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March 29, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-25

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

  • Mar 25 - Netanyahoo's Corona Coup
    Related:
    Opposition leader Gantz sold out to Netanyahoo presumably in exchange for a promise that Netanyahoo would leave in 18 month. No one believes that he will keep that promise. Gantz' move has blown up his Blue and White coalition. His excuse is the corona crisis which, he says, requires unity. Israel will have quite a problem with the disease. The ultra-orthodox Haredi do not follow the stay at home orders. The Zionist do not care about Palestinians and forget that the disease will not differentiate. The Health Ministry is held by a corrupt Haredi who lacks the relevant qualifications.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 29, 2020 at 14:37 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

B thank you for your rock sold foundation that is this blog.
Where can I buy ‘Hydroxyhoroquine’ in the U.K. ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 29 2020 14:53 utc | 1

It’s funny how there are no more impeachment talks, no more yellow vests, no more Hong Kong riots, the separatist movement in catolina is no more, netenyahoo corruption trials postponed, all the Grexit and frexit talks after Brexit are done for. We all all good little boys and girls who are staying put and not talking to each other.

Posted by: Clarkjr1 | Mar 29 2020 14:54 utc | 2

Clarkjri @ 2
All good points ! And can I add ? No more western democracy ! I’m looking around, it’s gone. Welcome to martial law.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 29 2020 15:10 utc | 3

Interesting graph:

https://twitter.com/InterviewerAk/status/1243823950720724993

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 29 2020 15:15 utc | 4

This is a very good paper:

Coronavirus: pathogen could have been spreading in humans for decades, study says

I highly recommend everybody to read this article in full. Its argument is solid, its language is scientifically precise. Those scientists know their stuff.

--//--

The situation in Japan is getting worse...

Tokyo again hits record with 68 new COVID-19 cases

The situation in Chiba is particularly worrying. Japan has a disproportional ratio of very old people: it's the only country in the world where consumption of geriatric diapers is greater than the consumption of baby diapers. There are a lot of old people in a relatively small area - specially if Tokyo becomes a hotspot.

The truth is coming out:

Steps limited for Japanese government even if it declares state of emergency over coronavirus

So, the central government is powerless, which made its data on infected and dead by the COVID-19 not reliable, which made the COVID-19 spread more than it should.

Japan has elevated the concept of plausible deniability to the maximum level: it has crippled its own government so the need to invoke plausible deniability never arises in the first place.

And this "could supress freedom of speech" is bullshit: the Japanese MSM is daily censored by the central government, which has a firm grip on national security grounds. It played along like a fiddle when the 2020 Olympics was still on.

I also highly recommend everybody to watch this video:

How The Japanese Are Dealing With the Coronavirus [Street Interview]

It doesn't have scientific value, but I know this channel and they do honest stuff: those people interviewed are as random as possible, given the limited resources they have. More importantly, they did these in Tokyo - the only city that matters in Japan.

They reinforce my impression given by the Japanese MSM: almost no testing, denial after denial, people kept in the dark. And the West still talks about the CCP...

--//--

On China, more pudding:

Xi inspects work resumption in Zhejiang

You can keep doubting China's COVID-19 numbers, though. It's your right. But, meanwhile, it will continue to reactivate its economy and, in one-two month time span, your country will be begging for N95 masks in its door.

Posted by: vk | Mar 29 2020 15:26 utc | 5

@ 1 ‘Hydroxyhoroquine’
Caution: reported shortages. And the dosage applicable to COVID-19 is much, much higher than used for antimalarial treatment which requires patient monitoring as the higher dosage is found toxic and poisoning.. In some countries, it was an OTC 9over the counter product) bought without an Rx but now, in this corona crisis, requires an Rx.


=======

This is grim.

Is the bragging done? -- "the best healthcare system in the world" had months to prepare:

U.S. virus deaths could reach 200,000, Fauci warns as medical supplies run short LINK


(Reuters) - U.S. deaths from coronavirus could reach 200,000 with millions of cases, the government’s top infectious diseases expert warned on Sunday as New York, New Orleans and other major cities warned they would soon run out of medical supplies.

On Sunday Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated in an interview with CNN that the pandemic could cause between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths in the United States.[.]

A shortage of ventilators in several major cities worsened as the U.S. death count crossed 2,100 on Saturday, more than double the level from two days ago. The United States has now recorded more than 123,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the most of any country in the world. (Graphic: tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T) [.]

Days ago Trump balked ventilators are very expensive. How about a Cut in the military budget and the $Trillions the Feds are pumping to the hedge funds and banksters.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 29 2020 15:27 utc | 6

Let's be positive: it is a way to get rid of evangelicals and other congregationalists (to be replaced by.... Jedi religion? UFOs? take your bets).
And when people realize that all the money they have spent in insurances does not get them a better chance than others, they may finally start to wonder about the defense budget and how on hell are "the enemies of the USA" supposed to reach its shores from their rabbit holes in Yemen and elsewhere.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 29 2020 15:37 utc | 7

re: covid, NYC area

daily info I am now looking at, which is published by the city:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-providers.page

NOTES- "Confirmed" cases are somewhat useless because testing is rationed in the city. So hospital admissions (linked in the above page) should be more robust. It was 6200 yesterday, 5000 the day before. Time series for that metric, showing the pattern of its increase, is found in the "NYC Emergency Department Surveillance Data" document, also linked below.

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-syndromic-surveillance.pdf

Repeating from before, the coming 2-3 days would be the expected peak of mild / early symptoms such as multi-day cough/fever. I.e. those who have been incubating since the first day of lockdown, plus a very high number of second members of each household who would become infected from living together with an infected person (thus a second 5-day time lag for them.)

The more robust "hospitalizations" number would have yet another 5 day ish time lag (as symptoms for these cases progress from mild to serious.)

Posted by: ptb | Mar 29 2020 15:38 utc | 8

I'm waiting for one of MoA's resident poets/lyricists to tweak the lyrics of Simon & Garfunkel's The Sound Of Silence to help it rhyme with the C-virus plague.
He/she could call it The Sound Of Sirens...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 29 2020 16:26 utc | 9

Info on the Corona viruses from a virologist:

***********************
March 28, 2020 at 9:35 am
A bit of background on coronavirus origins and why it is so important:

All known coronavirus infecting humans (so far up to 7 including SARS CoV 2) can be traced to other animals and are almost certainly of zoonotic origin. Of these 5 can be traced to bats species which are considered the main reservoir of coronavirus. In bats these are mainly intestinal viruses that can spread to other species through faeces. The other two are of rodent origin. Three of these were known before SARS CoV 2 to be endemic in humans. There is a wealth of info about the molecular evolution of these virus and their clinical properties (how and when these were aquired) and I am following here a review that was published in Trends in Microbiology in 2016. After MERS CoV and SARS CoV 1 a lot of attention was given to these including some many studies assessing the potential risk of new zoonotic CoV diseases and particularly about SARS-like CoVs.

The three human endemic CoV previously known are:

HCoV-Nl63 (alphacoronavirus): Mild cough. Shares a common ancestor with a BatCoV identified in a North American Bat that can be traced to about 600-800 years ago by molecular clock analisis. The intermediate host is unknown.

HCoV-229E(alphacoronavirus): Mild cough and pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. Diverged from Bat CoV about 200 hundred years ago and is closely related with camelid CoVs. It is possible through not demonstrated that its capacity to infect humans was adquired in alpacas or in another mammal that was common intermediate host for humans and alpacas.

HCoV-OC43 (Betacoronavirus A): Cough and ocassional mild pneumonia. Origin in rodents about 120 years ago. Possible intermediae host: cattle.

After SARS CoV 1 another HCoV was identified in a few patients with pneumonia HCoV-HKU1 also belonging to Betacoronavirus A and most probably from rodent origin whose unknown and probably extint ancestors could have originated in the 1950s. This spells that we already haven’t identified all possible human infecting coronaviruses.

SARS-CoV 1 (Betacoronavirus B): appeared in 2002 from civets and have a common ancestor with bat CoVs that can be traced to about 1980s (up to 17 years before the outbreak.

MERS-CoV (Betacoronavirus C) that was identified in outbreaks originating in the Arabic Peninsula from camels in 2012. Has an origin in bat CoVs that can be traced to 2006, then jumped to camels and evolved adquiring capacity to infect humans. There is reason to think that new MERS-like outbreaks could occur. So a surveillance on this is in place.

Finally SARS CoV 2 (betacoronavirus B) responsible for Covid 19 whose intermediate host has not been identified and shares common ancestors with bat CoVs isolated from bats in Yunnan. More extensive research is needed to identify the closest bat relative and the putative intermediate host. Similarities with pangolin CoVs in the S gene may be due to evolutionary convergence or some unidentified and very difficult to prove recombination event in some unknown host.

Coronaviruses have shown high capacity to jump hosts and those arguing that this is not possible. Not to mention that cats and dogs have been shown to be readily infected by SARS CoV 2, this shows how easy is for this virus to jump species and why is so important to establish international surveillance systems for coronavirus emergence instead of spelling stupid conspiranoic theories. Too late for SARS Cov 2, but necessary for the future.

Posted by: donten | Mar 29 2020 16:36 utc | 10

I noticed the other night Channel 4 News (in the UK) still had time for a hatchet job on the Syrian govt. I guess viewers are getting bored with the wall-to-wall covid coverage from the UK. Lindsay Hilsum was painting the White Helmets as good guys whilst they sprayed disinfectant on tents and tended to some "ill" young man. Local doctors were interviewed bemoaning their shortages. Cut to drone footage of Damascus and she mentions that the 200k prisoners supposedly in Syrian jails are "weak from torture" and susceptible to covid-19 infection. As usual they never interview anyone from "the regime". I notice they do that too whenever there's reports about Russia apparently doing something bad. MSM always make sure to get first hand opinions from "activists", "rebels", "opposition MPs", etc about how cruel and horrible and evil regime/nasty govt X is.

Disgusting propaganda.

Posted by: Nico | Mar 29 2020 16:38 utc | 11

@5 vk

Nobody sane should believe Japan's COVID numbers, especially not when their public cried murder when the boss of Softbank tried to donate a million test kits for use in Japan. The collective denial to COVID in Japan is at psychosis levels.

The only guys praising over Japan COVID are the usual Western MSM suspects trying to save face for the utter incompetence of their sham democracies.

Posted by: JW | Mar 29 2020 17:04 utc | 12

It Is A Time Of Crisis And U.S. Foreign Policy Is Becoming Unhinged

great post b - thanks so much.

The question since 9/11, actually pertinent well before, has been, is, will the USA accept diminishing in power and influence, will it in fine agree to join a scheme of ‘equal status’ position with others such as Russia, Japan, Mexico, China, etc. or will it persist coûte que coûte aka no matter the cost, in retaining some form of hegemony or a semblance of it, semblance in the sense that others might pretend to bow and the masquerade would be accepted. The last is amongst the possibles because the US is not acting, moving, fighting to impose itself, or ‘win’ anything as a Nation for its ppl (such as territory which it does not need or want, oil in Syria which is insignificant, etc.) but is in the biz. of war, arms production and sales, the prison industry, the cruelty propagation, deprivation as a tool (sanctions, etc.), to benefit a rather narrow class of oligarchs and their hangers-on. (Roughly, the 20%.)

The events b details show some indiscrimate lashing out using entrenched but ineffective tools, all of which seem ridiculous / doomed to fail.

The most astonishing is the 15 million, a small sum after all, for Maduro’s arrest as a terrorist. Such moves worked (in the sense of fooling the public and obliging others to ‘go along’) when the whole parade was fake, the ‘terrorist’ who could be denounced (located, given over, etc.) for a ‘bounty’ was some unknown person, or even a mythical figure … what happened after that was moot. It was all pure propaganda to induce witch-hunts, fear, etc.

Hapless lashing out like this shows ad-hoc moves, zero strategy, and great weakness. Anyone can see that. “Just let them (US) dig their own grave” watchers can say.

The danger is an inconsidered nuclear attack by the US, the riposte ..

What is happening now doesn't imho speak to any clear predictions.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 29 2020 17:09 utc | 13

Likklemore | Mar 29 2020 15:27 utc | 6

US prescient healthcare (for billionaires), this is the bomb that will detonate over the next month:

Total Cost of Her COVID-19 Treatment: $34,927.43
https://time.com/5806312/coronavirus-treatment-cost/

If allowed to happen, and without the appearance of a significant medical therapy tool across the USA - the fallout of foreseeable foreclosures will make it a nuclear weapon. Given bank turnaround timescales this will be just in time for next winter/elections... Faced with this Trump of all people may be forced to adopt some major socialist principles.

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2020/what-are-state-officials-doing-make-private-health-insurance-work-better-consumers-during

Posted by: dennis | Mar 29 2020 17:12 utc | 14

https://m.dw.com/en/german-state-finance-minister-thomas-sch%C3%A4fer-found-dead/a-52948976

Just going on the ridiculous comments of his local state party leader, one might strongly suspect Herr Bouffier had a hand in his death

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 17:32 utc | 15

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 29 2020 15:15 utc | 4


USA!
USA!
USA!

#1!

Take that, Putin

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 17:34 utc | 16

An excellent resource for the coronavirus panic is https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/#latest compiled by Swiss Propaganda Research. "According to the latest data published by the Italian Ministry of Health, overall mortality is now significantly higher in all age groups over 65 years of age, after having been below average due to the mild winter. Until March 14, overall mortality was still below the flu season of 2016/2017, but may have already exceeded it in the meantime. Most of this excess mortality currently comes from northern Italy. However, the exact role of Covid19, compared to other factors such as panic, healthcare collapse and the lockdown itself, is not yet clear." These points were also made by Dr John Ionnadis in a recent interview. It should be mentioned that the statistics for deaths from flu and pneumonia are usually lumped together. So for example, the US had 80,463 deaths from "flu and pneumonia" in 2017; the UK 32,120. Pneumonia does a lot of killing, even in a year that doesn't put the whole world on lockdown. https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/united-kingdom-influenza-pneumonia

Posted by: Jane | Mar 29 2020 17:46 utc | 17

@1 Mark2

Hydroxyhoroquine is prescription only and used for rheumatic diseases, so no you can't just go and buy some, and please don't go and use the aquarium stuff, you'll just end up in hospital.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 29 2020 17:50 utc | 18

I'm getting more pessimistic.

Mostly because there's still no accountability.

The Western response has been slow and ineffective. The reason for this is largely neoliberal-thinking that puts capital before people. Essentially, the response has been gamed. Yet people are still reluctant to blame authorities.

TPTB allowed the virus to spread so that China could be blamed and Boeing and Wall Street could be bailed out. But apparently that wasn't enough. 'Spring Break' celebrations in USA were allowed to continue. Was that just an innocent failure? Did they really not understand that the virus could be spread widely via such a large-scale event?

Go-along to get along is still the order of the day for elites and Stockholm Syndrome is still strong in the middle-class. Until there is outrage and accountability, the gaming will continue.

Every delay, every failure means more virus infection.. more deaths.. more economic damage - and justifies more stringent measures later.

'Herd immunity' and happy talk of vaccine development justify delays and a lax response. Most consider a virus to be 12 months or more away. Long before a virus we may see severe economic and social dislocations and possible imposition of martial law in parts of the West.

<> <> <> <> <>

There has been a huge amount of planning for a pandemic. It seems likely that that planning has also included how a pandemic can be gamed to benefit TPTB. We are seeing plenty of CYA propaganda that excuses government failures and attempt to minimize the virus threat. But IMO they know that they're doing.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 29 2020 17:52 utc | 19

@19 Additional info

Bolded part most relevant to Spring Break (and Mardi-Gras before that).

Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook

. . .

“The U.S. government will use all powers at its disposal to prevent, slow or mitigate the spread of an emerging infectious disease threat,” according to the playbook’s built-in “assumptions” about fighting future threats. “The American public will look to the U.S. government for action when multi-state or other significant events occur.”

. . .

Trump has claimed that his administration could not have foreseen the coronavirus pandemic, which has spread to all 50 states and more than 180 nations, sickening more than 460,000 people around the world. “Nobody ever expected a thing like this,” Trump said in a Fox News interview on Tuesday.

. . .

In a subsequent section, the playbook details steps to take if there’s evidence that the virus is spreading among humans, which the World Health Organization concluded by Jan. 22, or the U.S. government declared a public health emergency, which HHS Secretary Alex Azar did on Jan. 31.

Under that timeline, the federal government by late January should have been taking a lead role in “coordination of workforce protection activities including… [personal protective equipment] determination, procurement and deployment.” Those efforts are only now getting underway, health workers and doctors say.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 29 2020 18:05 utc | 20

@ Posted by: Jane | Mar 29 2020 17:46 utc | 17

If the COVID-19 pandemic spreads full-throtle in the USA, the CDC predicts between 1.4 to 2.2 million dead in the country - in a much shorter period of time (ten months). And that's for a disease that can kill young people (albeit improbable) or leave them permanently damaged (scarred lungs) and for which there's still no vaccine, let alone a cure.

Those are much above the 80,000 dead per year by pneumonia, so I don't understand the comparison.

--//--

And Sweden - libertarian model for this pandemic - seems to be caving in:

Sweden bans public gatherings of more than 50 people: PM

We all know how this will end: those 50 will be lowered to 30, which will be lowered to 15, which will be lowered to 10, which will be lowered to 2. Then self-quarantine will be "recommended". Then forced quarantine will be enacted. Then lockdown.

But until that happens, the Swedes will have lost three months.

Posted by: vk | Mar 29 2020 18:10 utc | 21

@ dennis 14

"Faced with this Trump of all people may be forced to adopt some major socialist principles.

On point, the US will be forced to reverse a percentage of the Trillions [aka the socialism for Wall Street and big corporations] - the current focus - to a single payer healthcare system.

Consequences of the CoronaCrisis will roar in 6 months. The grim reality - a great depression and debt jubilee. Debt and derivative instruments are unsustainable. As noted, the Credit crisis (Repo market) began in September 2019.

If only Joe and Jane Mainstreet knew the bailouts of the banksters continued since 2008.

The Tide Is Going Out and JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and AIG Appear to Be Swimming (Read Trading) Naked


[.] When the Federal Reserve needs to create a hodgepodge of secretive Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and run bailouts of $4 trillion; and the Fed gets language in the newly passed stimulus bill that it can hold its meetings in secret with no minutes provided to the public; and the President of the United States signs the stimulus bill with a signing statement announcing only he will determine what Congress gets to know about where the bailout funds go, you know that something is happening under the surface on Wall Street that is just too repugnant to be reported to the American people.[.]

And when you see three firms like JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and AIG trading as outliers to their peers, only a fool wouldn’t see them as a potential connection to this need for super secrecy. [.] (emphasis shown are links)


Btw, Fed balance sheet will likely blow to over $10 Trillion in short order.
JPMorgan Chase has exposure to $1.2 trillion in Credit Default Swaps while Citibank has exposure to $1.76 trillion for a combined total of $2.96 trillion as of September 30, 2019. In the same report, the total exposure to Credit Default Swaps (CDS) among all national banks in the U.S. is $3.7 trillion – meaning that just these two banks are responsible for 80 percent of that exposure. LINK

Yes, those CDS that collapsed during 2008 financial crisis are still around. The illusion of fancy financial instruments.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 29 2020 18:12 utc | 22

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 29 2020 17:09 utc | 13

I think you have the main danger (some nitwit using a "small nuke") to try to make a point about right.

Other than that, the impression I get from Pompeo and his ilk is that the main thing is having someone to threaten and abuse to show "leadership" and "manhood", at least one shitty little country we can still throw up against the wall and slap around to show we mean business. Dangerous times for Nicaragua.

Neither he nor his other West Point friends seems to have much clue about military affairs either, which is strange. I mean we've always had our George Armstrong Custers, but they didn't run things. Now they seem to have some sort of cult mentality. One is reminded of the French before WWI: "De L'audace, Encore De L'audace, Et Toujours De L'audace ..." and we know how that worked out.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 29 2020 18:13 utc | 23

"Andrea Germanos, Friday evening denounced President Donald Trump’s intention to disregard provisions in the just-passed coronavirus relief bill that would provide crucial oversight of $500 billion in taxpayer money already poised to be a “Wall Street slush fund.”

“This is unacceptable,” Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) said on Twitter Friday."

WOW, I'm schocked, DJT not living up to an agreement...Not!!!

Article from Truthout;
https://truthout.org/articles/trump-announces-plan-to-refuse-congressional-oversight-of-corporate-bailout/

Posted by: ben | Mar 29 2020 18:16 utc | 24

Rabbit, another clue is that the Western govs have done nothing to help their citizens with the simplest ad the cheapest advice they could have given since January: strenghten your immunity.
They could have subsidized fruits and vegetables but it seems that Macdonald knows better.
When i saw the reactions of some here against simple advice such as drinking herbal teas (cleansing the drugs and booze and many other things), I understand it is not easy, but even supra-rationalists like Campbell say "i don't know how to boost your immunity but I know how to reduce it: junk food, alcohol, etc".

How come it was not possible in Europe since January to encourage people via simple Tv programs in being a little healthier that they are usually?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 29 2020 18:17 utc | 25

@5 vk

From the Nature Medicine piece However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone. Instead, we propose two scenarios that can plausibly explain the origin of SARS-CoV-2: (i) natural selection in an animal host before zoonotic transfer; and (ii) natural selection in humans following zoonotic transfer.

So the SCMP is deliberately missing out the scenario that it mutated in an animal host and that the only reason to not explore the possibility that it was engineered is that there is no public data on it. There is a lesson here, always go to the source and find out what they really said rather than some 2nd or 3rd hand account which is probably slanted by everything from politics to simple human prejudice.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 29 2020 18:19 utc | 26

Ref Spring break parties etc, the same was going on in Europe with carnival season in Germany, Belgium, some areas of the Netherlands which are now the most affected, some areas in France...
I see it differently: in the world of insurances and legal money-makers, anyone cancelling an event knows he may have to reimburse. That's also how I understand some poor countries not being able to close their borders earlier. All waiter for an order from above, i.e. the US.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 29 2020 18:21 utc | 27

Analyzed retrospectively, "planned" events such as 9/11 or the JFK assassination reveal a great degree of contingency planning. As well, the traumatic centrepiece was experienced by most persons in the role of spectator. It is unlikely this Coivid event is "planned" as there is no possible way to account for the myriad contingencies involved in a widespread pandemic and economic crash. Everything was going fairly well for the west's elites, why risk it all with a pandemic which might yet upend/bankrupt the entire system?

Posted by: jayc | Mar 29 2020 18:35 utc | 28

US pulling back from another base.
https://www.rt.com/news/484429-american-troops-leave-kirkuk-iraq/

US recently shipped patriot batteries to Iraq. I am now thinking that US is putting all it forces in Iraq behind air defences in preparation for coming US moves.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 29 2020 18:41 utc | 29

jayc | Mar 29 2020 18:35 utc | 28

Why pay €10 for something when you can get it for $1?

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/shortselling.asp

It's hard, but one really has to make an effort to understand the psychology of people who are
1. Obsessed with money and power to the exclusion of all else.
2. Have a very different conception of care/empathy/love - if any at all.


Posted by: dennis | Mar 29 2020 18:43 utc | 30

NHK News (Japan) announced that henceforth it will revert to Tradition when referring to Japanese citizens by name and will, in future, call PM Shinzo Abe, Abe Shinzo.

It seeped out in an Oz TV interview with a business pundit that Oz.gov isn't set up to quickly get unemployment benefits into the hands of suddenly, desperately, needy unemployed Australians. The reason is that in NeoLib Oz the Commonwealth Employment Service was set up to find excuses to AVOID paying unemployment benefits to people without work or an income. Moreover, CES was appropriately UNDERSTAFFED to guarantee that even successful applicants would face a long wait before the first payment trickled down to them.
There is no quick, easy, or cheap way around this roadblock because much of the CES's workload has been farmed out to expensive Private (prevarication) Contractors.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 29 2020 19:03 utc | 31

@19 JR I share your pessimism. Thinking of the Denver Airport mural:

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0J5xCRN3uFcXVqcE48VRCbseQ

Notice the mask..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 29 2020 19:04 utc | 32

US listed close to 20,000 new cases yesterday. In a week or two around 10% will be in critical condition and requiring suitable hospital care. New cases will continue to grow in the US so long as there are enough test kits. 2,000 plus patients per day requiring hospital bed for 2 - 3 weeks.
Making ventilators will be a booming business for the coming months.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 29 2020 19:04 utc | 33

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/on-air/tanks-on-a-train-dodgers-parking-lot-full-socal-looks-different-during-pandemic/2335612/

"Don't worry your little heads about it. Those tanks you saw are just on their way for routine testing!" . . . .

Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 19:11 utc | 34

@ Posted by: TJ | Mar 29 2020 18:19 utc | 26

The article I linked literally mentioned the specific mutation that indicates the virus mutated among animals, then among humans. It's literally there. It didn't omit anything.

And the article didn't state it's findings were conclusive. It only state that it was likely the virus mutated many times in animals until it could reach humans, and then among humans (maybe for decades, no one knows) before being a disease in humans. Which is the correct conclusion to take, since no one has a time machine to know for sure.

Posted by: vk | Mar 29 2020 19:15 utc | 35

A Russian firewall for Venezuela against US sanctions
https://indianpunchline.com/a-russian-firewall-for-venezuela-against-us-sanctions/

Nice piece -- it explains that Rosneft selling its Venezuela subsidiary (to the Kremlin) is a way to avoid possible US sanctions. The deal will solidify Russia's position in Venezuela.

Posted by: occupatio | Mar 29 2020 19:18 utc | 36

Everything was going fairly well for the west's elites, why risk it all with a pandemic which might yet upend/bankrupt the entire system?

Posted by: jayc | Mar 29 2020 18:35 utc | 28

Everything except for the massive corporate debt bomb the banks and corporate CEO's had been constructing over the course of the last 10 years.

Now that debt liability has been transferred to US taxpayers. Hooray! Champagne all round!

"Wasnt our fault! Blame Corona virus" the guillotine-dodging theiving scumbags will claim

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 19:19 utc | 37

Question, given his stance on COVID-19 why is he wearing a mask?

Bolsonaro calls coronavirus lockdown in Brazil's major cities a 'crime'


BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday blasted as criminals the governors and mayors of Brazil’s largest states and cities for imposing lockdowns to slow the coronavirus outbreak, as tensions with his health minister simmered.[.]

The death toll rose to 57 from 46 while confirmed cases rose to 2,433 from 2,201 the day before.[.]

“Other viruses have killed many more than this one and there wasn’t all this commotion,” Bolsonaro told journalists. “What a few mayors and governors are doing is a crime. They’re destroying Brazil.”

Mostly likely Jair has a luxuriously stocked bunker in the mountains.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 29 2020 19:26 utc | 38

@Posted by: Clarkjr1 | Mar 29 2020 14:54 utc | 2

Yeah..add that in Chile they were going towards a Constituent process with Piñera cedding even into concessions to the demonstrating masses, in Brasil Bolsonaro was about to fall, Macron could not get his pension reform through,...people were becoming really ungovernable in many places... then, in Spain, a government of coaliton of the left had rised to power, and in the North of Italy a leftist movement had propped up the central governmetn against far-right populists in the last regional elections..., and all of a sudden...all this happens...

Even taking into account the collateral damage, mainly affecting working people and lower middle class, since the big business and banks will be rescued, as always, and their loses socialized, cui bono?

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Mar 29 2020 19:27 utc | 39

@ vk and TJ

Looks to me like Dr Francis Collins, director of the US National Institute of Health, goes out of his way to spin the research to conclude that the virus is not of lab origin. That conclusion is not borne out by the research, and points to how research is being politicized to distance the US from the virus. Since there is now a consensus that Wuhan is not clearly the origin, the origin is being pushed back 'decades' prior, in effect discouraging anyone from looking for the actual source. How convenient.
As the adage goes, don't believe it until it is officially denied.

Posted by: occupatio | Mar 29 2020 19:29 utc | 40

Share buybacks https://mobile.twitter.com/trevornoren/status/1208058121203023872

Non-threadbreaking link

Buyback Boom Companies are spending billions buying back their own shares. For the first three quarters, this year's buybacks have surpassed last year's as the most since the 2008 financial crisis.
Companies spending the most on buybacks through Sept. 30
BUYBACKS, IN BILLIONS
CHANGE IN SHARES CHANGE IN
OUTSTANDING SHARE PRICE $600 billion
Buybacks by all U. S. companies, through Sept. 30 of each year
Apple
$30.2
V2. 8%
A 8.1%
Microsoft
14.2
v3.0
A16. 7
500
Qualcomm
9.6
v5.5
V33.2
American International Group 7.5
w7.6
A 11.1
400
Gilead Sciences
7.0
v2.7
13.0
300
Oracle
6.8
v29
v 12.5
Wells Fargo
6.7
V1.0
1.8
200
AbbVie
6.3
A39
6.6
Pfizer
6.2
V21
3.3
100
Boeing
6.0
A14. 9
O

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 19:36 utc | 41

cui bono?

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Mar 29 2020 19:27 utc | 39

Blackrock, JPMorgan, CitiBank, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Santander, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, HSBC, UBS . . . . .

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 19:39 utc | 42

How Stock Buybacks Destroy Shareholder Value

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 19:42 utc | 43

TJ @ 18
Thanks for the advice re—— Hydoxychoroquine self- medication. I’l take that advice and hope for more info in near future. I have a sister in London (hot spot)
Thanks also Likklemore @ 6 good point.
For now don’t risk it !

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 29 2020 19:59 utc | 44

The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.

Apparently a low cost ventilator was constructed years ago by direction of the Federal government. The company was bought out by another company that produced higher costs ventilators and the project died.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 29 2020 20:02 utc | 45

So there are a lot of wacky theories out there. Here's mine and warning: I'm pissed at what I'm witnessing.

1. The way health industry workers including maintenance support personnel are carrying the load on the front lines of this pandemic is UNSUSTAINABLE and inhumane both for staff and patients. This story must be EXPOSED in every global hot spot.

2. This pandemic is a WAR, so let's attack it and behave like we are in the midst of a World War.

3. All gloved hands must be on deck for this. Healthcare workers should not be burdened and risking everything in the manner that we are starting to become aware of now in the West. Why should they be subjected to such stress and burden and all the risk while millions of ABLE-BODIED PEOPLE languish at home collecting a check for doing nothing. Where is the government on balancing this chaotic, unjust situation?

4. There are many, many service jobs associated with healthcare and needs brought out by this pandemic that don't involve close contact. The need is great.

5. Governments think the military can help in this crisis? Use it! Better to use them for healing than killing.

6. Need more help? Then recruit college and university students without underlying health conditions between the ages of 17 to 35. Hell, recruit from all healthy, able people under 50 collecting UI.

7. No one should be languishing at home collecting free money while everyone working in the healthcare service industry, and senior residences suffer 24/7 with crazy shifts getting sick!

I know what I'm bitching about. Both my parents were afflicted with cancer a few years apart. I practically lived my life in the hospital and witnessed need wherever I turned in normal times and helped in whatever way I could through the entire ordeal. There is an aging population crisis happening around us and everyone's acting like this is la-la land and who cares!

8. This pandemic is emphasizing deficiencies everywhere in the system, especially moral deficiencies.

9. This pandemic is war, and many are needed on deck to end it! If able bodies want a free ride, to collect a check and languish while others suffer...damn it...draft them or cut off the funds!

10. It's time to go above and beyond the clapping, already! Everyone should be shouldering the need wherever they can.

It's time to organize and share in the work and responsibility involved.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 29 2020 20:03 utc | 46

@ Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 29 2020 19:26 utc | 38

There's an open class struggle going on in Brazil right now.

After successfully destroying the left-wing, the Brazilian right-wing is again divided.

On one side, there's Brazilian big business - the "center-right" ("centrists", "moderates") - right now being led by São Paulo's governor, billionaire and playbody João Doria, who's defending a full lockdown, whatever it takes to containg the COVID-19 etc. etc. For context, São Paulo is still by far the richest State of Brazil, and the Brazilian bourgeois' Festung, to which they successfully fell back each time the Worker's Party (PT) won the federal elections in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 and launched a counter attack that ultimately destroyed the PT and thus the Brazilian Left.

The Brazilian right will thus go where São Paulo leads them, and the main MSM, Rede Globo (which is from Rio de Janeiro, because it is a relic of the military dictatorship era) is also backing him.

On the other side, there's president Jair Bolsonaro himself. After losing support from big business thanks to his failed economic policies, he's now trying to rally support from the last chunk of his supporter base: the petit bourgeoisie and a good chunk of the lumpenproletariat.

The center of the dispute lies into this: big business can afford to be at a two month plus lockdown because they have the cash reserves necessary to do so, but small and medium business do not. Big business wants to extend the lockdown the most possible because, by wiping out small and medium business, a new vital space for capitalist expansion could open up (akin to a mini post-war reconstruction). Small and medium businesses obviously don't want that, so they are doubling down on the "it's just a flu"/"people die anyway" narrative in order to force the working class to go back to work.

The working class is equally divided: the unionised workers have rights and can afford to be in home quarantine, but the informal workers do not. Among the informal workers, there's also a wide array of conditions: from those who have de facto some basic rights to those who have absolutely none. Those who have no rights obviously want to go back to work, as that's better than to starve to death.

Posted by: vk | Mar 29 2020 20:04 utc | 47

Molecular test labs do not grow on trees nor are they conductive to mass large scale testing...

Why It Takes So Long To Get Most COVID-19 Test Results

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 29 2020 20:20 utc | 48

jayc #28

Consider. Accidents happen. Even in the USA especially bad accidents in bio-warfare labs.
Then coverups happen.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 29 2020 20:22 utc | 49

@44 Mark2

A trial is currently being organised.


Posted by: TJ | Mar 29 2020 20:24 utc | 50

>Looks to me like Dr Francis Collins, director of the US National Institute of Health

He is no longer AWOL? You have seen or read a recent interview? For at least a month or two, it has been Fauci, Fauci, Fauci, and not a hint of his boss Collins. Perhaps Collins has been too busy handing out guitar picks.


NIH Record
At the outset of his... presentation..., NIH director Dr. Francis Collins described new guitar pick-shaped lapel pins ... popping up around NIH and even on Capitol Hill that tout “Hope at NIH.” These arose not only out of Collins’ reputation as a musician, but also as “insignia that we believe in what we are doing,” said Collins. “You want to pick NIH and you want to pick hope,” he said, inviting the group to wear the symbols with pride.

Who needs research or effective planning when we've got "Hope at NIH"?

In 2017 he was been busy promoting Mind/Music/Magic pseudo-science. Maybe he got lost backstage.


“Music and the Mind,” on the intersection of music and science. There will be performances, presentations, and discussions by Dr. Collins, Ms. Fleming, the National Symphony Orchestra, neuroscientists, music therapists, and others. Some events are free, open to the public, and will be streamed online

Too bad he is too busy to run his $35 billion agency. Good thing he has Fauci to do it for him.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 29 2020 20:25 utc | 51

To me the coronavirus numbers increasingly DON'T justify the economically suicidal lock downs - its all looking more and more like disaster capitalism in its purest, blood-stained form, a massive smash and grab raid on ordinary people...

https://richardhennerley.com/2020/03/29/the-new-crown-virus-a-coronavirus-parable/

Posted by: Richard | Mar 29 2020 20:32 utc | 52

Mark2
With the quinine type drugs, at doses to treat existing disease, there is only a narrow window between taking enough and toxicity.
For prevention though, they are used at much lower levels and much larger window between taking enough and toxicity.
Those drugs work by blocking the bugs from infecting new cells and it is body levels that count.
To treat existing disease (malaria) chloroquine and quinine I think are both 600mg the first day and 300mg for a week or so. Hydroxychoroquine is a derivative of chloroquine and from what I have read is used in conjunction with other anti viral drugs to treat corona virus, whereas chloroquine is used on its own.
Preventive dose of chloroquine - quinine is 300mg per week. Tonic water bitters ect originate from
the original British anti malaria tonic. Chloroquine in very small amounts in lab tests blocks corona virus completely. There has been no tests on quinine vs corona virus bit I suspect it will be the same. Chloroquine is the synthetic version of quinine which only come from bark.

Tonic water can be bought anywhere or easy to make and having a few drinks with tonic water wont do much harm. Best though to look what quinine does not go well with - medications, health issues ect. My wife has a pacemaker and when we looked it up quinine can mess with heart rhythm so she cant take the stuff.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 29 2020 20:33 utc | 53

https://mobile.twitter.com/brasco_aad/status/1244034490420334592

Looks like a miss to me, curious what others think?

Posted by: Joe | Mar 29 2020 20:36 utc | 54

Circe, you are right, but from what i see in France it seems that narcissist personalities are not good at organizing anything.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 29 2020 20:43 utc | 55

After reading Ms. Johnstone's most recent that our host linked above, here is my latest off-the-cuff prediction for the year: Americans will still be finding dead bodies in homes and apartments all the way to Christmas.

In America there will be individuals, maybe whole families, who die in their homes simply because they have no alternative. Their bodies will go undiscovered until someone tries to collect on their debts.

I'm betting we will not know the body count until next summer.

Interesting times! And it only gets more interesting from here. American oil refineries paying to produce gasoline... negative profits, which you know no capitalist will tolerate for long.

This nexus of crises is beginning to appear biblical in scale. Perhaps as it really heats up over the coming months in the US the fundamentalist religious types of all Abrahamic flavors will get psyched up enough to do mass rapture-suicide. The Malthusians in our midst who believe that overpopulation is the problem with the world would be ecstatic at that development as it would partially relieve them of having to act on their beliefs.

Fun times indeed!

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 29 2020 20:47 utc | 56

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 29 2020 19:04 utc | 33

"Making ventilators will be a booming business for the coming months."

Yesterday I posted a small company in Shenyang, Liaoning province China manufacturing ventilators and repost again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQFHmjUxS04

Beware what you posted it could be another "evergreen" machine. My trained eyes with engr. background tell me ventilators are not an exact science, just another piece of "look complicate electrical gadget" Life saving machines - pieces or assembled together from various plastics, mechanical, electrical components. If I'm young again, I can manufacture it somewhere in China but not Shenzhen or SEA countries but in places like Heilongjiang, Xingjiang where Labors are cheap and workers trainable and with States support.

and beat the shits like the massive corporations GM, FORD, 3M or even the best of the best Trump can boast. and I'm not bragging!

I designed (Autocad) and manufacture machines in the 90s beside doing other things as a one-man show. Hard to explain, I'm unable to articulate in Eng well. Simply -- if you understand Japanese JIT manufacturing - Toyota's Honda, or any Japanese company, Country-City-town-village-home making big/small parts and collectively assembled it, ended in the assembly-line finally out the door. In 1895 Qing dynasty ceded Taiwan Province to Japan. After WW2 Taiwan doing exactly, learned from Japanese occupation. In the 70, up to 90s, they followed exactly the Japanese JIT manufacturing. China is so successful following the Taiwanese path success stories...

In the 90s I was sourcing components and parts for my designed machine. I traveled to - Adelaide and Melbourne for machined cylinders, - Taiwan Kaohsiung and Tainan for electrical, plastic knobs etc. including machined parts.... I was stunned found myself in the middle of rice paddy fields with a tall structure building in the mist. Inside few people working with just a massive CNC milling machine. They too buy parts from other company and assemble pneumatic air cylinders. They manufacture only one part and assemble cylinders sell it all over Taiwan and the world.

Posted by: JC | Mar 29 2020 21:01 utc | 57

William Gruff @ 56
Interesting times! And it only gets more interesting from here. American oil refineries paying to produce gasoline... negative profits, which you know no capitalist will tolerate for long.

Amazing, crack spreads were the highest in history in California 4 months ago due to numerous issues at plants. Now the industries production tankage is near full and plants will be going into standby mode soon. They cant even take advantage of this to complete large scale outage work as it would require the introduction of thousands of workers into small spaces.

Typically a war would need to be started. Something like a mass attack on Saudi facilities might suffice in the short term with the added advantage of blaming it on Iran.

Ms. Johnson may be right. People will be stumbling across dead homeless people for years to come. One wonders if that will be a vector unto itself.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 29 2020 21:05 utc | 58

"There has been a huge amount of planning for a pandemic.." Jackrabbit@19

There has been a lot of planning for a pandemic. That there would be one was never in doubt. It was regarded as being inevitable.
The problem is that the measures that needed to be taken directly contradicted the capitalist insistence on immediate profits: building reserve capacity into the health system (or rather refraining from the temptation to slim down the system to the very minimum needed capacity) was just something that capitalist regimes, desperate to cut taxes and otherwise distribute public funds to the wealthy, could not bring themselves to do.
A case in point-to which I gave a link to in the paywalled Toronto Star on an earlier thread- was the revelation that, after the Sars outbreak the Province of Ontario, following the advice of a Judicial enquiry, stockpiled respirators and masks against just such an emergency as we face today. 55 million masks, in fact, were purchased and, after 2017, destroyed or sold.

"..It seems likely that that planning has also included how a pandemic can be gamed to benefit TPTB. We are seeing plenty of CYA propaganda that excuses government failures and attempt to minimize the virus threat. But IMO they know that they're doing."

If by 'planning' you are referring to brainstorming by businesses, individuals and political interest groups you are right. But it doesn't mean much: it is of the nature of this society that there is a never ending fountain of ideas on how to make money out of disasters of every kind. In that respect the virus is simply another Bear market.
Those who infer, from the fact that capitalists and political opportunists never miss an opportunity to turn a profit, that the pandemic was deliberately shaped in order to impose an authoritarian order beg the question as to why the ruling class would want to do so.
Looking back on the 1930s it would be interesting to see how many people put forward the theory that the Wall St Crash was deliberately engineered in order to: (fill in this space according to taste.)
That is how many people apart from the Nazis who "knew" that the Jews were behind it and used it for their own nefarious purposes.
(For those with limited understanding of the language by "knew" I mean 'insisted without evidence'. Only complete idiots believe that The Crash was deliberately brought about. Just as today only fascists and idiots believe that the pandemic was planned and implemented in order to advance the agendas of TPTB.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 29 2020 21:05 utc | 59


I gather that the current price of a barrel of Alberta tar sands produced 'diluted bitumen' is under $7.
What are the break even prices of fracked and heavy oil products?
My guess is that every barrel of oil being produced by either method is losing at least $25, without taking into account the usurious interest rates at which frackers are capitalised.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 29 2020 21:11 utc | 60

@29 Posted by: Peter AU1

yeah, that's what I'm also thinking. They're betting on the Patriots dealing with what Kataib and IRGC can throw at them when the shooting starts.

Posted by: rt | Mar 29 2020 21:14 utc | 61

thanks b and to the many fine posters who make up moa..

Posted by: james | Mar 29 2020 21:17 utc | 62

@ 60 bevin... you might enjoy this article that was sent to me yesterday... i wasn't familiar with the website thetyee.ca

Game Over for Kenney

Posted by: james | Mar 29 2020 21:20 utc | 63

Quick recap: Given nCOV epidemiological description, I have created a model which calculates expected deaths from "confirmed" case numbers as well as expected nCOV cases backwards from mortality totals.
The purpose of this exercise is to get an idea of just how many nCOV cases might actually be out there, since "confirmed" cases are more a reflection of the amount (or lack of) testing while actual deaths are a fairly firm statistic but is backward looking.
In the case of South Korea - which is doing a lot of testing, the CCD and DSU columns are almost identical. In contrast, Italy's DSU column is dramatically different than the number of "confirmed" cases; for Italy, the DSU/CCD ratio is nearly 20 (i.e. there could be 20 times more actual nCOV infected people than the confirmed numbers).
The idea is that the CCD and DSU numbers can give a range of possible values for what is really happening in different countries as well as to put published data in context.
I have also added the testing numbers from Wikipedia's page for reference, and also added a "CCD based actual per 10M population" as well as a "DSU based actual per 10M population" to put the relative numbers between countries in context.
The relative "DSU act/10M pop" numbers shows the differences in nCOV public mortality on the same scale between different countries: Italy is running over 3.5x that of New York, Spain is over 2.8x vs. New York, but New York in turn is 16.5x times South Korea.
Italy's mortality is almost 60x worse than South Korea on an equal population basis. South Korea's population is 50.8M vs. Italy's 60.8M, but there are 152 South Korean nCOV deaths vs. 10,779 for Italy.
Also, some German testing numbers showed up. The data shows that Germany is testing more than any nation except South Korea: nearly 8 tests per confirmed case vs. South Korea's 20 tests per confirmed case. Compare to New York: a bit under 3 tests per confirmed case - meaning it is highly probable that the New York situation is not at all well mapped out.
CCD DSU for March 29, 2020

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 29 2020 21:28 utc | 64

'In contrast, Putin has settled on a more rational and compassionate plan. He’s going to launch a relief program that actually focuses on the people who need it the most. Then, he’s going to cover the costs by taxing the people who are most capable of shouldering the burden. His intention is not to “soak the rich” or to redistribute wealth. He simply wants to find the most equitable way to share the costs for this completely unexpected crisis."'
https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/putin-says-the-rich-must-pay-for-the-corona-virus/

Posted by: brian | Mar 29 2020 21:35 utc | 65

What goes around, comes around:

How much should the public know about who has the coronavirus?

NYT is using freedom of speech in order to end freedom of speech. What a time to be alive.

Posted by: vk | Mar 29 2020 22:04 utc | 66

Only complete idiots believe that The Crash was deliberately brought about. Just as today only fascists and idiots believe that the pandemic was planned and implemented in order to advance the agendas of TPTB.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 29 2020 21:05 utc | 59

Keep in mind, as you read the words of this idiot, that he spent months (if not years) polluting the comment threads on this very website, screaming words and phrases like "racist" and "useless conspiracist" at anyone correctly claiming that ISIS was a US/Anglo-Zio proxy.

The man is an idiot, his ability to correctly analyse events in realtime is completely non-existant

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 22:06 utc | 67

4 Tweets by the orange blob on how his coronavirus briefings have become a ratings bonanza. Meanwhile people including healthcare workers are literally dying around the world from this virus while he brags about how popular he is.

Sleazebag tweets

And his poll numbers are rising, in spite of people dying and the economy tanking. Welcome to the age of DEPRAVITY.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong Un, pissed at the continuing sanctions with the pandemic all around him has been test-firing multiple short-range missiles and holding back the big ones. So Trump sent a love letter wanting to bargain Coronavirus assistance for Kim's nukes, but Kim sees that Trump can't even control the pandemic on American soil. Nice try. Kim will go for China's assistance instead, if needed.

But should things get real crazy, Kim can still rely on some nukes while Trump is busy picking fights with Venezuela and Iran under worst sanctions in the midst of a pandemic.

So if you think it can't get any worst...oh and I failed to mention that the neglected debt crisis could annihilate any economic boomerang and the woefully, equally neglected climate change might finish the job.

And Trump is more popular than The Bachelor! YIPEE! 🤗
😤

Posted by: Circe | Mar 29 2020 22:16 utc | 68

Russia Concerned by Proximity of US Bioweapon Labs Amid Outbreak


The official slammed US authorities for blaming China for the COVID-19 pandemic and manipulating its data on the virus, and in turn, accused the United States of spinning the global health crisis into political attacks.

"We do have questions for the US. It would be nice to hear its justification for placing so many labs near Russia and China, instead of its playing propaganda games with the coronavirus", the official said.

https://sputniknews.com/russia/202003291078751261-russia-concerned-by-proximity-of-us-bioweapon-labs-amid-outbreak/

Posted by: brian | Mar 29 2020 22:23 utc | 69

TJ @ 50 Again big thanks to you. Regarding the research project mentioned, I will follow that up and report back !

PeterAu @ 53
I was hopeing against hope you would reply to my information request (@1) ! A massive thank you for the amazing work you have put into this subject, you deserve a meddle. Will take on board your @53
Respect

We can beat this you know, dam it! We will beat this.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 29 2020 22:30 utc | 70

clarkjr1 @2 got me scribbling some verses, enjoy

Covid as a magic spell
is really, really working well

first the fear seeps in your brain--

invisible dots with a spiky crown
that if you catch your lungs will drown

(cause Covid can bring a Cytokine storm
and other bits of dark fear porn)

once that thought is in your head
and you’ve had some time to stew in dread

magic Covid has a plan
of isolation from your fellow man

next, and this is really neat,
protests vanish from the streets

gone yellow vests and Hong Kong rage
when every home becomes a cage

in their mansions celebrities sing
while magic Covid does other things

like Nutty-Yahoo’s trial postponed
and war still waged down a deep, dark hole

now outstretches black swan’s wings
bringing chaos through every screen

problems, problems everywhere
but beware solutions and claims they care

real, or not, or some weaponized strain
the stress and anxiety brings real pain

and desperation, a variable creation,
should greatly alter your personal equation

Posted by: lizard | Mar 29 2020 22:34 utc | 71

@lizard

fantastic poem. bravo!

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 29 2020 22:40 utc | 72

China Fren or Foe? You decide after reading..... all especially the last one "The National Interest".

Italy Must Never Forget...Or Forgive

https://www.unz.com/estriker/italy-must-never-forget-or-forgive/

Turkey blocks 200,000 face masks destined to Italy

http://europeanpost.co/turkey-blocks-200000-face-masks-destined-to-italy/

In War Against Coronavirus: Is China Foe—or Friend?

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/war-against-coronavirus-china-foe—or-friend-138387

Posted by: JC | Mar 29 2020 22:43 utc | 73

Why does the US want to start another war with Iraq? Simple... You can't have a war with IRAN without having a hundred thousand troops in IRAQ. You can't "justify" a hundred thousand troops in IRAQ without a war with IRAN.

"Win-win" for the neocons...

This has been part of the slow "boil the frog" buildup for the *already-decided-upon* war with Iran that has been going on for the past couple years. Throw a few thousand troops into Syria...throw a few thousand more into Saudi Arabia...throw a few thousand more into Iraq...throw a few thousand more on ships in the Med and Afghanistan and wherever... Then when the "justification" for war with Iran is found...or manufactured...you can "surge" the rest of the hundreds of thousands you'll need.

It's all part of the plan. War with Iran is absolutely inevitable. Historically, no two countries with this amount of hostility between them can avoid war forever.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 29 2020 22:56 utc | 74

Just as today only fascists and idiots believe that the pandemic was planned and implemented in order to advance the agendas of TPTB.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 29 2020 21:05 utc | 59

±+++++++++++++++++++

Well, the Chinese leadership seems to think so. As does Pepe Escobar. Were they the Fascist idiots you had in mind?


https://consortiumnews.com/2020/03/18/china-locked-in-hybrid-war-with-us/ (including links at source)

    Adding all that to the fact that coronavirus genome variations in Iran and Italy were sequenced and it was revealed they do not belong to the variety that infected Wuhan, Chinese media are now openly asking questions and drawing a connection with the shutting down in August last year of the “unsafe” military bioweapon lab at Fort Detrick, the Military Games, and the Wuhan epidemic. Some of these questions had been asked– with no response – inside the U.S. itself.

    Extra questions linger about the opaque Event 201 in New York on October 18, 2019: a rehearsal for a worldwide pandemic caused by a deadly virus – which happened to be coronavirus. This magnificent coincidence happened one month before the outbreak in Wuhan.

    Event 201 was sponsored by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the CIA, Bloomberg, John Hopkins Foundation and the UN. The World Military Games opened in Wuhan on the exact same day.

    Irrespective of its origin, which is still not conclusively established, as much as Trump tweets about the “Chinese virus,” COVID-19 already poses immensely serious questions about biopolitics (where’s Foucault when we need him?) and bio-terror.

    The working hypothesis of coronavirus as a very powerful but not Armageddon-provoking bio-weapon unveils it as a perfect vehicle for widespread social control — on a global scale.


Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 22:58 utc | 75

Realist @75

I cannot speak for bevin, but I think that claiming that the pandemic -not necessarily the original outbreak in China but the spreading of the virus to the US and northern Europe- is part of the empire's plan does not make sense. Perhaps that is what bevin is saying.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 29 2020 23:10 utc | 76

Back in January I noted the fact that humanity has been at war with the Unseen Enemy for its entire existence, that all societies have some sort of plan to deal with the inevitable battle, and that the extent of those plans prove the measure of that society. The self-evidentness of my commentary was plain, and it elicited few comments. It's now 3.5 months later, and we can now measure which nations responded best to the challenge. A few I'll call the Moral Nations performed best at protecting their societies and are ascendant over the Unseen Enemy. A few others I'll call the Immoral Nations have performed the worst and are nowhere near close to declaring victory. They should be forced to hoist the Plague Flag above their national colors.

In the aftermath, only the Moral Nations ought to be viewed as suitable leaders for humanity, while the Immoral Nations behaviors should be used as tools for teaching how not to run a society. Who leads is of immense importance since there are still several crises facing humanity that must be solved that are intertwined--the political-economic and the environmental. Humanity must not allow itself to be fooled again into following the Immoral Nations, for their failure in the current crisis amounts to the third strike--if not more--against them, thus proving their unfitness. No matter their protests, they must be shoved to the sidelines and not allowed to interfere in solving the remaining crises. And it should come as no surprise that the Moral Nations are those who've been under attack for decades by the Immoral Nations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 29 2020 23:14 utc | 77

The scariest thing about the situation in the coming months is that despite the pandemic and economic crisis, the outcome of the Democratic primary - where voters seem to have consolidated behind the most prestigious, safe option against a sitting president, like Dole, Kerry, and Romney before - means Trump has little effective opposition. Biden every day shows his inability to be a galvanizing force on the national stage. His only enthusiastic supporters are a vocal minority of Maddow followers, and the progressive wing of the party, including the youth vote, is leaving this process even more alienated than in 2016.

Posted by: Cesare | Mar 29 2020 23:14 utc | 78

Centurion C-RAM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS#Centurion_C-RAM

I suspect the US will have a few of these along with the patriot and stinger based systems at the Iraqi bases they are retreating to.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 29 2020 23:21 utc | 79

Fauci, New England Journal of Medicine, March 26, “Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted”:

“If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968)…”

In those those “pandemic influenza seasons” of 1957 and 1968 did NOT result in any lockdowns. People went outdoors. They mingled. They sat in stadiums. They went to their jobs.

But thanks to irresponsible countries like China (anyones guess) Italy (looking for EU bailout), Iran (looking for sanctions relief), and some others who inflated their CFR’s and distorted the global CFR a panic ensued that was exploited by those with an agenda (big Pharma , MSM, Technocrats seeking more authority to overturn privacy and freedoms, etc) and the complete overreaction to the virus caused problems 1000 times more severe than the virus.

This is Bioterrorism, even if you accept its a natural virus. Inducing terror to achieve your objectives. There should be another Nuremberg Trial and those behind this or playing a role should be held to account. Don't hold your breath though.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 29 2020 23:26 utc | 80

Jackrabbit | Mar 29 2020 17:52 utc | 19:

Accountability? LOL


bevin | Mar 29 2020 21:11 utc | 60:

Break even price? Much higher than current market prices. Several years ago an old friend told me it was $65/barrel.


brian | Mar 29 2020 22:23 utc | 69:

My advice for both China and Russia is to preemptively strike against those bio-labs. Unfortunately, China doesn't have the fortitude. So, it's all in Russia's hands, again.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 29 2020 23:28 utc | 81

Pft 80

You and pompeo would make bestest of buddies. I hope you not spouting your bellingcrap stuff free of charge.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 29 2020 23:32 utc | 82

but I think that claiming that the pandemic -not necessarily the original outbreak in China but the spreading of the virus to the US and northern Europe- is part of the empire's plan does not make sense.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 29 2020 23:10 utc | 76

Stating "it doesn't make sense" is no counter argument. You being incapable of discerning any sense in it, does not negate it. Perhaps the fault lies with you.

The debt bomb has been long prepared, everyone in the corporate finance world knew it was coming, and all of them knew that the consequences would be brutal, potentially system-ending. I know this for a fact, i speak to these people every day.

What they needed was some method of absolving themselves of all blame. Corona lockdown & economic meltdown is that method

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 23:38 utc | 83

@79 Peter AU1:
Mostly the radars on those C-RAM's are the limiting factor. Apparently the Pantsir radar needed an upgrade after failing on some mortars/rockets/UAV's which did indeed damage jets in Khmeimim. I suspect the Phalanx will fare even poorer

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/does-russias-anti-drone-pantsir-s1-system-even-work-91251

Posted by: rt | Mar 29 2020 23:41 utc | 84

Pft @80

Pushing the empire narrative gets tougher by the day, doesn't it?

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 29 2020 23:41 utc | 85

The liability has now been "socialised", the debts being now underwitten by taxpayers. Through their silence on the matter, the fear filled populace concedes defeat

The system will continue as before. The guillotine has been dodged

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 23:43 utc | 86

I don't know if virus is bioengineered (by US), time will tell. What I do believe that there is very strong evidence virus originated in US in fall last year and they decided to throw it at China using those military games to ruin it.

But US's glorious plan completely backfired, oh the horror, who could foresee that.

Except that literally every US plan, proxy, tool etc. in recent history backfired.

Posted by: Abe | Mar 29 2020 23:46 utc | 87

"What they needed was some method of absolving themselves of all blame." --Realist @83

Could be, but if so it is still a massively incompetent own-goal. "They" may be dodging personal blame, but "they" are shifting that blame to the very economic paradigm that "they" depend upon for their power in society.

I don't think that will work out quite the way "they" hope, if indeed this is all their plan.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 29 2020 23:50 utc | 88

But US's glorious plan completely backfired, oh the horror, who could foresee that.
Posted by: Abe | Mar 29 2020 23:46 utc | 87


What's your proof it backfired?

If the target was not limited, not local but global, then how has it "backfired"

A virus with a 4 to 14 day incubation period before infection became detectable, during which the host would spread it liberally, was hardly, if engineered, intended to be confined locally

Posted by: Realist | Mar 29 2020 23:53 utc | 89

Could be, but if so it is still a massively incompetent own-goal. "They" may be dodging personal blame, but "they" are shifting that blame to the very economic paradigm that "they" depend upon for their power in society.

I don't think that will work out quite the way "they" hope, if indeed this is all their plan.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 29 2020 23:50 utc | 88

I see no evidence of an owngoal. I see an engineered recession depression. I see enforcement of lockdown. I see laws banning large gatherings. I see complete inability of any section of the population to physically protest without incurring the full wrath of law enforcement and many of their fellow citizens. Hardly a word of protest has been uttered regarding the transfer of massive debt liabilities onto the taxpayer

Posted by: Realist | Mar 30 2020 0:00 utc | 90

Realist @83--

One problem with your hypothesis is that 2+ years ago, Greenspan came out and admitted to the fact of an unsustainable, massive bubble in the Bond Market. I linked to this Keiser Report that noted his admission/confession, plus there are a great many other reports and essays relating to the falsity of the economic figures and what they're attempting to conceal. Furthermore as behavior by TrumpCo, particularly Pompeo's, shows, they were ecstatic in January at China's declaration of the COVID-19 attack and initially ignored what China said it would do in response--shutdown. Indeed, it took about 6 weeks for the reality of what China said to reach the tiny brains of TrumpCo and elsewhere within the West's financial matrix. As I wrote, it didn't matter if the event was natural or premeditated; what mattered was the very unanticipated Chinese and then South Korean responses--they weren't gamed whatsoever as proven by TrumpCo's response. It's as plain as day.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2020 0:01 utc | 91

SF Bay Area virus update for Sunday:

Alameda county (not including Berkeley)
Positive Cases: 240 +14
Deaths: 7 + 1

Berkeley
16 Cases No changes
Deaths Zero
The city is warning there is large scale transmission ongoing.
The absolute worst website and follow up in the SF Bay Area at the home of legendary UC Berkeley

Contra Costa County
175 Cases + 7
2 deaths

San Francisco County
Positive cases 340 +32
Deaths 5 +1

San Mateo County
Postive cases 277 +3
Deaths 6

Santa Clara County
646 Cases +55
Deaths 25
Public health Dashboard

Sonoma County No update for Sunday
Active Cases 40
Deaths 1
Recovered 13
Cumulative 54

Solono county No updates on the weekend
confirmed cases 34
Deaths 0
Active cases 12
total hospitalizations ever 12

Marin County No updates yet today
confirmed cases 68
Deaths 1
persons tested at County site 681
Hospitalizations 9

Santa Cruz County
Total cases 44 +5
deaths +1

Napa County
Active case 10 +1
Deaths

Not much on the news front. Hopefully the information detail will get better next week.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 30 2020 0:08 utc | 92

I've been unable to connect with ANY Russia-based website for the past two hours--RT, Sputnik, TASS, Kremlin website, Yandex, VK. Anyone else having this experience?!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2020 0:09 utc | 93

China Fren or Foe? You decide after reading..... all especially the last one "The National Interest".

In War Against Coronavirus: Is China Foe—or Friend?

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/war-against-coronavirus-china-foe—or-friend-138387
Posted by: JC | Mar 29 2020 22:43 utc | 73

±++++++++++


The "National Interest" is published be The Center for the National Interest


BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Henry Kissinger, Honorary Chairman
Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman Emeritus

Drew Guff, Chairman
Richard Plepler, Vice Chairman
Dov Zakheim, Vice Chairman
Senator Pat Roberts
Graham Allison
Jeffrey Bewkes
General Charles Boyd
Ambassador Richard Burt
Kris Elftmann
Jacob Heilbrunn
David Keene
Admiral Michael Mullen
Julie Nixon Eisenhower
Grover Norquist
William Ruger
Paul J. Saunders
Dimitri K. Simes
J. Robinson West
David Zalaznick

Posted by: Realist | Mar 30 2020 0:10 utc | 94

Realist @83--

One problem with your hypothesis is that 2+ years ago, Greenspan came out and admitted to the fact of an unsustainable, massive bubble in the Bond Market

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2020 0:01 utc | 91


++++++(

And this causes a problem for my hypothesis exactly how? You'll need to elaborate

As you do, please bear in mind that Mr Greenspan, as Fed Chairman, claimed exactly the same thing about credit default swaps several years before the last crash, and yet as Fed Chairman, he nonetheless continued the policies which encouraged their use


One might arrive at the impression the Mr Greenspan doesn't see the word "unsustainable" in quite the negative light which you or I might

Posted by: Realist | Mar 30 2020 0:21 utc | 95

Posted by: Mina | Mar 29 2020 18:17 utc | 25

another clue is that the Western govs have done nothing to help their citizens with the simplest ad the cheapest advice they could have given since January: strenghten your immunity.
They could have subsidized fruits and vegetables but it seems that Macdonald knows better.
When i saw the reactions of some here against simple advice such as drinking herbal teas (cleansing the drugs and booze and many other things), I understand it is not easy, but even supra-rationalists like Campbell say "i don't know how to boost your immunity but I know how to reduce it: junk food, alcohol, etc".

How come it was not possible in Europe since January to encourage people via simple Tv programs in being a little healthier that they are usually?

yes, of course. You are absolutely right, Mina. In supermarkets near the village I live, there was often a sign saying 'eat vegetables and fruit 5 times a day', although I always wondered how to do this. And how to afford it, for example for a family with many children, but anyway, such simple and efficient advices like a walk in the forest or climbing a small mountain make much more sense than to isolate and stay home. The latter makes sense also, but to remain or get strong in health is more important. Interestingly, these ads and posters in supermarkets are no more to be seen anymore. What can be seen are disinfection terminals at the entry*, and chips with a number that have to be given to the cashier after the purchase. In order to control every customer. Which I find logical in times of generally perceived or indoctrinated crisis.

To live the life as it is supposed to be for humans, a natural life in a natural environment which gives us all the things we need as biological entities, should be priority for governmental advice. They fail, but that's not a surprise, it can be predicted with assurance. It's not even their fault, because they rely on science, which in itself is misguided by subventions from governments. A circular reasoning. It's obvious for the discerning observer. There are many observers who keep a cool mind, we are not alone at all. We may even be the majority.

The logical conclusion is that we cannot rely on governmental advice. We cannot rely on many other advices spread by the media. We must rely on our own wisdom. Our own advice. Which is something that has been like this since long time. I read about ancient times where the Mir (Emir), who used to be educated in ancient wisdom and ancient science, declared the time of sowing and harvesting, and the populace profited from the Mir's wisdom and knowledge of season and constellations. But these times are gone, now we have no guide anymore than ourselves. The time has come to decide for ourselves, independently. The time is ripe for a self-determined society of autarkic citizens. It will take a generation or two, or ten, but such crises like this will only accelerate this transformation**.

Luckily I live in a very small mountain village where the people (all over 50 in age) naturally do what keeps them healthy, every day, and when I meet a neighbour I see an agile, friendly, fearless person with good taint (bronzed skin due to exposure to the sun and weather). Their eyes are flashing lights. Their smiles are wide and honest. Their jokes are subtle and funny, and unveil a deep understanding of life. We laugh often. They are not afraid of germs, or ticks, or anything exterior. Well, they may be afraid of what the doctor or what the authorities say, but not very much, and not for a long time. They know the 'exterior', they live in it, every day.

I know why I moved to this village 17 years ago. Because I wanted to live among good-hearted, well-minded, friendly, helpful, nice people who rely on their own strength and ability since childhood. I not only love this village, I also learned a lot from the people here. I'm not one of them, but I fit into their community perfectly well. One can find this kind of freedom in all people living in the mountains, worldwide. In towns it's also possible to find people who live a free, good life. It is possible everywhere. In the mountain area it is just more easy because of permanent exposure to nature, its dangers and its abundance.

Thanks again Mina, you point out the obvious that has been neglected and ignored by many other sources. This 'crisis' is a very positive thing. While at the same time I do care about the dead. It is not funny to die. But that is life. To my knowledge it is at a normal, even lower rate than usual. The panic is a self-propelled, self-accumulated media hysteria. Which is interpreted differently by people who are young or old in their full life juice, and people who are already sick or dependent on pharmaceutical drugs and doctor's advises.

The positive thing is that we can learn enormously much at this time, and evolve into a new state of mind. This event changes the global zeitgeist, the global collective awareness. It is happening right now. There will be no going back to the old normal. There is only the new normal. It's called development. In society, in spirit.

*I could expand on this, but I don't have the time right now, as this post is already long enough to read. We have time, time is our ally. No need to hurry.

**I'm not happy with this formulation, but I leave it as it is for now. Another topic I would need to expand, but I'm not a writer.

Posted by: Phil | Mar 30 2020 0:21 utc | 96

karlof1
No problems here.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 30 2020 0:23 utc | 97

Trump touts 15-minute testing as a "game-changer" ...

... but implementation of the technology was delayed for weeks and there is no firm date for delivery of the tests.

March 28: FDA grants emergency approval for 15-minute coronavirus test

Abbott said it is ramping up production to deliver 50,000 tests to the U.S. health care system starting next week.

March 17: Japan company launches ‘15-minute testing kit’

The tests, which were originally developed by a Chinese partner company, involve placing a few drops of blood and some testing agent onto a membrane... “The new product went on sale on Monday (3/16) and we are providing it to testing companies, hospitals, laboratories and universities,”

Feb. 15: China develops COVID-19 detection kit that delivers results in 15 minutes

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 30 2020 0:25 utc | 98

I don't know what OffGuardian thinks they're playing at, but they're going to look like absolute dumbasses as more and more bodies pile up in the streets. They're shredding their credibility.

I agree with being skeptical of state appeals to a need for security, but it should be clear by now that this is an epidemic. It isn't a manufactured threat.

I've asked deniers before: at what point do you concede that this actually a crisis? Because we're nearly at 34,000 deaths, and this thing is just getting going.

Posted by: Benjamin | Mar 30 2020 0:26 utc | 99

karlof1

Cui bono is the only thing to look at. All else could be deceiving.

US and its system were heading for collapse. Trump and his backers could see that. At the moment, this is starting to look like the great coronovirus reset. Bailouts coupled to big changes.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 30 2020 0:30 utc | 100

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