Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-31

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

On two Coronavirus pieces on other websites:

The piece debunks itself when it quotes a Swedish epidemiologist who says:

“The truth is that we have a policy similar to that of other countries,” says Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, “Like everyone, we are trying to slow down the rate of infection … The differences derive from a different tradition and from a different culture that prevail in Sweden. We prefer voluntary measures, and there is a high level of trust here between the population and the authorities, so we are able to avoid coercive restrictions”

Sweden can do without orders of social distancing because its people will socially distance voluntarily when asked. That works because "there is a high level of trust here between the population and the authorities". That does not hold for the community of Somali people and other immigrants in Sweden more of whom are dying than in any other group.

Now project such a voluntary attempt onto the U.S. public where there is little, if any, trust between the population and the authorities. It simply would not work and one would soon have a runaway epidemic with all its bad consequences. Whitney's conclusion that we should all do like Sweden is thus not justified.


The piece was posted on April 17. One of the 'experts' it quotes is Dr. John Oxford, "an English virologist and Professor at Queen Mary, University of London." Here is the quote as posted on Off-Guardian:

Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. In this case we have had 8000 deaths this last year in the ‘at risk’ groups viz over 65% people with heart disease etc. I do not feel this current Covid will exceed this number. We are suffering from a media epidemic!

– “A VIEW FROM THE HVIVO / OPEN ORPHAN #ORPH LABORATORY”, blog post on Novus Communications website, March 31st 2020

Two remarks:

a. On April 17, when Off-Guardian posted the piece, the United Kingdom already had 14.607 deaths from Covid-19. Those were 6.600 more than the total number Dr. John Oxford predicted. If the real numbers, which are still increasing, are already 80+% higher than the expert's guestimate should one really use that expert to claim that the 'coronavirus panic' is unjustified?

b. Dr. Oxford made his claim in a "blog post on Novus Communications website". Novus Comes is a public relations agency which provides "financial social media & digital communications for small caps". The company is paid by its clients to talk up certain sectors of the stock market. Should one really use paid PR posts on a PR company's website to judge if some 'panic' about an epidemic is justified?

As for the other 'experts' Off-Guardian quoted. Yes, there ar some doctors who do have a different opinion than most of their colleagues. But that does not make them right.


An astroturfing campaign was launched in the U.S. to end the lockdowns. It is paid for by rightwing big money:

Somebody did some extremely basic WHOIS searching and found that the person who set up all the "reopen $STATENAME" protest web sites is in fact one guy in Jacksonville. -> reddit thread


[Thread] 1/ Much talk this morning about numerous Facebook groups cropping up with "insert state name" + "against excessive quarantine". Some are suggesting that there is mass astroturfing campaign occurring to pressure state governors to reopen after Donald Trump's tirade

Covid-19 is a really, really nasty disease:


We need to learn from this:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on April 19, 2020 at 14:26 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

Albertde @308

Thanks. Can you advise me what you think of the various articles/videos querying whether or not Covid-19 is really an exosome...

Is COVID-19 really an exosome and not a virus???

Is covid19 a virus or merely an exosome?

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 20 2020 16:23 utc | 301

@ Posted by: In my crosshairs | Apr 20 2020 16:19 utc | 315

So, what were you doing with your lives during the past 20 years? Were you fighting for your rights? Were you organizing and mobilizing to strengthen your position? Were you getting out to vote? Were you unionizing?

No. What I remember was this: George W. Bush was elected in 2000 thanks to a fraud, and spent whatever was left of the American coffers in a monumental invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Then he was reelected because of that in 2004. Then 2008 meltdown happened in September of that year. What the Americans did next? Elect the Senator (Obama) in the pockets of the financial sector, of course! Obama then signed a USD 1.1 trn bailout check to the financial sector, which included - wait for it - an insurance giant (AIG)! After it was clear the bailout didn't work and the country was plunged into an economic depression, this same guy (Obama) invented a bogus casus belli to invade Syria. After another drain the in coffers, the USA was defeated again. What was then the American people's reaction? Elect a guy who wants to invade China, of course!

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 16:30 utc | 302

Jrabbit said up thread;"Not surprisingly, the astroturfing began after Trump started talking about opening the economy - which he did as soon as he got his Wall Street Bailout."

That's a big "no duh". Lotta' new voices here, some related to the new "astro-turf" movement obviously. OK fine, controversial subjects here always do attract a certain amount of folks who do this for a living.

Read'em or not, it's still an exercise in therapy. The usual suspects will reveal themselves, they always do.

Thanks b! This site still rocks..

Posted by: ben | Apr 20 2020 16:31 utc | 303

this site has gone rogue. i hate it. it doesn't represent me, or my thoughts. i don't endorse it.

so, i decided to visit it daily to try to make it fit my views.

if i don't succeed, i will kill myself and then b and a few commenters.

but i love the dolce vita so i will do only online harakiri, change my username and come back here to see if b has unrogued himself.

if not, i will again try to find a solution to this problem

Posted by: albagen | Apr 20 2020 16:32 utc | 304

The Gates of Hell: PROVEN – Coronavirus Vaccines CAUSED Lung Inflammation and Death by Joaquin Flores

"At first, the experiment seemed successful as all the animals developed a robust antibody response to coronavirus. However, when the scientists exposed the vaccinated animals to the wild virus, the results were horrifying. Vaccinated animals suffered hyper-immune responses including inflammation throughout their bodies, especially in their lungs. Researchers had seen this same “enhanced immune response” during human testing of the failed RSV vaccine tests in the 1960s. Two children died."

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 20 2020 16:43 utc | 305

@319 Please provide us with daily updates on your progress. Have you ever considered starting your own blog? It seems you have a talent for it.

Posted by: dh | Apr 20 2020 16:43 utc | 306

@ Posted by: In my crosshairs | Apr 20 2020 16:38 utc | 320

See George W. Bush's approval rating before and after the Iraq invasion of 2003. They skyrocketed. He was only reelected because of that.

Bush was a beloved POTUS. It is pathetic and useless for the American people to try to bury that fact from History.


@ Posted by: ADKC | Apr 20 2020 16:43 utc | 321

That's why we shouldn't bet on a viable vaccine next year. Vaccines demand, sometimes, decades to be developed and properly tested.


@ Posted by: albagen | Apr 20 2020 16:32 utc | 319

Well, if facts "don't represent" you, then the problem is with you.

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 17:02 utc | 307

Posted by: In my crosshairs | Apr 20 2020 16:38 utc | 320

If you think we elect our leaders in this country, then I've got some unsettling news for you.

If you think this is an American blog, and that you are talking to an American, you need to clean your crosshair lenses. You didn't notice his moniker is a link? Hover your mouse over it and note the suffix.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 20 2020 17:05 utc | 308

An epidemiology expert on the Tee Vee tonight ( threw cold water on the Hopiness for a COVID-19 vaccine before 2025-2030. She unkindly(?) pointed out that polio ran rampant for more than 50 years before the Salk vaccine eliminated it. And the quest for a cure/vaccine for the Common Cold, which is from the same family as COVID-19, has eluded Science for more than 100 years, with nothing on the horizon. The best we can hope for in the short term is a reliable treatment for the symptoms.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 20 2020 17:09 utc | 309
An exosome is a substance within the body of a multi-celled organism that conveys various proteins and other organic material between cells. COVID-19 is not said to be conveying organic material and can exist outside an organism as an independent chemical compound with genetic information, hence, it is a virus.

Posted by: Albertde | Apr 20 2020 17:26 utc | 310

@321 AKDC

Thanks for the link.

I'm afraid that beyond the current debate re: the shuttered economy vs. an unfettered yield to the virus' ravages, the next debate will probably be the forced mandate of a vaccine.

I think you can be against this mandate while also taking the nature of the virus seriously.

I have posted before this study before. Recipients of the flu vaccine shed 6.5x fine virulent aerosol during their flu infection than non-vaccinated flu sufferers.

It needs to be investigated further, but what this can begin to tell us is that: 1) scientists are still observing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the immune system's response to vaccination; 2) we should be very, very hesitant of fast-tracking ANY vaccine, let alone one financed by the Gates Foundation and the WHO. Do we want a vaccine that may alleviate symptoms slightly but offer up a carrier that is 6.5x more virulent while breathing than a non-vaccinated person?

I believe b's hope in a vaccine is misplaced. But you can be sure that even if one is brought to market, there will be an even larger coordinated response, probably more grass-roots than the current iteration, to a forced gov't mandate.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 20 2020 17:34 utc | 311

Albertde @327

The videos/article cover that. The point made is that Covid-19 is the exosome - and is not the insult to the body (i.e it could be a virus or a poison or something else but it is not Covid-19).

How can you discount the structural similarity between exosomes and Covid-19?

As you are an expert can you look at the video and read the article and give me your opinion; essentially could the exosome have been misidentified as a virus that was called Covid-19.

If you don't know or are not sure, just say so.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 20 2020 17:38 utc | 312


Uzbekistan on the Belt and road.

Posted by: arby | Apr 20 2020 17:40 utc | 313

Anyone arguing for early and quick lifting of lock-downs that could put others at risk of a debilitating condition or death should be willing to put their own life at risk first.

So here's a simple solution to the Libertarian angst: infect yourself and your like-minded family and friends then those of you who live can carry proof that you are now immune (doctor/hospital visits, tests). Self-isolation for several weeks is a small price to pay for the FREEDOM that you cherish. BONUS: You may not need the government-issued vaccine.

It's in your hands! FREE YOURSELF from the Government control.

So stop pestering the sensible people who are urging governments to lift lock-downs in a responsible way. You don't need OUR permission or Government permission to solve your problem.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 20 2020 17:43 utc | 314

@Passer by @216
True, except for the little problem that these other countries are, as far as I know, all doing massive lockdowns, as are the larger nations.
So Sweden is slightly "above average" in terms of nCOV deaths but is leading in terms of least economic disruption.
In fact, every single one of the 10 nations "ahead" of Sweden in the Worldmeter nCOV deaths/1M graph is a Schengen member. Ireland is just behind. Luxembourg is within 20%.
This is a societal tradeoff that Sweden has elected.

Note that I'm not saying nothing should be done to combat nCOV spread.

However, while I wholly discount the nonsense that the lockdowns will kill more people than nCOV - at the same time, most of the negative impact of the lockdowns hits poor people. The wealthy can just hide in a hole. The salaried managers and professionals can keep taking their high pay and remotely work.

The actual people picking fruit/produce, butchering meat, cooking and delivering food, giving haircuts, etc etc? Shoved onto the social safety net. Which, for most European countries, isn't so bad.

But what about the small business owners? The conspiracy theorists are absolutely right in the the SMBs will be more than decimated by these lockdowns - and the big corps are happy to rush into the void.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 17:51 utc | 315

vk | Apr 20 2020 17:02 utc | 323

"Bush was a beloved POTUS. It is pathetic and useless for the American people to try to bury that fact from History."

That is not true, he was despised by a large chunk of the population. Most of america subscribes to the blue team red team dichotomy, and as such, at any given time 40-60% of the populaton loves/hates whoever is in office.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 17:52 utc | 316

@Richard Steven Hack #249
If all 4000 on ventilators passed away, it would increase the present NY nCOV mortality per 10M rate to close to Lombardy.
However, Lombardy is a moving target. They're still registering hundreds of nCOV dead per day.
The ventilator group is also a moving target. Some significant % of the 400-700 NY dead per day is coming from that group, and new people are moving in.

What I was referring to, regarding Italy, is that Italy is many weeks "ahead" of New York in terms of both lockdown and nCOV infection progression.
The Italy mortality numbers (and Lombardy in specific, as well) are still going - i.e. there isn't any evidence of a rampdown so far. The "curve" isn't a bell, it is more like a ski slope...
Which in turn means it is very possible that New York will be experiencing hundreds of new nCOV deaths per day, for many weeks to come.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 17:56 utc | 317

@Albertde #327
can you post some links supporting your claims?
Because the Nextstrain people are saying there is no difference in transmissibility or lethality between any of the nCOV strains.
Equally, saying "Iran" is more lethal - what's that based on? Published confirmed cases vs. death numbers? That's the least reliable/credible measure possible. Sanctions on Iran means testing is likely extremely underutilized there.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 18:00 utc | 318

US Fracking shale oil - Doomsday coming.
Saudi Arabia's oil flood - remember that? Part of it was to fill 20 tankers in April and May and send them to the US Gulf Coast. These tankers represent about 7 months normal Saudi export to that region.
Today, the May WTI contract fell from ~$20 to under $5 - no doubt on the above news.
What will the impact of a month (or more) of $5 oil have on these shale oil frackers?
For that matter, because of the enormous oversupply due to lockdown induced demand shock, there isn't even a place to put more oil.
I'm asking people in the industry what happens if oil wells literally have to be shut off because there's nowhere for the oil to go: what's the cost/time to do so, and the cost/time to bring them back. So far, they're saying shutoff is easy but return to production becomes increasingly problematic - the longer the shutdown is.
It looks like May is the Fracking oil apocalypse.
This also highlights what I had posted earlier about a potential natural gas shortfall due to secondary natural gas production from oil frackers shutting down.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 18:06 utc | 319
Technically, the virus is termed SARS-Cov-2 that causes the disease COVID-19. So, you are splitting hairs... and playing games. In this forum, which is not a medical forum, I was simplifying to keep the discussion at an elementary level. What I stated initially was complicated enough for the purposes of this forum.

Posted by: Albertde | Apr 20 2020 18:08 utc | 320

For anyone interested you should check this out! 18-20 Shooting stars per hour in my area. This link will list the time and date in your location.

Lyrids Meteor Shower

April Meteor Shower

The Lyrid Meteor Shower is usually active between April 16 and 25 every year. It tends to peak around April 22 or 23.
Oldest Recorded Meteor Shower

Named after constellation Lyra, the Lyrids are one of the oldest recorded meteor showers—according to some historical Chinese texts, the shower was seen over 2,500 years ago. The fireballs in the meteor shower are created by debris from comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun. The comet is expected to be visible from Earth again in 2276.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 18:12 utc | 321

You don't reverse economic tyranny by going armed to a protest demanding your neighbors be forced back to work without PPE to keep from disrupting the flow of profits being funneled to the rich. You don't reverse economic tyranny by blocking streets and preventing ambulances taking patients to hospital. You don't reverse economic tyranny by swallowing the poison bait Betsy Devos is feeding you hook line and sinker. You don't reverse economic tyranny by being willing to kill off the elders for the sake of trump's political carreer. You don't reverse economic tyranny by prematurely removing the parachute that slowed our fall when we are still well up in the air.

You also don't reverse economic tyranny by endlessly falsely accusing b of bias, of being pro-authoritarian anti-democratic. My god the subrational attacks by especially the new names are transparent as glass.

If you REALLY are on the side of the working families in every country your demands are NOT to reopen everything now when that will mean more unnecessary death AND necessitate reclosing because of the epic failure to suppress the virus.

General Strike May 1st. A first step to reverse economic tyranny by calling for basic income interest free tax free direct to families for as long as needed, free testing, free treatment, sick workers staying home cannot be fired, workers exposing their own non-protection by employers are protected (fuck you Bezos) - Federal level massive increase in PPE and reagents - testing that is proven to work - no foreclosures, debt write-downs for working families - moratoriums on rent - a huge jobs program of well-protected people making home deliveries of all necessities - -

that's just getting started

I think so sad in my crosshairs has already had his own eyes poked out. he certainly sees nothing. posing as someone who stands with working families. shameful to be so treacherous when humanity is in such a heartbreaking predicament.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 20 2020 18:12 utc | 322

@ Posted by: Disabuseer | Apr 20 2020 17:22 utc | 326

I forgot to mentino 9/11.

9/11 was another absurd episode in American history. The CIA, through its hired writer, Jane Meyer, extraofficially blamed the non-detection and prevention of 9/11 on "excess paperwork". Seriously, the CIA literally blamed bureaucracy error on its non-detection of the terrorists' 9/11 plot. One guy interviewed by Meyer (a CIA officer) went to the absurd to declare the 9/11 terrorists' case was too buried in the paper pile on his desk, so he didn't pay attention.

And Americans have the nerve to contest the Chinese government...

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 18:13 utc | 323

Bevin 26:
"Which is to say-Herd Immunity, the deaths of millions of elderly people and the quick restoration of the status quo. "

I question this logic, so count me as one who "infests" this blog (I am sure you already do!).

This assertion should be nailed to the blog's bulletin board so that we can all check back in a few months and see whether "millions of elderly people" have succumbed to covid-19, or to any country's decision to use the herd immunity approach. Sweden's official position and approach is to rely on herd immunity instead of "sheltering in place" and passively waiting for TPTB to hand them a silver-bullet vaccine, and I doubt that "millions of elderly" will die in Sweden. It beats me why "herd immunity" is linked in so many otherwise intelligent people's minds with the notion of abandoning elderly to suffer the disease without treatment. Or course Bevin's statement is rendered more or less meaningless by his/her failure to provide geographical or time limits, but "quick restoration" suggests maybe a few months from now, somewhere on planet Earth.

IMO Bevin's whole post #26 is a mish-mash of ad homs, false equations and equivalences, and other rhetorical devices, and generally outrage substituting for logical thinking.

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 20 2020 18:19 utc | 324

Albertde @338

So you can't answer my question?

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 20 2020 18:23 utc | 325

vk | Apr 20 2020 18:13 utc | 341

I don't understand why you are attacking Disabuseer. He has simply stated the reality of the situation back then. I fully agree with what he has said. Please note I didn't see him say he supported Bush, or that he believes 911.

Chilax man!

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 18:24 utc | 326

"Over the weekend the nation was forced to deal with numerous small protests of angry citizens protesting mandatory quarantine and lockdown orders. But these little protests were far from organic. Reports have now revealed that these protests were actually the brainchild of major Republican groups and big money Republican donors. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this"

Posted by: ben | Apr 20 2020 18:30 utc | 327

Interesting exchange at SST

Donald Trump warns of consequences if China was knowingly responsible for coronavirus" The Telegraph

I am quite sure that the whole of the USIC (NSA, CIA, DIA, etc.) have been tasked to determine what the circumstances were of the advent of the present catastrophe.

The CCP is extremely worried about this investigative process.

Yeah, Right: I can think of at least two times when that same USIC turned its full attention to a controversial topic (I'm thinking Saddam Hussein's WMD and Donald Trump's adventures with Russian prostitutes, of course), and in both cases the USIC managed to cover itself in ignominy by getting pretty much everything completely wrong.

But I'm sure this time will be different...

turcopolier (pl): You should change your moniker to "wise ass." ...


j.casey: Why would anyone trust the IC with any finding of any kind? Have they not proven themselves time and time and time again to be, paraphrasing P, cheaters, liars, and thieves?

turcopolier (pl): Good point. IMO it is time to re-invent the IC and FBI.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 20 2020 18:31 utc | 328

Pf @ 340; Ditto, well said....

Posted by: ben | Apr 20 2020 18:37 utc | 329

See my response to vk just above this. That is not the case anywhere in the us that I am aware of. I think it should be in heavily populated areas, NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.

In places like that it is not possible for people to be out and about and still maintain social distancing.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 1:44 utc | 158

Read. VK was specific: i.e. "No country outside China has implemented a true quarantine."
I provided examples of countries and very large cities, upwards of 4 million population, that practice lockdowns and strict social distancing.
Further, even large supermarkets - Walmarts - have the floors marked in measures of 6 feet and you had better not violate the 6-10 feet. Wally police is monitoring. Regular Police deployed to parks and public buildings. Feeling much like livestock.

See Lozion @ 177. in Morocco which I did not include.


F**king 81% of the TRILLION$$ are going to the 4 largest banks to cover their investment losses in FRACKING, DERIVATIVES, SHORTING GOLD,[.]

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 20 2020 4:04 utc | 195

Are you shocked? Those printed Trillions were being doled out since September, 2008 and now, conveniently the COVID-19 outbreak provided more cover. Those Derivatives are interest rate sensitive and the 4 banks are over the cliff. In another month the FED balance sheet will be $12 Trillion; said not to be enough. Tip of the iceberg. Who pays?

From TARP in 2008 to 2019-2020 QE to Infinity. Pam and Russ Martens give the overview:

Americans Are Paying a Tragic Price for Allowing Five Banks to Control the U.S. Economy.

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

a snippet

TARP was a congressionally-approved taxpayer bailout of the Wall Street banks, including those that had brought on the crisis by turning their federally-insured banking unit into a derivatives casino. Mainstream media was all over TARP as it doled out chunks of $10 billion to $45 billion to the largest banks on Wall Street in the fall of 2008, as well as lesser amounts to smaller banks caught up in the panic.

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

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

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

Can't end well. We are on the way to a debt jubilee.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 20 2020 18:40 utc | 330


they will be classified :p


Posted by: albagen | Apr 20 2020 18:42 utc | 331

b asks "Do you want me to police the comments for reasonability all day or do you want me to write new comprehensive post?"

My preference is to leave all comments, and instead write new posts. I'm a big fan of free speech, even when somebody like Ivan hogs the megaphone.

Posted by: Don Wills | Apr 19 2020 20:20 utc | 88
Surely there is a third way.

Instead of deleting Ivan's posts and thereby changing all the numbers, b could post the info that Ivan and his comments are no longer welcome, and will no longer be posted. That would leave previous posts in place---which would have the pedagogical advantage that all MoA commenters could read Ivan's comments and infer what not to say here.

Is there a technical reason why this is impossible? In fact I have read here that in the past b used to explain why a commenter was banned. Maybe the potential bannees are overwhelming the system, just like, putatively, covid-19.

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 20 2020 18:43 utc | 332

Live from WHO Headquarters - COVID-19 daily press briefing 20 March 2020

Message to young people, warning you are not invincible you too will die or transfer Covid19 causes other to die... msg from WHO Director..

Posted by: JC | Apr 20 2020 18:43 utc | 333

@ Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 18:24 utc | 344

I wasn't attacking him. There's literally a book, by author Jane Meyer (nowadays, a certified Russophobe), who had full access to the CIA and high officers of the Bush administration (which makes her book the extraofficial version of the facts surrounding 9/11), which tells 9/11 from the point of view of WH/CIA.

In it, the CIA and the high officers from the WH literally - it's there, just read it - blame excess paperwork for 9/11. I'm not joking: that's the official excuse. In the nation that invented Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word; in the nation that invented the personal computer and the internet, they blamed the usage of physical paper - and the excess of such material - for 9/11. They couldn't computerize their databases and do a ctrl + F (allegedly).

And they also claim it didn't look like big deal at the time - after all, threats against the USA national security were plenty, many being false alarms. The problem is that the two pilots involved in 9/11 were ex-CIA assets, who only learned how to fly because they were trained to by the CIA itself. They learned how to fly in American territory, in two USAAF bases: one in Minnesota, the other in Colorado (if memory doesn't fail me). That meant they literally had registers at the CIA's database - as, for sure, the CIA had to forge fake passports for them.

The book is called "The Dark Side", if I'm not mistaken. Not by coincidence, it was only published in 2008 - when no political damage could be done to George W. Bush anymore.

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 18:47 utc | 334

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 20 2020 18:43 utc | 350

"Instead of deleting Ivan's posts and thereby changing all the numbers,"

We are b guest, own this bar and can do whatever he wishes... go start yr own blog and GF.

Posted by: JC | Apr 20 2020 18:49 utc | 335

At the end of his essay, Crooke cites a somewhat unique individual, a Treasury and Bureau of Statistics employee and later Free Silver promoter Alexander del Mar who wrote numerous books about money and its role in history, one of which Crooke cites, The History of Money in America, From the Earliest Times to the Constitution, and you'll note some other intriguing titles listed in Wiki's bibliography.

Several comments have mentioned Hudson's appearance on the most recent Keiser Report. I'd also like to remind people of Pepe Escobar's excellent essay that attempts to place this pandemic within its historical context. I'll also point to the new program at Renegade Inc: "In a crisis…? Cook the books!", the title giving a clue about content.

Several very important points were made in a USA Today article today, the most important of which was this: "people [must remain] conscious that they have an obligation not to infect other people," [My Emphasis] which puts the ethics/morals of those participating in protests into question, as well as those of trolls.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2020 18:52 utc | 336

if you want to go the softer route, you can be like japan and go for homerun early, that is until they did a complete 180.

Posted by: jason | Apr 20 2020 18:52 utc | 337

WTI crude oil May futures bottomed out at $−40.32/bbl.

Posted by: S | Apr 20 2020 19:00 utc | 339

vk | Apr 20 2020 18:47 utc | 352

It seemed that way to me, perhaps I misunderstood your meaning. Your replies to him seemed to be a rebuttal of what he said, which was true. Bush was not beloved by all americans, nor has any other american president in my lifetime.

Concerning the bullshit our government claims re 911, yes I am aware of that, not sure what the fuck I am going to do about it.

Anyone with half a brain (which excludes 95% or more of americans) is quite aware of what our government is doing and has done, again, not sure what the fuck I am going to do about it.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 19:03 utc | 340

@Disabuseer #336
It isn't clear to me why it is surprising that a local candidate in Ohio might outpoll a Massachusetts Democrat Presidential candidate paired with a North Carolina Vice President candidate.
It would be a stronger case if this was documented as unusual as opposed to a single data point.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 19:05 utc | 341

@Really?? #342
I'm curious - what percent of Americans do you think are infected with nCOV right now?

It is inconsistent to talk about an outcome without specifying the other variables.

In particular, if *no* measures were taken to control nCOV - do you really argue that the number of people infected with it, and the subsequent number of people dying from it, would be no different with or without lockouts? Or other measures?

In the same vein: lockouts are an extreme measure. If they do serve to reduce the number of nCOV infected now, then they clearly are saving lives.

Whether the number of lives is worth the economic disruption is a different question.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 19:10 utc | 342

james @302 admonished me for feeding the trolls, and he is correct. I did and I shouldn't have.

But do the regulars here at the bar have any idea how badly these poor trolls are starving?

As of last week advertising revenues for ad-supported websites has dropped over 70% since the start of the covid crisis. There are mass layoffs from pop culture websites. People who used to write those "Top 10 X of Y" and such clickbait articles are now scrounging for nickels any way they can. Keep in mind that some of these "Web Content Creators" were only making about $5 per article even before the covid dried up Web spam revenues, so it's not as if they can long live off the fat from the lucrative jobs that they just lost. The only ones giving anything right now for the only shallow skills these poor commercial "Web Content Creators" possess are astroturf companies contracted to US State Department and Atlantic Council fake NGOs. There is a massive glut in that labor force, which means bargain basement wages, which in turn means now the trolls farms can hire several trolls for what they used to pay one.

That is why the number of trolls has skyrocketed, as well as why those trolls are so exceptionally bitter about the economy being seized up. That the trolls even reference Holodomor gives you some idea of where they are coming from: These poor trolls are starving!

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 20 2020 19:11 utc | 343

Likklemore | Apr 20 2020 18:40 utc | 348

That is some pretty weak sauce, you didn't really provide a rebuttal to my examples or an answer to my questions, just some vague generalities.

As far as wally mart goes, "you better not violate the rules", or what? Are you going to be arrested? No, you are not. In all probability you wont even be asked to leave. The grocery store near my house has the same thing, direction markers for travel down the aisles and checkout markers to keep people separated. Nobody is enforcing them, most people are trying to be courteous and observe them as best they can.

As I said, in major population centers it may and should be different. In the UK I doubt anyone outside of the major cities is locked in their home.

You are over reacting, a very small percentage of people in the world are under strict protocols, and only where it is absolutely necessary.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 19:17 utc | 344

S #358

WTI crude oil June futures, on the other hand, are currently trading at $+21.10/bbl.

Art Berman @aeberman12 - 11:56 UTC · Apr 20, 2020

Let's be clear: storage is NOT full despite what journalists say. Storage space is fully leased. Not the same thing.

This is a contract roll issue that will pass after tomorrow.

Posted by: S | Apr 20 2020 19:23 utc | 345

Here's an interesting writeup from the PMC/Liberal viewpoint on COVID-19/nCOV impact on the world going forward: David Miliband 4 contests going forward

The first contest is simple. Is the virus the product of too much globalisation or too little?


(2) whether the notion of an ordered society that is resilient and flexible in the face of global threats is helped or hindered by democratic government.


For the first time in more than a century, the world’s autocracies account for a higher share of global GDP than the world’s democracies.


(3) who controls information and whether it is compatible with notions of personal privacy.


(4) It is a contest about equality, within countries and globally. It comes down to a simple point: will we act on the rhetoric which says a connected world is only as strong as its weakest link?

Note the typical limousine liberal/neoliberal nonsense: the poor people are vulnerable because they're "weak".

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 19:23 utc | 346

William Gruff @362

Good point!

They use ideology as a cover and to manipulate. Most are actually motivated by financial interest.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 20 2020 19:24 utc | 347

All these posters who know so much better than our host how to run a blog, but unfortunately have just not had time to get around to it yet ...

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 20 2020 19:29 utc | 348

354 Cont'd--

Two further major points made in the USA Today article I linked:

"A fall spike also seems likely as children go back to school, said Mike Reid, a professor of infectious disease at the University of California-San Francisco.

"To prevent that, wide-scale testing will need to be available, and contact tracing must be in place to find everyone who has been exposed and get them to self-isolate for at least 14 days.

"'Given the potential for repeated waves, the more that can be put in place to rapidly jump on every new spike and ring-fence every infected individual with wraparound health services is going to be crucial,' Reid said." [Emphasized the two critical points]

Perhaps the most crucial is the last point--everyone needs healthcare coverage to protect the greatest amount of people. The Astroturf protesters ought to be railing for universal healthcare given its huge importance--far more important than returning to work.

I'm relinking to this article about Omar's introduction of legislation to "Cancel All Rent and Mortgage Payments for Duration of Covid-19 Crisis" that should have happened at the very beginning 6 weeks ago. And there's no reason that can't be done in all other nations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2020 19:32 utc | 349

JR from SST--
"The CCP is extremely worried about this investigative process."

LOL, i'll bet that they are shaking in their boots. ha ha

Posted by: arby | Apr 20 2020 19:33 utc | 350

David F @ 363
Here in the U.K. we are locked down as much as possible, by public choice. Even way out in isolated areas. I live in a small village, my shopping is dropped at the door everything sprayed with antiviral. Only essential workers are working.
We know this is the correct way to defeat a plague.
We may not be successful becouse our Tory government only 4 months after winning an election, are doing everything they possibly can to encourage the spread of this virus.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 20 2020 19:37 utc | 351

@ 340 Phryne's frock ... right on.. thanks..Omar introduces legislation to cancel rent, mortgage payments during pandemic probably won't be hearing much about that!!

@ 346 jackrabbit.. you left off some of the best parts, but kudos to yeah, right a moa poster who knows how to play his cards right with pat for the moment anyway! it is an interesting topic as pat is a part of the ic and apparently was screwed over with the war on iraq agenda... but he seems all in with the china did it memo...

Posted by: james | Apr 20 2020 19:41 utc | 352

Ok Let the Somali in Sweden die! There is plety of these buggers in somalia and elsewhere, I mean there not kike dsiamons or rubies....Let them freaking die of, the will only be missed by their goats

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 20 2020 19:45 utc | 353

on Venezuela and Russia - question to b (or maybe vk?) - Is a place called Avia dot pro a reliable source? the following came across my fb page from a guy generally in the know, but is Russia actually going to stop the usa pirates from overthrowing Maduro?

"According to the Russian publication Avia.Pro, Russia is ready to break the blockade on Venezuela and will use any naval means necessary to do so."

“As follows from the data provided by the Venezuelan authorities, Russia is ready to provide the Bolivarian Republic with the necessary support and assistance if the United States wants to arrange a sea blockade of this country. Given the remoteness of Russia from Venezuela, experts do not exclude that Moscow can send its fleet to this region, moreover, we are talking not only about warships, but also submarines,” Avia.Pro reported.

Is this escalating, or have I just failed to keep up? Thanks, b, if you know and share.

and before anyone wastes time: yes, fb sucks out loud - but I have Palestinian friends and others round the world to keep in touch with. if not for fb I wouldn't have been able to send money direct to Gaza families for cooking oil from time to time. and the friends I have send me much good info I don't get elsewhere. example: I was amongst the first to purchase and read Ramin Mazaheri's book "I'll Ruin Everything You Are" because of who I follow on fb. but anyway I never heard of Avia dot pro before and I don't read russian, so ?

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 20 2020 19:46 utc | 354

Right !
dusting of my gasmask Model 1979 full rubber with spare filters (fuck them reall, this is not abc war) so I WILL get by especillu supported by an automatic 308 and a .45 on the hip, but have supplies for another month.Might run out of beer though. :(

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 20 2020 19:57 utc | 355

@ Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 20 2020 19:45 utc | 372

The libertarians should be defending these Somalis with their lives. After all, Somalia is the libertarian utopia: a nation literally without a State (central government). Everything goes there.

@ Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 20 2020 19:46 utc | 373

I don't know if this Avia is a reliable source or not, but the information that Russia is helping Venezuela with military advisors (and, if I'm not mistaken, S-300/S-400s) do check out.

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 19:57 utc | 356

Was in Russia 15-20 years ago. Wonderful people, open and hospitable. I could have been married 6 times over (I was already married, ahhhhrg!)
I like the Russian people friendly and hospitable...
: I would do the same for them.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 20 2020 20:09 utc | 357

Interesting historic photos:

Shelter and Grave: The Story of Hitler's Underground Bunker in Berlin - Photos

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 20:16 utc | 358

"How can anyone look themselves in the mirror and say that it's fine that BlackRock was just handed the equivalent of the median annual income of 73 million Americans all at once in purchasing power?" crosshairs @287

The point has been made before. It is worth making again: Congress has earmarked funds to be used in the way that you describe. And it is, indeed, shocking that they have done so.
But the bottom line on this transaction is this: the debt that is being piled up is no more than a promise by the government, on your behalf and on behalf of future generations, to service that debt. If it is possible to do so, which I find unlikely, the question than arises of the cost in terms of foregone services, lowered living standards and grinding poverty, including higher mortality rates, which society finds acceptable.
In my view the debt will never be paid, it will be audited, much of it will be found to be fraudulent-as you suggest- and it will be declared odious and repudiated. That is what should occur and will do, unless society continues to tolerate rulers who cheat, lie, steal and murder as a matter of routine and publicly boast of their ability to do so.

As to the Holodomor, it never happened, there was a famine in the Soviet Union in the late 1920s and it affected Ukraine, though less than it did many other regions. It was also partially contemporaneous with the collectivisation process. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million or more died. But the Holodomor theory holds that the famine was fabricated by the Soviet State and used to kill Ukrainians in a deliberate genocide. For these claims there is not a shred of evidence. Nor does it make sense to suppose that the Soviet Union deliberately destabilised itself, made itself vulnerable to its many foreign enemies and alienated it supporters because Stalin (and the theory usually specifies his Jewish comrades) disliked Ukrainians.
It is telling that nobody in the Ukraine ever believed that there was a Holodomor- the concept was imported by emigres most of whom were Galician fascist collaborators, deeply implicated in anti Polish and anti Russian massacres.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 20 2020 20:22 utc | 359

WTI has now a preice of -37$/bbl, plunge more than 300%; the frackers have to pay 37% per barrel to the customers to get rid of this s**t.

We do know Trump is not a fracking commie, so he cannot not nationalize the destroyed sector or it will be shot by his anarco-capitalist voters. Also Brent is very low, at 26$ but still above the break even point for Russia and KSA (but KSA need more money to sustain the internal welfare and warfare in Yemen)

Bye bye US$, bye bye 1 trillion pentagon budget per year, bye bye petro-dolar system, bye bye 800 foreign bases, bye bye 11 CSG, bye bye consuming 25% of the resources of the wolrd with the 4% of the population. It is the end of the Empire as we know it

May be Putin is giving back the gift US and KSA made in the 80's when the price of oil plunged and people say spark the end of USSR

Posted by: DFC | Apr 20 2020 20:25 utc | 360

The link:

May be at the end WTI it will not be at -37$/bbl, but probably at negative or zero value

Western canadian oil is also at around 4$/bbl, not a good business also

Posted by: DFC | Apr 20 2020 20:30 utc | 361


At SST pl has allowed a comment from jjc that disputes that China delayed or lied about a potential pandemic.

jjc provides a timeline that many here will find interesting:

Dec 25-26 The weird pneumonia with the opaque ground glass imaging on the lung X-rays shows up ...

Dec 31 the WHO is informed of possible infectious outbreak.

Jan 3 leader of China's CDC confers with America's head of CDC.

Jan 4-5 WHO makes public information of cluster of pneumonias in Wuhan

Jan 12 genetic sequence of the virus released

Jan 14 announce that human to human transmission might occur, but no evidence yet

Jan 21 announce that human to human transmission is now proven

By January 23 Congressional leaders have been briefed on possible pandemic and researchers at John Hopkins release paper describing a "fat-tailed" pandemic as imminent.

He also adds:
The timeline is not Chinese agitprop, it has multiple sourcing. No international scientist or health official involved has accused the Chinese of any delay or coverup. The accusations reside largely with political and media persons. Calling for retaliation without a clear or obvious reason for retaliation seems misguided,

<> <> <> <> <>

I copied jjc's full comment for future reference.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 20 2020 20:33 utc | 362 "Bullshit" is dead from covid19

"John McDaniel railed on social media against Ohio's Gov. Mike DeWine's lockdown order . Weeks later he contracted the virus. A few days ago he died."

Personally, I feel sorry for the medical and cleaning staff that were put at risk of exposure by having to give this fool treatment after he cried the madness of closing restaurants and bars has to stop. I pray he wasn't allowed to take a ventilator away from some desperately unprotected and underpaid Hispanic worker at a meat processing plant, or from a senior citizen living with diabetes.

from the comments: I wonder what he was thinking, gasping for breath, about the "hoax" and "bullsh*t." What a strange and profound lesson to learn at journey's end.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 20 2020 20:54 utc | 363

@DFC. May you be right..

@Den Lille Abe, if that comment about Somali's isnt sarcasm then I respectfully ask you to fuck off..

@Likklemore, yeah I transferred what little pension fund I have to my personal account just in time: Am out..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 20 2020 21:01 utc | 364

Phryne's frock | Apr 20 2020 20:54 utc | 382

LOL. Did you see the link right next to it about the 21 year old in tennessee who stated on social media she wasn't going to follow social distancing guidelines 3 days before she got sick? She has a different view of the necessity of such guidelines now!

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 21:15 utc | 365

I see an "Arab Spring" in the US coming, that is the way some "regimes" collapses.

Or may be they try to ignite a war in the Persian Gulf to cut production and save the frackers and the US status, anyway this could be a very risky business in pandemia's time

Posted by: DFC | Apr 20 2020 21:21 utc | 366

@bevin #378
There is zero possibility of the US defaulting on its debt.
The value of the dollars used to repay might be toilet paper, but there won't be a technical default since dollars are literally $0 to create (in large amounts).

The assumption of lower services, etc is also very unclear. You might note that Weimar Germany had historic inflation levels - because their odious debt was denominated in other nation's currency - but Germany was more than able to recover and build a strong economy less than a decade after the peak hyperinflation years, albeit under that guy Hitler.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 21:31 utc | 367

@DFC #380
I would note that these are May WTI contracts - which expire tomorrow.
This is not at all the same thing as even covering the majority of oil delivered for May in the US - foreign contracts (outside of Canada, which is the same as the US market).
What will be more instructive is to see what happens in June, July etc.

The drop from ~$20/barrel to -$40/barrel is historic, but could very well be a large hedge fund or ETF making a historic mistake as opposed to a sign of true structural issues. The June and later contracts are not showing any signs of decline, so far.

I've asked around - it seems that while storage is fully leased, it isn't actually full so that doesn't seem to be the driver either (and this is consistent - it is still relatively early in this demand shock).

Time will tell.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 20 2020 21:34 utc | 368

Yes, saw that, David F. Color me beyond fed up with these stark raving hypocrites who insist their right to swing their fists has no limit and does not end where my nose begins. There is no "right" to be willfully ignorant. If you are, you are, that's all - it isn't a RIGHT. I swear - Since when is the "right" to gamble with your neighbors' very lives an American value, eh?

shout outs to ben and james and vk go here. thanks, yiz.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 20 2020 21:45 utc | 369

bevin #378

Thank you for that concise debunk of holodomor. That myth is nothing more than a pathetic fascist rallying cry. Galician fascist trash.

Posted by: uncle tungstenq | Apr 20 2020 21:52 utc | 370

"...On April 17 after four workers at a Tysons plant in Camilla, Georgia, died after being tested positive for COVID-19, pressure has been building for the company to close that plant as well. To date the company says it will do temperature testing and require face masks in the densely-crowded, low pay plant. The trade union is asking 14-day quarantine paid sick leave for workers tested positive, so far without success. .."

Posted by: bevin | Apr 20 2020 21:55 utc | 371

First of all: VK, whenever I go to this website, after reading the newest article, my second action is to view your posts. It´s so nice to see some clear-headed, unsentimental albeit a bit cynical marxist(-leninist) analyses; those are hard to come by these days. Please keep writing those longer, historically informed posts of yours.

That´s enough ass-kissing for now; I don´t share your huge faith towards the Chinese government - it seems to me they are driven more by some kind of Confucian drive towards stability and control, rather than any true socialists purposes. I´m not very confident that their increasingly unequal society will proceed to some form of communism; after all, how many of the upper echelons of the CCP consists of workers and farmers nowdays? Aren´t more and more of them rich and secure nowdays, whose personal interests lie far above the harsh reality of ordinary people? If you prove me wrong, none would be more happy than myself.

Another thought that has been gnawing me, is about to which extent the Western ponzi-economies will recover after this crisis. Especially after listening to Dmitry Orlov at and reading Gail Tverberg at
They´ve been proclaiming the imminent fall of Western capitalism for more than a decade now, and only this "Black Swan Event" have lead to some real challenges against the Anglo-american hegemony in terms of geoplitical balance and also in terms of political discourse (after this, we may finally see some decreased trust towards Neoliberalism - I say this as a Swede, the country that has gone further than pretty much any country on earth in selling off all our hospitals, schools, energy infrastructure, transportation, etc.

Posted by: Dave the Wade | Apr 20 2020 21:57 utc | 372

David F | Apr 20 2020 19:17 utc | 363

Likklemore | Apr 20 2020 18:40 utc | 348

Reading the cjhopkins piece at unz, he provides a list of instances of people being arrested here link.

So, I do have to admit that people are being arrested, but for endangering the general public, not for 'breaking' the quarantine. There is a difference, in none of the instances linked to, is a person arrested for just being outside their home. In almost every instance all one had to do is leave when asked or not intentionally violate a mandatory public health rule, and no one goes to jail.

I didn't read all of them, because they are too long, but I did at least look at most of them. None appear to be unjustified, and most are a direct result of a person trying to 'prove he has rights'.

A guy playing with his daughter in a public park, cops come and say the park is closed, he refuses to leave or provide ID (he is an excop), they handcuff him and put him in the car, but eventually let him go. I know from personal experience that it is illegal to refuse to show id to a cop when asked, refusal for at least the last 20 years will result in being arrested, virus or no.

People gathering in a group of 50 and refusing to disburse, or at least one of them refusing, and getting arrested. Same thing with a group of 20.

A pastor holding services for hundreds of people after having been warned to not do so. The local police were recording license plates to report to the health department for a mandatory quarantine.

A person in Philly, where they have made it mandatory to wear a mask in public, on a public bus not wearing one and refusing to exit the bus when asked by the driver. The cops are called and physically remove him from the bus, but then let him walk away. Again, if the driver of a public bus asks you to leave, rightly or wrongly, and you don't leave you are most likely going to be arrested, virus or no.

Where I live I have not seen or heard of anything like this.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 22:11 utc | 373

Dave the Wade | Apr 20 2020 21:57 utc | 391

I used to be a big fan of dmitri, not so much the last few years when he moved away from the collapse related stuff.

You said he has been predicting the 'imminent' implosion for years now. To be fair, he has always said it WOULD happen, but as to when it would happen he has always said he could not say, maybe tomorrow, maybe 100 years from now. He also usually said it was likely to be sooner, rather than later.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 22:18 utc | 374

Hey, all you bar-fly lush meatheads who haven't done this yet, go back to post 195 by "Perimetr" and watch the video he linked to with "Vic". Believe me, you shan't be disappointed. It might be the greatest YouTube video, evah! Completely cogent, to the point, hilarious and disgusting at the same time. Cheers from a newbie.

Posted by: jonboinAR | Apr 20 2020 22:24 utc | 375

By the way, I don't recommend the piece by cjhopkins. He is usually somewhat funny, but not today.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 22:27 utc | 376

@ Posted by: Dave the Wade | Apr 20 2020 21:57 utc | 391

Well, I can only dialogue with my own times.

I don't have "faith" in the CCP. The numbers speak for themselves: more than 750 million lifted from povery in 70 years (largest number in humanity's history). The only Third World country to ever rise to superpower status. An urbanization process that, when finished, will have literally dwarfed England's original urbanization during the Industrial Revolutions. Administrative reforms capable of governing 1.5 bln people.

The CCP also has a history of victories in the battlefield. It survived the massacres of the 1920s. It then fought a three-front war during the 1937-1945 Japanese Invasion. It then fought the fascists of the KMT (with American full backing) in another civil war. During this civil war, it did the greatest military strategic retreat of History (the Long March). Its leaders, so far, are all war-forged - the most elevated form of meritocracy. It successfully crushed a counter-revolution at a very sensible moment (Tiananmen Square).

In this context, what should I make of our western social-democrats? I can only conclude that, if you pile all of them, they wouldn't make Mao's or Deng's thumbnail.

Now, obviously, China is in grave danger. It cannot last forever. If it doesn't break the capitalist encirclement (i.e. if the BRI doesn't pan out in the long term), then China will certainly collapse like the USSR did. And the CCP knows that (hence the BRI, hence its reform and opening up, hence its alliance with capitalist Russia). One day, China will certainly disappear. But that's not a question for our present times, let this be a problem for the generations of the 22nd Century, when we're long gone, mere dust.

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 22:30 utc | 377

@381 update

pl just said that jcc: "... is IMO a pro-communist troll."

He didn't ask for clarification... He didn't ask for sources... He didn't dispute the timeline or the facts presented...

pl and his SST crew objected to Russiagate. Yet they are willing to participate in a new false narrative.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

That's where we are folks. TPTB are not interested in the truth.

Fall in line and salute the flag or you're a "Russian asset" or a "communist".


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 20 2020 22:31 utc | 378

Craig Murray: That Leaked Labour Party Report


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 20 2020 22:39 utc | 379

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 20 2020 20:33 utc | 381

Then there is the Israelis´statements on that they were warned by the US military of an inminent outbreak in Wuhan in November!

If that US knew it in November, and the Chinese did not know until december when the first cases started to appear and be related, what does that imply?

Pat Lang and his greedy minions should stop trying to justify a new looting of another country so as them can keep their way over the top style of life ( due the state of their economy previous to the pandemic...), if they do not want to end with another 9/11 this time uncovevred for all the people of the world to see, including their own sacrified citizens...the CCP intelligence services do not rest idle for sure inquiring...

The truth is out there and will come out...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Apr 20 2020 22:47 utc | 380

Michael Roberts - top Marxist economist who predicted both the 2008 and the 2020 depressions with many years of antecedence - plays with the numbers available for the COVID-19 pandemic:

COVID-19 and containment

And yes, Sweden is doing badly, very badly.

Also, containment policies may have reduced mortality by 90-99% (yes, this is not a typo) in relation to laissez-faire.

He also confirms my "three variables rule" posted here earlier.

But the greatest problem is the extremely low levels of testing in the West. The country which most tested its population was microscopic Iceland - and even then, at just 11.59%. The second place - equally microscopic UAE - tested just 7.75%. The rest doesn't even come close (third place is Norway, at 2.53%). The USA - the only nation that matters in that list - has tested just 1.03% of its entire population. And there were people here calling for a "smart quarantine"...

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 22:55 utc | 381

VK @ 396:

Thanks for an excellent general yet concise comment on the past history of the CCP.

I would just add that the CCP and the Guomindang were still fighting each other even during the Japanese invasion, which dates back to 1931 when the Japanese staged the Mukden railway attack as a pretext for a full-scale invasion and takeover of Manchuria in China's northeast. Even when the CCP and the Guomindang had agreed to fight the Japanese together, their armed forces did not co-operate but fought separately and even against each other, and this lack of co-operation prolonged the fight against Japan. It is no surprise that once Japan surrendered in 1945, the Chinese civil war quickly resumed.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 20 2020 23:10 utc | 382

VK (I dont know how to directly quote with a post-number on top):

Sure, China has raised the productivity and living standards enormously. But shold socialism have higher standards than just create the same kind of mindless consumerism so rampant in the west? I don´t see any signs that Chinese society is very different. If socialism just means a different path towards this lifestyle, I´m not very interested.
FYI, while I do live in a very rich first world country, I´m probably among the poorest 10 percent of population of Sweden, and I wouldn´t want to have it very different. I don´t think we need personal cars, big houses and the ability to travel anywhere at the cost of a months salary. Cultural, social and intellectual development are what matters, after we've had our basic needs met.
What I do care about is for example free healthcare - that China doesnt have, or am I wrong?
And while a large portion of the chinese population might have the luxuries of consumerism, there is also the case of millions of workers living in dismal conditions having to work 12 hours a day in factories.

As for your second point - I greatly respect the sacrifices of the chinese revolutionaries. But the current generation of chinese politicians are mostly too young for that now, arent they? Most them were born in the 1950s at the earliest? And even a person that used to fight in revolutionary wars in ones youth might still become a opportunist later in life, as I belive the Soviet experience proves.

Posted by: David Wadström | Apr 20 2020 23:12 utc | 383

dh #322

@319 Please provide us with daily updates on your progress.

Well said. I immediately thought 'why stop at online harikiri' and then consider that #322 could fling themselves of a rabid ant nest and do it for real. Visit Komodo island and make goat bleating noises. Way to go.

Seriously though I wonder sometimes if the troll activity is actually AI driven text writers that just crank out trash. Sites like MoA must be a target for the likes of Robert Mercer and his family of sophisticated propagandists.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 20 2020 23:15 utc | 384

Well that latest post should have been signed by Dave the Wade. Anyway I´m not ashamed of posting in my real name, even if by mistake. I'll openly stand for my opinions any time. (not that I´m threatened by imprisonment or anything, at the moment - being a 1st world person...)

Posted by: Dave the Wade | Apr 20 2020 23:16 utc | 385

vk | Apr 20 2020 22:55 utc | 400

Thanks for that link. I will have to check out some more of what he has written. I did like the article, I think he made a couple of points I have been trying to make.

What I found surprising was the reduction in economic and social activity, I had thought the us would be much higher, I had read numbers suggesting 80-90% reduction. According to google and apple it is only down 31%.

Posted by: David F | Apr 20 2020 23:23 utc | 386

VK @ 400:

Yes Sweden is doing badly. Michael Roberts also makes a point immediately following after his comment about non-lockdown Sweden that lockdown Belgium (population just over 11 million) is also doing very badly.

"... Sweden is heading for one of the highest death rates in the world, only likely to be beaten by Belgium among the larger countries. And compared to its Scandinavian neighbours (where restrictions are nearly double that of Sweden’s – see the mobility graph above), the Swedish mortality rate will be some two or three times greater. It seems that the Swedish authorities have failed to protect the old, as the privatised residential homes have been engulfed with infections, just as they have been elsewhere.

But Belgium has a lockdown and will have a heavier mortality rate than Sweden, while Germany will do way better than countries like Spain and Italy where there are much more strict lockdowns. What that suggests is that containment does not just depend on the level of restrictions and lockdown, but also on the level of hospital facilities and testing ..."

(Bold text is my emphasis.)

Roberts might have added that the Swedish authorities have also failed to protect immigrant communities, especially the Somali community, as Den Lille Abe has crudely and cruelly noted elsewhere in this comments forum. In the case of the immigrant communities, the Swedish authorities neglected to provide them with information about COVID-19 and what to do in those communities' languages, and simply assumed that they would adopt social distancing (not possible when three or four generations of a family are living in apartments designed for a small nuclear family of two adults and two or three children) and similar measures.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 20 2020 23:27 utc | 387

@ Posted by: David Wadström | Apr 20 2020 23:12 utc | 402

It's still too early to tell.

For now, the goal of the CCP is to achieve, by 2021 (next year), the status of a "moderately prosperous society". Its second objective is to be, by 2049 (China's centenary), the status of a completely developed country (i.e. a First World country).

In other words, the CCP not only doesn't pretend to be a developed country, it doesn't expect to be so until 2049.

Evidently, the CCP failed in its first objective, as the pandemic, plus the sudden fall of its GDP growth after 2016, hampered its ambitions. However, it is important to highlight that those "objectives" are strategic goals, an inspiration to the country - it's not that they have everything precisely planned to, by year x or year y, the objective is 100% achieved.

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 23:43 utc | 388

David Wadström aka Dave the Wade @ 402:

The current generation of Chinese leaders lived through the Cultural Revolution as children, teenagers or young adults in their early 20s. Current President Xi Jinping spent part of his teenage years working and living in a rural village in Shaanxi province and apparently spent a few months living in a cave while his father (having been purged by the CCP when Xi was much younger) was in prison. Xi's jobs included digging ditches as well as farm work. He would not have been the only one of his generation to be separated from his family in the way he was and sent to the countryside for "re-education". (My sister-in-law was also separated from her family and sent to work on a farm when she was a child in the early 1970s.)

It would be worth your while reading some of Jeffrey J Brown's books and his blog to know something about everyday life in China. Brown has been living in China since 2010.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 20 2020 23:51 utc | 389

Forgot the link @ 407

China’s march towards a moderately well-off society

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 23:51 utc | 390

Posted by: jadan | Apr 19 2020 23:47 utc | 135

I had missed this earlier. Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

That is an interesting view. The notion of monsterous saints ushering in utopia-lite for a redacted humanity. I have wondered about this myself.

New Man

New Soviet Man

Quick. Someone go start New UBI Man

Posted by: concerned | Apr 21 2020 0:20 utc | 391

Posted by: vk | Apr 20 2020 22:55 utc | 400

Thanks for the great article link, some great resources therein. Good job!

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Apr 21 2020 0:22 utc | 392

"But shold socialism have higher standards than just create the same kind of mindless consumerism so rampant in the west?" --Some arrogant Sinophobe pretending not to be a Sinophobe.

China does have higher standards. That is part of how China achieved 3 covid deaths per million population while arrogant Nazi-collaborating Sweden has 156 deaths per million.

Just curious, but how many $billions did Sweden extract from China thanks to the "Treaty of Canton" that scumbag imperialists forced on China? Did Swedish scum ever make amends for being such trashy scumbags taking advantage of a country when it was in bad shape?

No, you didn't. And you still have the empty arrogance to judge China.

Being capitalism's whore doesn't pay so good these days now that the Soviet Union isn't around to bid up the price for your ass, does it? Enjoy going nowhere and being impotently jealous of China.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 21 2020 0:33 utc | 393

This is the culmination of a 20 year project and necessary step to implement Agenda 2030. Gates and the Pandemic Industrial Complex have engineered Viral 9/11 event. Interesting WHO declared the Pandemic on 3/11. Coincidence?

Anyways here is a condensed timeline.

2000- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives US$ 750 million to set up Gavi . GAVI was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, The World Bank and WHO at the annual meeting in Davos with the mission to vaccinate children in the world’s poorest countries. It had grown out of the Rockefeller-supported The Children’s Vaccine Initiative (founded in 1990). Control of vaccination and infectious diseases was to become one of the pillars to achieve a digital ID regime.

2002-Total Information Awareness (TIA). Based on the concept of predictive policing, TIA aimed to digitally collect detailed information about individuals in order to anticipate and prevent crimes before they were committed. TIA was the aim of the Information Awareness Office (IAO) established by DARPA in 2002. Eerily, the IAO’s logo employed the Masonic pyramid and all-seeing eye of the reverse side of the dollar bill casting its vision over the globe, with Francis Bacon’s scientia est potestia (“knowledge itself is power”) as a motto

Following public criticism that this technology could potentially lead to a mass surveillance system, the IAO was defunded by Congress in 2003. However, several IAO projects continued to be funded and merely run under different names, as revealed by Edward Snowden during the course of the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures.

2003 (February) JASON group (scientific think tank) issues DARPA funded study report on Biotetection Architectures stating “It is essential to conduct realistic exercises of a biodetection architecture in order to assess technical capabilities and refine operational procedures .... useful exercise(s) should entail pre-defined tests of the system through a series of staged events.”

2003 SARS, 2005 Bird Flu 2009 , Swine Flu, 2012 MERS, 2014 Ebola, 2015 Zika outbreaks , 2020 COVID follow

2008, Cass Sunstein, Harvard law professor and adviser to Obama, wrote a controversial paper advocating the use of covert agents in order to infiltrate online communities. The Snowden files confirmed that intelligence agencies monitor sites including YouTube and Facebook, attempt to “control, infiltrate, manipulate and warp online discourse” and even carry out “false flag operations” in order to discredit targets.

2012, the Obama administration announced more than $200 million in funding for ‘‘Big Data Research and Development Initiative’.’ Information Innovation Office, explains Lee, has replaced the Information Awareness Office. The first wave of agency commitments includes National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Geological Survey, and Department of Defense (including DARPA

2016- Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum predicted Smart technology devices will, during the coming decade, be integrated with our bodies for behaviour monitoring, location data, health functions and real-time identification . Smart tattoos and other unique chips could help with identification and location. Digital tattoos not only look cool but can perform useful tasks, like unlocking a car, entering mobile phone codes with a finger point or tracking body-processes. 

2017-At the annual summit in the United Nations ECOSOC Chamber, ID2020 adopted “the platform of change” and started the ID2020 Alliance, with funding from major donor Rockefeller Foundation and the digital technology consultant firm Accenture. Other founding partners were GAVI – The Vaccine Alliance, Microsoft and (a design and consultant firm with partners like The Rockefeller Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Bezos Family Foundation). Participants included Intel, IBM, Verizon, Samsung, NEC, and SAP. The Alliance featured a very tight connection between big tech companies, foundations, and vaccine and health interests.

2017-Dr Fauci said there will be a surprise outbreak during the Trump administration. He said this in a speech in January 2017 -given at Georgetown University on Pandemic Preparedness

2017- CEPI was founded in Davos by the governments of Norway and India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the World Economic Forum in 2017. Its mission is to stimulate and accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.

2017-December. The National Institutes of Health announced that it is lifting a funding pause dating back to October 2014 on gain-of-function (GOF) experiments involving influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses.

2018- “The Platform for Good Digital Identity” started in order to “advance good, user-centric digital identities”. Partners include ID2020, Accenture, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cisco, The World Bank, European Commission, United Nations and newly founded advocacy groups like One World Identity, World Identity Network and Security Identity Alliance. It is a big push that besides refugee identification and disease control is packaged as a solution to concerning issues like human trafficking and child marriages.

2019, the Strategic National Stockpile was transferred from the CDC to BARDA, and BARDA’s budget was increased by $722 million to a total of $2.2 billion. The stockpiles for life-saving medicines and medical equipment had been depleted during the bogus H1N1 influenza epidemic in 2009. The emergency stockpile was never replenished with essential medical equipment, therapeutics, or personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses. The lives of both patients in need of ventilators, and the lives of medical professionals were put at increased risk of death.

BARDA activities are not subject to FOIA requests. How convenient.

September 20, 2019 - ID2020 and partners launch program to provide digital ID with vaccines

October 18, 2019 Bill Gates funded study of Event 201 at John Hopkins University along with the World Economic Forum, simulating a pandemic eerily similar to Wuhan Virus. Attended by George Gao of China CDC

October 2019- draft of
Crimson Contagion 2019 exercise conducted from January-August in 2019- FunctionalExercise scenario was based on a novel influenza A(H7N9) virus that originates in China and is antigenically distinct (not matched ) from stockpiled vaccines.

2019-November 7. Bill Gates predicted a coronavirus-style pandemic would sweep the population in a Netflix documentary , in episode titled Next Pandemic. In the episode, titled The Next Pandemic, producers visit a wet market in Lianghua, China, where animals are killed and their meat is sold in the same place. Bit of Preprogramming there me thinks

2019- Dec 16, China has announced the goal of launching an innovative national vaccine tracking system before March 31, 2020. According to media reporting by China Daily on December 16, 2019, a recent circular jointly issued by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) and the National Health Commission says ‘this system will enable the traceability of all vaccines on the Chinese market.

January 13, 2020 Researchers at Moderna and the NIH choose sequence for an mRNA vaccine and began to mobilize toward clinical manufacture.

January 13,2020 Former CDC director Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,000 shares of Mercks stock (she is EVP) . The stock was sold for $9,119,000

January 13, 2020, Agnes Buzyn, still France’s Health Minister, classifies chloroquine as a “poisonous substance,” from now on only available by prescription. An astonishing move, considering that it has been sold off the shelf in France for half a century.

January 15, 2020 China and US sign trade deal where China promises to protect US intellectual property rights (eg patents on drugs, vaccines, etc)

January 16 , 2020 GAVIs CEO Seth Berkley wrote an article for World Economic Forum “At a time of increasing nationalism and a rejection of globalism, infectious disease is a reminder that we are interconnected and all have a stake in global health security.

January -2020 , World Economic Forum’s release of the White Paper Reimagining Digital Identity: A Strategic Imperative. A paper written with financial support from the ID2020 partner Accenture with the message that the world is in need for a more secure digital identification because of “fraud, identity theft and misuse or abuse of personal data” in the current fragmented systems.

January 23, 2020. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) unveiled funding for early-stage vaccine programs. 

Cambridge based Moderna disclosed that it’s working with federal researchers on a candidate, and now it'll have financial backing from CEPI. 

Pennsylvania-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals scored $9 million in funding for its own program, and CEPI is further expanding a partnership with the University of Queensland which has extensive partnerships with Wuhan Institutions including Wuhan Institute of Technology.


Posted by: Pft | Apr 21 2020 0:34 utc | 394

IMO, what's most impressive about China is it's decisive victory in delivering Freedom From Want, the most important of the Four Freedoms announced as WW2 war goals by FDR and in particular by Henry Wallace in his The Century of the Common Man speech in 1942. Eradicating Global Poverty was the goal of visionary New Dealers led by Henry Wallace during his years in FDR's White House. But establishing the Imperialist American Century gained ascendance at WW2's end, and the Outlaw US Empire replaced the Nazis with its goal of establishing Full Spectrum Dominance and deterring the rise of the Common Man in favor of Corporate Oligarchy, a task that was close to fulfillment in 2005. But the greed of Western Corporatists and their political allies aided China greatly as it accelerated its aim to eliminate Poverty and Want--ills that have long plagued its land and peoples. Just two 1/2 years ago, Xi Jinping gave this speech at the 19th Party Congress. But IMO, the most impressive areas of China's evolution in establishing its own Century of the Common Man is in democratic governance and furthering the Rule of Law as illustrated by this portion of Xi's speech:

"We have actively developed socialist democracy and advanced law-based
governance. We have stepped up institution building across the board to make
integrated advances in Party leadership, the running of the country by the people,
and law-based governance; and we have continuously improved the institutions
and mechanisms by which the Party exercises leadership. Steady progress has been
made in enhancing socialist democracy; intraparty democracy has been expanded,
and socialist consultative democracy is flourishing. The patriotic united front has
been consolidated and developed, and new approaches have been adopted for
work related to ethnic and religious affairs. Further progress has been made in
ensuring our legislation is sound, law enforcement is strict, the administration of
justice is impartial, and the law is observed by everyone. Our efforts to build a
country, government, and society based on the rule of law have been mutually
reinforcing; the system of distinctively Chinese socialist rule of law has been
steadily improved; and public awareness of the rule of law has risen markedly.
Good progress has been made in piloting the reform of the national supervision
system, and effective measures have been taken to reform the system of
government administration and the judicial system, and to develop systems to
apply checks and oversight over the exercise of power."

One major reason China's attacked is it has gone well beyond the West in creating an Equalitarian Society that is Just and citizens are motivated to continue its improvement because they directly feel its positive effects and are equally willing to do what must be done to protect their Society as was just demonstrated in manners that greatly shammed the West--Shame that now causes Trump and his vassals to bash China for its successes.

Was the West ever on the path to making its goal the improvement of the Common Man as advocated by Wallace and his political allies? Despite much propaganda announcing things like the Alliance for Progress, historic reality emphatically says the answer is NO! Liberalism failed mightily as a tool to advance the Common Man and has actually contributed to further impoverishment, particularly when we see what's happening as a result of the Pandemic where Millionaires get $$millions$$ while the Common People were to get next to nothing as a form of Neofeudalism evolves from Neoliberalism to further crush the Common Man and continue delaying the long sought Victory over Want.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2020 0:37 utc | 395

Truly, the epic day on oil markets. It looks like a "classic squeeze play". The contracts that are frenetically traded are "paper" (digital in this age) that allow to receive a commodity at some particular time and place, and reciprocally, oblige you to have it there. I would need to know more, but once the storage capacity at a trading hub is totally leased out, if you have an urgent need to extend your lease you can be screwed royally, or imperially as it happened.

Perhaps the market participant who makes the put (promise to deliver) can store the commodity as the market rules oblige him, but when the contract expires, he must make another put. It is not possible to be dismayed with the prices offered for the berries or mushroom you collected, take the basket and go home, and eat it or throw them to the pigs. So you may be forced to enter another contract, for the negative price.

But it was not a squeeze play but the pile-up of the unwanted commodity. And, unfortunately, you cannot spill it, pile it, or use to improve soil (like rotting apples or oranges, farmers have their share of experience with pile-ups of unwanted products).

Needless to say, the difference between "majors" and "minors" (who populate shale oil industry) is that the majors have their own storage and other means to avoid the squeeze, but the pain is not restricted to shale. Actually, the most acute pain is among the clever folks who provided so-called hedges, namely who sold the obligations to buy oil at a certain price. They are losing in hundred of billions -- my guess. Now they are forced to buy AND store, hence the negative price.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 21 2020 0:44 utc | 396

VK at 305:

Ioannidis's research is of course relevant because if the virus is not dangerous to under-65s in good health, then 'vertical' isolation of the vulnerable is the common-sense option.

Your argument is against vertical isolation and for horizontal isolation. You provide no expert support for your position. I prefer the position taken by the Stanford University professor of epidemiology after he and colleagues reviewed available statistical evidence. He takes a nuanced position, not a black and white one. Sometimes a lockdown (horizontal) approach may be the right way to go, especially in densely populated cities with terrible health care provided to the economic bottom third. But that extreme method is probably not needed in most situations, especially in societies with decent national health care, and the social and health disaster caused by an extreme economic depression also obviously needs to be weighed.

And, an extreme NO to your (again, link-free) assertion that Japan 'tried' vertical isolation and it didn't work. Up until a couple weeks ago at best, there has been virtually no testing of people who work in nursing homes, and there have been many casualties of that kind of stupidity and carelessness. So Japan hasn't tried 'vertical' very hard if it has tried. I have read of examples of similar careless failures, usually involving nursing homes, in the UK, US, and Sweden. A scandal of this ugly, uncaring neoliberal era.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 21 2020 0:47 utc | 397

Perhaps the greatest indicators of Outlaw US Empire policy failure exist just South of Florida with the failed yet ongoing illegal embargo of Cuba and the no-justice-ever prison it operates at Guantanamo Bay. Adhering to any Outlaw US Empire policy is immoral as none are aimed at truly uplifting the condition of the vast majority who languish in Poverty and Want. The biggest most consistently told BigLie is that the USA is a democracy. One need only look at who benefits from the gross Fraud practiced by the Federal Government and the private financial system to know there's zero democracy and actually zero Capitalism as the rich are now insulated from all risk financially.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2020 0:52 utc | 398

@ 362 william gruff... thanks for those comments.. i hadn't thought of that, but there is probably some truth to your ideas there.. this is a different type of squeeze then the one piotr berman is talking about @ 418!

Posted by: james | Apr 21 2020 1:14 utc | 399

speaking of the long-sought victory over want...

Edward Bellamy, from “EQUALITY” – 1897:

“Let not anyone falsely suppose that I am dreaming of a happiness without toil, of abundance without labor. Labor is the necessary condition, not only of abundance but of existence upon earth. I ask only that none labor beyond measure that others may be idle, that there be no more masters and no more slaves among men. Is this too much? Does any fearful soul exclaim: ‘Impossible – that this hope has been the dream of men in all ages, a shadowy and Utopian reverie of a divine fruition which the earth can never bear? That the few must revel and the many toil; the few waste, the many want; the few be masters, the many serve; the toilers of the earth be the poor and the idlers the rich, and that this must go on forever?’"

“Ah, no; has the world then dreamed in vain? Have the ardent longings of the lovers of men been toward the unattainable felicity? Are the aspirations after liberty, equality, and happiness implanted in the very core of our hearts for nothing?”

“The procession of political, social, and religious systems, the royal, imperial, priestly, democratic epochs, and all other great phases of human affairs, had been as passing cloud shadows, mere fashions of a day, compared with the hoary antiquity of the rule of the rich. Consider how profound and how widely ramified a root in human prejudices such a system must have had, how overwhelming the presumption must have been with the mass of minds against the possibility of making an end of an order that had never been known to have a beginning! What need for excuses or defenders had a system so deeply based in usage and antiquity as this? It is not too much to say that to the mass of mankind in my day the division of the race into rich and poor, and the subjection of the latter to the former, seemed almost as much a law of Nature as the succession of the seasons – something that might not be agreeable, but was certainly unchangeable. And just here, I can well understand, must have come the hardest as well as, necessarily, the first task of the revolutionary leaders – that is, of overcoming the enormous dead weight of immemorial inherited prejudice against the possibility of getting rid of abuses which had lasted so long, and opening people’s eyes to the fact that the system of wealth distribution was merely a human institution like others, and that if there is any truth in human progress, the longer an institution had endured unchanged, the more completely it was likely to have become out of joint with the world’s progress, and the more radical the change must be which should bring it into correspondence with other lines of social evolution."

(btw, I'm not a socialist. I self-identify as an egalitarian who campaigns for an end to unlimited personal fortunes capitalism. I believe earnings rightfully belong in the hands of the working person who earned it by their own sacrifice of time to working, in proportion to the amount of hours they sacrificed, not in the hands of wealthpower giants nor the State)

you don't have to be a socialist to love and respect Bellamy's great thinking! Equality is his sequel to Looking Backward. Neither is a perfect prescription for today, but both should be capital R Required reading - especially love The Book of the Blind chapter at end of Equality. My grandchildren will inherit my antique books. They also get my prized Henry George cigar box, picked up at a neighbor's auction along with my Venezuela tapestry, and of course my George Seldes "The Great Quotations":

"If, while there is yet time, we turn to Justice and obey her, if we trust Liberty and follow her, the dangers that now threaten must disappear, the forces that now menace will turn to agencies of elevation. Think of the powers now wasted; of the infinite fields of knowledge yet to be explored; of the possibilities of which the wondrous inventions of this century give us but a hint. With want destroyed, with greed changed to noble passions, with the fraternity that is born of equality taking the place of the jealousy and fear that now array men against each other, with mental power loosened by conditions which give to the humblest comfort and leisure; who shall measure the heights to which our civilisation may soar?

"The rise of wages, the opening of opportunities for all to make an easy and comfortable living, would at once lessen and would soon eliminate from society the thieves, swindlers, and other classes of criminals who spring from the unequal distribution of wealth...

"Industrial changes imply social changes and necessitate political changes.

"Progressive societies outgrow institutions as children outgrow clothes.

"For every social wrong there must be a remedy. But the remedy can be nothing less than the abolition of the wrong.

“If there were but one person in the world, it is manifest that he could have no more wealth than he was able to make and save. THIS is the natural order.”
-Henry George 1839 – 1897

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 21 2020 1:16 utc | 400

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