Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 24, 2020

Exceptionalistic Claptrap

The graphic below was published in a January 27 piece in Forbes. It shows the U.S., followed by the UK, to be the country which is best prepared for an epidemic.


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Life has since debunked that assertion. The U.S. and the UK were evidently less prepared than most other developed countries.

But such delusions are typical for U.S. media. They are part of the constant sublime propaganda that indoctrinates the U.S. population to believe that their country is the best and greatest ever.

Today the New York Times offers up a related piece of extreme self deluded claptrap:


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BERLIN — As images of America’s overwhelmed hospital wards and snaking jobless lines have flickered across the world, people on the European side of the Atlantic are looking at the richest and most powerful nation in the world with disbelief.

“When people see these pictures of New York City they say, ‘How can this happen? How is this possible?’” said Henrik Enderlein, president of the Berlin-based Hertie School, a university focused on public policy. “We are all stunned. Look at the jobless lines. Twenty-two million,” he added.

“I feel a desperate sadness,” said Timothy Garton Ash, a professor of European history at Oxford University and a lifelong and ardent Atlanticist.
...
The pandemic sweeping the globe has done more than take lives and livelihoods from New Delhi to New York. It is shaking fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism — the special role the United States played for decades after World War II as the reach of its values and power made it a global leader and example to the world.

No. The world is not missing American leadership. That's because most people of the world are not "ardent Atlanticists."

Their fundamental assumptions about the U.S. is that it is exceptional only in its warmongering and cruelty. Poll after poll have shown that "the world" does not have a widely positive picture of the U.S. It instead sees it as the greatest threat:

  • According to a 2017 Pew survey, 39% of respondents across 38 countries consider U.S. influence and power a major threat to their countries, compared to 31% for both Russia and China. That’s up from 25% in 2013, when the survey was conducted previously.
  • Approval of U.S. global leadership fell to 30% worldwide, per a January Gallup poll. That’s narrowly behind China (31%) and ahead of Russia (27%). It’s also the lowest score in the 10 years the survey has been conducted, and down from 48% in Barack Obama’s last year.
  • America’s favorability around the world has fallen sharply, particularly among key allies like Mexico, Canada and Germany. And that was before Trump's trade war and Iran deal withdrawal.

The NYT piece quotes four white European men from think tanks and universities who are all known for pro-U.S. views plus a French man of of Arab heritage who works for the Atlantic Council, a U.S. think tank financed by the U.S. government and U.S. weapon producers. A quote from one U.S. neoconservative is also included.

The NYT writer, Katrin Bennhold (pictured below), seems to think that their opinions represent "the world". Here is news. They don't.


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The delusion and fake historic views in that piece are breathtaking:

The country that helped defeat fascism in Europe 75 years ago next month, and defended democracy on the continent in the decades that followed, is doing a worse job of protecting its own citizens than many autocracies and democracies.

Bennhold can be happy that her editors have cleaned up that still bad paragraph. On Twitter she had formulated it as this:

Katrin Bennhold @kbennhold - 9:37 UTC · Apr 23, 2020

America, which liberated the Europe of my grandparents from fascism 75 years ago, has been a global leader for the past 75 years. Now it is leading in a different way: 842,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and 46,784 have died, more than anywhere else 2/6

The U.S. did not liberate Europe from fascism. The Soviet Union did that. Between 1942 and 1945 it destroyed the German Wehrmacht on the eastern front. One can reasonably argue that D-Day and the U.S. invasion of occupied France in June 1944 was a mere diversion for the much larger Operation Bagration the USSR was launching in the east.

And what please has the U.S. led but the wars on Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and numerous other countries?

Instead of defending democracy on the continent the U.S. launched coup after coup whenever majorities in Greece, Italy or other countries voted for too leftish parties. And who by the way helped to hold up Spain's fascist dictatorship under Franco?

Then this:

There is a special irony: Germany and South Korea, both products of enlightened postwar American leadership, have become potent examples of best practices in the coronavirus crisis.

The "postwar American leadership" killed 20% of all Koreans and supported fascist dictatorships in South Korea up to 1987. It has since opposed any South Korean leader who has tried to make peace with North Korea. What please was "enlightened" in that.

Someone should tell that ignorant and uneducated claptrap writer that the U.S. hegemonic 'leadership' is over and that the world has sound reasons to be happy about that:

Many defenders of U.S. hegemony insist that the “liberal international order” depends on it. That has never made much sense. For one, the continued maintenance of American hegemony frequently conflicts with the rules of international order. The hegemon reserves the right to interfere anywhere it wants, and tramples on the sovereignty and legal rights of other states as it sees fit. In practice, the U.S. has frequently acted as more of a rogue in its efforts to “enforce” order than many of the states it likes to condemn. The most vocal defenders of U.S. hegemony are unsurprisingly some of the biggest opponents of international law—at least when it gets in their way.

The relative decline of the U.S. is not a new development. It has been visible to outside observes for more than 20 years. But it is only now that some of the delusions that Hollywood,  main stream media and the establishment have held up for the last 20 years are finally falling away.

More such delusions will be buried when the extent of the new great depression the pandemic will cause becomes more visible.

Posted by b on April 24, 2020 at 17:23 UTC | Permalink

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Pennsylvania inflates COVID death toll.
Earlier this week, Pennsylvania started to include “probable deaths” in its fatalities. As a result, the total number of coronavirus deaths grew by 276, then 360, in successive nights, almost doubling the number of deaths in the state in two days. The Pennsylvania Department of Health subsequently removed 200 deaths from its count after facing mounting questions about the accuracy of the count.

Health Secretary Rachel Levine spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer about the initial decision to include probable deaths, as well as the decision to later remove those from the count.

A “probable death” is one that a doctor believes is caused by COVID-19, even though the patient is never tested for the virus.

Article here:

Officials from the state Department of Health provided several justifications for the fluctuations, citing technical issues, lengthy investigations, and the addition of “probable” deaths — those considered to be caused by the coronavirus but without confirmation from a test.

....

But facing mounting questions about the accuracy of the count, officials on Thursday removed more than 200 probable deaths from the tally, further complicating the state’s accounting of the pandemic. Health Secretary Rachel Levine said the change was made in an effort to be transparent.

....

The confusion began Sunday, when Pennsylvania raised its coronavirus death toll to 1,112 — an increase of 276 overnight. On Tuesday, the department reported another spike, from 1,204 to 1,564 deaths. In both cases, Levine said the surges reflected deaths that occurred days, even weeks, in the past. “These deaths did not happen overnight,” Levine said Sunday.

On Tuesday, Levine reported 300 probable deaths in the day’s count but appeared to indicate the situation was new.

“We will now be reporting probable deaths related to COVID-19 in addition to confirmed deaths,” she said.

....

https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/spl/pennsylvania-death-count-changes-confusion-coroanvirus-20200423.html

Posted by: Allen | Apr 25 2020 0:37 utc | 101

Miss Lacy @100

"Guido was on the same flight (from portugal) traveling under a false passport."

Would that he ends up like Lord Haw Haw (also a fascist) who was hanged for making a false statement when applying for a passport.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joyce

Posted by: krypton | Apr 25 2020 0:38 utc | 102

Allen @Apr25 0:07

You're really insulting our intelligence Allen.

There are likely to be very few people who die with Covid-19 (not from Covid-19) after a previous, unrelated determination that they had only weeks to live?

Compare those few with the thousands that are dying at home from Covid and not being counted. NYC corrected the under count:

New York City Coronavirus Death Toll Jumps by 3,700 After Uncounted Fatalities Are Added
... but other cities/counties/states have not.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2020 0:40 utc | 103

kare @105

That's a gem of pretzel logic there. Talk about moving the goalposts- at least do it artfully.

Fact is the entire BS Covid narrative is crumbling as fast as you can say Boo!

All time record lows in hospital usage throughout the US and much of the developed world.

Maybe stop massive cuts in hospitals in NYC, Madrid and Milan etc...and your problem is solved there. Until then keep chasing boogeymen.

Posted by: Allen | Apr 25 2020 0:40 utc | 104

kare | Apr 25 2020 0:24 utc | 104

Historians have speculated that if Britain had remained neutral in 1939 after Germany overran Poland, France, nor the U.S. would have not declared war on Germany, and the war would have been over in 1940 with the West aiding Germany in destroying the USSR and the hated communists.

Posted by: krypton | Apr 25 2020 0:49 utc | 105

Allen @Apr25 0:37

You seem to be ignorant of how this virus operates.

Once the virus has turned into Covid-19, the progression to fatality can be swift.

Everyone has been told to stay at home, even if they are sick. Many will think that they can 'ride it out' because they've also been told that, for most, it's just a minor illness.

So they die at home.

Why shouldn't they should be counted as a Covid-19 victim? It's not just some state official making it up. As your link states:

A “probable death” is one that a doctor believes is caused by COVID-19, even though the patient is never tested for the virus.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2020 0:53 utc | 106

Hi Miss Lacy,
I know it was a rhetorical question you posed about anyone caring about South America. Murka certainly does. We for sure know that Pompeus the Minimus certainly does. Ooh those oil fields...
Then there are those aquifers over by Paraguay...
And the new Zionist settlements popping up in Patagonia I hear about.
I didn't know about the flight from Portugal of Guido. More than likely visiting some distant relatives from the Salazar side of the family. And I love Portugal. I would leave Los Angeles in a heartbeat to live in Lisboa. Desafortunadamente, ya no es posible.
In case anyone is looking for a good book to read while on lockdown. I highly suggest "His Own Man" by Edgard Telles Ribiero. It's about a diplomat in Brazil during the dirty wars.
His Own Man. I'm sure many of you have read it, but I very much enjoyed it. The link is to the Good Reads website review.
I know this isn't an open thread, but maybe this posting doesn't stray too far from the subject. Something from another one of the Americas that isn't claptrap?
And I won't go on about music. (even though I would love to!) It's one of the few things that keep me sane. And a misspent youth listening to punk, metal, jazz, rap, country... gave me a political education.
But thank you Miss Lacy

Posted by: lex talionis | Apr 25 2020 0:53 utc | 107

edit #110:

neither France nor the U.S. would have declared war on Germany..

Posted by: krypton | Apr 25 2020 0:53 utc | 108

Palestine West. Heinz and his Mentor ("On Excellence" author), fully well intended for US to "dry up and blow away".

Posted by: Biloxi | Apr 25 2020 0:54 utc | 109

Thank you MOA. Truly a bright light in the dark. Great comments too. Are We The Commoners firing on enough cylinder verve to resurrect LIBERTY? This is the rub.

Posted by: Biloxi | Apr 25 2020 0:59 utc | 110

Actually the US was well prepared for the virus. In terms of beds and ventilators the US has the most per capita of any country. Why CDC did not restock the masks after 2009 is a criminal absurdity that should be investigated.

Heck we had Event 201 simulations and Crimson Contagion Exercises from Jan-August. We have spent tens of billions preparing for a Pandemic since 2005.

The US and Europes biggest problem was over reaction and killing the economy. They aren't stupid so I guess this was like the controlled demolition on 9/11. There is a larger purpose. Replace the War on Terror with the War on Virus (the virus being the bottom 90%).

Interesting all this fuss on a disease caused by a virus is all on Chinese scientists say so. They did not isolate and purify the virus and by their own admission did not check if it was infectious. Kochs postulate was not followed. Instead we have invalidated tests that in sick people say they have RNA pieces amplified by PCR said to be from a virus (not proven to be infectious) and we assume they are sick due to this virus. The more people you test the more people who test positive since the test is not 100% specific. Panic builds. What a racket

From the Chinese study


https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001017

“Although our study does not fulfill Koch’s postulates, our analyses provide evidence implicating 2019-nCoV in the Wuhan outbreak. Additional evidence to confirm the etiologic significance of 2019-nCoV in the Wuhan outbreak include identification of a 2019-nCoV antigen in the lung tissue of patients by immunohistochemical analysis, detection of IgM and IgG antiviral antibodies in the serum samples from a patient at two time points to demonstrate seroconversion, and animal (monkey) experiments to provide evidence of pathogenicity is needed “

Now as far as the numbers, I already pointed out the tests are suspect. Beyond that you have CDC instructing doctors that anyone who dies with covid-19 is to be counted as dying from covid-19, testing optional as one may use your judgement to diagnose it as covid-19 w/o a test. You also have the CARE Act which promises hospitals 15% more above current rates for patients diagnosed with Covid-19. Incentive to inflate numbers.

Excess deaths are easy to explain. Lockdowns. Suicides likely up. Stress induced heart attacks/strokes. Lack of treatment as sick patients have appointments/surgeries cancelled. People needing to go to ER delay too long out of fear. Financial woes causing people to choose between needed meds and food.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 25 2020 1:05 utc | 111

@dh-mtl

"Many of these dollars were exchanged for formal debt, bearing interest. How do you think China ended up with more than $1 Trillion of U.S. Treasury securities.

This printing dollars and spending them on imports creates a national debt that will eventually need to be repaid, with something of real value. Something that is hard to do whey your economy can't even produce as much as it consumes."

No, they just need to be paid some interest when their securities mature. Which is done regularly as part of Treasury operations. And all the business with these Securities is purely an accounting fiction mandated by Congress. We should just do away with US Federal government securities entirely, or at least end the pretense that they have anything to do with funding.


"By the way, printing dollars and spending them, with the idea that it incurs no debt, is like 'getting something for nothing'. Thermodynamicists will recognize that this violates the first law of thermodynamics, something that has never been observed in the history of the universe."

Money isn't a law of physics. It's a fictitious human creation, a social tool.

"Dollars are only of value if you can exchange them for something of value. Print enough of them and they will only be good for wallpaper"

The value is the Chinese etc having someone to sell their crap to, thus giving their people jobs. And are you fear-mongering about hyperinflation? Because that never happens absent a decline in real resources. And even then it doesn't happen merely because of money printing. The printing is a symptom, not the disease.

Posted by: Benjamin | Apr 25 2020 1:10 utc | 112

Pft Apr25 1:05

The article you cite was first published on January 24th 2020.

A lot has happened since then.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2020 1:15 utc | 113

---the CBO is projecting a decline of close to 40% SAAR in Q2.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 25 2020 1:31 utc | 114

I'd like to give a bit of info with respect to exceptionalism in a real sense, that was my own experience as a child in New Zealand during WW2. My father and other relatives had left to fight Germany in North Africa when I was two weeks old - he didn't return until I was five. Mu mother's brother was killed in North Africa.

When the Japanese entered the war, only the elderly kiwis, women and children, and some who didn't qualify for the army or were essential providers were left in the country. That was when American troops came and set up bases in New Zealand. My grandmother, with whom my mother and I lived, hosted them. They were far from home and fought in dangerous battles. Some didn't survive; I remember the photo of one. They were heroes to me and to many kiwis at the time.

Unlike today, those American troops didn't occupy New Zealand; they defended the country, and some died doing that. Afterward, they went back home.

It's why, with all its faults - and they are very grave and bloody faults that need to be corrected - I still love this country. I love those brave young men, the memory of them. They were exceptional.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 25 2020 1:35 utc | 115

Are we all live in times of military-medical dictatorship?

Posted by: cosmos | Apr 25 2020 1:45 utc | 116

james | Apr 24 2020 17:40 utc | 5

No one knows, but the other leading powers, Germany, Japan, China, and so on, will fight hard for a gradual decline, because a sharp decline, soon, creates a massive worldwide economic depression. I think they will succeed. They've been doing this for decades, buying US paper money for the last 40 years to prop up our currency while we stupidly allowed our industrial capacity to wither and die, using our artificially jacked-up currency to buy foreign stuff.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 25 2020 1:53 utc | 117

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 25 2020 1:31 utc | 119

Tnanks. Well, this is interesting. CBO projects worse situation in 2021 than the IMF, that is - a weak recovery and not a V-shaped recovery as IMF projected. A weak recovery in unemployment levels too. 10 % during 2021.

They also project worse debt levels than some US banks recently, that is - 108 debt to GDP by 2021. This could mean 120 % debt to GDP by 2030 instead of 92 % under the last year projections. And those 120 % are with large cuts in spending baked in, as well as with the expiration of some tax cuts.

In other words prepare for lots of money printing and stay out of the dollar after things with the pandemic stabilise. Move out of the dollar in july. The next 10 years will be bad for the US and by 2030 it will probably give up on most of Empire and return to the Western hemisphere.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 25 2020 2:30 utc | 118

CASE FATALITY RATE IN ENGLAND OVER 20%

The United Kingdom is number two on your "pandemic preparedness" list, but the situation there may be even worse than in New York. By April 24 England had 105,225 laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases and 17,372 related deaths in hospitals. This would mean a case fatality rate of 16,5%. The numbers however do not include people who died in care homes. These cases are only reported with a three-week delay by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The latest data for England and Wales is for the week ending April 11th:

Of deaths involving COVID-19 registered up to Week 15, 83.9% (8,673 deaths) occurred in hospital with the remainder occurring in care homes, private homes and hospices.

Dividing 16.5% by 0.839 gives us 19.8% The proportion of deaths in care homes is increasing, so the total case fatality number for April 24th can be even higher. (In many European countries over half of the total number of deaths happen in care homes.)

These numbers do not include the people who have tested positive and who are yet to die. I would not be surprised if 25% of the 105,225 people who have now tested positive would end up dead.

I rationalized the high case fatality rate in the United States with the lack of sick leave and the lack of universal health care. People would avoid getting tested if all it meant was having to quarantine oneself - without pay and without any help from society. Besides, few could afford the hospital bills anyway.

England, with the National Health Service should not have these barriers for seeking testing and care.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 25 2020 2:34 utc | 119

Jen 61

Of course it was mostly British revenge for Coventry and air Blitz on London. Very few factories or stategic targets where targeted.
Factories around Berlin were still operating; powered by Siemens almost till the end.
And one must remember the very close, partnership and financial bonds, linking the USA, GB, France, etc. with Germans industries.

Strategic bombing is still the first threat in US interventionism .Japan get the same treatment.

O.G. Wells did wrote a prescient book "The shape of the things to com" circa 1920
(no I am not that old) funnily optimistic: air bombing to end all wars.

Posted by: Charles Michael | Apr 25 2020 2:35 utc | 120


Stunning article from M. K. BHADRAKUMAR "Covid-19 has a grandma, grandpa and great grandpa. Where are they?"

"- Five top Chinese scientific organisations have collected the data 93 genome specimens of COVID-19 that have been published in a global database based on inputs from 12 countries on four different continents.
- The research has shown that the Covid-19’s earliest “ancestor” is a virus known as mv1, which subsequently evolved into haplotypes H13 and H38. (A haplotype is a group of genes within an organism that was inherited together from a single parent.)
- In turn, H13 and H38 evolved into a second-generation haplotype — H3 — which subsequently involved into H1 (Covid-19).
- That is to say, in plain terms, Covid-19’s “father” is H3; its “grandparents” are H13 and H38; and, its “great grandfather” is mv1.
- Now, although the virus that was discovered in the Wuhan seafood market (Covid-19) was of the H1 variety alright, only its “father” H3 has been spotted in Wuhan — and that too, NOT in the seafood market.
- Importantly, the Covid-19’s “grandparents” — H13 and H38 — have never been spotted in Wuhan.

Suffice to say, the original source of Covid-19’s spread is yet to be traced and the trail could lead to any direction. As of now, although Covid-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, its exact origin is yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, there are tell-tale signs. Thus, Ambassador Zhang recounted:

1) A married couple from Japan contracted Covid-19 while in Hawaii (where the US Pacific base is located) sometime between January 28 and February 3, although they had not visited China or had come into contact with any Chinese person. Notably, the husband had symptoms by February 3.
2) The media reported that Covid-19 has first appeared in Lombardy in northern Italy as early as January 1.
3) According to the renowned Italian medical specialist Giuseppe Remuzzi, the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy had begun spreading even before it started in China.
4) The well-known American virologist Robert Redfield — currently the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the leading national public health institute of the US and a federal agency) and the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a a federal public health agency based in Atlanta, Georgia) — has speculated that the large number of flu deaths in the US could have in fact been caused by COVID-19, but the US did not test for it at that time. (An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter.)
5) Shockingly enough, Italy wanted to trace the first infection case of Covid-19 by conducting an exhumation in the US of so-called flu victims, by the US has flatly refused permission.
However, contemporary science and technology is well-equipped to trace the trail of Covid-19 and it is absolutely certain that “sooner or later, the day will come when everything that’s been concealed will be revealed.” (Ambassador Zhang)

...

Clearly, the Chinese diplomat hinted that the trail of Covid-19 can and will be scientifically traced. Trump will have a serious problem if it transpires that Covid-19’s grandma, grandpa and great grandpa are actually domiciled in the US."

https://indianpunchline.com/covid-19-has-a-grandma-grandpa-and-great-grandpa-where-are-they/

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 25 2020 2:35 utc | 121

juliania @120: "I love those brave young men..."

What a difference a big dose of class consciousness makes, right? Those were working class Americans from a society on the verge of revolution. If the capitalist elites could have had their way (like they do now), then today New Zealand would be wall-to-wall condos, big box stores, and crappy fast food joints.

What you love about America is something that has not existed for generations. If the American working class had not been primed for revolution then the US would have joined WWII on the side of the fascists. The United States IS the fascists now.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 25 2020 2:57 utc | 122

They were highly thought of in oz too.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brisbane

The Battle of Brisbane was a riot between United States military personnel on one side and Australian servicemen and civilians on the other, in Brisbane, Queensland's capital city, on 26 and 27 November 1942, during which time the two nations were allies. By the time the violence had been quelled, one Australian soldier was dead and hundreds of Australians and U.S. servicemen had been injured

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 25 2020 3:14 utc | 123

Petri Krohn @ 24

Can you provide a link for Spanish Flu having a mortality of less than 0.24%?
The wiki entry quotes an estimate between 1% and 6% of the global population. Were you referring just to NYC?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu#Mortality
An estimate from 1991 states that the virus killed between 25 and 39 million people.[54] A 2005 estimate put the death toll at 50 million (less than 3% of the global population), and possibly as high as 100 million (more than 5%).[55][56] However, a reassessment in 2018 estimated the total to be about 17 million,[57] though this has been contested.[58] With a world population of 1.8 to 1.9 billion,[59] these estimates correspond to between 1 and 6 percent of the population.

Posted by: atomician | Apr 25 2020 3:26 utc | 124

@ daffyDuct | Apr 25 2020 2:35 utc |

A Cambridge University study suggests that the coronavirus might not have originated in Wuhan.

Virus origin: Scientists claim COVID-19 outbreak did not start in China's Wuhan
https://www.facebook.com/RTnews/videos/227745951632007/

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 25 2020 3:29 utc | 125

to James from a fellow Canadian northcom agreements.

Posted by: darkhorse241 | Apr 25 2020 3:46 utc | 126

James,https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/153/26353.html

Posted by: darkhorse241 | Apr 25 2020 3:48 utc | 127

sorry for the delay responding.. i've been busy with a drainage issue and with all the down time, i had been digging to china or the drain tiles - whichever came first!! it's been a 2 week project and i'm close to finished! i'd much prefer to be playing music..

@6 troothsayer.. thanks.. the situation in the usa today with the 30 mil you quote as being out of work due the lockdown is quite scary actually.. someone downstream mentioned a possible scenario of 'civil war'.. its possible with dynamics like the one going on at present.. a lot of people are going to get hurt and i am not talking about the ones who have or are going to die either thanks all the dynamics at play in the usa today..

@ 10 ben... thanks.. i always appreciate your comments!

@15 Weekender823.. what you say is true... it won't be just the usa that will suffer if the usa falls apart.. the whole world will suffer consequences, thus as some others have said that countries like russia ( @19 joost) and china are working at a soft as opposed to a hard landing.. that would be my preference as well, but i do think we are headed in this direction and it is just a question of time - how much - before the usa is completely broken.. in a funny way the usa is getting the leadership - what many would call a lack of leadership - in some sort of karmic context for all the pain they have put other countries thru since ww2..

@ 18 migueljose.. thanks... usa breaking apart within 1 year is pretty radical - kind of like how quickly the ussr broke apart? i can't see it happening that quick! trumps base might be weakening as you say, but it seems to me the small % who are profiting off others will go on no matter what.. i mostly think farms today are big agribiz like cargill.. as long as they get to lower working conditions while profiting with little or no tax, it will be biz as usual..

@33 augusto.. thanks... the perception of europe and the rest of the world towards the usa today has taken a beating as i see it, and with this covid thing too.. leadership is persona non grata in the usa... jeffrey sachs talks about this in an article a few days ago in the new yorker -Jeffrey Sachs on the Catastrophic American Response to the Coronavirus.. he makes some very good points.. basically trump is not up for the job of leadership..

@97 krypton.. thanks.. your quote - "Considering its militaristic history and civilian gun culture I think the most likely scenario is for the US to be headed for another civil war and eventually go down in flames in a matter of a year or two - mad max style." i can't see that and i certainly hope not, but i can't rule it out!

@ 99 100 miss lacy... i think there is a lot of fantastic music being generated in the usa today on a number of levels.. i know people like to focus on the old stuff - duke and etc. etc., but i do believe a lot of great art is still being generated in the usa.. the new york jazz scene is alive and well with places like smalls, lincoln jazz center and etc.. this is one area that i hope will continue to thrive regardless of how things pan out in the usa.. regarding south america - this is another place that has suffered from the insanity of the usa over the past 50 or more years too.. i didn't mention it, but it is ongoing still.. it is another reason i wish for some major change in the usa to prevent it from continuing on in its imperialistic mindset...

@ 124 fairleft.. yes, i agree.. many countries will try to engineer a soft landing for the demise of the usa.. this is why i think it will be a gradual change that takes 20 or more years.. but i could be wrong and it happens real fast too.. i am hoping for the former as opposed to the later..

@ 133/134 darkhorse 241... lets face it.. canada is almost like an appendage of the usa! little stevie (harper) went down to washington back in 2003 when chrietien said canada wasn't going to war in iraq or willing to support the usa and little stevie went down to apologize!! of course when he got into power he did everything he could to suck up to the usa... canada has lots of weak kneed vacuous politicians too, no doubt.. many of them would happily sell out canada for very little.. little stevie was one of those politicians.. thankfully he is no longer in power, but the damage he did is still in play.. look how we got used with the huawei topic? our braindead crystia freeland thought it was a good idea to get involved in a spat between china and the usa... we have some real losers in canuck politics, of that i am very aware!

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2020 4:11 utc | 128

dD @ 128 said;"Suffice to say, the original source of Covid-19’s spread is yet to be traced and the trail could lead to any direction. As of now, although Covid-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, its exact origin is yet to be determined."

Not exactly, IF there's any validity to this article;

https://breggin.com/us-chinese-scientists-collaborate-on-coronavirus/

Plenty of info in article to cross-check..

Posted by: ben | Apr 25 2020 4:40 utc | 129

William Gruff @ 129

My point was that it did exist at the beginning of my generation. I'm not dead yet. As I said, I'm well aware of what is happening now. I was pointing to a past, but vivid, experience. No need to make it an argument. I agree with b on the points he has made. I was simply saying that in my own experience there was such a time. I'm not knowledgable about a lot of subjects here, and I appreciate all who are better versed in international affairs - this was something I lived, and class had nothing to do with it. What does a child know about class? I'll grant you those were simpler times, and I guess as one ages childhood memories become more vivid. I treasure mine.

I will note to b that my father had great respect for Rommel. But as I say, simpler times.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 25 2020 4:54 utc | 130

Ben

Vineet D Menachery Ralph S Baric - Americans - headed the work by what I could make of it. The Chimera could only infect mouse cells. All experiments were done by Americans most like;y in the US. I suspect it was put down to Wuhan due to laws being passed against gain of function work in the US.

That was all public civilian work. No doubt though the US military would be able to use that research to build a human virus.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 25 2020 5:19 utc | 131

On D-day there were 5 beach landings. The Americans had 2. The British had 2. The Canadians had 1. Every year the Netherlands has a thank you day celebration, Liberation Day, to remember those that liberated them from the Nazis. They are not thanking the US. They are thanking the Canadians. The Canadians who declared war on Germany in Sept 1939 (15 months before the US was in WW2). The Canadians who were in WW1 (August 4, 1914) for over 2.5 brutal years in some of the most bloody battles in history before the US dropped in for desert (April 6, 1917). Thanks for single handily winning both world wars America.

https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/holland-stories/liberation-route/canada-and-the-liberation-of-holland.htm

Posted by: Dr Scanlon | Apr 25 2020 5:35 utc | 132

Hmm juliana, I can only remember what my mother told me. She wasn't a child at that time she was a student whose bloke was overseas, stuck in europe flying protection on the convoys up to Murmansk, she and her five sisters who ranged from late teens to late twenties remember the amerikan military as a source of fear, sexual assualt & STD incidence's went through the roof. Humans are humans everywhere with the usual mix of decent & sociopathic among the ordinary citizens.

The amerikan elite however were another kettle of fish. The worst part for Aotearoa and the entire planet was to come just after the end of the war, when those lovely exceptional amerikans insisted that Aotearoa give up a bit over half of Aotearoa's Antarctic territory as a protection payment. Up until that time amerika had no Antarctic holding. Not even kiwi military & intelligence types, remembering that Aotearoa is still the landlord, at least on paper, have the slightest idea what is going on at the amerikan 'base'. The only thing certain is that it is highly secret and considered important eg when dead arsehole & bagman for the amerikan health insurance industry, John MCCain was still extant & chair of the senate armed services committee, he made frequent visits - most every summer, as have many other heavy-hitters for the MIC.

It is worth remembering that Japan is unlikely have gone to war if amerika hadn't begun a blockade of Japan. Indeed it has been claimed that the invasion of Manchuria first developed legs once it became apparent the blockade was going to prevent Japan from obtaining sufficient food to feed its population and it is highly unlikely the right-wing militarist faction could have won control of the Japanese state without the economic & social chaos engendered by amerika's naval enforced sanctions campaign. Where were the warships amerika used to enforce that blockade based? Why Pearl Harbour of course, that illegally purloined piece of also illegally purloined Hawaii.
As far as I can see the 'infamous' attack was concentrated solely on the navy base - there was no attack on civilian areas - if only amerika had done the same, consider how many French & Italian cities & their populations were destroyed by endless bombing attacks to save them.
I'm sorry, but any objective examination of amerika's behaviour in the last big euro war or the amerikan-Japan blue, reveals unnecessarily callous decision-making by amerika's elite. Of course that disdain for humanity applied to amerikan troops as well.

Posted by: A User | Apr 25 2020 5:38 utc | 133

In amongst the 'claptrap' there is one sound observation:

"...in the United States, it has exposed two great weaknesses that, in the eyes of many Europeans, have compounded one another: the erratic leadership of Mr Trump, who has devalued expertise and often refused to follow the advice of his scientific advisers, and the absence of a robust public health care system and social safety net".

Quickly reverting back to type:

"But this is perhaps the first global crisis in more than a century where no one is even looking to the United States for leadership." ...Comedy gold

Posted by: LeoNemo | Apr 25 2020 6:12 utc | 134

@139 Dr Scanlon There is a very good reason why the Netherlands do not offer thanks to the USA for liberating them from the Nazis.

It is this: for the singular exception of the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions (Operation Market Garden) no US ground troops entered Holland.

The US 1st Army (Bradley) and 3rd Army (Patton) never set foot in the Netherlands. It was the British 2nd Army (Dempsey) and Canadian 1st Army (Crerar) who liberated the Netherlands.

The makeup of the Normandy landings has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 25 2020 6:40 utc | 135

@3 -- "When we put our mind to something there's almost nothing we can't achieve."

Ever tried "peace" and perhaps living on an economic standard (like most others) without the deceit of a QE-forever (to infinity) fiat currency to fluff your bankrupt mattresses?

[I realize the snark was on, but low hanging fruit...]

Posted by: imo | Apr 25 2020 6:44 utc | 136

Being retired US military married to a former Soviet Scientist (Russian) and having spent a large amount of my career working in the former Soviet Republics, I have had perhaps an unusual amount of exposure to alternate views of the US and have had the opportunity to see the effects of US foreign policy first hand. This has opened up my eyes to American "exceptionalism" and I have always thought it would be ironic if the US suffered the same fate as the Soviet Union. Now, it looks like this is very likely and all because of a relatively innocuous virus when compared to a deliberate attack using an engineered biothreat agent. If it had been a deliberate bioweapon attack the fatality rate would be massive not these low percentages and would be a world killer. However, because it is relatively benign it shows the vulnerability of an "open" capitalistic society to anything that disrupts the normal flow of the economy. If you add in the completely idiotic Trump administration it looks like a slow death of "the only superpower in the world". So far there seems to be no treaty or agreement even among allies that we won't break in our own self-interest. I think the world, outside of those who personally profit from American policies, is getting very tired of the American threats, sanctions, bombings, invasions and bullying.

Now the only real question is how bad it will get in the US and how this affects the world in general. The old phrase if he US sneezes the world gets a cold seems to no longer be applicable. The US dollar; sadly, as my retirement income is in dollars, looks to be so hyper-inflated through ridiculous unending spending all propped up by the petrodollar looks like it will have to collapse. This was not brought on by the coronavirus but was already being supported by pumping in $4 trillion by the Federal Reserve to prop up the markets. That was before the virus and since we have added another $10 trillion into the economy and the rest of the world seems unlikely to continue to support his massive debt. MBS seems to have triggered the deliberate sabotage of the US shale oil Ponzi scheme yet we blame Russia for this.

I hope I am wrong but it looks like all the sequences of events are lining up to cause an imminent collapse of the US entirely. When unemployment reaches 30% maybe in May and there is no food or money to buy any yet the rich still get propped up then we will begin to see a collapse of social systems which could last 5 or more years and could result in a breakup of the US into several separate countries similar to what happened to the Soviet Union. If you add in the weak candidacy of Biden then it seems a deliberate setup by the Democrats to ensure Trump is re-elected thus guaranteeing 4 more years of insanity.

I look for a major war to break out on two fronts against Iran and Venezuela. America always resorts to warfare to rescue the economy and Trump will be no different. How the other nations like Russia and China respond is a much larger question. The EU appears to be wavering in its resolve to support the US as it always seems to harm Europe (except for those on the Soros payroll). Some EU countries like Poland, and the Baltics seem hell bent on attacking Russia over some bizarre recounting of history but these are just noisy pups barking at the moon. It serves the US to cause some trouble to Russia but it is not a serious threat. The Ukraine is a completely failed state and neither the US or the EU is going to ever pay for the recovery of belligerent Nazis. So, Europe will probably stay out of any potential conflict started by the US except for their loyal lapdogs the UK, another former empire that has collapsed but still believes they are important.

Posted by: OldMicrobiologist | Apr 25 2020 6:56 utc | 137

Excellent article. Thank you.
I suppose such views do not come naturally, they come by way of research and wide-open eyes. I was astonished when I discovered, writing my books, how deep and far the myth of exceptionalism goes. And then you warn and warn and warn until you realize it is a waste of time. Some will never know and others do not wish to know no matter how many facts you give out. Delusion, it seems, is the hardest of all bubbles to prick without major military defeats. Keep up the good work. GMJ

Posted by: GMJ | Apr 25 2020 7:07 utc | 138

I look for a major war to break out on two fronts against Iran and Venezuela. America always resorts to warfare to rescue the economy and Trump will be no different.

Posted by: OldMicrobiologist | Apr 25 2020 6:56 utc | 144

Yeah, but you don't seem to have noticed that's not the way Trump works. He doesn't like military action beyond a big-bang single strike. The warhawks would have to convince him, and I don't think it would be easy. That's the way Iran can win, by threatening to prolong the war. That would make Trump quail.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 25 2020 8:04 utc | 139

- One also has to take into account the GIANT amount of debt the US is carrying. That also is very dangerous for the economic viability of the US. And the ability "to project military power" around the globe.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 25 2020 8:47 utc | 140

Posted by: ben | Apr 25 2020 4:40 utc | 136

Not exactly, IF there's any validity to this article;

https://breggin.com/us-chinese-scientists-collaborate-on-coronavirus/

Plenty of info in article to cross-check.

2015 CHINESE-AMERICAN GAIN-OF-FUNCTION STUDY

This piece of sinophobic fear porn needs to be put to rest.

2015 Scientific Paper Proves US & Chinese Scientists Collaborated to Create Coronavirus that Can Infect Humans - Peter R. Breggin, April 15, 2020

In 2015, American researchers and Chinese Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers collaborated to transform an animal coronavirus into one that can attack humans. Scientists from prestigious American universities and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) worked directly with the two coauthor researchers from Wuhan Institute of Virology, Xing-Yi Ge and Zhengli-Li Shi. Funding was provided by the Chinese and US governments. The team succeeded in modifying a bat coronavirus to make it capable of infecting humans.

The research was published in December 2015 in the prestigious British journal, Nature Medicine (volume 21, pages1508–1513). The paper by Vineet D. Menachery et al., “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence” is available [] on-line.

Footnotes to the scientific paper disclose that the research was funded by both the Chinese and US Governments, including grants from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease.

Footnotes also document that the two Chinese researchers were active in their own laboratories as part of this coronavirus project.

At the bottom of the first page, the affiliation of both Chinese coauthors is listed as “Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens and Biosafety, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China.” The Chinese were being aided by the American government, American universities and American researchers in developing a potential military weapon with the capacity to cause a pandemic intentionally or accidentally


No! It was the Americans who were being aided by the Chinese government and Chinese researchers in developing a potential military weapon with the capacity to cause a pandemic intentionally or accidentally.

From the ''Contributions'' section of the 2015 article (Chinese participation in bold):

V.D.M. designed, coordinated and performed experiments, completed analysis and wrote the manuscript. B.L.Y. designed the infectious clone and recovered chimeric viruses; S.A. completed neutralization assays; L.E.G. helped perform mouse experiments; T.S. and J.A.P. completed mouse experiments and plaque assays; X.-Y.G. performed pseudotyping experiments; K.D. generated structural figures and predictions; E.F.D. generated phylogenetic analysis; R.L.G. completed RNA analysis; S.H.R. provided primary HAE cultures; A.L. and W.A.M. provided critical monoclonal antibody reagents; and Z.-L.S. provided SHC014 spike sequences and plasmids. R.S.B. designed experiments and wrote manuscript.

There is no indication here that the Chinese were ever involved in any gain-of-function studies. Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi from the Wuhan virus laboratory provided the virus sample her team had collected. It was appropriate for the Americans to credit her in the authors list. This has not always been done. The most famous example is when Luc Montagnier from the Pasteur Institute in France sent a sample of the HI virus to Robert Gallo in the US. Or maybe the French virus contaminated Gallo's lab. It took 10 years to figure out.

As Doctor Breggin notes, the article in Nature Medicine created controversy at the time. It was immediately criticized in the sister publication Nature by Declan Butler on November 12, 2015, three days after the original article was published. See Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research. On the same day, Jef Akst in The Scientist explains the context.

Lab-Made Coronavirus Triggers Debate

In October 2013, the US government put a stop to all federal funding for gain-of-function studies, with particular concern rising about influenza, SARS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). “NIH [National Institutes of Health] has funded such studies because they help define the fundamental nature of human-pathogen interactions, enable the assessment of the pandemic potential of emerging infectious agents, and inform public health and preparedness efforts,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement at the time. “These studies, however, also entail biosafety and biosecurity risks, which need to be understood better.”

Baric’s study on the SHC014-chimeric coronavirus began before the moratorium was announced, and the NIH allowed it to proceed during a review process, which eventually led to the conclusion that the work did not fall under the new restrictions, Baric told Nature.

The US bioweapons program has a network of laboratories throughout Eurasia collecting natural viruses for American researchers. The most famous may be the Lugar Center in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. As Dilyana Gaytandzhieva notes:

This military facility is just one of the many Pentagon biolaboratories in 25 countries across the world. They are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program – Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 25 2020 8:57 utc | 141

Laguerre | Apr 25 2020 8:04 utc | 147
I'm much less sanguine about l'orange. It is true in his first term he began by steering a wide berth around conflict, but once it became inevitable that congress were going to drag out support for his biggest earns (the wall plus literally hundreds of infrastructure projects with multi billion dollar price tags plus lots of padding) trumpet went along with a couple of limited limited conflicst to appease the dem warmonger set.

He has certainly avoided prolonged conflicts in the lead up to the next election, but only because he knows that dragging amerika into another poorly thought thru blue which lacks a defined and achievable outcome, will cost him dearly among his base, however, once he wins the next election and lets face it biden would struggle to win a bar raffle, I reckon orange moron will do whatever it takes to get approval from a likely dem congress if the prize is subsequent pay outs for all of his rorts in amerika and occupied Palestine.

Tangerine nightmare has nothing to lose - he cannot run again, so if it is a toss up between congress voting for the money to fund his crooked construction scams with their quid pro quo being a few juicy earners for those in the MIC who 'donated' big time to the dems, all excused by way of a war with Iran, Venezuela or just about any other nation state, trump is gonna go with the fight. It's not as if all those credulous rednecks he has carefully curated for so long can be any more use to him is it?

Posted by: A User | Apr 25 2020 9:14 utc | 142

ben #136

dD @ 128 said;"Suffice to say, the original source of Covid-19’s spread is yet to be traced and the trail could lead to any direction. As of now, although Covid-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, its exact origin is yet to be determined."

Not exactly, IF there's any validity to this article;

https://breggin.com/us-chinese-scientists-collaborate-on-coronavirus/

Plenty of info in article to cross-check..

Thanks ben that research refers to two of the Wuhan scientists that were part of the 2010 team that investigated means of infection from covid virus and the systems that inhibited the infection. The corollary of course is knowing the inhibitor - reveals means to circumvent the effect, ie Gain of function.

The participants in the 2010 study:

Australia (CSIRO,

China (Wuhan Institute),

USA (Minnesota Medical School).

Paper here at Springer.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 25 2020 9:14 utc | 143

There could be a good reason why the numbers of infected have risen so exponentially in the US since tests have become available and why the testing itself was done so late in the game, months after the first news about the Virus have come from China and many weeks after European countries had started to react to the outbreak and mass test their populations. There could be a very good reason why the "best prepared country" did nothing for what they had prepared for:

German investigative journalist Dirk Pohlmann has found some evidence suggesting that the new Corona Virus SARS COV-2 might indeed have come from a laboratory though not a Chinese but an American one from where it might probably have been released by accident. (By the way Putin neither supports nor denies the man-made possibility. He is waiting...)

A retired French virologist and HIV expert, as well as some Indian researchers, have found HI Virus-Material within the SARS CoV-2 Virus. Chinese Virus researchers from the Wuhan research laboratory have cooperated for decades with American researchers, among others with those from the Fort Detrick laboratory.
A Chinese expert for bat viruses has delivered samples of those to the said laboratory for research purposes, possibly for the development of vaccines. In the United States were more mutation strains from the SARA Co-2 Virus to be found than in China which basically had got only one. This suggests that the Virus has been spreading within the US population for a much longer time than within the Chinese.
The refusal for many months by the US government to do some widespread testing of the population opposite to what many Asian countries have done who successfully contained the pandemic might not have been just due to blundering incompetence but in reality a blatant attempt to cover up the American origin of the virus.

Read my translation from the original German article here:
https://evehuman.wordpress.com/2020/04/24/the-china-virus-really/
Und dort kann man auch einen Link zu dem originalen KenFm Kommentar finden.

Posted by: Ortrud | Apr 25 2020 9:15 utc | 144

The Moon of Alabama account on Twitter is saying that people should be forcefully removed from their family home because of a virus whose survival rate is about 95%

More details on the MoA comments covered in this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2kte8dsEMs

Posted by: Video Of Twitter Cha | Apr 25 2020 9:28 utc | 145

105 Allen wants to tell us "Fact is the entire BS Covid narrative is crumbling as fast as you can say Boo!" Great news to us all. I hope that our Allen will not crumble before being able to say "Boo" as his last word.

Posted by: Kare | Apr 25 2020 9:33 utc | 146

Kare 155

The most bizarre thing about you wingnuts is how ardently you want the worst to be true, how you have some deep desire fulfilled by abjectly, fervently believing the lies of the government and mainstream media.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 25 2020 9:51 utc | 147

Criticism of the USA's exceptionalism, peppered with criticism of mainstream media hypocrisy. Widespread approval in the comment section and of course this was going to be a safe crowd pleaser.

What about the unpreparedness of the UK that the two intro paragraphs assert? What does it consist of? Hospitals in the UK are coping well, there is no emergency overload. That says a lot with the NHS being brought to its limits regularly by severe flu seasons.

As for the situation in the US, I'm no expert, though have you considered the citizen video reports of quiet and empty hospital entrances, of reality turning out far more benign than the terrifying forecasts?

Are you suggesting, that we need still tougher, more "competent" measures? That the draconian, medieval destruction of the economy and civil life as we knew it is insufficient?

Posted by: Leser | Apr 25 2020 9:56 utc | 148

Must be wakey wakey hands off snakey in some seppo nuthouse, judging by the way a clutch of looney toonz have suddenly lurched into action making their usual lunatic, 100% unsubstantiated, completely lacking in evidence assertions vis a vis coronavirus.

aka "I cannot be off topic, I'm exceptional." exceptionally gullible more like, old donnie's gonna pull yer pud for no charge, gratia, free -what an amerikan hero you'll must be!

Posted by: A User | Apr 25 2020 10:42 utc | 149

@Russ | Apr 25 2020 9:51 utc | 156

Kare 155

The most bizarre thing about you wingnuts is how ardently you want the worst to be true, how you have some deep desire fulfilled by abjectly, fervently believing the lies of the government and mainstream media.


This is indeed true.

This "thing" is being used to push hard whatever narrative people have been quietly advocating before. If globalism is your thing it is being used to push globalism. If authoritarian control is your thing it is being used to push authoritarian control. If Marxism is your thing it is being used to push Marxism. If "viruses fell from space" is your thing it is being used to push that viruses fell from space.

All of it is agenda driven, none of it is scientific or fact based.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 10:45 utc | 150

Miss Lacy @ 99 says:

Murka has - some years ago admittedly - produced some great music. And it used to travel

yeah, like Sun Ra...from Saturn to Egypt.


Proper evaluations of words and letters in their phonetic and associated sense can bring the people of Earth to the clear light of pure cosmic wisdom

Posted by: john | Apr 25 2020 11:18 utc | 152

uncle tungsten 151

That research did not appear to have anything to do with gain of function. I had thought it was the later research which built a chimera virus, but that earlier research simply linked the virus to the ACE2 receptors. looks like standard research into a pathogen.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 25 2020 11:21 utc | 153

Microbiologist,
I would rather bet for a world gov ("the axis of Good") where US/EU come to each other's rescue. With Soros minister of justice, Atali at agriculture, Gates at technology, Blackwater's boss at Defense...
A minimal wage of ca 1500 dollars given by the State to all the deplorables and the real jobs for tech and finance experts.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 25 2020 11:26 utc | 154

" The NYT piece quotes four WHITE European men from think tanks and universities ....."

What other European men could there be ?

Posted by: Fog of War | Apr 25 2020 11:33 utc | 155

i figure another 4 years with trump could work some real magic!! he could be like the captain who goes down with the ship!
Posted by: james | Apr 24 2020 17:40 utc | 5

Trump would go down with the ship, insisting all the while that he is making the ship fly like a bird!

"Everything's going [blb blb] well! Everything's going [blb blab blab] well! ... [blb blb blb blb blb] Oh my God!" [blb blb blb blb blb ... silence as the ship disappears from view!

Posted by: BM | Apr 25 2020 12:29 utc | 156

Another study, this one in Miami, showing far more prevalent Covid-19 antibodies than cases. And so, again like the other studies, indicating an infection fatality rate around 0.1%.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 25 2020 12:30 utc | 157

And so, again like the other studies, indicating an infection fatality rate around 0.1%.
__________________________________________
If one jumps to a huge number of unproven conclusions that may be correct. We don't know how good the AB tests are or if they say anything about immunity.

Looking at the progression of the 1918 pandemic may help to understand how things could progress. That one started in March 1918 and peaked in June and by the end of July it seemed to have disappeared. Then in September it came roaring back again lasting only a couple months again but killing many more people and then there was a 3rd wave in the late winter of 1919 also much worse than the first but not quite as bad as the 2nd. One interesting fact is that the first wave seemed pretty normal in that it killed mostly people old and sick, but the next 2 waves had the unusual property of killing many who were young and healthy. In the end about half the deaths from the 1918 pandemic were age 20-40.

So how we proceed is a huge roll of the dice.


Posted by: jinn | Apr 25 2020 13:10 utc | 158

@ OldMicrobiologist 144
"I hope I am wrong but it looks like all the sequences of events are lining up to cause an imminent collapse of the US entirely. When unemployment reaches 30% maybe in May and there is no food or money to buy any yet the rich still get propped up then we will begin to see a collapse of social systems which could last 5 or more years and could result in a breakup of the US into several separate countries similar to what happened to the Soviet Union..."

If Michael Hudson's analysis is correct distress will be profound in several months all else being equal. The financial system may not allow for enough flexibility to counteract the depression. Will the oligarchs allow themselves a haircut? The debt burden is so heavy there will be no alternative to broad and deep debt forgiveness. The collapse of finance capitalism would seem to make this inevitable. If the 1% wishes to avoid social unrest and the radicalization of the masses it will have to make some radical moves itself. Its difficult to imagine a colloquy of Paul Singers and Robert Mercers acting with compassion even in their own political self-interest. If they don't bend, the militias will come out of the woods.

There will be no war against Iran or Venezuela. Unless the political will can be concentrated and focused against foreign enemies, as was done with the 911 operation, there will be no invasions of foreign countries because a country divided against itself cannot go to war. It can't even wipe its own ass.

The issue is not the failure of US economic dominance and global hegemony, it is the failure of all nations to respond to environmental stress. A pandemic is environmental stress, whether the virus comes from a laboratory or the jungle, the failure of mass societies to adapt to the total context they depend on for survival puts their survival at risk. Has China recovered, will Beijing or New Delhi once against develop the toxic fog of the good old days?

Evil appears as good in the minds of those whom the gods would destroy...or something along those lines...from Sophocles. How are people driven nutty as a prelude to their self-destruction? In case one hasn't noticed, the president of this US is already nutty and he's never known a day of want is his privileged life. Add pandemic social restrictions, the closure of chicken processing plants, the infection of animals with their own pandemics, the lack of income from jobs, fear and loathing of the "deep state" and so forth and so on, and you've got a population under stress, desperate, and angry, without leadership and not thinking clearly to say the least. A small population of 330 million will more effectively deal with it than China or India which will experience enormous social convulsions, the great nightmare of the CCP and the BJP. Let the dance macabre begin!

Posted by: jadan | Apr 25 2020 13:41 utc | 159

to lex T thanks for the book recommendation. I'll look for it.

To A User and the starry eyed julianna. I don't know much about "the far side of the world" other than a few anecdotes told me when I visited there, but europe is another story. To stories I've heard directly from participants (I have been told many times by many people that virtually every woman in germany was raped) I'll add "After the Reich" by Giles MacDonogh. I haven't read, but am looking for David Irving's series on WWl, beginning with Hitler's War and moving to the story of that irredeemable reptile, Churchill's War. A number of murkans got very rich during the occupation, just as a number of supply sergeants did in vietnam.

As for Venezuela - ya it looks like the unspeakable, Elliott Abrahms and Pompeous the Disgusting, will keep on with the blockades and nasty subterfuge. There is now a $15,000,000 reward offered for the - in effect - over throw - of Maduro.
The dirty tricks and dirty money via USAID etc. worked just fine in Bolivia, now ruled by the nazi coupistas. I suspect the same group made a move on chile, but chile is more complicated. Definitely October and November 2019 were pivotal months for the world.

to James I glad to hear that you think music is alive in NY - music is the heartbeat of the universe. I like hiphop too, but I guess that makes me dated as well. Cheers

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 25 2020 13:42 utc | 160

Pretty amazing to see JRabbit claim his/her intelligence is being insulted when he/she diverts attention from easy to observe fact that officials just openly admitted they were cooking COVID death tallies.

JRabbit is being lied to directly in front of his/her face and sides with those lying to him/her and then when this is pointed out claims their intelligence is being insulted?

What bizarre and twisted need do these Covid cultists have that requires them to defend such patently obvious lies coming from organizations that have been doing the very same thing for years.

Posted by: Allen | Apr 25 2020 13:45 utc | 161

The oxymoronic "it's not authoritarian if..." has run upon the risible shoals of the necessity of exceptionalist singularity.

Wally calls bs.

But in happy news...tinyurl [dot] com/y95543q9 our Persian Comrades have no doubt designed an evil plot and insidious propaganda campaign designed to sap and impurity our precious bodily fluids...

“So the COVID-19 crisis was manufactured in a US biological warfare laboratory as part of World War III, which is ongoing. Currently, the US is now clashing with China in the South China Sea. The Chinese have arrested US agents in Hong Kong, and the world is supposed to look the other way and not even notice what's going on. I guess World War III will not be televised,” the scholar concluded."

It is understandable that the class affiliation makes it impossible for our host to avoid certain singularities, exceptions.

Wally also feels this way. And even though he finds Barrett objectionable, he agrees with the article cited as it points out..."singularities"...which tend over Time to prove out what is real and what is not real.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 25 2020 14:02 utc | 162

The talk about Putin trying to engineer a soft landing for the U.S. plus the comment about a cornered cat brought this thought to mind- if a new World War erupts it will most likely include targeted strikes against leaders in government. I'm thinking the new Russian missiles that Putin talked about in his famous "unveiling" speech. He who strikes first might score the knockout blow.

Posted by: Morongobill | Apr 25 2020 14:17 utc | 163

NO! Cov19 is definitely NOT just another 'flu-like' illness:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ //
PA Media Group -- 4/22/20
'COVID toes' seen mostly in kids is 'probably more rampant than we realize,' doctors say

A mysterious skin condition that has been appearing around the country is likely tied to the coronavirus, doctors have discovered.

Informally called "COVID toes," the condition causes purple, blue or red discoloration of the toes and sometimes fingers. Dr. Amy Paller, a dermatologist at Northwestern University, has reported seeing 30 cases of this condition. Paller said more testing is needed to definitely know what is causing the condition, but "it seems too much of a coincidence not to be a manifestation of the virus."

According to reports by doctors studying these cases, "COVID toes" appear in COVID-19 patients who don’t exhibit any other symptoms. Most cases appear with patients in their teens and 20s, according to Paller.
// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by: blues | Apr 25 2020 14:22 utc | 164

Western Civilization seems to be desintegrating on the other side of the Atlantic, too:

The Greek tragedy: Act Three

On Thursday night, EU leaders again failed to agree on how to provide proper fiscal support for hard-hit member states to cope with the health costs of the coronavirus pandemic and collapse of their economies from the lockdowns.

The EU leaders have already agreed to a €540bn package of emergency measures. This sounds a lot but is really just a bunch of loans from the European Stability Mechanism, which lends only on strict conditions on spending and repayment by member states who borrow. Only E38bn has been offered without conditions for health system support across the whole Eurozone. The so-called coronavirus mutual bond where the debt is shared by all is a dead duck.

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 14:28 utc | 165

- "The End of American Exceptionalism"

A video (length: about 19 minutes) with economist Jeffrey Sachs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZU0IXO7AQw

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 25 2020 14:46 utc | 166

Miss Lacy @100

"Does any one really care about south america?"

It seems to me, in my pedestrian and humble opinion, that the integration of Eurasia is inevitable for logistical, energy, and environmental reasons. Not even an open just-short-of nuclear war waged by the US can or will (?) stop it. The megalomaniacs, exceptionalist, "End of History" types refuse to accept this. When this inevitability finally sinks in then the southern US neighbors will receive the full weight and vengeance of the former global hegemon, as this same mindset tries to continue its bullying ways in the western hemisphere. (It has been going on for over a century of course, has continued through all recent US administrations, but has been far short of the pain it could actually bring: witness the arc of (US caused and sourced)destruction from eastern Iraq down through the Levant.)

The only counterbalance I can see is if an empowered and emboldened Eurasia steps in and says "Not so fast." As US influence (and extractive wealth) diminishes in Eurasia, the entire effectiveness of US power will contract and become more limited. These are merely my own speculations, and will take much longer to reshape the world than my (waning) time to be around to find out if I was correct.

To paraphrase a forgotten wit: "Poor 'Latin America' - so near the US, and so far from god." I care about South America; I care about all of humanity.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Apr 25 2020 14:54 utc | 167

Well, covid deaths in the US are about the same as the Vietnam War, and we have just started.
Lets see how this progresses campers!

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 25 2020 15:02 utc | 168

Morongobill @172: "He who strikes first might score the knockout blow."

I don't know about that. The US certainly likes to talk about "decapitation strikes", but the concept is based upon a Hollywood understanding of geopolitics, as if all Russian policy and agency were concentrated in Putin, or all American policy were concentrated in Trump, or all Venezuelan policy were concentrated in Chavez or Maduro. The agents of the CIA succeeded in kidnapping Chavez at one point, but that exploded in their faces because Chavez wasn't personally the scope and breadth of the revolution in Venezuela.

A decapitation strike on Russia would result in a devastating retaliation, quite possibly a strategic nuclear one. A decapitation strike on the US, assuming no nuclear response, would simply be shrugged off because the American Presidency isn't really the seat of power in the empire anyway. Presidents come and go but the overall imperial policy stays largely the same.

That said, such a strike on the US could serve as a nation-sized slap on the face that could stun the American public out of its years-long hysteria, after which the American people could then calmly and deliberately begin to retake control of their government. It could also just kick that hysteria up a notch too, so it would be an enormous risk.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 25 2020 15:19 utc | 169

Venezuela under more attack--

link

Posted by: arby | Apr 25 2020 15:24 utc | 170

A User @ 140, thank you for your detailed response to my post. I was pointing out the effects of childhood memory, not disagreeing with b's post at all. It happens in any circumstance where disastrous events make an impression - Dostoievski felt himself saved by one such when he was in the gulag - a pivotal moment when he remembers the assistance he as a child received from a peasant who took him home when he was lost. Then all the distinctions between him and his fellow prisoners that had him in such feer simply dissolved, and he was able to endure the unendurable and even communicate his experiences in great literary works.

My own sister and I have 'before and after war' memories that give us a very different outlook, and I am sure that has affected how we face the current pandemic. I see her children making the attempt to honor the Anzac day remembrance this year, which will get harder to do, just as remembrances here in the US of the Civil war fade when there is no longer a living person to pass them on. Such 'exceptional' moments are the germ of the claptrap - falsely used by our propagandists, assuredly - but great art and literature - and yes! music! - are founded on that exceptionalism that is not faked.

There's a paradox in that, and I am not expressing it very well. I don't disagree with anything you say, and I do agree that war is hell and an evil thing not to be wished for - ever. I don't know why you call me 'starryeyed', Miss Lacy. I hope I am not. War is hell.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 25 2020 15:31 utc | 171

Oops, sorry - 'fear'.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 25 2020 15:32 utc | 172

The USA promised to act as the world,s currency, that other countries could peg their curreny. The USA also promised to tie the $ to gold, so as to make it stable and an honest valuation. The USA lied and broke the agreement in 1971.
Finito.

Posted by: James joseph | Apr 25 2020 15:39 utc | 173

to John Thank you for that! So many journeys. Stratosphere....ya. My favorite is Rahsaan Roland Kirk... theme for the eulipians.. "his duty free gift for the traveler." Yes indeed.

to vinnieoh I agree completely with your analysis - unfortunately and sadly. I am very much afraid that south america is going to get stomped. Truly they have walked into a lot of doors on their own. The Lima Group, for example. Previously, when O'Bomber undermined Dilma Rousseff and brought his golfing buddy Macri to argentina, that was a serious bad turn IMO.

However, some of these countries are really finding strength as they fight to coronavirus. Chile has been pretty good. Argentina as well and peru, although they may have been a bit flat footed at first... and they've been learning. The murkan gov stole PPE destined for chile and argentina. These countries are now sending their own planes directly to china for supplies.
Peru won't even give flight plans, altho that's pretty easy to track. The main stream news here carries the details, so people are very much aware. Yes, they're little, but so was David...

I did not in any way mean to suggest that you personally don't care. Far from it. It was a rhetorical sigh that SA is so often so far out of the lime light... Salud.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 25 2020 16:00 utc | 174

I still remember it... This is back, maybe in 1975. I was sitting around in a room with my hipster friends, who were passing the joint (which I didn't particularly enjoy, for some odd reason). So, grasping a New York Times newspaper, I pipes up "This is all pure bullshit. Most everything in this is total crap." They were stunned and shocked! Everybody took it for granted that the good old 'Times contained nothing but rock-solid TRUTH! As I persisted, they became angry at my assaulting them with this out-of-nowhere attack of foolishness. I guess times have changed.

Posted by: blues | Apr 25 2020 16:07 utc | 175

to arby thanks for the link. I knew about Chevron, but not Cheney-land. The article says that Halliburton may need to leave some equipment behind. hahaha pobrecitos. It might be a tiny offset against the billions stolen by murka.

And hasn't Munchkin risen up?! From regional stealing with Ally Finance to Rob-the_Whole-World at the "treasury."

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 25 2020 16:15 utc | 176

Bill will keep you healthy
and Larry will help you invest
and Jeff will watch your children
with unusual zest

Gaga will entertain you
and Tom will take your pic
and Kevin will attend to you
but only on your dick

so open up the Gates
and let the Summer come
hanky panky, boys and lady
the spacemen think they’ve won

Posted by: lizard | Apr 25 2020 16:16 utc | 177

This is a very interesting aticle about the extent and influence of one group in power in the US.
Pompeo's maniacs eeerrrr mafia. (the class of 1986. Pompeo, Esper, they are all in there)
It shows why the Orange man has very little to say. (There exist other groups with "like minds" ie. religious with Pence, Zionist media admirers, Financial cons and so on who are not part of this select group.) Pompeo's lot are very intertwined with the Pentagon and the Military money trough (MMt).

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176686/tomgram%3A_danny_sjursen%2C_trump%27s_own_military_mafia_/

Clears up a lot of the reasons why Pompeo thinks HE commands the world to do his bidding.
------------

juliania | Apr 25 2020 15:31 utc | 182 and wartime childhood.

War story; During the war my parents lived not so far from Coventry in the UK, which was bombed heavily as a major manufacturing city. One night, as it was being bombed, a German pilot a bit more clever than the others, saw from a distance the searchlights, flak and the explosions in the city. Not being daft he decided to drop his cargo in the countryside, and fly off home. All the villages were duly blacked out, including that of my parents.

However, the bombs came down at the bottom end of the street where my parents lived.

I was conceived under the kitchen table.

(Or at least that was what my father told me. He wouldn't tell untruths, now would he ? So I am eternally grateful for the savoir vivre of one German pilot.)


Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 25 2020 16:21 utc | 178

@ 178 / 181 disabuseer.. thanks for the link and the idea on surpluses and deficits found in the article @181.. correct me if i am wrong, but it seems to me the way the usa has been able to navigate this is via a surplus of financial instruments to offset the deficits of buying everything from china and to a lesser extent everywhere else.. my basic idea is the usa exports financial stuff - us$, services, derivatives, treasury bonds and etc. etc. and takes in other producers products.. the financial instruments are always increasing in price - see stock market - asset inflation- so they are able to sustain some sort of trade balance... if the inflation of the us$ is ever to deflate - all of this goes terribly wrong.. it is critical that the us$ continues to inflate next to other currencies or the whole ponzi scheme would be in real jeopardy... that is sort of my thinking here.. the system keynes had - the use of a bancor and etc - seem to be smart.. i wonder why they weren't adopted?? pricing oil and commodities like gold in us$ has also favoured a continuation of special privledge to the us$ and by extension the usa's ability to import others labour while exporting a device - us$ - that was granted a special status at the end of the 2nd world war and amazingly allowed to become surreal when nixon took the us$ off the gold standard in 1971..

speaking of exceptional claptrap - most everything i read from any financial paper, or economists and market people strike me like exceptional claptrap.. they all seem to be programmed into thinking the federal reserve is the grandmaster of the markets when in fact they are working with a Ouija board..

Posted by: james | Apr 25 2020 16:52 utc | 179

I saw that map, and thought it was bogus, not just from a US perspective but from one of it's vassals as well - it showed Sweden to be well prepared. That may very well have been true until around 1995 where there was 7 million gas masks (population then 8 million), 50 military field hospitals, thousands of hospital beds in reserve, every able bodied man had undergone military service and with a mindset that permeated society, and everyone spoke and understood Swedish. All this is no longer the case.

Posted by: FkDahl | Apr 25 2020 17:14 utc | 180

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 10:45 utc | 159

This "thing" is being used to push hard whatever narrative people have been quietly advocating before. If globalism is your thing it is being used to push globalism. If authoritarian control is your thing it is being used to push authoritarian control. If Marxism is your thing it is being used to push Marxism. If "viruses fell from space" is your thing it is being used to push that viruses fell from space.

All of it is agenda driven, none of it is scientific or fact based.

Yes, and we've seen all of those, here and everywhere else. Even the "falling from space" probably isn't far off from the real beliefs of those I see wearing masks even outdoors, when the air's the most wholesome it's been our entire lives. I'm convinced that, although they may consciously still acknowledge that the flu is caused by a germ, deep down they've regressed to believing in the miasma. They think the air itself is going to poison them. That's their psychotic reaction to purification.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 25 2020 17:22 utc | 181

Russ, you know very well that people are 'leaving their masks on' when they are outside. It saves them having to remember, when they come close to others, to put their masks back on.
Of course, though their behaviour is perfectly rational and indicative of a proper community spirit, it also allows smartarses to jeer at them. They are merely ordinary people after all. And top jeer at their like is to suggest that one is exceptional.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 25 2020 17:35 utc | 182

@ Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 10:45 utc | 159

Except for the fact that Marxism is a science, while the other examples you cited are not.

It's like putting evolution on par with creationism.

Just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean it is not true. Reality isn't forced to be easily understandable to you.

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 17:39 utc | 183

It will get ugly:

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/gop-memo-anti-china-coronavirus-207244

"The National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent campaigns a detailed, 57-page memo authored by a top Republican strategist advising GOP candidates to address the coronavirus crisis by aggressively attacking China...

It stresses three main lines of assault: That China caused the virus “by covering it up,” that Democrats are “soft on China,” and that Republicans will “push for sanctions on China for its role in spreading this pandemic.”

Posted by: jayc | Apr 25 2020 18:19 utc | 184

"Draft the immune"

https://www.unz.com/trall/5-things-the-government-must-do-now-to-avoid-collapse-and-or-revolution/

Don't tell me these "leftists" and others aren't reveling in having found their inner fascist. God knows how long this one's been sitting around waiting for the opportunity to advocate forced labor. And he's not the only one I've seen.

All the Little Hitlers are squirming out of their slime-holes.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 25 2020 18:39 utc | 185

troothsayer | Apr 25 2020 18:03 utc | 197

"based on how fervently attached to the official narrative most people are.."

I still find it hard to believe so many people will remain insane and so submissive to their own economic immolation for much longer. But then it was hard to believe how abjectly and completely everyone submitted to propaganda so idiotic and went so insane in the first place.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 25 2020 18:39 utc | 186

Yes, it's true that majority of German war production was targeting air war (55-58%) and sea warfare took average 12% slice. Only little bit more than 30% went to land war. It's also well known fact that only 1/4 of Luftwaffe combat losses was caused by Soviet forces. That munition production perspective is very interesting part of WW2 and many historians, even Germans were totally surprised when they were digging the data of production figures from 1939-45. Especially fans of "Great Patriotic War" are uneasy when reading data debunking some of those claims that Eastern Front would have been top priority of German war effort. In fact top priority of German war effort was war production & air superiority with U-boats likely the second (German's only real strategic weapon against Allied). When air superiority was lost in 1942, what did Germans do? They pull their air cover steadily from east to West/Reich. German army was left on their own. So lowest of all in their priority list was German bulk infantry army lumbering in east. So much about "magic of Bagration". Facts are facts.

Posted by: Matias | Apr 25 2020 18:44 utc | 187

bevin 194

indicative of a proper community spirit

What community? They've submitted completely to a terror campaign dedicated to the total eradication of what community was left in the world.

As for those who dream of this terror campaign somehow bringing a magical collective transformation, how on earth is that supposed to happen when everyone's so insanely terrorized they're desperate to physically detach from their own shadows, let alone physically come together with other people.

I guess the fact that social media is no substitute for face-to-face organizing and group action, hitherto universally acknowledged by self-alleged dissidents, is another truth suddenly jettisoned a few weeks ago and replaced by its complete antithesis.

Yes, virtual Estates General convocations and tennis court oaths and Bastille stormings would have worked just as well.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 25 2020 18:47 utc | 188

@vk | Apr 25 2020 17:39 utc | 195

Except for the fact that Marxism is a science

Everyone claims their thing is science. And you guys use this situation to push your idea hard, like everyone else. And yes, I know someone who claims that viruses fell from space is science, and has written many papers on the subject.

It does not matter if you are right or wrong. I am talking about the hypocracy in exploiting this situation to push an agenda.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 18:48 utc | 189

@troothsayer | Apr 25 2020 18:03 utc | 197

You, Norwegian, and Allen seem to be the only people here who haven't completely lost your minds over this, so keep up the good fight. I'm afraid it's all for naught based on how fervently attached to the official narrative most people are, buy at least we'll have clear consciences as we're dragged away to "quarantine".

Thanks for the compliment, and welcome to the "club of exeptionals" :-) although I believe that status will be short lived.

You are indeed right that having a clear conscience is an important aspect as we are being dragged away. I have a background where understanding truth is the most valuable thing.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 18:57 utc | 190

Posted by: jayc | Apr 25 2020 18:19 utc | 198

"It will get ugly:

I love America, Americans love to kills and destroyed nations, democracy, freedom of speech...

In 2008 Obama Change change you can believe, attacked, attacked Putin Russia, sanctions,
sanction and more sanction, Ukraine, Crimea Maidan Square, downed MH17 "conclusive evidence" to pin the blame on Moscow, closed three Russian diplomatic properties cut.. diplomatic staff....close consulate general, consul's residence San Francisco, chancery annex in Washington, D.C., consular annex in New York City.....

In 2016, MAGA, Trump attacked attacked, sanctions, sanction, trade wars, HK revolution of our times, Five key demands, not one less. Wuhan Flue... Limiting China medias US. Arrest Meng Wanzhou via Canada,
Shut down Huawei, ZTE....

The price we will pay will be high.... China, Xi Jinping is no Russia Federation, Putin it's tit for tat after a point of no return. I have no love for commies, regimes, or dictator... EITHER!

Posted by: JC | Apr 25 2020 19:07 utc | 191

@Russ | Apr 25 2020 18:39 utc | 200

I still find it hard to believe so many people will remain insane and so submissive to their own economic immolation for much longer.

It may be useful to refer to Langmuir's talk on Pathological Science (December 18, 1953) and especially Characteristic Symptoms of Pathological Science.


1 The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.

2 The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability; or, many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.

3 Claims of great accuracy.

4 Fantastic theories contrary to experience.

5 Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.

6 Ratio of supporters to critics rises up to somewhere near 50% and then falls gradually to oblivion.

Point 6 is especially relevant to your observation.

But then it was hard to believe how abjectly and completely everyone submitted to propaganda so idiotic and went so insane in the first place.

To be believed, lies must be grandiose. Most people have no training in critical thinking and when exposed to a perceived threat (real or not) they will believe anything, at least for some time. We have seen this countless times before, 911 is just one earlier example.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 19:21 utc | 192

203- "everyone's so insanely terrorized..."

the only persons I've seen who match that description are the MAGA astroturf "break the lockdown" protesters, equalled rhetorically by the "it's a hoax - wake up you sheeple" internet brigade.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 25 2020 19:23 utc | 193


""The same training ground for such enlightened souls as Madeleine""
"No Mr Chu, it seems pretty ridiculous a remark to say that someone has the ''same training ground'' as any public figure bastard, like Allbright, or Geithner.
Training grounds mean nothing, even because the saker was hired by the CIA during a period in Europe. He was originally a military analysis expert, a subject which is a starting point to political thinking, not the opposite. A subject on which you are a perfect illiterate.
As for precision and accurate meaning of the term atlanticism, it is
a plain child of History in the last 70 years, of the NATO stupidity, of the 78 day bombing of serbia, of the invasion of Lybia. Of the Russian Mr Yeltsin an addict of washington and vodca.
And if you refuse to put on your eyeglasses to see, tell me whether in 2019 and 2020 the US fierce persecution of Huawei - JUST TO KILL A COMPETITOR - is or is not a fully atlanticist move against Asians?

Posted by: augusto | Apr 25 2020 19:23 utc | 194

Forgot to talk about Atlanticism.

I think the Atlanticists are correct (in the sense that they're sound) when they restrict themselves to the area of geopolitics. First of all, because NATO exists - regardless of its true effectiveness, regardless of its lack or not of purpose.

Second, because the USA truly is the continuation of the British Empire in the strictly geopolitical sense. It literally took the role of commander of the seas from the British Empire after 1945 (the USSR didn't have any warm water port outside the Black and Caspian Seas, and focused its Navy on submarines). In this sense, the actual UK is just a ghost, a completely new nation more similar to your average post-war Western European social-democracy, the USA being the true heir of the British Empire.

However, when it goes to the cultural-racial-artistic-religious territory, I think Atlanticism is essentially political propaganda. There's no evidence a true Western Civilization exists on such terms.

--//--

@ Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 18:48 utc | 204

It is widely accepted, even in the West, that Marxism is a science. Marx is the most quoted intellectual in history (google that you'll find the exact numbers) of modern academia. You're not talking about your average obscure scholar.

I read Marx, and I agree with this consensus.

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 19:26 utc | 195

The graph that Forbes published is taken from the Global Health Security Index (GHS Index)
(see p.18 to 21) https://www.ghsindex.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2019-Global-Health-Security-Index.pdf

A number of the contributors to that report belong to the think tank, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and have previously worked for the US Department of Defense.

It was financed by the charities of three American multi-billionaires, including Bill Gates. Another is Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook. The third is Julian Robertson, a hedge fund manager who admitted to short-selling subprime securities and making money through credit default swaps in the 2008 crash.

All these people are just the kind who could be biased enough to believe that America is the greatest nation on earth - and therefore must be a shining example in preparedness for epidemics and pandemics.

Posted by: Brendan | Apr 25 2020 19:28 utc | 196

@Russ | Apr 25 2020 18:47 utc | 203

I guess the fact that social media is no substitute for face-to-face organizing and group action, hitherto universally acknowledged by self-alleged dissidents, is another truth suddenly jettisoned a few weeks ago and replaced by its complete antithesis.

Yes, the term "social media" is Orwellian, it is fundamentally anti-social for the reasons you give. When talking to people face-to-face I often refer to twitter etc. as anti-social media.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 19:28 utc | 197

@vk | Apr 25 2020 19:26 utc | 210

I read Marx, and I agree with this consensus.

Yes, and you ignored my main point @204

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 19:35 utc | 198

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 25 2020 19:28 utc | 212

"Yes, the term "social media" is Orwellian, it is fundamentally anti-social for the reasons you give. When talking to people face-to-face I often refer to twitter etc. as anti-social media."

Just like anti-social "distancing".

I refuse to use the term "social distancing", which is just Orwellian gibberish with zero scientific grounding. The whole concept of self-isolation and anti-social "distancing" is radically anti-human. We evolved over millions of years to be social creatures living in tight-knit groups, and although modern societies ideologically and socioeconomically work to massify and atomize people, nevertheless almost all of us still seek close human companionship in our lives.

This terror campaign seeks to blast to pieces any residual human closeness, which means any residual humanity as such, the better to isolate individual atoms for subjection to total domination. Arendt wrote profoundly on this goal of totalitarian governments, though even she didn't envision a state-driven cult of the literal physical repulsion of every atom from every other atom.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 25 2020 20:33 utc | 199

James @ 191:

Keynes' idea of a bancor was not adopted at the Bretton Woods conference in New Hampshire in 1946 for the reason that as a representative of an exhausted former colonial power in the court of a new world power to whom Britain owed its survival as well as numerous debts going back 30 years at least - Britain had borrowed heavily from Wall St during WW1 - he was not in much position to have any influence on the Americans. The US representatives there had the upper hand as standard-bearers of a new imperial regime and knew it.

Nearly all of Europe was exhausted and in ruins after WW2, and this situation made most European nations outside the Soviet sphere of influence dependent on the US - hence the US was able to enjoy trade and balance-of-payments surpluses with them.

The only European nation that escaped ruin was Sweden and this luck explains both that nation's later prosperity and ability to build a social welfare state and the survival of fascism, as expressed in an ongoing eugenics policy that lasted to 1975 (and which also underpinned the social welfare state) and a neofascist underground movement.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 25 2020 20:36 utc | 200

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