Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 23, 2020

Open Thread 2020-32

Non-Covid-19 news & views ...

Posted by b on April 23, 2020 at 15:17 UTC | Permalink

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On Iran. When will the bombing commence? I think we still need about another week of propaganda and media footage denouncing their brutal regime, and then the public can approve a defensive first strike. And save shale oil in the process.

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 23 2020 15:21 utc | 1

Some updated numbers on the economy:

Franco-German PMIs plummet, fall to single dozen territory - the EU's heart has stopped beating

UK's PMI also plummet to single dozen territory

Japan and Australia also have their PMIs at historical lows

USA also joined the party of historical low PMIs

South Korea's GDP fell 1.4% (non annualized). That emergencial swap deal by the Fed saved the day, but it can't last forever. The BoK is optimistic, and still thinks the South Korean GDP will end 2020 growing. Blind hope.

Posted by: vk | Apr 23 2020 15:26 utc | 2

What do you folks think about MMT? It seems we are moving that direction. It already exists for the big financial institutions in that the Fed prints money not backed by bonds to make them whole. If we transition to this, or even if we don’t, and issue bonds (purchased by the fed), is hyperinflation in the cards? How long?

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 23 2020 15:28 utc | 3

This blue zone is for *NON*-covid discussion only. To discuss covid, use the red zone.

Posted by: oglalla | Apr 23 2020 15:47 utc | 4

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Madness must be checked by reasonable people. We are short on them.

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 23 2020 16:15 utc | 5

The clandestine cooperation between Western intelligence services and the media has been known for decades and is well documented. The following case shows just how closely and comprehensively even leading European journalists have been cooperating with secret services such as the CIA. [...]

Regrettably Swiss Propaganda Watch website does not have any articles on peneration of the alternative news space.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 23 2020 16:24 utc | 6

As the USA continues to deindustrialize, MMT becomes an attractive idea:

The Money Machine That Can Save Cities - As Congress fumbles, the Fed’s unlimited ability to create money may be the only lifeline that communities have left.

Except that this headline is a lie: money printing is not "the only lifeline". It is not even a lifeline to begin with.

There are two solutions: a revolution or taxing the rich more.

Money printing is what triggered the wave of unemployment in the USA. It is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

It also curious that the POTUS who's been the most vocal about reindustrializing America is the one responsible for the sharpest deindustrialization process of America in all its history.

Posted by: vk | Apr 23 2020 16:38 utc | 7

Posted by: LOL | Apr 23 2020 15:40 utc | 4

Second graph conveniently omits some non east-European countries (Baltic states, Norway, Finland, Greece etc.) with death rates low as east European.

Posted by: Abe | Apr 23 2020 16:40 utc | 8


"It also curious that the POTUS who's been the most vocal about reindustrializing America is the one responsible for the sharpest deindustrialization process of America in all its history."

Curios what you mean by this. When he arrived there wasn't much industry left in america to de-industralize to begin with.

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 23 2020 16:41 utc | 9

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 23 2020 15:21 utc | 1

I agree that an attack on Iran is more likely than not, since Trump needs a distraction at this point.

What I don't understand is why you think such a move will "save U.S. shale oil", unless you mean by that causing Iran to devastate GCC oil production infrastructure. Alternatively such a war would be a perfect opportunity for Netanyahoo to conduct an annexation and purge of the West Bank while the world isn't looking.

Posted by: carl | Apr 23 2020 16:43 utc | 10

Now it's official: Lufthansa is really seeking a bailout from the German, Swiss and Austrian governments

Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa seeks state aid to stay afloat

We already knew there were strong rumor its CEO, Carsten Spohr, was secretly negotiating an infinite and indefinite bailout (what they call in the article "secure solvency", i.e. whatever is necessary, for the time it is necessary) with the German, Swiss and Austrian governments. Now it's official, as the airline released a statement.

The statement also confirms it is bleeding €1 million per hour - a figure that was also in the rumor.

Posted by: vk | Apr 23 2020 16:47 utc | 11

Creation of more debt instruments in a homogenuous system has no adverse consequences if the increase is used to increase economic activity.

The adverse consequences of money printing are only affective when 2 or more monetary systems interact and an external actor places a 'value' on your unit of debt instrument for the purpose of exchange. And as long as the US Dollar is the global reserve currency and is accepted as money world wide to buy goods and services from hookers to foreign politicians to barrels of oil, we are in a homogenuous system.

Problems for US citizens (soon apparently to be subjects) would arise the day Dollar is no longer a reserve currency.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 23 2020 16:49 utc | 12

More bad reporting from NBC: ”People with obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are at greater risk for complications from the coronavirus, according to a large study of patients hospitalized with the illness it causes...

The study included data on 5,700 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City area.
Underlying conditions were common. The researchers found that, among all patients, 57 percent had high blood pressure, 41 percent were obese and just over a third had diabetes.”

Ummm...about 70% of Americans over age 65 have high blood pressure. And they are by far the most severely afflicted group. So maybe having high blood pressure is not really a factor...or may even be beneficial?

Posted by: JohnH | Apr 23 2020 16:55 utc | 13

Why create money as debt, the money for slaves? Have you ever seen ant colonies collapsing through debt?

Here then is a simple solution, a monetary system which runs on hydro-electric principles.!.pdf

(Hyperlink is temperamental. You may need to copy and paste the whole line??)

Posted by: Ric G | Apr 23 2020 16:58 utc | 14

there is no point writing fiction anymore. why try to make up narratives when you have a phenomenon like Q-Anon convincing people the Coronavirus is a hoax to provide cover for HERO TRUMP to round up elite pedophiles, like Tom Hanks? did you know when Tom Hanks said he and the wife had tested positive that was just a cover for the fact he's been arrested and is being held in a hotel room in Australia?

Q-Anon is a sophisticated disinformation psyop that I don't think should be ignored because it has sucked in a lot of people into its cult-like orbit. also, there really is such a thing as elite pedophile rings, and the Q fantasies being spun actually insulates these monsters from people seriously looking at the evidence of their evil depravity.

Posted by: lizard | Apr 23 2020 17:04 utc | 15

It is quite pointless to argue with Corbett and his elk. To them, there is one overarching organization which controls the "free world" and it planned for decades to pull this off.
The same evil group who make us stop at stop signs and obey - yes *obey* traffic laws. Heaven forbid we should acquiesce to the brutal state we should only stop when we chose to, we are free.
The practical reality of quarantine for the prevention of a disease threatening life and well being on a global scale is completely unacceptable and out of the question, it is the ultimate in control.
No one would WILLINGLY cooperate unless they were propagandized into it.
I wonder what form of society would please Corbett, one in which there is no cooperation because cooperation is oppression? Civic duty is oppression, civic responsibility is oppression, as Sartre said, "hell is other people"

Posted by: Babyl-on | Apr 23 2020 17:09 utc | 16

Yes. That’s what I mean. A war forces the Saudis to halt delivery as Hormuz closes or if Saudis production is halted.

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 23 2020 17:11 utc | 17

Watch LIVE enjoy 360-degree view of Mount Qomolangma (Mount Everest)

Since yesterday 22April 2020 China installed 5G in base camp mount Everest...
my fucking neighbor said to me China never invents anything, they steal, cheat and lied. How on earth China steals and cheats when Americunts dun even manufacture any 5G equipments and depend on Nokia and Ericsson. Eat your heart out Trump and Pompeo!

Mount Everest is 5G-ready - Huawei and China Mobile...

"Chinese telecom (China Mobile) operators and Huawei. Three 5G base stations have already been built at the base camp (5,300m) and intermediate camp (5,800m), with CGTN reporting that two more base camps to offer 5G coverage at the peak of Mount Everest will be deployed before the end of the week."

Posted by: JC | Apr 23 2020 17:20 utc | 18

Where is the discussion of anti-virals (at least some call them that) of Hydroxychloroquinone? That seems to be the major issue for the past few days. A local story credited that with helping one patient here. But now leading US medical authorities are at least trying to speak out against it and remain employed. We need to know more about this, and now I see nothing here (I thought I saw something here a month or two ago, before Trump started praising it).

My perspective is that "proof" is essentially impossible, all you can do is, at great expense, reduce the level of uncertainty. "Proof" is an unrealistic requirement in most situations. Virtually everything we and medical professionals do has not been so "proven," or worse. Following large masses of people for a long time generally shows nearly everything to be useless in actually extending life, if all other factors are controlled for, if the standard of "proof" is required. "Proof" requires the large budget for mass testing and statistical chicanery that only big drug companies can afford. Then once drugs are so "proven" they are endlessly and mostly used off-label for just about everything, without any proof at all, which is the way we do most things in life.

However, that being said, I wouldn't want to take something that's more likely to cause harm than help, which is now what some are saying about Hydroxychlorquinone.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Apr 23 2020 17:30 utc | 19

@Musburger #3
I think you need to define what you consider MMT to be, before continuing the discussion.
To me, MMT is fundamentally an economic analysis which says that a sovereign nation with its own currency is not fundamentally limited in how much debt it takes on (i.e. money printing). While an academic argument, it has real world impact in spending capability decision making.
Under this viewpoint - the US has been "money printing" for a very long time. While the US national debt vs. US economy isn't the worst in the developed world - the absolute value is pretty amazing: the US debt is 20%-25% or so of the entire world's GDP.
On the other hand, a lot of MMT thought leaders also add on ways to use this largess - New New Deal type stuff.
It is this latter body of work which is a lot more problematic - because it is advocating directions for spending. That's the province of politicians.
Is the Trump stimulus going in the right proportions to the right people? That money was clearly created from thin air.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 23 2020 17:49 utc | 20

If ever there was a time, it’s now. Oil has bottomed out. They can top off the national reserves on the cheap and profit when their war sends prices up again. Maybe it’s why The Orange Goober has ordered the Navy to “shoot down” any Iranian boats that harass/approach/rudely gesture at US ships.

Posted by: Zengine3 | Apr 23 2020 18:03 utc | 22


Scott Ritter thinks this is quite possible.

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 23 2020 18:08 utc | 23

The nerve of them Eye-ranians: Zipping around in cabin cruisers, right in America's backyard.

Posted by: piggly | Apr 23 2020 18:10 utc | 24

@ Babyl-on | Apr 23 2020 17:09 utc

Since this is a non-coronavirus thread, i posted a reply to you on the prior thread.

Posted by: oglalla | Apr 23 2020 18:18 utc | 25

Why would oil prices go up if Trump attacks Iran?. Are people likely to drive more? Will the airlines be back in business?

Posted by: dh | Apr 23 2020 18:19 utc | 26

Musburger @3--

I highly suggest you read "The Use and Abuse of MMT" by Michael Hudson, with Dirk Bezemer, Steve Keen and T.Sabri Öncü.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23 2020 18:19 utc | 27

Ritter's article worries me. There is now a sales argument for war: "don't worry about oil prices going sky high, Iran can't use that weapon against us now!".

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 23 2020 18:23 utc | 28

dh @34--

You're on the right track. There's a huge supply glut as all forms of storage are mostly filled as proven by the negative WTI pricing. Global demand is still being destroyed. War in the Persian Gulf region will further destroy demand; and since very little oil's being shipped from there, the supply glut won't be used up anytime soon--certainly not quickly enough to see a sharp rebound in oil price. The crucial point is domestic US refineries have cut back their runs as their margins are even thinner than before, plus demand destruction is still occurring, thus the domestic storage glut. The wife and I jested last night if we only had a rail spur we could order up a couple of tank cars full of unleaded at the current very distressed price and be set for a longtime.

As The Saker notes in his latest, Trump must make the voting public look everywhere except at him and Congress, the bellowing at Iran being part of that entire theatre. Yes, a mistake could have very negative consequences for the USN and all US assets in the region as well as Occupied Palestine--the overall underlying dynamic hasn't changed since Trump broke the Iran Nuclear Treaty. Too add further insult to Trump and Pompeo, Iran's doing a much better job at containing COVID-19 than the Outlaw US Empire:

"The US pandemic death toll is this week heading above 50,000 compared with Iran's figure of 5,300. Considering the respective population numbers of 330 and 80 million that suggests Iran is doing a much better job at containing the virus. On a per-capita basis, according to publicly available data, Iran's mortality rate is less than half that of the US.

"This is while the US has sanctioned Iran to the hilt. American sanctions – arguably illegal under international law – have hit Iran's ability to import medical supplies to cope with COVID-19 and other fatal diseases, yet Iran through its own resources is evidently managing the crisis much better than the US."

As with the Tar Baby, the more wrestling the Outlaw US Empire does the weaker it gets.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23 2020 18:53 utc | 29


They can’t invade. That’s your own moronic straw-man. And yes, it would further cut supply and prices would go up. The current bottom is due to overproduction but so long as civilization cranks along the oil gets used eventually.

Posted by: Zengine3 | Apr 23 2020 18:55 utc | 30

MMT is brilliant and it's really embarrassing that it took The Deadliest Pandemic™ for some folks to come round to it. We all collectively print an extra bit of money - and give it to each other!

There are historic examples documented of successful applications of the concept, look no further than to the earnest witness of Baron Munchausen pulling himself out of a swamp by his own hair.

Posted by: Leser | Apr 23 2020 18:55 utc | 31

troll infestation... jesus... it gets tiring..

Posted by: james | Apr 23 2020 18:56 utc | 32

vk @12: "It also curious that the POTUS who's been the most vocal about reindustrializing America is the one responsible for the sharpest deindustrialization process of America in all its history."

You answered that yourself: "There are two solutions: a revolution or taxing the rich more."

Which of those two is available to an oligarch? He's not going to bleed his own class, and the 2016 election upset is the very closest he can ever get to revolution since he is in the wrong class to do one a real one of those.

That said, I am eager to see how much more gasoline MMT throws on the global economic conflagration. Hopefully my backyard crops of potatoes and beans will be ready to harvest by then.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 23 2020 18:59 utc | 33

Musburger | Apr 23 2020 18:08 utc | 31
It seems to me that it is common knowledge that Israel is a hostage in this debate - it would get hit badly in case of attack on Iran. Iran does not have to say it, everyone knows by now. Israel´s geographic location is a problem. Therefore it is my hunch that there will be no war. But, who knows?

Posted by: bystander 04 | Apr 23 2020 19:18 utc | 34

Any news of the hacking of Gates and co accounts?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 23 2020 19:21 utc | 35

Hudson also has another video posted to his site, "An interview on the Radical Imagination: Imagining How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Are Destroying Us," which is based on his book Killing the Host. It's a recent video interview that's @50 minutes long prefaced by the Occupy Wall Street Anthem and introduction.

One aspect of MMT that must be made clear is it advocates the use of public banking or the Treasury to pump capital in the form of money into the productive economy, not the parasitic economy the Fed supports--the difference is huge and vital. For MMT to succeed within the Outlaw US Empire, the Fed must be liquidated. For more, please read the essay I linked to @35.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23 2020 19:22 utc | 36

There WILL be an overt all out us military attack on Iran this year, despite the frequent almost yearly false predictions of from people who should by now know better"

Posted by: LOL | Apr 23 2020 17:31 utc | 26

I'm on the not a bat in hells chance side of the argument.

So, the US attacks Iran, assume the best case, with as much as can be mustered without tipping off the Iranians to achieve a surprise total strike. So few ME based aircraft, just long range bombers and subs. It is unlikely that all Iranian missiles are damaged especially as at the first warnings, albeit short ones, they will fire everything off. What is the result?

Considerable damage to Iran's military and political structures with a very degraded ability to do anything other than fire off a few more silo and hidden anti ship missiles.

The US will sustain at least 10-15,000 casualties spread across Iraq/Saudi and especially Qatar as to have pulled them out in advance would have tipped off Iran. But that is just the start. At the same time as the US struck Iran Israel would have to hit the Lebanon/Syria/Iraq to try and reduce Hezbollah's automatic reply on Iran's behalf. The result of that would be, in addition to Iranian missiles falling on Israel, so would 10,000s more rockets and missiles, all told killing potentially millions of Israelis.

In this scenario Israel would almost certainly unleash its nukes on Lebanon/Syria/Iraq/Iran possibly in their first strike to try and reduce the incoming.

Then we get to the economic targets, Iran will flatten Saudis oil and fresh water facilities, removing it from the scene as Iran has already been.

They say that every war game run by the US with Iran as the foe has been lost.

Even if the USN just sinks a few speedboats, who knows where it will stop. Sink the ship that pulled the trigger? I wouldn't bet against it, they have form, the put 15 missiles onto a US airbase last time.

Trump wants to win in November. This is a guaranteed way to lose.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 23 2020 19:36 utc | 37

Musburger @ 3 : “What do you folks think about MMT?”

Re-inflation of a depressed economy can be achieved by government spending into:
public investment
income transfers
income support
tangible capital

This is “good” MMT.

“Bad” MMT, or fake MMT, is government spending into WallStreet, handouts to:
the banks
large corporations

The March 2020 CAREs Act is bad MMT as was the 2008 bailout. This one is same as that one but “on steroids.”
Both bailouts further empower(ed):
rentiers (the landlord class),
the financial creditor class
and cast most of the rest of the US population into reduced circumstances, poverty and/or debt servitude. They burden the working economy with overhead and debt that cannot be paid. Bad MMT.

While the MMT school has a healthy diversity within it, USG applications have flipped the theory on its head, says Hudson. See below for link.

(Remember Cheney’s, “We are all Keynesians now”? )

Worse, Bad MMT does more than simply bailout the top 1%. It also increases the parasitic power of financialization on the real economy. As we have repeatedly seen, now most dramatically, the financial sector is incapable of planning for anything other than its own fictional valorization.

Libertarians’ freedom from government dogma excoriates against centralized planning and yet, ironically, the end result of their “government is bad” path forced upon us in USA led directly to central ‘planning’ by default — by parasitic-on-the real-economy privatized finance sector, a form of fascism not democracy or liberty.

USA’ns public health crisis occurs as states, which are required by law to not run deficits, face huge costs that will force more austerity on their populations. More callous, they are forced to compete against each other as they purchase essential equipment and technology (from for-profit privateers) to deal with the highly infectious novel virus, and the fed indemnifies the privateer mask makers!!!

What is the root of inequality today? Debt and the monopolization of real estate.
What are solutions?
Wipe out and roll back debt overhead on production and consumption.
This is “good” MMT.
Bad MMT furthers the debt burden on society, concentrates monopolization and cements in central planning by parasitic private finance sector.

Posted by: suzan | Apr 23 2020 19:56 utc | 38

Is it time to revisit Monty Python?
"If she weighs the same as a duck....then she's made of wood....and therefore a burn her"
Corona time, and logic burns as brightly as a duck at MoA

Posted by: Hal; Duell | Apr 23 2020 20:08 utc | 39

suzan @50

Excellent! I'd only add monoplization in other sectors and including through patents a la Dean Baker. Note: Baker's book Rigged! is free to download.

Posted by: spudski | Apr 23 2020 20:10 utc | 40

suzan @50--

Thanks for that excellent summary of Hudson's main points during that video interview. Much of that's already known to us Hudsonites. What I thought most important was the discussion during the last 10 minutes regarding academic reductionism, religion, Marx's thoughts, and the "surgery" required to solve the problem. As depressing as it was to hear, Hudson's correct about the paucity of political opposition to the Trump/Pelosi Bloc. Our fellow barflies in the EU also need to hear what Hudson's saying as their situation while not as dire will become so unless they act to prevent its occurrence.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23 2020 20:32 utc | 41

Greetings fellow drinkers. to karlof1, I posted the following in response to your post about Max Kaiser, etc #402 on the latest virus thread. Really, it should go here. I'm not calling you out! Far from it. Just adding, and thanking you for your efforts.

"to karlof1 #402. I read Giants last year. Too me, it was most notable for what it Didn't say. Lots of names not on the list. With the greatest of respect, it almost seemed like a puff piece to cover for ???? By way of my background, I've been a fan of Max Kaiser for ?? a decade. Read Steve Keen and Michael Hudson starting about the same time. I would also recommend anything by Griffins and Mullins. Plus, a good background is The Robber Barons by Mathew Josephson. Of course, Nomi Klein; early Michael Lewis. "When genius fails" the story of the crash and Fed rescue of Long Term Capital Management. Hahahahaha. Same names same faces in our current melt-up. You might also check out Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf, by Dean Henderson. This stuff is not at all new. The crash of 1929 had the same MO. I think the real turning point was after the assassination of Lincoln which brought the end of the greenback. You need to look into the Warburg connexions along with Morgan and Rothschild.

What is very much new is the internet!!!! Back when, you needed to really dig. It has hard to find the books, which were printed in small editions. Lots of hours in the library. Lots of hours tracing references and bibliographies one at a time. Now we have great people like yourself and Estimable B who try to get the truth out. I should probably post this on the non-virus thread as well."

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 23 2020 20:35 utc | 42

If the price won’t go up then all the more reason to do it now. Hoisted on yer own petard. LOL

Posted by: Zengine3 | Apr 23 2020 20:35 utc | 43

Charles Peterson. ding ding ding. Off topic. Check out Dr Been Medical Lectures. Lots of info out there for open minds. BTW, I would take hyrochloroquin in the skinniest of skinny minutes if ill. Cheers.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 23 2020 20:39 utc | 44

James @ 42
Agree with you there James.
I think we just became infected ! Computer troll virus.
Maybe related, who is funding OffGardian ? I’m hearing rumours!

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 23 2020 20:43 utc | 45

suzan #50

Brilliantly put, thank you. I dont see any prospect for a change of course in the USA. The people could prosper if good MMT were rolled out but both major political parties are welded tight to the dark side.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 23 2020 20:44 utc | 46

JC | Apr 23 2020 17:20 utc | 23
Your first link shows a wide dry valley from the top of a radio/communications mast. Tall one too. But looking down, that is no "camp", but a permanent station, with what appears to be a building with several terraces. Could even be a hotel. Interesting in that it shows a large amount of infrastructure has been built for permanent tourism.
Everest is now no longer some sort of landlocked remote iceberg, but a tourist trap?
Where has the "heroism" gone?. Note that it still kills people so it is not yet tamed to absolute docility.

PS. Couldn't see Everest as too many clouds - even 5G can't cure that.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 23 2020 21:00 utc | 47

@ 50 suzan.. i too liked your breakdown... thanks...

@ 58 mark2.. it is what it is for the time being... people are trying to make the best of it.. good!

Posted by: james | Apr 23 2020 21:07 utc | 48

Enjoyed the response. I guess it doesn't matter what system is in place if criminals are running it.

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 23 2020 21:10 utc | 49

Stonebird @60: Yeah, Everest is the "In" place to be these days, as Alphabet agency search engine results show.

Don't blame the Chinese, though. It wasn't their idea to put "Climb Mt. Everest" on everybody's bucket list.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 23 2020 21:12 utc | 50

Renowned Microbiologist Claims Wuhan Lab 'Did Absolutely Crazy Things' With Coronavirus

Again, there is no serious doubt: this virus was indeed modified in the Wuhan lab.

Posted by: Florin N. | Apr 23 2020 21:14 utc | 51

There were some really crazy opinions expressed on the previous thread: for instance, selecting which members of society should be put at risk as a whole for the sake of the freedom of others and which are more expendable in numbers. That qualifies as depraved and even reckless endangerment. We live in a world that glorifies youth, beauty and wealth and marginalizes the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable. Is it any wonder that the majority of fatalities of COVID-19 were and are from the second group??? There's a whole lot of moral assessment to be done to ensure that injustice ends once and for all.

To those who are whining about infringement on their precious freedom: Stop writing that you are against tyranny, and that you are tyrannized by confinement which is meant to save lives, INCLUDING saving the lives of essential workers and lessening the pressure and risk off healthcare workers carrying the motherload of the risk/burden when you are claiming the lives of one group matter less than another group that is the least at risk, because in my book, that's the worst tyranny of all!

Fix the inadequacies and depraved indifference in society and in your own mind and most of all the absolute hypocrisy in your claim that you are being tyrannized by measures meant to protect lives! Maybe the real problem is you've been coddled from sacrifice, hardship and reality for way too long--you entitled rightist and libertarian mongrels who doth protest too much!

I am caught between the opinion of bevin and Laguerre at the end of the previous thread.

I do believe this confinement was absolutely essential, however, I am incensed that tons of money is thrown at everyone willy-nilly when some have great need and others are just exploiting the system, a system that could use the help of lazy-assed, able-bodied whiners who cheat the guidelines anyway, and could have been at least relieving front lines.

I do believe that with warmer months arriving in the Northern Hemisphere people in least risk categories should be put to work and kids should go back to school to achieve greater immunity during this time, and there should be no vacation this year for anyone who returns to work including in the school system and has not been part of the essential workforce. However restrictions must remain regarding gatherings and mingling out of health-regulated work environments to protect seniors and vulnerable people from the ignorant callousness and recklessness of others until there is a vaccine and there is no longer a threat of mass contagion. So there should be strict regulations remaining in place in that regard until that time.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 23 2020 21:20 utc | 52

I have enoyed this site for many years. This will be my first and last comment.
Wierd as it is, I right now actually rejoice of being... wait for it... SWEDISH! it was 40 years or so, since Swedes have had reason to stand tall and proud in an international comparision.
Personally, I make my living selling a street magazine. A lock-down would have meant zero income and personal disaster. Instead I have enjoyed working outside in the wonderful sunshine, meeting people all time. Selling half of pre-c level, but hey! at least I am staying healthy and as happy as can be, considering I forsee the ongoing collapse of our civilization.
This is a flu. Promoted as being black death, by sources that long ago lost all credibility.
Get your act straight with help from (swiss propaganda research)
I wish the alabama moon a swift recovery from this massive case of the brain farts. Thanks for a lot sharp ananlysis and great brain food throughout this time, it was great while it lasted.

Posted by: jax | Apr 23 2020 21:27 utc | 53

Charles Peterson @Apr23 17:30

It's very clear, to those of us that follow the topic, that the hydroxyChloroquine treatment is being deliberately maligned.

Widespread use of hydroxyChloroquine threatens Big Pharma profits. It's that simple. The push against HCQ is reminiscent of the push against Climate Change activists.

PS This is ON TOPIC because it's about crony capitalist profiteering not just coronavirus.

<> <> <> <>


Note: I'm not a doctor. This is not medical advice.

Here's the treatment (I think the first dose of Plaquenil is doubled, treatment takes 6 days):

  • PLAQUENIL (hydroxychloroquine) – 200mg tablet
  • ZITHROMAX (azithromycin) – 500mg NS 250 mL
  • VITAMIN-C (ascorbic acid) 1,000mg D5W 100mL IV
  • ZINCATE (zinc sulfate) 220mg capsule

It's likely that you can also take smaller amounts as a prophylactic. HydroxyChloroquine is just a synthetic form of quinine so twice a day I drink a tall glass of quinine water (with orange juice for Vit-C) and eat a handful of sunflower seeds for zinc.

I also take Vitamin-D and a eat a brazil nut for selenium. These are important for the immune system.

The treatment and the protective measures are simple and inexpensive.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 23 2020 21:35 utc | 54

@64 Florin N.

Right, because the goal of their feverish lab machinations was to get rid of a big chunk of the elderly and people with compromised immunity everywhere who are the greatest threat to China.


Posted by: Circe | Apr 23 2020 21:42 utc | 55

Open Thread 2020-32
Non-Covid-19 news & views ...

i guess the people who ignore this are the same people who ignore other stuff too... i wonder if igno - ramus is connected to this??

reading comprehension of some seems non existent... i am drawing conclusions!

Posted by: james | Apr 23 2020 21:44 utc | 56

it was great while it lasted.

Posted by: jax | Apr 23 2020 21:27 utc | 66

+1. You are not alone.
Much love, from the 71%.

Posted by: Hello | Apr 23 2020 21:45 utc | 57

"There are two solutions: a revolution or taxing the rich more."

That is one solution not two. Tax the rich and they will attempt to overthrow the government doing the taxing. To defend democracy and the policies that taxing the rich will enable it becomes necessary to counter attack the rich. Almost all revolutions begin as counterattacks against reactionary oligarchs who go too far.

The rich will have to be taxed and their ill gotten gains returned to the exploited- 'expropriate the expropriators'. Otherwise millions will starve.
But they will not take the harsh measures needed lying down. Like Jay Gould it is their belief that the answer to socialism-the working class acting on behalf of humanity- is to "hire half of the workers to shoot the other half". That is the American Capitalists' Dream.

At this moment in history in which millions of unemployed people are going to need to be maintained by the public, at the expense of the rich, which is to say, introduced o socialism, the ruling class would much rather that the time and energy needed to construct a decent and fair society was devoted instead to picayune disputes over whether or not those dying are all dying of the same disease, whether the counting is being done scrupulously and whether the ruling class or the Chinese or lizards from Uranus invented the virus.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 23 2020 21:46 utc | 58

a lot less on afghan/syria/yemen crisis in the normal reporting world = the coalition of willing is soiling their own diapers by their own accord. the usual journalists/contractors hunkered down in their hotels sipping alcohol must of been a rude awakening from the usual concoction that they are actually reporting/fighting on the front lines. Now the biggest worry that their hotel's aren't strong enough to stop the virus from blowing in is actually delightful, to see some sort of peace, though still dangerous, has reached these parts of the world for their citizens, however short it may be.

Posted by: jason | Apr 23 2020 21:49 utc | 59

President Donald Trump promised to open FBI files to help families of the 9/11 victims in a civil lawsuit against the Saudi government, yet last week his Justice Department says that the information is still a state secret.

In a series of filings just before a midnight court deadline , the attorney general, William Barr; the acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell; and other senior officials insisted to a federal judge in the civil case that further disclosures about Saudi connections to the 9/11 plot would imperil national security.
They insisted that even its justification for that secrecy needed to remain secret. Four statements to the court by FBI and Justice Department officials were filed under seal so they could not be seen by the public. An additional five, including one from the CIA, were shared only with the judge and cannot be read even by the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Barr insisted to the court that public discussion of the issue “would reveal information that could cause the very harms my assertion of the state secrets privilege is intended to prevent.”

What the various security agencies are trying to hide remains a mystery. Well, not really.

But 9/11 showed them most people can be made to believe anything, so COVID-19 could be pulled off just as easily.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 23 2020 21:51 utc | 60

@66 jax

Maybe you should be gloating your luck to all the Swedes in the Swedish morgues that other Swedes shared their Covid with.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 23 2020 21:52 utc | 61

bevin @71--

As Hudson constantly notes, the .1%'s "wealth" is the accumulated Debt of the 99.9%. So, if you write down the debt or completely wipe it away via Jubilee, that also takes away a corresponding amount of the .1%'s "wealth." That's why the mortal Rabbi known as Jesus was crucified by the Pharisees in alliance with the Romans.

If you have an hour to spare from your busy schedule, please watch the video I linked @48 and suzan reviewed and linked to @50.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23 2020 21:58 utc | 62

So apparently a study showed hydroxychloroquine is not effective when given to advanced covid-19 disease patients. Well, duh, we knew that. Dr Raoult told everyone this same thing over a month ago

He said “Late stage COVID-19 that has caused significant lung damage in susceptible patients (mainly elderly and those with other diseases) wont get the same results as those with only moderate symptoms. The reason is the virus has been mostly eliminated by the immune system, but the extensive lung damage caused in the battle continues a damaging immune response due to many damaged/dead cells.”

One needs to treat patients earlier in the disease. The French banned use of hydrochloroquine for this purpose and only allow it at late stage disease where it will show no benefit. Furthermore, the drug used to be available OTC in France but in January the French Health Minister made it prescription only. Sounds fishy to me.

With many generic versions available and its low cost, there is no profit in it so the Medical Industrial Complex and their MSM lackeys fight it

Fauci had many financial ties to Gates and the vaccine industry. He is not to be trusted as his history proves.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 23 2020 22:05 utc | 63

@70 Hello

One of the few positives of Covid is that it's shedding sunlight on a lot of dirty societal laundry.

Another is that it's separating the chaff from the wheat.


Posted by: Circe | Apr 23 2020 22:08 utc | 64

Pft @Apr23 21:51

Another example of watch what they do, not what they say.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 23 2020 22:12 utc | 65

Pft @Apr23 22:05:

Fauci had many financial ties to Gates and the vaccine industry. He is not to be trusted as his history proves.

And it's not just Fauci. All senior public health professionals in Western governments appear to be pro-Big Pharma. Probably looking forward to serving on corporate boards after their time in office.

And Trump himself often talks up "corporate partners" that are all big, generally international, companies.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 23 2020 22:18 utc | 66

I think the collapse of the US empire is underway. But can that idea be challenged by thoughtful barflies?

Back in 2007, the financial system looked unsustainable, and it was, but zero interest rates were proposed, and that seems to have extended the lifespan of the system until 2020. You might think other things also contributed.

It looks like the everything bubble is now popping, and the empire is unravelling.
Signs of imminent collapse in almost every aspect of US power have been well documented by b on this blog. I'm easily persuaded to that point of view.

Has anyone heard of any serious proposal that might extend the lifespan of the empire?

Please, if I may suggest, consider whether the proposal (eg. war) will be rather more likely to hasten the collapse than to keep things going.

Posted by: Deltaeus | Apr 23 2020 22:18 utc | 67

So thanks to james, I just noticed this is a non-Covid zone.

So far most open threads have been Covid. I guess others missed that detail too. Honest oversight considering the previous thread is headed for 500 comments. Even the media have little other news to offer, but james being james will rub everyone's nose in their unintended picadillo.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 23 2020 22:19 utc | 68

@ Deltaeus | Apr 23 2020 22:18 utc | 81

I'm hearing it's so from different sources with different ideologies. Of course they all explain it through their own lenses. Marxist dichotomies give one reason, free market fanatics give another, but they see it.

I guess this virus put too much strain on those already-bulging seams. But don't worry, they'll be sure to bleed the coffers before the Temple comes down. Feudalism 2.1 if they can keep the rabble cowed. Chaos otherwise. Maybe war instead.

I don't know which if any, but I know that none of the possible outcomes are good. There's no chance in hell that a peaceful, just, egalitarian will grow out of this swamp. The people don't have the balls for that.

Posted by: Zengine3 | Apr 23 2020 22:30 utc | 69

Circe, I agree with James.

How much Covid back and forth to nowhere can anybody stand?

Posted by: arby | Apr 23 2020 22:31 utc | 70


I don't really believe you, but regardless the Swedish government should have stepped in to provide a safety net should you not be able to service the vectors who were out and about. Good for you, surviving so far. There's always some idiot who says "I guess they died, but I'm alive. It's fine!"

Stupid person.

Posted by: Zengine3 | Apr 23 2020 22:40 utc | 71


"There were some really crazy opinions expressed on the previous thread: for instance, selecting which members of society should be put at risk as a whole for the sake of the freedom of others and which are more expendable in numbers. That qualifies as depraved and even reckless endangerment. We live in a world that glorifies youth, beauty and wealth and marginalizes the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable. Is it any wonder that the majority of fatalities of COVID-19 were and are from the second group??? There's a whole lot of moral assessment to be done to ensure that injustice ends once and for all."

It's just closeted fascists doing what closeted fascists do in the name of (their personal) freedom.

Posted by: Zengine3 | Apr 23 2020 22:43 utc | 72

Big Oil brought a knife to a gunfight, and took it in the rectum.

Posted by: steve | Apr 23 2020 22:53 utc | 73

Charles Peterson @ 25:

I sense some rivalry in the global pharmaceutical industry among companies headquartered in different countries.

"... Brand-name Plaquenil is made by sanofi-aventis. However, it has come off patent and is now available as a generic ..."

My understanding is that hydroxychloroquine (marketed by Sanofi under the brand name Plaquenil) is to be given to people who test positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus at an early stage in their treatment, together with azithromycin, zinc and Vitamin C (as Jackrabbit takes it as he described @ 67).

Apparently there was a study done by US researchers which was published on 13 March 2020 and which suggested that hydroxychloroquine was effective as a prophylactic (preventative) drug. The study by the researchers supported the trial conducted by Didier Raoult using a small sample of 24 patients.

So as Jackrabbit @ 67 and Pft @ 76 say, the drug needs to be taken at a very early stage of infection and as a prophylactic in combination with zinc, Vitamin C and azithromycin.

Bevin @ 29 links to The Intercept which quotes a study done on US veterans already in hospital with COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine won't be at all useful to treat people who need hospitalisation: by the time they need that level of care, the disease has long gone past the early infectious stage.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 23 2020 23:28 utc | 74

Deltaeus @81--

I think the collapse of the US empire is underway. But can that idea be challenged by thoughtful barflies?

It took several centuries for the debauched Roman Empire to disintegrate, and even then only the Western half fell. One can argue the British/UK Empire still stands although greatly diminished. The Outlaw US Empire is continental in scope with additional extra-continental regions legally attached to it meaning it has a huge mass of inertia very difficult to pushover--it won't merely fall off the wall since it already rolls around on the ground. The Great Depression is very instructive regarding your question: If WW2 hadn't occurred, how much longer would the Outlaw US Empire of that time continue to muddle along before it discovered Keynesianism and the key to unlock its fetters?

My academic pursuit is the study of the Outlaw US Empire, which I've been doing since the mid 1960s when I became politically aware. As I wrote above, there's no real organized mass of political opposition or public solidarity, although there're localized pockets and some solidarity exists for some policies. The key question is How long will the Outlaw US Empire's political-economy remain Financialized and run by the Rentier Class? Its removal from power is a prerequisite for the sort of collapse most envision. However, when we look at the continual negative growth in real GDP over the past 20 years, we could say that 95% of the populace has been in Depression, which is saying that segment of the Empire has already collapsed. Before the pandemic hit, real unemployment was well over 20% and has been so since 2009, and my estimate is that prior to the pandemic 100 Million citizens were out of work who want to work, or just under 1/3 of the entire population, which ought to be seen as a societal collapse, and that problem's twice as large now.

Of course, there's the chance the Outlaw US Empire will be rescued from collapse by an enlightened segment of the Elite, a chance about the same as winning the lottery, IMO. So, short of an immediate collapse due to Nuclear War, the Outlaw US Empire is likely to slowly sink or bleed-out as the result of billions of tiny cuts and the blood sucked out by the Parasite Class.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23 2020 23:28 utc | 75

Many good links today. Thanks all, and notably to karlof1 for the Hudson links, and suzan @ 50 for a great post..

Posted by: ben | Apr 23 2020 23:30 utc | 76

Posted by: vk | Apr 23 2020 16:47 utc | 16

"Now it's official: Lufthansa is really seeking a bailout from the German, Swiss and Austrian governments"

Perfect time to nationalize it, along with the hole German Train (DB-Deutsche Bahn) and all the other public transport, along with their daughter companies abroad, to be settled and to become their hosting countrie's asset for good. We take over the working personal as state personal and fire the incompetent bosses.
Also cutting the "defense" expenses, since we live in hard times.
Nothing better that we can do now :)
Just a nice dream, it's sleeping time here.

Posted by: JoKuehn | Apr 23 2020 23:32 utc | 77

"countrie's asset"
as public democratically controlled property.

Posted by: JoKuehn | Apr 23 2020 23:35 utc | 78

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 23 2020 21:00 utc | 60

Stonebird, Thanks for your response, I sincerely apologize for tone and foul languages. I'm an OBC (Overseas born Chinese) and tired being accused of stealing and cheating by racists White.

China Mobile and Huawei join forces and did something amazing on top of the world. Neither Nokia and Ericsson or Americans can or willing ($$) to accomplish such feat. It show China Mobile and Huawei commitment to expand and gain technical knowledge. In 2019 Huawei emerged as the top and most patent holder in European Patent Office (EPO).

“To get 5G to reach such heights, China Mobile sent 150 workers for construction and maintenance purposes. 8-tonnes of network construction and life support equipment was carried to the mountain. The equipment used to deploy 5G was made by Huawei. 25 kilometres of optical fibre cable also had to be laid for the project.’

Posted by: JC | Apr 23 2020 23:42 utc | 79

Additional cut-N-paste too short

The video shows a 360degree views and not sure where they place the tower. It took 150 workers with 60 yaks to carry the equipment to the base camp of Mount Qomolangma. Qomolangma named by local indigenous people.

I still remember my early teen 29 May 1953, Edmund Hillary (NZ) and Tenzing Norgay reached Mount Qomolangma. For additional information do a duckduckgo search China Mobile and Huawei Mt Everest

Posted by: JC | Apr 23 2020 23:45 utc | 80

@90 Jen & @67 JR.

In Morocco, the King has purchased the complete stock of chloroquine produced in the Kingdom by Sanofi and sold over the counter as nivaquine when the state of emergency was declared, March 20th. It is prescribed with azythromycin and zinc, much like JR has described, to ALL symptomatic patients, irrespective of the stage of the ilness. Our current numbers are:

3569 Cases
456 Healed
155 Deceased

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 23 2020 23:55 utc | 81

Forgot to add total population:

36 million

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 23 2020 23:59 utc | 82

Good article about an alternative--Project Humboldt--that was already working prior to the pandemic's arrival. Walter would know about the project as it's in his neck of the woods. A Taste:

"Cooperation Humboldt is a model for ecological, economic and human sustainability. Volunteers plant trees and help convert front lawns into vegetable gardens. They also help one another travel to medical appointments, provide for child care or make masks for the so-called essential workers who went unprotected from COVID-19. They also have an intensive political education program that builds social cohesion and a shared analysis, and allows new leaders to emerge.

"These personal connections prove that the acceptance of a competitive, zero sum game lifestyle is not inevitable. The solidarity economy shows that democratic decision making processes ranging from participatory budgeting to a requirement to join study groups focusing on fighting patriarchy, racism, imperialism and capitalism. The result is not charity, but true solidarity and a revolutionary ethos based on the commitment to 'build a new community within the shell of the old.'"

I recall the attempts at building Communes during the 1960s & 70s, and this is certainly similar. However, the motivation this time is different IMO because of the amount of societal collapse already experienced and the greater amount of knowledge we have about how the System runs and why it's broken down for the majority. One we can travel again, I hope to take a road trip to see what's happening there.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2020 0:11 utc | 83

US imposes new rules on state-owned Chinese media over propaganda concerns

"The Trump administration said on Tuesday said it will begin treating five major Chinese state-run media entities with U.S. operations the same as foreign embassies, requiring them to register their employees and U.S. properties with the State Department."

My opinion, American is determine to go to wars with China, and China as usual will tit-for-tat retaliate

Posted by: JC | Apr 24 2020 0:26 utc | 84

Lozion | Apr 23 2020 23:55 utc | 97

More info is needed.

Morocco announced that they would use HCQ on March 23. The very next day they announced 55 new corona cases bringing the total to 225, and that:

About 669 people with suspected infections have finished their quarantine period, while 2,341 people are under medical surveillance.

So a substantial number of the totals that you show occurred prior to the introduction of the HCQ treatment regimen.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 24 2020 0:38 utc | 85

Hey Jackrabbit and Lozion

Did you not read that this Open Thread is to EXCLUDE virus related comments?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 24 2020 1:01 utc | 86

@ Posted by: Disabuseer | Apr 23 2020 23:06 utc | 88

Obama's plan is ridiculous.

Ridiculous for one very simple reason: it doesn't make any sense from the point of view of capitalism.

Why would the capitalists relocate their factories to the USA? Incumbency alone would make the process absurd, but, to top it off, there's the unavoidable fact it simply isn't profitable to put manufacture back to the USA. American labor power is too expensive.

@ Posted by: Disabuseer | Apr 24 2020 0:24 utc | 100

Coincidentally (ironically?), the British Empire also de facto fell through a series of brutal capitalist recessions (the great depression of 1873-1893).

Is 2008-2022 the USA's "great depression"?

Posted by: vk | Apr 24 2020 1:06 utc | 87

Hey ph, glad you are back, sorry you're right..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 24 2020 1:15 utc | 88

psychohistorian @Apr24 1:01

I was actually hoping that we could talk about how disaster capitalism reveals the crony capitalism and neoliberal failings of Western society.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 24 2020 1:25 utc | 89

From that website they have an sixty three minute film that pretty much disses Einstein"s theory on the nature of our universe and turns most everything i was ever taught about space on it's ear. Even that perhaps our sun's fiery surface is lit by exterior electrical sources, rather than nuclear fission, at it's core and that the planet Venus may at one time been a comet! A film packed with information and fascinating facts.
Posted by: aye, myself & me | Apr 23 2020 22:10 utc | 78

One suspects that you take speculative tosh-for-profit too seriously. It's easy to forget that people who write pseudo-scientific revelations do so to entertain, not to enlighten. But if you like that sort of entertainment you'll enjoy Chariots Of The Gods (Erik von Daniken) and Worlds In Collision (Immanuel Velikovski).

On the other hand, when someone finally debunks Einstein's Theory Of Relativity my GPS will start telling me "This is probably the right street" instead of "You have arrived at your destination" when the car is right outside the front door of my destination...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 24 2020 1:32 utc | 90

@ Lozion | Apr 24 2020 1:15 utc | 104 with the response to my mothering comment

I have not been gone but extremely busy with my 4th house fixer which at 71 will be my last. But I am in a rental/lease arrangement that is up in the middle of June so I am working hard to fix the critical problems, roof leaks/rot, wiring and plumbing issues and the smell of the previous 91 year old owner who had 2 dogs and let the place get pretty bad.

So I barely have time to keep up on b's posts and the now ZH volume and mostly vacuous quantity/quality of comments.

Thanks also to susan in comment, I think, 50 above with the good finance summary. I am not one of those who thinks that a debt jubilee that leaves that same private actors in charge of finance is a good idea. That whole motivational social meme would change if finance was a public utility.
IMO, there needs to be conscious debt jubilee, elimination of private finance, restrictions of ongoing ownership of property and inheritance limitations.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 24 2020 1:42 utc | 91

@ Jackrabbit who wrote
I was actually hoping that we could talk about how disaster capitalism reveals the crony capitalism and neoliberal failings of Western society.
I agree that Western society is failing for the bottom majority. As you know, I call disaster/crony capitalism and neoliberalism by the name for the spawner of those concepts, global private finance.

IMO, global private finance is being attacked by the almost a joke global debt bubble and public banking examples like China. I expect the private finance cult have a plan for how to manage their way out of the current economic situation and retain control of debt and money creation but I hope humanity will lurch forward into global public finance as a utility for a healthy mix of for profit and public managed enterprises.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 24 2020 2:08 utc | 92

Those who are confused, as I am, about the real threat of COVID-19, can check out Swiss Propaganda Research website for quality information on alternate views

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Apr 24 2020 2:29 utc | 93

Pft wrote:
in a series of filings just before a midnight court deadline , the attorney general, William Barr; the acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell; and other senior officials insisted to a federal judge in the civil case that further disclosures about Saudi connections to the 9/11 plot would imperil national security.
They insisted that even its justification for that secrecy needed to remain secret. Four statements to the court by FBI and Justice Department officials were filed under seal so they could not be seen by the public. An additional five, including one from the CIA, were shared only with the judge and cannot be read even by the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Barr insisted to the court that public discussion of the issue “would reveal information that could cause the very harms my assertion of the state secrets privilege is intended to prevent.”

No idea what you think about the reason for this but my view is that these Saudi 9/11 amateur pilots were imported on a CIA Jihadi conveyor belt from KSA to the US for training - as one US ambassador in KSA told. So 9/11 was an Ooops! for the CIA; a few students went off campus and showed own initiative, only in the wrong country! Explains why all from KSA could fly out straight after 9/11 - not just the royals but also the many Jihadi students, plus the botched 9/11 commission report.

All a dance around Arab oil & gas really.

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 24 2020 2:39 utc | 94

@ Posted by: Disabuseer | Apr 24 2020 2:15 utc | 109

A depression is recession without a full rebound ("V shaped recovery"). The growth graphic of a depression is more like a square root signal: you begin with a peak, then a strong recession, then a small recovery and then a "new normal" - a stagnation below the pre-crisis level.

Marx already knew that capitalism functioned in cycles, but he didn't know how many existed and how long each one lasted. He hired a mathematician to try to gather data and build a model for a cycle of fixed capital that he thought existed. His mathematician then told him there wasn't reliable and sufficient data, so he gave up and only theorized those.

In book 2 of Das Kapital he builds an abstract, simplified model of capitalism with two departments, on for philosophical demonstration. It was enough to demonstrate capitalism cannot exist in equilibrium - it either collapsed or continued to grow indefinitely.

Decades later, already in the 20th Century, the cycle Marx wanted to investigate was discovered by a bourgeois economist. We now know the cycle of fixed capital does exist and it last, on a historical average, 10-12 years.

Bourgeois economists have discovered many other cycles: we have the business cycle (8 years), real estate cycle (16-18 years), inventory cycle (4 years) and so on.

The existence of many cycles helps us understand why some crises are so easily shrugged off by capitalism and some degenerate into long depressions: capitalism minimizes its shocks by interpolating its cycles. Take the bubble for example: when it bursted, the real estate cycle was approaching its apex, so staved it off. But then, when the real estate bubble burst, all the other cycles were also on the fall, so it devolved into the 2008 great depression.

The most important cycle of capitalism, however, is its longest: Kondratiev's Cycle.

Kondratiev's Cycle (K Cycle) is important because it is the cycle of the great wars and revolutions. It is the cycle of innovations: the cycles of capitalism's internal "revolutions". K Cycles are very traumatic for capitalist formations, because, for a revolutionary technology to substitute the old one, a lot of old capital must be destroyed at the same time. This was the case with the transition to electricity - which needed the WWII to be massified. But that's another story, for another time.

@ Posted by: Disabuseer | Apr 24 2020 2:20 utc | 110

China was the ideal target for American industry in 1972 for many reasons - none of them to be found in the USA nowadays:

1) In the context of the Cold War, it was a necessary move to remove China from the Soviet sphere of influence;

2) China had a politically favorable hegemony (socialism) to implement the industrializing reforms the American businessmen needed (that's why India wasn't chosen and still isn't chosen: revolutions matter);

3) China had more than 1 billion people, on average very young (3rd World demographic bonus);

4) China had very cheap labor.

5) Profit rates to be extracted from China were enourmous - specially in the context of a general fall of profit rates in the First World after the 1974-1975 oil crisis (the infamous "stagflation crisis").

Posted by: vk | Apr 24 2020 2:53 utc | 95

Psychohistorian @ 102:

Lozion @ 97 originally replied to my post @ 90 (which itself was a reply to a query @ 25) and Jackrabbit was replying to Lozion. The issue over the use of hydroxychloroquine in French and US study trials (and the design of the trials and the results they have generated) is in its own way a small part of how US belief in exceptionalism and the possible exploitation of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis by the global pharmaceutical industry for profit, to the extent of discrediting particular treatments and remedies by using them in studies in ways that guarantee the failure of those treatments and remedies - because the patents on them happen to have expired, or they are produced by competitors seen by major US pharmaceutical companies as rivals.

As I was typing this comment, I immediately thought of the persecution of former Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova and other eastern European athletes for taking meldonium, because that happens to be a drug produced by Latvian pharmaceutical firm Grindeks (which formerly held the patent) and some others. Might the reason for the banning of the drug, apart from the fact that Sharapova is Russian and for reasons best known to her has never considered taking up US citizenship even though as a tennis professional she spent most of her career in the US, be due to it being a drug not licensed for use in the US because the major pharmaceutical companies there view it as a rival for their own nostrums?

Posted by: Jen | Apr 24 2020 2:56 utc | 96

Adding to what Jen wrote @Apr24 2:56

Big Pharma's push against hydroxChloroquine is similar to the attacks against Climate Change. Big Pharma, just like oil companies, have a vested interest that is very much opposed to the health and well being of the rest of us.

Neoliberalism means that government assists in corporate profiteering. We don't generally see how the sausage is made, though. Except in extreme circumstances as with the SARS-COV-2 pandemic.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 24 2020 3:09 utc | 97

On Iran. When will the bombing commence?
Posted by: Musburger | Apr 23 2020 15:21 utc | 1

Not so fast. Unlike the US, Iran is wise. If the US is damaged by Iran strikes on Saudi oil, then Iran will destroy Saudi oil facilities with glee on any US attack. But if US is desperate for Saudi oil to be taken off the market, then it is absolutely guaranteed that Iran will not oblige - to do so would be most stupid. Any response of Iran to a US attack would be guaranteed to be strategically in Iran's interests and most certainly against the interests of the primary aggressor. The logic of Iran destroying Saudi oil has been destroyed by the oil glut - Iran would sooner act as protector to Saudi oil, temporarily - at least with respect to limited aspects that Iran expects to most potently affect the US. Saudi is an oil competitor to Iran, but Iran will choose its targets wisely. Iran will aim to selectively hit Saudi targets with the least impact on crude prices. Expect Iran to destroy all Saudi potential for exporting oil in ways that bypass the Gulf: pipelines, pumping stations, terminals, any facilities vital to domestic production to try to create domestic Saudi shortages of refined products, terminals on the Red Sea etc. Maybe also selected refining infrastructure as it adds value to the crude. Expect Saudi fresh water facilities to be destroyed - that won't impact oil prices. Expect the USAF base in Qatar and the naval base in Bahrain to be totally annihilated, together with any US ships at sea within 700km. They have already demonstrated their capability in Iraq with punches pulled - if the US makes an all-out attack Iran will cause all-out destruction. Any strategic US assets in the Middle East will be targetted. Then there's Israel, anybody's guess how that could play out. Expect Iran's allies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen etc to join in, with Iranian facilitation.

As for US ships sinking Iranian speedboats in the Gulf - impossible. US naval crews are cowards, they will never shoot an Iranian speedboat in the Gulf, now that Iran has the Gulf densely lined with anti-ship missiles. Any US captain who shoots an Iranian speedboat in the Gulf knows with certainty that within moments he will be swimming with the fishes. Not going to happen. The US military are stupid, but they do have some self-preservation instincts.

Posted by: BM | Apr 24 2020 3:27 utc | 98

I enjoyed reading MoA. Bernard attracted great many bright minds to this forum of collective wisdom, so I wanted to add my interpretation of Covid - 19 scenario.

CV-19 is a big scam like nine11 was, a false flag , but with a different purpose . It is brilliant ,worthy of a genius.

Pres. Trump , who I think is very bright ,thought about the problem of dedolarization, of how to protect Americans from consequences of bankruptcy due to endless wars. The US can no longer print dollars like an alchemist making gold. The dedolarization started over a year ago. Oil producing countries , China prefer gold to American paper dollars. Gold talks, bullshit dolar walk.

So Pres. Trump probably set down with leaders of China , Russia and said : "look, these wars are killing my people, bankrupting my country. You need us as much as we need you. Why don't we trade instead of wasting money on arms. It is a win-win-win for all of us. We will play a Kabuki Theater Coronavirus -19 , scare the shit out of people and better their lives."

They said, OK, Don, we will help you with the Kabuki Theater and the CV-19 show. We will restructure our societies to benefit the people.

To me it looks as if a much better world is about to unfold.

Posted by: FRIAR OCKHAM | Apr 24 2020 5:17 utc | 99

Can anyone help me to verify this shocking article that I read this morning in ...... "Over 50,000 Traumatized Children Rescued by Military Out of Tunnels Beneath US Cities" ... Hope someone can enlighten me!

Posted by: CATbytes_ | Apr 24 2020 5:26 utc | 100

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