Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 05, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-27

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Failure of government reports are now a genre:

The long delay in the U.S. reaction has led to a urgent need for personal protection equipment. The result is a new 'wild west' where stealing and cheating to get PPE is the new norm:

This makes sense.

Bill Gates is setting up factories to manufacture 7 leading vaccine candidates before we know which is best & safest; we can test the vaccines in parallel, and then throw away all but the factory for the best vaccine. May save many months.
Just extraordinary.

Bill Gates has major experience with viruses since Windows 3.1. But joking aside. The production processes for different types of vaccines vary widely and it usually takes at least six month to get from a fully tested vaccine to the launch of mass production.

Tone deafness:

@EsperDoD @EsperDoD - 16:09 UTC 4 Apr 2020
Modernizing our strategic nuclear forces is a top priority for the @DeptofDefense and the @POTUS to protect the American people and our allies.
Kingston Reif @KingstonAReif - 18:29 UTC - Apr 4 2020
As a pandemic ravages the nation, a sad illustration of wildly misplaced priorities.
Initial FY 2021 budget requests for:
Nuclear weapons ($44.5 billion, +19% over FY 2020)
CDC ($5.5 billion, -18.6%)
NIH ($38.7 billion, -7%)
DoD CTR bio threat reduction (127.4 million, -37%)

Other issues:

In March I wrote a piece about toilet seats with a bum shower which are much better than using dead trees to clean ones ass: On Toilet Paper. Three weeks later the New York Times publishes an op-ed that makes the same argument: Stop Using Toilet Paper Why are we hoarding it when experts agree that rinsing with water is more sanitary and environmentally sound?

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on April 5, 2020 at 14:28 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

james @197

True, and young people in China are horrified by tales of rural fossil "Southerners" eating things like cats. Shenzhen just outlawed eating cats, but that was easy to do as it is really not something police are likely to have to enforce very often. People there eating cats is about as common as people in New York City eating pigeons or rats. Outlawing things that people are not doing anyway is just public relations.

But VK is right in one regard. Much of the population of China has gone from small village life to super modern city living in a single generation. Some older folks still have "strange" ideas about things that are not necessarily compatible with modern urban life. Unfortunately there is also a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater in a headlong rush into the future, so there is a movement afoot among young people in China to rediscover slow-paced village life. Some effort is being put into preserving folkways, though eating dogs and cats is not among those folkways.

As for the powdered ingredients, those are for traditional Chinese medicine, not food, though you doubtless already knew that. You don't find that stuff in a wet market but rather in an apothecary. It is disappointing that people are confusing these things. Granted, that is due in part to deliberate disinformation in the corporate mass media, but many smart people seem over-eager to allow themselves to be misled.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 6 2020 17:31 utc | 201

@Vasco da Gama #102
You're comparing Sweden vs. the 4 countries that have run the most tests. Compare Sweden with the rest of Europe; Sweden is running about the same number of tests but has significantly lower mortality so far.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 6 2020 17:55 utc | 202

bemildred @ 171

Thank you for posting Alistair Crooke's piece relating the current crisis to Dostoievski's The Grand Inquisitor. I'll just note that he rather broad-brushes the incident in Seville which has unsettled both the subservient population and the Inquisitor himself - it is the appearance in the midst of the crowds observing the auto de fe, of Christ, who proceeds as he has been recorded in the four Gospels, healing the sick and giving comfort to the people - for which he is again thrown into prison. It is Christ who is being addressed thereafter in the story by the Inquisitor and finally being told to leave, never to return. Which, after kissing the old man on the cheek, he does. The story is being narrated by the athiest brother Ivan to the believing brother Alyosha, who after attempting to disagree, leaves, but not before kissing Ivan on the check. And there is much more to come.

I will just add a further poem, in answer to Crooke's final question: "Will the system...notice that the world doesn't believe in it any longer...?"

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

-Kitty O'Meara

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6 2020 17:56 utc | 203

acar burak | Apr 6 2020 17:32 utc | 205

I didn't claim a monopoly on the truth, nor do I think such a thing exists. I did provide some concrete, proven examples where a minority of so called "experts" were wrong. His post was an example of one of a few dozen, at most, "experts" gainsaying the thousands of other experts.

While we might not know every particular aspect of this pandemic, we do now that it is a highly contagious pandemic, and failing to stop its spread will be calamitous. Trying to convince people otherwise is foolish and dangerous. Is that not obvious by now? See b's new post today, now that the experts have begun to gather more information, they are saying that it almost certainly worse than previously thought. It is far past time for those idiots to STFU.

Posted by: David F | Apr 6 2020 17:58 utc | 204

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6 2020 17:56 utc | 207

Well. Thank you for that.

A small offering in return:

This Poem

is for the quiet, uncelebrated
things of the world --
the road to no familiar place,
love's skill on a troubled night,
the unpublished poem and the lost song,
the way of the wild drake,
and night's festival of sound;
for body's silent defeat of disease,
and mysteries that hold their secrets.
For multitudes of creatures and created
things clothed in the graceful sanctity
of their rightful natures.

-- Joseph Harris

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 6 2020 18:09 utc | 205

Strange how any mention of Chinese dietary habits is followed by a string of apologists. I've seen wet markets with dogs and cats in filthy cages waiting to be cut up on the spot. I don't recall seeing any pangolins but I've watched live snakes being bled into cups while customers wait. Sure the traditional apothecaries stock mostly powdered items but that stuff comes from somewhere. Rhinos and tigers are poached in Africa and India to satisfy a demand. And james is right about bears in Canada being hunted for paws and gall bladders.

Some people excuse it because it's 'traditional'. I don't. And neither do my Chinese friends.

Posted by: dh | Apr 6 2020 18:15 utc | 206

juliania | Apr 6 2020 17:56 utc | 207 The Poem is beautiful. It conjures one true manifestation. However there are similar manifestations as well. Such as the manifestations described, also romantically, by Steinbeck's The Moon Is Down".

The forthcoming Reality may be expected to host all manifestation of revolt. 'tis a pity.

The "Christ" for our times was Martin King, I note from Chris Hedges or Bill Pepper ...unsure which. And all remember John warning at American University (?) about "those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable..."

These are the same gang, trying to stop time. Of course they'll fail (as Bemilderd expects) Wally expect it too, as the metaphysics of conflict makes revolution necessary to life.

I like Fidel's stuff on this, think about who lies...

check it out

"With the Truth as a Weapon and a Shield" @ granma cu

"...Arriving in Havana, January 8, 1959, in Ciudad Libertad, he made clear what the truth meant: "Deceiving the people, promoting false hopes, will always bring the worst consequences, and I believe that the people must be warned of excessive optimism.
"How did the Rebel Army win the war? Telling the truth. How did the dictatorship lose the war? Deceiving soldiers."

Mutiny on Bounty, yes. Incompetent officers and the petty officers meet as soviets. Next thang ya know ya git > Russian cruiser Aurora

Russian Revolution began in navy? Well, some say. Key anyhow.

As Szilard pointed out, USSR and USA were twins. One twin is dead...and the other is...?

SecDef is utter idiot.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 18:15 utc | 207

@Leser #158
It is true that testing has ramped up, but that's only one part of the equation.
The actual nCOV lifecycle is at least 1 week, more like 4-6 weeks for the worst cases: 2-7 days to show symptoms, pneumonia possible from day 5 to 10+, some percentage of pneumonia patients require serious hospital care because they progress to non-cardiopathic edema and sepsis.
Then we have the spread time. Doubling rate according to Osterholm is 4 days - so it takes 20 cycles (x4 days each) to go from 1 to say 500K infected.
So let's game this out:
Day 1: a patient zero arrives in a new zone. Note that for a big city like New York, it is likely there were multiple starting points.
Day 5: patient 0 gives it to one other person.

fast forward to day 68:
By now there are 65536 infected.

50% are asymptomatic, so there are 32768 with symptoms (virusemia). The latest, largest group (1/2) will show symptoms around day 70 to day 75.

1 in 5 of those will progress to serious (pneumonia) = 6553 = most on days 73-78.

Roughly 1 in 7 of these will go really serious = 983

Of these 983, betweeen 25% and 50% will die = 393 which occurs mostly between days 73 and 100.

So you can see from this that even a doubling time of 4 days would take 2-3 months to show up as nCOV mortality. The unfortunate people that have died in New York in the past week were infected at least in February - and it could have been January.

Note also the doubling above is very simplistic. In the real world, every person in New York doesn't meet/know every other person in New York. Spreads must be occurring in spurts according to social circles and a lower, but more steady spread from incidental contact. Or it could be super fast because of a super spreader: someone who is coughing and going around to all the Broadway shows, concerts and sports events, for example. Or who is asymptomatic and shakes a lot of hands.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 6 2020 18:16 utc | 208

@jared #180
You said

I imagine that all reasonable approaches to economic control have same core objective - to make the entity strong.

Really? I disagree. History is filled with mostly selfish rulers whose prerogative is personal enrichment and power as opposed to societal improvement.
For every modern Communist China and Meiji Japan, we have entire continents arguing the opposite: Africa, South America, Central America, Middle East, India.
Even the United States - arguably its prosperity today is more a result of Europe destroying itself (and indebting itself to the US) in World War 1 and 2 rather than anything particular economic enlightenment, and that much of the "prosperity" since then is due to outright economic feudalism on the rest of the world.
The many crashes and panics prior to the Great Depression also make it clear that that eponymous disaster wasn't an exception.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 6 2020 18:22 utc | 209

Walter @ 209, thank you.

On that 'those who make revolution impossible', I think the Dostoievskian argument would be, (much as he points to the problem in "The Demons") that they cannot. And revolutions can occur in quiet ways, such as the miraculously quiet transition between Yeltsin and Putin. I would point to that one as the most successful revolution in our present day history.

They can also occur, as I think has happened in unpleasantly quiet ways - take for example the global shift of power from democracy to oligarchy. The latter menace has crept in like a virus we didn't notice until it was well entrenched.

There's more than one way to skin a cat. [Oy, how did that creep in -- ugh!]

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6 2020 18:53 utc | 210

Sorry, left out the "peaceful" part; example still holds.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6 2020 18:57 utc | 211

Thanks to Bemildred for linking to the excellent Crooke essay, perhaps the best I've read by him. Lazare's piece on Capt. Crozier's firing was also well done and echoed the points made here over the weekend--the Outlaw US Empire's military is essentially useless as envisioned by tacticians using mostly debilitating gas attacks in rear and other areas of concentration--try doing anything combat related in an NBC suit.

In addition, I highly suggest this philosophical undertaking by Pepe Escobar into who should've become the Light of the West instead of Plato and Aristotle--Heraclites. Wrap all three with the Financial Times item b dug into, and we have an excellent critique of the malaise afflicting humanity. I submit to the bar what I believe to be the beginning Revolutionary Act--the making of masks by those marooned at their homes to collectively help solve the crisis in a manner TrumpCo and the Duopoly scorned. People are beginning to realize perhaps for the very first time in decades that they are ultimately their own masters and designers of the resilience required for their survival and that government should only serve as a tool toward that end and have no more power than that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 6 2020 19:05 utc | 212

uncle tungsten @ 160

Sure Iʻm not happy either but Iʻll wait for an explanation. The Biden issue does not undo all the anti-war awareness raising that Gabbard, and pretty much Gabbard alone, achieved over the past year. The Dem primary was a clear and obvious sham from the very beginning and the so-called progressives who stay in that party are simply useful idiots at this point.

Posted by: sad canuck | Apr 6 2020 19:06 utc | 213

Sorry, james @ 54, I was not ignoring your post! Just the press of time and I hadn't finished looking at the first page - so here your question to me with an attempt at an answer:

"... i am curious juliania how you view the usa's attitude here with covid 19 towards iran, cuba, and venezuala? do you think the usa is acting in any way other then really ignoble?? i'm curious.. thanks..."

I don't think I differ from any sane, sympathetic person in abhorring that attitude, as with the military anachronisms of scrambled eggs generals who could't see the peaceful but parched forest needing rain in their enthusiasm for that nifty barbecue shock and awe. (Note to said generals: that didn't turn out to be anything but a really stupid thing to do, and we told you that right before you did it. Did you realize that then? No, and you don't realize it now. Go home and kiss your grandchildren now, before they grow up and figure out what you have done.)

I did catch somewhere (was it a sparrow tweet?) that some softening with respect to stomping heavily on Iran's ever increasing sanction rampings might possibly but we don't know when occur... sorry, too late for your moment in history as shining knights protecting the nation. That dog won't hunt.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6 2020 19:13 utc | 214

Well, covid I forgot - general, give your grandchildren a virtual kiss, safer that for now.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6 2020 19:18 utc | 215

Evidently, the Western MSM is attacking the wet markets because they are the most visible element. But the underlying culture is the same: an ancient peasant religion that transmuted into obscure medicinal and nutritional practices.

I agree that, as long as demand for fresh food continues to exist, something akin wet markets will continue to exist. It is very unlikely wet markets will completely cease to exist in China: most likely they will transmute into farmers' market, as they exist in many capitalist countries today.

That is not the ideal socialist food distribution, though. The ideal socialist mode of production would extinguish the farmer/peasant class and use only collective farms, which would be the most automated possible. Of course that this system would require a logistic infrastructure that doesn't exist today.

Posted by: vk | Apr 6 2020 19:19 utc | 216

Yes Juliana, peaceful is best.

However the Putin to Power process may have been permitted because "they" expected him according to their own delusions about soviet state to be corrupt. They got Mr Hardball KGB Officer Law professor SoB instead...if symbolism counts, the monks at Mt Athos see him as Byzantine Emperor - seated him in the throne-chair, as I recall. One hellofan opponent for fataz fools, eh?

I also observe that in a global arena, or even the (large and armed and also heterogeneously populated)"CONUS" space), it is not realistic to expect an entirely pacific revolution alone. Especially considering the desperation of the ruling gangs. Yet we have yet to see. If, one might speculate as Phillip K Dick might have, the navy mutinied, well, they'd have the ability to coerce the cowards...would they not?

My Quaker light says "speak truth to shame the devil". Though one Quaker great grandfather was a prisoner at Libby Prison, and others also went past merely speaking truth, but acted on it in "illegal" ways. Smuggling Negro escapees to Canada over the Ohio River. They'd a been lynched if they'd a been caught, unless they won the gun fight.

Like Marx sez, it's situational.

The metaphysics strongly favors the principle that violence creates violence of unpredictable nature in resonance over time, damping according to circumstance.

Similarly it favors pacific methods creating pacific forms and dynamic stability. This is best for ladies and children, and a good life.

Only the suicidal would take violence as a first alternative. Yet it is useful, as we see now, because their violence as first alternative exposes them for what and who they are.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 19:26 utc | 217

@219 "Evidently, the Western MSM is attacking the wet markets because they are the most visible element."

It is a plausible theory. The only alternative is bio-weapons labs and that is hardly likely to even get mentioned in the Western MSM.

Posted by: dh | Apr 6 2020 19:29 utc | 218

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Taken to Intensive Care:


Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 6 2020 19:33 utc | 219

@c1ue at 210:

I'm taking my data from - that page contains the most complete and best-resourced timeline of the matter I've found so far, updated daily.

The last data from there says 0.1% mortality (China), R0 infection rate factor of 2.0 (Science magazine) - both slightly below the common flu.
The total mortality in Italy (all deaths from any cause) per March was still not elevated over prior year averages. That means, so far not more people have died in Italy up to now than you'd have expected to. If so many lives have been taken by Covid, an equal amount of other lives must have been miraculously saved! Extraordinary.
Also this site contains very interesting background to put particular propaganda effects into context. Remember the famous army truck column moving the mountain of bodies in Bergamo? The above site has this report from Bergamo: cremations are rate in Italy (burials preferred in this Catholic country), so the capacity of local crematories is small. Then the gov't ruled that all "Covid deaths" (and that contains anybody testing positive for the virus, regardless of cause of death) MUST be cremated. That of course immediately overwhelmed the few small facilities. Now, the cremation businesses, whipped into a panic about the "killer virus" refused to accept the bodies. The army moved in and the photos were blasted around the planet.
Lots more such illuminating detail, I recommend everybody spend half an hour of their lives and read this timeline.

Posted by: Leser | Apr 6 2020 19:38 utc | 220

Re: gm | Apr 6 2020 16:32 utc | 194


Just as I had suspected, US sailors from the USS Roosevelt DID INDEED go on shore leave during the Da Nang port call in late February-early March.

Daily Mail

"Officials say they are still working to trace the origins of the outbreak on the ship and have not positively determined whether it began in Vietnam.

Data from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health suggests that the number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam doubled during the five days the Roosevelt was docked at Tien Sa port in Da Nang.

But sailors were largely unfazed by the virus as they went on shore leave in Da Nang, even as the number of cases across the world skyrocketed. "

Posted by: gm | Apr 6 2020 19:38 utc | 221

H Schmatz @ 55

Oh, so sorry for sounding so unsympathetic - you are correct of course! There's only so much any person can stand, and I am better off than many. My youngest son has just returned from being homeless for more than a year - there are so many out there still. And yes, crowded apartment buildings with no garden...I have lived that way in earlier days. How these can cope with the added stress of virus is a different matter entirely. It cannot be borne, and the virus preys upon these. There's a prayer in my church liturgy that goes "For the sick and the suffering, for captives and their salvation, and for the homeless and the destitute, let us pray to the Lord" --(at least that is the version I use at present), and the response is "Lord, have mercy on us."

I didn't mean to sound heartless. I am not a rich person, but I am sorry to sound so unfeeling. I was simply trying to counter the negativity that sometimes prevails. As you say:

"...The limit in the lockdown will be in the limit at which previously healthy people start getting a poor health because of it. Once the health system starts to not being overwhelmed by a huge affluence of cases, a progressive opening of normal life, starting with at least one hour out to exercise a bit should be allowed, othewise the people will start revolting..."

I agree. And everyone should have a garden, even a small one like mine!

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6 2020 19:39 utc | 222

@: juliania | Apr 6 2020 18:53 utc | 212

" The latter menace has crept in like a virus we didn't notice until it was well entrenched."

Well, in 1962 during the Crises in the Carib mother and dad explained how, in the 1940's, they studied Communism and Marx, joined and left the CPUSA, and concluded that the "US would go fascist". (Wally was if not red-diaper, at least pink.) Pop even got out his gun and cleaned out the grease. Something I have never seen. Both parents were Quaker-bred pacifists.

They saw John Boy as the last antifascist Prez. Bang. Incredibly dumb. That act created this moment as surely as dropping the hammer.

Bluntly, I agree, Revolution cannot be prevented. Revolution is a basic principle in the "realpolitik" of all living creatures, and especially dramatic in man.

Some people noticed the creeping virus.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 19:42 utc | 223

Boris being taken to the ICU is rather interesting, I'm pretty sure he cant continue to be the PM if he is in the ICU. He'll have to transfer his powers (temporarily) to Dominic Raab. Also doubt Boris seriously considered that he might end up one of the seriously ill when he originally put forth his herd immunity plan or floated his NHS "reforms", can't help but think of the old saying "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry".

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 6 2020 19:45 utc | 224

Kadath | Apr 6 2020 19:45 utc | 227 Dear Boris....self-sacrifice for Queens n Country. How noble. But you say "Plan"...and perhaps that's the Plan Skripal knew?

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” h{Boris] said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 19:50 utc | 225

Post on Wikipedia as definition of irony:

"People are dying. When you have intentional, cold-blooded, premeditated action like you have with China, this would be considered first-degree murder,"

This is in regard to claim that China is interfering with shipment of needed medical supplies.

Posted by: jared | Apr 6 2020 19:51 utc | 226

Bemildred @ 177
gm @ 194

State's pompeo is directly responsible for Crozier and shipmates becoming infected if this is correct: State Department gives approval for all port visits. Approval for this particular military “cultural exchange” occurred after all other US navy ships in IndoPacific region were ordered to quarantine after making portstop.

“. . .The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam on March 4 for a five-day visit. . . .

“According to a March 12 press release from the US Indo-Pacific Command, “sailors from both ships participated in cultural exchanges and community service projects, including making crafts, playing sports, a language exchange, gardening, and painting” at a variety of locations. . .

“By the time of the Theodore Roosevelt’s port call, the US Navy – and the whole world – was aware of how the virus could wreak havoc on a crowded ship. . .  

“Only one conclusion can be drawn: the State Department, which has to approve port visits by US warships, and the Pentagon, knew they were exposing the Theodore Roosevelt to danger.
By February 14, well before the carrier arrived in Vietnam, the Navy ordered all ships in the Indo-Pacific region that had made port calls to quarantine at sea for at least 14 days . . .”

Posted by: susan | Apr 6 2020 20:01 utc | 227

This could be the cue for A National Government- the alliance of Blairites and Tories that has been inevitable for about 15 years. Imagine Starmer as Home Secretary or Deputy PM.
Why inevitable? Because absent any sort of socialist reformism the only difference between the Blairite majority of the PLP and the Tories is personal- who gets the jobs. And in a time of crisis they coalesce to defend themselves, their oligarchical sponsors and the class system.
That crisis has arrived. If BJ is out of commission you can start the countdown to the British Grand Coalition.
With luck, as happened the last time in 1931, when the Labour Government coalesced with the Tories (at George V's suggestion) to save the system and the City, the socialists will expel the traitors from the Party.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 6 2020 20:05 utc | 228

231 is a reply to @229

Posted by: bevin | Apr 6 2020 20:07 utc | 229

susan, your> "“Only one conclusion can be drawn: the State Department, which has to approve port visits by US warships, and the Pentagon, knew they were exposing the Theodore Roosevelt to danger." is or seems to be incorrect.

The alternative conclusion? The crew was the infecting agent. Used to infect Vietnam.

Logic seems to work equally well in both directions.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 20:12 utc | 230

@230 One wonders if the 'cultural exchanges' included visits to girly bars?

Posted by: dh | Apr 6 2020 20:17 utc | 231

For French speakers and old movies lovers

Posted by: Mina | Apr 6 2020 20:19 utc | 232

Chomsky on the cv crisis and much more, on Diem channel
not sure if it has been posted here before

Posted by: Mina | Apr 6 2020 20:22 utc | 233

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 20:12 utc | 233

I think you have it right Walter !!

Now if Pompeo came out and said "That's preposterous", then I would be 100% certain that that is what happened.

"Secretary Pompeo, can we get your comment?"

Posted by: Tom_LX | Apr 6 2020 20:28 utc | 234

@Leser #223
I'm not really sure what you're trying to say.
Are you trying to say that because 3% or less of Italians are infected by nCOV - and that 16,500 have died, that this isn't significant because their monthly mortality rate (from all causes) is typically 8,823?
If so, then you're failing to take into account that nCOV confirmed cases are only 0.218% of the population of Italy - which is to say, you wouldn't see a national level increase of overall mortality unless nCOV infection rates go well above 10%.
It would also assume that the overflowing hospital stories are all fake.
It woud seem that the burden of proof is stacked against the notion that nCOV isn't a big deal.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 6 2020 20:39 utc | 235

@211 #180 Posted by: c1ue | Apr 6 2020 18:22 utc | 211

"History is filled with mostly selfish rulers whose prerogative is personal enrichment and power as opposed to societal improvement."

Agreed. Economics is discussed in some mix of two contexts: How things should be and the study of what they are and why.

A good system would account for human behavior including things recently learned and include a mechanism of self correction. There is a simplied system for analyzing complex systems and creating and algorith for optimization which helps to eliminate the subjective and bias - something by a guy Deming I think.

Posted by: jared | Apr 6 2020 20:57 utc | 236

Posted by: susan | Apr 6 2020 20:01 utc | 230

Yes, that fleshes it out, doesn't it?

I have to agree with Walter, could go either way, as far as intentions, but either way it explains the fury at exposure. I can see these guys not seeing the risk, and doing it intentionally if they did. Very good at denial, very subservient to Trump.

I think we've been making nice to Vietnam for some time as part of the anti-China effort, which would weigh against the "intentionally".

I know the Navy has stopped reporting of shipboard infections too. Given the extent we rely on moving ships around to make threats having them out of action is no doubt upsetting for them too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 6 2020 20:58 utc | 237

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 20:12 utc | 233

Linh Dinh in Hugging China piece gm put up seems to indicate Corona was already an issue in Vietnam Feb. 19, had to read it again, so I dunno, I'd like more info on what was in their little heads. Either way it looks bad.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 6 2020 21:06 utc | 238

Bemildred | Apr 6 2020 20:58 utc | 240 (being nice to VN)

I have the idea too, that us is being nice...but I am a cynic. don't believe it until it is denied. (I F Stone, I think). I suspect our beliefs are curated by subtle propaganda.

Another thesis is simply TDC (they doan care) Pomperz and gang are actually bigots too, as opposed to the meaningless term "racist".

In re Vietnam.

"April 1975 marks the official end of the Vietnam War.

Yet today, almost 44 year later Vietnam is an impoverished country. The Hanoi government is a US proxy regime. Vietnam has become a new cheap labor frontier of the global economy. Neoliberalism prevails."

see> "Vietnam War Started 55 Years Ago: Neoliberalism and “The Vietnam Model”. Who Won the Vietnam War?"

he makes telling points.

"Vietnam never received war reparations payments from the U.S. for the massive loss of life and destruction, yet an agreement reached in Paris in 1993 required Hanoi to recognize the debts of the defunct Saigon regime of General Thieu. This agreement is in many regards tantamount to obliging Vietnam to compensate Washington for the costs of war.

Moreover, the adoption of sweeping macro-economic reforms under the supervision of the Bretton Woods institutions was also a condition for the lifting of the U.S. embargo. These free market reforms now constitute the Communist Party’s official doctrine..."

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 21:14 utc | 239

@ Posted by: susan | Apr 6 2020 20:01 utc | 230

That's astounding Susan. Some discrepancy(deliberate fudging by Navy?) on the exact dates/period reported for the Da Nang port call by USS Roosevelt however.

The Stars and Stripes story I linked @194, dated (Wednesday) March 4, stated the US carrier steamed (past tense) into Da Nang port on (the previous) Thursday, which would make the arrival date as Feb 27, whereas the the press release from the US Indo-Pacific Command that you found states that the US ships arrive at Da Nang port 6 days later, on March 4.

Not sure if the discrepancy in arrival dates matters. Just pointing out it out.

Posted by: gm | Apr 6 2020 21:17 utc | 240

"History is filled with mostly selfish rulers whose prerogative is personal enrichment and power as opposed to societal improvement."

Those 'rulers' forming classes. And the'..personal enrichment and power..'involving the exploitation of labourers and the expropriation of any value they produced beyond the minimum necessary to ensure that they could continue to labour and produce the succeeding generation to labour in their turn.
Do you ever get the feeling that we are re-inventing the wheel?

Posted by: bevin | Apr 6 2020 21:21 utc | 241

About portcall vietnam. You know "The Sand Pebbles" (book an movie)? The book is pretty ugly, and true. My stepdad's dad commanded a small riverain USN ship in Chine, and step-dad's first tongue was Chinese. I heard at table some of the old fella's stories. Book is a true thing.

port calls were politely termed "biologicals". Auction off a virgin...ordinary.

Exogamic Events would describe it as well.

It's all about the biology, the "Gattungswesen" of young men cooped up.

Ask a slightly drunken navy vet...more thanya wanna hear.

Let's say that was "intimate contact" and plenty of it.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 21:25 utc | 242

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 21:14 utc | 242

You can't be too cynical. I'm a fan of the I. F. Stone quote too.

I think the thing is if they are not subservient, then we are not "nice". Like Iraq now. We've been trying to put together an anti-China coalition for some time and not getting far, so I thought the gesture might have been seen as serving that purpose, I couldn't speak for how the Vietnamese might see it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 6 2020 21:31 utc | 243

RE:Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 20:12 utc | 233

Right you are.

Furthermore, if you look at the beginning segment that first YT [Beautiful Vietnam Barber gives more than a Hair Cut] submitted by the Aussie guy on March 7, on the "DaNang hair cut" YT search hit list @194 , you will see maybe 30-40% of the passers-by and motorbike riders in that street scene are already wearing face masks.

That tells me that average Viet public had already been well informed of the pandemic risks by THEIR govmt.

Posted by: gm | Apr 6 2020 21:40 utc | 244

@244 #239 Posted by: bevin | Apr 6 2020 21:21 utc | 244

Personally, I think we have not yet begun to have a serious discussion.

Currently, the "brightest minds" are trying to prop-up the shit storm that they have created. What they have as science is labeling things in terms that are ambiguous and hide their real intent - to continue domination of the working class and protecting the rich. And now (since its creation really) the FED has a military arm which can destroy any alternative. The only thing we have working for us is that things are getting pretty bad and it shows.

The whole thing of labeling is an unconstructive distraction.

Posted by: jared | Apr 6 2020 21:43 utc | 245

Erdo seizes opportunity to attack Heftar in Libya, knowing it will be hard for him to shell Tripoli in the current circumstances

Posted by: Mina | Apr 6 2020 21:45 utc | 246

It is not a pedantic exercise.
The country that can develop a workable economic system will rule the world - so lets hope is not just one.

Posted by: jared | Apr 6 2020 21:46 utc | 247

Correction: my comment @247 was in reply to Bemildred | Apr 6 2020 21:06 utc | 241

Posted by: gm | Apr 6 2020 21:51 utc | 248

Mao #166

Fascinating. I never watch infowars but thanks for that post. I am reminded of an old logo - amended for our times. What if they made a virus and nobody came.

In the latest thread for April 7 there are reports of US hospitals laying off their work force as none are required other than people for virus management. Odd. I would have thought there would be higher compartmentalisation in modern hospitals but it seems like lunacy has erupted further in the USA. If that were possible.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 6 2020 22:02 utc | 249

Report on China's economic recovery suggested by Pepe Escobar. (Do read his piece about Heraclitus and the West I linked above.) Pepe also provides the following excerpt from a Facebook source on his page:

"After winning the fight with COVID-19, China can now turn her attention to reviving her economy, to pick up her dashing speed from before. I am not saying this out of blind faith but from my experience of all the major transformation issues of China since 1990 and before that through 100 years of my family elders being in the thick of it all on both the KMT side and the CPC side.
Being highly educated in the west and in technology development, I have also a ring-side seat in the west. Therefore I have more than anyone I have met, the blessing of cold hard rational comparisons.

"Plan125, 2011-2015 is consistently absent from the vision of western intellectuals, and even China experts. Yet to an informed observer, to ever mid-level official in China and to every entrepreneur in China, this was the most dramatic about-face, or 180° restructuring. Focusing on 7 major sectors of science and technology. One half of one of the 7, 'New electrical transportation' was the high-speed trains. This is visible for everyone in the world. Within 5 years, China developed 2/3rd of the world's high-speed trains, surpassing the mileage accumulation of Japan's Shinkansen [bullet trains]. What this ubiquitous system speeded up life in China by 3 times.

"Area = π r². For all functioning Chinese operatives, suddenly they can travel at over 3 time previous speed. So Area before was 3.14x1x1 =3.14 Now the 1 speed becomes 3, the Area now =3.14x3x3 = 28.26. Well the area that a human can cover went from 3.14 to 28.26 = 9 times more. Take a sales person. His territory has increased 9 times and also his competitors have increased 9 times as well. Pros and cons. It means competition has increased 9 times. It also means system dynamics become 9 times more powerful. Take me, in technology development, it means 9 times more occasions I will be meeting with creative associates in synergy developing 9 times more files of innovation.

"That is why most I see clearly and expect this competition, innovation, resilience, action dynamics of the new China. It is the Giant Panda moving in a society of 9 times the speed. Yes compared with USA, 9 times the speed. Surely in any race, winning by 1sec still means the Champion gets the gold medal with most of the winnings. Now imagine winning by 9 times.

"That is why I am sticking out my neck to predict China will out race all the world in the next year, next 5 years and whatever oooooooof !"

Trump lied because he didn't want to fall further behind China, but his hubristic bluster and determination to do nothing backfired and doubled the distance. He then made the situation even worse with his bigoted attack on China along with Pompeo, Congress and BigLie Media. China will do what's correct morally but in all other areas there'll be no cooperation with the Outlaw US Empire; expect no further movement toward a trade or any other deal. Few within the Outlaw US Empire as yet realize that outcome. Although such behavior usually resides outside of China, I wouldn't at all be surprised if China does something resembling running up the score to display an overwhelming victory in this incident and clear historical inflection point.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 6 2020 22:07 utc | 250

Well to get to the point, and then I have to go take a nap:

If one assumes "they" did have some plans to get something going in April, like Walter says, then having some large sections of the military, perhaps parts of the plan, clobbered by CV19 right about now, would be "very disapointing".

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 6 2020 22:08 utc | 251

vk #188

Wet markets are a living fossil from the feudal times in China. It is not a communist invention and, in fact, the communists would eradicate them if they could. But they can't (for now): it is too deeply ingrained in the Chinese culture to be abolished outright.

The CCP will likely use the generational change strategy to get rid of both the wet markets and of Chinese superstition ....

Get a grip man! wet markets are how the world feeds itself and has for millennia. They are regulated in China and eslewhere and sometimes less than visually appealing. They have differing forms between street providers and chilled supermarket shelves. The former with less waste packaging the latter with landfill packaging.

I get fresh fish in my vietnamese wet market and they are ALWAYS top quality. Its called service.

Before banning these essential services can we start with banning all Abrahamic religions and their pernicious derivatives, outlaw Jehovas Witness and Mormons and Scientology would be a good accompaniment. Start with the most evil disabling human practices first if you must start anywhere.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 6 2020 22:16 utc | 252

Walter 233

Vietnam first reported corona virus - 9 cases as of 15th Feb.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 6 2020 22:20 utc | 253

Noirette #198

Silence from the Clinton Foundation.

Repackage their 'existing programs' under a dumb heading.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 6 2020 22:26 utc | 254

janet thornhill #200
this is just fear porn

Yep extraordinary stuff. Meanwhile the wars rage on, the mendacious UKUSI beat the devil out of the middle east, there are more deaths in Yemen in that evil bastardry of western war porn. Venezuela and so many other nations are bashed by USA sanctions and military murdering.

A mask and gloves and precautions are more than enough, what have we come to?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 6 2020 22:31 utc | 255

Very important editorial by the Global Times. Potentially one for the ages:

Challenge only beginning as storms lie ahead: Global Times editorial

Posted by: vk | Apr 6 2020 23:00 utc | 256

The homemade health mask cottage industry is booming! USA Today provided a pattern and instructions in today's paper, and by mid-April homespun production will top one million--most will be donated as was done here in Oregon. Long ago in a vastly different nation from today's, the home handicraft cottage industry was at the forefront of what would make America Great. The independent homestead was one of the critical factors Gordon Wood deemed as one key "radical" component to The Radicalism of the American Revolution--it promoted Resiliency, a trait this crisis has shown very lacking within the Outlaw US Empire, and it oozes from the pores of what are deemed to be our leaders. Freed from the usual distractions--sports mostly but also electoral political antics--the isolated public is realizing it can do things for itself with itself, while many thousands of parents find themselves suddenly promoted to teachers, a task too many blatantly ignored or worse. Suddenly, the atomizing family was having to recombine into the complex molecule it ought to be by doing things together. And since parents now have the roles of teachers, perhaps when this is over and done they'll realize how integral they are to the act of educating their offspring in concert with teachers working as a team. Most localities have put off returning to school until the Fall, so there'll be awhile for this to simmer and hopefully become something beneficial as Resilience is an asset that once gained is hard to lose.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 6 2020 23:22 utc | 257

@ 203 william gruff... that is all true too.. thanks! in fact the wet market and the dried goods market in vancouver chinatown of the 1970s were blended into one big market, but yes - wet market and dried goods are indeed different.. i suspect this is still going on in some context in vancouvers richmond suburb where many of the new chinese from hong kong decided to live.. but hopefully the superstitions of the chinese will lessen over time and maybe they already have... all cultures have their superstitions and bizarre ideas.. look at many in western cultures who believed in a god sitting in some throne up in the heavens!! some things don't change regardless of the different cultural backgrounds of everyone... thanks for your comments!

@ 216 acar burak quote... "I'm done with this ridiculous, disgusting place." it appears jackrabbit was correct.. oh well.. cya!

@ 217 juliania.. thank you.... peace be with you! lets hope for a better time in the world and in the usa too, especially with regard to the usa's leadership or lack at this moment in time.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Apr 6 2020 23:26 utc | 258

This swedish blog has the most accurate take on the COVID agenda , for those who dare to challenge their beliefs.

Glad to know there is intelligent life on earth, if only in Sweden

For those who know Engdahl, his expression of disbelief in this interview on how people are going along with this is amusing. He is living in Germany

Posted by: Pft | Apr 6 2020 23:42 utc | 259

William Gruff and james

We have a weird set of beliefs on what we should and shouldn't eat. A lot of it comes from religion or culture rather than anything scientific. Unclean pigs, sacred cows, pet pussy cats or whatever.
The discussion brings to mind a doco I remember from many years ago - a camera crew and presenter following some desert aboriginals out doing a bit of hunting and gathering. They tracked a few small lizards and collected some edible fruit then they run onto some tracks that caused some excitement. Camera follows them tracking carefully through the spinifex until a spear is thrown and the speared prey can be seen. A feral puddy cat. Turns out that cat was a delicacy. They cooked up the cat and ate it along with some very bitter fruit (presenter or reporter tried a bit of the fruit) and topped off their meal with some damper and treacle.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 6 2020 23:51 utc | 260

karlof1 | Apr 6 2020 22:07 utc | 253 Well said!

Bemildred> It does look like the weapon backfired, if that's what it is...but they're doing their best to use it as one...and armies going into real combat expect casualty rates like 50% in 24 hours as I they may not care if many of the fellas die from their "weapon" - they'd be dead in WW2 from gunfire or torpedoes or whatever. Once yer in the thing you go ahead...until the petty officers decide, ah "otherwise", and that does not happen in combat.

Thanks, generally. Nice gang.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 7 2020 0:54 utc | 261

@ 264 peter au.. yes... i suppose anything goes when it comes to survival... we have gotten very selective the more wealthy we have become... people who had to live in the past were either good hunters or they didn't do so well! - guys anyways!

Posted by: james | Apr 7 2020 1:01 utc | 262

james 266 "i suppose anything goes when it comes to survival"

I have started to see it the opposite - that rather than some things being eaten purely for survival, we dont eat a lot of things due to culture.
A lot of stuff I wouldn't be too keen on eating but that is purely culture. Disliking something because you don't like the taste is a different matter.
Something not eaten much in the west is insects and grubs though people that try them often think they taste ok. Plenty of other stuff like that.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 7 2020 2:41 utc | 263

susan, your> "“Only one conclusion can be drawn: the State Department, which has to approve port visits by US warships, and the Pentagon, knew they were exposing the Theodore Roosevelt to danger." is or seems to be incorrect.

The alternative conclusion? The crew was the infecting agent. Used to infect Vietnam.

Logic seems to work equally well in both directions.

Posted by: Walter #233

YES to that. It was an act of USA international terrorism to dock that ship in Da Nang. The USA Admiral needs to be keel hauled. The USA Ambassador sent home.

The Vietnamese Governor and Mayor should be sent to mop the floors of the hospitals for rest of days.

What a brigade of gutless morons. They disgust me.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 7 2020 3:00 utc | 264

Walter @ 233
Logic flowing other way suggests new puzzle piece rhyming with wuhan military games.

Bemildred @ 240 241
“explains the fury at exposure” Yes, indeed.
Seems to me that covid-19 spreading in the ranks makes the situation more dangerous for all. The war pieces are not really meant to be used. They are mostly just for threats, for empire control (and to provide “cost plus” surplus value payoffs to arms contractors). If they are not in place, shipshape, as they like, then what.

gm @ 243
That’s interesting. I dunno about the discrepancy. Whichever date is correct, both are past the when-did-they-know-it time of due diligence and culpability.

Peter AU1 @256
The first cases in Vietnam were found in January in the north and stemmed from a Jan 17 return from Wuhan by a woman who then infected her family. By late February the Vietnamese health ministry reported that all cases had been cured. Their prevention protocol seemed scientific and methodical. Then apparently more cases were seeded by travelers in March.

karlofi 253
In recent interview Escobar said China will no longer maintain same the friendly relations with USA. This he interpreted from Xi allowing Chinese diplomat to query USA ( with implications): “Where is patient zero?” China's timeline 2030 has been collapsed to 2020 in his opinion. He said that China has uncharacteristically taken the gloves off over the wuhan outbreak.

Pepe also quoted Mao in this interview, something like:

“Never expect an imperialist to become a buddha.”

re the Heraclitus essay, Marx spoke of his “great tenderness” for Heraclitus, the great dialectician.

Posted by: susan | Apr 7 2020 4:49 utc | 265

Posted by: susan | Apr 7 2020 4:49 utc | 271
and others ...

Nice nap.

I've always had a low opinion of Plato, Arisotle, and their successors, from reading Camus, Pirsig, some others, and general dislike of reductive rationalists, the "they're all just little machines" approach to other creatures and other humans, which was very popular among Western colonial types, still is I would think.

I think I've chewed on it enough for now, I just wanted to remind of Pompeo's "live fire exercise" remark not long ago, as Walter (I think it was) brought up, and that Trump has said he is going to "get involved now", and "straighten it out"

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 7 2020 5:24 utc | 266


I had taken the date from the worldometers page for Vietnam. 15th Feb likely to be the date when coronavirus was first confirmed in Vietnam then traced back to the person returning from Wuhan on Jan 17th

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 7 2020 5:28 utc | 267

Keiser report, common sense, and blackagendareport dot com point to "industrial action" - BAR speaks of May Day. How Jolly!

May Day General Strike...Wally missed the General Strike on the West Coast... Takes time for the people to form will and agree on designs... Moon is Down (Steinbeck) proposes this quality as superior to and opposed to the Führerprinzip - which seems now to be the murkinway - eg el prez makes law and ends law by hizzelf, Ukase. Ever so dem-o-krastic!

(Wally's been neglecting his "flour mill", wet weather. But fine weather's returned... He's gunna try to stay on the shop work and off the 'puter, at least mostly for a day or two. Carry water chop wood time. In the case mostly metal working. Machine building for the small-holding)


Interesting that from posts here it seems VN infections were somewhat multi path.

Accident or purpose it sure looks like a longer time line than Wuhan... Fort D? August 2019? I see Best bet.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 7 2020 7:18 utc | 268

Pandemics offer a good demonstration of the distinction between thinking for action and thinking for science. In science (hard science, when all goes well) you are interested in proving you are right. Working longer increases certainty. Dissent can last a long time. In fact in Popper's version the attempt to falsify claims never end. Pandemics are about action. If you wait till you can prove you are right you are too late. So you have to act on information which can rightly be challenged by skeptics and you have to adjust on the fly, because you can get things very wrong. It's messy. It is risky. It can go completely wrong. It's unscientific. One can apply the same reasoning to climate science. There is a huge emphasis on 'the science has settled'. As if action has to wait till the science has settled. I mean , if people shout 'look it's even worse than the models predicted' , they are also saying the models aren't very good. Point is, that by itself is not enough reason. A case where this argument is abused is 'do you want to wait till you see a smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud'.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 7 2020 8:09 utc | 269

@ Tu > there is always latency and error between objective reality, perception, and action (if any). Always. Several reasons for this, including that even autonomic actions involve latency in Time, and especially when cognition is involved. Perception takes time. Even in combat.

Yes, Science. But I am not sure about science being based on the idea of proving the experimenter's right. I would say it's about proving his thesis wrong.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 7 2020 11:19 utc | 270

@Walter, I mentioned Poppers emphasis on falsification, that you can only prove something wrong. I think it places the wrong emphasis (it's nitpicking) and I'm perfectly fine to work with scientific truth as a kind of pragmatic truth. It's temporary, you know it is not absolute, but for practical purposes you treat it as true. But people refusing to take action before it is grounded in solid proven scientific truth, even from the Popperian angle, that causes a direct pressing conflict.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 7 2020 11:40 utc | 271

Bill Mitchell, an Australian economist, has always had a major focus on unemployment.  

In the current situation of high unemployment and deflation he thinks we should create high paying and high skill level jobs involved in the nationalization (making public) sectors to include transport, water, energy, banking, airports, telecommunications, and abandon the obsession with contracting out and outsourcing.

Flattening the curve – the Phillips curve that is

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 7 2020 11:59 utc | 272

@jared #237
I wouldn't put too much faith into Deming either - the present-day American lack of manufacturing due to outsourcing, as well as the core of "just in time" manufacturing - is 100% based on Deming. The Toyota Way, etc is a direct result of Deming consulting in Japan - they were so happy they created the Deming prize.
Again, I honor Deming's contributions to statistics based measurement, but that's very different than usage of these capabilities.
Japan, for example, has always believed that control over the full vertical production stack is more important than anything except production within each segment - but even they have been forced to outsource in order to compete. Note that a lot of this belief is rooted in Japanese xenophobia...
Offshoring is literally the manufacturing embodiment of Gresham's law: the bad chases out the good.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 7 2020 13:44 utc | 273

This is fairly interesting: Wall Street Journal asks if Middle East Oil is worth the trouble any more.
Wall Street Journal saying The Middle East Just Isn't Worth It Anymore

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 7 2020 13:46 utc | 274

Tuyzentfloot | Apr 7 2020 11:40 utc | 272 (direct pressing conflict)

I pretty much agree in an informal way.

The model I see runs thus> Dude must move, he has to pee. Or eat, or whatever. Life requires movement. It's dark, but he remembers the way. His memory may be assumed for model to be perfect (it's actually plastic). But the reality has changed. This interval can be minimized, and error also minimized, but it cannot be zero Time. Since life requires movement, action, conflict events are only minimizable, not all are avoidable, Dude breaks a toe on the chair somebody or some accident (a rock from Heaven) put there. If more than one "Dude" it gets complex. If D > 3 it approaches multibody problem and rapidly becomes functionally insolvable. Ergo Dude's actions are necessarily error prone, and conflict event unavoidable. There's a metaphysics of conflict - I played with this quite a bit about 10 years ago. Part of game theory, I think.

(PhD child of Wally, Little Wally, thought it new and exciting field. He's teaching maths to idiots now... Wally never took a degree. It seemed foolish, still does. Industrial trades were honest, fun,, once you've been to a few faculty meetings ya wanna puke. At least Wally did.)

I too am sad to see people frozen in Time, as their latency is essentially a surrender of authority to the whims of Fate. Deer in headlights style. The freeze is in the instance, obviously curated by propaganda and ukase "law". MacBeth's order "hang those who speak of fear" was along the lines of freezing out any individual action, an attempt to Stop Time...futile, deadly for Mac...

The Jewish Sages say "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?" They might also say as I think Jesus said> "If I am not for Others who will be for me?"

Either way, and both ways, look see say true, take effective action, preferably moral (as otherwise things deteriorate fast). Sometimes effective action is zero...ya gotta know when ta fold. Like in a gun fight...if they arn't shooting at you, stay put, they haven't seen you yet. If, however, you move...bang.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 7 2020 14:24 utc | 275

c1ue | Apr 7 2020 13:44 utc | 274 (Deming) Also as a-priori stated the purpose of business is to create jobs for people, as I recall from lecture in 1992... Not expert. Just recollection of long ago.

If Deming's principle is as I remember, it would seem that US offshoring was to create jobs elsewhere. I cannot see how a just in time method creates more jobs than a prudent economy, eg non precariated, is consistent with Deming, at least not when it's on a very large scale.

A system that relies of singularities, exceptions, is not a sound system, is it? Rather is perhaps closer to a fraud. Withal, I decided that Deming's goals were sound, but his methods assumed a stable arena, which it ain't. Thus Deming method contained internal contradictions...all this in '92 or 93...and from old memories of the gd Army. A gang I concluded was filled with dangerous and delusional fools and well seasoned with criminals...after Yugoslavia it was all exposed.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 7 2020 14:49 utc | 276

@Walter #277
I would disagree with the notion that "just in time" and offshoring rely on singularities and exceptions.
Among other things - the possibility of supply chain disruption is just as high for intra-state supply chains as it is for cross-national. A supply chain involving New York and California would certainly have been affected by the early CA shutdown, for example.
In the case of medical supplies - to me, the question is more of social priority.
Clearly the US has placed greater priority on health care system profit than on public health or financial well being.
The tradeoff in other areas, say women's dresses, doesn't involve the same public issues.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 7 2020 15:41 utc | 277

No doubt you're right. However the exception in the example is the exception to the a-priori statement, to create jobs. The singularity in question is the assumption of a stable environment. Which is never stable past the moment, eg always changing. Each moment being an exception. So Deming seems false.

But no doubt you're an expert, while I rely on what I was taught.

I wrote a critique 28 years ago. Alas, gone.

I do think Deming is valid on a small scale, if the a-priori is kept Deming tends to stabilize a population.

When systems are scaled up they get precarious and unstable.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 7 2020 16:10 utc | 278

Tuyzentfloot | Apr 7 2020 8:09 utc | 270
Walter | Apr 7 2020 14:24 utc | 276

That was a very enlightening exchange, bravo! You guys articulated what I have struggled to say to others for years concerning the need to act, and the impossibility of acting with 100% certainty. I have always tried to use analogies to express what you just stated. As soon as one admits that one cannot have 100% certainty, most people declare victory and use that as a reason to not act at all.

Posted by: David F | Apr 7 2020 16:54 utc | 279

Private equity firms trying to steal monies aimed at struggling small businesses. The problem lies in allowing the executive too much discretion in deciding to whom the help flows, with Mnuchin being a horrible choice. It would be helpful if Congress could be more specific in its legislation, but that makes it harder to enact. Shit like this must cease:

"the financial industry secured a modest victory: The Treasury Department issued guidance waiving the rule for a small subset of small businesses backed by private equity and venture capital, to include those in the accommodations and food-service industries, as well as franchisees."

Meanwhile, we might get lucky with public pressure mounting rapidly that Medicare For All will get enacted by Congress and force Trump to sign or veto--if he signs, he'll likely win reelection; if he doesn't, he'll very likely lose.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 7 2020 17:39 utc | 280

There's a plethora of material one might pursue at Steve Keen's Twitter. Here he presents a completely differing hypothesis about the pandemic's origins. Here's the title and introductory premise:

"Coronavirus brutally exposes the fallacies underlying Neoclassical economics and globalization.

"The Coronavirus was not caused by Climate Change: it obviously correlates with climate change, but 'correlation is not causation'.

"However, when two trends do correlate, one reason can be that they are both caused by the same underlying factor. In the cases of both Coronavirus and Climate Change, that factor is the load that industrialized humanity has placed upon the Earth's biosphere."

Some will have heard/read some of this previously, but now it's all packaged. Prior to the COVID-19 affair, Keen was certainly affected by the massive fires in his Australian homeland which he wrote about back in January and can be read here.

Much of the entire series of events of the past decade I attribute to Overshoot and our inability to solve complex problems by implementing even more complex solutions. The Big Picture's very much in play and must always be monitored.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 7 2020 18:39 utc | 281

This could be the cue for A National Government- the alliance of Blairites and Tories that has been inevitable for about 15 years. Imagine Starmer as Home Secretary or Deputy PM. bevin at 229.

I reckon something like that is in the cards. The pretense of ‘opposition’ etc. sounds weaker and just sillier by the day. The top dogs, the PTB (Brit), will have to ally to control the mopes - the PTB won’t be able to afford the theatre of dancing around with fakey oppo stuff any longer, as the messages get crossed and too confused (ex. about nationalising the railways, or what is needed for the NHS, etc.)

Brexit (completely unresolved, voted in 2016 and still not achieved in any way yet having negative knock-on effects) and now Covid-19 (particularly if Bojo no longer occupies No. 10.) provide a disaster scenario that presents a whole host of opportunities for control, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 7 2020 19:38 utc | 282

No idea who this is, but Brasilwire/Nassif on Bolsonaro/Brazil what is happening there:

Nassif: How the Generals took out the Captain


Coronavirus: Acting Navy Sect’y out after insulting captain

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 7 2020 20:27 utc | 283

@Walter #279
I don't think the business environment (or any other environment) is unchanging - nor has it been unchanging at any time in the past 100+ years in the US, outside of a few very short periods.
From my view, the point of statistical techniques is not that they assume a stable business environment. The point is to be able to objectively quantify variability so that they can be taken into account.
A simple example is machine breakdown. Any given machine *can* break down at any given time, but a statistical analysis can show what the "typical" breakdown time is.
A further analysis could look at what the impact of breakdown might be, for a breakdown at any given time or scale - and to then compare this vs. what the cost of having a backup machine would be.
But as with anything, the analysis would first have to be done. Next, the analysis has to be rooted in some kind of reality, and then tested against this reality.
As we are seeing this very instant: the many assumptions that have been made in the US health care system are being tested by nCOV - and are failing.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 7 2020 20:29 utc | 284

Max and Stacy finally go off and blurt out what's been obvious for quite awhile--the ongoing corporate/Financial "Crime Wave" since 1982 when labor was crushed in favor of "Organized Crime." And they aren't even including the CIA's many crimes. The crimes of the Banksters "make 911 look like spilt milk." Yes, Max calls them Terrorists, which is what I called them back in 2003-2008--financial terrorists--on Yahoo Finance message boards. "Jamie Dimon's a terrorist warlord" and so much more in Max Keiser's view; and really, who's going to dispute that when the picture is painted in a way all can see! The second half of the program can be omitted. Or better yet, rewatch the amazing first half.

In today's program, Max and Stacy explore the upcoming "hardening of the currency" and other components of what they see as a paradigm change that necessarily involves some Metaphysics as the Ponzi Schemes collapse. The 10-yearlong "Fracking Delusion" gets reviewed and we find out just how much money gets spent on the #1 Distraction Industry that's not dong much distracting these days--Hollywood brought in $5,179 for the week of 20-26Mar versus $204,193,406 for the same period last year--notice how its always couched in dollar revenues instead of time lost via distractions, which would be something like 40 million man hours spent in movie theaters doing nothing productive. As Max points out, Hollywood's also a racket, as fraudulent accounting was known as Hollywood Accounting prior to ENRON, which gave us a new term for the same old con. IMO, the second half discussion raises some excellent questions and is very much worth watching.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 7 2020 20:39 utc | 285

Wow! Martin Wolff and Michael Hudson on Renegade Inc, "America: Money or Your Life?" As you'll learn when watching, Wolff made an analogy during an earlier interview about one year ago regarding the American System as a train speeding down the track that in the distance was blocked by a massive wall, yet no one shows any concern about that wall or hitting it and what that will entail. That wall will be hit in just a few months. Hudson agrees that once the moratoriums end the wall will be hit. It's both depressing and exhilarating at the same time but Hudson, Wolff, Ashcroft, myself, and most barflies understand this will be a massive human disaster likely to dwarf the Great Depression. As a historian, I use Historical Inflection Point as an euphemism for the unknown that will certainly follow.

Well, I do hope those three programs get viewed since I again seem to be chatting with myself again. I do hope the message Wolff is trying to send gets into the heads of barflies--It's the System and it's always been the System, not the virus, or Y2K, or sub-prime mortgage holders. Not Hamilton's or Clay's American System; rather, Bush, Reagan, Greenspan, Friedman, and Hayek's American System for the Money Power, Rentiers, and CIA.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 7 2020 22:11 utc | 286

karlof1--thanks for continuing to post about the Keiser and Hudson videos. I do watch, and I do enjoy and agree completely--it's just usually by the time I have a chance to get back to posting the "moment is gone."

Here's my virus-bordom strange thought of the day: Add these up:
1. Bizarre, orchestrated oil glut. Strait of Hormuz flow interruption (reasonably short term) would have much less impact.
2. Two carrier groups in ME, rather than one, and absolute hysterics when a carrier captain in the Pacific reports CV19 problems; as if they don’t want that kind of thinking to spread to degrade readiness of ME ships.
3. Iran “struck” by CV19 early and hard, US doubles down on sanctions ignoring decency.
4. US has embarked on overt acts of war in decapitation strikes of Iranian (and PMU) commanders over last couple of months.
5. US consolidates its bases in Iraq into more defensible posture, adds Patriots that at least the US believes to be worth something.
6. Trump is no doubt upset that CV19 operations against Iran and China, only supposed to burden his enemies with a second, late round of “flu season,” actually boomeranged more aggressively than Pompeo promised. However, rather than make action against Iran now less likely, because of the US economic hardships, does it actually make it more likely that the Neocons can push Trump into signing off on what would be promised as “limited but strong” strikes against Iran, now sold to Trump as perfect timing while the world is preoccupied and good for rejuvenating his base who are a bit less than impressed by the handling of CV19?

Are all these factors adding up to an increased risk the US will try something stupid (militarily) with respect to Iran in the very near future?

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 8 2020 1:19 utc | 287

J Swift 288

Just a thing or two I can think of that missed your list. The constant steady build up of US forces in the region under Trump.
Also the Centurion C-RAM air defence units that are being moved into Iraq along with the patriots.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 8 2020 1:34 utc | 288

Yes, Peter, you're right. I might also note that SouthFront recently reported that Iran seems to be beefing up its missile capabilities on the Gulf. Maybe they are smelling something, too.

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 8 2020 1:38 utc | 289

@ 174 BM... i don't have a link to the worldometer you refer to although i have seen others like peter au mention it
Posted by: james | Apr 6 2020 16:44 utc | 196


Fun fact: one advantage of worldometer is you can click on the column heading to reorder at will (need 2 clicks - first click is upside down, 2nd gets it the interesting way around). Of particular interest are the 4 right-most columns giving rates per million). Ordering by deaths per million, followed by a scan of who makes it into the upper reaches of the chart is interesting - an over-abundance of rich Western nations (whole of Europe plus USA) plus exclusive play pens for the rich and tax havens and bankster havens like San Marino, Luxemburg, Lichtenstein, Channel Islands, Canary Islands, Panama, Bermuda, and many others! Top of the Pops is San Marino (now a whopping 1 in 1000)! (A few exceptions like Iran though). Is Covid primarily a Rich Man's Disease after all??!! Unfortunately no data on socio-economic classes hit, so it could be the poorest workers of those countries hit (nevertheless the preponderance of exclusive "play resorts" entices the imagination). Quite a few of the smaller such resorts and tax havens still lingering near the bottom of the list for the time being, though.

Posted by: BM | Apr 8 2020 3:28 utc | 290

@ 291 BM.. thanks...

Posted by: james | Apr 9 2020 15:59 utc | 291

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 8 2020 1:19 utc | 288

Yes, that's the best explain I can come up with for Pompeo's self-satisfied smirk.

On the other hand the exit of Bernie from political race may work against it, if one thinks Trump welcomes Biden as opponent.

And practical matters of how and with whom to carry out such and attack remain "unclear". The Pentagon may not want to go along, too. More carriers with CV19 problems, etc. Interesting times.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 9 2020 16:34 utc | 292

And you can bet your bottom dollar that Iran's defenses are very much ready; COVID-19 doesn't aid in the protection of Outlaw US Empire assets in the region. The Houthis have continued their offensive against Saudi with excellent results, and the SAAs about to embark on securing the M-4 and finishing Idlib. What COVID-19's damaged most are NATO and EU. Then there's that multiple spread of torpedoes speeding towards Neoliberal economies that ironically were launched by same.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 9 2020 16:50 utc | 293

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 9 2020 16:50 utc | 294

Well yeah, it's kind of a bizarre level of stupid, but then we don't want to fall into the trap of overestimating Pompeo. A real upset the table move, to use Walter's metaphor.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 9 2020 17:01 utc | 294

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