores were historically long (18 years with that store) and that every 2nd person was buying 3 cases of toilet paper.
On March 8 - the TP aisles in multiple stores were empty, but other things were still available.
By March 9 - the canned soups, pasta, rice etc was gone.
I normally buy a lot when things are on sale, so I wasn't discomfited by this at all - but was not able to buy rice to take advantage of a store promotion until this Sunday, when I went at 6 am to one store and got it. Just bad luck that my normal supply was really low otherwise I wouldn't have noticed at all.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 24 2020 15:16 utc | 331

William Gruff #332

Your explanations and concluding remarks make the most sense to me. This would not be the first time the political "bright lights" in the US have made monumental blunders that wasted millions of lives and $trillions of public dollars on their evil schemes.

"Arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence. Not a pretty cocktail of personality traits in the best of situations. No sirree. Not a pretty cocktail in an office-mate and not a pretty cocktail in a head of state. In fact, in a leader, it's a lethal cocktail."
~ Three Horseman of the Apocalypse 2007 by Graydon Carter on G.W. Bush and the US invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: krypton | Mar 24 2020 15:24 utc | 332

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 24 2020 14:18 utc | 328

Houthis have acquired vast quantities of Saudi armaments of late, and recruited considerable numbers of former Saudi soldiers. MbS is likely to lost some parts of his own kingdom that once belonged to Yemen before this is done.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 24 2020 15:26 utc | 333

@john brewster #316
You said:

Gee, which states jumped first: New York (Wall St.), Illinois (Midwest corporate HQ for uncounted companies, including Boeing, plus the Chicago Board of Trade), California (another huge aerospace venue, slavering for handouts).

My recent political experience is that money has long since bought DC, recently bought all the state governments, and is now working on municipal government. Citizens United is the gift that keeps on giving for big money. So, I find your concept that big money only bribes the Feds to be completely naive.

There's several huge holes in this logic chain.
1) The states can't print money. So California locking down doesn't mean Facebook/Twitter get a handout.
2) While 100 million Americans live in states that are locked down, 230 million don't. Doesn't seem like a terribly effective policy.
3) The states in questiona are mostly blue states; the federal government is red/MAGA.
4) Just because corporations use this for an excuse, doesn't mean they or the federal or the state governments created it. But it seems we agree on that.

You said:

I have repeatedly pointed to solid data that has even been picked up by the WSJ, admitting that 99% of the victims are elderly or impaired. That says to me that there are alternatives to mass shutdowns that are not being considered, such as locking down the most succeptible, due to corporate media hysteria. I have repeatedly pointed to the most bulletproof statistics available: the Diamond Princess, with a 0.2% fatality rate, a 20% infection rate, and a 50% asymptomatic rate, pretty much constant across all age groups.

Here, we have both disagreement and miscommunication.
Yes, the people dying are mostly old. However, the people getting hospitalized are evenly spread out from 20 to 90. The death rate is also significant - both in relative and absolute terms. I posted on this in the more recent thread.
Thus the impact isn't just dead old people; it is lots of dead young people and potentially overflowing hospitals - the latter of which means even more dead of all ages.

As for alternatives:
I wrote about that as well. The other alternative is 100% tracking of all potentially nCOV infected people along with everyone they have met. This means police stopping people on the streets, cell phone and video surveillance, checkpoints - is this something you're ok with?
And even if you are ok with it - who is going to do this? The federal government just isn't equipped to do any but the electronic surveillance part. Martial law - get the US army to do it?
I actually agree that the lockdowns are not clearly needed, if the above medical investigation and quarantine/testing are done, but it isn't obvious to me that the US is equipped - in gear, in people, in procedures or in organizations to do so.

And if this is true, then lockdowns might be the only viable path now.

Lastly, there's panic. Every executive in government right now is deathly afraid of having not reacted enough to nCOV. A lockdown is the most visible symbol of "doing something". The economic damage - which I agree with - is later, so enacting a lockdown is also "kicking the can down the road".

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 24 2020 15:27 utc | 334

@JackRabbit #319
You said:

It would be foolish to ignore the hierarchical nature of government and even more foolish to think that the most powerful people don't collude to advance their own interests. And, we see certain trusted individuals that time and again move the ball for the establishment and/or help to ensure that the establishment maintains control.

I've never disagreed with what you wrote above. However, colluding in some areas of class or mutual benefit is not the same as a monolithic blob.
Bill Gates and the Koch brothers share the same interests in fighting wealth taxes, but oppose each other in many other areas.

I am curious, however, as to how to characterize the whole Trump/HRC/Russiagate affair. Is this all just a show?

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 24 2020 15:35 utc | 335

Re China shutdown: The fact is they HAD to shutdown (just like everybody else is now doing) in order to stop the virus, so while it is true that that was a great kick in the nuts for Uncle Sugar & the magic hand, no bad karma or blame attaches to China for doing so. Any idiots who might have precipitated the problem on purpose in order to "get China" on the other hand, get plenty of both.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 24 2020 15:36 utc | 336

Peter AU1 @333

Big Finance is the subset of the oligarchy that had consolidated control in The Swamp. Trump is a Real Estate oligarch. There is natural enmity between these two factions of the oligarchy as the oligarchs whose wealth derives from real and tangible assets see the finance oligarchs as leeches (note: all oligarchs are leeches, but the finance oligarchs also bleed their fellow oligarchs).

Real and tangible properties will not materially change in value if Big Finance is obliterated. Only the numbers of currency counters used to represent that value will change. That said, commerce is currently choked with debt, and debt is assets for Big Finance. I think you must be suggesting that Trump is then a champion of these old school capitalists with tangible assets rather than just paper ones. Are they really willing to blow up the whole game to take down Big Finance and clear the debt out of the economy's veins?

Or am I missing something?

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 24 2020 15:51 utc | 337

@ 334 c1ue... thanks... i am north of you on vancouver island.. i live in a much smaller community.. the availability of consumer goods is fine for the most part.. less people - less panic? i don't know.. getting out at 6am to take advantage of a sale is hard work! i usually shop near the end of the day when there is generally less people in the stores, although they have cut the hours back now and i can't do this as easily.. store used to close at 10pm now closes at 8pm.. we have finally gotten some rain after a long stretch of sunshine which is unusual for this time of year.. air quality here is generally always very good like i imagine it is in san francisco due it being right next to the ocean..

Posted by: james | Mar 24 2020 16:20 utc | 338

William Gruff
I think the aspect you have outlined would play a part but perhaps not all. Nationalism plays a part in this. Can that be overlaid on the big finance and real estate factions. Big finance to me is likely to be globalist and loyal to no nation.
I think this is as much or more a battle between US nationalists and globalists. Trump as a nationalist wants the US nation state to at all costs maintain a position of dominance in the world. I think he also is enough of a pragmatist to see the US economic hegemony racket has run its course and is no longer viable.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 16:42 utc | 339

@james #341
Watch out for the bats.
I had posted 3 examples of human-bat interaction leading to rabies infection in the US and Canada as proof that bat transmitted diseases are not unique to China - which b deleted for whatever reason.
One was Vancouver island: apparently a person there had a bat run into his hand. No superficial wound but apparently there was rabies transmission...
I also lived in Austin, where some hundreds of thousands of bats live under bridges.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 24 2020 16:55 utc | 340

William Gruff & Peter AU 1--

Have yet to watch today's Keiser Report, but from this brief RT blurb, I expect it to provoke further thinking and discussion:

"'We have come up with a very real crisis,' Macleod said, explaining that for decades, the US Federal Reserve has been trying to maintain a false level of value in government securities. 'And that false level of value in financial assets as a whole is beginning to fall apart; the Fed is losing control.'" [Emphasis Original]

Max Keiser, Michael Hudson, Steve Keen, Richard Wolff, Stacy Herbert, and myself have all pointedly said and provided evidence to back our claims that the current asset price inflation and related stock market valuations result from a Ponzi Scheme run by the Federal Reserve that began with the "Greenspan Put" that's been doubled-down on by every subsequent Fed Chair, with Trump on several occasions demanding such action.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 24 2020 17:02 utc | 341

Tucker Carlson got the memo,

Once the coronavirus crisis passes, we'll need to starting treating China like the dangerous, Cold War-level adversary it has clearly become. #FoxNews #Tucker

Memo or no $$$

So MSM in the US has taken China's side ????

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 24 2020 17:16 utc | 342

karlof1

Trump's moves over the last year or two, pumping up Wall Street ect - genuine or deflection - I am undecided.
Currently turning US duopoly voting majority eyes onto China as the source of their problems.
Creating an image of Trump rebuilding America then China breaks everything....
Trump intends war. He has built up the military, reduced nuke threshold and supplied nukes to fill that reduced threshold gap.
"A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or any other weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to numerous humans..." Wikipedia.

There are no rules. If Trump can park the US on the Persian gulf oil patch, then US will hold a great deal of power in the world for the foreseeable future, not to mention the oil revenues.

Perhaps that's thinking too big but for whatever its worth are my thoughts at the moment. How accurate they are is anyone's guess.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 24 2020 17:34 utc | 343

Hi Peter!

Please read my comment here and prepare to spend about 40 minutes watching those two episodes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 24 2020 18:33 utc | 344

@ 343 c1ue... thanks.. yes - bats.. we have them on the island for sure... where i used to live i saw them all the time - lived in a cabin overlooking straight of juan de fuca looking out towards cape flattery - the northwest tip of the olympic peninsula... there were many that lived right next to the cabin i lived in for about 14 years.. now, i am on the warmer east side of the island - mid island.. i think the bats like cooler weather.. i haven't seen any here in the 17 years i have been here... cheers..

Posted by: james | Mar 24 2020 19:09 utc | 345

c1ue @ 337

I am fine with the level of back and forth we are having. Perfectly legitimate arguments over different POVs, but fundamentally agreeing on the underlying facts.

There's several huge holes in this logic chain.
1)
2)
3)
4)

Hey, we agree on point 4. Woo hoo!

As for 1-3, I think my "pack of opportunistic jackals" reading of the situation covers them. The three states rank first, third, and fifth in GNP in the US CA is something like 16% of US GNP. NY is another 8%, illinois 4%. So, 28% of US GNP is in lockdown.

When a country loses almost 1/3 of its GNP, the national government is going to take action. It is sophistry to pretend that locking down those states will have zero effect on the national government.

The problem with reality (for the purpose of having a debate) is that it has so many factors. Its true that the states are "red". Its also true that they are the location of most of the jackals. (I forgot to mention all the internet billionaires in SF, which has been home to the rich since the days of the Gold Rush.)

----

Yes, the people dying are mostly old. However, the people getting hospitalized are evenly spread out from 20 to 90. The death rate is also significant - both in relative and absolute terms.

OK. We agree about elderly. And, I agree that hospitalizations come in all age groups. My emphasis is different. The younger victims seem mostly to have pre-existing conditions or risk factors.

Seven in 10 patients admitted to intensive care units in the UK with coronavirus were overweight or obese, the first data on Britain's cases shows. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/23/obese-overweight-coronavirus-patients-need-critical-care/

Since something like 50% of America is overweight or obese, I can see the problem. Wouldn't want to be the governor of Mississippi (highest obese rate in country).

----

I have been trying to get some hard stats on hospital capacity. Here's what I've come up with:

AHA data: According to the AHA 2015 annual survey, the United States had 4862 acute care registered hospitals; 2814 of these had at least 10 acute care beds and at least 1 ICU bed. These hospitals had a total of 540,668 staffed beds and 94,837 ICU beds (14.3% ICU beds/total beds) in 5229 ICUs.
Critical Care Statistics
Total Hospital Bed Count and ICU Bed Count in USA

The military might be able to add in the range of 10-20k ICU beds, which would mean 200k-400k more infections - if they aren't overwhelmed with their own caseload. I'm thinking of that Baltic exercise that cancelled because of infections among the troops.

It also seems like a critical factor is the number of ventilators. Numbers on that vary widely, with people talking about military supplies, and with Ford and 3M teaming up to make them. Can't really get a firm number yet.

If the Diamond Princess stats are valid, about 5% of victims will require ICU. So multiply ~100k ICU beds by 20, and the hospitals can manage 2 million infected people (@ 5% in ICU). The current total confirmed positive tests (which I do not equate with symptomatic victims) is a little above 50,000. Of course I don't trust that statistic. I think true rate is much higher.

Given a doubling time of 3 days, it will take about 15 days for the current spread rate to max out the ICUs. News is saying that Italy infection rate is slowing down after 15 days of serious quarantine. So, if we were serious about quarantine (which today's America will never be) we could have this under control before we blow out the hospitals. I say "under control", not "ended".

-----

The other alternative is 100% tracking of all potentially nCOV infected people along with everyone they have met. This means police stopping people on the streets, cell phone and video surveillance, checkpoints - is this something you're ok with?


And even if you are ok with it - who is going to do this? The federal government just isn't equipped to do any but the electronic surveillance part. Martial law - get the US army to do it?


I actually agree that the lockdowns are not clearly needed, if the above medical investigation and quarantine/testing are done, but it isn't obvious to me that the US is equipped - in gear, in people, in procedures or in organizations to do so.

And if this is true, then lockdowns might be the only viable path now.

If this were still a democracy, and if the police weren't behaving like an occupying army, I would be OK with intensive tracking. But, with today's cops, the ghettos would become a shooting gallery. "He came within 3 meters of me. I had to shoot him." So, I agree that an enforced quarantine/tracking won't succeed.

However, I don't see why people who know they are in a high risk group would have a problem with self-quarantining. If they then came down with the virus, I don't see why they wouldn't want to list their contacts. This cooperation is more likely among the elderly, who are less likely to have sketchy contacts they don't want to report.

But, given the state of American society, a blanket quarantine is about all we are capable of managing. And even that will leak like a sieve.

The bottom line is still keeping the patient load from overwhelming the hospitals. I am stronger on that point after the discussion with you. Thanks.

----

Lastly, there's panic. Every executive in government right now is deathly afraid of having not reacted enough to nCOV. A lockdown is the most visible symbol of "doing something". The economic damage - which I agree with - is later, so enacting a lockdown is also "kicking the can down the road".

There is the panic. There is also the impending ripoff. My major concern is that we are about to be robbed blind by the Fed and the Congress (and have the middle class permanently destroyed) while we are distracted with all the medical minutiae. The government proposes to print about 25% of one year's GNP out of thin air - and give it to Mnuchin to hand it out unaccountably to his gumbas?

We have to pay attention to this scam. We can't get bogged down in medical numbers. Of course, the corporate media has dropped just about all genuine news. Reporting is nothing more than so-and-so has tested positive; a new patient was admitted in Podunk, Arkansas - over and over again. A completely jammed communications system.

If we are going to print money, this time (unlike in 2008) it has to go to ordinary people, not the thieving corporations with their buybacks and the hedge funds with their bustouts. The Dems are making the right noises, but I expect them to fold long before the public can get organized to prevent 2008 round two.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 24 2020 19:20 utc | 346

292;the billion dollars!more gravy for the warlords!

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 24 2020 23:06 utc | 347

ben #312

to jared #310

"I find the whole capitalism v socialism to be a false binary. Neither exists in pure form and each borrows from the other. They are just labels used to polarize."

I'ts a damn shame Sanders couldn't find those words months ago, at the very least, the words mixed economy.

From a seasoned politician that won ballot after ballot in Vermont !! and Bernie didn't know how to allay people's fears about the word socialism?

From a person skilled in hundreds of performances, walking the talk to millions and the seasoned politician was unaware of the need to speak up and clarify the difference between the 'hate socialism' propagandists and the false binary between socialism and capitalism - of the simple difference between social democracy and dog eat dog capitalism?

I don't buy that and I dont think Tulsi did either and thousands of USians were mighty unconvinced.

So did Bernie throw it?

Is Bernie a klutz? - no way.

Did Bernie just totally dis-empower the yearning of so many millions for change? Sure did!

I owe jackrabbit a beer.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2020 7:40 utc | 348

@john brewster #349
You said:

When a country loses almost 1/3 of its GNP, the national government is going to take action. It is sophistry to pretend that locking down those states will have zero effect on the national government.

The problem with reality (for the purpose of having a debate) is that it has so many factors. Its true that the states are "red". Its also true that they are the location of most of the jackals. (I forgot to mention all the internet billionaires in SF, which has been home to the rich since the days of the Gold Rush.)


I agree with what you say above - however - the problem is the next step: that assumption that this means they're closely coordinating.
As I noted before - just because the politicians and really rich people (their sponsors) share some class-based common interests still doesn't mean they're all coordinating in some cabal or plot.
I could just as easily say that Trump is responding to the blue state/uber-rich shutdowns in order to also show he is "doing something".

You said:

However, I don't see why people who know they are in a high risk group would have a problem with self-quarantining. If they then came down with the virus, I don't see why they wouldn't want to list their contacts. This cooperation is more likely among the elderly, who are less likely to have sketchy contacts they don't want to report.

I can see lots of reasons - young people are in competition with old people for money, jobs, opportunities etc. Why not spread nCOV around when you know you're 10-100 times less likely to die?
Then there's the people who can't afford to be sick: the millions who don't have sick leave, or work gig jobs, or just don't care one way or the other.

You said:

There is the panic. There is also the impending ripoff. My major concern is that we are about to be robbed blind by the Fed and the Congress (and have the middle class permanently destroyed) while we are distracted with all the medical minutiae. The government proposes to print about 25% of one year's GNP out of thin air - and give it to Mnuchin to hand it out unaccountably to his gumbas?

We have to pay attention to this scam. We can't get bogged down in medical numbers. Of course, the corporate media has dropped just about all genuine news. Reporting is nothing more than so-and-so has tested positive; a new patient was admitted in Podunk, Arkansas - over and over again. A completely jammed communications system.

If we are going to print money, this time (unlike in 2008) it has to go to ordinary people, not the thieving corporations with their buybacks and the hedge funds with their bustouts. The Dems are making the right noises, but I expect them to fold long before the public can get organized to prevent 2008 round two.


Again, I agree. The issue then isn't the bailout - it is that the bailout will go to the corporations and uber-wealthy. That's political - and the only way to stop it is to keep an eye and pressure on our respective House of Representatives and Senators.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 25 2020 15:56 utc | 349

c1ue @ 352
Well we are certainly working out the details between our two POVs. I wanted to reply on this one. But can I suggest that we move any further replies to a later thread that is vaguely related to covid? I'll let you pick the thread.


@john brewster #349

You said:

When a country loses almost 1/3 of its GNP, the national government is going to take action. It is sophistry to pretend that locking down those states will have zero effect on the national government.

I agree with what you say above - however - the problem is the next step: that assumption that this means they're closely coordinating.

As I noted before - just because the politicians and really rich people (their sponsors) share some class-based common interests still doesn't mean they're all coordinating in some cabal or plot.

But, I never assumed they are closely coordinating. You keep projecting that onto me. I keep using the term "flocking behavior", which has a very specific and scientific meaning.

Basic models of flocking behavior are controlled by three simple rules:
1. Separation - avoid crowding neighbours (short range repulsion)
2. Alignment - steer towards average heading of neighbours
3. Cohesion - steer towards average position of neighbours (long range attraction)

With these three simple rules, the flock moves in an extremely realistic way...In flocking simulations, there is no central control; each bird behaves autonomously. In other words, each bird has to decide for itself which flocks to consider as its environment.

- Wikipedia, Flocking (behavior)

Please tell me if you have understood the term from the beginning, but didn't think it applied to the pack of jackals; or if, after several repetitions by me, you just don't get it. Let me try again.

Many state governments have shaky finances. Illinois is almost bankrupt. Rahm Emmanuel did this horrific deal to privatize Chicago's parking meters. You don't have to be a genius to realize that there is a lot of money to be made privatizing a state government. And Illinois is a prime target. Illinois contains a lot of billionaires who watched and backed Emmanuel. They could simply be a pack of jackals continuing their attempts to ruin and privatize the state of Illinois. A lockdown of only Illinois might result in the privatization of many Illinois services, the shedding of pension liabilities, etc. The jackals don't need a central committee to see that.

Same scenario in NY. I'm less informed about CA, but my point is that it is locally logical in each state for the local jackals to want to lockdown the state to further the disintegration of government.

Hence, flocking behavior.


You said:

However, I don't see why people who know they are in a high risk group would have a problem with self-quarantining.

I can see lots of reasons - young people are in competition with old people for money, jobs, opportunities etc. Why not spread nCOV around when you know you're 10-100 times less likely to die?
Then there's the people who can't afford to be sick: the millions who don't have sick leave, or work gig jobs, or just don't care one way or the other.

OK. That's a fair point. They have been shit-stirring this Millenial vs Boomer stuff a long time; and its been 12 years since the bottom fell out of the economy for everyone except the 10% - many of whom are in that category merely because are older and able to accumulate some savings before the crash.

Its sad that so many people literally can't afford to be sick. Its worth than sad. Its criminal, and its an indictment of the neoliberal ideology of cruelty.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 26 2020 5:24 utc | 350

uncle tungsten @351: I owe jackrabbit a beer.

If you're ever in NYC area, let me know!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 26 2020 5:36 utc | 351

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