Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 17, 2020

Ranting In A Time Of Plague

by Michael Brenner


Collective tragedy is always a learning experience. So it has been for great wars, natural disasters, economic collapses, political revolutions. The COVID-19 pandemic is such a tragedy. Although the number of casualties may pale compared to the carnage of war, there are ancillary effects that leave us shocked and sobered. Most obviously, there is sudden onset of a severe economic depression with attendant social distress whose toll we will be registering for years to come. Then, there is the exposure of how incompetent our public institutions have become – the callous inhumanity of those who rule in Washington matched only by their clownish ineptitude. It is in the realm of these latter intangibles that we should look first for morals and lessons.

Overriding all else is the spectacle of a President, duly elected by the American people, who is a malicious psychopath with not a single redeeming trait. A physical, intellectual and emotional spectre who would defy our imaginative powers were he not on display before our eyes. He has gathered around him a witch’s coven of scoundrels, crooks and crackpots as bereft of mind and ethics as he is. They also are inveterate liars; Trump himself is a congenital liar since clinical narcissism is inborn. Yet, we refer to this motley assemblage as an ‘administration’ – in our impulse to ‘normalize’ the abominable. No dry bill of particulars is necessary, nor could it do justice, to the squalid theater we see played out before us on a daily basis. This man, at this moment, is viewed favorably by 46% of the public. That reality eclipses everything else.

There is no organized opposition worthy of the name. This is the second great failure of our democracy. The Democratic Party creaks under the weight of geriatric nominal leaders – plodding along without conviction, without will, without the integrity to free itself from the monied interests and the self-serving careerists who have dragged it into the mire. Yes, they may succeed, come November, in sparing the Republic the coup de grace of four more Trumpian years. This despite their suicidal instinct in choosing Joe Biden to bear the standard – a man barely robust enough to keep the banner from dragging in the dust on his slog along the campaign trail. This bunch can’t even get themselves to a microphone for a news clip at a time of historic crisis aggravated by the atrocious sins of the existing government. Surely, a first. Worried about Covid-19 contagion? Order a box of alcohol wipes from China. Instead, Biden makes a call to Trump for what both agree was a ‘nice conversation.’ What does that get him?

Cuomo has to placate Trump with soothing words – even at the expense of lying about how much aid New York actually received from Washington – since the lives of his people are at stake. For Biden, the opposite is true; avoiding soothing words is crucial since the November election is dependent on undercutting Trump and discrediting him.

Three, the United States is a poorly governed country. Manifest ineptitude in performing collective functions is by no means limited to Washington under Trump. It has become a feature of the institutional landscape. True, the Trumpites have launched a dedicated campaign to realize the anti-government fanatics’ wet dream of disabling all public agencies.  FEMA and Homeland Security are but the most glaring example of departments stocked with hacks capable only of crippling the organizations that they are supposed to direct. They even corrupted the Center for Disease Control. Its leaders, evidently eager to curry favor with the madman in the Oval Office, gave its stamp of approval to the unproven – and dangerous drug HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE that Trump’s been promoting as the Silver Bullet to cure Covid-19. (April 4-6) Luckily, saner heads prevailed, or a conscience was pricked, and these panting spaniels withdrew the recommendation from their website.

The anti-government cabal’s techniques range from putting government agencies on starvation financial rations to infecting them with hostile personnel to leaving key executive positions unfilled (15 senior slots in the Treasury alone) to circumventing the law by dictating what they can and cannot do - with the backing of collaborators in the judiciary. (The Supreme Court majority is now prepared to go so far as to have citizens die in order to tilt an election toward a favored Republican). Let us bear in mind, though, that performance lapses are recurrent at all levels – private as well as public, and that they predate Trump. It took Barack Obama four years to get his health care website (more or less) up-and-running. In addition, his misbegotten hand-outs to the financial predators laid the basis for today’s looming meltdown. Moreover, the Obama strategy ignored the plight of states and municipalities – forcing deep cutbacks in all public services – the price for which we are paying now during the Corona virus crisis.

At local levels, just look at the condition of infrastructure, of pension funds – of public health. The extremity – and, frankly, the absurdity - of what’s happening in the health sector is highlighted by what we see elsewhere in the world. Face masks, including ones that actually provide protection, are readily available throughout East Asia – and elsewhere. A personal anecdote: relatives in Tunisia are mailing me N95 masks which they purchased in their neighborhood pharmacies. Indeed, as of April 8, Tunisia had produced by their own resources, and distributed 30 million masks to a population of 11 million. The equivalent here would be 1 billion masks! (Minus the 1 million sent express to Israel by the Pentagon as a ritual gift of fealty.) In America, we are offered instructions on how to sew a (probably useless) mask out of discarded T-shirts. MAGA!! Hospital directors fire nurses who buy their own equipment out of concern that they will be upstaged and exposed as the callous, profit obsessed bozos they are. Yet, we blind ourselves to the realities of other nations – because to do so is embarrassing, because our so-called leaders are protecting their behinds, and because we compulsively retain our dogmatic faith in American superiority.*

The readiness of executives to do anything necessary to protect against exposure of their own failures or illicit actions has become commonplace within our institutions. The current Corona crisis puts that reality into the headlines – as with the despicable act of the Pentagon in dismissing summarily Captain Brett Crozier whose petition made known that his superiors were prepared to sacrifice his crew’s lives to the imperative of hiding their own errors. Is this notion that ‘anything goes except accountability’ any different from Harvard’s studied silence about its embrace of Jeffrey Epstein or its abrupt sacking of a professor who dared reveal that the President was sweeping under the academic rug rampant sexual abuses? We all have personal experience of similar stories.

As to the Crozier scandal, let’s be clear: it is not a matter of ethics alone, but also of ability to meet critical obligations. In the event that the country found itself at war against a serious enemy, it is a dangerous liability to have in positions of command people like Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (hack lobbyist for Raytheon and the Aerospace Industries Association ), Naval Secretary Thomas Motly – who missed his calling as a political commissar in the old Red Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Miley and Chief of Naval Operations Mike Gilday who both are testament to the Peter Principle that determines promotion in today’s military. They would either be washed out in the wake of gross failures, or continue to be albatrosses dragging out pointless missions like the 17 bemedaled but clueless U.S. generals who have proven so useless in Afghanistan. As it is, they seem unable to keep their warships from slamming into inanimate objects in placid waters.

Here are Motly’s last remarks before riding off to join corporate boards:  “The men and women of the Department of the Navy deserve a continuity of civilian leadership befitting our great Republic, and the decisive naval force that secures our way of life… he acknowledged that he “lost situational awareness” during his address to the Roosevelt’s crew.”   “There is no excuse, but perhaps a glimpse of understanding, and hopefully empathy. I am deeply sorry for some of the words and for how they spread across the media landscape like a wildfire.”   (The New York Times – ever twisting its hat with eyes averted in the presence of intimidating Presidential authority – features a long letter from Motly justifying his actions, 4/7.  Only 3, 1 Republican, 2 Democrats, protested Crozier’s mistreatment. Among the silent chorus were the 22/23 aspirants to the Democratic nomination who bored us stiff for fifteen months with their unceasing calls for “LEADERSHIP!” ‘Profiles In Courage’ is not a best-seller at the Capitol.  Even Dr. Fauce doesn't have a copy.

Absence of accountability is incompatible with good governance. That is especially true in democracies where accountability is ultimately downwards. In a country like China, where accountability is primarily upward, the circle can be squared by the occasional resort to putting some miscreant up against the wall. We don’t have that luxury. Here, it is only the weak, the indigent and the naïve who need fear punishment – of any kind. The powerful and well-connected worry less about a last cigarette than about their first.

In compiling a list of factors that have contributed to the drastic decline in the performance of American institutions, this parochialism figures prominently among them. We put up with levels of dereliction matched in the developed world only by Britain. Think of the debate over Medicare-for-All and like proposals. As alluded to in an earlier commentary, the best national medical insurance systems (as confirmed by the WHO and other independent bodies) are in Western Europe, Canada and Japan – France topping the list. Yet, their expenditure on those systems is only 2/3 of what we pay for our own ramshackle non-system. That fact is ignored. Instead, the political class agonizes over the specious issue of whether we can afford it. Joe Biden has pledged to veto any such plan on grounds that it would cost $35 trillion – or whatever number has floated into his fog-bound mind. This lethal combination of ignorance, dogmatism and fidelity to special interests has come to be a hallmark of how we approach government and the meeting of collective needs.

A full treatment of the several intertwined, mutually reinforcing elements that have led us along the path of decline is well beyond the limits of a brief commentary. A few, though, do deserve to be mentioned for what – one hopes – might be future reference. One is the ‘privatization’ craze. It has become the preferred method for transferring public assets to private profiteers. The effects are degraded services, the loss of expertise in public bodies, the exploitation of workers and the abandonment of intelligent planning (ventilators anyone?). With the COVID-19 affair, we’ve reached the ultimate privatization: the Federal Reserve has hired BlackRock to conduct its operations on the bond market as the central component of its $4 trillion Quantitative Easing strategy (BlackRock itself being the dominant player on that market).  The same effects have been produced by the swarm of hedge funds and private equity who are parasites feeding on the prostrate host that is the real economy and its dependents. American society celebrates, and empowers, these critters. Then there are the ‘consultants’ – the locust hordes which our culture designates as vital contributors to the good works of government, of business, of universities, of charities, of sports teams, of hospitals, of failing marriages, of the US Army that puts guns in their hands. They, too, add to the toll on public competence and collective services.

Another anecdote: the city of Austin, Texas has hired a consulting firm to advise them on designs for a reconfiguration of the street that runs in front of the University of Texas. Should the sidewalks be 8’ wide or 10’ wide? Curbed or uncurbed? With bicycle racks or without? These matters evidently are beyond the competence of the city government, and of the University’s 3,000 strong expert faculty.

‘My Kingdom for a tape measure!’ How about a 69-cent face mask?

*Consider this. During WW II, the Kaiser shipyard in Richmond, CA – along with its 17 counterparts - were able to construct 2,710 Liberty ships between 1941 and 1945 (an average of three ships every two days), In other words, it took each yard just twelve days to put a ship in the water.  That was the work of Rosie the Riveter and her colleagues. Today, we struggle to produce a few thousand $1 face masks - much less reliable COVID-19 test kits. Of course, back then the country was led by responsible adults – not the bunch of clods and delinquents we’re stuck with nowadays.


Posted by b on April 17, 2020 at 14:00 UTC | Permalink

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Well that was a rant.

Trump is a narcissist but he’s not a psychopath. There is a difference.
He’s made many bad decisions but some good ones too in his tenure. Yet never once has the media conceded that.

Further - Russiagate was an obviously concocted conspiracy theory to depose a POTUS by unconstitutional means.
An attempted coup with a fake dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign the central document on which the shoddy theory and half a million supporting media articles was based upon.

In contrast Biden gets the kid glove treatment.
He’s dementing - literally.
There’s many a video of him fondling women and children who are clearly discomforted.
There’s a criminal charge of rape against him.
He threatened to withhold $1Billion in aid to Ukraine to make them sack their chief prosecutor who was investigating Burisma for corruption.
He gave Ukraine 6 hours, and they sacked their prosecutor.
How do we know? Because Biden joked and laughed about it in a videoed interview.
A video YouTube keeps censoring copies of.
Burisma paid Biden’s son (who knows nothing about oil and gas and was kicked out of the US military for cocaine use) over a $Million for sitting on its board of directors (though he was mostly dealing with paternity claim in the US).
Burisma was part of the war in Donbas to frack the land the locals wanted to keep farming.
Biden was partly in charge of the US/George Soros ‘Maidan’ coup to oust the Yanokovich government.
A coup that succeeded because of Nazi militia violence and mysterious snipers shooting both the Berkut riot police and protesters.
Snipers who were on the roof of the building held by an opposition leader that the Obama/Biden administration dealt with.

WTF - Who is the chosen puppet of the military industrial complex here?
Trump or Biden?
It’s frickin obvious as Biden’s loss of memory.

Trump is pilloried by the media for a slow response to Covid.
Yet he closed flights from China on January 31st when there’d been hardly any confirmed cases in the US.
Biden called him “xenophobic” for this action.
The media don’t ask Biden the obvious - would he as president have closed traffic from China (pretty much the only major outbreak at the time) then or later?

That’s not to excuse Trump and his administration for their flaws.

But it means to me that Trump is not a full puppet of TPTB/NWO/MIC who do the false flags and the regime change wars.
I would’ve preferred Sanders over Trump (and Gabbard over Sanders or at least as his VP).
But given the Operation Mockingbird Media’s 110% favouring of Biden (like Clinton) it is clear that a Trump presidency represents an unpredictable but less certain risk of WW-III and/or more imperial wars and coups and misery for people of this world.

Agree with the fact there’s something very wrong with a nation that cannot produce better candidates.

Posted by: PJB | Apr 18 2020 11:06 utc | 201

I can't imagine anyone who will vote for Trump, flawed as he is, will be convinced to change their mind and choose sleepy Joe after reading Michael Benner's rant. Actually it's more likely to convince more people to vote for Trump.

Posted by: krypton | Apr 18 2020 11:13 utc | 202

As some claimed for lack of "surgical disection" in this rant published, if there would be whole disection at the least detail of problems affecting the US, it would had not been a rant, it would had been an essay...

When you make a rant, you make it in the heat of a moment, denouncing the most gross and obvious at the sight even of the common citizen, you do not present a rant as doctoral thesis..

Yet the rant have the virtue of more or less accurately crystalizing a situation in a short lenght, and thus usually gains widespread approval over whjole well intentioned ideological scope...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Apr 18 2020 11:15 utc | 203

ADKC 201.
The only thing certain at the moment is a massive US propaganda operation.

Behind that is a US that cannot hold to an agreement - it has not destroyed its chemical weapons, has not destroyed its plutonium pits and has under the current admin pulled out of two nuclear related agreements - and projects what it is doing onto others.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 11:21 utc | 204

Posted by: krypton | Apr 18 2020 11:13 utc | 204

Voting for either one (Biden or Trump) will not change anything important here, they are both part of the problem, neither is any sort of solution. Biden has the advantage of obviously being an establishment puppet, Trump the advantage of being obviously a narcissistic self-serving asshole. OK, Biden is that too. So really no difference at all, except who gets to play the big-shot, the big swinging dick.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 18 2020 11:27 utc | 205

H. Schmatz #205

"Yet the rant have the virtue of more or less accurately crystalizing a situation in a short length, and thus usually gains widespread approval over whole well intentioned ideological scope..."

Except for the phenomena called "unintended consequences" when people with moral intentions yield immoral consequences. In this case, more people end up doing the opposite because the rant just turns them off.

Posted by: krypton | Apr 18 2020 11:28 utc | 206

I see the US National Institutes of Health is conducting a double blind placebo controlled trial on remdesivir.

Participants in the NIH-sponsored trial must have laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and evidence of lung involvement, including rattling sounds when breathing (rales) with a need for supplemental oxygen or abnormal chest X-rays, or illness requiring mechanical ventilation. Individuals with confirmed infection who have mild, cold-like symptoms or no apparent symptoms will not be included in the study. In accordance with standard clinical research protocols, eligible patients will provide informed consent to participate in the trial...

...Initially, investigators will compare participant outcomes on day 15 in both the remdesivir group and the placebo group to see if the investigational drug increased clinical benefit compared to placebo. Outcomes are scored on a seven-point scale ranging from fully recovered to death.

The exceptional nation.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 11:33 utc | 207

The piece put up by b is the state of the us. Both the ranter and what he is ranting at.
The country is fucked. Americans dont know if they are Arthur or Martha nor which way is up and which way is down.
But it is a nuclear armed lunatic asylum with the lunatics in control.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 11:38 utc | 208

I would have thought that the conclusion the reader is meant to draw from Brenner's polemic is that the American Democratic System should be replaced by a Dictatorship Of Technocrats.

It appears to be that Brenner is just continuing the work of James Buchanan:

Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 18 2020 11:50 utc | 209

@211 should have read "It appears to me...."

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 18 2020 11:52 utc | 210

Sorry, b. This whole virus thing is pushing me out of my usual 'orbit'. I have not really been myself. The noise floor raised by this phenomenon is is unbearable. It was really bad in the wake of Sept. 11 '01, but the informational chaos attending this virus event seems to be ten times more intense. I used to repair medical instruments from the electronics perspective, and have a fairly decent background in biology. And the current horrifying informational chaos is overwhelming. Not much sooner do I read one supposed 'fact' about the pandemic than I next read something that completely contradicts it.

My local government is now telling me I must wear a 'mask' at all times. Then we are told that they can only be used once, and cannot be easily reconditioned. And they have been said to work for perhaps four hours. And some of them are vastly better than others. And the best ones are only about 85% effective. And doctors claim they have great difficulty wearing them for more than a few hours. And yet they seem to be the only thing that stands between us and permanent lung scarring or even demise.

Then I see people hiking in the back woods wearing the masks, where they cannot possibly be of any use! I feel I am living in a nightmare zombie Apocalypse. My doctor told me to take at least 3,000 IU of vitamin D3. I am inventing my own 'mask'. It consists of a simple thick scarf that wraps around the nose and whole lower face. It is lightly saturated with water containing unscented dish detergent plus pure fructose sugar, which is powerfully hydrophilic and retains the water. My theory is that when the detergent binds the water to lipids in the viral envelope the virus will be ruined. I am taking my own chances with this and nobody else should try this at home. My idea is that having to wear the masks will soon drive all the rest of you as insane as I have become.

Good luck, my dear friends!

Posted by: blues | Apr 18 2020 12:11 utc | 211

So it looks like we are still doubling in less that a week, a million by say next Tuesday:

Coronavirus cases in US crosses 7,00,000

And the main idea of our political "leaders" is hyping "Blame China":

Who’s tougher on China? Trump and Biden attack each other in duelling ads

Note how they are already out of money:

Trump, GOP Signal Compromise for Possible Break in Aid Talks

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 18 2020 12:35 utc | 212

Just weeks before first reports in 2009 of a young Mexican child being infected with a novel H1N1 “swine flu” virus in Veracruz, the WHO had quietly changed the traditional definition of pandemic. No longer was it necessary a reported disease be extremely widespread in many countries and extremely deadly or debilitating. It need only be widespread, like seasonal flu, should WHO “experts” want to declare pandemic. WHO H1N1 symptoms were the same as a bad cold.

William Engdahl: Can We Trust the WHO?

Posted by: Avid Lurker | Apr 18 2020 12:40 utc | 213

This is an update on my last comment (especially for the non believer).

A new statistical study (not medical) compares 32 countries divided into two groups: 16 countries massively using Hydro and Azi and 16 not using it.

The results are very clear, even for the mentally blind:

"We find major differences in death rates, with countries using antimalarial drugs faring better than those which do not... the difference in dynamics is so striking that we believe that the urgency context commands presenting this analysis before delving into further analysis."

One figure to ponder: one group 3.6 daily death after day 3, the other group 25.4. I let you guess which group fetchs better...

Here is the link:

Posted by: rob20 | Apr 18 2020 12:51 utc | 214

Michael Hudson on The Keiser Report.

Posted by: bjd | Apr 18 2020 12:56 utc | 215

Completely ignored how hard the dumbocrats worked to kill this presidency before it even took office and after, to Hell with this professor.

Go on lefties keep agitating while Trump just keeps on running the country despite your best efforts to ruin it.

Posted by: Morongobill | Apr 18 2020 13:01 utc | 216

China need to start looking at moving their assets out of reach of the Trump regime.

The Trump administration quietly ordered the transfer of some $342 million in funds from a Venezuelan central bank account at Citibank to an account controlled by opposition leader and self-proclaimed Venezuelan ‘president’ Juan Guaido at the New York branch of the US Federal Reserve.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 13:07 utc | 217

@142 In the US the 30% or more that no longer have jobs can not self isolate unless they desire to die in their apartments of starvation. The ridiculously, absurdly pathetic assistance legislated by a totally corrupt government will MAYBE see some of these people eventually getting $1200..that is IF the persons filed an electronic tax return. If they filed a paper return MAYBE they will get the $1200. in 5 months. There are incredible long lines at food banks which are already running out of food. People are protesting to open up the country as they have NO OPTIONS to do otherwise. The neoliberal experiment ongoing in the US for more than 40 years and the complete absence of any legislation to provide any kind of safety net to citizens has created a death trap for a large percentage of the 80 Million hourly workers in this country.

Posted by: Linda Amick | Apr 18 2020 13:11 utc | 218

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 13:07 utc | 219

I think the Chinese are likely already on it, I was reading some blowhard politician here a few days ago threatening to default on all those treasuries China has, called it seizing them back to pay for damage caused by China's virus "mistakes". This of course would be another self-own of historic proportions, so likely we will try it. They are thinking really hard to find some leverage over China, thinking that they should have done a long time ago when all they were thinking about was cheap chinese labor.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 18 2020 13:17 utc | 220

@ c1ue | Apr 17 2020 22:16 utc | 126

More perspective/conclusions on the NYC maternity hospital NEJM study from Dr. John Campbell:

Posted by: gm | Apr 18 2020 13:19 utc | 221

"Being a prostitute has always been a good option in times of crisis... until this one," says Bruno, a sex worker who fears catching the deadly coronavirus at a time when those in his trade are more vulnerable than ever.

One of approximately a million sex workers in the United States, Bruno -- not his real name -- has stopped taking clients in the past month as the once-in-a-century pandemic arrived in America.

Like most legal trades, demand for the 33-year-old's services has plummeted with much of the country staying home under lockdown.

But Bruno, who is based in the Los Angeles area, started in this business about two years ago precisely because he couldn't get a steady job that paid well.

Now his savings are rapidly dwindling -- and unlike most unemployed workers, Bruno is not eligible for federally approved relief.

Despite his health concerns over a pandemic that has killed more than 14,000 people in the US, Bruno is considering returning to work.

"I'm going to have to take the risk, it's the only way I can make money," he said.

Demand has already fallen by around 80 percent, he said -- but a handful of clients are still contacting him.

Bruno already considers his job to be high-risk because of potential exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.

"I'm surprised that, with this virus going around, people still want to take the danger," he admitted.

Posted by: Mao | Apr 18 2020 13:21 utc | 222

Beyond special precautions for nursing homes and hospitals (which haven't been working anyway), and reasonable precautions for indoor gatherings, the lockdowns have zero rational or scientific validity and are being imposed only for purposes of mass psychological terrorism, economic plunder and building up the totalitarian police state.

The terrorism is working extraordinarily well, as witnessed by the fact that almost all the sites where one previously would find the greatest vigilance against the 1%'s plundering and police state measures have become pro-bank, pro-police hotbeds.

And all over something which, objectively, is no more dangerous than the regular flu for the great majority of people, with only the advanced in age and in ill-health being especially at risk.

It sure seems like the mass psychology already was a pressure cooker ready to blow in some manner, and a mass radicalism of some sort was already imminent.

Looks like the 1% gauged perfectly how to blow it off in a way that not only wasn't directed at them but which has caused the masses to imprison and economically liquidate themselves, submitting to police state tyranny and (in the US) completely throwing away the Constitution in the process.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 18 2020 13:25 utc | 223

The U.S. Government is leading the world’s humanitarian and health response to the COVID-19 pandemic even while we battle the virus at home. As part of this comprehensive and generous response from the American people, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have now committed nearly $508 million in emergency health, humanitarian, and economic assistance on top of the funding we already provide to multilateral and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are helping communities around the world deal with the pandemic.

Posted by: Mao | Apr 18 2020 13:49 utc | 224

I have to agree with #1, moon of alabama has for the last year or so always been part of the daily news routine, but the tone of the articles posted lately are becoming more and more screeching and hysterical in nature lately

Posted by: Sigurd | Apr 18 2020 13:49 utc | 225

The China-bashing has started.
This time however, it's the "Coalition of the Illing": No.1-6: US, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, UK.
Ref.: COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted by: bjd | Apr 18 2020 13:55 utc | 226

Thanks b for cleaning the thread. You are right to wonder at who might be sending batches of trolls. Anger and fear are probably the most corrosive emotions; and people are vulnerable to being manipulated in proportion to the heightening of that kind of stress. It's a good idea to take a deep breath now and them, and go outside for a walk, and appreciate what we still have and reflect on what it means to be alive and present in this world.

Posted by: Copeland | Apr 18 2020 13:56 utc | 227

Superb! Every word a jewel of enlightened truth.

Posted by: pasha | Apr 18 2020 13:57 utc | 228

"My local government is now telling me I must wear a 'mask' at all times."

Some might see it as an opportunity. I wonder if there's been an increase in bank robberies?

Posted by: krypton | Apr 18 2020 14:03 utc | 229

From the "What was she thinking?" Dept:

Pelosi while self-quarantining in her Presidio/Embarcadero San Fran area mansion proudly shows off her SubZero freezer-full stash of $12/pint ice cream to late night show host James Corden:

Posted by: gm | Apr 18 2020 14:04 utc | 230

I used to come here for a shot of Syria and a chaser. No ice. The bar is dry nowadays.
Please, an update on our brothers and sisters in Syria. Thanks.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Apr 18 2020 14:24 utc | 231

Doesn't do much good to bewail what is wrong when everything is coming apart, but it is important to shine some light on the causes of the systemic crisis. Trump is a convenient scapegoat, but he is merely a symptom of a failed electoral system. We have it within our power to create an electoral process that will guarantee that each vote will be counted as cast. It is called "block chain technology". Electoral fraud defines the political direction this country follows, especially blatant in the 2000 election of idiot Bush. What we see is not a failure of democracy that justifies the more authoritarian solutions. We are looking at an antiquated system design that can be changed easily and quickly.

The pandemic is s symptom also. It represents a mass reaction to the criminal sociopathic political class that currently controls the failing system. It is n protest of the politically impotent. If the quality of life becomes unacceptable and there is no way to make change, such as an election that actually represents the will of the majority, the politically impotent will self-immolate in protest. The people will seek escape through drugs, suicide, violence.

Until there is "change you can believe in" (and that is not Obama water-boy Biden)this well-engineered virus will defeat efforts to go back to work. The majority of people have been betrayed by their political system and they have no desire to return to fruitless work that was leading nowhere to begin with.

A healthy political response of a healthy population would be that prescribed by Jefferson in the Declaration. Sadly, too many American people are not healthy and not capable of a healthy political response. Lots more will die of political despair as they proclaim their fealty to the dumb fuck in the WH.

Posted by: jadan | Apr 18 2020 14:30 utc | 232

Michael Brenner is a refugee from Colonel Pat Lang's blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis. Until recently, he was a regular contributor. Now he, along with other sometime academics and ex military, such as Cliffe Kiracofe, Habbakuk, and a Pakistastani general whose name I cannot recall, seem to have fled from the increasingly paranoid Trump worshipping Lang. All of them themselves incline to the right and are ardent supporters of the US military/Capitalist enterprise, but even they have found the paranoid delusions of the ageing Lang beyond plausibility. Lang himself is the source of this conspiracy theory -
"I may write a front page post on this when more info is available, but right now it seems likely that CODIV-19 was at least partially developed in US university labs partially funded by Chinese government front groups with the on scene assistance of Chinese graduate students and the paid cooperation of US academics.
Apart from the complaints from both Chinese leaders and U.S. politicians in which each side blames the other for the outbreak and spread of Corona, there is a curious mix of posturing and actions that are sending mixed messages and clouding the simple, horrible truth--the global spread of Corona 19 was a deliberate, conscious act by the Chinese Communist government to weaken the West, especially the United States. But there is another part of the story that has received little attention from the media and most pundits--the US Government, with DOJ leading the charge, is going after some very intriguing Chinese intelligence operatives.
More about that later, let's focus first on the growing body of evidence that the launch of Corona from Wuhan was not the result of eating rotten bats or an accident at the level 4 bio lab in Wuhan. Instead of recruiting fanatics to wear suicide bomb belts, the Chinese Government appears to had chosen to infect its own citizens and send them out to major population centers in the West. It was a conscious plan to infect and weaken the West."

Posted by: mike | Apr 18 2020 14:32 utc | 233


India has stepped up scrutiny of investments from companies based in neighbouring countries, in what is widely seen as a move to stave off takeovers by Chinese firms during the coronavirus outbreak.
India’s trade ministry said in a notification dated April 17 the changes to federal rules on investment were meant to curb “opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions”. It did not mention China.

All foreign investment in Australia will now require approval in a Federal Government move designed to prevent international raids on struggling companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic...
....The ABC understands members of the Government believe the changes will prevent China from taking advantage of Australia's weak financial position to snap-up strategically important assets.


The British government should seek every mechanism to prevent the removal of the technology base of Imagination Technologies to China, including seeking a Western buyer for the company, British lawmaker David Davis said on Tuesday....

...“What we think is going on is the Chinese are trying to export the technology base from here to China and that’s inappropriate,” Davis, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, told Reuters....

....“It should probably try to bring about a purchase of it by somebody else in a Western country,” Davis said. “The government should be seeking every mechanism available to them to prevent this removal of our technology - full stop.”

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 14:34 utc | 234

>"My local government is now telling me I must wear a 'mask' at all times."
>Some might see it as an opportunity.

I see it as an opportunity to defeat public facial recognition systems. I speculate that is a reason dear leaders were telling us not to wear masks. Last week wearing a mask in public was a crime against state surveillance. This week not wearing a mask is a crime against public health.

When the health crisis ends it will once again become a crime to wear a mask in public, but by then it will be a habit and difficult to change back to the old ways.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 18 2020 14:36 utc | 235

Top jobs are interchangeable.

Thought of the day; if so many "talking heads" on TV come from the Military or Government administrations - that means that the level of intelligence of leading Politicians/military is no higher than that of the TV chat show "personalities" you can see on the MSM. Heaven help us.

Wuddya believe it ?

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 18 2020 14:44 utc | 236

mike, thanks for providing the background... the rant is then just a little kick to the grumpy col, well deserved... no reason to worry.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 18 2020 14:51 utc | 237

"...Looks like the 1% gauged perfectly how to blow it off in a way that not only wasn't directed at them but which has caused the masses to imprison and economically liquidate themselves, submitting to police state tyranny and (in the US) completely throwing away the Constitution in the process..." Russ@225

Don't you think it's a little early in the unfolding of a crisis to throw up your hands and admit to defeat?
It is early days yet and there is no power in society that can begin to match the power of the people.
All that is needed to transform this crisis into the revolutionary change most of us long for, is to mobilise our friends, neighbours and communities into uniting around the simple demands that are older than civilisation and the very basis of human life: treating each other with the respect due to equals; sharing our resources so that everyone has sufficient; valuing the elderly for the wisdom that long experience has afforded them, valuing the young because they are part of us, valuing the eccentric, looking after one another.
If humanity had not practised these rules it would not have survived. Unless we practise them again and rediscover the virtues lost in class society, we will not survive.
As to community: is this not a community? Are those who comment here not capable of exerting pressure on the ruling class?

Posted by: bevin | Apr 18 2020 14:55 utc | 238

New York City coronavirus update from Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal public health system in the United States. Recorded April 13, 2020.

currently 950 people intubated with Covid-19, almost 3000 people in the hospital with Covid-19 (usual normal census is 3500)

not currently having a ventilator shortage (models were wrong on the high side)

seems to have plateaued on the number of people needing ventilators

using hotel rooms for recovering patients (convalescent period)

using hotel rooms for homeless also

in New York City Latinos are at highest risk, then African Americans, seems to track with asthma

shelter in place for someone on the upper west side may mean two people in a 3 BR apt, in Queens it may mean 12 people in a 2 room apt

Queens hospitals have been hit the hardest

there are a lot of low income essential workers that can't shelter in place

they have tripled the size of their ICUs

have seen a plateau over the last 4 or 5 days, about 870 intubated a week ago, at times there were 50 new people on a ventilator per day, last week census was 2500

on a plateau and for public health people that is a success but for health care workers it means this isn't ending

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 18 2020 15:02 utc | 239

I should add that this link:
is to an article in which it is argued that the eruption of the virus in France has forced the government- already under pressure from the Yellow Vests and the left- to backpedal on its neo-liberalism.
Something similar is happening in many countries where even the politicians see that it is impossible to maintain the cannibalistic trends in neo-liberalism.
When history, the tendency of events, is pushing ruling classes in a desirable direction it becomes much easier to increase the momentum by putting pressure on them.
Either mistaken or malicious, it matters little, those who urge that this crisis is unnecessary are the best allies the ruling class has in the population. It is no real surprise that those who are thus propping up the class system came to these forums from the right and bring with them a deep seated, almost religious, belief in the inevitability of hierarchy and the essential evil core of human nature.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 18 2020 15:06 utc | 240

b posted a piece on Brenner having a rant at the current Trump admin and the current US bullshit.
Lets see what he wrote about the Obama admin and Syria back in October 2015.

Another, related reason is that since the United States has no comprehensive strategy, the repercussions of the Russian actions, military and political, are generating a piecemeal reaction that finds it difficult to gain any intellectual or diplomatic traction in each policy sphere. Theoretically, these developments should highlight the need for such an overarching strategy by underscoring the costs of not having one. There is no evidence, though, of that happening within the Obama administration – or within the American foreign policy community generally. Why? In addition to the manifest lack of aptitude for such an undertaking, the kinds of conceptual adjustments indicated by the Russian intervention touch on highly sensitive questions of America’s status and mission in the world which its political elite is unprepared to engage....

... In Syria itself, the ambiguous Obama approach of “patience and persistence” is now fully exposed as the empty slogan that it always has been. Its basic flaws lie in the elementary failure to identify your enemy (ies), your allies, the nature of the threat and your objectives. No one has been able to say – from the President on down....

...No one has been able to say – from the President on down. Very early in the multi-party civil war, there was a recognition of their being two enemies: 1) the Assad government which President Obama vocally proclaimed “must go;” and 2) the diverse jihadist movements, declared foes of the West and their friends in the Islamic world, who rapidly became the dominant opposition force. The latter have subordinated “moderate” groups – both secular and Islamic – to a secondary status, with their very existence now being at the sufferance of al-Nusra (primarily) and ISIL. The former, in turn, is at war with ISIL for leadership of the Islamist cause – a conflict that creates incentives for it to tolerate tacit forms of cooperation with the “moderates’ so as to facilitate the continued flow of assistance from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf statelets, Turkey and the United States itself (via the “moderate’ intermediaries” who “reverse launder” them). ...

..... I was told by a State Department official who works on Syria, a year ago, that it was generally understand that the training project was just political window dressing. No one in the administration (except for a few incurable innocents) believed in it or thought that it could have any practical results. Oddly, Obama himself stated as much in an interview with Thomas Friedman last summer.2 That's $50 million worth of window dressing. It seems that the other $450 million was spent mainly by the CIA to continue supplying their tacit allies up North, i.e. remnants of the Free Syrian Army and their associates which include parts of the al-Nusra apparatus.

A lot of maggots here knocking b for posting a Brenner piece.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 15:08 utc | 241

Donald Trump is certainly not stupid. His speeches, tweets and behavior is definitely an impersonation. And I think, deep down, the 46% of the American adult population who supports him knows that.

What I find unique about Trump - in the context of POTUSes in American modern history (20th Century onwards) - is the fact that he's pretty much the first POTUS who comes directly from the dominant class, from big business.

Before Trump in the modern era, all the POTUSes were "professional politicians", i.e. they came from a specific subset of the middle class. The American capitalist class deferred from taking control of their country directly, instead "hiring" those "professional politicians" to do the dirty job for them.

And that's how capitalism should indeed work: the role of the capitalist class in a capitalist system is to personify wealth, which means they should be reduced to own the means of production and own almost all the money (money-capital). To manage the system, they should hire people from the working class to form the managerial class. This is the ideal scenario for capitalism because it accelerates the process of monetization of all aspects of human life and, by doing so, it enhances and accelerates the process of alienation of the working classes (alienation of labor, fetichization of commodity).

The capitalist class is different from the past dominant classes precisely because of this: the Roman aristocracy and the feudal lords didn't have dominant control over the forms of organization of the exploited classes. They only had the monopoly of violence, which they used to extract taxes and write the laws with which they could operate to do the former the most efficient way. The capitalist class, however, has to build its "State shield" with members of the exploited class (working class) because it wasn't, in its origin, a military class, but a commercial one. Enter the middle/managerial class - workers hired to think like capitalists (executives, politicians, judges, white collar workers etc.). This can only be sustainable as long as the capitalist class can control how the working class organizes, or, to put it in more precise terms, devoids the working class from its capacity of self-organization.

If we look the past 40 years in American history, we can see that Trump was not a rupture, but a natural continuation of affairs. Ronald Reagan was the last "professional politician" elected POTUS by the Republican Party. After him, his veep, George H. W. Bush, was elected as somewhat an intermediary between professional politician and big businessman - but he was still a professional politician by origin (a WASP from Massachusetts), as his political career begun in 1963, well before his business took off.

His son (George W. Bush), the next Republican POTUS, could still be considered a hybrid between professional politician and big businessman - but already more on the big businessman side, as he took his father's business ready. But the Bush family still largely depended on politics to keep their status as capitalists.

Trump, however, is undoubtedly American royalty. His family is of a typical American bourgeoisie background (German immigrant, came to the USA at the right place, at the right time). He was born a bourgeois, and his family already had pedigree. Nothing in Trump's life has anything to do with working class, he doesn't have any working class habits or culture. He thinks with bourgeois logic because that's how he was born and raised. He comes from a golden cradle. He's a billionaire by birth.

That makes Trump the first POTUS that comes directly from the American dominant class. When a member of the dominant class descends from the Heavens to "put his hands in the mud", do the dirty work of having to directly manage his subjects, you know it's a sign that capitalism in the USA is not working the way it should be. That would be normal in a Third World country, where capitalism was imposed in an artificial way - but not in a First World country, where capitalism evolved organically.

That's why I think Trump is special - not because of his policies (which, frankly, are well within the spectrum of a normal POTUS), but because of the symbolism.


@ Posted by: Really?? | Apr 18 2020 2:33 utc | 159

Nah, I'm not a bot. In my native language, "nursery home" and "nursing home" are completely different words, so I have to flat out memorize which is which in English because they are completely abstract in my mind. The root word "nurse" also doesn't have a direct correspondent in my native language, so its meaning is also abstract to me, and I have to memorize it.

I don't revise my comments. The reason is simple: life's short, and this isn't a scientific, peer reviewed blog.

Posted by: vk | Apr 18 2020 15:15 utc | 242

>The British government should seek every mechanism to prevent
>the removal of the technology base

It's comforting to know that James Watt's steam engine is safe from the clutches of those dastardly Commies.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Apr 18 2020 15:20 utc | 243

good overview of where we are...trails of tears, and all.

Every one of the walking people I spoke to was worried about the virus. But it was less real, less present in their lives than looming unemployment, starvation and the violence of the police. Of all the people I spoke to that day, including a group of Muslim tailors who had only weeks ago survived the anti-Muslim attacks, one man’s words especially troubled me. He was a carpenter called Ramjeet, who planned to walk all the way to Gorakhpur near the Nepal border.

“Maybe when Modiji decided to do this, nobody told him about us. Maybe he doesn’t know about us”, he said. 

“Us” means approximately 460m people.

Posted by: john | Apr 18 2020 15:25 utc | 244

Yanks wont like this.

BEIJING, April 18 (Xinhua) -- This week in the western German city of Duisburg, after the arrival of a China-Europe freight train from Wuhan, once the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, Chinese diplomats and local officials posed for a group photo while maintaining a safe distance from each other.

The train, which was loaded with medical supplies, auto parts, electronic products, and optical communication fibers, among others, was a stellar example of how China and Europe can stand together in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges posed by the contagious disease.

Around the time the train arrived in Germany, another two China-Europe freight trains, under the operation of China Railway Express, one departing from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, the other setting out from the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, also rumbled across the Eurasian continent and arrived in Europe.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 15:36 utc | 245

Posted by: Russ | Apr 18 2020 13:25 utc | 225

Wonder how many French are going to die this summer sans A/C. Usually quite a few bite the dust. This year promises to be a bumper crop. And a long hot summer in NYC sans food. Wonder how that is going to go down. And all those partially 'gentrified' neighborhoods with 'gentrified food banks' .. ;)

This is, as you point out, terrorism. Question really should be: what did we expect post 9/11. It's nearly 20 years that a whopper of a story is still "the official story". Again, just like today, the point is the obvious reluctance to vigorously and transparently address the subject at hand.

The so-called left is apparently convinced of two things and thus we note they go along with this latest act of international terrorism and urge "shutdown": they are convinced that the "Empire" is an American construct. They are convinced that this controlled demolition of the Superpower will lead to a more just "multi-polar" order. This may explain the unsettling display of a new found affinity for estalishment organs as sources of (complete and factual) news, here and elsewhere.

I am certain that we're walking into a future where 'unacceptable thought' will not be tolerated, _at all_. The 'bahavioral filters' being institutionalized as we speak have even penetrated formerly sacrosanct domicile.

That said, objectively viewed, it is interesting to be living through a transitional civilizational period. A rare moment in time. Barely squinting, the outlines of fortress city-states, "deplorable" rural expanses with roaming armed mercenaries in pay of locals who make resource deals with the international neo-feudal order (just like how US started, btw), and even the possibility of bifurcation of the human species itself (with those integrated, and those who are (self-)excluded) evolving in isolated intellectual, scientific, and genetic spheres.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 18 2020 15:40 utc | 246

BlackRock in the heart of the EU; the multinational won a contract to advise the Commission on... green banking.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 18 2020 15:50 utc | 247

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 18 2020 15:08 utc | 243

Thanks for that, I was trying to remember where I knew Brenner from, it was SST. I stopped reading there a couple years back. He is clearly not a left winger or even a progressive. Sort of reminds me of Chas. Freeman Jr. pointing out that invading Iraq was a stupid idea before they did it. Criticism from within The Borg.

Fight Over Commercial Rent Gets Ugly With Default Wave Looming

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 18 2020 15:53 utc | 248

How ironic that the post characterized as a rant is subject to so much intellectual debate /s/

In which the tail wags the dogma.

Posted by: Stumpy | Apr 18 2020 15:58 utc | 249

A much better rant with a practical suggestion:

Posted by: krypton | Apr 18 2020 15:59 utc | 250

@ b 193
- wondering why there were so many first time commentators that fell into the above categories. Who has send them here?

I won't name names but MoA is being linked to a number of websites where the usual commenters drop one-liners or just a . for a comment.

@ ADKC 197

It really does not matter where Brenner is funded. There is still "freedom of speech" including "Rants" in whatever form, albeit under erosion; which if I may extrapolate you are promoting the end of free speech and b's right to choose. !!!!!!

And we are guests of b. It's b's blog and just how much do you contribute during appeals for donations?


Trump is one sick pup. Mentally unfit to be a unifier - the normal job description of president of the U.S.A

Trump is taunting the Governors


The exceptional nation is now known as Thief-in-Chief Link

Peru is being “cautious” in not disclosing the flight path of a plane loaded with Covid-19 testing kits, its disease response chief has said, with the US accused of “confiscating” supplies meant for other nations.[.]


Fear of infection
Voting by Mail to secure the U.S. November 3rd election being debated. Who wins the ballot fraud? Link

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 18 2020 15:59 utc | 251

Posted by: Mina | Apr 18 2020 15:50 utc | 249

That elicited a cynical chuckle.

This outfit is probably hard to nail down. There is Blackstone that jump started Blackrock.

I don't know. I just don't buy that that guy, Skull and Bones membership or not, is where the trail of actual ownership, and more importantly control, ends.

But as (only) a few have been pointing out, this set is about to "inherit the Earth" while "dogs" (per our not-a-bot vk) are put down "without mercy".

I'm just trying to figure out where comrade VK thinks s/he and "the masses" are going to end up after the structural re-arrangements are made via this pandemic-terror-platform.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 18 2020 16:01 utc | 252

Laughable when they don't know who Prof Brenner is and where b and some of us have "encountered" his essays.

Posted by: Yul | Apr 17 2020 18:20 utc | 62

Not at the Skull & Bones' annual retreat, surely =)

Posted by: Stumpy | Apr 18 2020 16:06 utc | 253

Trailer Trash | Apr 18 2020 14:36 utc | 237 (Masks req) In California it's a violation of the criminal law to weak a mask in public for the purposes of "evading cops"

I am vastly amused.

When matters can not go on as before, then they find new ways to go on. In such a process there are necessarily "singularities" of "exceptions", such as the illustrative bit about masks being both prohibited and required simultaneously. Cute!

Oh, "when things can not go on as before, then they find new ways to go on" is how one might define the reality of "revolution".

Some class of people are trying to curate the revolutionary moment and shape it as, inter alia, imprisoning the domestic populations, seizure of Chinese Treasury bonds, and making war on Chine? If so, there is a coup v revolution in the offing?

Posted by: Walter | Apr 18 2020 16:13 utc | 254

Brilliant video!!!! what he says applies to France as well, the gov has been boasting that it has asked the banks to facilitate credits to small companies!!! not that they even accept to do that, although they borrow from the European Central Bank at negative interests!
As I said, the only plan should be collectivist, as in let the volunteers help with assisting people at risk or in isolation...
But this is precisely what they seem to avoid at all cost, I ve got an idea why.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 18 2020 16:18 utc | 255

After 250+ comments of Trump this and Trump that I am surprised no one even mention his family. Shouldn't it be "Trump and family" or "the Trump regime"?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 18 2020 16:21 utc | 256

Peter AU1 @243

Why do think you just can just refer to other people as maggots just because they object to an article???


With regard to the Brenner article that you quote from:

If you accept that the US was trying to overthrow Assad AND was funding and supporting the jihadi's/rebels (which should now be apparent to all) then this Brenner article is nothing more than long-past-its-sell-by date disinformation (i.e. essentially propaganda). You seem to forget that the US was playing the role of "not being involved in the Syrian conflict" and being "kind-heartedly incompetent" in its "good intentions".

Brenner's piece essentially calls for a better strategy - this strategy (not stated) was most likely to have been overthrow Assad directly and confront Russia. I really doubt it was too hug Putin and Assad and decide to "all get along".


I looked at a number of articles by Brenner. He is not particularly prolific and not particularly well published. His style is to state/describe what he thinks is wrong but not to give much in the way of a conclusion or solution (except something vague) but it is obviously intended to move the reader in a particular direction (i.e. anti-democratic, militaristic, globalist, fascistic). Surely you noticed the "get the trains to run on time" vibe in the article b. published?

Your post just convinces me that Brenner's article should not really have been posted on this blog and left in well-deserved obscurity. And, if b. wants to publish articles by other authors, that there are many better to choose from.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 18 2020 16:32 utc | 257

Anyone considered the possibility that b posted this as a commentary on the ranting going on here? If so, he's spot on. Just a thought.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 18 2020 4:30 utc | 170

Now that you mention it, sir, yes.

I'll go deeper to suggest it was perhaps a "sponsored" post.

Posted by: Stumpy | Apr 18 2020 16:33 utc | 258

@ 193 b quote "wondering why there were so many first time commentators that fell into the above categories. Who has send them here?" i think it is as @ 253 likklemore notes - others are linking to your site and probably mentioning it in an unfavourable way.. thus all the first time commentators...

@213 blues.. don't go all paranoid because of this.. i suggest you follow those folks out into the deep woods for a nice walk, but without the mask!

@ 224 mao.. interesting.. thanks..

@ 235 mike.. thanks for the context... i recall this now and the pakistani guy is fb ali.. your comment gives this rant much more context..

@ 244 vk.. what is your native language then? i note you don't converse with others here, or respond to their requests very infrequently.. you made that post back @ 82 where i and oldhippie responded to almost immediately, but and are now responding to @ 159 really? today @ 244!

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2020 16:34 utc | 259

@ 259 adkc... peter calls some of them maggots.... one of the posts the guy referred to himself as a psychiatrist and medical doctor but he was unable to note that the article was written by brennar, not b!! now he may refer to himself as a psychiatrist ( the post has been deleted btw) but what would you refer to him as?? i wouldn't sweat it what peter says... peter is clearly cool with different viewpoints and i think it is fine for others to pan brenners article.. i think it is the tone of many of the 1 time posters towards b here where the word maggots is probably a good word choice..

@ 260 stumpy, re richards @170 comment - obviously.. look at all the traction the rant has gotten!! but apparently moa is going down, lol...

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2020 16:40 utc | 260

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Posted by: JC | Apr 18 2020 16:45 utc | 261

“More about that later, let's focus first on the growing body of evidence that the launch of Corona from Wuhan was not the result of eating rotten bats or an accident at the level 4 bio lab in Wuhan. Instead of recruiting fanatics to wear suicide bomb belts, the Chinese Government appears to had chosen to infect its own citizens and send them out to major population centers in the West. It was a conscious plan to infect and weaken the West."
Posted by: mike | Apr 18 2020 14:32 utc | 235

If you take the care to examine what the Chinese did, after analysing the virus, they concluded that it was a bioweapon and, following their bioweapons protocol, proceeded to take vigorous action to curb the virus and protect their population and, at the same time, allow the virus to escape to the West. That way they could see whether the West’s defensive actions would come into play. Logically, if you have biolabs in the US, Canada, Britain and Israel to develop bioweapons, you must also have vaccines and protective equipment (PPE, masks, ventilators, Hazmat-style suits, etc.) ready to come into play. Guess what, the West was always ready to attack but never suspected that the East would launch a counter-attack by simply letting the virus head westward.

Posted by: Albertde | Apr 18 2020 16:46 utc | 262

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Posted by: JC | Apr 18 2020 16:54 utc | 263

Likklemore @253

"It really does not matter where Brenner is funded."

Yes, it does matter who is funding journalists, professors, politicians, etc. Funding from groups such as those that fund Brenner is not only undermining free speech but your and my (our) basic freedoms and rights.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 18 2020 16:58 utc | 264

@ Posted by: james | Apr 18 2020 16:34 utc | 261

Well, what can I say? I have a life outside this blog, you know.

Posted by: vk | Apr 18 2020 17:00 utc | 265

I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this David Stockman article about coronavirus statistics in New York and the balance between the economic and health care reaction to this event.

Posted by: John | Apr 18 2020 17:07 utc | 266

Posted by: concerned | Apr 18 2020 15:40 utc | 248

The so-called left is apparently convinced of two things and thus we note they go along with this latest act of international terrorism and urge "shutdown": they are convinced that the "Empire" is an American construct. They are convinced that this controlled demolition of the Superpower will lead to a more just "multi-polar" order. This may explain the unsettling display of a new found affinity for estalishment organs as sources of (complete and factual) news, here and elsewhere.

That's a common rationale, whatever their real motivations.

Even the ones who aren't actively cheering on the government, banks and police won't say a word against this totalitarian campaign. I even still see "leftists" who continue with their usual don't-believe-the-propaganda, fight-the-system rhetoric, while their total silence about this propaganda and terror campaign on the part of the system is their loudest, most telling signal of all.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 18 2020 17:08 utc | 267

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 17 2020 15:11 utc | 18
Posted by: JC | Apr 17 2020 16:40 utc | 41

It surfaced for me search wise, no doubt initally due to the 2001 Anthrax letter attacks. There seemed to be a lot of not so visible regional activist groups concerned with the larger safety topic aroun animal related compounds, that I recall. In the end it led me to the now folded Sunshine Project.

2003 recin letters?

Posted by: moon | Apr 18 2020 17:10 utc | 268

@ 267 vk... i am sure that is true and of others too.. obviously some are more predisposed to posting as opposed to reading others comments directed at them too! for those of us wishing more social engagement, it is more challenging with posters posting, but being unwilling to field a response to questions posed... that is again what has happened here.. i have asked you what your native language is, but get no reply!! perhaps this is a bigger challenge for you since english is not your first language!

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2020 17:11 utc | 269

Peter AU1 243: A lot of maggots here knocking b for posting a Brenner piece.

Some of those "maggots" have a point.

What you've highlighted in the snippet that you provided is much less interesting than the claim that the US has no strategy in Syria. That's a propaganda narrative that has appeared from time to time and we know it to be false.

Soon after Brenner wrote the piece you linked to, we learned of the huge ISIS oil trade that USA allowed to occur. And then we learned that the Obama Administration made a "wilful decision" to allow the rise of ISIS. So there WAS a strategy. And it was to support the most ruthless terrorist organization yet.

Likklemore @253: It really does not matter where Brenner is funded.

What a load of nonsense. Of course it matters.

ADKC @259:

His style is to state/describe what he thinks is wrong but not to give much in the way of a conclusion or solution ...

What Brenner's doing is channeling discontent into partisan politics.

<> <> <> <> <> <>
It seems clear to me (and I think to others as well) that Brenner's clever pro-establishment narratives are no accident.

Why b chose to publish his rant is beyond me but perhaps it sheds light on why b is often so wrong about US politics.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 18 2020 17:29 utc | 270

As the Americans like to say: the chickens are coming home to roost.

A US governor accused Trump of encouraging 'domestic rebellion' after his 'LIBERATE' tweets were hailed by far-right extremists

What goes around, comes around: the old tactic of regime change the USA has been using against other nations for decades now is now being used on itself.

Posted by: vk | Apr 18 2020 17:31 utc | 271

at this point i think i have to skip reading vk posts, lol...

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2020 17:37 utc | 272

Likklemore | Apr 18 2020 15:59 utc | 253

“The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,” - Trump

Not sure about fraud, there are some smart people in this country, they can find appropriate ways to deter fraud.


On another note, Wisconsin, where I live, 2 days ago extended the stay at home until May 26, albeit with a loosening of some of the restrictions. I have not heard of other states doing that, has anyone else?

I got my $1200 check 2 days ago. Did others here as well? It has been 5 weeks since I applied for UI benefits, it is still on hold. Is anyone else having similar issues?

When I click on the link to subscribe to the MOA feed a window opens with the message "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below." Does anyone know what that means and/or how to fix it/make it work for me?

Posted by: David F | Apr 18 2020 17:54 utc | 273

"BTW, that in the current run up by the US to sue China for its own Coronavirus loses, especially economic ( which US would have had anyway, with or without Coronavirus, simply this offers the US a good alibi for its own default prognosiced already years ago by some...) other countreis suffering US inflicted damage through these years should take note and sue the US, starting with Vietnam, Philipines, Cuba, Chile, Argentina, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Angola, Venezuela, Russia, Afghanistan, Lybia, Irak, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Cambodia, Indonesia, Spain, Yemen, Ukraine, Haití, and the whole EU for GLADIO and ISIS terrorits operations...

Not to mention, damage inflicted on especially the EU by mismanagement and misinformation on the 2008 crisis ponzi scheme, which clearly started in the US as patient zero ( as most probably is that case of this Coronacrisis too...) and which was exported to the rest of the world, and the whole petrodolar system´s scam..."


America and its Coalition of the Killing allies (like the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, NATO, the European Union) are opening up a Pandora's Box that they will not be able to escape.

All the scores of nations that have been victimized by these America/Western wars of aggression or, better yet, Neoliberal/Free Market economic rape (aka the Washington Consensus) will have every moral right to sue America and other "Western-style democracies" for these crimes.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Serbia, Yemen, Somalia are all nations that should sue America and the West in general for committing the Supreme International Crime (as established by the Nuremberg Tribunal) of waging wars against peace.

Furthermore, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Russia, and China would have moral legitimacy to sue America and its "democratic" allies for the economic sanctions or regime change attempts that the United States and its crime partners have bankrolled, directed, sponsored, or inflicted on them.

Open the Pandora's Box, America.

Do it--please.

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 18 2020 18:01 utc | 274

Can the author or anyone else tell me of a time and place in history when we would have been better prepared? He uses one lame example of rosy the riveter as if where apples to apples instead of apples to oranges. In reality the vast majority of people only suffered from our response to the war in Europe, how is that different now? Yes we were able to eventually put vast resources into the war, would it actually be any different today? Would we have a hard time making implements of war? LOL I'm pretty sure that if we were attacked by a standing army who was threatening to invade, we could respond with a shit ton of weapons production in less time than then.

It's not our lack of action and lack of national purpose that's the problem with this crises, not even close, so I honestly don't see the point of this article. The truth is that we have been over-prepared mentally for something like this and because of that we were prepped for over-reaction. We have a government that people immediately listened to, there was no lack of control over the people, there was no lack of response in any area at all that I can see. In fact the damage I see being caused is mostly because of the over-reaction.

Posted by: Brad Smith | Apr 18 2020 18:03 utc | 275

Brad Smith | Apr 18 2020 18:03 utc | 277

"I'm pretty sure that if we were attacked by a standing army who was threatening to invade, we could respond with a shit ton of weapons production in less time than then."

How exactly do we ramp up a non-existent manufacturing base?

"The truth is that we have been over-prepared mentally for something like this and because of that we were prepped for over-reaction. We have a government that people immediately listened to, there was no lack of control over the people, there was no lack of response in any area at all that I can see."

I would respectfully suggest that you are not looking then. The public record of our governments reactions are available for any who would like to look. To summarise: it wont happen here. ok its starting to happen, but its not a big deal. ok, a little bigger deal than we thought, but it will only be a minor inconvenience, couple of weeks tops, we wont need to quarantine. Holy shit, we have a problem, who could have seen this coming? This is totally not my fault. If only the WHO would have told us sooner. ok, WHO told us, but its still not my fault. Its China's fault!

Posted by: David F | Apr 18 2020 18:13 utc | 276

Stonebird | Apr 17 2020 19:34 utc | 81

Something occurred to me yesterday afternoon.
Thinking about the Covid-19, it occurred to me that the governments of the UK, the USA, of Canada and probably many other countries, have had biological warfare labs and have all said to their people: “We HAVE to do this research because the USSR, the Russians The Chinese, The North Koreans, the Iranians or "the Terrorists" may use biological/chemical weapons against us, at any moment and WE MUST BE PREPARED!!. Had they been telling the truth, they should have been well prepared, as they have spent billions on this research. But, now we can see they were lying because, THERE WAS NO PREPARATION WHEN IT WAS NEEDED! Practically NONE AT ALL! Even the little kit that was in store had gone mouldy!
Come this epidemic and what do we see? What we see is that at least the UK government, the US government and the Canadian government were lying. It is quite clear that they were NOT expecting to be attacked. How do I know they were not expecting to be attacked? They had NO stores of hand sanitizer, NO stores of masks, NO goggles, NO stores of PPE, No factories for making any of these things. NO troops of Bio/Chem warfare soldiers ready to spring into action and NO PLANS, for dealing with such an attack, as far as I can see. Are we to assume that if they were attacked by, say, the Russians, they were going to rely on the Chinese to supply them?

The Chinese government which may or may not be developing biological weapons, (I have no way of knowing) obviously, was relatively well prepared. This is hardly surprising; as they think they have been under biological attack, on and off since the Korean war, when they certainly were so attacked. They had factories making the kit they needed and it took only days to ramp up production and get other factories to join in. They had thousands of medical troops who were trained and ready to take an important part in controlling the outbreak. They had plans that enabled them to build hospitals for mass intensive care in a matter of days and (I would imagine) plans to turn other structures into holding areas for less serious cases. It also looks as though they had either very versatile organizers or well laid plans for feeding and monitoring the health of people under lockdown. Since our governments were OBVIOUSLY lying to us about the threat, we have NO cause to believe anything else they tell us about this virus! Anything they say may or may not be true. Check EVERYTHING they or the msm say as best you can. Your life may depend on it. I would add that there are only two possible reasons (AFAICS) for engaging in biological warfare research, one is to learn how to and prepare to defend yourself and your country against a biological attack. The other is to learn how to MAKE and USE biological weapons. Since it is now quite clear that our governments had no interest in preparing to be attacked, the other motivation must be assumed to be what interested them! Their lack of preparation is a confession of guilt! Guilt of committing a crime against humanity!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 18 2020 18:42 utc | 277

vk | Apr 17 2020 19:40 utc | 82
Nursing homes not nursery homes.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 18 2020 18:49 utc | 278

@ Posted by: Brad Smith | Apr 18 2020 18:03 utc | 277

If this pandemic have happened anytime between George H. W. Bush and 2003, the USA would've easily fended it off. It would have put a small dent on the economy, nothing more.

Posted by: vk | Apr 18 2020 19:38 utc | 279

Ghost Ship | Apr 17 2020 21:47 utc | 121

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 18 2020 19:41 utc | 280

Someone linked to globalresearch on the question of hyped numbers
but in the presentation of the physician we are told that she is a member of the prolife movement and the president of some shooting association!? wtf!!!! even globalresearch? what is going on there?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 18 2020 21:02 utc | 281

Is this the rant thread ? Oh good
Couse here’s an even better one ! Beat this.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 18 2020 21:03 utc | 282

@ 284.. mark2.. now that is a good rant!

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2020 21:19 utc | 283

fairleft | Apr 18 2020 0:17 utc | 148

This suggests that the virus has been circulating in the US for much longer than supposed.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 18 2020 21:38 utc | 284

Glagaire | Apr 18 2020 1:14 utc | 152

We all have our own interests. Personally I found the series of articles and discussion of Boeing very interesting and enlightening. I would have been very sorry to miss it.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 18 2020 22:11 utc | 285

Rib20@ 216,

Thanks for posting link to that scientific paper showing a 7-fold lower mortality rate from Covid19 in countries with widespread hydroxychloroqine and azithromycin (zinc as well) use.

Michael Brenner repeats the MSM and Democratic Party leaders screams at Trump for being unscientific and deranged to suggest publicly that hydroxychloroquine might be a big help. Maybe a 7-fold reduction in death rates is not big enough for them?

Brenner and the rest have Trump Derangement Syndrome. If Trump said eat your veggies they’d probably stop.

Why do they react like this? Ask yourselves. Trump despite his bellicose statements and war crime killing of Soleimani and colleagues - has actually wound back the wars. Is that why? He’s not a full puppet, but a maverick businessman with some non-globalist ideas that threaten a military-industrial-media-financial complex.

Posted by: PJB | Apr 19 2020 1:10 utc | 286

As rants go, this is one of the better ones. It is extremely well written and right on point. To those who suggest that Trump is dealing with the crisis as best he can, I can only agree. The problem is that Trump's "best" is miles below what is required of a president at this historical moment. He is simply not equipped intellectually or emotionally for the task at hand. Biden does not inspire confidence either, but if elected, at least his handlers will try to find competent people to run the executive branch. Long term, the U.S. is screwed regardless of which party is in power.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 19 2020 1:52 utc | 287

Trailer Trash #237

I see it as an opportunity to defeat public facial recognition systems. I speculate that is a reason dear leaders were telling us not to wear masks. Last week wearing a mask in public was a crime against state surveillance. This week not wearing a mask is a crime against public health.

When the health crisis ends it will once again become a crime to wear a mask in public, but by then it will be a habit and difficult to change back to the old ways.

If you wear a mask when out and never carry a phone, the ptb will never know where you are. Here is an opportunity to really drive them mad:.. be a phone walker (like a dog walker) and carry a backpack full of other people's phones and they will think you are having an illegal meeting of more than two people. Take your friends mobiles for a drive while they go to a shop.

Go ou

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2020 2:51 utc | 288

uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2020 2:51 utc | 290

"Here is an opportunity to really drive them mad:.. be a phone walker (like a dog walker) and carry a backpack full of other people's phones ..."

That is hilarious!

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 3:58 utc | 289

Here's an interesting take on the statistics starting from randomised trials of the population to find out how much CV-19 is about. I wonder if its been lurking around in the general population for years.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Apr 19 2020 13:45 utc | 290

@uncle tungsten #290
That's not actually strictly true.
If you live in an urban area, there are more than enough cameras to track you by the clothing you wear. There's also height, skin color, walking gait, dog type, etc.

As for the phone idea: sounds good until you realize you have just made yourself an nCOV bridge for all your friends.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 19:15 utc | 291

Rants are intellectually lazy. This is a minor aside, but what’s his beef with urban planning and design. What makes him think that Austin or the local university have the time or resources to give attention to creating an excellent street. And excellent streets are important for our society and our souls. Ask Parisians or the Dutch, we have so few in America. The places we create and inhabit make qualitative impacts on our lives and our worldviews. No time for a dissertation; suffice to go say that one who can’t be bothered with creating great cities at the scale of a street shouldn’t be trusted to craft a better world. The street is society, is the world. Will it have 5g surveillance cameras and facial recognition scanners or great coffee shops, parks, and plazas? Will it have Interesting people with a degree of leisure or people dashing to their next destination. Maybe Parisians and the Dutch Have better cultures because they value their cities and those cities create better people. What if billions were devoted to creating the best possible places for us to live in, to optimize health, happiness, and joy? I’d rather have that than an imperial fleet. End of my rant.

Posted by: PeaceHawk | Apr 21 2020 14:45 utc | 292

Of note should be who is slipped in to take The Presidency when Biden is declared unfit due to Health Reasons (kindly put) That is who one should be watching for signs of. Likely; it will be a last minute "dark horse" or a Cabal nasty. Watch carefully.

Monitor also the movement of "the players" positioning themselves in gov't as clues to the worldview of the Insert President.

Posted by: Michele Baillie | Apr 22 2020 20:29 utc | 293

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