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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As the subject of war on Iran has been broached, and karlof1 has mentioned that Iran, in spite of the illegal embargo has been dealing well with the virus that is not a subject of this thread, I have two points for any who can add to that topic here without confusing convolution.

One: Could we cast our minds back not too far to a certain large US base in Iraq and the occurrences there? Some said without any casualties; others said that there were. War? I don't think so.

Two: Apologies for this slight deviation - there has been at the Saker site an explanation of how Iran has managed to handle what began seriously for them as far as pandemic fatalities, one written by an Iranian I believe. The measures taken therein were described in detail as being internal to home situations, but most definitely when a family member was stricken, they were quarantined within the home, there being no other recourse, and very strictly. (I would have brought this up on the previous thread but it took me too long to read through the comments there. That has taken me until now. Otherwise, I would have, sorry.)

Posted by: juliania | Apr 24 2020 5:39 utc | 101

>> I've heard you state the US has been in depression or recession since 2008 but not by any typical definition.

Every “typical definition” is a fudge, like “core inflation” and “unemployment” (u3).

In contrast to at least the EU, USA employee/population ratio has been declining for 10+ years.

“Depression” ain’t a bad word for the reality. But, if we already used “depression”, then we need another word for the next leg down.

Posted by: oglalla | Apr 24 2020 5:45 utc | 102

regarding iran and usa war - smoothie has an article up that reminds me of the topic...

Geoeconomics As The Derivative Of Power.

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2020 6:03 utc | 103

@ Posted by: Disabuseer | Apr 24 2020 4:53 utc | 117

The determinant factor of a depression is the social profit rate (general profit rate). Profit rate is the lifeblood of capitalism, therefore the best indicator of its health.

Yes, even in crises and depressions, there are groups of people (class segments) that do still prosper or, at least, continue to live well. That was true for the post-Pax Romana Roman Empire, and is certainly true for modern capitalism.

However, what interests us here is capitalism as a system, as it really is, and not what it appears to this or that person. For that, we should focus our observation on profit rates, profit mass, class struggle, and valorization of the already existing mass of capital.

Posted by: vk | Apr 24 2020 6:29 utc | 104

For @concerned, who asked about the infiltration/penetration of intelligence agencies into alternative media in post #9:

Some places to begin:
1. The blog of Stephen Snyder, VISUPVIEW:
He covers what he calls parapolitical research and does extremely deep dives into behind-the-scenes organisations such as, for example, Le Cercle (series of articles begins here: secret-armies-and-origins-of-cercle

2. The extremely detailed (sometimes excruciatingly so) research website, Institute for the Study of Globalization and Covert Politics:

A note of caution: both these websites explore some extremely dark topics, the second one especially so.

Posted by: PassingBy | Apr 24 2020 6:38 utc | 105

If Trump suddenly declared war on Iran, the Zionist gatekeepers, New York Times and WAPO, would kick Joe Biden to the curb and give Trump another round of free wall-to-wall coverage straight to a 2nd term. That's how treacherous on behalf of Israel those two rags are.

Here's what I mean.:

NYT WAPO abetting Trump's saber rattling

Zionism corrupts everything it touches.

Did I mention how much I despise Zionism?

Not enough! How about this?: It's as good as a certain infamous dictator's legacy. In other words: poison for the soul. You know how the KKK had regular jobs during the day and disguised themselves at night to commit evil acts? Zionists too appear respectable in polite society while they flood Palestinian farmland with sewage, kidnap children from their parents at night to imprison them and tear down Palestinian homes.

How can you love evil? Trump accuses Democrats of not loving Israel. What is it about Israel that so-called Liberals must compete in affection for Israel?

Why is it that careers in politics and journalism are ruined for criticizing Israel?

Israel is an insignificant fascist nuclear militarized speck on the globe, in reality, not much different than North Korea with its secret prisons, human rights abuses and military oppression besides the land theft.

Why is it that everyone must kneel and bend over for Israel? Think about what Israel represents that we must LOVE such evil...or else. Israel represents Zionism, and it's obvious Zionism is way more than just Israel. Who cares about a bunch of Russian and Eastern European Jews who speak English with a heavy accent squatting on stolen land, and come off as ignorant peasants? Think about it...such a fuss over a bunch of unwashed peasants?

Don't just brush it aside. The U.S. went to war to the tune of trillions for those damn land squatters over and over again! Billions of dollars are showered on that speck of desert!

But, you know what? Those Russian, Moldov, Eastern Euro peasants and that speck of desert are merely a front for immense global power, wealth and entitlement; pure corruption that is ruining the world. Better defined; the legacy of evil, and THAT is Zionism, not Israel. Israel is merely the shell for something much bigger that everyone must "love", kneel to and bend over for and it ain't God!

Posted by: Circe | Apr 24 2020 7:48 utc | 106

... The European Union on Thursday issued a warning against the incoming Israeli government's intention to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, saying that such a move ``would constitute a serious violation of international law.''...

i.e. the rest of the violations were not 'serious'

Posted by: Mina | Apr 24 2020 9:21 utc | 107

Posted by: michael888 | Apr 24 2020 9:16 utc | 499

"Of course almost all of our leaders are older than 65, possibly that enters into the crazy decision making?"

That's occurred to me as part of the explanation for a program which essentially demands that all of humanity suspend their lives so the aged and sick can scrounge a few more months of mortal coil. That's in line with the extreme narcissistic way the Boomers in the US have lived their whole lives, after all.

I've also wondered if that demographic profile matches well with the number of erstwhile anti-authoritarians, anti-imperialists, anti-globalists who suddenly have gone full police state.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 24 2020 9:29 utc | 108

(whoops, wrong thread. That's what I get for having two tabs open next to one another.)

Posted by: Russ | Apr 24 2020 9:30 utc | 109

Jax #66

Wait a minute, surely if you disagree that is no reason to run off. Plenty here express divergent views and there is clearly wide differences between the lock down advocates and the variants of precaution and laissez faire. As time passes and information emerges many might change position. Even the obvious bots might scratch new words on the turds.

It is a big bar with fine drinks and drinkers and there is room for debate so watch this space. This virus story has years to run yet as does global finance, oil, freedom, socialism AND there could even be a war in the middle east. Lots to discuss.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 24 2020 10:29 utc | 110

Have you seen this or heard about on mainstream tv, radio and tube news??!!


US: Nurses Protest Over Lack of Resources !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The U.S. Nurses Union protested Tuesday in front of the White House. The health workers demonstrated in honor of the coworkers they lost due to the pandemic. They also demanded better biosafety resources.

According to Bonnie Castillo, Executive Director of the National Nurses Union (NNU), nurses are asking for better Personal Protection Equipment. Nurses will read aloud the names of those who lost their lives because of the virus. Protesters will keep social distance to protect themselves during the activities.

"With no federal health and safety standard, nurses and other health care workers in many hospitals across the country have not been provided with adequate PPE to protect them from exposure to the virus," NNU representatives said.

Food Lines Stretching For Blocks All Over US !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Jimmy Dore Show

Scott Ritter
The Staggering Collapse Of U.S. Intelligence On The Coronavirus

An agency tasked with tracking future bio threats fell down on the job, causing us to wonder what else we don't know.

Posted by: Ashino | Apr 24 2020 10:39 utc | 111

- "Iran launches its first military satellite"

- And the US responds to this "event".

"Pompeo: "Iran needs to be held accountable" over military satellite launch"

- Trump has threatened to shoot at iranian ships in the Persian Gulf

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 24 2020 10:41 utc | 112

China - Government virus-crisis management including social organizations to stem the spread of the virus.

By Vijay Prashad, Weiyan Zhu, and Du Xiaojun
Part 3 -> How China broke the chain of infection
April 21, 2020

On March 31, 2020, a group of scientists from around the world—from Oxford University to Beijing Normal University—published an important paper in Science. This paper—“An Investigation of Transmission Control Measures During the First 50 Days of the COVID-19 Epidemic.

In this report, we detail the measures taken by the different levels of the Chinese government and by social organizations to stem the spread of the virus and the disease at a time when scientists had just begun to accumulate knowledge about them and when they worked in the absence of a vaccine and a specific drug treatment for COVID-19...


Truth and Propaganda About Coronavirus

By Vijay Prashad, Weiyan Zhu, and Du Xiaojun

Part 1 -> Growing Xenophobia Against China in the Midst of CoronaShock

Posted by: Ashino | Apr 24 2020 10:54 utc | 113

And of course new Trump-Evil for all China and its "lying"...

One of our correspondents and colleagues in the Far East, Godfree Roberts, an Anglo-Australian expert on Chinese questions, sent us this gem:

C H I N A. "L I E D” !!

32 Trillion dollars missing from the Pentagon

China lied in 1999 about “massacres” committed by Serbia and bombed Belgrade to set up the narcomafia organ-smuggling so called state of “Kosovo”.

China lied about Saddam Hussein having WMDs and invaded Iraq in 2003.

China lied about “imminent massacres” and “Viagra rape” in Libya in 2011, and deliberately misused a UN Security Council resolution to bomb and destroy that country and hand it over to slave trading jihadi headchopper gangs.

China lied about Syria using chemical weapons from 2013 onwards, armed and trained and financed terrorist gangs, conducted missile strikes on the country, and continues to occupy and steal oil from East Syria.

China organised a blatant Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014 and lied about it being a “popular democratic revolution”.

China murdered Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani in 2020 and lied about him being about to conduct terrorist attacks when he was actually on a peace mission.
And China lied about…

Jack Ruby
USS Liberty
9/11 Including false air safety reports in NYC which will cost thousands of
lives because of cancer.

Note this is NOT an exhaustive list of US ruling class criminality. The whole story would take far longer.


Posted by: Ashino | Apr 24 2020 11:00 utc | 114

Well, there ya' go: I've been banned by Pat "burning wreckage" Lang for asking what I consider to be a reasoned question.

He is just itching to see the US Navy " 'shoot down and sink' Iranian vessels harassing our warships".

He can't wait. Can't happen fast enough in his book.

And yet...
And yet...

It does not occur to him that Trump has just handed the escalatory ladder to the Iranians.

As in: the Iranians can hold back their harassing swarm until a US Navy ship sails within range of shore-based anti-ship missiles (as many missiles as it would take to overwhelm that destroyer's defences, which they can surely assemble) whereupon they can start doing cartwheels around that ship while making the rudest of gestures towards the bridge.

If the destroyer "shoots down" some of those speedboats then the Iranians would be perfectly within their rights to fire missiles at it, and keep firing until they sink it. After all, when your forces are under attack you are most definitely allowed to come to their assistance with covering fire.

So that destroyer starts shooting then the Iranians can sink it = the US Navy is humiliated.

But if the destroyer holds its fire then the US Navy is also humiliated.

pretty simple, really: Trump's bombastic shouting has made the US Navy hostage to the good graces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards which, honestly, is a pretty stupid position to choose to be in.

I tried to point that out to Lang, as gently as I could.

The result? "You really are an obnoxious little creep. You are banned"

The guy is a f**king idiot.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 24 2020 11:08 utc | 115

I've just found a very interesting article by Bhadrakumar

Kerala’s Covid story is hard to replicate

It is not so much about the success story of India's left-wing Kerala State's successful fight against Covid-19, as about the difficulties of "cutting and pasting" that success into the Gangetic plains of northern India. What makes it interesting is its direct relevance to virtually all those countries of the developed West heavily affected by Covid-19.

Here is just a taster. Whilst illiteracy is not the problem in Western Europe, and even the US might possibly have higher literacy than the Gangetic plains of India, the main problem is the structure of society and the basis for fundamental trust in government. Thus, the parallels with China are close, as China drew heavily on a volunteer workforce and had the full trust and cooperation of its citizens. Europe and America have grave problems on both counts.

Suffice to say, Kerala’s success story can be summed up as follows: When the well-managed public healthcare system in the state shifted gear into war footing under an enlightened political leadership to combat Covid-19, the community outreach that was vital to the government’s campaign — involving lockdown, rigorous contact tracing, mass quarantine and so on —got a big boost because of the large-scale public participation that was readily forthcoming, which of course was possible only because of the awareness on the part of the highly literate population that this pandemic is very dangerous and life-threatening.

Fundamentally, the lubricant that makes this architecture work is public trust in the government and in the authenticity of the elected leadership. That provides the critical fourth element of Kerala’s success story.

Now, take away any one of the above four components and at once the architecture becomes unstable. The bottom line is, what the northern Indian states lack is responsive politics based on egalitarian principles of development, social justice and equality. A cut-and-paste job cannot make up for such lethal deficiency.

Posted by: BM | Apr 24 2020 11:41 utc | 116

Re Controversy around Pepe Escobar's article in Strategic Culture

I see that Ron Unz has written about this and comes to a similar conclusion.

It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.

Unz's had previously speculated on how this could have possibly happened, a view often expressed here by several thoughtful posters.

Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible…

Everyone knows that America’s ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire…

What like about Unz is his honest and humble disclaimer of why we should be wary of all claims and theories, including his own.

But we are dealing with a cataclysmic world event and those questions obviously have enormous political ramifications, so the entire subject is shrouded by a thick fog of complex propaganda, with numerous conflicting claims being advanced by interested parties. I have no background in microbiology let alone biological warfare, so I would be hopelessly adrift in evaluating such conflicting scientific and technical claims. I suspect that this is equally true of the overwhelming majority of other observers as well, although committed partisans are loathe to admit that fact, and will eagerly seize upon any scientific argument that supports their preferred position while rejecting those that contradict it.

Posted by: krypton | Apr 24 2020 11:44 utc | 117

Whitney Webb has identified a program to "re-make" the US economy:

Techno-Tyranny: How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision

"Last year, a government commission called for the US to adopt an AI-driven mass surveillance system far beyond that used in any other country in order to ensure American hegemony in artificial intelligence. Now, many of the “obstacles” they had cited as preventing its implementation are rapidly being removed under the guise of combating the coronavirus crisis."

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 24 2020 11:50 utc | 118

Americans cannot do 5g, they rely on Nokia and Ericsson, by JC @ 23<==well said, both part 1 and part 2 of the USA deny America program began in 1949, right after Truman, et al. in 1946 proclaimed that the USA owned all of the land under the sea and 20 miles inland and recognized Israel as a state both of these events were part of the British, French, and USA Petroleum Industry effort to control the world's oil.

Part I involved implementing patent and copyright to deny rank and file American, French, German, British people who had superior technical knowledge (mostly acquired during WWII) access to new and advanced Technology and to sister deny America part II programs;

Part II, was designed to deny Americans access to their own domestic natural resources. Everything had to imported: technology, food, and natural resources.

USA imposed deny America programs everywhere. There were and are many programs, they involve academic institutions and organizations, the federal reserve, the military, the international bank, SWIFT, the EPA, the oceanographic agencies, Homeland Security, Tax law implemented by the IRS, the DOD corrupt practice contracting methodologies, USDA, federal agency grants to universities and private corporations, domestic banks, and civil rights policies and immigration policies, SEC IPO preference for access to wall street and on and on and on..Its a massive story that will take hundreds of years for historians to sort out.

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) was developed to explain the logic of running government budget deficits to increase demand in the economy’s consumption and capital investment sectors so as to maintain full employment.
is just one of the many things that the USA imposed on America to deny Americans..

The USA has not been good for America. In has attacked the guts of America and made it possible for the guts of America to be stolen; surrendered to outside interest or just plain left to deteriorate. If you carefully read Article II of the USA constitution you will discover the route used by those in control to deny America.

Posted by: snake | Apr 24 2020 11:59 utc | 119

All efforts to bring down the Iranian 'regime' have failed.
Pompeo and Trump are getting desperate and humiliated as Iran is going its way in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and the space!
There is nothing more that the USA can do about Iran other than empty threats of 'bombing', further sanctions etc.. Iran will ignore them as usual.
The two barking stooges are really pathetic in their hysteria. Soon they will be gone without having achieved anything other than more chaos and hatred.

Posted by: Virgile | Apr 24 2020 12:42 utc | 120

The Epstein case just got way bigger. Here's a link to a Whitney Webb interview on youtube. She did impressive ground breaking research on Epstein last year, also did a deep dive into the Shadow app and connections with Israel, DNC etc.
She brings Bill Gates into Epstein's world. Worth a look/listen but my guess is that even barflies will find it hard to take. I'd be interested in you all's perspective on this.

Posted by: migueljose | Apr 24 2020 12:49 utc | 121

Musburger | Apr 23 2020 15:21 utc | 1

“Military men are
just dumb, stupid animals
to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”

― Henry Kissinger

Posted by: Mµ | Apr 24 2020 13:55 utc | 122

Yeah, Right @134

He bans people all the time. Try to comment again in a week or two.

james has been banned innumerable times.

When he really takes a dislike to you he'll portray you as an old fart off his meds with an obscene appreciation for America's enemies. I got that treatment for daring to question the operation and motives of USA's saintly political leadership. He made a special post warning all his contributors that such discussions prompted by disgruntled old farts were not to be tolerated.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 24 2020 13:57 utc | 123


Chloroquine may be an effective mediaction in many COVID-19 cases at a specific point - at the beginning of a viral pneumonia since there is some evidence that it might stop the attack of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the bood cells, breaking the iron ion out of hemoglobin, resulting in low blood oxygen rates although the lungs are still working well ( Chloroquine is likely to protect the hemoglobine molecule.

However, there is A_SERIOUS_CAVEAT!

Chloroquine and also vitamine C in high doses is very dangerous for people with an asymptotic and quite common gene defect, causing Favism (about 30% in some regions). For them, the medication can be life-threatening!

Posted by: Kassandra | Apr 24 2020 14:06 utc | 124

But if the destroyer holds its fire then the US Navy is also humiliated.

pretty simple, really: Trump's bombastic shouting has made the US Navy hostage to the good graces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards which, honestly, is a pretty stupid position to choose to be in.

I tried to point that out to Lang, as gently as I could.

The result? "You really are an obnoxious little creep. You are banned"

The guy is a f**king idiot.
Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 24 2020 11:08 utc | 134

HA! Serves you right for hanging out with a MIC intelligence tool, whose servile loyalty to Trump includes promoting the most convoluted, corrupt interpretation of impeachment ever uttered by the most rabid Zionist advocate on the planet, Alan Dershowitz.

If Trump were to pretend to rush a swamp full of alligators, this Trump bootlicker, Lang, would end up rushing the gator-infested pond with him without a brake while Trump's right at the edge already turning around and headed for the next scam to pull in any resistance to Zionism left within the enthralled ranks of his supporters.

I'll embellish the Kissinger quote @148 posted:

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals...who end up mentally crippled or without a limb, or sleeping under a bridge, pushing up clover in a military graveyard or used for national propaganda by masters of Trump.

The truth should hurt as much as possible to make it indelible.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 24 2020 14:24 utc | 125

Sorry it wasn't 148, but Mµ @143.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 24 2020 14:26 utc | 126

The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation

Posted by: Florin N. | Apr 24 2020 14:37 utc | 127

Florin @Apr24 14:37


Take it to the "It Is Not 'Authoritarian" thread about lock-downs.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 24 2020 15:02 utc | 128

@148 Florin N.

So tell me something, knowing what you know, are you okay with a Covid carrier sneezing on you just to test how invincible you are to it?

I suggest you first be the guinea pig that will liberate us all.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 24 2020 15:04 utc | 129


there doesn't appear to be much interest here to actually analyze how power works, who executes it, and why. just hate US empire, excuse anything China might be complicit in, and accept the power of the state to destroy your livelihood while watching and data-mining every second of your misery.

contrarian thinking will no longer be tolerated. thank you and have a nice day.

Posted by: lizard | Apr 24 2020 15:09 utc | 130

Continuing from @115 @116

"A credibility trap is when the managerial functions of a society have been sufficiently compromised by corruption so that the leadership and the professional class cannot reform, or even honestly admit and address, the problems of the corrupted system without implicating a broad swath of a powerful elite, including themselves.

The moneyed interests and their enablers tolerate the corruption because they have profited from it, and would like to continue to do so. Discipline and silence is maintained by various forms of soft financial rewards and career and social coercion."


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 24 2020 15:12 utc | 131

Florin @ 148
Sorry I’m not that gullible!
Better we quarantined pscopathic leaders in the west. Think of the lives we could safe. Think of the reduced cost of armaments to the tax payer.
That study in the hill is just the next wave of bullshit genocide.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 24 2020 15:15 utc | 132

The real problem comes with crowded cities and their suburbans who need to take over-crowded public transportation to go to work or anywhere.
The French mortality excess is clear in all the places which have seen the highest numbers of covid.
Between March 1st April 13 the following regions have an excess:
Ile-de-France (+91%), Grand Est (+61%), Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Hauts-de-France (+24% chacune), according to the national institute of statistics (Insee). 3 departements have twice as much dead as the year before for the same period: Haut-Rhin (+144%), where Mulhouse, the 1st cluster caused by the evangelical meeting; Seine-Saint-Denis and Hauts-de-Seine (+128%).The two latter are suburbs of Paris where most of the "deplorables" live. Seine-Saint-Denis is the poorest department in France and Hauts-de-Seine used to be the richest because of the quantity of commercial surfaces.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 24 2020 15:18 utc | 133

@ 135 yeah, right... i am sorry to hear that, but it doesn't surprise me.. pat lang is quite obnoxious himself, but projection is like a miracle drug for him...

@ 136 BM.. thanks for that.. i think that is a great example of the missing link - or the lubrication as the article states - peoples ability to work with there gov't, or not..

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2020 15:29 utc | 134

The problem is how to open up the areas which have a low-density of population without having all the rich of the crowded cities come. Governements are reluctant at losing voters among the rich of the cities.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 24 2020 15:44 utc | 135

Korean Air also to be bailed out:

Gov't to offer W1.2 tril. to Korean Air

As Korean Air is not officially bankrupt, the package is named "emergency financial assistance" - a chic name for "preventive bailout", as it was obvious Korean Air would eventually go bankrupt.

Posted by: vk | Apr 24 2020 15:55 utc | 136

@ Posted by: snake | Apr 24 2020 11:59 utc | 139

MMT is the silver bullet that will solve all of the American problems at once.

On the one side, it keeps the rich's privileges, specially its tax evasion privileges. After all, printing money is enough.

On the other side, it also throws a bone to the working class, as it states that money printing works, if - and only if - said money is printed by the government. This way, money printing = job creation (full employment).

So, according to MMT, if the central government prints unlimited amounts of money, the rich can keep their wealth and power, and the working class can keep their boring lives. Everybody lives happily ever after.

It was already amazing people took MMT seriously before. It is even more amazing they are still taking it seriously now, as the series of money printing by the USG during this pandemic has not generated full employment, but the exact opposite of it: it fueled unemployment in the USA.

The reason for this is simple: as everybody realized they would get money directly from the government, they simply opted to file for unemployment. After all, in the capitalist system, the worker doesn't work because he/she wants to; he/she works because he/she needs a certain amount of money to purchase his/her means of subsistence (means of subsistence includes your own family, as family is part of the biological reproduction of the worker, the means with which it proliferates). The moment Americans saw they could receive money directly if they stopped working, they stopped working - and made the central government to be aware they did so.

Posted by: vk | Apr 24 2020 16:12 utc | 137

Pepe Escobar alerts us to a new book that encapsulates the current and potential future direction of the China/Outlaw US Empire relationship:

"Kishore Mahbubani's new book argues that China's rejuvenation is not driven by missionary impulse, a fact a flagging US refuses to see." The author, a "Distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute, former president of the UN Security Council (from 2001 to 2002) and the founding dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (2004-2017), Mahbubani is the quintessential Asian diplomat."

Seems to me he probably knows a few things and interprets them through a lens that differs from both China and the Empire. As usual, Pepe sprinkles links to supporting items throughout his essay, this one seems quite appetizing:

"It’s quite enlightening to observe the contrast between Mahbubani and Harvard University’s Graham Allison – who seem to admire each other – at a China Institute debate."

And the dedollarization drive is also highlighted:

"Enter blockchain technology and the Chinese drive to set up an alternative currency based on blockchain. Mahbubani takes us to a China Finance 40 Forum in August last year, when the deputy director of the People’s Bank of China, Mu Changchun, said the PBOC was 'close' to issuing its own cryptocurrency."

So, plan to spend some quality time with Pepe's essay and the additional items he links to as a welcome respite from all the pandemic news.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2020 16:37 utc | 138

Some will find Putin's approach to the use of banks very refreshing in what IMO is a very telling address prior to a telework session with Russian bankers and relevant ministers that displays the vast ideological differences between Russian economic thinking and Neoliberal orthodoxy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2020 16:50 utc | 139

As for my take on the Off-Guardian debate, the problem is not 'authoritarianism' but US empire. The solution is not more individual freedom and privacy, but a restoration of public trust.

A lack of public trust seems like a domestic issue, but the US cannot solve this issue until it first changes its international stance -- ie, scale down its outsized military so as to fund actual governance and government services. The US cannot restore public trust at home until it ceases its imperialist aggression abroad.

If you look at the issue in this way, it is even more clear that Bernie would have changed nothing. Many 'progressives' are clueless in thinking they can talk about progress without discussing military spending.

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 24 2020 16:53 utc | 140

Today's Strategic Culture Editorial, "Capitalism on Life Support… Time for a Cure," could've been written by several of us barflies as it encapsulates our ongoing discussion of Neoliberalism's criminality and the absolute necessity to drastically alter the system before the Parasite kills ever more its feeding upon. The following description is well said:

"It is fair to describe corporate capitalism (or socialism for the rich) as a pathology which produces many other pathologies, including deprivation, crime, insecurity, ecological damage, militarism, imperialism and ultimately war. Ironically, a virus is exposing the pathological system. And it is, inevitably, forcing a cure to arise."

occupation @161--

Note how militarism and its spending is one of the sub-pathologies--one of the many Hydra Heads stemming from the body of Capitalism. Unlike the myth, it isn't necessary to sever all the heads at once if the body itself can be run through so its life-giving blood-flow propping up those heads is forever severed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2020 17:13 utc | 141

my take on off gaurdian itself - and correct me if i am wrong - it is primarily a UK audience that got very disenchanted with the gaurdian for selling out... essentially the uk public have a really good excuse for distrusting their gov't.. they have shown themselves to be completely untrustworthy, from blairs war in iraq all the way forward to the treatment of assange, the joke regarding the skripal affair, the ditching of corbyn and etc. etc... if i lived their i would be pissed off and seek any alternative to what appears to be a real problematic society with a very top down authoritarian system that doesn't seem to give a shit about many of the things i stand for or believe in... so, kudos to off-g for being a place where any alternative viewpoint to the establishment is voiced... my problem with the off-g in what little i have read of it, is the blanket generalizations about anyone who doesn't see it their way as being authoritarian and on and on..

so, i am back to the dilemma of having to countenance opposing viewpoints, but i would prefer if it was done in an atmosphere of kindness, as opposed to yelling at others who you don't agree with.. that is the other part that i picked up on that i don't enjoy as well..

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2020 17:17 utc | 142

Activist Paul Street is provided space by RT for an excellent op/ed about the direction activism and protest is taking within the Outlaw US Empire during the pandemic. Street reviews some of the many growing signs of resistance and closes with the following announcement/suggestion:

"Expanding on these work struggles, the black left-wing organization Cooperation Jackson (CJ) has issued a call for 'A General Strike – No Work, No Shopping' [Link at Original] on Friday, May 1. As CJ explains: 'We must stop the worst most deadly version of this pandemic from becoming a reality, and we have to ensure that we never return to the society that enabled this pandemic to emerge and have the impact it is having in the first place… To fight back we have to use the greatest power we have at our disposal – our collective labor.'"

I don't see how anyone aside from a 10-percenter could argue differently.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2020 17:33 utc | 143

In welcome news, it's become easier to become a Russian, thanks to modification of the passport issuing law.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 24 2020 17:38 utc | 144

Please would someone explain to me *why* a flotilla of Saudi tankers are sailing to the US in order to store their oil? The message I'm getting is that these tankers show up unannounced and dump their oil in US storage, without anyone having purchased the oil, without any prior agreements or contracts. Did they really just decide one day to sail millions of barrels of oil on faith that it would all get taken care of somehow when it hits US shores? I don't understand how this could be so, it's bizarre.

Posted by: Arch | Apr 24 2020 19:03 utc | 145

James @ 163
Thanks for that view regarding off-Gardian. You made a very good discription of the situation.
If I were to attempt to discribe the U.K. political and alt media situation at present with one word it would be ‘kaos’
People are scared of the virus, scared of the lack of political opposition (zero) scared of the obvious oppressive motives all to clear to see. It’s like witnessing a slow motion car crash.
Now so far as that goes on MOA and off-Gardian we have been on the same wavelength. And should be in the future!
So why did OffGardian ‘go for b and MOA?
Scared people lash out.
Misinformed people when told the truth lash out (cog dis)
Off-Gard (tm Mark2)
Then there’s paranoia due to the amount of alt news groups being funded and taken over, a long list !
To avoid timed out i’l continue.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 24 2020 19:07 utc | 146

The last few days we were inundated by new names all with similar disruptive styles, ‘‘this seemed to me to be becouse of one of three reasons —-
1. A govenment troll farm team. MOA tells the truth ! A bit like Corbyn need I say more.
2 A group of misinformed off-Gardian followers. Not aware of TYPHIOD MARY syndrome.
3 closet genocide supporters (we know who they are)
I hope we don’t loose off-Gardian but they are wrong on the medical defence of this virus but right in not trusting their govenment, that confusion may have led to the recent rumpus !
I just hope bellingcat, Atlantic council, ingregrety international or Israeli lobby groups are not involved !!

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 24 2020 19:27 utc | 147

@ mark2.. thanks for your take on all this too! kaos - which i think is spelt chaos! but either way - i hear and agree with you as i can see it at a distance!

speaking of all this - here is yet another example of how fucked in the head the uk has become...

Craig Murray Defence Fund Launched.. i am curious to know of off-g, or Off-Gard as you say! - how they see this... i really admire craig murray and his forthright commentary and insightfulness.. he is another shining light in a sea of msm darkness! cheers!

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2020 20:03 utc | 148

Arch @166: "Please would someone explain to me *why* a flotilla of Saudi tankers are sailing to the US in order to store their oil?"

Those millions of bbls just sitting there off the coast will glue the US oil glut in place.

Keep in mind that the whole point to the Russia-Saudi economic pillow fight over oil is to destroy the US shale industry. The faster and more completely that is done the better it is for everybody... well, everybody but the US shale industry, but it is good for the US consumers.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 24 2020 20:22 utc | 149

James @ 169
Yep agree all of that. Hope Craig doesn’t get the Asarnge treatment.
Point taken about the miss-spelling it’s a flaw I know.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 24 2020 20:34 utc | 150

@William Gruff 170
" is good for the US consumers."
Good for European consumers, too. After all, it was the US pipe dream (sorry, couldn't resist) of becoming an LNG gas exporter which was underpinning the unrelenting efforts to sabotage Nordstream II. Everyone with a brain knew the US would never be able to deliver on its promises to provide all the gas Europe could ever want--albeit at a significantly higher price--so long as they turned their backs on Russian gas. But it certainly will make the job of resisting US demands easier if the promise of easy US gas is destroyed.

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 24 2020 21:11 utc | 151

Arch @Apr24 19:03

I dunno. Maybe we need to stockpile oil before the war?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 24 2020 22:20 utc | 152

Arch 166

Either KSA is intent on driving frackers out of the business or as Jackrabbit said, US is stocking up for war.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 24 2020 22:31 utc | 153

vk @ 158
So, according to MMT, if the central government prints unlimited amounts of money, the rich can keep their wealth and power, and the working class can keep their boring lives. Everybody lives happily ever after.

Interesting analysis in misreprresenting mmt

MMT only describes the current system.  If money is needed ie for military expenditures or to bail out banks and major corporations it is immediatly available.  They don't ask 'are there tax revenues to support this'

Could they do the same to support Medicare for all or supportable education.  Absolutely.

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 24 2020 22:37 utc | 154

Financial engineering...
What does it mean?

Posted by: John Golt | Apr 24 2020 23:07 utc | 155

@ Posted by: financial matters | Apr 24 2020 22:37 utc | 175

They could, but that would increase - by a lot - the value of the American labor force. Workers would stop accepting any wage from the employer just because this employer offers health insurance. Wages would (indirectly) rise, thus lowering the American general profit rate.

It would be a disaster for capitalism if the workers didn't need to work for food, healthcare, housing etc. That's why supermarkets insist to discard their expired food and do not let their workers to keep it.

MMT, at best, describes a plannified economy. The problem is that, in a plannified economy, money as described by MMT is not needed.

Posted by: vk | Apr 24 2020 23:18 utc | 156

vk @ 177

It would be a disaster for capitalism if the workers didn't need to work for food, healthcare, housing etc

Unfortunately what you describe is serfdom.

The focus needs to be on why we are seeing increased inequality with CEO wages increasing so much compared to wage laborers.

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 24 2020 23:34 utc | 157

@141 migueljose

Thanks for the introduction to Tim Dillon. He's obviously a brilliant comic channeling a huge volume of truth and sane commentary on the ways things really are. I don't know many comedians who can throw in the Clintons as murderers simply as part of a larger rant.

I downloaded the Webb interview but I'm not sure if I'll ever have the time to listen to it - so I can't address your question but I still wanted to say thanks.

I skimmed a few other clips and podcasts of Dillon's, and there's some brilliant work in there. Many thanks again.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 25 2020 1:07 utc | 158

If only...

Here's a suggestion from the Watercooler @

"“How to bail out the oil industry without destroying the planet” [The Week]. “The problem with the oil industry is that it’s run by people who don’t want it to die. But what if it was run by people who did recognize the need to ultimately dismantle fossil fuel production? If the federal government just straight-up nationalized the industry in the near future, it would have almost three decades to transition its workers and physical capital into green sectors, wind down oil production to zero, and figure out what to do about plastics and petrochemicals. Among progressive climate activists, there are burgeoning proposals to do just that. And right now, thanks to the coronavirus crisis, the oil industry has never been a cheaper bargain. Haliburton’s stock is down by two-thirds. ExxonMobil’s is down by 38 percent. Every energy company on the S&P 500 could be bought out for a grand total of about $700 billion — or roughly one-third of what the U.S. government just spent on the CARES Act.” • Seems like a no-brainer.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 25 2020 2:01 utc | 159

Thanks karlof1 again for your links @ 169 - and the China Institute forum was exceptionally fascinating. Long, but very helpful! Good for Pepe to focus on the interchange. Highly recommended!

Posted by: juliania | Apr 25 2020 4:37 utc | 160

@ juliania | Apr 25 2020 2:01 utc | 181 with the proposal to nationalize the oil industry.

Wake me up when there is serious talk of nationalizing the world of finance otherwise you are just playing whack-a-mole.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 25 2020 5:08 utc | 161

Hey b,

Off topic but Wikileaks appears to have dumped all its files two days ago.

There is a file on pandemic preparedness and need to vaccinate more people with flu vaccines.

Could you report on this please? The mainstream media/propaganda has a total complete news blackout in this

The files are not in the usual archived form, they include those previously released by Wikileaks such as Podesta emails - but appear to include many more.

One file discussed on reddit titled ‘Marc Dutroux’ (Belgian ‘house of horrors’ paedophile mass murderer) is in French but a French reader describes the file speaking of hunting and raping children in forests by the elites.

Strange, but maybe not so strange, that the apparent biggest data dump ever by Wikileaks is being ignored/suppressed.

Posted by: PJB | Apr 25 2020 9:12 utc | 162

@142 Re: Pat Lang

I hate to disagree with you but Pat is in fact the real deal. He was the Director of Defense Attache's at the Defense Intelligence Agency and had an illustrious career in the spy world inside the DIA. He was a DAT himself. I know this as my second wife was a DAT working under him and I have several other Special Forces friends who also became DATs out of the spy school at the Cornell University (Center for International Public Affairs -CIPA) Master's degree program. I was doing my PhD there while my wife and 20 or so other future DATs were doing their Master's degrees. We all did the Command and General Staff Courses (CGSC) by correspondence together. Defense attaches are in fact yet another set of spies at Embassies and many DATs are also the personal pilots for the Ambassador in each country.

That said, I also was banned when I wrote some stuff demonstrating US direct support for ISIS all of which became very obvious later. I was attacked directly and told I was not a real scientist (despite my sending him my DD214 with all my military stuff so I could be admitted to his "committee of correspondents"). He does not like anyone to disagree with him whatsoever and he is all over the map regarding personal views. I tend to agree with him most of the time but he has a huge blind spot for US actions which are illegal which is understandable for a former Special Forces Officer from the Vietnam Era (I was one as well).

I still read his blog daily because as you indicate his contributors are excellent. He is not so great, particularly when he gets on a rant similar to Bolton or Pompeo in many ways. I have been particularly pissed at him since he went all out anti-China regarding the Coronavirus. This is complete BS about the virus being engineered despite all the big names (Luc Montagnier who is a friend of mine but is clearly demented in his belief it was engineered) giving zero evidence except for their gut feelings. I have never heard of this Russian "expert" which is generally true for all "experts" that come out of the woodwork when something like this happens. I did do a BLAST search of the virus genome and yes there are small homologies to other viruses including HIV but they are random and also include about 10,000 other organisms as well so clearly it is an over-statement that it was engineered. I found zero large open reading frames with any homology at all to HIV. I leave it to the professional gene jockeys to sort through all of that but so far, and it has been months, there is no definitive proof of it being engineered.

Anyone who is interested can read Promed-Ahead on line which is invaluable because they publish in real time reports from the field. If you go back through the different posts since last November you can get the real truth as it is not censored in any way. I have been a subscriber to Promed since its inception as my career was working with high consequence biothreat agents and I commanded the US Army lab which responded to any type of nuclear, chemical, or biological attacks and Promed was more timely than the DIA classified reports which I always had to go get personally from the message center which was 50 km away and usually in the middle of the night just to be told something I already read on Promed a week earlier. I am rambling again, sorry.

Anyway, as much as I personally dislike Pat he does have a reliable albeit heavily biased blog which along with MoA I consider reliable.

Posted by: OldMicrobiologist | Apr 25 2020 9:14 utc | 163

This is the Dutroux file. Over 1,200 pages. I don’t read French but glancing through it there appears to be a lot of material about sex and children.
I do recall the ‘White March’ - over 300,000 Belgians protested in a march carrying white ribbons etc for the children holed up in dungeons and killed by Dutroux in his 7 houses (he was long term unemployed). Several complaints to police over many years amounted to nothing. The legal system and politicians were allegedly implicated - hence the massive protest.

This file might blow the lid wide open.

Anyone read French?

Posted by: PJB | Apr 25 2020 9:23 utc | 164

Additional to PJB @185

Dutroux Scandal Analysis are in process of translating the Dutroux File into English. They have done the first 100 pages so far (available to read on website). From their website:

"Unlike what many may think, justice was not served, and the Dutroux paedophile, rape, trafficking, torture and murder case of the 90's (which actually goes back to the 80's at least) is not irrelevant today. This site will analyse evidences that reveal why the Dutroux et al case is still relevant to this day. Our mission is to reveal as much of the truth that was suppressed – no spin, no propaganda, no lies, no disinfo. We will also be showing suspicious correlations (maintaining that correlation does not equate causation) and ask questions we believe merit investigation."

The Dutroux abuse is far more horrendous than anything that is known about Epstein. Elizabeth Voss of Consortium News wrote an informative article about the case; beware it is avery disturbing read. It is really difficult to believe that such horror can exist and that our institutions and politicians just cover it up and fail to bring justice.

The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 4—The Haunting Case of a Belgian Child Killer and How WikiLeaks Helped Crack It

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 25 2020 11:00 utc | 165

@184 OldMicrobiologist I too read Lang's blog every day. There are some excellent contributors with TTG being by far the pick of them. But he is an exception in that, apparently, he has no ego. He certainly never gets upset when someone disagrees with him.

Patrick Armstrong is much the same. Sardonic in his putdowns, but never vicious about it. FB Ali likewise. There was also a French special forces dude called Patrick Bahzad who used to contribute, and he was very blunt (and not a little frightening, to tell the truth) without taking disagreement as a personal insist.

But the rest?

There appears to be a tendency for spooks to have such an astonishingly fragile ego that they are very quick to fly into a rage of sarcasm and insult. Perhaps because they are all similarly-cashiered spooks who hold a grudge? Or maybe that's just the sort of person who is drawn to that world, who knows?

Pat Lang is by far the worse, but he is not alone. Larry C Johnson is also quick to resort to insult, as is Walrus, while there used to be a contributor called Publius Tacitus who was just remarkable for the amount of venom and scorn he could generate.

Watching TTG trying to gently correct some of the more... demented... arguments was always an eye-opener. He would be insulted, cursed, told that he knew nothing, that he was stupid/gullible/whatever, and he would simply turn the other cheek and continue with a well-reasoned and reasonable counter-point.

Lang's current We're Already At War With China, Fools! obsession is just a whole new level of crazy.
But his recent rant regarding Trump's public threat towards the Iranian speedboats is just... unbelievable.

Honestly, is he capable of calming down enough to consider that Trump has just PUBLICALLY told the IRGC that he is painting himself into a corner, and only their parsimony can get him out of it?

Apparently not.

He loves the smell of burning speedboats, and he steadfastly refuses to see past that image.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 25 2020 11:03 utc | 166

Why would capitalists relocate their plants in the US?

For the same reason they relocated them to China.

Higher rate of return relative to locating plants elsewhere.

Posted by: Disabuseer | Apr 24 2020 2:20 utc | 111

In my opinion, the immediate financial rewards were merely a component of an overall strategic goal. A far more important component, imho, was affecting the social trends and collective mindset, both in China and abroad.

China's living standards were raised while Western living standards fell. At the same time, a live experiment of running an authoritarian system, with "[capitalist] characteristics", using modern surveillance technology was conducted and the results have been spectacular. "It works!"

Next step is to equalize the 'state control' apparatus between West and China. In this phase, we will be 'catching up' with our Chinese friends. They may move some factories back to the West. One hears the 'workers' may be more willing to work under "Chinese" conditions now.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 25 2020 11:19 utc | 167

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.

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 24 2020 2:39 utc | 113

What a crock of shit.

Saudis do not control NORAD. Saudi do not have the technology to vaporize steel skyscrapers. Saudis were not keeping the record of their financial misdeeds in WTC.

Saudi role via Bandar Bush in Bush's Cabal (that is "CIA" folks) was simply there to insure none of the involved players "talk". Table stakes, if you will.

Let's talk about the role of English and Israeli secret services in 9/11. No one ever mentions the Brits in this context, for example. Nor the French. French were already openly expressing their concern about the "Hyperpower" in 1999.

9/11 was either an undeclared act of agression by a near-peer coalition of powers against the "hyperpower", or a shared project between a camp of elites in West to affect the necessary changes for a projected campaigne of violence in the world using 9/11 as pretext.

The involved parties to 9/11 required access to highly classified information such as schedules for war games and simulations, location of sensitive data to be destroyed, control over the media, etc. (The Saudis can't even deal with Yemen.)

A very interesting hint as to what actually happened on 9/11 can be gleaned from the video of Bush the Lesser in Florida, holding a book upside down. No, the lesser one is not an idiot who can't tell which way the alphabet is oriented. He was scared shitless, that is all. "Am too on the menu for this coup d'Etat?"

Subsequent to all this, there was a "Shock and Awe" show. Was it to shock and awe a 2nd if not 3rd rate military of Iraq?

No dear. It was a 'rage' and a 'fury' -- Shock and Awe -- message to whoever was behind the undeclared act of war against the USA.

"a few students went off campus and showed own initiative"

One of the most moronic things I have ever read in MOA comment section, btw.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 25 2020 11:34 utc | 168

concerned says:

9/11 was either an undeclared act of agression by a near-peer coalition of powers against the "hyperpower", or a shared project between a camp of elites in West to affect the necessary changes for a projected campaigne of violence in the world using 9/11 as pretext

since 911, Joseph P. Farrell is the only one i've read who's gone way out on a speculative limb in regard to what happened...


Posted by: john | Apr 25 2020 13:14 utc | 169

That is interesting speculation indeed but the ‘smell’ emitted by a whitewashing of English military intelligence propaganda — the invincible MI6 wanker aka 007 — strongly urges me to read that in fact it was Rothschild attacking Rockefeller ...

Posted by: concerned | Apr 25 2020 13:28 utc | 170

Re: "Dutroux Scandal"

I will repeat: The CIA's "off-budget" income stream, which is significantly in excess of an order of magnitude greater than its congressionally approved budget, comes from three major sources: Trafficking in drugs, guns, and people. The CIA does air freight and gets stuff across borders of all imperial vassal states (including all of Europe) without any of that bothersome paperwork or annoying questions.

Psychopaths rise to the top in capitalism. It is a sizable competitive advantage to be able to pursue one's own avarice and appetites without being restrained by sentimentality or compassion. The capitalist world thus invariably ends up run by individuals of "questionable" (to say the least) tastes, drives, and predilections. These individuals have the power and wealth to sate those tastes, drives, and predilections. But how can they get away with things that are severely proscribed for the rest of us?

Enter the CIA. "The Company" is very much more than a bunch of office drones sitting in cubicles and clipping articles from foreign newspapers. Those federal employees with agency ID badges are just the lipstick and dress to disguise a pig of a globe-spanning crime syndicate. Most of the real Company goons, operators, and caporegimes are "retired" from government employment, are "contractors", or are linked to The Company by less conspicuous ties. No small number of these "less conspicuous ties" originate in fraternities and silly "secret societies" at elite universities, where these "secret societies" are invariably led by the capitalist elites. The command hierarchy of the criminal gang side of the CIA thus terminates in the oligarchy itself, such that sometimes one of the oligarchy will assume command of the entire organization (think Bush the Elder).

Sure, the CIA does assassinations and regime changes and operates the "Mighty Wurlitzer", and the trafficking in drugs, guns and people synergize with those efforts beyond just the financing, but it also offers more "personalized" services for the elites. For instance, Epstein's Island wasn't just about making money and amassing blackmail material on individuals who could be useful. It was one of the sites for inducting people into higher levels of the silly collegiate "secret societies" using pseudo-religious initiation rites. Even beyond that, it was a place for powerful psychopaths to go to discretely have their appetites satisfied.

As for hunting children in the woods in Belgium, I suppose many elites don't want to have to fly all the way to Mindanao or Colombia for their kicks. They still have Poland, though, and from what I understand the CIA now has some top notch black sites/resorts in the Ukraine as well ("black site" for the unfortunates "renditioned" there and "resort" for the capitalist ghouls who can only be satisfied by human victims after enjoying all other perversions diversions that money can buy).

So do be shocked about the "Dutroux Scandal", but do know that kind of behavior scales with concentration of wealth, and that kind of thing not only continues but has increased.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 25 2020 13:30 utc | 171

Could or not be related to COVID-19:

Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying from strokes

Doctors sound alarm about patients in their 30s and 40s left debilitated or dead. Some didn’t even know they were infected. [...] The median age for that type of severe stroke is 74.

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 13:53 utc | 172

LOL @ 195 says:

That was simply mind-numbingly moronic

how pedestrian of you.

but, speaking of moronic, why don't you hop on over to his website and call him a moron to his face...or, god forbid, posit a refutal to any or all of his points, or, god forbid, say something, anything, at least halfway meaningful?

Posted by: john | Apr 25 2020 15:00 utc | 173

Kim Jong-un Reportedly Dead After Botched Heart Surgery

The source here is "a Hong Kong-backed news channel's vice director -- who's apparently the niece of a Chinese foreign minister".

She "put the report on a social media app called Weibo for her nearly 15 million followers to read, citing a "very solid source" about the claim Kim had, in fact, perished. A Japanese magazine reports he's in a "vegetative state" after a heart surgery gone wrong.".

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 18:17 utc | 174

And yes, at this point, I trust TMZ more than the MSM. At least they broke Kobe Bryant's death story correctly and, apparently, can send someone to look at Weibo.

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 18:30 utc | 175
Some say 7 billion, some say 9, some say 10.
Right on time!

Posted by: Mina | Apr 25 2020 19:48 utc | 176

LOL @ 200 says:

"Stupendously moronic" might have been a more accurate description because, even by American standards of stupidity which are frankly fuckin legendary, Johnny boy, that stands out by a country mile

so you reread the piece to find the most innocuous musing...

bravo! keep up the good work!

Posted by: john | Apr 25 2020 20:17 utc | 177

Kim Jong Un and the exceptional state

What the US and international intelligence did not know is that Korean leader Kim Jong Un, may God bless him, was subjected to an assassination attempt by a poison, and a cell was arrested, and the leader's condition is now stable.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 25 2020 22:53 utc | 178

On the 75th anniversary of the Elbe Day, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has launched a webpage with photos and documents related to the event, many made public for the first time ever: Meeting on the Elbe: Unknown Pages (machine translation).

Posted by: S | Apr 26 2020 8:26 utc | 179

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