Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 02, 2020

Open Thread 2020-26

News & views ...

Posted by b on April 2, 2020 at 15:45 UTC | Permalink

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Pepe's had a nightmare:

Posted by: bevin | Apr 2 2020 16:09 utc | 1

@1 Yeah but he is not far off the mark though, imo..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 2 2020 16:35 utc | 2

@ 1 bevin... that is a byproduct of the fiat money system, otherwise referred to by me as a ponzi scheme... at some point the music will stop... every bust and boom is followed by a bigger bust and boom.. using covid 19 to help this along makes sense to a conspiracy theorist.. why miss out on a good opportunity to add to the madness? that seems to be some people's thinking... the lockdown is interesting.. some think it is a legitimate response to the pandemic and others think it is killing the economy.. meanwhile countries that are more social are working thru it.. those that are more capitalist are hoping to get rid of the lower segment of their system - survival of the economically fittest and all that blather.... nothing like shuffling ideas around to come up with all sorts of scenarios... way to go pepe!

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2020 16:56 utc | 3

bevin @1--

I was going to provide that link, too. He presaged it somewhat at his Facebook by providing several postings highlighting Camus. He's not alone when it comes to the scenario he portrays. Do note that the scenario implies resistance from Eurasia; that the permanent lockdown's only meant for the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals, but primarily for North America. And for Whom is amply clear--The Rentiers. During this time, I suggest reading Shadowstats on a continual basis, although he doesn't update his commentary daily.

At his Facebook, Pepe doesn't provide a link for what follows:



"Now THAT'S what we call a bombshell.

"'There is a consistent pattern of the USG getting all these Nazi Biowarfare Death Scientists going out into the public record and arguing that Covid was just natural deliberately in order to undercut my argument that it is a bioengineered biological warfare weapon in which they are implicated too by selling it to PRC. For example, this Ebright also doing this is sitting there with a BSL3 on his Rutger’s Campus. Ditto for Garry at Tulane. Ditto for these people at UTexas Medical Center. Ditto for Fauci, etc. There are well over 13, 000+ of them. You have to do your “due diligence” on all these people.'

"Dr. Boyle has stated in the past, in no uncertain terms, that the US Biowarfare Programs have '13,000 Death Scientists Hard at Work' and that the US's $100-billion Germ Warfare Industry is a 'Criminal Enterprise.'

"He should know: he’s the author of U.S. Biowarfare Act.

"There’s more:

"'I don’t mean to toot my own horn here. The situation is far too existential for that. But I issued my Worldwide Alert all over the internet and to the mainstream news Media that this was a biological warfare agent that leaked from that Wuhan BSL4 on Friday, January 24. I then gave that interview to Geopolitics that went viral all over the world.

'Ever since then, one after another, these Nazi Biowarfare Death Scientists have come out of the woodwork to refute what I was arguing as of January 24. So there is a consistent pattern here. All you have to do is a little “due diligence” on their Nazi Biowarfare Death Science Dirty work to discredit them. As I have done with Ebright and his BSL3 on the Rutgers Campus. When Ebright told me personally and some others that this Wuhan coronavirus was not bioengineered, I confronted him with Rutger’s BSL3 and provoked him into defending himself. He did not respond. A Deafening Silence. Ditto for the rest of them. I call them all Covid Deniers.'

"And they should all be in the slammer:

"'All these people doing Nazi Biowarfare Death Science Dirty Work face life in prison under my Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 and they know it because I had previously notified them all to that effect in scientific publications at the time. So they have no alternative but to cover it all up. Covid Deniers.'"

And here again is the link to the 3-way discussion between Escobar, Norton and Blumenthal.

And as usual of course, Pepe provides numerous links in his article that will take time to follow up on to get the bigger picture.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2020 17:02 utc | 4

4 Cont'd--

The problem with Boyle's assertion is his timing the release on 24 Jan 2020 when it seems clear the virus was already stalking about prior to that date. But, his larger point that the agent was used deliberately seems verified via Outlaw US Empire behavior. The scenario outlined by William Gruff in yesterday's thread about the global gangster organization being responsible IMO is very plausible. So, the question begged: Is Boyle's tirade meant to be a Red Herring for it does muddy the waters?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2020 17:11 utc | 5

Every crisis is an opportunity. Thus the necessity to create crisies.

Posted by: Noah Way | Apr 2 2020 17:16 utc | 6

I doubt that any of those students will be hospitalized. They tested positive, sure. But that just means that they came in contact with the virus. They know that and everyone knows that but of course the mass media has to make an example of them with headlines such as "Grow Up!" and "Covidiots!" One mustn't go against the narrative, that will not be permitted in our Brave New World.

Posted by: jhnh | Apr 2 2020 17:34 utc | 7

I just ticked another item off my bucket list last night. I finally sat down and listened to Miles Davis' Dark Magus. It just seemed like the right time.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Apr 2 2020 17:47 utc | 8

@ 1; Thanks for the link, here's an excerpt that's totally Si-Fi, but may be reality;

"The fact is that, all over Planet Lockdown, a groundswell of public opinion is leaning towards defining the current state of affairs as a global psyop: a deliberate global meltdown – the New Great Depression – imposed on unsuspecting citizens by design."

"The powers that be, taking their cue from the tried and tested, decades-old CIA playbook, of course are breathlessly calling it a “conspiracy theory”. Yet what vast swathes of global public opinion observe is a – dangerous – virus being used as cover for the advent of a new, digital financial system, complete with a forced vaccine cum nanochip creating a full, individual, digital identity."

Posted by: ben | Apr 2 2020 18:00 utc | 9

@ #9 Ben: The term ‘conspiracy theory’ was created by the CIA in the 1950’s to disparage ideas contrary to propaganda.

Posted by: Noah Way | Apr 2 2020 18:12 utc | 10

Interesting that Pepe didn't get his "Ground Control to Planet Lockdown: This Is Only a Test" article published at where he submitted "China rolls out the Health Silk Road: In the Belt and Road framework, China is supplying much of the world including virus-hit Europe with medicine and healthcare items."

Curious. I'll ask at his Facebook.

Pepe points out that the Health Belt was incorporated in to the plan in 2017, and aid's been offered to 89 nations so far, "Most [aid] are donations. Some are trade – like millions of masks sold to France (and the US)." Pepe also takes time to fill us in on the deep, dynamical "connectivity" between Italy and China that's been ongoing for decades.

Pepe also supplies us with very important info as to the virus's timeline:

"'These pneumonia cases had nothing to do with typical flu pneumonia, they were interstitial pneumonias, they had to do CT, radiography [to diagnose it], and this was seen in October, November, December. So this virus has been circulating a long time.'" [My Emphasis]

Pepe's conclusion hints at the content of his "Test" article, but it's otherwise unmentioned.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2020 18:27 utc | 11

More bad news from capitalism's propaganda boys Japan, South Korea and HK.


Japan education officials divided on reopening schools amid COVID-19 outbreaks

Japan weighing support to rush life-saving machines to virus-hit hospitals

Experts warn of health care collapse in Japan if virus keeps spreading

Head of Japan medical society in U.S. urges Japan to hurry COVID-19 measures

Nikkei also stated, yesterday, that Japan's testing capacity is just one seventh of Germany's (I won't post the link here because it is in Japanese and is paywalled). The rate of testing in Japan is negligible for all practical purposes.

South Korea:

Virus fallout: Empty in-flight meal carts [PHOTOS]

PM:'It's still too early to ease social distancing'

Seoul to conduct coronavirus test for int'l arrivals at Olympic stadium

Foreign selloff continues despite gov't measures

Hong Kong:

HK sees 80% rise in new Covid-19 cases

All of these news (which are all in favorable MSMs, so I cannot be accused of delving in obscure far-leftist tabloids or blogs) point to that my old hypothesis is probably the correct one: that those countries/provinces/cities (with the exception of sui generis Singapore) were successful in containing the first wave of the COVID-19 not so much because they already had favorable cultural traits, but mainly because they are fervent anti-communist, Mainland China haters. Therefore, they already had a military-logistical plan ready-made to isolate themselves almost instantly from the Mainland.

However, the second wave will come from the West - against which these countries/provinces/cities have absolutely no protection (either political, ideological, military or logistic). They will be ravaged.

The main reason I don't buy this "cultural habits" hypothesis (albeit I don't believe it is wrong per se, just that it doesn't erradicate the pandemic), is very simple: the COVID-19 is an entirely different beast from the old SARS. Just wearing masks, just getting some social distance, just letting your shoes outside won't be nearly enough to contain the SARS CoV-2. An absolute, ruthless lockdown for at least two months (each wave) is needed. The State must impose a forced general strike on the capitalist class if it wants to have a fighting chance against this virus. It will also need to expropriate (by force, if needed) all the means of production in order to keep the supplies ready and flowing rationally. It's either that, or a descent to barbarism and neofeudalism.

At Chinahand's twitter, this was shared:

"it is striking to see how much foreign media have, unfortunately, failed to effectively depict Japan's science-based strategy."

This is the alleged "science-based strategy"

Ms. Yoshino must not be a conoisseur of science, because that "strategy" doesn't make any sense against COVID-19. How are you going to identify the clusters without mass testings, given the the COVID-19 already is transmissible at the end stage of its incubation period, when symptoms are extremely mild.

Again, I repeat: this strategy may have been effective against the old SARS, but won't be against this new one. This one is dign of the status of pandemic. It will roll over Japan's healthcare system.



More economists now using the D word: depression

They are 12 years too late, as the depression begun with the 2008 meltdown, not now. Marxist economists have already been treating the post-2008 capitalist world as a depression since the very beginning.

Those wizards at Chicago, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge etc. etc. should call down, give up, be humble and start reading Marx.

Posted by: vk | Apr 2 2020 18:30 utc | 12

@karlof1 #11 re: timeline

Yep. My mom (72 yo) had this in Oct/Nov. Persistent pneum, mysterious 'nodules' on the lungs, disabling cough. She likely gave it to my brother (40 yo, they cohabit), and he was incapacitated for a few weeks. Both have history of smoking and other health issues. Mom is a 2x cancer survivor. She's also a frequent traveler, spent part of her illness cooped up in a river cruise ship in N Europe.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Apr 2 2020 18:35 utc | 13


brother 40 50 yo

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Apr 2 2020 18:45 utc | 14

Dr Wellington Yueh @13--

I take it as an almost proven assumption that some government's going to order antibody tests for people who had those sorts of ailments during 2019 and will likely find several proving COVID-19's existence prior to the Wuhan outbreak. Your kin ought to be tested.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2020 18:52 utc | 15

Chinahand's twitter feed has been covering the steady build-up of claims that CCP is entirely to blame for the pandemic, and an alleged failure on their behalf to be forthright with initial statistics is entirely to blame for the west's delayed and/or inadequate response. This way of thinking is largely contained to persons already committed to an anti-China/CCP position, but is widespread in those circles and is promoted as established fact.

Whitney Webb has been documenting the surprising number of pandemic exercises (pandemic preparation conferences) held in recent years in now afflicted countries. In that context, the flat-footed response since mid-January is rather puzzling, as is the lack of coordination.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 2 2020 18:57 utc | 16

Deliberate spreading of the virus via no testing no quarantine, followed by lock downs without end, lay the blame on China.
The big reset - debt write off = and the peasants will blame China for all their problems.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 19:21 utc | 17

And the US comes out of it with a good chunk of the worlds oil.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 19:23 utc | 18

Worth a look

Posted by: Reality | Apr 2 2020 19:29 utc | 19

@karlof1 re: testing

I told my mom, on her next visit she needs to calmly but persistently press to be tested, and to not accept 'no'. I'll be visiting again soon, and will hopefully get an answer.

BTW, I received a text this morning from LA County: 'blah blah blah...check our testing website for ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS...' WTF?!?!?

@bevin re: Pepe - I'm sending the Pepe article to some folks I know will not knee-jerk discount it. Thanks!

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Apr 2 2020 19:37 utc | 20

From Escobar's piece "A critique of the Planet Lockdown strategy inevitably raises serious questions pointing to a controlled demolition of the global economy...
...These are unequivocal markings of a massive social re-engineering project, complete with inbuilt full monitoring, population control and social distancing promoted as the new normal."

Strategy to maximise the effect of corona virus, remove useless eaters, dispose of debt and all of this laid on China. It's working.
People I know - friends, family are believing the China dunnit crap instead of hanging politicians from bridges.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 19:54 utc | 21

Ecuadorean funerary system collapses, 150 bodies removed from homes:

Coronavírus: sistema funerário do Equador entra em colapso

Posted by: vk | Apr 2 2020 20:03 utc | 22

from the "U.S. will drown In Covid-19 Cases"
my commentaries @ 40 and 51

Billy G: 31 questions and answers about COVID-19


[19 Mar 2020 ... 19. Yesterday I did a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on COVID-19. ... Some people like health care workers will be doing heroic work and we need to support them. ... Therapeutics because the number being proposed is very large and ... Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has ...]


What changes are we going to have to make to how businesses operate to maintain our economy while providing social distancing?

The question of which businesses should keep going is tricky. Certainly food supply and the health system. We still need water, electricity and the internet. Supply chains for critical things need to be maintained. Countries are still figuring out what to keep running.

Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.[.] (added emphasis in the last sentence)

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 2 2020 20:10 utc | 23

@vk 12

the period 2008-August 2019 is known as the Great Recession but was only an illusion of prosperity built on debt.....a bubble
2020 triggered, by the pin, COVID-19, ushers in the Greatest Depression. market implodes.


Oil Market charts are painted green due Trump's boasting he had brokered a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia

Kremlin says no talks with Saudi Arabia happened, after Trump’s tweets claim Moscow and Riyadh will cut oil production

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 2 2020 20:40 utc | 24

Didn't have time to watch the Escobar/Norton/Blumenthal video yesterday, so I watched it and just finished. It's very wide-ranging and moves its focus from COVID-19 to geopolitics and China's taking the gloves off to the EU and back to China over 90+ minutes. IMO, it's worth the time to watch, although its 27 March airdate will soon be overcome by further developments. IMO, the discussion helped organize Pepe's thoughts on his "Test" article. Escobar's article mentioned in the video is, "China locked in hybrid war with US" and was published on 17 March.

Peter AU 1 @21--

Yes, the plot is easily discerned by those with open eyes. Pepe talks about the vast importance of China's Soft Power moves in the EU zone, particularly Italy, but France too. It seems the timeline will be moved back as evidence mounts that the virus existed in multiple global regions prior to China's warning shot inn late December. One question I have: How long did China's Politburo discuss the situation before taking action--what's their informational timeline?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2020 21:09 utc | 25

The only treatment given to hospitalised covid patients here in the U.K. is paracetamol ! ! !
Hydroxychorolrin is banned from use. Unless under trial test ‘ todate about 30.
I’m to disgusted to comment.
It’s deliberate. End of debate

Source- - - bbc radio 4 news at 10. About 15 - 10 mins in.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 2 2020 21:38 utc | 26

@ vk

Those wizards at Chicago, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge etc. etc. should call down, give up, be humble and start reading Marx.

Absolutely goddam right.

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 2 2020 21:58 utc | 27

@ vk @ Patroklos


Posted by: spudski | Apr 2 2020 22:13 utc | 28

karlof1 25

Starting point in populations I leave open at the moment. An odd case here and there of an odd pneumonia would not raise any alarms. In Wuhan, it was noticeable because of a cluster of identical pneumonia cases. How long does it take to move from the odd case here and there to a cluster to an epidemic.
When I look at it this way I am not convinced that there was a number individual starting points. Iran possibly a separate start point. Early cases in the US - sounds like a nasty bug was going around, but coronavirus floods hospitals with pneumonia cases so I doubt it has been circulating in the US for long.
But until US is proven innocent, I believe this is a made in the USA pandemic. Kicked off in Wuhan by the US.
A made in the USA bug with blame china as part of the strategy I think means it must start off in China and spread from there. Spread greatly assisted by no testing and quarantine of travelers nor of people in the community one they have contracted the virus.
Australia had no testing and quarantine at airports, and no quarantine of positive cases in the community although they would track and test contacts. A way to make it look as though they are doing something while assisting the spread.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 22:23 utc | 29

vk 12

"An absolute, ruthless lockdown for at least two months (each wave) is needed."

Our Little Hitlers really are in a state of ongoing public orgasm these days.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 2 2020 22:28 utc | 30

Reality @19

I'm truly disappointed with 20th Century Wire.

I stopped watching that video when it talked about the number of deaths in China after "the virus had run it's course".

Well, the virus had not "run its course"! It was stopped in its tracks by an extraordinary effort. An effort so stringent that some question the official stats.

The problem in the West is not that we are giving up our democracy - WE DON'T HAVE DEMOCRACY - the problem is that our neoliberal, neocon governments are gaming the virus to benefit Deep State priorities, favored corporate interests, and Wall Street.

<> <> <> <> <>

And why it it that they advertise Brave Browser to guard against tracking but use Discus as their comment system?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 2 2020 23:05 utc | 31

Forced lock down does nothing on it's own. Lockdown is only useful if there is an ongoing quarantine and eradication program.
Lockdown on its own, which is what most of the so called west is doing means lockdown without end.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 2 2020 23:15 utc | 32

Peter AU 1 @29--

Pepe confirmed my assumption about his article submissions. There's a striking similarity with the White Helmet FF events in play here with multiple government & BigLie Media coordination. TrumpCo's doing what it can to delay the $1200 dole and many other aspects of the CARES legislation. Meanwhile, China will investigate escalating the Trade War with the Outlaw US Empire in an act of retaliation related to the clear attempt to decouple the high-tech sector.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2020 23:25 utc | 33

Peter AU 1 @29--

I highly suggest watching the first half of this Keiser Report as it focuses on the "privatization" of the bond market, which Pepe noted is part of the "Plan." Other aspects of the ongoing crisis are discussed. The 2nd half interview with Matt Taibbi doesn't really add anything to our understanding, so IMO it can be omitted.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 0:02 utc | 34

Just rapping with myself it seems, which makes sense in our social-distancing hermit mode of being at the moment.

But seriously, we've discussed movements and the great need for them to coalesce into one big social movement to restore equity and morality to the West, in particular the Outlaw US Empire, or more appropriately the Great Satan. This article promotes a movement I hadn't heard of before, The Poor People's Campaign. Their written reaction to the just enacted CARES bill was published as an op/ed in Time:

"'Americans who are desperate for aid from their government could not get it without paying a 25% surcharge to the rich and powerful,' they [Barber and Theoharis] added. 'In a word, this is evil.'" [My Emphasis]

EVIL, yes, most certainly, but they got the same treatment from Obama, and Bush and Clinton, so why did they think this time with Trump would be different? If it sounds like a revival of an MLK led group, you'd be correct in that assumption. The big question is will it get any traction within the Outlaw US Empire? IMO, the proper thing for a political movement to pursue isn't to plead with the government for a fair share--those days are now over. Rather, the movement must aim to retake the government so the entire political-economy can be redirected from the financial parasites to providing workers and their employers the majority of the economy's benefits while retooling it to meet the challenges of both today and tomorrow. And IMO, regular folks really don't have any other choice but to act decisively if they want a decent future.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 1:03 utc | 35

seems to me usa is headed for some type of civil war.... this shit is bizarre...

Ron DeSantis quietly signed second executive order targeting local coronavirus restrictions

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2020 2:47 utc | 36

I used to have a lot of respect for Pepe, after reading his last few articles not so much.

From the link provided in #1 that Pepe posted today. "Michael Levitt, 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry and Stanford biophysicist, was spot on when he calculated that China would get through the worst of Covid-19 way before throngs of health experts believed, and that “What we need is to control the panic”.

Let’s cross this over with some facts and dissident opinion, in the interest of fostering an informed debate."

The "What we need is to control the panic", is a link from March 23rd to an LATimes article where a Nobel Laureate is saying just calm down, this is nothing. This is what Pepe calls "some facts and dissident opinion, in the interest of fostering an informed debate." This is not dissident opinion, nor does it foster informed debate. It is an opinion from about 10 days ago which through the passage of time is shown to be clearly wrong. Only an idiot or someone trying to muddy the conversation would use that to support his argument. Pepe is too smart to not realize that what he linked to does not support his supposition. He just assumed most people wouldn't follow the link, or read it, or check the date. He is pandering to all the folks that are wanting to deny the reality of what is happening.

The question is why? As far as I am concerned Pepe can go fuck himself.

Posted by: David F | Apr 3 2020 5:19 utc | 37

I guess it's amazing, the near-100% consensus the elites were able to muster for this quantum totalitarian leap.

I guess it's surprising, how almost all the scum of the internet who have been so emphatic about how anti-authoritarian they were, how anti-imperial, how anti-corporate, what self-styled "rebels" they were, how almost all of them, the second things looked like they might get difficult, threw everything over and scuttled home to totalitarian mama.

I think that proves what frauds they all were. Almost anyone who ever talked big about human well-being, human freedom, science, reason, they all just threw it away in the stampede.

That is, of course, those who didn't have a prior ulterior motive. Anyone at MoA knows the ulterior motives at every level of country governments.

Which renders it all the more inexplicable that most here are parroting the system line, which can be boiled down to:

"We have no idea what we're doing, but we do know we must enforce obedience, and we expect the people at every point to join us in enforcing obedience."

And sure enough, not just the MSM but almost the entirety of the fake "alternative" media have fallen in with the Party Line: You Must Obey.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 3 2020 5:38 utc | 38

Russ @ 38 says:

I guess it's surprising, how almost all the scum of the internet who have been so emphatic about how anti-authoritarian they were, how anti-imperial, how anti-corporate, what self-styled "rebels" they were, how almost all of them, the second things looked like they might get difficult, threw everything over and scuttled home to totalitarian mama

well, Russ, we've seen it all before, haven't we? how most all of our resident empire slayers gnash their teeth daily, that is, until electoral campaign time rolls around, and they, as you say, run home to mama.

Posted by: john | Apr 3 2020 9:23 utc | 39

john | Apr 3 2020 9:23 utc | 40

For sure. Those who already were Dembots have acted accordingly. And then most who "performed" even an anti-electoral role have run home to obedience to the system.

Zero thought, zero debate, zero public objection.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 3 2020 10:18 utc | 40

Karlofi @33

"Meanwhile, China will investigate escalating the trade war with the Outlaw US Empire in an act of retaliation related to the clear attempt to decouple the high-tech sector."

I see that the PTB do not miss a beat 24/7, even with this Covid19 pandemic dominating everything. It is obvious that thousands of Americans are employed to come up with ways to undermine China, and to further their many other goals of full spectrum dominance, from putting a bounty on Maduro's head to Nicaragua, to blocking and bashing China, and on and on.

IMO this makes it even more likely that the Covid 19 virus was an intentional act on the US's part.

Posted by: arby | Apr 3 2020 11:32 utc | 41

Theres being anti-authoritarian, and then theres being an idiot. I mean even the most anti-authoritarian person will get out if the way of a charging train even if they really want to stay in that spot to exercise their freedom. Arent they not?

Yes our freedoms are being taken. Yes governments will try to take advantage and not give some back. Its on us anti-authoritarians to make sure we get all of those back and then some. But when this passes. An yes, this too will pass.

Posted by: Comandante | Apr 3 2020 12:36 utc | 42

@karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 1:03 utc | 35

Just rapping with myself it seems, which makes sense in our social-distancing hermit mode of being at the moment.

At least I am reading and appreciating your thoughtful posts! Thank you.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 3 2020 13:08 utc | 43

Theres being anti-authoritarian, and then theres being an idiot. I mean even the most anti-authoritarian person will get out if the way of a charging train even if they really want to stay in that spot to exercise their freedom.

Yes, you're a case in point. No one said anything about standing on train tracks. We're talking about the entirety of the living Earth itself. This crisis ought to bring a complete rejection of all notions of "property" in land. But I'm not holding my breath.

(But, I take it, you're the typical totalitarian scum which views the entire globe as one big road. No doubt that's what you are, and we have literally zero to say to one another.)

To repeat for anyone sentient who's reading, there's no evidence that indoor incarceration brings any benefit, and no evidence that outdoor activity poses any transmission threat, while there's longstanding abundant evidence that outdoor recreation is important for physical and psychological health, including strengthening our immune systems which are so important now, while incarceration depresses immune function along with depressing physical and psychological health.

Almost no one is saying it, on account of mass sheep hysteria along with all the ulterior motives the system now is putting into motion, but the whole concept of "lockdown" isn't just anti-democracy and anti-freedom, but is anti-science, anti-health, and pro-virus.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 3 2020 13:09 utc | 44

Which reminds me of this moral choice I had to make walking home yesterday. I was about to step aside for a dog turd but then I thought, since when will a dog turd dictate to me what I should do? So I didn't.

On the other hand there is a very valid question to what extent we give the state the power to control the crisis in an effective manner and what alternatives are there.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 3 2020 13:23 utc | 45

Some may recall the opening scene of "The Caine Mutiny when (if) they bother to lookit> twitter dot com/i/status/1246043872402313217 .

That's the popular Navy Captain who stood for his crew being relied. Now they'll get Queeg, and their operational capacity will approach zero as moral goes also to zero.

In microcosm? Yes, but this is a model for mutiny generally.

Recall the the Russian Soviet Revolution began in the Navy...the ship's still afloat (both the ship of state and also the cruiser.)

Posted by: Walter | Apr 3 2020 13:24 utc | 46

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 3 2020 13:23 utc | 45

Which reminds me of this moral choice I had to make walking home yesterday. I was about to step aside for a dog turd but then I thought, since when will a dog turd dictate to me what I should do? So I didn't.

I have no idea what the moral dilemma might have been, but the practical issue is easily solved by stepping aside. Only the most retarded snowflake in history would shriek that the sidewalk needs to be closed.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 3 2020 13:33 utc | 47

Unnerved by Market Mayhem, US Shale Drillers Lobby Trump for Foreign Sanctions, Import Ban – Report

American shale drillers are lobbying the Trump administration to enforce protectionist measures, including sanctions on Russia and Saudi Arabia, in a bid to shield themselves from the oil market crash, the Financial Times reports.

Minerva's Owl is always late.

But it always come.


@ Russ

I don't think this pandemic will create any new fact on the field. The West was already degenerating (what you call "getting more totalitarian"). China already was ascending. The pandemic may be accelerating this process, but it didn't originate it.

You also must understand that the concept of totalitarianism is purely propagandistic in nature. It was popularized by Menshevik refugees in NY in the 1920s-30s (at the time, to explicitly designate the USSR). Then, in the 1940s, it was refurbished by the western center-left into a pseudo-scientific sociological theory that could unite both the Third Reich and the USSR.

What's the most interesting about the second definition of totalitarianism is that it paints a more vivid picture of post-war liberalism than of the alleged totalitarian societies they claim to accurately describe. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., in his 1949 "The Vital Center: the politics of freedom", says that what differentiates liberal society from the "other" is that it had a heterogenous center of power, where a confederation of ideologies, distributed across a political spectrum (left to right), disputed power peacefully and according to natural selection like principles. It was an a-historical society, in perpetual equilibrium. Hannah Arendt, in her famous book, claimed that her "main findings" of her "reasearch on totalitarianism", was that both the USSR and the Third Reich relied on an absolute narrative (the first, in the history of class struggle, the second, on the quest of the superior race for world domination), while the liberal societies had a freedom of thinking.

You don't have to be a genius to find out that those authors (and many other of the immediate post-war) are the founding fathers of our contemporary "woke left" (postmodern pluralism). Indeed, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. lived a long life (typical of a member of the northeastern elite), and he lived enough to see his "vital center" to crumble: in 1991, he published The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society.

There are other problems with their concept of totalitarianism. To begin with, they are definitely not applicable to the USSR: as soon as Stalin died (March 1953), an intestine struggle for power between his successors (whose heir apparent was Lauvrenty Beria) and the young officers veterans of the WWII (led by Zhukov and Krushchev) begun. Beria was executed and Krushchev took power, and immediately begun the process of "destalinization". The struggle didn't end there, because Krushchev's failed domestic economic policies led to a return of the "conservatives" (i.e. stalinists): a military junta led by Leonid Brezhnev toppled him in 1964 and governed the USSR until the beginning of the 1980s (Brezhnev's death). Then another "reformist" took power (Yuri Andropov). Andropov already was in terminal stage, and governed from the ICU. After his death, there was a late and desperate attempt of the conservatives to come back, and another man in terminal stage (Konstantin Chernenko) took power. His death finally led to the definitive return of the reformists with the rise of Andropov's protege Mikhail Gorbachev. Another failed coup of the conservatives happened in August 1991, and in December the USSR was dissolved by another coup (of the neoliberals).

As you can see, the USSR was far from a "single thinking" society, as Hannah Arendt thought. It definitely had a "vital center". The USSR ended up falling over its own weight, on its own inner contradictions - and not because of the CIA's propaganda warfare or because of Reagan's alleged genius.

What the intellectuals of totalitarianism reveal are their own condition in the post-war: all of their debate was confined. They were the circle of the so-called "center-left". They were speaking for a fraction of the American and Western European population. Yes, at the time their world-vision was dominant in their governments - but not because of them. On the "other side of the political spectrum", there were the rising stars of neoconservatism, who were not talking about totalitarianism at all: to them it was the epic fight between socialism and capitalism and period. They treated even the center-left as full-fledged communists.

That means the center-left lived in a world where they couldn't claim supremacy, in a fragmented society that was post-war capitalism. But they feared the USSR more, so they chose to create an imaginary world where nobody was (and could never be) right, a world where everything was relative. An anti-scientific world, where the necessary science was confined in islands of excellence full of "nerds", while the rest keeps engaged in endless political-ideological catfights for power.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 14:29 utc | 48

Can this marriage be saved?

Despite coronavirus crisis, President Trump and Nancy Pelosi have not spoken in five months

You have to know what is important, it this case their little interpersonal disputes.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 3 2020 14:53 utc | 49

@ David F, and all

The Barfly Tools script to filter out user comments is unchanged from the one posted on the Open Thread 2020-03 and can be downloaded from this Pastebin link.

On Chrome, Firefox and Opera, you will need to install an extension that allows you to use userscripts. Depending on your browser it should either be Greasemonkey, Violentmonkey or Tampermonkey. Once it is installed, create a new script from the extension options/menus and copy-paste the contents of the link above into it, or click the "Use clipboard" button.

The block list is stored as a cookie on your browser. If you flush this out often, remember to copy the contents of the text box added to the bottom of the page.

Posted by: Drive-by Commenting | Apr 3 2020 15:04 utc | 50

Boeing pitches buyouts in desperate bid to cut costs

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 15:09 utc | 51

Finally the first official report came out. It is as I feared: Japan has 13 clusters - almost all of them in the Tokyo-Osaka magalopolis:

Updated Japan COVID-19 map shows 13 new clusters, doubling last count

There's the pdf linked in the article, if you want to download the clusters map.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 15:12 utc | 52

It's time for the joke of the week:

Brussels to the rescue? Ursula von der Leyen pushes for Covid-19 ‘Marshall Plan’ as bloc is far from united

Ms. Leyen is on a roll: I think it's the second or third time she features in the joke of the week.

Curiosities apart, I don't think the Europeans today have an idea about why the Marshall Plan worked.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 15:29 utc | 53

Drive-by Commenting 49

Thank you, this is going to make reading the comment sections much more pleasant.

Posted by: David F | Apr 3 2020 15:36 utc | 54

Europe's Services PMI official figures came out today. They are catastrophic.

Horrendous services activity figures of March out of Europe - the result of the lockdowns.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 15:45 utc | 55

Thanks to a bunch of evangelical biggots, the mortality excess for March in the department of Bas Rhin (Mulhouse area) is 84% more than last year.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 3 2020 16:00 utc | 56

For those denying the Depression; Interest rates go negative and can Oil be priced @ zero?

As oil sinks, some companies float idea of 'zero clause' in trades

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - After the worst quarter for oil prices in history, some oil producers have begun to include protection in their contracts to avoid being forced to pay buyers for the oil they pump if prices slide below $0 a barrel.[.]

Major oil companies and those involved in U.S. shale have started introducing a zero clause, to avoid having to pay buyers to take oil away, six sources said.
“If the purchase price to be paid by Buyer to Seller for any crude oil delivered is less than zero dollars, such purchase price shall be deemed to be zero dollars,” reads one such clause, one of the six sources said.

Exxon Mobil Corp introduced such clauses into contracts a few days ago for new deals, according to two counter-parties to Exxon’s trades who have seen the contracts.[.]

“The majors have brought this up as a discussion,” said one of the trade sources familiar with the talks, adding the price was a matter for the parties to agree upon. “It could be somewhere between $5 and zero.”[.]

Canadian heavy oil in Alberta traded $16.65 per barrel below WTI, or about $3.60 a barrel outright on Wednesday.

The physical Brent crude benchmark, known as dated Brent, dropped to a new record discount to Brent futures at about a $10 a barrel.[.]


Conspiracy coincidence: October 18, 2019 -
A Global Pandemic Exercise, Event 201 - Center for Health Security website.

Event 201 simulates an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen and the disease it causes are modeled largely on SARS, but it is more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms.

The disease starts in pig farms in Brazil, quietly and slowly at first, but then it starts to spread more rapidly in healthcare settings. When it starts to spread efficiently from person to person in the low-income, densely packed neighborhoods of some of the megacities in South America, the epidemic explodes. It is first exported by air travel to Portugal, the United States, and China and then to many other countries. Although at first some countries are able to control it, it continues to spread and be reintroduced, and eventually no country can maintain control.[.]

The scenario ends at the 18-month point, with 65 million deaths. The pandemic is beginning to slow due to the decreasing number of susceptible people. The pandemic will continue at some rate until there is an effective vaccine or until 80-90 % of the global population has been exposed. From that point on, it is likely to be an endemic childhood disease.[.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 3 2020 16:01 utc | 57

me @ 56

Who knew MbS of KSA may have a veto here:

Unnerved by Market Mayhem, US Shale Drillers Lobby Trump for Foreign Sanctions, Import Ban – Report

Falling demand for oil and a growing oversupply caused a collapse in oil prices last month, threatening US shale oil companies, which operate at higher costs. Industry representatives have been seeking to limit the output to prop up prices, in addition to requesting a string of protective measures, but large oil companies do not support the move.
American shale drillers are lobbying the Trump administration to enforce protectionist measures, including sanctions on Russia and Saudi Arabia, in a bid to shield themselves from the oil market crash, the Financial Times reports.

Shale industry proposals

It is understood that one of the most popular shale industry proposals is a block on Saudi crude shipments to Motiva, the largest oil refinery in North America, which is located in Texas and owned by Saudi Aramco.[.] (highlight added)

Standby: for the bankruptcies.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 3 2020 16:14 utc | 58

Lends more credence to theory of CV being deliberate US BioWeapon and lockdown being beneficial to 1%

Asset prices will be at rock bottom after weeks of enforced social lockdown but with markets being kept open.
Emily Baumgaertner
NEW: Two months before the novel coronavirus likely began spreading in Wuhan, the Trump administration ended a $200-million program aimed at detecting — well, novel coronaviruses. The staff had been working with the lab in — well, Wuhan. w/

Of course the MOA Stalinst contingent will as usual choose the "incompetence theory" cos for years now they have been nothing if not consistently stupid/dishonest on that subject.

Which is why they've been so frequently wrong on things lke Syria for example

Posted by: Realist | Apr 3 2020 16:16 utc | 59

Check this map! Just a fast look...

Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Apr 3 2020 16:17 utc | 60

Asset prices will be at rock bottom after weeks of enforced social lockdown but with markets being kept open


The ONLY people who could possibly benefit from that combination of events, lockdown&open stockmarkets, are the 1%

Posted by: Realist | Apr 3 2020 16:19 utc | 61

John Smith has an interesting article at OpenDemocracy.
It is a timely antidote to the nonsense that this unprecedented situation is one brought upon us by the 'all powerful" vaguely defined-shape shifting- powers that be. He makes it clear that in fact this crisis creates the conditions which could bring imperialism to its long deserved demise.
In the meantime there are those, refugees from liberalism and fascism, who insist that we should concentrate our energies on whining over the affront to freedom that not coughing over others (or ingesting their effluence) constitutes.

"…..they believe in one or other version of the ‘magic money tree’, in other words, they see the decline of interest rates into negative territory not as a flashing red light showing the extremity of the crisis, i.e. not as the implosion phase of a supernova, but as a green light to borrow money to finance increased state investment, social spending, a Green New Deal, and even a bit more foreign aid. In fact, there is no magic money tree. Capitalism cannot escape from this crisis, no matter how many trillions of dollars governments borrow or central banks print. The neoliberals rejected magical thinking, now they embrace it – this shows the extent of their panic, but it does not make magical thinking any less fantastical. The trillions they spent after 2007-8 bought another decade of zombie-like life for their vile system. This time they will be lucky to get 10 months, or even 10 weeks, before the explosion phase of the supernova begins…..
"The coronavirus pandemic occurred at the worst possible time: growth in the eurozone had shrunk to zero; much of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa were already in recession; the sugar-high from Trump’s huge tax-giveaways to US corporations was fading; the US-China trade war was causing serious disruption to supply chains and was threatening to entangle the EU; and tens of millions of people joined mass protests in dozens of countries across the world.
"… corporate interest rates have gone through the roof; in fact few corporations can borrow money at any price. Investors are refusing to lend to them. Corporations are now facing a credit crunch – in the midst of global negative interest rates! That’s why the ECB decided to borrow €750 billion from these same investors, and use it to buy the corporate bonds which these same investors now refuse to purchase, and why the USA’s Federal Reserve is doing the same on an even bigger scale. Italy’s (and the EU’s) fate now depends on the willingness of the Bundesbank to replace its private creditors. Their refusal to do this would be the final stage of the EU’s death agony….

"..The coronavirus pandemic is just the latest proof that we need not so much an NHS, but a GHS – a Global Health Service. The only country that is acting on this imperative is revolutionary Cuba. They already have more than 28,000 doctors providing free health care in 61 poor countries – more than the G7 nations combined – and 52 in Italy, 120 more to Jamaica, and are helping scores of other countries to prepare for the pandemic. Even the far-right Bolsonaro government in Brazil, which last year expelled 10000 Cuban doctors, branding them terrorists, is now begging them to return.
"....To defeat coronavirus we must emulate Cuba’s medical internationalism. If we are to defeat this pandemic we must join with its revolutionary doctors and revolutionary people, and we must prepare do what Cuba did to make this internationalism possible – in other words, we must replace the dictatorship of capital with the power of working people. The coronavirus supernova makes socialist revolution – in imperialist countries and across the world – into a necessity, an urgent practical task, a life and death question if human civilisation is to survive and if the capitalist destruction of nature, of which the coronavirus epidemic is merely the latest symptom, is to be ended.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 3 2020 16:40 utc | 62

@Dr Wellington Yueh | Apr 2 2020 17:47 utc | 8

Thanks for mentioning the Miles Davis / Dark Magus album.

Listening to it right now for the first time - superb.

Posted by: Joey Deacon | Apr 3 2020 16:45 utc | 63

Posted by: Realist | Apr 3 2020 16:19 utc | 60

still here dude?you re losing time..the epoch of trolls has bored enough..maybe you notice no one gives you attention and you still vomiting are just like the american dream..empty.

Posted by: LuBa | Apr 3 2020 16:55 utc | 64

i didn't know anyone listened to jazz rock anymore... it is refreshing to see some still listen to it!!

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2020 16:58 utc | 65

vk @52 re: "Marshall Plan"

But the United States already owns the EU. Why would they want to pay for it a second time?

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 3 2020 17:22 utc | 66

james @63--

I listen to Sirius-XM's Classic Jazz channel and greatly enjoy its Fusion programming and bassist Marcus Miller's "Miller Time" program that both feature the jazz/rock mélange genre. Then there're hybrid performers like Trombone Shorty that combine Hip-hop with Jazz, Rock, and New Orleans funk. Cheers!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 17:30 utc | 67

@Realist #60
Except the ones dying from nCOV.
And the entire US health care industry faced with a exposure as nCOV response in the US bankrupts/kills many more people than normal.
Nah, your analysis is just plain bad.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 3 2020 17:49 utc | 68

Some people's health matter more than others? Let them be the herd and let some have their asparagus!!
From the bbc live:
"Germany has said it will allow 40,000 seasonal workers to enter the country to harvest asparagus, despite a travel ban."

Posted by: Mina | Apr 3 2020 17:52 utc | 69

On his Facebook, Pepe Escobar wrote several comments entitled Perspectives to provide info related to his recent essays for which he was attacked by what I'll describe as a "clueless" troll army. I'm lifting those entries and posting them here so barflies can get an idea of what's driving Pepe's thinking:

December 30: China reports a new type of pneumonia to the CDC and the WHO. Alerts the world about a new, dangerous disease.
January 3: China updates the US government.
January 3: the US government kills Soleimani.
January 8: after sequencing the virus, China determines it is Sars-Cov-2.

"Too many "coincidences". Event 201, ID2020, and THIS--"The Naval War College Ran a Pandemic War Game in 2019. The Conclusions Were Eerie."

March 16, 2018: Trump fires the ENTIRE US Pandemic Response Team.

June 30, 2019: some sort of powerful pneumonia identified in a Springfield, Virginia nursing home near the Fr. Detrick mega bio lab, and only 15 minutes away from Fort Belvoir, where the 325 US military trained for the Wuhan Military Games.

July 12 and July 17, 2019: unidentified respiratory diseases first at an assisted care facility near Fort Derrick (3 dead, 54 ill) and then in the form of an unexplained pneumonia epidemic at a nursing home in Burke, 56 minutes from Fort Derrick.

August 6, 2019: the CDC closes the Fort Detrick bioweapon lab - the number one in the US - for reasons of "national security". CDC offers no details.

September 2019: vaping-associated lung disease, a "mysterious" pneumonia, reported in a many parts of the US. Same symptoms of Covid-19.

September 14 - October 10, 2019: US military team trains for the Wuhan Military Games in Fort Belvoir, 15 minutes away from "shut down for reasons of national security" Fort Derrick.

December 30: Wuhan announces a
"unknown viral illness".
December 31: Beijing receives virus genome results and then alert WHO about an "unknown" pneumonia. Wuhan announces the unknown virus on CCTV and CGTN."

This is what I wrote to Pepe as an explanation to the serious lack of critical thinking aside from the trolls:

"Thanks for your "Perspectives" Pepe. IMO, the problem resides in the fact that so few know that the #1 policy of the Outlaw US Empire is to achieve Full Spectrum Domination, and that there's absolutely no compromising the effort to attain that goal. Few know that the first casualties of the A-Bomb were US troops and scientists--they just didn't die immediately--and the Empire had no problems with that or with killing more of its own during later tests. Look at how many are sacrificed annually via dystopian domestic policies--The Oligarchy doesn't give a damn and never has: EVER!"

Barflies wanting to read the comments to Pepe's postings will need to go here. And you need to be a FB member to read them, but not Pepe's postings.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 17:53 utc | 70

@Realist #60
Except the ones dying from nCOV.
And the entire US health care industry faced with a exposure as nCOV response in the US bankrupts/kills many more people than normal.
Nah, your analysis is just plain bad.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 3 2020 17:49 utc | 67


The 1% have their private estates for isolation, private islands, bunkers in NZ, private aircraft to get there, and yachts where they can ride this out. They don't give a flying fuck about the healthcare system which the plebs gotta rely on.

They have their own healthcare, separate from all you filthy plebs.

Show me one scrap of evidence that the 1% are catching CV.

And they now have AI and robots so they don't need factory workers in the US no more, only in places like China. And their Chinese politburo business partners got that under control now.

Posted by: Realist | Apr 3 2020 18:05 utc | 71

Walter @46--

Yes, Queeg and the USS Caine, indeed! The USN has the worst readiness of all the service branches and a correspondingly low morale level. This incident will greatly worsen the situation and spread to the other branches--provided they find out. If the initial COVID ground zero was in Maryland as many will begin to suspect, chances are very good that the contagion's spread widely within the Outlaw US Empire's military, but that fact's being covered up for reasons of national security. If correct and handled in the ham-handed manner of Pentagon apes, the military could become very dysfunctional. Either the military gets social distanced or that sort of outcome will be inevitable.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 18:07 utc | 72

@ King Lear 66

This is one of two spokespersons for King Richard on your famous paragraph of 2500 words. Your commentary will make for an easier read by your use of the helpful Entry key <- separation of paragraphs and thought flow.

Those who continue to describe China as a "communist" "socialist country" and not up to standard of us capitalist, may be interested to read:

JPMorgan reaches agreement to increase stake in China mutual fund venture to 100%

BEIJING, April 3 (Reuters) - JPMorgan said on Friday it has reached agreement with its Chinese partner to increase its stake in its Chinese mutual fund venture to 100%.

The U.S. firm expects to proceed with the required processes to complete the transaction to take full ownership of China International Fund Management Co. (CIFM), including seeking approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, according to an emailed statement from the company on Friday.[.]

and it was not a rice paddy.

The U.S.A has a mixed economy. Farm Subsidies. Medicaid, Medicare. More so in the great financial collapse since September 2019 as the Feds rolls out its QE4EVA and is slated to buy corporate stocks and bonds.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 3 2020 18:07 utc | 73

The French know better: Didier Lallement, chief of the police for Paris (and a specialists of yellow-jacket shooting) cracked a joke today, explaining to people who would like to travel for the Easter holidays outside of the authorized perimeter of 1 km that those who are today in intensive care were the same who did not obey the lockdown measures 17 days ago. Lovely.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 3 2020 18:18 utc | 74

Thanks for your "Perspectives" Pepe. IMO, the problem resides in the fact that so few know that the #1 policy of the Outlaw US Empire is to achieve Full Spectrum Domination, and that there's absolutely no compromising the effort to attain that goal. Few know that the first casualties of the A-Bomb were US troops and scientists--they just didn't die immediately--and the Empire had no problems with that or with killing more of its own during later tests. Look at how many are sacrificed annually via dystopian domestic policies--The Oligarchy doesn't give a damn and never has: EVER!"


I can't believe I'm agreeing with the KLF

Posted by: Realist | Apr 3 2020 18:20 utc | 75

If correct and handled in the ham-handed manner of Pentagon apes, the military could become very dysfunctional. Either the military gets social distanced or that sort of outcome will be inevitable.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 18:07 utc | 71


With the vast improvements in robotics and AI sectors which they have achieved over the last 10 years the 1% need less and less meat-sacrifices for the Gods of War

Posted by: Realist | Apr 3 2020 18:25 utc | 76

A good overview of the oil price situation that speculates Trump will need to make some real concessions if he wants the Frackers to survive. The word is Big Oil doesn't care and would like to gobble those companies up at pennies on the dollar. Other downstream affects will be many independent gas station owners going BK as their sales won't cover expenses. I also anticipate further refinery closures for similar reasons.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 18:26 utc | 77

Posted by: King Lear | Apr 3 2020 17:33 utc | 66

I don't think anyone with a little salt in the head cuold tag China as communist..but if it did..wrong for sure.Alibaba Suning Evergrande...WTO..all this is really far from real socialism..indeed is a borghesy what they call communist party..but to be the second(and soon the first I think) economy of the world they choose the road of capitalism..they call it chinese socialism but it is simply a succesful state capitalism..and his force stands in the fact that the state has strict control of internal economy..when you control soil,work and capital you have or hate it..but defenetively not marxist leninist.

Posted by: LuBa | Apr 3 2020 18:32 utc | 78

@ Posted by: LuBa | Apr 3 2020 18:32 utc | 79

Correct. China is not communist. It is a socialist country. More precisely, it is a "market socialist with Chinese characteristics" country.

The problem with yours and King Lear's definition of socialism/communism is that it assumes socialism/communism will simply fall from the sky, in a single-event revolution that will instantly destroy capitalism and implement socialism/communism.

This theory eliminates the concept of socialism, which was thought as the hypothetical historical period of transition between capitalism and communism. It is also akin to the "permanent revolution" doctrine by Leon Trotsky.

The most likely thing to happen in my opinion is that capitalism will not crumble in a single historical event, but with a series of collapses, declines and degenerations all around the world at different time periods. In this period, a series of national revolutions, civil wars and counter-revolutions would happen. Future historians then could name this period as the "world revolution" or "permanent revolution" period of History.

So no, I don't believe a single event would topple capitalism. Capitalism is, by its own nature, a very anarchic, fragmentary and descentralized system. It is like an onion: it has many layers. One or two layers may be destroyed, but many others will continue to be there. It doesn't have a central pillar.

That's why I also think the USA won't disappear like the USSR did. The USA will most likely disintegrate piece by piece, a la the old Roman Empire, in a Crisis of the Third Century style event. It will be more like Mad Max than like the USSR.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 18:46 utc | 79

james @ 65 says:

i didn't know anyone listened to jazz rock anymore...

yeah, well, not only do some of us still listen to it, some of us still play it.

Posted by: john | Apr 3 2020 19:59 utc | 80


"COVID AND RUSSIA. As of today there are about 3600 cases and 30 deaths, most in Moscow City. Why so much lower than other places? Some reasons: Moscow ordered travel and flight closures earlier than Western countries; it does not appear to have run down its stockpiles of PPE (as the USA and, apparently, most Western countries did); the war-time/emergency preparedness of a country that knows the cost of not being prepared and the fact that anti-Russia sanctions have made the country very self-sufficient. (As even the NYT admits. A few weeks ago, though, in NYT-land, Russia’s economy was faltering. Hard to keep up with the Party Line it is.) That having been said, Moscow is pretty much locked down and other cities are following suit. Putin laid out the government’s program last week. In essence: a lot of help for the little guy and more taxes on rich people who keep their money outside Russia. In today’s address to the nation, he extended the paid holiday to 30 April. The Constitutional referendum is postponed. Entry has been banned to foreigners, an isolation hospital is being built for Moscow and the military are building more around the country. Russia has enough PPE and ventilators that it can spare them for other countries. Several potential vaccines are being tested. So, perhaps after thinking it had escaped it, Russia is bracing but it seems to be much better prepared than the Western average. Helmer discusses the state of play.....

Posted by: bevin | Apr 3 2020 21:07 utc | 81

"Bernie Sanders Calls for 'Boldest Legislation in History' to Halt Spiraling Covid-19 Catastrophe:

"In this unprecedented moment in modern American history, it is imperative that we respond in an unprecedented way."

"Sanders wants the next bill to include six provisions that are aimed at helping working people in the U.S. weather the crisis:

Addressing the employment crisis by ensuring workers remain employed and paid as well as providing social services for everyone in the country, regardless of citizenship or immigration status;

Guaranteeing a free at point of service Medicare for All single payer healthcaer system for everyone in the country;

Immediately using the Defense Production Act to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other needed healthcare equipment for frontline workers dealing with the pandemic;

Providing food for everyone in the country for the duration of the crisis;

$600 billion in aid to states and cities;

An immediate suspension of collections of rent, mortgage payments, medical debt, and consumer debt for four months and a suspension of student loan payments through the duration of the pandemic."

This observation of Sanders's proposals I agree with:

"What's striking about this Bernie Sanders proposal for the next thing that Congress should pass is how un-radical any of it sounds. Every one of these things is just very straightforwardly obviously on par with the scale of this crisis."

Later in the article we discover/have confirmed what sort of person Senator Warren is:

"In an interview Friday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a former candidate for president whose run was seen as ideologically similar to Sanders', praised Biden as analogous to former President Barack Obama, who 'saw us through a crisis starting back in 2009 with steady, thoughtful, smart leadership.'"

Right, Obama broke the law by not prosecuting the fraudster bankers and robbed the public of Trillions to bail them out while throwing several millions out of their homes and into the streets, and it's that sort of "leadership" Warren expects to see from Biden.

The Pandemic is redefining what qualifies as a Zombie--an average broke & homeless person scouring the landscape for food, shelter and money--instead of the mindless "Walkers" seeking live flesh of any sort of TV and comic book fame.

The maxim Truth is Stranger Than Fiction is playing out live and in living color.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 22:12 utc | 82

JPMorgan reaches agreement to increase stake in China mutual fund venture to 100%

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 3 2020 18:07 utc | 74


China International Fund: Hong Kong based, run by people with strong connection to Sinopec, Chinese state oil company
(Need to delete line break for link to work)

P 270751Z JAN 09
C O N F I D E N T I A L LUANDA 000051

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/27/2014

Classified By: Ambassador Dan Mozena for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: During a January 23 call by Ambassador
Mozena, Chinese Ambassador Bolum Zhang said negotiations will soon begin between China and Angola for a new loan package Valued in the USD "multiple single digit billions." Zhang said the new agreement will not be backed by oil, but should receive a sovereign guarantee from the GRA. Zhang distanced himself from the "private" China International Fund, which Has weak management and poor leadership in Angola, despite its close links to the Angolan presidency. Zhang expressed Considerable interest in working with the USG on a bilateral development assistance project in Angola. End Summary.

¶2. (C) Background: In a wide ranging and open conversation
with Ambassador Mozena, Ambassador Zhang said President Dos Santos's December visit to China opened new channels for political dialogue to build mutual trust and understanding. Zhang said China supports Angola's reconstruction efforts and Is providing technology, equipment, and communications Infrastructure through government-to-government oil-backed loans, some grants, and company-to-country business deals.
In discussions with Chinese leaders, including Ambassador
Zhang, senior GRA officials have made clear that Angola
requires over USD 12 billion in additional loans to meet its
short term development goals. Zhang said a 2003 decision by
the GOC to cap the value of Chinese loans to Africa at USD 10
billion likely means China will be unable to meet the GRA
requests, as Chinese Ex-Im debt in Angola alone is USD 4.5
billion (2.5 billion expended, 2 billion still available).
Zhang said China's rights to Angolan oil (as a result of the
oil-backed loans extended to the GRA) represented less than
200 million barrels of oil in 2008, with most of the crude
coming from a Block 18 contract among the CIF, Sinopec, and
BP. Zhang said Sinopec ships Block 18 oil directly to China,
rather than trading it on the open market, though China pays
the prevailing market price.

Negotiations Toward a New Loan Package

¶3. (C) Zhang said Dos Santos discussed a new loan package for
Angola during his December 16-19 trip to China. Zhang said
that while negotiations have not yet begun, it was clear that
these loans would not be backed by Angola's oil reserves as
that would be "too humiliating" for the Angolans. Zhang said
that while the Chinese Ex-Im Bank is taking the lead on
negotiations with Angola on the loan package, the funds would
be made available through credit extended by private Chinese
banks, similar to a government-coordinated investment fund.
Zhang said the structure of the loans and the interest rate
would be the key points in negotiations. He added that he
hoped Angola would offer a sovereign guarantee to help make
the loans more appealing to investors. When asked the total
value of the proposed package, Zhang said it would be in the
USD "multiple single digit billions." Zhang said few details
would be released about the plan during the bilateral
negotiations, but the program would be completely transparent
when finished and announced to the press. Zhang said it is
likely that most of the funds will be used by Angola to
secure Chinese goods and services in support of GRA
reconstruction priorities, such as the new airport in Luanda,
new roads, and the rehabilitation of Angola's railroads and
port facilities.

Ex-Im versus CIF

¶4. (C) When asked to clarify the relationship between the USD
4.5 billion Ex-Im loan and Angola's relationship with the
China International Fund (CIF), Zhang was unable or unwilling
to go too far into specifics, especially concerning the value
of the relationship, which some independent press sources
place at near USD 10 billion since 2002. Zhang did say the
CIF made many promises to Angola, and that while the company
has a large presence in Angola, its weak management and lack
of leadership have stalled many of the projects. Zhang said
that as the CIF is a "private company," the Chinese embassy
does not actively participate or monitor its relationship
with Angola. He added that CIF continues to benefit from the
Hong Kong-based owner's "close relationship" with President
Dos Santos. Zhang said that while many of the bilateral
projects were begun by the CIF, currently many of the CIF's
subcontractors are dealing directly with the various
ministries of the GRA

Posted by: Realist | Apr 3 2020 22:41 utc | 83

Pavlina R Tcherneva
Like the virus, unemployment is barreling through the globe.
Failure to start planning for this 2nd epidemic of mass unemployment now, will be yet another global catastrophe.
The #JobGuarantee needs to be part of the solution:

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 4 2020 1:40 utc | 84

Just visited “What i learned this week”. Has a superp brief analysis of why companies will soon be failing, basked on the two plus trillions borrowed to buyback stock. I have predict3d this to my bett,er half, and, of course, the three dogs, but not so succinctly.

Posted by: James joseph | Apr 4 2020 2:07 utc | 85

I've encountered arguments that COVID-19 is manmade because the relevant genetic changes 'stood out' in a conspicuous manner which cannot come about in natural evolution. To be dismissed. Random mutations are a very weak source of order. They are mostly a good source for near-neutral variants(Kimura). A good source of order is getting parts which work from elsewhere , so cases of recombination in viruses are very important, even at very low frequency. So I would just google for the genetic analysis of SARS, MERS, COVID-19 and recombination.
First hit about SARS: .

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 4 2020 11:10 utc | 86

Climate change fun:
1) Corals in one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world are thriving in CO2=95000 ppm, temp=55 degrees Celsius, pH=~6.0 environment: source
Or in other words, ocean acidification isn't a thing.
2) Worldwide greening due to CO2 may be double present estimates (30%): source
3) Experts who won't admit they don't know about something, aren't useful for any type of policy advice: source

experts who care about perceptions of their competence will be reluctant to say “I don’t know”.
Can this problem be solved by validating experts’ claims, either by asking other experts,checking other sources, or waiting to see if their predictions come true? Our core contention is that the answer depends on what exactly gets validated. Perhaps the most intuitive kindof validation is what we call state validation, or checking whether the expert claims are correct.
We find that — at least by itself — this is not effective at getting uninformed experts to report their ignorance.
On the other hand,difficulty validation, which means checking whether the question was answerable in the first place, tends to be much more effective at inducing experts to admit uncertainty.

Certainly been my experience...

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 4 2020 14:05 utc | 87

all + karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 17:53 utc | 71 In re: US Citizen Deaths from first test Trinity.

(K, waiting to see if Pepe replies..he may see the continuity of Policy and, gasp!, perhaps write it.)

see> thebulletin dot org "trinity the most significant hazard of the entire manhattan project '

search term> "downwind death after trinity test" (duckduckgo). A little sleuthin' 'round and the facts say the Policy.

"In October 1947, a local health care provider raised an alarm about infant deaths downwind of the Trinity test, bringing it to the attention of radiation safety experts working for the US nuclear weapons program. Their response misrepresented New Mexico’s then-unpublished data on health effects. Federal and New Mexico data indicate that between 1940 and 1960, infant death rates in the area downwind of the test site steadily declined—except for 1945, when the rate sharply increased, especially in the three months following the Trinity blast. The 21 kiloton explosion occurred on a tower 100 feet from the ground and has been likened to a “dirty bomb” that cast large amounts of heavily contaminated soil and debris—containing 80 percent of the bomb’s plutonium—over thousands of square-miles. (See Figure 1.)"

Posted by: Walter | Apr 4 2020 14:22 utc | 88

This article says Russia can survive 10 years @ oil=$25, Saudi Arabia...2
Oil Price source

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 4 2020 15:07 utc | 89

Softbank backs out of WeWork stock purchase plan. nCOV.
WeWork likely done. Softbank had put in over $4.5B into WeWork since October 2019 (after IPO fail).
Softbank selling assets to reduce debt load.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 4 2020 15:13 utc | 90

@ 81 john... thanks... some allan holdsworth influences on scott for sure... the song reminds me of a song off pat methenys first album - bright sized life -Unquity Road? this bass player is influenced by jaco too, so it sounds like scott and the bass player have similar influences! here's me playing with a guitar player who has similar influences and doing a song you'll recognize.. sound is not as clean as the scott henderson video..

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2020 16:01 utc | 91


very cool. nice interpretation.

yeah, Scott's essentially a blues/rock guy, but he got into that fusion thing. he played a lot with Joe Zawinul.


Posted by: john | Apr 4 2020 16:58 utc | 92

About Trinity Test and the Rest..."containing 80 percent of the bomb’s plutonium—over thousands of square-miles. (See Figure 1.)"

(Posted by: Walter | Apr 4 2020 14:22 utc | 90)

In this regard, kindly note the half-life of Pu...that means that about 80% of 6+ kg of Pu is still there. Dusty, subject to erosion, and open to geologic movements, and tires, and hooves and booties.

In point of Fact Wally met a DoE contract geologist...employed to track precisely these down-wind "deposits" like from a shot-gun pattern sorta... Anybody ingesting... dusty place the southwest...gitinya yer screwed, maybe dead man walking, a krapshoot..

Met him by the River at Truth or Consequences NM.

Trinity test (and all the rest) is obviously still killing...and the DoE tracks the Pu (and etc) the downwinders are test subjects.

What? You did not know? Well, the geologist cat said they only keep a fella on the payroll for maybe 2 years...they learn too much about it after that.

Not any sign of scruples whatsoever.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 4 2020 18:28 utc | 93

@ 94 john... thanks! i sent it to another friend.. he has known about scott for the past 30 years! he's a really nice player.. i like the trio.. cheers!

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2020 19:02 utc | 94

also john - i am on 2 of the 3 recordings astrid has done here on bandcamp.. you can listen for free.. cheers -

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2020 19:07 utc | 95

Walter @90 & 95--

Long ago I bought a copy of Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America's Experience With Atomic Radiation (1982) by Wasserman and Solomon and learned about the Downwinders and other unfortunates, the eventual pollution of the Colombia and Snake Rivers, and oh so much more--stuff that ought to be at the top of citizen political chatter but doesn't even exist thanks to the lies and cover ups. Then of course we have the many--who really knows the actual number--CIA assaults using all sorts of agents on the citizenry, secret testing on prisoners, and so forth; stuff you and I know but several hundred million are clueless about. Not long after obtaining it, I was introduced to another work, Ecocide in the USSR (1993), which described somewhat similar behavior by that nation's government which was of course heavily denounced by Clinton in an effort to deflect increasingly bad press over Gulf War Syndrome. IMO, Russia's government under Putin has exerted itself to clean up its numerous messes, while the Outlaw US Empire continues to sweep them under the rug--Externalities never to be dealt with aside from aiding Big Pharma.

If the citizenry of the Outlaw US Empire valued their health and that of their offspring, they'd revolt, take control and hang all the polluters and their toadies. Isn't the bolded portion above a rather conservative expectation, not in anyway radical? Or does the public want to be adulterated by umpteen numbers of chemicals? By their behavior, the latter would seem to be their desire. So, the government obliges and continues to pollute them further. Such thinking ought to see the public welcoming COVID-19: Please, kill more of us off is the cry heard throughout the land. We don't need jobs or want any government bailouts; just give it all to Wall Street is the Mantra from Republicans and their allies in government. Gee, what was that in which founding document saying we ought to make the Union more Perfect?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 4 2020 20:23 utc | 96

A hearthy farewell to Captain Crozier as he walks off the Theodore Roosevelt;

Found on a NYT op-ed.

Posted by: willie | Apr 4 2020 20:49 utc | 97

karlof1 | Apr 4 2020 20:23 utc | 98 Was aware of KOO book, but have not read it.

The meeting with the geologist was a hoot...Wally, who had driven round from the Alien Inn to ToC NM by 100 + miles dirt road past the test range (that test range) was by the Rio drinking a few cool ones and smelled the killer weed. With characteristic boy-scout situational awareness he zeroed in of the scofflaw...the intrepid geologist dude, and we got acquainted. Under such informal pre-tit-phone gogo gadget microphones, people were absolutely honest.

Essentially nothing grows more than a fraction of its normal size out near the drop zone...and the Silence is terrible. They do graze near the fence though...on tiny short grasses.

Two related thoughts about your post>

1) Laura Bush's "favorite" is "The Grand Inquisitor" especially his explanation that the people don't want to know... " He says: "We are not with Thee, but with him, and that is our secret! For centuries have we abandoned Thee to follow him." For he, through compulsion, provided the tools to end all human suffering and for humanity to unite under the banner of the Church. The multitude then is guided through the Church by the few who are strong enough to take on the burden of freedom. The Inquisitor says that under him, all mankind will live and die happily in ignorance. Though he leads them only to "death and destruction", they will be happy along the way. The Inquisitor will be a self-martyr, spending his life to keep choice from humanity. He states that "anyone who can appease a man's conscience can take his freedom away from him". "

Birds of a Feather? Well, perhaps a mockingbird of a feather.

And 2>

El Commandante > "...One of the key lines within Fidel's concept of Revolution reads "It is never lying or violating ethical principles; it is a profound conviction that there is no power on earth that can crush the truth…"

see for # 1 wiki or really any college English handbook or encyclopedia

see for #2 @ granma cu "FIDEL'S CONCEPT OF REVOLUTION
With the truth as a weapon and a shield"

Some may note the juxtaposition of ideals...ahemmm.

Wally notes that the resale value of boats may be less than their intrinsic value as methods of food-gathering, amigo.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 4 2020 21:50 utc | 98

CJ Hopkins maintains the rage against Trump. Plus other great news.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 4 2020 22:01 utc | 99

Kushner Gives COVID-19 Medical Supplies to Private Companies

A US commander criticizes US President Jared Kushner's son-in-law for his comments on the national stock of medical equipment.

Kushner, head of the committee appointed to fight coronavirus in the United States, stated Thursday that "the federal reserve (for medical equipment) is supposed to be our reserve, it is not supposed to be a reserve for states to use"...

Kushner, instead of delivering the supplies to the hospitals, delivered them to private companies, even though several US hospitals have in recent days. have reported a serious shortage of medical and protective equipment to combat the coronavirus.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Apr 4 2020 23:28 utc | 100

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