Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 29, 2020

Open Thread 2020-34

Non-coronavirus news & views ...

Posted by b on April 29, 2020 at 16:28 UTC | Permalink

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I hope Tom Cotton gets his wish of banning the Chinese from STEM education in the US for obvious reasons.

Until then, he is just another typical whiny American virtue signalling pussy where "courage" is defined by total inaction.

Posted by: JW | Apr 29 2020 16:48 utc | 1

US real GDP plunges at a 4.8% annualised rate in the first quarter of 2020

Here it is! US real GDP plunges at a 4.8% annualised rate in the first quarter of 2020. It was the steepest pace of contraction in GDP since the last quarter of 2008. And remember the US lockdown did not begin until mid-March.

Household consumption tumbled and business investment contracted for a fourth consecutive quarter. In addition, exports and imports were down sharply, but house purchases and, of course, government spending rose.

Spending on technology dropped 15.2%, the worst drop since the GR, with imports falling 15.3%, reflecting the collapse in consumer demand.

Overall US GDP fell $230bn (after inflation) in the first three months of this year, but it is still up 0.3% from the first quarter of 2019. Wait for the second quarter though.

And note, as always, it is productive investment that is the swing factor. In Q1 that was down 3.6% from Q1 2019 while personal consumption was still 0.4% higher than in 2019. See my post about this.

Posted by: vk | Apr 29 2020 17:11 utc | 2

@vk #2
And those numbers are for basically 1 quarter of nCOV reaction/lockdown (or less).
A full quarter of lockdown is likely to yield 10% or more annualized GDP loss.
The 7 counties in the SF Bay Area just decided to extend until end of May.
I expect many more blue state and local governments to do the same. For New York/NJ/CT, it is even probably advisable.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 29 2020 17:44 utc | 3

@ Posted by: c1ue | Apr 29 2020 17:44 utc | 3

The source states this -4.8% already is annualized (i.e. March 2019 vs March 2020).

But even the MSM admits Q2 may also be recession in the USA, so 2020 can end up even worse than Q1.

My bet is that the western nations didn't suffer a recession as severe as China in Q1 2020 because none of them enforced a true quarantine. However, this will come with a price: they'll have to extend those half-assed lockdowns and have recessions all year, while China will essentially see a V-shaped recovery, with growth already expected to happen in Q2.

Posted by: vk | Apr 29 2020 18:20 utc | 4

2019 The year of social uprising
2020 The year of social distancing...

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 29 2020 20:58 utc | 5

@Lozion (5)

"2019 The year of social uprising"

Just my luck -- I was probably sick in bed that day.

Posted by: bjd | Apr 29 2020 21:42 utc | 6

How Turkey sees COVID-19 as a foreign policy opportunity ... in Libya

Posted by: Virgile | Apr 29 2020 22:49 utc | 7

Yeah so much uprising that everyone ...well just failed to show the USA that is!

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 29 2020 22:50 utc | 8

Trivia time. Hail Putin, and Petrol prices in Oz...

A perennially irritating feature of the way petrol is sold in Oz has been the fact that the price can jump by 40 cents per litre overnight. This is always followed by several weeks of small but frequent and regular price reductions leading to a game of Petrol Roulette which involves guessing when the next overnight price hike will occur and re-start the guessing game.

On December 11, 2019, I filled the tank of my car with 91 octane 'standard' @ $1-36/litre. On December 12 the price of 91 octane jumped to $1-76/litre.
Yesterday, April 29, I filled the tank with 91 @ $0-76/litre - a discount of $1-00/litre on the December 12 price and 60 cents/litre on the December 11 price.
Thank you Mr Putin!

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 30 2020 3:23 utc | 9

Chevrus @8 I think you need to describe the term uprising.. ?
From my perspective the uprising is happening in the form of doubt, rude but real individual realisation and self-awareness that not only can media utterances not be trusted, but also government utterances, promises, capability, capacity, and honesty cannot be trusted. I am seeing a wait to see..not a wait and see attitude. I am also seeing the conscious concern about where and when the line should be drawn..everyone is buying more ammunition and guns. Invasion of personal rights might describe a vague idea of the general consensus as to where that line should be drawn, but something akin to a consensus is beginning to take its hold, at least in my area. Some people are rising by refusing to comply with lock down, some are in denial, others are perspective<= thinking just where the line is to be drawn, Everyone is talking with their neighbors, no one believes any one, or any media, mostly they are not thinking about rising, but about what should be done to fix things, but they all sort of agree government can do nothing but cause more trouble. Something I had not anticipated: many no longer trust the medical system, they would rather die in home than become a patient on hospital bed. They are not speaking these things over the Internet or over the phone because they know every word is recorded and they are not talking about the wrongs in large groups, very small groups, extremely informal back yard fence. I also hear from older people over and over, that they perceive Google, Facebook, and social media as extremely dangerous.

Many Americans are coming to understand themselves to be number 666666-634-38343-001-001.. that they are not part of the "elected we" and describe themselves in Hillary's terms as "the expendable deplorables".

As this understanding permeates the common man's mindset he or she will insist on something different.. So its a work in process, but I see it happening with Nurses, Doctors, and sick patients as well as with small business persons who have received nothing in the form of assistance or money but do this paper work, submit it over and over and over and over again, to get what the government has promised only to find government promises are about a valid as a blue sky prospectus.

This is my view, but I lack the words to properly express it.. Its too vague yet.. I sensed from the WHO press conference that WHO feels the nations are cooperating with the effort of the different nations, but i don't think the governed are happy with the nations. .

Posted by: snake | Apr 30 2020 4:01 utc | 10

its impossible to take you seriously with this B, and all your other reporting on the virus. I remember your early posts dismissing the virus as less bad than flu?! Now you sit at home cutting up hoover bags whilst clinging to hope that your smoking will help you. i can see why you would be worried now haha. They say that when a good scientist is presented with facts that go against their thinking, they change their mind.. in your case B i think you changed your underwear.

The hubris you and your countrymen purvey is why foreigners have to come, periodically and smash your country back into the ground.

The wheel on this bus do certainly go round and round.

Posted by: jack lockwood | Apr 30 2020 7:01 utc | 11

Watch Putin: 'Unacceptable for the US to Extend Its Jurisdiction Beyond Its Borders'

Putin made a famous speech in Munich in 2007, where he offended his German hosts. Now they agree with him. He was just a little ahead of his time.

Posted by: Mao | Apr 30 2020 7:36 utc | 12

Syria received eight million barrels of oil (four tankers) from Iran this month. Could it be that Egypt stomped on the Suez canal authority to allow the tankers to pass through to Syria?

Russia is curtailing grain shipment due to a lack of rain and generally limiting sales to just Egypt and Turkey. Could the food weapon have served as a means to get Egypt to "assist" Syria. Likewise, could Turkey be "encouraged" to dump the Iblib terrorists?

Posted by: Krollchem | Apr 30 2020 7:54 utc | 13

Amin! Let's hope you read it right, Krollchem

Posted by: Mina | Apr 30 2020 8:32 utc | 14

karlof1 #26 on the 'other' thread

Now emerging from the swamp is a creature capable of taking votes from both Biden & Trump--Justin Amash.

I am past the covid fear thread so I respond here if you don't mind and anyway Justin Amash is bad news from a different virus. Amash reads like a reactionary turd that doesn't like to obey the conservative 'system'. That does NOT imply that he has one progressive or even libertarian (whatever that means) bone in his body.

I read reactionary, conservative, empire snuggling, slitherer. Am I right?

The rolling stone story on the dude was f'ing boring and took forever to reveal anything of interest. (No wonder Taibbi has gone for walk in the long grass to write what he prefers to say.)

At least one can look forward to Amash being eviscerated by Jesse Ventura at some point. That would likely be short and memorable.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 9:14 utc | 15

Jack Lockwood @ 11
An unfortunate side-effect of the lockdowns is that some of the strange creatures whose natural habitat is amongst the sports Have Your Say sites, particularly the football ones, seem to have wandered onto respectable sites such as this one. They love propositions such as the one you put forward.

Posted by: Montreal | Apr 30 2020 10:23 utc | 16

A flaky source but nevertheless a source, WaPo and LA Times headline to-day that the clown of orange has been shown internal polling indicating that the clown will lose to the pervert.

One form of "uprising" is a "downrise"...wherein nobody believes and thus all obedience must be compelled by force...

I previously posted the Tolstoy version...and pointed out that has a literary excellence due to the flaw it contains...which is "boat-hook".

Tolstoy deliberately characterizes the nature of this device as a innocent peaceful tool, whereas in reality it looks more like a fat cop with a gun.

Withal, The Clown of Orange is in a jam...and of course it is essential, as Strangelove said, to preserve a specimen of our leadership... Anybody can see that the game's afoot.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 30 2020 12:03 utc | 17

Redacted FBI document hints at Israeli efforts to help Trump in 2016 campaign

Check para #50 onwards

"Roger, Hello from Jerusalem, Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene."
Per a footnote in this affidavit recently made public in the Roger Stone case, investigators believed “PM” referred to the prime minister of Israel.

Posted by: Yul | Apr 30 2020 12:40 utc | 18

Per a footnote in this affidavit recently made public in the Roger Stone case, investigators believed “PM” referred to the prime minister of Israel.

Redacted FBI document hints at Israeli efforts to help Trump in 2016 campaign

Check para #50 onwards

"Roger, Hello from Jerusalem, Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene."

Posted by: Yul | Apr 30 2020 12:43 utc | 19

I see PressTV says on Twitter> "Press TV
#Turkey deployed US-made HAWK missiles to #Idlib: #Syria’s UN envoy

HAWK is a very serious weapon, and has been in use for long time while being also improved. Of course it also makes a nifty target.

Ah 'spoze we'll find out how Ivan's ECM and HAWK dance.

Ah 'spoze Ah'd be a teeny bit anxious standing anywhere nearby, since it's a target.

And it's fast M 2+

Posted by: Walter | Apr 30 2020 15:35 utc | 20

uncle tungsten @15--

Amash is just as bad as Trump and Biden. Ventura has a biting, witty tongue that will be used extensively, but BigLie Media will mute him for the masses. As I've opined, the pandemic is revealing much while many are finally opening their eyes. Today's USA Today published an article focusing on how poverty, homelessness in particular, increases risk to the virus and a host of other maladies. Perhaps the main message it sent was the economy wasn't at all rosy prior to the pandemic making it harder for Trump to blame it for the ongoing lack of any real recovery since the 2008-9 financial fraud crisis, the makings of which he's perpetuating.

China in contrast is strong and confident as this Global Times editorial displays:

"Washington, which is shirking its responsibility for its failures in handling the pandemic for political reasons, accused China of covering up infection and death figures. It also claimed China "falsified" its anti-epidemic results. The best answer to the smear is to steadily normalize daily life in China.

"No country can fabricate the recovery of businesses, the relaunch of tourism and resumption of traffic during rush hours, nor can it falsify people's consumption enthusiasm after the epidemic and the leisure group chats on social media. It's easy to tell whether a city has resumed normal life or if it is still struggling....

"Normalizing economic and social life will provide China with abundant capital to handle international affairs. No matter how the pandemic fight changes, China will take the initiative. It will have plenty of opportunities to smash US attacks. No challenge can crush us as long as we continue to properly manage ourselves, maintain one of the highest production resumption rates and prevent the rebound of the epidemic."

Trump's dereliction of duty ought to make him unfit to manage his own properties, but Biden's no better. Martianov was scathing in his blog entry two days ago that I agree with 100%. On its main page, RT displays Max Keiser's correct accusation that the Outlaw US Empire's running a Ponzi Scheme:

"'When you have debt money and you flood the economy with that debt money, you still have to pay interest on that debt money, which requires you to create more debt money.'

"That’s why there’s a dollar shortage, Max explains, adding: 'That’s a Ponzi scheme.'"

Then in an RT op/ed, Norman Lewis, most recently a Director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, speaks the truth:

"Rebuild a better world? First we need to accept that the West’s economies were utterly broken before Covid-19 came along." [My Emphasis]

"Utterly broken," although he doesn't tell us how or why; we know why, and more people are discovering the truth on their own.

I'd like to see a candidate tell the truth about the economy and explain why we're in the state we're in. Sanders didn't really do that. Biden just named one of the biggest financial criminals as his advisor--Larry Summers. If there was ever an opportunity for a 3rd Party candidate to break through, it ought to be this year. Will Jesse Ventura emulate the Bull Moose with a similar speech at Osawatomie--a speech citing conditions that differ little from those of 110 years ago?! He would be very smart to do just that. Biden still won't embrace Medicare For All despite the fact that over 90% of D-Party people favor it. After the pandemic exposed the absolute need for such a medical care system, IMO the candidate who makes that the centerpiece of its campaign ought to win. Will Biden pull a Clinton/Obama by promising such but refusing to deliver--I bet he will.

After it seemed that all debate over the 2020 election died it looks to have revived as the political fallout from the pandemic begins to appear.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 16:40 utc | 21

the quid pro quo and how not to lose friends:

Special Report: Trump told Saudis: Cut oil supply or lose U.S. military support - sources LINK

WASHINGTON/LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) - As the United States pressed Saudi Arabia to end its oil price war with Russia, President Donald Trump gave Saudi leaders an ultimatum.[.]
In an April 2 phone call, Trump told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started cutting oil production, he would be powerless to stop lawmakers from passing legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from the kingdom, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.[.]

Trump delivered the message to the crown prince 10 days before the announcement of production cuts. The kingdom’s de facto leader was so taken aback by the threat that he ordered his aides out of the room so he could continue the discussion in private, according to a U.S. source who was briefed on the discussion by senior administration officials.

The effort illustrated Trump’s strong desire to protect the U.S. oil industry from a historic price meltdown as governments shut down economies worldwide to fight the virus. It also reflected a telling reversal of Trump’s longstanding criticism of the oil cartel, which he has blasted for raising energy costs for Americans with supply cuts that usually lead to higher gasoline prices. Now, Trump was asking OPEC to slash output.

A senior U.S. official told Reuters that the administration notified Saudi leaders that, without production cuts, “there would be no way to stop the U.S. Congress from imposing restrictions that could lead to a withdrawal of U.S. forces.” The official summed up the argument, made through various diplomatic channels, as telling Saudi leaders: “We are defending your industry while you’re destroying ours.”

Those were very strong words to an ally: were are defending your industry while you're destroying ours"

Liar: he can't stop Congress from passing legislation; but he has a veto pen.

What Trump or anyone else for that matter cannot stop is the demand destruction due C-19; less consumer driving, factories shuttered and airlines grounded. Before C-19 struck the economy was nearing recession and financial system collapse.

This threat will be registered for future due course. Those Trillions of recycled oil payment $$$$$$, accrued since 1973, claimed to have been transferred to the ESF. Demise of the USD, much.

OPEC cuts too late as oil goes negative storage capacity nil.
Oh, Chesapeake Energy preparing bankruptcy filing

"Chesapeake Energy Corp, the oil and gas exploration and production company that was at the forefront of the past decade’s U.S. shale boom, is preparing a potential bankruptcy filing as it grapples with an unprecedented rout in energy prices, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday."

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 30 2020 17:42 utc | 22

Likklemore @22--

Good catch! However, I'd argue the economy never recovered from the 2008-9 financial fraud crisis as this chart of US GDP shows.

I just did my own rough calculations on unemployment within the Outlaw US Empire and it's pretty grim. Total population, 331,000,000. Number in workforce seeking fulltime employment, 271,000,000. Approximate number out of work, 135,000,000, Percentage unemployed, 50%. Shadowstats shows 22.9% as of 3 April. He likely calculates a lower number for the total labor force seeking fulltime employment which explains his lower figure. His next update ought to come during the next week. We both see the vast majority of pre-virus unemployment as structural, his chart further reinforcing the fact that there was never any recovery from 2008-9--a lie perpetuated by two presidential administrations and all Media outlets.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 18:18 utc | 23

The U.S. dollar demise:

Having weaponized the dollar and with the FED just nationalized in principle? voices are mounting a bypass.

The president of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) believes that a new hard currency independent of any state is needed to develop international trade when the world enters the post-pandemic period.

According to SGE President Wang Zhenying, during the post-crisis recovery, the dollar's dominance will cause many problems for other countries due to the Fed's low-interest rate policy. He warned that following the pandemic, the world may need a new currency for settlements.[.]

Notice the man said a new hard currency" not Fiat. You claim to have the world's largest, over 8,000 tonnes. Show me your gold in Fort Knox and West Point.

pedal to metal.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 30 2020 18:24 utc | 24

@ karlof1 posted 23

Thank you my friend. Shadowstats is the go-to for the real numbers. End of March, the St. Louis Fed had forecast unemployment nearing 32%.

The Great Recession 2008 - 2019 was said to be in recovery. When peeled back, the recovery is found to be an illusion underscored by the Feds' printing and painting the tape- a secret $29 Trillion Wall Street bailout.
Well, just a tad over the 25% of $100 trillion Goldman Sachs said was required. But what's a few trillion between bankster friends?

Instead of Draining the Swamp, the Swamp Is Draining the U.S. Treasury via the New York Fed

[while] the $700 billion TARP shiny object was all over the front pages of newspapers, the New York Fed, with nary a vote in Congress or even the awareness of Congress, was running a secret $29 trillion Wall Street bailout. The New York Fed was using its unlimited ability to create money out of thin air to ply Wall Street banks and trading houses, as well as global foreign banks and central banks, with the lion’s share of $29 trillion in revolving loans, at a fraction of the interest rate these financial firms would have been charged in the open market. Those revolving loans began secretly in December 2007 and ran through at least July 21, 2010.

So desperate was the Fed to keep that $29 trillion a secret from the American people that it battled in court for more than two years, arguing that the American people had no right to this information. It lost that battle.

This time around, the Fed and New York Fed have brazenly upped their game because they have a much bigger shiny object: a deadly pandemic that is dominating the news and effectively eliminating any network or newspaper coverage of what is happening behind the scenes at the New York Fed.

What is happening at the New York Fed is the same thing that happened during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2010. Average Americans are getting the short-end of the stick in the stimulus bill known as the CARES Act while Wall Street banks are getting astronomical sums from the New York Fed’s unlimited money spigot.

Even worse, in what is beginning to resemble a conspiracy of silence, no mainstream news outlet has reported on the more than $9 trillion in super cheap repo loans the New York Fed has pumped into Wall Street trading houses or the fact that those loans began on September 17, 2019 – four months before the first coronavirus case was reported in the United States and at a time when President Trump was bragging on TV about the unprecedented robustness of the U.S. economy.


See why the SGE is calling for a bypass of the USD? No longer backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Backed by trillions of debt. It won't end well.

This is grim reading:-
April 12, 2020
Barrons: Are We Heading for a Historic Economic Collapse? Why the U.S. GDP could fall by 40%

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 30 2020 19:29 utc | 25

Likklemore @24--

Unfortunately, it was the article's author who invoked the term "hard." What's proposed to replace fiat is digital:

"'There are increasing opportunities now. The People's Bank of China has launched digital currency tests. Its difference from the traditional money is that transferring each yuan will be completely transparent. And even for some deals, it will be possible to specifically issue digital currency. With fiat currencies, such schemes are impossible. So we can use digital currency technology to create a system of international settlements according to real needs', Jia Jinjing concluded."

The problem with anything digital IMO is that it's open to being hacked. Something does need to be done, however. It also seems possible that digital money could be created just like fiat. As Martianov explained in his blog post I linked @21, requiring some form of hard currency for commerce would effectively prevent war. Using a blend of precious metals and other substances to back currency would be good IF they're well distributed globally, unlike hydrocarbons and diamonds, for example. England was able to accumulated lots of gold because it stole it from its colonies; the USA because of its mines, just like today's Russia. China's correct that whatever's decided upon, it must be equitable.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 19:30 utc | 26

Likklemore @25--

That Barrons article is a laugher having no relationship to the real economy or the great mass of people now out-of-work as it mainly relates to the fortunes of the top 10-15%. I see this sort of pattern ~~~~ not a V or W or any other letter, although the L with an ever lengthening foot seems as likely as my bananas. Not at all mentioned is the political fallout, of which there'll be plenty.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 19:44 utc | 27

Posted by: snake | Apr 30 2020 4:01 utc | 10
> From my perspective the uprising is happening in the form of doubt, rude but real individual realisation and self-awareness that not only can media utterances not be trusted, but also government utterances, promises, capability, capacity, and honesty cannot be trusted.

Welcome to the Era of the Great Disillusionment

Posted by: Lohmann | Apr 30 2020 19:50 utc | 28

Interesting development in Germany, which points at who will align with whom in the current change of paradigm....

Germany bans all Hezbollah operations in the country, while designating it as a Shiite terror organization. Berlin has proceeded to search its mosques.

The German government estimates that there could be more than 1,000 Hezbollah members in the country. The government has proceeded to search all establishments linked to the organization, including the homes of its members.

This coincides with irruption of riotters creating chaos in Sidon and Tripoli amongst lockdown, with attacks against the Central Bank and burning of shops and business...

In his last speech, Nasrallah, declared Hezbollah will put at disposition of the Lebanese people all its networks of volunteers, hospitals, housing and banking...

All this only comes to undermine the Lebanese people´s and government effort to overcome the pandemic, as the US has done with Iran....

It seems that the international hunt season for cash has been declared open...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Apr 30 2020 20:24 utc | 29

Gee, we all forgot that today marks the 45th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, which makes a convenient starting point for today's economic freefall by printing evermore money to pay for the interest on all that money that was just printed a second ago--the most massive Ponzi Scheme of all time run by the Outlaw US Empire's Central Bank--The Fed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 20:30 utc | 30

karlof1 @ 27

Barrons is part of Dow Jones, published weekly for the Saturday read. You need a forklift to get it into your car. Notice the repeat of analysis from the major trading desks for the 1%.

I lean on Investors Business Daily.

......Coronavirus Economy - sees the economic collapse as "depending on how nervous people are about resuming old activities, how quickly employment bounces back and a likely 2nd wave of C-19. in the fall."

Imho, 100s of 1000s of businesses will not make the reopening.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 30 2020 20:50 utc | 31

People might be tempted to think that the US$ strengthening is a good thing, but practically free oil should be a good thing too, right? In fact, though, the empire's vassals buying up dollars is more of an indication of the global scope of the crisis of capitalism. As the fleet of Saudi tankers on its way to the Gulf of Mexico and the flotilla of full tankers parked off the coast of California lock oil prices at the bottom in the US, the strengthening dollar locks out any hope of real economic development in the US.

There will be no re-industrialization anytime soon.

It is almost as if the empire's vassals are force feeding the empire its favorite artery hardening junkfood while it is in the midst of a hardcore myocardial infarction. Are they deliberately trying to kill the empire by giving it what it always used to demand?

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 30 2020 21:06 utc | 32

William Gruff @32--

Max Keiser on his program has explained the why behind the demand for dollars and thus its strengthening--ever scarcer dollars are required by nations and businesses to make payments on dollar denominated loans. Since the velocity of dollars moving through the system has dropped off a cliff, the opposite--need--for dollars has gone up thus its growing stronger. But as we both know, that strength is a chimera, a mirage, a ghost, and as soon as equilibrium for dollars is attained, it will then fall again as the demand vanishes. The reality is the Outlaw US Empire did it to itself, and this should be considered Blowback from its decades of unwitting support--often disguised as outright extortion--by so many nations. The dollars flowing from Fed to Wall Street will never enter the global economy unless they're forced to by redirecting their flow. The utterly gross mismanagement--shall we call it felonious fraud--of US Monetary Policy and its inability to think outside Neoliberalism will be the genuine cause of the coming Great Depression 2.0 as those $$Trillions going to Wall Street needed to be injected into the general economy for it to have any chance at restarting. The gunmen that invaded Michigan's Capitol Building were at the wrong place making the wrong demands. They should've invaded the US Treasury and kidnapped Mnuchkin and or the New York Fed and grabbed Powell, then demanded the end to Fed supplying Wall Street and instead supply Main Street.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 21:52 utc | 33

karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 20:30 utc | 30 (Saigon, Vietnam)

They say that the cost of the war against Vietnam was the reason the Dickie and Henry and the Saud conspired ( to go off the gold dollar) to "create" the oilbuck and the fake oil shortage that jacked up the prices, ruining thousands of businesses...including Sea-Land's SL-7 ships...which then became uneconomic and went back to Uncle Sam at a fantastic loss...said SL-7's are, I think, still sucking down the buckies, as they are (I think) maintained (after expensive conversions) as part of the "ready reserve fleet" (the one that is not ready).

So it's perfect, is it not? Dallas sent the message to the world, and the war that crooked Lyndon gave his generals and his pals might be seen as the fatal act that made the global fubar and the present destruction of institutions everywhere, and defeat, the denouement. Thus, on the anniversary of the choppers on the roof and the bug out, the real cost descends on the State what done it. Classic.

Stuff of Greek tragedy.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 30 2020 21:55 utc | 34

karlof1 #21

Ventura has a biting, witty tongue that will be used extensively, but BigLie Media will mute him for the masses.

Agreed that the media will mute him but Jesse has already made it clear that he will campaign with rallies just as he did when elected Governor. And he has a clear field as Sanders exit blunder will leave the field to him (and Trump).

Biden can't do rallies, can barely do home studio ballsups so imagine a rally!

The dynamics have shifted the Sanders entire campaign contact list is the essential tool to assist Ventura. But he will get momentum fine without it. The Sanders team will be revealed as a fraud spun together by Weaver and then unravelled by Weaver. They will be condemned if they fail to give over the contact list.

There is much clear air for a direct independent run against Trump and a sidelining of Biden. That's if Biden continues to survive and I don't see that. Ventura has the 'right stuff' to take Trump down. But its the USA and I am far removed from the pulse.

Eager speculation yes, but desperate times yield surprises.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 21:58 utc | 35

Has someone any idea why Mark Sleboda has decided to make his Twitter private?

I used to check his account almost daily to get information, a very good source and always a good selection of reading...

A pity, since I will not be able to follow him anymore, I do not own any Twitter account, nor I am thinking of having one...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Apr 30 2020 22:02 utc | 36

Walter #34--

Yes, Greek Tragedy Indeed! Nixon pulls trigger but bullet doesn't enter USG's brain until 2020. Now that's one Magic Bullet!

uncle tungsten @35--

You're correct about the field being wide open, but it was also the same for Nader in 2000, although the context is vastly different. We'll wait and see what happens.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 22:06 utc | 37

H.Schmatz @36--

Twitter sometimes screws up and creates headaches for its clients as seen the same happen to others. Check it again in 48-72 hours.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 30 2020 22:09 utc | 38

Walter #34

Stuff of Greek tragedy.

Fine words Walter, I can see it now choppers on the roof of the Great Mosque to carry the MBS and family to freedom in USA. They could be housed in a penthouse overlooking the sacred shrine where the Twin Towers once stood.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 22:10 utc | 39

uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 21:58 utc | 35 (Ventura)

I like it. But... Well, who remembers "goat-gland Brinkley" (John R. Brinkley, there's a wiki)...why?

He ran for governor of Kansas on a write-in campaign...and he won (probably) but the Kansas farmers were not generally literate enough to spell the cats name properly... you guessed it. He "lost".

He was a real piece o work, a flimflam fake...and more. I knew people in Kansas who voted for him. Rubes. It was Kansas. Then.

Like Stalin said, who's counting?

If Jessie does it, it will surely bring a crises, 'cause he can win...but then there's the counting...and thus gives birth to a public crises... I bet. In that we shall have at least two "el presidentes and Tolstoy's crowd will leave the false god-ette.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 30 2020 22:13 utc | 40

Walter #40

Stymied on that last line

hyperbole to the mists of time

lay another Tolstoy reference down

so I can interpret the f'ing thing.

On Jesse though, it would be a fine spanking all the way to the counting and I reckon he is the only guy who could play the pipe well enough to attract the crowd away from the pied goldilocks and see him run off a cliff.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 23:23 utc | 41

As this is the current open thread, I will propose some discussion on a previous Michael Hudson interview -just reposted at I know it has been linked to here as it comes right after Sanders had dropped out, and mostly is analyzing the multitrillion dollar giveaway just enacted by Congress. What interested me was the following exerpt:

"Environmental pollution, personal violence, the suicide rate, emigration and shortening lifespan, that’s all external because once you discuss them, then all of a sudden you broaden the problem beyond what economists talk about to what society talks about. In all of the academic disciplines this is occurring. Sociology was developed in an attempt to broaden economics to discuss these overall social issues. Just as the University of Chicago played a narrowing censorial role in economics, it played a similar role in sociology, just talking about status as if it is something inherent. Anthropology was created as a discipline in order look at the long picture. But that’s been narrowed into what one anthropologist calls underwater basket weaving and a study of tribal groups.

There is no academic discipline that is focusing the debt problem that we’re discussing. Any “discipline” is narrow. You need a pan-disciplinary approach – a broad approach that looks at society as an overall economic system, not as separating one economic organ from suicide rates or public health, as if none have any relationship with each other. It’s a desegregated system. There’s nothing like the kind of discussion you had in ancient Greece, Rome or Babylonia in ancient times when people treated the social problems as including personal character, the environment and everything else..."

In the next part of the discussion, I feel, as he asks the pertinent question, "Where are you going to discuss this?" I wanted to say - "At Moon of Alabama, on the open thread!" (Which wouldn't have been very polite, since it was indeed a different forum. ) So I left it, but going to comments, there were not any pertaining to this passage that I could see.

I like the term "economic organ" as Prof. Hudson puts it. He does continue to discuss the attempt made by Christianity, but takes the popular route through Western Christianity, not the less studied Eastern one. I will simply say that an interesting pre-revolutionary flowering of the latter occurred, (and I am familiar with that), in Russia, as also ancient icons were rediscovered during the Communist era. This is a side of Christianity I wish Prof. Hudson knew more about. It might broaden his perspective on Christianity in general.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 30 2020 23:42 utc | 42

juliania #42

Anthropology was created as a discipline in order look at the long picture. But that’s been narrowed into what one anthropologist calls underwater basket weaving and a study of tribal groups.

Thank you for that post and I fully appreciate Hudson's critique of the narrowminded 'science' ? of economic theory. There has been a relentless undermining of many profession that demonstrated that life is more complex and hence so too is economics than 'taught' ? at reverential institutions.

On Sociology and anthropology the inquiry is directed at the broad human groupings and, yes, may apply to basket weavers. Primarily it applies to how and why humans create complex societies, how power arises in those societies, how power is managed, moderated, focused, how gender influence is created and sustained or destroyed etc. These two disciplines apply multivariate analysis and so much more to seek understanding and sometimes design better relationships.

Economists cant tolerate multivariate analysis unless it excludes all those untidy things. As Hudson said (more or less) how does an economist factor in a battleship or aircraft carrier when considering economic potential? IMO economists mainly are snake oil merchants unless they prove otherwise and Hudson has proved his credentials as a human thinker and economist.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 23:57 utc | 43

The Russian Observer always interesting. Here he cites Jon Hellevig on the strength of Russia's economy (the one that is tiny and relies totally on oil exports and etc etc etc...)
"In addition to many other strengths of the Russian economy over the US economy, a study has now shown that Russians have surprisingly much savings, at least in comparison.

70% of Russians have savings, that will see them through 1- 2 months without other income.

In the US, on the contrary, 70% have virtually no savings. Bottom 55% have zero savings, while the following 24% – the core of the former middle class – have only $1,000 stashed away. A 2016 report, two-thirds of Americans are not able to afford even a $500 emergency cost of any sort. A staggering 78% of full-time workers are reported to be living from paycheck to paycheck. – However, the US has a very developed corporate welfare system, with most large corporations receiving regular IV injections of bailout money.

The recent Russian study showed the following division of the savings: 16% have savings to last them through one year, 25% for needs of 3-6 months, and 29% for 1-2 months.

I would add that in addition to that, Russia has a relatively good social welfare system, which will at least keep the remaining 30% in bread and medicine and a roof over their heads.

Further, I estimate that some 15-20% (many of them of those with no or little savings) can live totally or partially on household farming.

And very importantly, in addition to that, Russians have very little personal debt, negligible amounts compared with US households.

Source for Russian study:

Source for data on USA:"

Posted by: bevin | May 1 2020 0:18 utc | 44

uncle tungsten | Apr 30 2020 23:23 utc | 41

The idea is that some people will believe one cat is prez, and other people will not share that belief, and maybe more...beliefs are shattering.

An I think I've said this before, revolutions are not voluntary, they are to avoided at all costs. They happen when they can't be avoided. They happen when the ruling class become incompetent...which forces the crowds to abandon their delusions a see the rulers in bald clarity...after that, Oh Bummer might have said, "pitchforks".


I want a question answered. What's missing?
Suppose there was a hoax, and it failed. Examples abound. Oswald. Magic airplanes, coincidences. Obviously the real thing would not fail. If a hoax is big enough it's not a hoax - but it functions precisely the same way, if one prepares the ground with proper exploitation. Takes the effort to write the "patriotic laws" well in advance, games the not-hoax well in advance, and so forth. Basic stuff.
Reader may consider two literary truisms here, one from Tolstoy, another from Emily Dickinson.

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
"In quiet and untroubled times, it seems to every administrator that it is only by his efforts that the whole population under his rule is kept going, and in this consciousness of being indispensable every administrator finds the chief reward of his labor and efforts. While the sea of history remains calm the ruler-administrator in his frail bark, holding it with a boat hook to the ship of the people and himself moving, naturally imagines that his efforts move the ship he is holding on to. But as soon as a storm arises and the sea begins to heave and the ship to move, such a delusion is no longer possible. The ship moves independently with its own enormous motion, the boat hook no longer reaches the moving vessel, and suddenly the administrator, instead of appearing a ruler and a source of power, becomes an insignificant, feeble man."
Ok, question Time. In what way is Tolstoy telling truth slant?
What's missing?
Tolstoy left out the fighting. In the beginning of the "play" he failed to place a gun on the wall.
In Political matters, there is always a gun on the wall. And there are no coincidences.

Posted by: Walter | May 1 2020 0:40 utc | 45

At the risk of interrupting what seems like a very civilized discussion, of the kind one remembers of old at MoA --

In China it's already May Day, International Workers' Day - and here is the children's choir of the National Red Army School to lift up all hearts and minds with The Internationale:

The Internationale - Children choir in Chinese

Arise, slaves, arise!

Posted by: Grieved | May 1 2020 2:36 utc | 46

Strongly recommend watching this documentary:

Planet of the Humans

It exposes the farce called "green movement".

Posted by: vk | May 1 2020 3:03 utc | 47

Stymied in Seeking Benefits, Millions of Unemployed Go Uncounted

A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that roughly 50 percent more people than counted as filing claims in a recent four-week period may have qualified for benefits — with the difference representing those who were stymied in applying or didn’t even try because the process was too formidable.

“The problem is even bigger than the data suggest,” said Elise Gould, a senior economist with the institute, a left-leaning research group. “We’re undercounting the economic pain.”

To be honest, the "gig economy" consensus (austerity) had already obliterated the line that separated employment from unemployment. Let's say a random person, working intermittently, finds a 4-hour gig at a given day in a grocery store and then goes one month without any other gig (because he/she is "on demand") - is he/she employed ("on wait") or unemployed (because that was de facto a one of gig)? Where do you draw the line?

The answer, according to the BEA, is the person itself: if it files decides it is unemployed, then it will file for unemployed; if not, for all purposes it considers itself employed (waiting or seeking the next gig). When those kind of Americans realized they could receive USD 1,200.00 + USD 600.00 if they filed for unemployment as the USG was going full-MMT, they did it, and unemployment in the USA skyrocketed overnight.

But it's not that those people were employed before: they were probably working intermittently (what in the UK they call zero-hour contracts, or ZHC) and, thus, already were de facto unemployed. MMT was just the final nail on the coffin of the Austerity Consensus, which was already dying from the "reverse stagflation" disease.

Posted by: vk | May 1 2020 3:16 utc | 48

Saudi Aramco has purchased Port Arthur refinery in Texas. This purchase allows the Saudi regime to control the largest refinery in the US and use vertical integration to push its oil products onto the US market.

“In addition to Port Arthur, Aramco is acquiring full ownership of 24 distribution terminals. Aramco also gets the exclusive right to sell Shell-branded gasoline and diesel in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, the eastern half of Texas and the majority of Florida.”

The refinery has the capability to process 636,500 barrels of oil per day “from a wide range of crude inputs, including tight oil and heavy, sour, and acid crude.”

“This means that Saudi Arabia now has the ability to send more of its own crude into the US refining fleet, making the volume of “sticky” imports (those crude oil imports that are difficult to replace due to contractual obligations or foreign ownership stakes in refineries) higher than it was previously.” Based on the refinery capacity the Saudi component of the US oil market is about 5.4%.

Based on these articles the Saudi regime can send a supertanker to its US based refinery every three days. “So far this month (April), at least seven supertankers carrying a total of 14 million barrels of oil are currently traveling to the U.S. Gulf Coast.”

A more recent article states that the Saudi regime has 40 million barrels of oil in transit to the US which corresponds to 20 supertankers, or two months supply. Trump has threatened to impose a crude oil ban on this Saudi oil. However, Trump doesn’t understand that the US need real oil to dilute the fracking condensate that comprises some 60% of US petroleum production.

It is well within the Saudi regime’s right to provide their refinery with their crude oil. “Last month, when Saudi Arabia pledged to flood the markets with oil, the Kingdom’s crude oil exports to the U.S. hit a one-year-high of 516,000 barrels per day (bpd).” This will allow the Saudi regime to purchase up to 120,000 barrels per day of light fracking condensate at rock bottom prices to blend with their heavier crude oil.

Without Saudi oil imports, the US will either have to import the real oil from Russia (Urals) or invade Venezuela. It would appear that Trump is planning an invasion of Venezuela under the guise of drug interdiction efforts.

The idiot Trump apparently doesn’t understand that 95% of the cocaine is being shipped out of Columbia and the US puppet regime of Bolivia.

Trump hopes to drum up a war to topple the Venezuela government by falsely claiming that the “evil socialist narco-government” of Venezuela is the source of the cocaine.

Trump also needs a war to deflect the dumb and uninformed US population from the COVID-19/20 crisis to get reelected. I am sure that Biden, Obama, Hillary, Pelosi and even Bernie will salute and lend their support for the “noble drug war” (sic).

Posted by: Krollchem | May 1 2020 4:05 utc | 49

Walter #45

Thank you and my apologies for the delay, the orchard called to me to tend the soil.

Thank you for your response. I get it. My didactic brain is sometimes dazzled by your delightful prose. Methinks Jesse will place a gun on the wall if he has not already done so in 2016. Emily Dickinson is/was a fine thinker.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 1 2020 8:47 utc | 50

Grieved #46

Thank you for a very important interruption. Well received here. Perhaps I shall see if I can find a Vietnamese version and break out the flag.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 1 2020 8:56 utc | 51

The Internationale was undiscoverable using QWANT. So binned that search engine for good.

Here is a fine German rendition with my compliments to b.

And Toscanini on the advent of the liberation of Italy from the fascists. NOTE once banned in the USA 1950's red 'scare' madness.

And a Billy Bragg live rendition.

Happy May Day all - united in song.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 1 2020 10:24 utc | 52

@Posted by: Grieved | May 1 2020 2:36 utc | 46

Thanks! Happy Labor Day!

In a more modern, less official, although TV related, vein, I find this version quite passionate, and thus inspiring and encouraging for the Western standards ...both from the side of performers and public...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 1 2020 10:33 utc | 53

In the International Labor Day a message of support for those who are being targeted first..

First, they came for Hezbollah....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 1 2020 10:49 utc | 54

H.Schmatz | May 1 2020 10:49 utc | 54 First establish curfew, then kick down doors...when do we get yellow stars?

Youbecha...first they came for the commies...

I may be an error to assume the raids took place in a isotropic atmosphere...coincidence theory...

Any thanks for the may day stuff all.

Posted by: Walter | May 1 2020 11:09 utc | 55

They say Pete Seeger (that subversive commie!) suborned Billy and is ultimately responsible for Billy's obviously subversive and seditious Lyrics.

Wear Red, Comrades, It's May Day!

(some say the CV "lockdown" was/is/repeated as necessary to stop us, not the germz, Geewhiz, yatink?)

Billy Bragg – The Internationale Lyrics

Stand up, all victims of oppression
For the tyrants fear your might
Don't cling so hard to your possessions
For you have nothing, if you have no rights
Let racist ignorance be ended
For respect makes the empires fall
Freedom is merely privilege extended
Unless enjoyed by one and all

So come brothers and sisters
For the struggle carries on
The internationale
Unites the world in song
So comrades come rally
For this is the time and place
The international ideal
Unites the human race

Let no one build walls to divide us
Walls of hatred nor walls of stone
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
We'll live together or we'll die alone
In our world poisoned by exploitation
Those who have taken, now they must give
And end the vanity of nations
We've but one earth on which to live

And so begins the final drama
In the streets and in the fields
We stand unbowed before their armour
We defy their guns and shields
When we fight, provoked by their aggression
Let us be inspired by like and love
For though they offer us concessions
Change will not come from above

Posted by: Walter | May 1 2020 11:40 utc | 56

'The Simpsons' is not the only series that predicts the future. 'Yes, Minister' already anticipated Brexit 40 years ago. You can't tell more in less time.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 1 2020 12:09 utc | 57

The debate to come: the absurdity of tax havens tolerated by the EU so as not to inconvenience Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Northern Europe causes millionaire tax losses to southern countries.

Then, we reap just unsolidarity from them...Well, you get with your unsolidarity, let us get with our taxes....

Stop capital flight to Luxemburg, The Netherlands and Switzerland must go in any left party program, and must center EU reform, in case someone is interested in conserving suhc union, so as to avoid that the south of Europe only impoverishes and increases its debt with any fianancial crisis...along with reindustrialization of the South and recovery of agriculture and cattle farming to asure national security and food sovereignty...

According to Daniel Estulin food shortages are to come around fall in many countries...Spain could be a self-suficient country in food and cattle would the lands and cattle not had been suppresed as condition to enter the EU. Also we had to dismantle our heavy industry to majot glory of Germany, to become a services country, for the Northern Europeans to come to catch sun, a place in the division of labor which now has no future...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 1 2020 13:37 utc | 58

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 1 2020 13:37 utc | 58

Sorry, correction the Twitter account which published this article ommitted...

Amongst the Tax Havens in Europe, apart from Luxemburg, The Netherlands ans Switzerland, there is also UK....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 1 2020 13:41 utc | 59

The reality of the EU, we are not represented there, and so it goes for us...

Northern countries take over key EU positions with great secrecy

Danish Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen renewed with great secrecy as Secretary-General of the European Council

The Hanseatic League Reich...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 1 2020 13:48 utc | 60

Interesting to see the rumors about Kim Jong Un's health in the western media pop up as well-made black propaganda inside North Korea itself now.

The intelligence agencies up to their tricks - as usual with no distinction between at home and abroad.

Posted by: OHH | May 1 2020 17:46 utc | 61

The whiff on the winds of Tolstoy's crowd...


“As Sheriff, I am the protector of constitutional rights in Humboldt County,” he said, “and if an order is issued that I believe violates our constitutional rights, I will not enforce it.”

Well how about that...

What's it called?

Posted by: Walter | May 1 2020 20:04 utc | 62

On the lighter side of current events:

From ABC News: Phone tower crashes through Adelaide (South Australia) supermarket roof

Couldn't help but wonder if we would get some free irony by virtue of it being recently fitted-out with 5G comm's equipment...

Anyway, hope you are all well, and safe, and enjoying our Coronavirideae Isolation Blues as accompaniment to the collapse of the "global" financial architecture. What a piquancy!

I truly hope I get to kick a vulture capitalist in the arse before I die. Paul Singer would suffice.


Posted by: Jon_in_AU | May 2 2020 2:00 utc | 63

The Mafia, ALWAYS, with the far-right and the deep state, where they intertwin, drug trafficking, capitals´ flight and money laundering, human trafficking, arms trafficking, the MIC, international banking and tax havens, fake journalism, and so on...Those who fight all that as principle of life need to be wiped out...

38 years ago he was assassinated by the mafia Pio La Torre, Sicilian regional secretary, member of the Central Committee and Deputy of the Italian Communist Party. We do not forget.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 12:55 utc | 64

Having some problems with posting here, as if you were under DDOs attack...Abyway, trying again...

For those who rub their hands before the perspective of plundering Spain again, as in 2008...

The excerpt is taken from 'Revolutionary Spain', a list of nine articles on Spain written by Marx. They were published in the New York Daily Tribune between 1854 and 1857 due to the success of the liberal pronouncement of "la Vicalvarada".

"Napoleon, who, like all his contemporaries, considered Spain to be a lifeless corpse, was fatally surprised to discover that, if the Spanish State lay dead, Spanish society was full of life and overflowed, in all its parts, with the strength of resistance..."

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 13:55 utc | 65

consortiumnews discussion audio/video with Wolff and Jill Stein and so on. Superb ‘Pandemic America’—With Guests Jill Stein & Richard Wolff”

Posted by: Walter | May 2 2020 14:24 utc | 66

This is a shout out to b about system issues that he reported

In the past week here in Corvallis, Oregon I have been having to reboot my Comcast/Xfinity fed computer 3-4 times per day because of loss of internet connectivity.

In the past maybe it happened once a month.

If I read something about it in my skimming of techie stuff I will report back.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2020 14:50 utc | 67

Agreed, but why does the south allow itself to be sold meter per meter to northern landlords? why not declare the whole place "historical" and sell only as a 99 years intransmissible lease?

Posted by: Mina | May 2 2020 15:38 utc | 68

@Posted by: Mina | May 2 2020 15:38 utc | 68

To do that we would need a real people´s government, which we have not had since the end of the fascist dictatorship, as the Communist Party decided to willingly vaporize itself on behalf of "democracy" with US characteristics...

The current partner of the "Socialists" in the coalition of government, allegedly of the left, is a neo-left party which renegates of the Soviet experience and counts amongts its ranks with the liquidators of the PCE ( Spanish Communist Party ), current dirigents of such spectre called IU, amongst whom there are cadres who have never worked at any real life job ( the same happens btw, with most of cadres in Podemos ) but were rised as cadres. The last dirigent of IU ( Izquierda Unida ) who was a real worker was Cayo Lara. The current dirigent, Alberto Garzón is a von bivant who has been dissapeared during the Coronavirus crisis, being as he is Minister of Consum, evading totally his work and responsability in controlling especultaion and galloping prices of goods, at health and basic food level, being Mercadona, one of the biggest retailers on grocery, which most rised prices during this pandemic. Owner of Mercadona is one of the richest persons in Spain along with the owner of Inditex ( Zara and associated conglomerate ), which have its HQ in Holland to avoid paying taxes in Spain, but was sold by Nadia Calviño, Minister of Economy, as "solidary" at the beginning of the worst of the pandemic in the country because he "donated" the ridiculous ammount of 300.000 masks. We, Spanish people, prefer very much he pays his due taxes in Spain instead of receiveing his "donations" which are not so since he evades taxes through the same fianacing engineering the EU perpetuates within its fraudulent constituion.

Current Minister of Economy is a clear EU burocrat, looking more after her own European career, favoring German interests, than the fate of the Spanish people and the country. She was opposing since the beginning any lockdown at great business level, which, in some autonomous regions have never stopped working, eventhough the "state of alarm" and home detention of the rest of the population throughout two months. The same could be said of the Foreign Minister, former aid of head of ITC and high burocrat at OMC, who at first cathegorized as a lose case the requisition by the Turks of a cargo of ventilators bought by some Spanish regions, then felt presured by public opinion to exert the due presure expected from her charge in such a situation to get those ventilators in Spain asap...These two were working always before for the great business people, they are not going to look after the interests of the little and medium business, less those of the working class, who are just in the opposite end of their patrons..

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 17:15 utc | 69

@Posted by: Mina | May 2 2020 15:38 utc | 68

Yeah, one would say the whole of Greece, Italy and Spain should be declared historical places not on sold, due the ammount of historical vestiges everywhere, but, you know, that neoliberals, of which these countries are not free, are enroled in erasing history from any place in the world they can put their claws in.

Look at Lybia, Syria, Iraq, Poland, Slovakia, Baltic Republics, and so on...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 17:22 utc | 70

@Posted by: Mina | May 2 2020 15:38 utc | 68

I Spain, in sheer contrast with what Putin is doing, for example ( paying the salaries of the workers in lockwdown ) alleged "socialist" government decreed mandatory leave and lockdown at home for the workers fro about a month and a half, but they must return the work hours not done during the rest of the year, which most proably will translate into all these workers getting without holidays.

It seems that both, the government and employeers consider being under strict lockdwn a vacation worth the sufferved workers...

Whta it seems is that this government has come to end discrediting what was left alive of old European socialism, the one born at the III International, leaving that way the path free for sheer fascism. In fact, Spanish Socialism died in the Suresnes Congress, where the PSOE was hijacked by the CIA/NATO apparatchiks.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 17:33 utc | 71

Schmatz, let's keep hope. One of the most interesting elements in this crisis is that other elephant in the room: mass tourism. Not sustainable to any, but the 1% making billions from it while the 99% get seasonal jobs, and even seasonal accomodations in the most touristic places...
I have always thought that the mass tourism from the north to the south (extending to the south of the Mediterranean Sea) was the way the gov owners allowed for the masses get their rest from being over-exploited the rest of the year. I wait now to see what will happen when they can't go to their patiently bought and repaired houses and other summer-locations...
Thanks for the view from the ground.

Posted by: Mina | May 2 2020 17:52 utc | 72

Today, already yesterday here, it was the anniversay of the Odessa Massacre...

We do not forget.

Still no culprit found or sent to trial, as happens always with the killings of antifascits in Europe, as happened with Franco´s victims...This only happens because of the cover of NATO...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 23:19 utc | 73

Premonitory words, today of more actuality than ever, by Erich Honecker from "Jail Notes" 1992...

The world has become chaotic and disoriented since socialism disappeared from European soil.

By proclaiming itself to be world gendarmes, the United States acts to its liking and, here and there, impose "the new world order" by bombs and missiles.
Although many "theorists" who have come out of nowhere claim themselves of a renewed Marxism, even though they have tried to steal the very heart of Marxist theory or to refute it entirely, the facts remain stubborn. There are objective laws that decide the evolution of human societies. Capitalism presents a fundamental contradiction: the one that opposes the social character of work and the private character of appropriation. This contradiction remains despite the capacity of the capitalist system to noticeably change its appearance in the course of its development.

Only when this contradiction is overcome, when it is no longer the benefit that directs the world, will the conditions for a truly human life be created for each individual. There is a lot of talk about the "self-realization" of each one. This obviously cannot consist of the prospect of a situation in which, due to the increasing use and constant progress of cutting-edge technologies, only 10% to 20% of the population have a job. A new society must find each one a place. Taking into account all these technological developments, but also other limitations. This means first of all a job for everyone.
Capitalism is incapable of all that, it is more evident today than ever. The same race for profits sets the limits of the capitalist system. There are therefore deep and determining social reasons for opening the way for an alternative society. This will be of a socialist nature, whatever the specificities of its structure and the modalities of its specific organization.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 0:08 utc | 74

H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 0:08 utc | 74

Erich Honecker from "Jail Notes"?

cool quote, can you give a source for the work?

All I see is Leary's book...


Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 0:18 utc | 75

To show you, Mina, that I am not exagerating, and that this people has lost contact with reality...

In which mansions or casoplones do these people live?

LAST MINUTE | Health Ministry offers details of the de-escalation: it will allow in phase one social gatherings of up to 10 people respecting the physical distance

This was for meetings of people at home...Most of Spaniards can not receive 6 people in a round at home, and in that case probably some will have to bring in their chairs with them.

BTW, that people will not fullfil the conditions of de-escalation. Today during my first one hour walking in two months, met some groups of adults who have gone to walk together, groups of teens walking together as if nothing would had happened, and of course, every place a bit overcrowded as result of the restrcitions of timelines and movement. The whole population walks or runs for the same places, when before some would be at bars or shopping or at another cities...
For this effect, it would be better to open totally the timeline and restrictions to move to other locations in the same province, ther would be less concetration of people.
I went without mask, hoping not finding almost nobody in my usual route, and felt at danger, and kinda stressed, during the whole walk.
I do not usually walked through overcrowded locations before the pandemic...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 0:28 utc | 76

From Italian Youth Communist Front, on the Odessa Massacre...

FGC ☭ @fgc_nazionale Six years ago Vadim Papura, a Ukrainian communist, died at the age of 17 in the stake of the Odessa House of Unions, where 48 people died, a massacre carried out by Ukrainian neo-Nazis, shamefully supported by the European Union and the center-left government in Italy. # 2maggio

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 0:45 utc | 77

@Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 0:18 utc | 75

Some peer Twitted the quote, but it is taken from his memories "Jail notes", written in the Berlin-Moabit prison between 1992 and 1993.

Another quote, on the fatigues, and changes, the true revolutionary of the left could expect in life, since we are always prosecuted, if not at rare times of victory of the revolution:

"I, from the age of fifteen, fought for socialism: first in freedom, then for many years as a prisoner in a prison of the Nazis; later released again during the reconstruction of a ruined country and the construction of socialism; then as statesman and head of state; and finally again as a political prisoner in the hands of the class enemy. They are different tasks that the revolutionary has to do to always serve the same cause. And so it will be until I die"./blockquote>

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 0:54 utc | 78

@Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 0:18 utc | 75

This is the book in Spanish in pdf...

Erich Honecker "Notas de la cárcel"- “Moabiter Notizen”

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 0:59 utc | 79

Erich Honecker Got it. Thanks

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 1:17 utc | 80

@Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 1:17 utc | 80

It is his own personal version of the fall of socialism in Europe and the fall of the USSR, of which we have only today US´and Putin´s system´s version, or that of the reactionaries, which is more or less the same.

I find it interesting, to set the record straight, since at the time he wrote it, he had yet nothing to lose, not even life, as he was more dead than alive because of liver cancer, in fact died a year after in Chile.

You can take your own conclusions.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 1:29 utc | 81

H.Schmaltz - thank you for reminding us all of the crimes of May 2, 2014 in Odessa. I recall someone saying Parubiy and Chernoval have arrest warents out for them. Perhaps there is some hope.

Posted by: lex talionis | May 3 2020 1:52 utc | 82

OK So prolly no one will see this, but if you are going lockdown-stircrazy, Right here is a magnet link to the excellent 20 episode production of "The Unknown War".
This series made in 1978 narrated by Burt Lancaster from a script by Rod McKuen, is the story of WW2 as seen by the Soviet Union, CCCP, not just Russia. It is full of unique footage and great insights into USSR strategy.
There are 3 audio tracks, Russian, German and English with Russian the default so you should go into the audio settings on VLC, KODI or whatever you use and change it to english if you want inglesi.

Even tho I could only find peers not seeds I got the whole thing down just a few hours ago, so it is a good link, enjoy.

Posted by: A User | May 3 2020 5:52 utc | 83

A User - I am super interested to see "The Unkown War." I have never heard of it! I am a film editor have had the good fortune have worked on a few projects about the Soviet Union.
The link you posted isn't working for me, though. Thank you so much for sharing that. I'll look for it elsewhere. I'm using Safari. Perhaps that's the problem.
I always enjoy reading what you have to say and your mordant sense of humor. спасобо!

Posted by: lex talionis | May 3 2020 7:02 utc | 84

@lex talionis | May 3 2020 7:02 utc | 84

Looks like it is available on youtube

Posted by: Norwegian | May 3 2020 7:32 utc | 85

Walter #62

Insurrection perhaps. Better the sheriff decide the application of the constitution than the courts in these circumstances. Maybe....

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 3 2020 7:42 utc | 86

Jon_in_AU #63

I truly hope I get to kick a vulture capitalist in the arse before I die. Paul Singer would suffice.

I'd settle for Gina Reinhart to kick her arse all the way from Adelaide to Coober Pedy. Failing that Jared Kushner.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 3 2020 7:47 utc | 87

fyi all.

amazon has "Moabiter Notizen: Letztes schriftliches Zeugnis und Gesprächsprotokolle vom BRD-Besuch 1987 aus dem persönlichen Besitz Erich Honeckers " see tinyurl[dot]com/yc2nenvn

The German hurts Wally's old head, like doing algebra does, but it feels better's line-at-a-time with dictionary and pencil and paper.

Erich's ghost might be a character in a play...or a voice heard by witches...a commie sequel to propaganda movie "The Lives of Others" (Das Leben der Anderen) or/and Das schreckliche Mädchen.

His papers are held by a "non-profit" in Los Angeles...pure coincidence...


Wally enjoys the old ddr tv shows...

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 10:38 utc | 88

The Soviets did the Sherlock Holmes as film...12 hours of it.

YT see tinyurl[dot]com/y8m6kxkk

(The Ruskies also did a post soviet series, also very good and with a breautiful "Mrs Hudson")

Mrs Wally got a hive of Italian bees yesterday...

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 10:54 utc | 89

re lex talionis | May 3 2020 7:02 utc | 84
Sorry I should have explained what a magnet link is, It is a torrent link which isn't opened by a browser like safari or firefox, a torrent client is necessary with apple that would be Transmission which is free from that link.

Posted by: A User | May 3 2020 10:58 utc | 90

@Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 10:54 utc | 89

Over these past weeks I was wondering whether you could be Walter.P.Lang, by any casuality?

It would not surprise me that he decided to invent a character talking in the third person to post here, imitating the one he had in his blog and then banned not so long ago....

At least, the original was funny and fresh.....and, sometimes, even astonishinlgy well informed ...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 14:04 utc | 91

@Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 10:38 utc | 88

I would not ever select any book by what Amazon has to say about it...after all who Bezos works for? And, morevoer, being the epithome of exploiter of the working class.

Anyway, I have no idea who, or which "non-profit" for that matter, could guard Honecker´s papers in the US, my point was on the premonitory and accurate analysis he did on the future of capitalism and which describes the current state of affairs and prospects for the world as we know it after this "pandemic".

You would be surprised to know that, in fact, still there exist "non-profit" which really are non-profit, as it still exists people who have convictions and is not moved by economic personal interest. You would be surprised to find the ammount of hours of their spare time people spends in finding and spreading the truth just for free.

I was already wary of what you have to say, but, from now on, I will be even warier.

In fact, I have not seen you ever here until some weeks ago, starting with the pandemic...some could find you funny, I do not, at all...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 14:19 utc | 92

H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 14:19 utc | 92 Wary is good. I'm not Lang. Just a bored retired guy who enjoyed working in the skilled trades, and has a highly variegated history. If you look further into the past you'll see more of Wally and the posts. I even came out of character for an explanation time...I had not interned to frighten anybody. A life-long past-time has been writing stories...a trait curated by my Quaker grandparents...I tell the truth as I see it, informed.

I read the Spanish of Honecker's letter from jail, which you mooted, and saved a copy too. I agree with his view, so far as I know, and tend to agree with his overall view as a matter of common sense.

I'm glad you do not think it's funny. Good. But why say it?

pax vobiscum

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 14:39 utc | 93

@Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 14:39 utc | 93

That story of being rised by Quakers reminds me of someone, may be it was the very Lang who told it, or one of his "committee".

If you agree with Honecker´s estimations, why did you try to discredit his paper as "commie propaganda" and tried to sow doubt by pointing out that his works were hosted by what you qualified peyoratively as a "non profit" in LA?

BTW, how did you know that "wendemusseum" hosts those papers? I had no idea on the existence of such entity, but a simple sight on their website does not disclose that, but that they collect material from the history of WWII and the order resulting for information and discussion....Seems a quite loable goal, btw, in such a hostile environment as the US...a rara avis, no doubt...

In the remote possibility I could be ever visiting the US or LA,( wel, after all the USSR alos fell...). I will be looking for visiting this "non-profit" case they have not been exterminated during the dark ages....

Thanks for the tip...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 18:07 utc | 94

I was searching for the German complete book, 200+ pages, and discovered that it's in print at amazon, in German. I despise Amazon too. Nevertheless, as the sky, it's there.

Like Udo Ulfkotte's Gekaufte Journalisten...Americans are not supposed to be able to read subversive idea...I did crawl through Udo's book. And I shall also crawl through Comrade Brother Honecker's last book.

Friend, see:

wendemuseum> (there are no "non profits" in the usa, either they suit Power or they don't last, or are suborned, made fake.

I would guess that the esteemed museum is a see eye ah approved revisionist agency. I don't know...but there are indications that "they" grabbed the papers and make sure they support certain..."concepts".

Anything "they" say is "western enlightenment", anything they do not say is "commie propaganda"... Don't take it seriously, amigo. It's sarcasm.

"Erich Honecker’s Personal Papers (1991-1994)

Erich Honecker’s personal papers in the Museum's collection document the last four years in the life of the Communist leader who ruled East Germany from 1971 to 1989. In his will, Honecker specifically requested that his personal papers be housed in a non-German institution.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Honecker was imprisoned in Berlin’s Moabit Prison and charged with thirteen counts of manslaughter for ordering deadly force against its own citizens who were trying to flee East Germany. These orders of deadly force ultimately resulted in 350 deaths. Honecker stood trial for crimes against humanity beginning in November of 1992. The trial ended early in January 1993, due to Honecker’s failing health. Honecker died in Santiago, Chile of liver cancer in 1994. In his memoir, Moabiter Notizen (Notes from Moabit), he claimed that, “If it were up to me, East Germany would still exist.” During his trial, Honecker credited the Berlin Wall with preventing World War III.

The Museum’s personal archive of Honecker includes legal correspondence from his defense lawyers regarding the trial and medical records from various doctors outlining his liver cancer. There are detailed reports of the allegations against Honecker, the individuals who filed charges, information about the appeal process and news articles with Honecker’s handwritten annotations, as well as drafts and notes for his final book, Moabiter Notizen. The Museum’s archive also includes books from Honecker’s library, which are marked with his personal stamp"

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 18:54 utc | 95

@Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 18:54 utc | 95

Ok, it seems that I misread you, well, apologies, I have not been around here much lately, nor it is English a laguage I have dominion of, as it is obvious...

"The Wall", as I learnt from an obvious DDR citizen, whose Twitter with several variants of @belinconfidencial account has been wiped out for about four times already, was built mainly to avoid sabotage and infiltrations of spies from FDR, since, as the myriad of DDR citizens who got enriched by the smuggling of goods from FDR to DDR proved ( which then they sold to higuer prices to their comrades who did not participate in such smuggling ), there was quite freedom of movement between the two German Republics for the economic benefit of mainly FDR.

On the number of deaths, we have already learnt from Solzhenytsin and Conquest, both foreign agents, that the numbers can be shaped to fit Western capitalist propagandist aims, to then get the real numbers of the nazi victims diminished and the trials faked so as to get those proved convicts of manslaughter, innocent, or being evacuated by Western powers to great life in the US or South America, like Eichman...

Since you seem to be able to read in Spanish, and since you seem to like to crawl into forbiden literature, may be you would like taking a look at this other paper by Andreas Faber Kaiser on a research on the so called "Toxic Syndrome" which affected hundreds of thousands of people in Spain in the 80s and which curiously also coursed with atypical pneumonia, amongst many other manifestation. According with the investigation by Faber Kaiser, a doctor in Madrid discovered how could them be cured, but the effects were let to develop, as the pepetrators needed to test the effects without intervention to see the last consquences of the venom, getting the people with serious sequels for life...A renowned German chemical firm, of obnoxious fame during the Nazi Regime, was involved....

Andreas Faber Kaiser died of HIV infection he could never track to its origins, while some of the researchers officially involved in the study of the "syndrome", or left the research, or died, after one of them, a woman, traveled to the US and came with the warning of leaving it at that.

This is why I do not consider so outlandish that Covid-19 could be a bioweapon, and do give credibility to people who denounce WHO sehaningans throughout history, and in the toma y daca of accusations, I very much trust the Chinese, who have never been involved in any poisoning neither in my country nor anywhere else, for that matter. Yet the US has gased a lot of people out there, in fact almost the whole Asia, starting with North Korea, passing through Vietnam....

So as to provoke you, this excerpt of the conclusion of research by Dr. Muro before he died of cancer: ( Translation and bold in mine )

This is how Dr. Muro would write it: The phytosystemic nematicide Nemacur-10, banned in several countries due to its high danger, and introduced in Spain for the first time a few months before the epidemic of the toxic syndrome, is an organothiophosphate of the fenamiphos group (4- [methylthio] -m-tolylethyl-isopropylamidophosphate) which, if its very long safety intervals (minimum of three months) are not respected, turns into the fruit into an extremely aggressive derived phytometabolite - its toxicity is enhanced by about 700 (seven hundred) times — and whose exact composition appears to be top military secret. The fundamental parts of its molecule and its irreversible blocking action of acetylcholinesterase, explain extraordinarily well, despite the global denials of the WHO, the pathogenesis and clinical picture observed in the toxic syndrome. Contaminated tomatoes are semi-selected of the "lucy" variety, which is why their consumption has not affected wealthy classes or urban areas.

P.S: with that of "skilled trade" what are you referring, being a spook? It is said they never retire, at least in the US...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 21:13 utc | 96

H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 21:13 utc | 96 Thanks old man.
I understand that there are the language difficulties.

Spanish is almost as hard for me as German, but I can very slowly read both languages. They are part of my youth, and my old age.

I learned the skilled trades of foundry and metals and carpentry, although I also studied at university, and law school (for a brief time) being first interested in anthropology, then literature. No degree. I cannot abide the academy, as academics support the corrupt capitalist class, at least in the US. I have always worked within union rules, and retired from a major US union. I remember the Korean war, my parents were members (for a time in the 1940's) of CPUSA (and it caused them great trouble later).

Look on Youtube for "the knight foundry"... No, you won't see me there, but that was one of the places where I learned from the old fellows. By the way, the knight foundry was left by its founder to the men who worked there...soundly commie!

No spook at this end, friend. Rather the other way... Although obviously every spook in the world reads this stuff.

And you? Tell me what you will...

About the wall... USA political type said, back in the time of building the wall> "I don't know why they (the DDR) don't build a wall".

The wall was a logical and quite sound thing to construct, and first publicly proposed by the US, however I do not recall the name of the man, I think he was a Senator.

The foundations for "the wall" was laid at Potsdam by Truman rejecting the deal FDR and Stalin made....I would say.

And I would remark that betrayal and victory come as a pair of twins, with the example of fascist Truman replacing the socialist Wallace when Roosevelt was "ill" (or being poisoned). Stalin told Elanor Roosevelt that her husband had been murdered. I agree.

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 22:00 utc | 97

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 21:13 utc | 96

Correct link to Andreas Faber Kaiser pdf on "Toxic Syndrome"..dunno where that "oke" came from...sometimes my computer writes extra "v" by itself, but never three different letters at far...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 22:09 utc | 98

Kool. That's a tough read for me old man, but I' slug along.

This is going to take some time for me.

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 22:15 utc | 99

Yeah. I got it...binary weapon in organo-phosphorous + "x" agent.


And my very shallow chemistry tends to agree with the proposed story, I think it's credible.

I also remember the events, but not in detail.

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 22:32 utc | 100

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