Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 03, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-35

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:


Since this blog did not join other sites in explaining the Coronavirus pandemic as a manufactured crisis it has been inundated with trollish comments. While some came from the usual subjects (donkeytale/disabuser, information agent/troothsayer) most were by first time commentators who posted scientifically false claims about the virus or insulted regular commentators and me.

During the last weeks I had to block 39 accounts for spreading 'corona nonsense', 57 for 'insults' and 20 for nonsensical 'one-liner' comments. Additional comments were deleted for posting links to bullshit from Veterans Today, Zero Hedge or Youtube quacks who peddled nonsense.

That may well be seen as 'censorship' but I see it as a matter of hygiene. The comments are supposed to be a place for discussing reality and not for peddling fringe therapies that may well kill people or for screaming at each other.

North Korea:

The country is famous for resurrecting its dead people. Kim Yong Un is just the latest of a long list of folks that 'western media' declared dead based on CIA rumors only to then reappeared.


April 27 - US occupation transport another patch of Daesh terrorists from Hasaka to Iraq - SANA
May 2 - Isis mounts deadly assault on Iraqi militia members near Samarra - Guardian
May 3 - Iranian proxies in Iraq blame US for ISIS attacks - Jerusalem Post


The CIA wants you to know that it had absolutely nothing to do with the Venezuelan version of the Bay of Pigs disaster.
Ex-Green Beret led failed attempt to oust Venezuela’s Maduro - AP


FBI documents hint Israeli collusion with Trump 2016 campaign - Israel-Palestine-News


Virtual visits to Russian museums, concerts, ballets etc.
Best (Russian) cultural experiences without leaving the house

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on May 3, 2020 at 13:13 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Google translation:

"We must free ourselves from the American grip and get closer to Moscow", claim senior army officers

In a column that we are publishing, a dozen high-ranking soldiers who have left the service and grouped together in the Joint Reflection Circle are worried about France's participation in the next NATO military exercise.

Posted by: Mao | May 3 2020 13:21 utc | 1

Google translation:

After the coronavirus pandemic: a world order to reinvent

Editorial. The health crisis is profoundly changing the relationships between major powers. In this context, Europe, if it wants to weigh, must start by organizing its own reconstruction.

"World" editorial. Are we witnessing, under the effect of the global health crisis, a radical transformation of our geopolitical environment? Does the dynamic at work stem from the acceleration of pre-existing trends or from a paradigm shift? Will the next world be worse or better than the one before?

These questions are as legitimate as those we have been asking ourselves for two months about the future of our societies and our economies. And trying to respond to it is just as risky as long as we do not know the duration of the crisis, its magnitude, or how it will be overcome.

But it is already possible, at this stage, to draw some lessons from the shock inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic on world ordering. The first is that the international order built under the aegis of the United States in the aftermath of the Second World War is no longer adapted to the reality of the balance of power of the 21st century. It was already fragile before the coronavirus crisis: some even trace the beginning of its dislocation to the collapse of the Communist bloc in 1989. The end of the Cold War, the disappearance of the USSR and the rise of China gradually unbalanced a world based on American-Soviet duality. The bipolar order was succeeded by a multipolar disorder, which somehow accommodated - less and less well, in reality - a multilateral mode of global governance.

Posted by: Mao | May 3 2020 13:25 utc | 2

Chinese study published by @NatureMedicine
"confirms FULL IMMUNITY to COVID19 in 100% of 285 patients who recovered from the virus."

Great news for those who know that herd immunity should be and de facto is the end goal of the world Covid-19 response (exceptions: China, S Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, others?). While the far less vulnerable (healthy under-50s) develop 60-80% herd immunity, the very vulnerable should be carefully protected. Of course, the achievement of herd immunity greatly improves protection of the vulnerable.

Of course, it would be really great if everyone openly recognized where things are going. Then we can carefully but quickly reopen the economy with those who are least vulnerable. Gigantic economic depressions are a drag, especially for the working class.

Posted by: fairleft | May 3 2020 13:42 utc | 3

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The Impeachment Hoax will be exposed. Crazy Nancy gets Nothing Done, that’s why she got thrown out as Speaker the first time. Also, she should come back to Washington now!

One America News @OANN

In the next edition of One America News Investigates, Michael Caputo exposes the coverup that led to the impeachment of President Trump.

Tune in Saturday, May 2nd at 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST– only on @OANN!

Posted by: Mao | May 3 2020 13:45 utc | 4

@Mao #1

What if NATO ordered another provocative military exercise along the Russian border and nobody came?

Posted by: Jay-Ottawa | May 3 2020 13:50 utc | 5

Yes we must hurry up and get back to making, buying, selling cheap crap that no one needs. We must hurry and get back to flipping houses making them more and more expensive. Gotta get back into those cubicals and those bull$hit jobs. Back on the hamster wheel of high anxiety, insecurity, hate, and anger. Back to burning billions of tons of FFs and garbage. TINA!!!

Posted by: jef | May 3 2020 13:54 utc | 6

The country is famous for resurrecting its dead people. Kim Yong Un is just the latest of a long list of folks that 'western media' declared dead based on CIA rumors only to then reappeared.

Does this means TMZ was wrong?!

There goes my last beacon of hope of American journalism...


On more important news, here's why the USA will never get up from the 2008-2020 meltdown:

The scarring

Posted by: vk | May 3 2020 13:58 utc | 7

Thanks Bernhard.
With some many of those BS comments (even from those nicks mentioned) online, the problem seems even bigger.
Maybe it is time to switch to a CMS with a better commenting system, where registration is required. This would make it much easier for you to clean house, and would have no real drawback for us barflies.
I know this topic has been talked about before many times, but the CMS and Commenting Plugin options have evolved greatly. No need to use proprietary and privacy nightmares like Disqus. There are great FOSS alternatives out there, that are free, stable and privacy conscious.
I fear you could be loosing your appetite to run this blog over this issue otherwise..
If you need help, please ask.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | May 3 2020 14:18 utc | 8

"That may well be seen as 'censorship' but I see it as a matter of hygiene. The comments are supposed to be a place for discussing reality and not for peddling fringe therapies that may well kill people or for screaming at each other."



Sure there are trolls out there.

But there are also a lot of innocent people who look to your blog for factual information. Some of the same people you attack where also giving money to you when you were going through your lean times, B.

On 07 April, it was reported that the Australian government would be making it accessible for all of its citizens to access medical Hydroxychloroquine if they want to.

You have avoided reporting in detail on this announcement.

Ergo according to your statement above, Australia is peddling "fringe therapies.

C'mon now B....

Posted by: Skeletor | May 3 2020 14:21 utc | 9

vk That's a cool link. I particularly appreciated his definition of hysteresis as econo types use it.

I was raised by people who were teenage in 1930-33...and I can assure you that he's right...tough times create lasting changes in behavior.


@wsws two essays, with which I disagree...nevertheless the actual facts discussed are very interesting.

1) Amid back-to-work drive and state reopenings
US government prepares for hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 deaths

2) Trump escalates attacks on China over COVID-19

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 14:25 utc | 10

@ Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 14:25 utc | 10

In the context of the article in the link, hysteresis is actually a tacit admission by the bourgeois economists Marx was right, as he was the scientist who described why "hysteresis" must always happen in capitalism in a scientific way.

The term "hysteresis" is pseudo-scientific, because it gives us the illusion capitalism is natural, as in opposition to historical.

Posted by: vk | May 3 2020 14:34 utc | 11

Dear Esteemed b Thank you for all you do. Thank you for the wonderful culture link. This was said by the sculptor Louise
Bourgeoise = there are only two reasons for Art = to celebrate beauty and to ease pain. Clearly we need a big does of Art just now.

To all the argument addicts - please don't call me out on this. Look into your own soul. Cheers

Posted by: Miss Lacy | May 3 2020 14:34 utc | 12

vk | May 3 2020 14:34 utc | 11 (hysteresis) I had only know the term from electronic, but we at home see social hysteresis unfolding in the world, ahemm.

However it seems to me that hysteresis also occurs not only in Capitalism, but also in every economic network.

I bow to your obviously superior knowledge of Marx and etc.

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 14:53 utc | 13

@ Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 14:53 utc | 13

Yes, in this sense, hysteresis is nothing more nothing less than the very concept of History.

Hence why Marx equated the theoretical advent of communism with the end of History. That may be also the reason prehistoric formations are denominated "primitive communism" - but I don't know the origins of this term for sure.

Posted by: vk | May 3 2020 14:58 utc | 14

Just a big "thank you" for the wonderful work that is island of lucidity in a sea of bullshit.

Posted by: Gregory | May 3 2020 14:59 utc | 15

B I appreciate your dedication to separating facts from conspiracy nonsense. For many of us who distrust the mainstream media, it can be too easy to swing to far in the other direction and not believe anything. This blog does the hard work of separating fact from fiction, and for that I am grateful.

Posted by: Shaun | May 3 2020 15:14 utc | 16

He who calls it censorship, let him do it. But nobody has to be insulted, nobody is obliged to publish proven bullshit. As a regular reader I am glad if I don't find such content here. That is one of the reasons why I stay.

Posted by: Pnyx | May 3 2020 15:25 utc | 17

Dear B.
For the last couple of years, reading your blog has been my daily routine, though I have rarely ever commented. I didn't think I had much to add to what you or most of your commenters had to say. I appreciated your writings so much that I have supported you monthly with 10 Euro. That doesn't seem much for some people, for me though it is. Until now I have agreed with practically all you had to say. Now I very much disagree with your wholehearted embrace of the mainstream narrative on Covid 19. Until now I have given you the benefit of the doubt. But today I have decided that you do no longer need my contribution for your work since you most likely get paid from some other source with much better means to do so. I truly hope this source is rather the Russian government and not the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
If you live in Germany you must know by now that here the majority of doctors and virologists who dare to express themselves in public do no longer follow the mainstream narrative. When you cite Drosten you would know that he is working for the Robert Koch Institute which has severe conflicts of interests with the Pharma Industry and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You would know that by now even the higher courts are deciding against some of the governments' decrees.
You would know about the research by respectable virologists and experts for epidemiology and statistics on SARS CoV2 spread or lethality.
These people are no "quacks".and for certain know better than you as a lay person would ever know.
Many people all over the republic are starting to ask themselves what kind of authoritarian agenda is hidden behind the total overreaction against a virus that's no more lethal than a severe flu. I do understand why the Chinese would lock down some of their provinces. They obviously believed they were being attacked by a biological weapon. They could not know how deadly or rather not deadly the Virus would actually be.
But now the numbers are in and we have seen the statistics. I don't understand why the Russians go along with it all. Is there something nobody is telling us? Could there be aftereffects of the infection? Will the HIV genetic material contained in the SARS CoV2 cause an Immune-Deficiancy-illness later on?

After all your former critical distance to the mainstream media on so many issues before Corona, your total turn around on this issue does not make any logical sense to me unless you know something you're not telling us or your paymaster does.

I know that I'm not the only one who feels betrayed by you.

Posted by: Ortrud | May 3 2020 15:33 utc | 18

A comment would be appreciated from any barfly specialist in Russian affairs about what Mikhalkov calls being censored, very strange since the filmmaker is someone close to the powers that be in Russia. In his program Besogon Mikhalkov exposes Gates and what he calls his “chipping” enterprise, plus high Russian functionaries like German Gref, head of Sberbank, suggesting they are involved in eugenic projects.

Posted by: Paco | May 3 2020 15:36 utc | 19

They are already spinning the Gen. Flynn set-up:

The FBI Set Flynn Up to Preserve the Trump–Russia Probe

Anyone that has followed the Gen. Flynn saga knows that the Deep State targeted him because of his speaking out against US support for ISIS. Flynn told us that this support was a "wilful decision". Information that has come to light since then has proven the truth of this horrifying charge. We can surmise that ISIS represented a doubling-down of the Syrian regime-change operation after USA plans for bombing Syria in 2013 were foiled by Russian diplomacy (backed by Russia's full support for Assad).

<> <> <> <> <>

Furthermore, the Flynn case AS WELL AS the re-imprisonment of Chelsea Manning to compel (false?) testimony shows that Assange can not get a fair trial in USA. (Note: Manning has now been released after a year in jail and a quarter-million dollar fine).

UK should deny extradition.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 15:37 utc | 20

FWIW, when talking about magnetizing current and a ferromagnetic material (e.g., a transformer core), hysteresis and hysteresis losses are very real.

Posted by: spudski | May 3 2020 15:45 utc | 21

USA quietly mobilizes for War:

Trump authorizes Pentagon to ready reserves for cartel fight

Ready and willing to fight Maduro "the Cartel" but not willing to mobilize contact-tracers to fight SARS-COV-2. A sad testament to US government priorities.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 15:46 utc | 22

Had posted this video from Stanford Professor and virologist John Ioannidis on his position on CV pandemmic and was deleted. Maybe posted in incorrectly? Do not see as controversial.
Ioannidis says health workers could be facilitating the spread of CV. Believe deleting informational links such as this smacks of censorship and disservice to readers seeking more information.

Posted by: Joe | May 3 2020 15:57 utc | 23

Thank you, b! I am going to so enjoy your last link!

Posted by: juliania | May 3 2020 16:22 utc | 24

@ fairleft post 3

I would wait for this study to be peer-reviewed and replicated- It's the unknowns....Also length of immunity is undetermined.

from the conclusion at link:

"Our study has some limitations. First, we did not test samples for virus neutralization and therefore the neutralizing activities of the detected IgG antibodies are unknown. Second, due to the small sample size of patients in severe and critical condition, it is difficult to determine the association between antibody response and clinical course."

Posted by: Likklemore | May 3 2020 16:23 utc | 25

@Ortrud | May 3 2020 15:33 utc | 18

Thank you, you put my thoughts in words better than I could do myself.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 3 2020 16:23 utc | 26

@spudski | May 3 2020 15:45 utc | 21

FWIW, when talking about magnetizing current and a ferromagnetic material (e.g., a transformer core), hysteresis and hysteresis losses are very real.

Hysteresis is a very real physical phenomenon in many different areas. In my field (structural analysis) friction between parts causes hysteresis when subject to (semi-)cyclic loading. It is the most significant effect to take into account when estimating life-time of offshore risers for example.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 3 2020 16:29 utc | 27

Lockdowns killing the music industry: Rolling Stone source

Until the crisis hit, the live-music business was on track to generate $12.2 billion in box-office revenue in 2020, according to Pollstar. If concerts manage to start up in late August, Pollstar estimates that the industry will lose about $5.2 billion in potential revenue for the year — but if venues end up shuttered through December, losses could spiral up to $8.9 billion.

Note that due to the Internet/Youtube/Apple, live performances are how most musicians derive the majority of their revenue.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 16:32 utc | 28 saying that Trump threatened to withdraw US troops if Saudis didn't stop their oil flood. No idea if this is credible, but huge if it is link

In an April 2 phone call, Donald Trump told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started cutting oil production, he would be powerless to stop lawmakers from passing legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from the kingdom, four sources familiar with the matter revealed.

The threat to upend a 75-year strategic alliance, which has not been previously reported, was central to the U.S. pressure campaign that led to a landmark global deal to slash oil supply as demand collapsed in the coronavirus pandemic – scoring a diplomatic victory for the White House.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 16:34 utc | 29

Wolf street: US oil consumption down 7 million barrels per day between gasoline, jet fuel and distillate EIA graph via Wolf Street

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 16:36 utc | 30

Beate Bahner, in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg, has a 25-year career and has won three cases before the Federal Constitutional Court (German Supreme Court) in the domain of unlawful infringements of the right to practise one's profession. She has written five books on medical law, most recently an analysis of the 2016 federal act to tackle corruption in the healthcare system

what's up with this, b? why was she violently arrested and sent to a psychiatric ward?

Posted by: john | May 3 2020 16:39 utc | 31

thanks b... all your work is appreciated...

@ 18 ortrud.. perhaps having a viewpoint on foreign affairs, usa foreign policy and etc is very different then a focus of covid - science and the question of authoritarian rule over the whole planet... maybe not... what do you think? it is interesting conjecture that b has somehow been bought out by some power and is given over to walking the party line... it seems pretty unfriendly to me, but i get why some can see this, especially anyone given over to conspiracy theories over the planet being ruled by the 1% and how covid is this mass experiment to rule the masses via the pandemic.. i don't see it frankly...

Posted by: james | May 3 2020 16:39 utc | 32

"Work" from home apparently is a lot shorter than work - at work
BLS work day data

In 2018, people at work averaged 7.62 hours of work per day.
People working from home averaged 2.94.

It will be interesting to see how 2020 lockdown data plays out.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 16:40 utc | 33

I don't understand why the Russians go along with it all. Is there something nobody is telling us?

Posted by: Ortrud | May 3 2020 15:33 utc | 18

I do not discard all this have been pre-planned by TPTB,or at least certain sectors of them, although what I do not degrade is the virulence and damage caused by the virus, at health level, and not only in elder people or people with pre-conditions.

All in all, B has all its right, especially in his own blog, in keeping his own view.

Who are involved and who are not, is for sure to be witnessed in the future, as it would be needed to take sides in front of the authoritarianism to come.

With your not understanding on why the Russians could go along, you should take into account that the current Russian system, as capitlaist as anyone could be, would be much interested in mass control, as anybody else, especially when they are discovering that the capitalist system they so much chose by paying such price at citizenry, lose of sovereignty and assests level, is finally falling apart.

How they will justify it in the eyes of the survivors?

Did I say survivors? Well, if any of them is left when all this and coming waves of Corona end...

From an article I will not post as it points out at a pre-planned crisis, some interesting data on the value od shares of Big Pharma before and after "pandemic":

Percentage drop and increase in share price in February-April of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies (value in dollars)

ROCHE HOLDING 19/2/20 – 351,1 12/3/20 – 247,4 % - 29
JOHSON&JOHNSON 21/2/20 – 149,8 12/3/20 – 110,6 % - 26,3
GILEAD 20/2/20 – 67 12/3/20 – 68 % - 1,4
AMGEN 13/2/20 – 223 12/3/20 – 182 % - 18,3
GLAXO 10/2/20 – 1657 12/3/20 – 1404 % - 15,2
NOVARTIS 12/2/20 – 95 12/3/20 – 83,9 % - 11,6
MERCK 13/2/20 – 122,7 12/3/20 – 89,5 % - 27
SANOFI 18/2/20 – 93,7 12/3/20 – 73,4 % - 21,6
ABBVIE 13/2/20 – 64,5 12/3/20 – 74,2 % + 15
PFIZER 11/2/20 – 38,09 12/3/20 – 30,1 % - 21,2

La Organización Mundial de la Salud, declaró una pandemia global el 11 de Marzo de 2020.

ROCHE HOLDING 12/3/20 – 274,4 28/4/20 – 352,7 % +28,5
JOHSON&JOHNSON 12/3/20 – 110,6 24/4/20 – 154,86 % +40
GILEAD 12/3/20 – 68 29/4/20 – 83,14 % +22,2
AMGEN 12/3/20 – 182 27/4/20 – 242 % +32,9
GLAXO 12/3/20 – 1404 30/4/20 – 1698 % +20,9
NOVARTIS 12/3/20 – 83,9 27/4/20 – 88,03 % +5,8
MERCK 12/3/20 – 88,5 30/4/20 – 108,55 % +22,6
SANOFI 12/3/20 – 73,4 27/4/20 – 93,4 % +27,2
ABBVIE 12/3/20 – 74,2 29/4/20 – 83,76 % +12,8
PFIZER 12/3/20 – 30,1 29/4/20 – 38,12 % +26,7


Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 16:44 utc | 34

Nathan Tankus has a series up explaining the recent actions of the Fed.  Here is some information from part 6 (5/3)

.....The need for these rolling and complex rule changes plus the discriminatory history of bank lending strongly suggests that banks need to be abandoned as policy intermediaries. 

April 27th

The most important announcement covered in this post is far and away the expansion of the Municipal Liquidity Facility on Monday. This announcement is clearly a response to criticism of how high the population requirements were when the program was initially announced.

Thus, it's no surprise that the main way the Fed expanded the MLF is by lowering the population cutoffs. Now cities with a minimum of 250,000 residents and counties with a minimum of 500,000 residents can access the Municipal Liquidity Facility. This expansion is really rather large.

This is especially the case as so many lives hang in the balance of what state and local governments spend today. It's hardly conceivable of a scenario where loosening financial constraints today as much as possible doesn’t provide large net positive outcomes. The size of the purchases also remain at 500 billion dollars, which should be expanded further (or even uncapped).
April 30th

As if Monday’s announcement wasn’t enough, the Federal Reserve announced an expansion of the Main Street Lending Program this past Thursday. This program was changed in three essential respects:

1. It was expanded to include businesses with $5 billion dollars in revenue and up to 15,000 employees (up from $2.5 billion and 10,000 maximum employees)

2. Lowering the minimum loan size to $500,000 dollars

3. Creating a third loan option for riskier loans which banks in turn take a greater stake in (15%).

In the abstract, the first two changes are fine. The concrete policy concern is that the first two changes, when combined with the third change, is a de-facto rescue of the oil and gas sector.

This issue shakes up the debate over “green central banking” as now we have the question of how much the Federal Reserve should be acting to accomplish environmental policy goals when providing emergency liquidity to financial markets and financial institutions. It was one thing for the Federal Reserve to claim that it was the job of congress or other regulators to implement preferences for “green” production as opposed to “brown” production. It is quite another for the Federal Reserve to use emergency authority to provide subsidized emergency liquidity directly to fossil fuel companies. It becomes much harder at that point to claim that the Federal Reserve isn’t making active choices in this area.

Finally, the increasing reliance of this program on loan originators retaining a portion of the loan on their balance sheets seems likely to enhance discrimination. Banks are not good intermediaries and the more you rely on banks using up their own balance sheet for your loans, the more dysfunctional the program will become.

In the midst of all this, the problem remains the same- the economy has lost a huge amount of income and no one is replacing it at a remotely adequately scale to prevent depression. 

Posted by: financial matters | May 3 2020 17:00 utc | 35

Ioannidis says health workers could be facilitating the spread of CV

@Posted by: Joe | May 3 2020 15:57 utc | 23

That I can attest by direct knowledge from sources implied in terrain, since at least in certain health organizations hekath personel has not been tested since the last days of this week.
To this date they continue with rationing of FFP2 only to obvious symptomatic patients, leaving the home visits and direct attention of asymptomatic without gear by mandate of the administrators. They are oblied to sign in every time they get an FFP2...As I read in an article by PCR, who added a de-escalation plan by a virologist, all the population should wera FFP2 or equivalent to stop the spreading of the virus and at the same time retake normal life and gatherings of people. This is, simply, not sustainable, if not for those with spurious agendas related to undermining of human rights, tracking of people, control of movement and so on. What better way of eliminating any dissent or the sure protests to come than starting one after another waves of Coronavirus, or any other critter out there, anytime things go ugly for any government, or association of them, as happened in France or Chile just before the "pandemic"....

This is why I do not support mandatory lockdown any more longer than two months, enough is enough, as the seriousness of the health authorities, more pendant of the spending in masks and protective gear for their porfessionals than on the spending on ICU beds and hospital stays and treatments. When you are not assuring an effective control of the virus spreading, I can not se the point in being jailed for two minths and the economy destroyed, especially that of the common taxpayers, as banks will be receiving, again, the loans coming from the EU at low interest to then extend them to the customers at higher rates with which the transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the banks will be, if not equal, bigger than in 2008....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 17:01 utc | 36

Contact tracing via app: a scam
Bruce Schneier on contact tracing via app

This is a classic identification problem, and efficacy depends on two things: false positives and false negatives.

False positives: Any app will have a precise definition of a contact: let's say it's less than six feet for more than ten minutes. The false positive rate is the percentage of contacts that don't result in transmissions. This will be because of several reasons. One, the app's location and proximity systems -- based on GPS and Bluetooth -- just aren't accurate enough to capture every contact. Two, the app won't be aware of any extenuating circumstances, like walls or partitions. And three, not every contact results in transmission; the disease has some transmission rate that's less than 100% (and I don't know what that is).

False negatives: This is the rate the app fails to register a contact when an infection occurs. This also will be because of several reasons. One, errors in the app's location and proximity systems. Two, transmissions that occur from people who don't have the app (even Singapore didn't get above a 20% adoption rate for the app). And three, not every transmission is a result of that precisely defined contact -- the virus sometimes travels further.

Assume you take the app out grocery shopping with you and it subsequently alerts you of a contact. What should you do? It's not accurate enough for you to quarantine yourself for two weeks. And without ubiquitous, cheap, fast, and accurate testing, you can't confirm the app's diagnosis. So the alert is useless.

Similarly, assume you take the app out grocery shopping and it doesn't alert you of any contact. Are you in the clear? No, you're not. You actually have no idea if you've been infected.

The end result is an app that doesn't work. People will post their bad experiences on social media, and people will read those posts and realize that the app is not to be trusted. That loss of trust is even worse than having no app at all.

It has nothing to do with privacy concerns. The idea that contact tracing can be done with an app, and not human health professionals, is just plain dumb.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 17:03 utc | 37

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 16:40 utc | 33

Those are most probably data from the employers association, to be taken with a grain of salt....

By direct testimony of a client, currently working at home due preconditions of vulnerability, she is working right now way around 12 hours, in contrast with the 8 hours she did have at her job post, to be able to cop with the workload her boss is charging to do online from home.

What it seems is that, along with the health telephone attention, teleworking is here to stay, as the employeers have tested it is more profitable for them ( they obtain more surplus ) while saving in job place conditions....Round business.

A new reason, to add to the interest some would have in unleashing new pandemics.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 17:11 utc | 38

@H. Schmatz #38
As I noted clearly in the post, it will be interesting to see what data comes out for 2020.

As for employers - it is the employers who matter, no? Whether the employers are right or wrong - belief or reality that at-home productivity is lower means that at-home work isn't going to stick.

Lastly, the notion that a single person's experience represents an entire workforce: nope. Irrelevant.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 17:15 utc | 39

As for employers - it is the employers who matter, no?

@Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 17:15 utc | 39

Of course, for the current lieral governments that is so, but, as the lockdown has clearly showed, there is no economy at all without employees doing the workload.

Also employees are more, and the prospect of millions of employees out of work because of the coming 6th technoligcal paradigm is a real troubling issue for governments, which would benefit greatly from continuous declarations of state of alarm when the skies are falling...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 17:36 utc | 40

The efficiency and productivity of working from home (WFH) is highly dependent on the individual, their motivation, their industry and their actual job function, that's before I even mention supervision.

in one of my past lives I witnessed first hand in a teleworking experiment the amount of employee who can maintain or exceed their in-office productivity was around 10-15%.

I do believe WFH might be here to stay for some as employers may also benefit from overhead savings but once they see the productivity figures I won't expect them to hand out pay rises.

in my circle of friends and families this can be verified with most taking ample liberties during their "work hours" and generally doing just enough. the only ones working even harder are the self employed, those on success bonus arrangement and the creative types who are used to taking work home because they like to work into the small hours.


Posted by: A.L. | May 3 2020 17:49 utc | 41

Ah, the FBI. The FBI no matter how much you look a their propaganda shows on the TV, the FBI has always been crooked, ergo the need for TV shows saying how great they are. Anyway, regarding Flynn, this was nothing new about setting him up. The FBI has a long sorted history with setting people up, but usually the poor, mentally deranged, or simply not intelligent. If you review the number of of anti terror cases where someone was going to blow up a hospital, a church or some other structure, the suspect always gets caught because of an FBI informant, who made up the plot, gave the person a fake bomb, money or materials to make the plot come true. I would venture a guess that 90% of arrests for terror are along those lines. So, the FBI as great crime fighters is a myth. I worked with them before and they were a joke.

I hope comey, stronk, and goes to jail. But two sets of laws exist for the powerful. Cheers!!

Posted by: Tonymike | May 3 2020 17:55 utc | 42

Ortrud | May 3 2020 15:33 utc | 18

I strongly reject that comment. You gave no argument for your claim except that b has some different views about this topic. With a topic which is so much controversial until today and still generates daily claims that are far removed from being proven at all (bio-weapon, its origin, medication issues, does it contain HIV material etc.) such an easy conclusion is simply unfair. My point of view.

Posted by: Hausmeister | May 3 2020 17:59 utc | 43

B, I like your description of blocking certain accounts as being a matter of “hygiene.” Spreading manure on a sidewalk serves no useful purpose, but rather the opposite, and it needs to be swept away. The MoA comments section is not a place for cranks and crackpots to spew nonsense and venom. The are plenty of other forums where such behavior is the norm and where they will feel at home.

Posted by: Rob | May 3 2020 18:14 utc | 44

How is this tracing by app supposed to work. The only tech I have is the 9 year old laptop I'm typing this on, and an even older flip-flop cell phone. What are they going to do, try to make me shell out a few hundred $$$$ for a "smartphone"?

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | May 3 2020 18:47 utc | 45

On the issue of hygiene, thank you B for imposing social distancing on those spreading rubbish!

Posted by: Trisha | May 3 2020 18:53 utc | 46

re: "The CIA wants you to know that it had absolutely nothing to do with the Venezuelan version of the Bay of Pigs disaster."

In other news, the CIA also wants you to know that it had absolutely nothing--I repeat, NOTHING--to do with America's recent "regime change" operations against Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iraq, Syria, Iran, China, or many other nations in general. Swear on a stack of bibles. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

Also, Iraqi "Weapons of Mass Destruction" really existed.

Killing Hope
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II

Posted by: ak74 | May 3 2020 19:08 utc | 47

>Anyway, regarding Flynn, this was nothing new about setting him up.

There are only about three phrases to say to FBI:
No Comment.
Am I under arrest?
I want a lawyer.

The problem with people like Flynn is they think they are the smartest ones in the room and can outsmart the FBI. They forget that FBI doesn't record interrogations and the agents are free to write up the summaries however they like. In this case, they actually re-wrote the original interview months later.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | May 3 2020 19:10 utc | 48

"How the US intends to keep its group of corporate marauders on top"


and I found this interview of Vitchek interesting


Posted by: arby | May 3 2020 19:19 utc | 49

The maritime invasion attempt of Venezuela was very weird.

According to available reports, only eight mercenaries participated (the leader being an American ex-green beret). A small arsenal was confiscated, with clearly American equipment (with American inverted flags on a typical American camouflage pattern).

If this was a legitimate attempt by the USG to regime change Venezuela, then it is striking. It would be - if that turns out to be the case - a glaring sign of American dwindling material resources. It would be a continuation of the Puerto Rico fiasco, where the USG openly stated it didn't have the USD 90 billion to rebuild the island-colony.

This is too good to be true. My guess is the there is a decline in American intelligence (i.e. the CIA), and the USA has less information on Venezuela then we think they have. This "coup" attempt may well be a scouting force, sent there just to "test the waters" and gather more information on the real strength of the FANB, terrain, topography etc.

Posted by: vk | May 3 2020 19:25 utc | 50

Against those who claim that the virus is no worse than the flu. In April it was killing people in London at a higher rate per month than in any single month of the bombing in the last world war. Accross the country losses to the virus already exceed total losses to airaids in the war. And that is with a belated.lockdown. Without a lockdown, at the exponential growth rate of mid March about 26 million would have been infected with about 250,000 dead by the second week in may. These are losses on the scale of a major war. The US has already had more killed than in the Vietnam war.

This kind of death toll is not like flu, and any government in Europe that allows its country to suffer that way when other states who have taken appropriate protective measures escape with relatively minor death tolls, will be fatally discredited. The fact that states with communist governments have low death tolls whilst capitalist ones have severe losses is already an ominous indicator for our ruling classes. Were they to allow the infection to sweep through the population whilst the great nations of Asia escape such destruction, who knows what pilitical consequences will ensue?

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | May 3 2020 19:40 utc | 51

To the people who think removing obvious trollish and bullish!t comments from a blog is ‘censorship’, you probably also think that the host removing unruly and aggressive houseguests from a party violates their ‘freedom of assembly’.

When disruptive and nonsensical comments derail discussions and drown out commentators posting in good faith, removing the offending comments is simply good sense. When agitators and cranks are not ‘culled’ the result is a chaotic free for all that makes genuine information exchange impossible. This is what happened in the unmoderated alt.* Usenet newsgroups in the early days of the internet.

Google banning PressTV and channels like SouthFront from YouTube for presenting valid and rational points of view that challenge or do not agree with the prevailing pro-US, pro-NATO propaganda ‘narrative’, now that is an example of censorship (of the non-state variety).

Posted by: Daniel | May 3 2020 19:54 utc | 52

Ortrud | 18 repeats the completely discredited claim that cov-19 that's no more lethal than a severe flu.

That is wrong, wrong, wrong. We now have enough data to compare over-all mortality rates for the last two months with comparable rates (for the same months) over the last 5 years. In NY City the death rate is now exceeding the historical average by a factor of 3.8. Even the worse flu pandemic in the last decade created an excess death rate of on 20%. Spikes in over-all death rates over historical averages are also seen at this point in 4 other US states, England-Wales and the Lombardy region of Italy. In none of these examples do the increases in over-all death rates begin the approach the increased death rates observed for any flu pandemic seen in the last decade.

Interestingly, these death spikes exceed the officially reported deaths attributed to cov-19 by about 30%. This is easily explained since people who have been dying in nursing homes, in their own homes or on the streets have not been counted in the official cov-19 deaths for the simple reason that such persons are not being tested for the presence of the virus.

Ortrud, you precede your bs with a bunch of nice words praising b, but I think you are just another one of those nuisance trolls b was warning us about.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 3 2020 19:58 utc | 53

Posted by: Daniel | May 3 2020 19:54 utc | 53

"Usenet newsgroups in the early days of the internet"

Yes I remember the early days Usenet newsgroups it were moderated by ISP and later moderated by moderators it lasted a few years longer and died. Social.Culture."country" most popular.

Posted by: JC | May 3 2020 20:11 utc | 54

correction to | 54.

Misspoke here. Not In none of these examples do the increases in over-all death rates begin the approach the increased death rates observed for any flu pandemic seen in the last decade. Rather, it should read: In none of these examples do the increases in over-all death rates seen with flu begin the approach the increased death rates observed for the current cov-19 pandemic.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 3 2020 20:13 utc | 55

c1ue @ 28 says:

Note that due to the Internet/Youtube/Apple, live performances are how most musicians derive the majority of their revenue

yes, live performances are how most musicians derive the majority of their revenue, absolutely.

the live music performance is also the transcendental platform for THE universal language, its ultimate practicability, be it for inspiration, transformation, or pure magic, since time immemorial.

to cancel this vector is grievous. let's hope it's temporary.

Posted by: john | May 3 2020 20:14 utc | 56

Ortrud | May 3 2020 15:33 utc | 18

After b made a 180 after his first article about COVID-19 being no more virulent than a severe flu, I have had the distinct impression that his blog has been hijacked by security services. The quality of all of this site's posting has precipitously declined since then, including the non-COVID related ones. The general style of his comments also seems 'off' to me. I have the distinct impression that b no longer writes for this blog.

In any event, I still return here occasionally to see what the commenters have to say rather than what b has to say, which in itself, I consider to be an indictment of b's recent postings.

Posted by: JasonT | May 3 2020 20:40 utc | 57

While people are searching after conspiracies to explain the current crisis they are missing the most dangerous conspiracy of all. We are all being habituated into an acceptance of mortality rates which occur entirely because the casualties, the people dying, are being deprived of the nursing care that they need. And which, properly supervised, would keep many alive.

This is a scandal in plain view. And it is labelled, Do Not Resuscitate. DNR orders are issued routinely, not for medical but for financial reasons. We know this and there has been no shortage of evidence of it. For example the recently appointed Minister of Health in Brazil (Harvard and York University, Toronto, trained) estimates the value of a human life at $30,000. When combined with the medical profession’s assessment of the value of its own services-the fees of consultants, the cost of lab tests, the salaries of General Practitioners etc- $30,000 does not take a sick person very far. And when the money runs out: Do Not Resuscitate.

While laboratories and billionaires look for magic bullet vaccines to sell as cures, it is very likely that people are dying because there is not enough nursing care available to do the little things that, added up, save lives. Hospitals are very automated and nowhere more than in the ICUs. Where once there were dozens of full time nurses monitoring patients and administering treatment there are now cameras and computers to which patients are wired up, their progress being monitored via graphs and computer charts. Nurses are often part timers rushing from job to job, many of them from Care homes to Hospitals to house visits.
All these are cost saving measures designed not so much to cut expenditure but to ensure that larger portions of the Health budget are earmarked for profits and managerial salaries, while the portion spent on wages declines.
If adequate nursing was available for all, many who are now dying would survive. But the nursing profession is in decline, it is cheaper to import ready trained nurses from poor countries than it is to train English or Americans in this vital arm of the healthcare system. And at a time when the 24/7 care of nurses would save lives, money is being saved instead and DNR notices are being scattered like confetti when the lives of the elderly and the poor are at issue.
Everywhere the figures tell the same story: this is a virus that kills the poor while the rich-for a variety of reasons all to do with wealth and power- survive. It is a very old story. Every epidemic sees it being repeated- the poor are less well nourished, and when sick they are often left to look after themselves when doing so is impossible.
The various prophylactics and measures of relief being discussed can only ever work if they are administered by caring people who understand what they are doing- nurses can lower patients' temperatures, inject or feed them doses of vitamins or minerals, they can ensure that patients are hydrated (it is one of the notorious features of the DNR regimes in some NHS hospitals that poor old people were simply left without water in recent years) and fed. They can ensure that they are moved around in bed, that they are kept clean and provided company and cheerful companionship.

Posted by: bevin | May 3 2020 20:41 utc | 58

COVID-19 is clearly a vigorous infector and the pharmacology available to interrupt its cycle is far from agreed by all countries. It appears to me that mendacious capitalism directs choice of treatment whether by propaganda or bribery or by intimidation of medical professionals.

Slowing down the potential avalanch of severely afflicted people also gives time to increase production and distribution of demonstrated effective pharmaceuticals. The facemask practice being the big revelation. Plus it reveals some glaring issues of research and health system practices that need reform.

Trusting an app to solve a problem of this complexity seems absurd to me, why not just wear mask when in crowds. Getting caught between unreliable test products, defective apps, lockdown poice issuing house arrest orders is like talking to the FBI. You are framed and can't reverse it. Knowing the foibles and weaknesses of an app has convinced me to conduct any outdoor business anonymously and wear a mask for safety.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 3 2020 20:54 utc | 59

Some know I'm a native kiwi, and there are others who can better speak to matters pertaining thereof since neoliberalism clamped its jaws down under, but in the spirit of Pepe's historical 'China-bad' analysis, for any interested here's a great look at remembrances of things past (comments very definitely included):

Posted by: juliania | May 3 2020 20:58 utc | 60

@H.Schmatz #40
You said

Also employees are more, and the prospect of millions of employees out of work because of the coming 6th technoligcal paradigm is a real troubling issue for governments, which would benefit greatly from continuous declarations of state of alarm when the skies are falling...

I am in disagreement with you here as well.

Improvements in productivity - generally technological - have occurred numerous times in the past. What has happened in the past, however, is that standards of living grew to take advantage of the increased productivity.

Before the power loom "democratized" cloth, a poor person might have 1 set of clothes while a wealthy person would have 3. Yes, women don't spend all winter spinning thread or weaving any more - and we are no longer forced by economics to have 1 to 3 sets of clothing.

The same can be said for all the other improvements: more steel = better infrastructure (pipes, buildings, bridges etc).

Thus the idea that Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, robots, androids or whatever will destroy work is nonsense. There is always more to do.

The only difference between the present paradigm and the past ones is the ability for capitalist sons of bitches to capture all or most of the productivity increase rather than allow it to bleed into higher standards of living.

Blaming the advance of technology is nothing more than "I for one, welcome our robot overlords" collabo bullshit.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 21:06 utc | 61

Australian media lost independence in hyping up so-called intelligence report: expert

This article points to a structural problem of the West: the degeneration of its so-called "free press" to a mere mouthpiece of their central government's intelligence agencies; therefore, the degeneration of the Western concept of "freedom".

In all truth, the increased boldness of the Western intelligence agencies in their respective free presses (or, in the case of the more peripheral nations of the Western Empire, the CIA) only lays bare the true essence of the post-war consensus - what we nowadays call "liberal world order" or simply "world order": a global dictatorship with a social-fascist fashion, where freedom manifests itself as an artistic (aestheticized) monument to the industrial-military supremacy of the advanced capitalist nations (the First World) over the rest (the Third World).

Posted by: vk | May 3 2020 21:16 utc | 62

@uncle tungsten #60
Wearing a mask, unless it is N95 *and* you are wearing gloves and are trained on how to safely handle masks/gloves when eating, taking off, putting on, sterilizing etc - does almost nothing to prevent infection by nCOV.

Wearing a mask likely decreases the ability of nCOV to spread, but it does not help fight nCOV like contact tracing and quarantine do.

Societally, it seems very clear to me that countries that do both serious lockdowns and contact tracing/quarantines have the best nCOV outcomes (under 10/1 million nCOV deaths); contact tracing and quarantines alone also have great outcomes (under 100/1 million nCOV deaths).

Masks - very unclear how much they help.

Contact tracing apps sound great to dumbass young people or wannabe technologists, but if Singapore could only achieve 20% compliance with app based contact tracing - nobody else is going to do better. And even higher rates of compliance still don't actually provide objective, complete data on who was exposed to who and when.

I've posted links showing the contact tracing plans and existing capabilities for the 50+ US sub-federal units - the existing capability is almost zero and the plans are not very far along.

It seems abundantly clear that the US is going to continue to bumble its way through nCOV - neither maintaining economic continuity nor effectively fighting nCOV spread: the worst of both worlds.

At this point, I'm just hoping nCOV doesn't evolve into something more lethal - although the reports of blood clots, strokes and what not even in young people aren't terribly encouraging, nor are the overall mortality numbers being significantly above even normal mortality + nCOV deaths. It turns out there are significant ACE2 cells all throughout the human body: lining arteries and veins, in layers around internal organs, etc etc.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 21:18 utc | 63

To me "collabo bullshit" is affirming that:

Thus the idea that Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, robots, androids or whatever will destroy work is nonsense.

Whihci is denying the major, since thoughout the whole history, techonolgical advances have always destroyed employs everywhere, especially at less skilled occupations, since tech advances way faster than the possible reconversion of workers.
Being the current pace, astronomical, compared to other periods.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 21:28 utc | 64

Thanks b,that's very interesting stuff.So I suppose your comment to it means that the fact this is published by AP means it is written for them by CIA to disprove any connection of theirs to this wouldbe invasion of Venezuela.Very well possible.But why the avalanche of details about the personages involved?

Anyways,it seems american intelligence blunders its way around the world,maybe counting too much on "tactical medicine" I suppose this is the part of teaching how to use captagon,amphetamines,heroin and all their antidotes in a way to pursue colored revolution.(Try to find out if Goudreau was on the Bildzeitung 100-Jahrfest).If you remember well,the expression on the alleged rebels faces said it all,you know those guts putting fire on trucks that instead of humanitary aid,transported barbed wire,roadblocks and heavy metal bars,on that february day in Cucuta,the Branson concert,the bridge between Colombia and Venezuela.Pity AP does not mention the hospitalization that day of a close to Guaido parliamentary aid,and a party member of his by name of Freddy Superlano,both of them poisoned by scopolamine,one of them died.I find it very reassuring to understand from this reporting that all those mercenary havegun willtravel types are somehow the same sissies as their idiot masterminds...I hope somebody agrees with that.

Posted by: willie | May 3 2020 21:31 utc | 65

@H.Schmatz #65
I've never said that jobs weren't destroyed. Obviously the power loom destroyed a lot of shitty thread making and cloth weaving jobs.

What I've said is that major advances in productivity, in the past, saw this productivity gain passed on to the overall population via longer lives, more good, more food, less disease, etc etc.

However, a productivity increase that destroys jobs *and* doesn't improve lives overall - that's what is new this time around.

And it is entirely a consequence of society choices and (lack of) action.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 21:33 utc | 66

@Posted by: JasonT | May 3 2020 20:40 utc | 58

After reading the case of that woman doctor in Germany being carried to a psychiatric ward for dissenting and bringing in the mandatory lockdown to the tribunals, it would be, anyway, quite understandable he does not want to even consider or mention the possibiility of this not being a natural outbreak....which, to my view, any open minded person able of critical thinking would do, due the huge evidence of biowarfare attacks especially by the US throughout history.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 21:35 utc | 67

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 21:18 utc | 64

A surgical mask blocks 80 % of particles vs 95 % for N95, KN 95 and FFP 2.

Of course it does not fit that well as respirator mask which will result in even worse performance but according to studies i have seen it effectively blocks 50 % of viral particles. The benefit is that a person will inhale a lower viral load, leading to milder illness. Studies also have clearly found that surgical masks help against various viral infections by decreasing the % of infected medical personnel.

A person also does not touch their face when wearing mask and the mask blocks the spread of his droplet emissions a lot, resulting in less Sars Cov 2 spread on surfaces and in the air.

Posted by: Passer by | May 3 2020 21:35 utc | 68

Word on the street: I went to a grocery store today; the meat section had literally not one single piece of pork.
The butcher was there, I talked to him and he told me that the 3 packages of ground beef were made up from ground steaks and chops out back. He hasn't been receiving the 10 pound and 25 pound chubs which is how the normal ground beef arrives.
Hopefully this doesn't hold true in too many other places, but the shutdowns of meat processing plants certainly is ominous.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 21:35 utc | 69

@Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 21:35 utc | 70

Daniel Estulin advanced shortage of meat ( and other goods...) especially in the US, several weeks ago....

Prepare to go Greta and eat manure...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 21:42 utc | 70

@Posted by: Passer by | May 3 2020 21:35 utc | 69

You are totally right, wearing a cloth or a surgical mask is better than nothing, especially in more crowded places like transport and shops.

Innefectivity of masks is precisely promoted by the Trump administration....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 3 2020 21:44 utc | 71

Ya' gotta love Hook's blatant hypocrisy. In the presser he claimed that w.r.t. the UN Security Council:
" There is no qualification in 2231 where “participant” is defined in a way to require participation in the JCPOA"

This is the same presser where he castigated China and Russia w.r.t. the UN Security Council:
"one of the reasons that you’re a member is to participate in it."

Brilliant, isn't it? There can be no better illustration of who "exceptional" the USA sees itself.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 3 2020 21:55 utc | 72

Trailer Trash #49

The problem with people like Flynn is they think they are the smartest ones in the room and can outsmart the FBI. They forget that FBI doesn't record interrogations and the agents are free to write up the summaries however they like. In this case, they actually re-wrote the original interview months later.

This clown Flynn was so smart he had no idea that in the real political world there might be unsympathetic people inhabiting the FBI swamp. He was Trumps National Security Adviser !! What rock has this idiot been living under all his life? All the talk around him and by his champion Trump about 'draining the swamp' and this fool Flynn thinks he is immune to a mendacious setup by the FBI. He demonstrated his out of touch incapacity for the task of National Security Adviser by failing to consider that McCabe, FBI, was a Democrat stooge.

Over the last few years we have seen a parade of inept fools get laid bare in public and NOT ONE PROSECUTION by Trump. The list of corrupt fools includes:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Awan family blackmail and spy ring,
Hillary Clinton and the unsecured home server that represents the greatest national security failure in US history,
Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok and his mal-a-fide prosecution of Flynn, and who knows how many FISA court warrants are fabrications.
And then there is the untouchable Mr Rod Rosenstein ???

The FBI is a corrupted joke.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 3 2020 21:59 utc | 73

c1ue #64
Masks - very unclear how much they help.

Very funny c1ue: tell that to hospital staff, GP's and Ambulance workers.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 3 2020 22:02 utc | 74

On all those research dollars expended since SARS 2002 emerged:

How can it be that 18 years after the most serious coronavirus attack we have experienced we find ourselves in a 'debate' about ideal pharmaceutical intervention?

B here is a topic worth a fine grain examination as is your great strength.

I imagine that the Chinese and Cuban Doctors in Italy would have a program clearly set out as to best interventions and best timing given the patient's presentation. I also imagine much was learned in Korea and Singapore etc, etc. I assume the WHO (and other pharmaceutical studies)keeps a watching brief on medication effectiveness.

I am amazed at the inability of accumulated science and practice knowledge to point to a suite of remedies to apply over the stages of the infections cycle. We only hear snippets from press that is more and more becoming an unreliable and propaganda machine.

Where does best medicinal research and best practice exist and must we believe that the privatisation of all those previously exceptional public research facilities has led us to this? Banks might be too big to fail but medical science is looking too unfocussed to succeed.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 3 2020 22:18 utc | 75

H.Schmatz #72

You are totally right, wearing a cloth or a surgical mask is better than nothing, especially in more crowded places like transport and shops.

Innefectivity of masks is precisely promoted by the Trump administration....

Thank you. Wearing a mask is vitally important to the safety of the individual and the people they commune with. Scientists KNOW THAT! And they have strict performance requirements that people in practice wear them.

Who does not like masks? The surveillance state.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 3 2020 22:24 utc | 76

uncle tungsten @74 Well said

Posted by: JC | May 3 2020 22:29 utc | 77

uncle tungsten | May 3 2020 22:24 utc | 77 Masks!

Dude, I am totally ready to wear a red kerchief into the bank...

Wearing a mask in California is prohibited in the penal code. I understand also in the Federal Republic.
But not in Anoxia...

(Ahem minded of mah ol fren Machine Gun Jim, who used to rob banks. He's paid his debt an hez rehibilated now, Real guy)

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 22:36 utc | 78

Jason T @ 58 said

"After b made a 180 after his first article about COVID-19 being no more virulent than a severe flu, I have had the distinct impression that his blog has been hijacked by security services. ""

Only a fool does not change his mind when the facts change.

I can't believe how many commenters hold a gun to b's head and berate him for quickly changing his tune when more relevant facts showed up.

Posted by: arby | May 3 2020 22:41 utc | 79

To my way of thinking a blogger like b who changes his mind when the facts on the ground change is more believable than someone who holds to their story no matter what the facts say.

Posted by: arby | May 3 2020 22:50 utc | 80

On the front of US politics, some increasing pressure is applied to Biden because of a rape accusation (? I did not follow details). Biden is a well rounded presidential candidate, crappy from every possible point of view. Reactionary, thus not attractive to the left, inarticulate with memory issues and self-control issues, thus not attractive to deep pocket donors. Recall that Bloomberg plunk serious coin (equivalent to me making "max-out donation to a candidate, but to get from my wealth to his one needed quite a few zeroes) on the premise that Biden is a looser. He was actually trailing fundraising of Klobuchar and Booti-whatever, and was bleeding traditional sources of support until it was clear that in a fragmented field, Sanders would win.

Thus a rather old if serious accusation can be a proverbial straw to break camel back. Democrats have a bad record on rational behavior in this type of situation. Clinton had e-mail problems on top of being a subject of vilification for decades, so she was truly sub-optimal as a reactionary Democrat, but there was no mechanism to replace her when it became clear. But she built a money-fueled political machine, and remained quite lucid. Biden never had organization skill of that caliber, and he was never a good candidate for a national ticket, and when his quality declined, what remains is "our candidate is less demented than yours".

Whah! Why you say so, look at this video of your candidate talking geebrish!

Look at that video! He is encouraging people to drink bleach! And before that, some couple believed him and got poisoned with an aquarium disinfectant!

At least you can understand what is our candidate saying. Who can figure what Biden is saying!


Then a break for both candidates apologizing to "all the women I loved before".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 3 2020 23:16 utc | 81

Wearing a mask in California is prohibited in the penal code. I understand also in the Federal Republic.
But not in Anoxia...

(Ahem minded of mah ol fren Machine Gun Jim, who used to rob banks. He's paid his debt an hez rehibilated now, Real guy)

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 22:36 utc | 80

Technically, this is "approved protecting equipment". Like welders wearing masks in all jurisdictions. A proper mask is absolutely required for arc welding. And another type of mask can be required in a contaminated environment, and the state has constitutional powers to defined what that is.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 3 2020 23:23 utc | 82

Piotr Berman | May 3 2020 23:16 utc | 83

Is not a question of one man being better than another. All of them are clowns.

That's how it looks when a metastatic condition re-sets. They're all idiots and fakes. Entirely incompetent, and delusional.

vk might say (and I would) that this is an example of hysteresis as Marx used it.

It won't last. Just imagine the train's de-railed and the crash awaits...the blessed moment of silence just prior to bang...

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 23:28 utc | 83

Piotr Berman | May 3 2020 23:23 utc | 84 Of course, you're right...and the PC here allows masks unless you're trying to evade the cops...but of course that's a subjective matter the cops decide...thus the reality that a mask is prohibited and required at the same absurd is the exceptional feature in a period of sudden change, and vastly amusing too!

I can't wait to visit the bank!

Comrade Grossman in Berlin wrote of the mask law in the Federal Republic.

"...The pandemic has enormously aided Angela Merkel’s ruling party, Bismarck’s descendant, with large numbers “rallying round the flag” and accepting closures and restrictions. Many cover their faces as recommended (despite a disregarded “Verboten” law once aimed at masked “left terrorists”). In some states face covering may become compulsory. The twin Christian parties now poll at 38%, up a full 10 points since January. Merkel’s personal..."

(I think he's amused too.)

(At Anoxia I am seeing nobody wearing masks, 'cept fer me)

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 23:35 utc | 84

At my local Menards big box home improvement store they are now restricting customers from entering to permit only those wearing face masks inside the store. Same deal with Costco in our area. (Really sad state of affairs [and very telling ] these mega-retailers can't find enough masks inside US to be able to provide a free one to each mask-less shopper instead of turning them away

Just to say it again: Two things will reduce your susceptability to covid:

-the health of your immune system

-minimizing the exposure/dose (viral load, innoculum) you ingest/inhale

Posted by: gm | May 3 2020 23:43 utc | 85

Ortrud @ 18:

The lesson to learn is to treat all news blogs and websites, alternative ones as well as mainstream ones, with equal suspicion and not to put all your trust into one or a few just because their opinions or general viewpoint agree with yours.

Some alternative news blogs (like The Intercept for example) we can be very suspicious of because of whose funds them (in The Intercept's case, Pierre Omidyar, and in Bellingcat's case, The Atlantic Council) and because of their record in the way they report on particular issues and their consistency in doing that. In The Intercept's case also, that site's poor record in protecting whistle-blowers like Reality Winner (even though she fell very heavily for the Russia-gate disinformation narrative) should give us pause.

Over time, you learn who to trust and who not to trust on particular issues, and you also learn which commenters and comments to trust also.

Everyone has an agenda of some sort. The only people qualified to sit on the fence and be completely objective are those who haven't yet been born.

I myself don't agree with having a lockdown and believe that with the knowledge we already have (or should have) with regard to the behaviour of viruses, the skills and experiences of the medical and nursing professions, and the technologies and tools offered by medicine and molecular genetics, all societies could have done much better and protected the more vulnerable sections of society (the elderly in nursing care, workers in essential occupations where they must work closely together or in closed environments such as aeroplanes where air is recycled, and the poor - especially refugees and migrants - who live and work in crowded and unsafe conditions due to pollution, lack of sanitation and proper nutrition, and poor access to healthcare services) while allowing everyone else to continue working as normally as possible, albeit with some changes or restrictions depending on the nature of the pandemic.

A total lockdown of the kind we are seeing in some countries (France, Spain, the UK) seems to me to be a way of stifling dissent (Yellow Vests in France, independence movements in Catalonia and Basque-speaking areas in Spain) or a cover-up of incompetence and mishandling the crisis (the UK) and doubtless other nations are using their lockdowns as a way of papering over other problems they have. I do not know what the situation is in Russia although most COVID-19 cases seem to be limited to Moscow (where the mayor seems to be acting independently of the Kremlin and turning the city into a giant gulag) while much of the rest of the country seems to be continuing as normal.

Posted by: Jen | May 3 2020 23:52 utc | 86

@ 28 c1ue / @ 57 john... re live music... i haven't read the rolling stone article, but if this kills ticketmaster and live nation - that would be a good thing.. i highly doubt it though.. these predatory businesses are not serving musicians... as for the big acts, they will get back in the saddle soon enough.. it seems to me it is the live performance artists - smaller acts that are really being hammered here - especially in the usa where they have no fall back or protection for them.. i had heard the nashville musicians are really suffering.. nashville many of the musicians depend on live music and the tourism off it - same deal new orleans and new york... some are doing live streaming and encouraging people to do paypal donations - in the usa again... i have some friends who have been given 1000 to do a 45 minute live stream... most of this is single artists so that a person who is a part of a group is temporarily screwed for the most part.. the music industry has worked hard to sell names of single people when in fact these people rely on a number of artists behind them... think any big name musician and they are usually backed by a wide cast of other musicians... sure diana krall or justin beiber or whoever could do something with some bed tracks, but i hate how the music industry sells 1 person shit when it is a wide host of people behind these artists and supporting these artists via other artists that is what music really is about.. it is about communicating with other musicians in an interactive way as opposed to one person only shit... end of rant, lol... but yeah, musicians on the whole and in particular in the usa, are suffering.. here in canada those musician who are smart or mature enough to do income tax are able to access the emergency 2000 a month benefit.. not sure how long that goes on for, but canuck musicians are not suffering nearly as much as a consequence... not sure how it is playing out in europe..

Posted by: james | May 4 2020 0:24 utc | 87

@ 91 jen... good post that i am mostly in agreement with... i think when a gov't is unprepared they resort to radical actions - like the lockdown.. i see this lockdown as a byproduct of not getting out in front of this sooner and ultimately not being prepared.. maybe jackrabbit will say it is premeditated, but i don't like thinking as cynical as that.. there has been a shortage of PPE and etc. etc.. and it is highly contagious.. how to protect the health care workers becomes a key question.. many people might be able to do about their ordinary business, but one of the concerns the medical - gov't people here in canada had was a concern for overwhelming the hospitals.. they stopped elective surgery and etc. etc. and have not seen the numbers... they have to open society back up and get things back on track.. it seems like we have flattened the curve.. maybe i am wrong and it will be longer for reasons that are less obvious to me.. as i have said, and maybe it is true i am in a privileged position living in canada to say this - that erring on the side of caution seems wise... if older people are not needlessly dying earlier then they have to, i am for that... we will see how this plays out in the next 2 months and get more info on it 6 months out as well.. i pity the usa which is completely devoid of any respect for anyone other then some maniac money making freak.. the concept of a society can't be built up on that, but it is how the usa strikes me more and more... rant # 2 here, lol...

i notice the number of deaths in the usa has dropped down today.. they were averaging 2000 a day, but today it has dropped off... other places like brazil and equador the numbers are rising... one day is not enough to make any kind of conclusion, but it is interesting to watch...

Posted by: james | May 4 2020 0:44 utc | 88

"CIA & MI6 put together 'scientific' dossier ‘targeting China's Covid-19 cover-up’ - as West readies to demand Beijing Compensation"

Posted by: occupatio | May 4 2020 0:55 utc | 89

juliana @61

Thanks for that, as someone born the same year as Jacinda (1980) I fear the passing of the generation that links us a pre-Neoliberal world. Winston Peters' speech when he announced his decision to go into Govt with Labour in 2017 was pretty radical for an old-school conservative. Not only did he mention the 'C' word, he stated that many people thought Capitalism no longer worked for them, and not all of them were wrong. He also predicted that a major economic crisis was likely occur during the Govt's 3-year term, and that only a Labour-led Govt had the ideological inclination not to shy away from the massive state investment and planning required to exit the crisis.

But as an old-school conservative he has imbibed Anticommunism with his mother's milk. Despite his affinity towards a 'state-led market economy', he has always privileged the interests of NZ's neoliberal 'traditional allies' instead of pursuing a closer alignment with China. And his dependence on his fellow petty bourgeois for electoral support and their bigger brothers for donations has encouraged him (if any encouragement was needed) to block the creation of sector-wide wage bargaining that could have become an integral part of a more managed state-led capitalism.

Any attempt to move toward a less neoliberal form of capitalism under the present Govt is likely to be futile as long as Peters maintains his aversion to trade unions and persists with joining the US in its anti-China campaign and calls for a Covid-inspired decoupling from China. Peters' contradictions are the contradictions of his class personified.

Posted by: Paora | May 4 2020 1:05 utc | 90

same usa-uk f*wits that put together regular horrible stuff whether it be war on iraq, steele dossiers, white helmets and all the rest of it they are known for...when is the jig up for these freaks??

Posted by: james | May 4 2020 1:06 utc | 91

Posted by: JasonT | May 3 2020 20:40 utc | 58

I made a comment to almost the exact same effect as yours last month and got shouted down on the forum.

It seems I'm not the only one sensing things going 'off' recently.

Posted by: Arch | May 4 2020 1:10 utc | 92

i'm with arby...

Posted by: james | May 4 2020 1:20 utc | 93

The British Government narrative of what happened to the Skripals is that they were taken by surprise and poisoned by a Russian-made nerve agent which British government and military officials call Novichok. Two Russians have been identified by name and charged with attempted murder and other crimes, including what then-Prime Minister Theresa May said on March 12, 2018, was “an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom”.

Over the two years which have followed, the proof of what didn’t happen has accumulated, along with evidence of fabrication, concealment, and contradiction in the official versions of the story. In parallel, the Skripals have been held incommunicado, cut off from their family and from the protection of the British courts.

Posted by: daffyDuct | May 4 2020 1:22 utc | 94

Boris and Natasha, Goof Gas @ YT...Perfect description, no doubt potsyilvanaia is the evil doer...

Posted by: Walter | May 4 2020 1:24 utc | 95

Likklemore | May 3 2020 16:23 utc | 25

Of course, but I put it out as the best evidence yet that Covid-19 behaves like all other viruses and you acquire immunity after getting it.

To put to rest the pro-lockdown mass hysteria that it doesn't, which I'm sure everyone here has heard repeatedly on the mainstream media.

Of course we all await further results and so on. But 285 out of 285 is an impressive result.

Posted by: fairleft | May 4 2020 1:24 utc | 96

Posted by: Passer by | May 3 2020 21:35 utc | 69

N95 is functionally useless in the hands of ~95% of people since they can't and won't be bothered to learn to fit the masks properly.

Posted by: JW | May 4 2020 1:28 utc | 97


it's comments like yours that keep me checking the threads (not the posts).

Posted by: lizard | May 4 2020 1:35 utc | 98

daffyDuct @ May4 2020 1:22

Fantastic reporting from Helmer.

I admire his persistence.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 4 2020 1:41 utc | 99

Interesting information from UK in this pre-print. Definitely a deadly disease for old people. Under 60 not so much.

Many people have died or will die earlier due to lack of medical care. Cancer patients have had surgery delayed, those with heart disease have appointments cancelled, those with serious symptoms have nowhere to go but the ER and many delay until its too late and die at home

This is all so Big Pharma and Gates can roll out mandatory vaccinations for Adults and Digital ID to track us all.

I don't deny Covid-19 exists but I live in a country thats a 30 minute flight away from China (when allowed) and there is no lockdown and not any problems

In my home state of Massachusetts 50% of deaths are in nursing homes and the average age of death is 80. Most younger people under 50 happen to get infected experience no symptoms or basically a bad cold or flu. Liquor store and pizza home deliveries are doing a robust business. Netflix subscriptions are up. Gyms and walking the beach are out, so obesity will rise unless......

Gates is also invested in the food business. He is a big investor in the fake meat industry. They are closing down meat packing facilities as we speak. Meat will soon become in short supply and too expensive for many people. In 3rd world countries that seem free of Covid I imagine they will be faced with famine to facilitate the elites depopulation agenda formalized as national security policy in 1974 with NSSM 201 (hmm, wonder what the 201 in Event 201 was about?)

He is also into Climate Change and pushing for a green economy where people wont travel or eat meat to reduce their carbon foot print. This group is blaming increased pandemics on Climate Change and not on the mad scientists doing GOF studies on viruses and synthesizing them with Big Pharma controlled government funding.

Air Travel will never be an option for most people because social distancing , which is here forever , will be implemented so all travel will be first class with first class prices. Thats why Buffet sold off all his airline stock (i presume the Fed bought them).

Sorry to be a downer but seems Americans and Europe have lost what was left of their Freedom. Fear is not just the Mind Killer but also a Freedom Killer. Thats why governments uses it as a political tool.

We are in what the Gates funded WEF calls the 4th Industrial Revolution. As all revolutionaries know, this must be accompanied by a destruction of the current order in order to bring in the new order.

Posted by: Pft | May 4 2020 1:52 utc | 100

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