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May 27, 2020

Open Thread 2020-42

News & views ...

Posted by b on May 27, 2020 at 17:10 UTC | Permalink

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So!!
Twitter are checking every tweet sent by politicians other than Trump for factual accurately?
That should be fun to watch!😂

Posted by: Jpc | May 27 2020 17:29 utc | 1

An important ruling in the Canada-US extradition case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou will be announced shortly. A Canadian court will rule if the case has suitable "double-criminality" - i.e. an act illegal in both countries - and Men will either be free or one step closer to being delivered to the Americans. While it is claimed the arrest was political in nature due to an off-the-cuff comment by Trump, the politicized nature of the charge and extradition request goes back ten years as revealed in the New York Times in December 2018 (How A National Security Investigation of Huawei Set Off an International Incident Dec 14, 2018):


"The details of the criminal charges against Ms. Meng, filed under seal, remain murky. But court filings in Canada and interviews with people familiar with the Huawei investigation show that the events leading to her arrest were set in motion years ago.

How a National Security Investigation of Huawei Set Off an International Incident - The New York Times 2018-12-15, 4*50 PM
They grew out of an Obama administration national security investigation into Chinese companies — including Huawei — that act as extensions of the country’s government, according to the people familiar with the investigation. The focus only recently shifted to whether Huawei, and specifically Ms. Meng, deceived HSBC and other banks to get them to keep facilitating business in Iran. Former federal prosecutors said pursuing Ms. Meng, 46, for alleged bank fraud proved to be a better line of attack than trying to build a case on national security grounds...

Counterintelligence agents and federal prosecutors began exploring possible cases against Huawei’s leadership in 2010, according to a former federal law enforcement official. The effort was led by United States attorney’s offices in places where Huawei has facilities, including Massachusetts, Alabama, California, New York and Texas."

In other words, the Americans had decided to use its courts against Huawei many years before any charges directed at Meng came to pass. They were literally in search of a crime.

Some of the uglier features of the Canadian political establishment and media have been pounding the drums for expanded hostilities directed at China, in concert with other Five Eyes partners.

Posted by: jayc | May 27 2020 17:38 utc | 2

In doing some research on Transhumainsm I found an interesting article in Forbes, titled The Ethics Of Transhumanism And The Cult Of Futurist Biotech. Here's an example of the ethical problems Transhumanism is producing:

Take for instance the recent push by many on the ostensible Left who favor surrogacy as a step on the transhumanist ladder, with many publications on this subject, none so far which address the human rights of women who are not only part of this equation, but whose bodies are being used in the this faux-futurist vision of life without the mention of female bodies. Verso’s publication of a troubling piece by Sophie Lewis earlier this year, aptly titled “Gestators of All Genders Unite” speaks to the lack of ethics in a field that seems to be grasping at straws in removing the very mention of the bodies which reproduce and give birth to human life: females. In eliminating the specificity of the female body, Lewis attempts to stitch together a utopian future where “genders” are having children, even though the reality of reproduction across the Mammalia class demonstrates that sex, not gender, determines where life is gestated and birthed. What Lewis attempts in fictionalizing a world of dreamy hopefulness actually resembles more an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale where this writer has lost sense of any irony. Of course pregnancy is not about gender. It is uniquely about sex and the class of “gestators” are females under erasure by this dystopian movement anxious to pursue a vision of a world without women.

While many transhumanist ideals remain purely theoretical in scope, what is clear is that females are the class of humans who are being theorised out of social and political discourse. Indeed, much of the social philosophy surrounding transhumanist projects sets out to eliminate gender in the human species through the application of advanced biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies, ultimately inspired by Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex and much of Donna Haraway’s writing on cyborgs. From parthenogenesis to the creation of artificial wombs, this movement seeks to remove the specificity of not gender, but sex, through the elision of medical terminology and procedures which portend to advance a technological human-cyborg built on the ideals of a post-sex model.

Posted by: lizard | May 27 2020 17:51 utc | 3

Era of US intimidating China over: Global Times editorial

Looks like China won't fall for the propaganda traps from the West.

--//--

EU proposes $825 billion coronavirus recovery fund

Last week, it was just EUR 500 billion. One week later, it's now become EUR 750 billion - a 50% increase with just a strike of a pen.

Those "recovery funds" will certainly help ameliorate the suffering, but will not solve capitalism's structural problems.

The vaunted Marshall Plan - the rescue fund that many pro-capitalist westerners and social-democrats still laud as the silver bullet against all of capitalism's problems - was just USD 100 billion in today's values. The USG have already "printed" almost USD 10 trn in rescue funds (on top of the other USD 1 trn from 2008), Japan will now print another ¥117 trillion to a total ¥200 trillion so far.

Lesson of the day: money is not value. You can't print wealth. Labor is value. It is the working class and the working class alone which produces wealth.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2020 18:02 utc | 4

Boeing will lay off 6,700 workers, part of a plan to cut 10 percent of its work force

Didn't it receive USD 60 billion in bailout last month?

Posted by: vk | May 27 2020 18:04 utc | 5

@ 2 jayc... ruling is she is not free to go... now they will move onto the extradition trial... step 2 in process... canada as good little poodle for usa so far...

Posted by: james | May 27 2020 18:41 utc | 6

Weekly articles on how awful Trump is. Cool. I agree with most of it.

But does anyone else know why B is not covering the other side of the (political) coin with the same vigour and detail?

Tara Reade and Joe Biden.
Mr Obama and Mr Flynn.
Susan Rice and James Comey.
Brennan's unhinged silence.
Judge Emmett Sullivan and General Flynn.

So here we are.....

Posted by: Skeletor | May 27 2020 18:44 utc | 7

cbc article on it here -Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou loses major court battle as B.C. judge rules extradition bid should proceed

Posted by: james | May 27 2020 18:51 utc | 8

Posted by: vk | May 27 2020 18:02 utc | 4

Sacred words..wealth is man labour and it will always be.period.

Posted by: LuBa | May 27 2020 19:02 utc | 9

Skeletor--
Maybe because all of that political crap in the US is endless smoke and mirrors and at best entertainment for sheep.
My 2 cents anyway.

Posted by: arby | May 27 2020 19:13 utc | 10

This article notes the Outlaw US Empire is on the verge of a massive crisis as rents and mortgages come due on June 1 for those still out-of-work and benefitless. Nothing will happen in Congress, and Shadowstats reports:

"PANDEMIC-DRIVEN RECESSION/ DEPRESSION HAS HAD ITS INITIAL GDP CONTRACTION AND UNEMPLOYMENT SURGE, BUT THE BOTTOM STILL IS AHEAD – Latest New Claims for Unemployment Insurance Confirmed Continued Net Monthly Economic Decline in May 2020, Indicating Unemployment Rising to Around 27%-28%."

That would be what's termed "headline unemployment," the U3 figure provided monthly that dishonestly reports the actual situation, which is more dire than the U6 figure--Last months are on this chart, with Shadowstats predicting the U3 figure to go beyond where the U6 line is on that chart. IMO, genuine unemployment for those wanting a full time job will be over 50%--130 million out of the 260 million Labor Force. It's this crisis that's not getting any press that's actually behind the push to reopen economies despite the risk. Meanwhile, The FED and Treasury continue to supply Wall Street with $$Trillions it doesn't need--or to be more accurate, deserve.

Just in time for the eviction parade, Public Citizen has released a listing of 12 acts Trump performed as part of his Treasonous Do Nothing COVID-19 Policy, although the organization lacks the political courage to call out Trump's behavior as I have--Treasonous. I'm rather shocked at what polling reveals about the public's perception of Trump's behavior in this crisis, with Republicans even blinder than usual. I wonder how many cheer his attempts to start a hot war with China.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2020 19:17 utc | 11

re: VK #4

And next week it will be $1 Trillion Euros and then next month $2 Trillion or more, the EU is roughly the same size as American and the US is spending something like 6 Trillion on its' Coronavirus bailout. Logically the EU should do something similar. However, the EU's real problem is that the Germany constitutional court has barred the Germany government from taking part in any EU bond plans and if the EU can't tap the wealth of the Germany savers they can't fund their slush fund for their rich friends (I mean bailout fund for the poor impacted people). This is going to lead to a showdown with the EU courts over which court is supreme in Germany or the EU will have to create some hairbrained scheme to get around the court ruling.

Posted by: Kadath | May 27 2020 19:34 utc | 12

I've been seeing an uptick in recent weeks of people on the right blaming liberal media and politicians use in some way or another of the covid situation to attain their plans for Cultural Marxism or Cultural Marxist hegemony. Where did Cultural Marxist theory come from? If you look to wikipedia or other similar sources you get a wrong impression that it started not that long ago. The origin and history of "Cultural Marxism" as a supposed method or tool or plan of liberal elites to remake the world to their liking began earlier than they think. This explains the history, along with how liberal media has created their own version of a Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory based on their bizarre institutionalization of Putin paranoia. The Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory Trump exploits for his fanatical support began as a reaction to the Beats and Counterculture of the 1960s

Posted by: Kali | May 27 2020 19:52 utc | 13

@ Posted by: Kadath | May 27 2020 19:34 utc | 12

Maybe this has something to do with this sudden 50% increase:

ECB: The eurozone economy will shrink by 8 to 12 per cent this year

This warning came out today at morning (European time). It is possible there were behind the scenes modifications between the time the package was announced the first time and today's announcement. There probably was a timing orchestration so this ECB "warning" could come more or less at the same time as the inflated package's official release.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2020 19:53 utc | 14

Well now that it's 95% sure that Meng will be extradited to the US by the Canadian poodle courts, we should now consider how China will respond as the full court press against China has really heated up in the past month. If Meng is extradited to the US, she'll almost certainly be kept in a high security prison, as I can't imagine the US allowing her to remain free on bail during the trial and then given a 10-15yr prison sentence which will be used as a bargaining chip in the US-China trade war. US intelligence agencies will constantly interrogate/torture/bribe her in efforts to get her to flip against the Chinese government or provide them some intelligence. Given her high status I think China may want to consider the following options

1. Arrest some more Canadian "diplomats" (i.e. spies) and perhaps even up the ante by arresting a US spy.
2. Pull an Assange and have Meng flee to the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver, I've seen the Consulate and it is much roomier than the Ecuadorian embassy that Julian was stuck in. This would ensure her protection and bypass the corrupt Courts, making it purely a question of diplomacy between states (not that Canada has good diplomacy skills, but if China was also holding a bunch of Canadian spies it would make sense to make this problem go away).

6 months ago, I think the Chinese would have allowed her to be extradited to the US and then fought it out in backdown diplomacy with the US. But will all of the crazy things the US has done in the past 2 months I think China has had enough and will start pushing back. Heck, in the past 48 hours a congressman put forth a motion to declare Tibet an independent country illegally occupied by China and the Whitehouse is threatening to strip Hong Kong of special trading rights.

Posted by: Kadath | May 27 2020 20:15 utc | 15

Posted by: Kadath | May 27 2020 19:34 utc | 12

Standard anti-EU cr*p. If the EU is doing it today, the US and UK will be doing it tomorrow, when the facts have got through to their addled brains.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 27 2020 20:22 utc | 16

@ Posted by: james | May 27 2020 18:51 utc | 8

Of all the options in the Western arsenal against China, arresting Huawei's heir apparent on blatantly forged charges is easily one of the worst.

Chinese or not Chinese, fact is Meng is a member of the bourgeoisie. She is one of them. It doesn't matter if Huawei only became big and prosperous thanks to the CCP: bourgeoisie is bourgeoisie, and having a strong one within communist China's belly is essential for the long term success of capitalism in its war against communism.

By arresting Meng, the capitalists (i.e. Americans) are just driving a hedge between inside the "Capitalist International". The Chinese capitalist class - who was certainly very interested in ganging up with their western counterparts to, in the long term, topple the CCP - is now completely at the mercy of the CCP, as the CCP is now the only guarantor of their own class status.

The correct strategy would be for the Western bourgeoisie to woo the Chinese bourgeoisie with as many tax breaks, green cards and other kinds of flattery, so that, withing the course of some generations, the Chinese bourgeoisie become fully liberal (westernized). It would then make the infamous "middle class insurgence" theory feasible.

But (and there's always a "but" in the real world), it seems that capitalism itself is in crisis. It seems that, all of a sudden, the pot became too small to make every alpha male happy. The international bourgeoisie is now devouring its children (the petite-bourgeoisie, the "small business owners") and is beginning to devour itself.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2020 20:28 utc | 17

Skeletor #7

Why bother b with the noisy crash and boom in USA? Plenty of commentary is vented by others. No need to be distracted by the noise of that list of dogs (Tara Reade excepted). What have you to say Skeletor? Will Biden quit this week or next month? I sometimes think Biden will continue so we can truly witness the degenerate state of the USA political class and its fraud.

Will Flynn be exonerated or the judge send him down? I think the judge is fully owned democrat with his eye on the prizes on offer from the democrazis and will send him down. It will be a long saga as it is the standard corrupt USA justice system - corrupt for one and all.

And what say you Skeletor of the Greens team?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 27 2020 20:44 utc | 18

@4 the EU Eur 750 bn proposal.
France with something like 15% of EU Population has committed EUr 450bn already. This is just Eur 1600 per person - a pittance.

And a pittance that won't get pushed through, but will drive a wedge between hard EU countries like Denmark and Holland and soft EU countries.
It will be opposed for the same reason a joint corona bond issue was opposed - why should Denmark guarantee debts by Italy or Greece?
This time it is an issue by the Commission itself - so again guaranteed by all. Only this time just one out of 27 members can block the deal - read no chance of getting done.

The right approach is simply tax (as always) or rather in this case a one off contribution from rich countries to poor countries to cover the increased government costs of Covid19. I wonder what Italy thinks of itself, Rich or Poor.

Posted by: Michael Droy | May 27 2020 20:44 utc | 19

@Kadath 15

Meng is a high profile scalp but won't change anything. it'll just up the ante in this game of chicken.

in regards to HK's special trading rights, it's horseshit really. HK hasn't made anything anyone needed for decades. the biggest use of this special relationship (cough cough) is to move mainland product through Hong Kong to skirt quota and tariff restrictions. as an inhabitant I won't be sorry to see it go. it hasn't and doesn't benefit the people here anyway.

as to it's status as a financial hub, do you really think the bankers will leave if there are money to be made? c'mon who are we kidding here. actually, if it means driving away a few expat bankers who does nothing except creating glass ceilings and hanging out in various golf and aristocratic clubs in hk, I'm all for it too.

as to visa free travel, again it's a non issue as well. I remember before the 1997 handover having to get visas to go pretty much anywhere with my HK British passport it was an utterly useless 3nd class citizen passport. so nothing changes. ironically all of the visa free agreement came after the handover with no thanks to the Brits.

if USA start freezing assets of individuals and businesses it'll be a sloppily slope for Trumpville. For one freezing individuals assets won't hurt China on the whole one iota, second, China can play that game too. US businesses and assets can all be nationalised.

I'm still waiting for China to cancel all Boeing and GE orders because they're defense suppliers of USA, just as USA is claiming huawei to be as the reason for sanctions.

so yeah it'll get worse.

Posted by: A.L. | May 27 2020 20:48 utc | 20

Re: 16 Laguerre,

LOL, quite the contrary, if anything the EU is late to the party. the US and UK have been excessive spendthrifts for more than 2 decades now (you get that way when all you do as a state is wage war on the poorest countries in the world). The problem the EU has is that it is NOT a real country, it's banking and trading compact in which the majority shareholders (France, Germany, Belgium, the Neitherlands and previously England) have voted themselves additional rights over the minority shareholders (Italy, Greek, Portugal, Spain, Poland, etc...) and feel that this process somehow makes the EU a real "Country". The bottom line is that EU member economies are two different to exist under a single shared currency, all that has happened is that Germany uses its financial resources to pillage the economies of the smaller southern members by drowning out their industries, while forcing their government to adhere to Germany fiscal policy without the ability to control their own currencies to manage capital in/out flows. In effect the Core EU states farm the poorer eastern & southern economies by lending them money they cant pay back, then every few years they harvest the economies by pulling the debts, forcing them to privatise public assets in order to get more loans they can't pay back. its fundamentally unsustainable and unless the EU fundamentally reforms how it is run (i.e. through the Euro) in 10-20 years you'll see Gre-xit, Spain-xit, Itail-xit.

Posted by: Kadath | May 27 2020 20:49 utc | 21

karlof1 #11

Thanks for that link, I fear that the USA will descend into a hell of predatory capitalism far, far, worse than it has experienced for a century or more. This is so sad for the people, so easily avoided in any compassionate society. Will the leadership for change get traction or has disempowerment rotted its core?

The current political quietude is alarming for me as remote observer or is it just the quiet before the avalanche?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 27 2020 21:00 utc | 22

@vk 17

"The Chinese capitalist class - who was certainly very interested in ganging up with their western counterparts to, in the long term, topple the CCP - is now completely at the mercy of the CCP, as the CCP is now the only guarantor of their own class status."

I think you nailed it on the head there. it's not just capitalists, a lot of party officials shipped their families to the 5 eye countries thinking it's their plan B (often with obscene, questionable wealth and under fake identities as dual citizenship is not allowed in China). now it's becoming clear to them they're now in the pocket of uncle Sam, their loved ones to be sacrificed and used against them in any moment.

Posted by: A.L. | May 27 2020 21:06 utc | 23

@ 17 vk... interesting analysis... you could be right... i don't know enough to say... thanks for those insights..

Posted by: james | May 27 2020 21:12 utc | 24

Re: 20 A.L.

I agree, stripping HK of its' special trading agreement isn't going to hurt China in any meaningful way and I don't think the financial elite of HK are going to flee from China over this. However, the way in which the US is doing this is an insult to the Chinese (not just the government, but the Chinese people themselves). The US claiming to have the right to adjudicate over the domestic policies of other countries is not just an insult but also an implied threat. In international politics claiming that you have a right of approval over another nation's internal policies is in effect a claim of superior authority over that country than that country's own government and it logically brings up all sorts of questions about what happens if they refuse to accept your claim, do you impose sanctions or go to war over it?

The bigger threats are coming over Taiwan and Tibet, the US suggesting that it might pass legislation recognizing them as independent countries means that the US feels it has the right to unilaterally impose new boarders on countries - that only happens if you win a war, so the US feels it is at war with China and that it has already won or is so certain to win that it can announce what it wants the new boarders to look like. That is crazy. What's next, will the US do what they did with Venezuela and declare some random oligarch the new Chinese President then sign agreements with him and insist that they are real legal documents (that might very well be the plan for the leader of the HK protests Joshua Wong).

The US was stupid or crazy or both to try this path with Venezuela to try this with China means war.

Posted by: Kadath | May 27 2020 21:15 utc | 25

@ 25 kadath... isn't this what the usa is doing with the huawei case in canada? they are essentially saying - our rules 'trump' all of yours... this is how exceptional nations work ya know... either that or the bullying tactics are wearing thin with me...

Posted by: james | May 27 2020 21:19 utc | 26

Trivia of the day:

Nazi Officer’s Diary Reveals Possible Location of Tonnes of Gold Underneath Ancient German Castle

Nazi (NSDAP) history is not my area of expertise, but I know the basics.

In my opinion, if this turns out to be true, then it would be a truly remarkable discovery. The Nazi elite - with tacit Hitler's consent - set up a secret scheme to export their wealth in gold to Switzerland to be melted and deposited in Swiss banks. As this scheme was set up well before the start of WWII, most historians of the subject agree that there is no significant Nazi gold reserves in German territory. Most of it is probably at Fort Knox right now, after the Swiss laundered it (with Western tacit consent).

However, it is possible that modest treasures by some middle rank Nazi official or other may still be hidden somewhere in German territory. They are the target of relic hunters that still exist today all around Western Europe.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2020 21:24 utc | 27

Since the subject of Meng Wanzhou's court case came up, I thought I'd post more detail.

"Meng's lawyers argued that the fact Canada does not have economic sanctions against Iran meant her alleged actions would not have been considered a crime in Canada because no bank would have suffered a loss in an identical set of circumstances.

But the judge said Meng's lawyers were trying to make the scope of her analysis too narrow.

"Canada's law of fraud looks beyond international boundaries to encompass all the relevant details that make up the factual matrix, including foreign laws that may give meaning to some of the facts," Holmes said.
____

OK, so that's settled but there is a lot more to come:

"The judge still has to hold hearings to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant extradition, and Meng has also claimed that her rights were violated at the time of her arrest.

Holmes pointed out that Canada's minister of justice will also have a chance to weigh in on whether a decision to commit Meng for extradition would be contrary to Canadian values.

The ministry confirmed in a statement that extradition proceedings will go ahead "as expeditiously as possible."

Links:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/meng-wanzhou-extradition-decision-1.5585737

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/05/27/huaweis-meng-wanzhou-faces-court-decision-that-could-set-her-free.html

https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/20/07/2020BCSC0785.htm

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2020 21:29 utc | 28

Re:26 James,

The extraterritoriality the US is claiming over everything related to international finance and sanctions (not just Iran, but also Cuba, Russia, roughly 1/3 of the world is under some form of US sanctions) is a constant crime which kills thousands of people per year. But what the US has been doing over the past few years, changing boarders unilaterally without evening going to war is a step towards pure insanity. The US "declares" that the "Golan heights" belong to Israel, the US hates the current President of Venezuela so they declare some random guy the new President and bully other countries into pretending his is as well. Ultimately, this is a sign of growing weakness, when the US wanted to change the government of Iraq they invaded (and failed), when they wanted to breakup Syria they bankrolled a bunch of mercenaries (and failed again). Now the US isn't even confident enough to invade Venezuela and impose a new government, so instead they play make-believe with Guaido. Despite this, Venezula isn't strong enough to punish the US for its' delusions but if the US insists on playing make-believe with China they will learn some very painful lessons because China is strong enough to push back.

Posted by: Kadath | May 27 2020 21:36 utc | 29

I have a niece in HK.
I'll see her take on whats happening.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 27 2020 21:41 utc | 30

@Kadath 25

Taiwan - it's a rotting economy, real wage grow had been stagnant for a long time and it's birth rate abysmal. it's not a problem on the timeline China operates on. also all of its profitable industries are so because of their factories in China with the exception of may be TSMC. apart form that it's a fruit supplier at best and a sweat shop for Japan for who's counting (which it ruled as a colony in the past).

the west likes to paint Taiwan and until recently HK like it's some miracle of democracy but the fact is simpler than that. it's tertiary education. just like Japanese were able to study in USA and brought back technologies after ww2, so then did the Koreans, then the Taiwanese and Hkers. see a pattern here?

mainland Chinese is now right on the tipping point, one can bitch and moan about IP theft etc etc but in fact China is IIRC second place in patent filing and still one of the only 3 nations to achieve human space flight. people should stick their heads into various research labs around the world and check out who's there. a lot of the time it's because of them getting marginalised due to cultural, racial or language barriers so they just decided to picked up their toys and go home. it's not always theft as media suggests.

back to the Taiwan question, whilst the threat of an eventual armed conflict is real I believe it's more a show China puts on to divert uncle Sam's attention or at least keep it occupied. like catnip for the neocons.

re Tibet, it's strategic geography means it'll be nuclear winter before China gives that up. besides, the Dalai lama and his management team is making stacks on the talk circuit so nothing will change there either.

Posted by: A.L. | May 27 2020 21:41 utc | 31

Posted by: A.L. | May 27 2020 21:41 utc | 31

"China is IIRC second place in patent filing... "

As of 2019 China is the number one patent filer dethroning the United States, who had the title since the inception of the WIPO in 1978.

China Becomes Top Filer of International Patents ...

... and guess who was the top company that filed the most patents? That would be Huawei, but not just for this year. They've held that honor, no pun intended, for the last three years in a row.

Posted by: One Too Many | May 27 2020 22:00 utc | 32

@ 28 anonymous... my problem with judge holmes verdict is meng wasn't charged with fraud, she was charged with trading with iran - breaking a law in the usa, as i understand it.. but the link you provide on the very bottom goes into much greater deal in order for one to understand the judges ruling here... thanks for that..

@ 29 kadath... we are on the same page in how we view all that.. thanks..

Posted by: james | May 27 2020 22:07 utc | 33

"We in the State Dept will now regard Hong Kong as part of China" says Pompeo after finally locating the city on a map.

Posted by: Patroklos | May 27 2020 22:34 utc | 34

@A.L. #50 As far as I understand it, HK is used to avoid a lot of mainland taxes by transfer pricing of goods produced in China. Taxes are not all that low on the mainland and they're amazingly low in HK (though the high cost of living cancels some of that out).

I wonder if China is really going to lose out all that much if HK loses a bit of that business.

Posted by: Billb | May 27 2020 23:01 utc | 35

Minneapolis police fire teargas at protesters after death of George Floyd – video

Rumor says four policemen were fired. That's extremely rare in the USA, which regards its police corps as essentially sacrosanct.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2020 23:10 utc | 36

Posted by: lizard | May 27 2020 17:51 utc | 3 In doing some research on Transhumainsm I found an interesting article in Forbes, titled The Ethics Of Transhumanism And The Cult Of Futurist Biotech. Here's an example of the ethical problems Transhumanism is producing:

Drivel. Not that I'm surprised...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2020 23:39 utc | 37

Trump: I Can and Will Start Wars Whenever I Please
https://tinyurl.com/yc6j4sqy


Trump claims that the resolution was “based on misunderstandings of facts and law.” The only allegedly incorrect fact he mentions is the existence of open hostilities between the United States and Iran, but that’s merely a reflection of the time when the measure was drafted. Besides, the two countries are still not exactly at peace with each other, thanks in part to the president.

Trump is the one who is clearly mistaken regarding the law. He insists, as he did in January, that the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was sufficient justification for killing Soleimani, but as the American Conservative’s Daniel Larison opined, “There is no honest reading of that resolution that supports this interpretation.” In addition, he claims that he derives his war-making power from Article II of the Constitution, yet that article specifically states that “the president shall be commander in chief of the [armed forces] when called into the actual service of the United States.” (Emphasis added.) And who gets to call them into service? According to Article I, Congress does, by declaring war.

Trump doubles down on this unsupportable assertion in his next paragraph:

The resolution implies that the President’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect. We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response. That’s what I did!

This is on a par with Trump's declaration over the states re-opening: he declared: "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's got to be."

This lunatic thinks he's Caesar!

Anyone who thinks he won't start a new war - somewhere - is delusional. He may not start one *before* the election, but if he wins, what about *after*? And i wouldn't even be sure about "before". He's dumb enough to think - or be convinced by his neocon advisers - that he could get a "war President" boost in the polls if he starts one before the election. After all, the one time he got a boost in the polls was when he attacked Syria over the bogus "chemical weapons" incidents. So I wouldn't rule anything out.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2020 23:54 utc | 38

Isn't this lovely?

Facebook appoints Israeli censor to oversight board
https://tinyurl.com/ybxlbr3n


Emi Palmor headed the justice ministry from 2014 until she was dismissed from her post last year.

Under her direction, the Israeli justice ministry “petitioned Facebook to censor legitimate speech of human rights defenders and journalists because it was deemed politically undesirable,” Palestinian civil society groups stated this month.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2020 23:58 utc | 39

"Lawmakers urge sovereign immunity law to retaliate for US abuse of litigation over COVID-19." This is a most notable development. How it proceeds further is unknown, but IMO eventually something will be crafted. In Pepe Escobar's piece today, reports on the recent friction between India and China at the Top of the World.

uncle tungsten @22--

It's difficult to tell as good info is hard to come by when stuck in one place that's well out-of-the-way. As the polling reveals, all too many haven't a clue along with the growing polarization. As has been the case all along during my life, all too many people just don't want to believe their government is really as evil as it actually is, so they're blind to reality and paralyzed when it comes to acting in their interests, particularly when what's demanded is becoming meaner than they are--I'm referring to the White core of the Outlaw US Empire's society, not to the minorities who know all about the oppression. It's not only Me Too; it's also Just Me.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 28 2020 0:06 utc | 40

The Meng case has always been part of the Trump campaign to put pressure on China. The Judge's ruling today is quite ludicrous but wholly consistent with Canada's historic tradition of carrying out instructions from the Imperial capital, whether that be in London or Washington.
It is sad to see a national ruling class prostituting itself and sadder still when it does so out of fear rather than for profit.
It is all about China, which is in an invulnerable position thanks to Washington having spent the last twenty years forcing Russia and Iran into Beijing's arms. Having given up diplomacy in order to concentrate on gangster bullying tactics the US has ended up, the way all declining empires do, with no friends except those countries so weak that they still crave the Emperor's favour.

https://peoplesdispatch.org/2020/05/26/why-irans-fuel-tankers-for-venezuela-are-sending-shudders-through-washington/

Posted by: bevin | May 28 2020 0:46 utc | 41

@41 "....it does so out of fear rather than for profit."

Basic economic survival surely. Canada is in no position to upset the current administration in Washington....much as many Canadians would like to.

Posted by: dh | May 28 2020 1:24 utc | 43

A little bit more on Trump, FISA, and Russiagate.

This is a small follow-up to the comment I made in the last Open Thread about how Trump has attacked FISA (and thus FISC etc.), wants Republicans in congress to vote against it until getting to the bottom of Russiagate, and considers vetoing reauthorizing FISA (currently expired).

"POTUS opposes core US surveillance laws" would actually be a true and valid headline if anyone wanted to use it! A bit spicier than talking about the back and forth on warrant-less access to browsing and search result histories in the same bill (that stuff is a sideshow in comparison) :D

I wanted to "check my eyes" and see if any US MSM had made any notice and what they were saying about it. From a small search on startpage.com with "Trump FISA" and considering Trump's tweet is only a bit more than a day old at most (Tuesday 26th) I checked out NPR, Fox, and The Hill. NPR didn't want to let me see their opinion without me jumping through hoops so I ignored them. Neither The Hill or Fox required any click-throughs or scripts or site allowances to be made in order to display their reporting/opinions.

In my opinion The Hill piece wasn't all that good compared to the Fox one which (besides some relatively minor issues) actually impressed me a tiny little bit in comparison. It at least resembles journalism and was a decent write-up touching most bases providing context enough to help anyone unfamiliar with FISA grasp why it would be at all news-worthy.

Not much in the way of reaction has made it into the search results yet, or maybe there isn't much reaction or notice yet or people are simply waiting to see what happens.

An EFF piece linking to the FISA re-authorization bill (available as PDF and XML) written before Trump's tweet.

A Sputniknews.com piece that was the reason for my first comment even though it doesn't quite seem to grasp the news it's reporting.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 28 2020 1:38 utc | 44

The kovid19 has been hyped up and a lot of resources are being wasted in contact tracing and preventive tests (or making test kit makers a lot of money World wide). With hindsight it is a good policy to just let the disease run its course while concentrating on severe cases with co-morbities. All other cases can be handled at home level with suitable migitating drugs, not certainly with vacs as it is another moneymaking venture.

Posted by: Rao | May 28 2020 2:04 utc | 45

Slightly off topic but does anyone know how professor Stephen F Cohen is doing (he's the US's leading expert on Russia and founder of the center for East/West accord). He often appeared as a guest on the Real News Network, the Greyzone, John Bachelor, RT and a bunch of other alternative news sites. He normally does a couple call in interviews or article postings every month but I haven't seen him give any call ins or post any new articles in the past 3 months. He's 81yrs old so I assume he's gone into isolation, but he usually does a few interviews by phone or write a few articles every months so it's odd that he's not commenting on all of the events occurring in Russia and Ukraine right now.

Posted by: Kadath | May 28 2020 3:04 utc | 46


CDC Covid19 Planning Scenarios

Symptomatic Case Fatality Ratio:

Scenario 1 - Overall: 0.002

Scenario 2 - Overall: 0.002

Scenario 3 - Overall: 0.010

Scenario 4 - Overall: 0.010

Scenario 5 -Overall: 0.004

1957 and 1968 pandemics - came in at around 100'000 fatalities in the USA at a time when the population was significantly smaller.

Now we await to find out how wide spread is the virus. Given what we know, it is reasonable to assume that in the region of 30% of the population will be infected.

Aqua per pontem of course, but here it is.

Posted by: guidoamm | May 28 2020 3:13 utc | 47

.
Blanket and indiscriminate lock downs were unnecessary and will result in far greater destruction, devastation and death than the virus itself.
.

Posted by: guidoamm | May 28 2020 3:15 utc | 48

The narrative is starting to change - the propaganda arm of the UK government has been given its orders to change course.

"...Those with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk. Deaths among under-65s with no illnesses are "remarkably uncommon", research shows."

"...What is remarkable about coronavirus is that if we are infected our chances of dying seems to mirror our chance of dying anyway over the next year, certainly once we pass the age of 20."

"...If your risk of dying was very low in the first place, it still remains very low."

Coronavirus: How scared should we be?


Posted by: ted01 | May 28 2020 3:21 utc | 49

=/ Outlaw US Empire /= -- karlof1

It sounded really loud, they said it really loud
On the radio
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, on the radio
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, on the radio
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, on the radio
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, on the radio

karlof1 truly warms my cold heart. The Truth is out there, somewhere.

Play it again Sam. -- Bogart's supposed line from Casablanca -- but strangely actually inaccurate.

The center will not hold.

(Dear b, please stop denigrating the New York Times. We did get the friggin memo, OK?)

We may be many dysfunctional things, but on average, not retarded.

Stay tuned for my message concerning the feckless election methods theorists/cognoscenti.

Posted by: blues | May 28 2020 3:35 utc | 50

Stock holders in US hardware oriented MNCs like Amazon, Walmart & Apple made big money in cheap China: this includes Chinese too. Their US counterparts might want to block president Trump's "America first" drive; many don't even live there, they just hold the passport.

China's courts are 100% central government dominated; the US, UK and Canada just play catch up. Why stick to double standards in 2020? Is China still a developing nation?
The US is still (economical) imperialism Central, but China is playing catch up fast. Why support either? A multi polar world is the best outcome for all who prefer equal rights and duties over money and power.

Posted by: Antonym | May 28 2020 4:32 utc | 51

This is information we had already gleaned by the end of March 2020.

Continuing with indiscriminate blanket lock-downs past the end of March therefore was, at best, lazy.

I am fully aware that in an electoral political system, when the thing to do would be to do nothing, bureaucrats and politicians must be seen to be doing something.

I understand that. 

But I would be remiss if I did not spell out for those of you that are unable to see it, how we are being subjected to increasingly aberrant policies for a specific end.

Just in the past 20 years, we have seen this movie so many times before that one's mind boggles at our supine passiveness. This time however, we've gone one better and we have truly and willingly bent over without even finessing the proverbial kiss.

You can dismiss me as a crank. 

CDC Planning Scenarios


Here is data from one of the official bodies that had a hand in shaping Covid19 response policy. Policy, I remind you, that was borne of computer models.

Models that, like so many other models that shaped our recent lives, keep getting revised due to ludicrous inputs, so both the modelers and the officials that foist this bunkum upon us, don't look to stupid.

Today, we have CDC data. This is data from the lofty sounding Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA. 

Read it and weep!

CDC Planning Scenarios:

Symptomatic Case Fatality Ratio:

Scenario 1 - Overall: 0.002
Scenario 2 - Overall: 0.002
Scenario 3 - Overall: 0.010
Scenario 4 - Overall: 0.010
Scenario 5 -Overall: 0.004

This for "symptomatic" cases. Ergo. For those people that have contracted the virus. 
For the wider population, meaning for those of us that have not yet contracted the virus, the overall risk is even smaller. 

Too we also know that infection rates are far higher than stated and that, Ye Gods! This virus began circulating much earlier than stated. 

Ergo, the blanket lock downs were and are doubly useless.

Incidentally, all the spare capacity in beds and ICUs that we went about setting up as our bien pensants were running around with their hair on fire.... went unused... and it is still unused. 

In light of the numbers now published by the CDC, for comparison, relatively speaking, you are taking a bigger risk by doing what you do in the bathroom or by taking your car to go to work every day.

For further comparison, the pandemics of 1957 and 1968 took around 1 million lives each globally (100K each in the USA). This at a time when the global population was significantly smaller. 

HIV, SARS, MERS and tutti quanti, took their share of lives too.

Yet, for this virus, the authorities somehow convinced us that we had to completely destroy our lives in order to .... save ourselves.
 
And we sheepishly let them round us up.

Today, Covid19 is the vehicle that will be used to assign variously a distinguishing mark, a rating, an identifier so that "authorities" can be allowed to keep track of us and decide what to do with us or for us.

Nice!

If the psychological battering we have been subjected to just in the past 10 years has not been sufficient to awaken your sense of self preservation, nothing will.
 
Just merely starting from TARP and the alphabet soup of fiscal and monetary shenanigans we have allowed our bien pensants to inflict upon us on both sides of the Atlantic, through the frivolous but expensive wars (in lives and treasure), to the cries of the end of the world due to the rise of the sea level or the White Helmets or the breathless alarmism of the Russia! Russia! Russa! crowd.

Most of what you are told is unadulterated hog wash. Crap to be clear. 

And since I am on a roll here, allow me a tangential observation.

Those of you that are so worried about climate change, climate warming and/or pollution would do well to take a look at the tons of depleted uranium ordnance our bien pensants drop with gay abandon throughout the world in wars of choice. 

But the use of plastic straws is a problem that warrants global action? Really?!
Here is something else nobody is talking about. 

In the West, anywhere between 30% (New York) to 80% (Canada) of Covid19 fatalities come from nursing homes. 

That is an extraordinarily high number of deaths that could have been mitigated.
 
Yet, still today, there are no official directives to handle nursing homes with particularly strict procedures like full quarantine of patients and workers.

Is that not extraordinary?

Is it not extraordinary that our bien pensants should have mandated that Covid19 patients should be parked in nursing homes?

How can we not wonder whether that was not done on purpose?

The only other explanation would be deep, unimaginable, unbelievable, impossible stupidity of galactic proportions. In which case, these individuals should be tossed out of government and public institutions on their asses.

Yet, here we are. 

The elderly and the infirm that were always at the greatest risk, as they always are, were not the object of special attention.
 
The informed choice instead was to destroy our lives in order to save ourselves.

And today, with bated breath, we wait for our bien pensants to issue our coveted yellow star.

Of course, our bien pensants that draw a state stipend, along with members of para governmental institutions that all had a hand in crafting and imposing this policy, are none the worse for wear. They are still drawing their state stipends. For them, but for minor inconveniences, life carries on unchanged. 

Our bien pensants may or may not realize however, that since we have sunk the economy and have killed what were already petering fiscal revenues for the state, their state stipends are now wholly dependent on the state borrowing even greater gobs of money from the banks. 

Witness the astounding sums of money that the USA and Europe are now bandying about as "relief". 

But relief for whom? And anyway, we know who and how is going to pay for this munificence do we not?

But state munificence has a very real mathematical limit. 

That limit, usually, is reached just about the time that people are told that they should eat cake.

I should not think we are too far from that point.

Posted by: guidoamm | May 28 2020 5:48 utc | 52

Good piece describes in detail how, out of incompetence and prior design, government-medical systems have worked to maximize C19 deaths among the aged and vulnerable. This is for the dual purpose of driving up death numbers for the propaganda campaign while simultaneously using the opportunity the epidemic affords to push through a veritable euthanasia program in the nursing homes.

https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/26/were-conditions-for-high-death-rates-at-care-homes-created-on-purpose/

The piece specifically describes the euthanasia program in Britain, but it's all similar across the West.

Once again we see the proof that lockdowns never were intended to protect anyone, and the vulnerable least of all, since these were not protected, even though this could have been done, was the one worthy and needful thing to have been done, and is the one thing the lockdown systems refused to do.

Once again we see how the whole terror-lockdown campaign has had nothing to do with public health and everything to do with economic plunder and social control and domination.

Posted by: Russ | May 28 2020 5:49 utc | 53

@Billb 35

The deal with HK was from the classic colonial playbook. create a tax evasion parasitic jurisdiction right next to a large economy.

income and company tax rates are around 16.5% and there's no tax on foreign sourced income. on top of that there's no personal tax on dividend payments or capital gains. it's a mecca for flipping assets. most of the government's incomes are from stamp duties of asset sales.

So like Monte Carlo, Gibraltar, Singapore, isles of mann, Cayman Islands, BVI and I believe UK post brexit they rely on taxation and regulatory arbitrage to thrive.

the rich and the smart from mainland goes to hk to maximise their riches and the corrupt protect their ill-gotten gains from mainland prosecution. creating demands in real estate.

mainland shoppers gp to hk to by luxury goods because hk has no sales taxes or duties, creating retail demand. (side note - any tourists going into "duty free" stores are suckers, there's no duty).

the lack of / minimal income related taxes means a lot of profits are pumped backed into flipping houses and the stock market.

these are the main drivers of the hk economic ecosystem. also it is the reason for the continually increasing poverty gap.

it doesn't take a genius to figure none of these are beneficial nor important to China as a whole.

China could have killed HK many times over by simply controlling people movement and smuggled (untaxed) goods at the border. it choose not to. I guess it's because it's better to keep the dissenters and corrupt within hk where it has some control and visibility than letting them get a foreign passport outright.

US sanctions does nothing. hardly any luxury goods demanded by mainlanders are from USA.
its all about jewellery, handbags and watches.

as long as the tax system largely remains intact hk will be fine. they could strike it by banning hk banks from using swift but that'list can't do that without also banning China and that'll be a nuclear option and will instantly spell the end of the usd.

I was brought up in hk with a full missionary style education system that made us look up to the west and despise the mainland. we were told the west were all benevolent and hk was leased fairly, I was only told about the opium war by my grands. it is confronting for some to grow up now and find out today the mainlanders are just as smart if not smarter, just as rich if not richer, and can speak English just as well if not better. their worldview had imploded, someone must pay! its Stockholm syndrome at its finest.

ironically the protestors calling for western intervention have now got their wish. how'd they like them apples now? I can't see things turning better for them. well done pawns.

this is what happens when all your china experts and advisors are dissidents with access to grind. viva la groupthink!

Posted by: A.L. | May 28 2020 5:50 utc | 54

btw autocorrect on my phone has gone into overdrive today. sorry for the typos but you get the drift...

Posted by: A.L. | May 28 2020 5:53 utc | 55

That should say Canada, not Britain.

Posted by: Russ | May 28 2020 5:54 utc | 56

Posted by: guidoamm | May 28 2020 5:48 utc | 52 You can dismiss me as a crank. CDC Planning Scenarios

Thank you. That is exactly what I will do.

These new figures have already been dismissed by a bunch of scientists. See these reports I posted earlier (not that you will, because you have an AGENDA.)

Scientists Say New, Lower CDC Estimates For Severity Of COVID-19 Are Optimistic
https://tinyurl.com/ycfhbcxt

Federal Documents: More Than 300,000 To die If Restrictions Are Lifted
https://tinyurl.com/y7mkd5py

I knew as soon as I read this crap by another such agenda-driven poster in an earlier thread that we would see all the anti-lockdown trolls popping up spouting the same crap.

Thank you, CDC, for botching the coronavirus pandemic *one more time* !

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2020 6:16 utc | 57

Trump being a massive scumbag yet again...

Trump, Twitter, And Free Speech
https://tinyurl.com/yazlxpk2


This is straight out of the Trump playbook. It is blatant false news (the accusation he likes to make about anyone who reports accurately on his activities). It is insane conspiracy mongering. It is hurtful. It is hateful. It is potentially dangerous. And it serves Trump in two distinct ways: as a distraction from his ongoing cataclysmic handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of his never-ending intimidation campaign against anyone in the media who dares to point out that the emperor has no clothes. As the Atlantic noted, this is malignant cruelty. It is disgusting.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2020 6:23 utc | 58

@18

Good morning (well down here in London at least) Uncle Tungsten.

That "noisy crash and boom" is actually providing fascinating insight into the power struggles domestically that will play out internationally.

-I agree with what you say about Biden. If he wins - and knowing that he is best friends with Hillary Clinton he will likely bring her back in some form- the past 4 years of overt American foreign policy will look like a peace mission (we already know, thanks to people like B and William F Engdhal, about their covert actions).

- I personally love how Trump is taking on the media that have lied with impunity about everything all whilst supporting every public foreign intervention that has killed millions abroad. This is both in the UK and in America. If he wasn't doing it, who would? Or we going to start suddenly taking the media's side all because #OrangeManBad?

- What happened/is happening with Flynn is wrong on so many levels. We should agree on that. And yet, again, because he is is Trump's homeboy, #OrangeManBad syndrome takes over and people are unable to see that the same corruption used on Flynn... will be used on them. An example of the circus:

Gleeson and O'Neil are in the same firm.
O'Neil represents Yates - who faces serious allegations of misconduct with regard to Flynn.
Gleeson and O'Neil ask the Court to exceed its authority and sentence Flynn.
Gleeson gets appointed amicus.
GTFOH!!

-Greens are cool. If I was to vote, I would vote Tulsi Gabbard but in the immortal words of HRC, at this point what difference does it make? (lol!)

Posted by: Skeletor | May 28 2020 6:26 utc | 59

Center For Public Integrity

Funding
The Center for Public Integrity has received contributions from a number of left-leaning foundation funders including the Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network Fund, Foundation to Promote Open Society, Knight Foundation, and MacArthur Foundation.[3] The foundation has stated that it no longer accepts corporate gifts, but it takes money from the private foundations of many of the richest Americans including actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Seems to be the parent of the UK government's Integrity Initiative boondoggle

Posted by: guidoamm | May 28 2020 7:05 utc | 60

Leonardo Di Caprio, he of climate change and 100% renewable energy fame.

Posted by: guidoamm | May 28 2020 7:07 utc | 61

30 year old Queensland man dies with corona virus.

"...Nathan Turner - Australia's youngest coronavirus fatality - was found dead by his partner in their home at Blackwater, near Emerald."

"...Mr Turner had a complicated medical history, had not worked since November and was not tested while alive because of the seriousness of his underlying condition."

Queensland authorities rush to trace...


This is a disease that kills the elderly & the infirm.
Why is more not being done to protect them?

Posted by: ted01 | May 28 2020 7:13 utc | 62

What Unz (b) doesn’t understand about the UK is that it is run by a virtual dictator called Sir Mark Sedwill who is not only head of the Civil Service but also controls all aspects of government. He essentially wants to carry on as normal with him making all major decisions behind the scenes.
What Alexander (Boris) Johnson and Dominic Cummings want to do is topple Sedwill and establish a fascist state run by a combination of big business (oligarchs) and the State. To get a better idea of it all please watch UKColumn News at UKColumn.org who do a thrice weekly newscast. This is the only truly independent news broadcast left in the UK.

Posted by: Hudd | May 28 2020 8:22 utc | 63

Interesting comments/reviews on the article which has supposedly debunked HCQ. (But see Somebody's links at the Nicotine-patch thread for the danger it presents in certain genetic groups)
https://pubpeer.com/publications/71DA593B9943638F1ADE6F80696914

Posted by: Mina | May 28 2020 8:35 utc | 64

More of the same. Lovey to see the seriousness of the "Science" ruling people's lives. Between those folks and the mass gatherings of "rapturists" and other millenarists, not sure where i should put my faith on.
https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/05/25/hydroxychloroquine-update/

Posted by: Mina | May 28 2020 9:21 utc | 65

Skeletor #59

-Greens are cool. If I was to vote, I would vote Tulsi Gabbard but in the immortal words of HRC, at this point what difference does it make? (lol!)

Good morning and thank you for your reply. The Greens are cool but they have a problem getting past the glass ceiling. Today there are reports of shenanigans and doxing and blocking candidates other than Howie Hawkins. That might be problematic for them but it is daily fare for the other two parties. That may not stop them dumping on the Greens though.

I wonder if Jesse Ventura knew something was blowing in the wind?

I too admired the surfer girl from Tahiti and still like the sound of her mantra but the way she rolled over and hugged Biden was a bit of a coitus interruptus moment. She could have waited, but then I sensed an orchestrated manouvre and walked away from all that. Then Bernie confirmed his betrayal of the working class within the month. Sigh..... Now there is Tara Reade and not one word from Tulsi or Bernie.

On Flynn I must be frank - he has been a classic FBI setup, the ground truth event that would make any reasonable and thoughtful President disband the FBI. It will take years for Trump to grow a pair effective enough to make such a move. But then if he is re-elected then all hell might break loose.

The problem Trump and your good leader Johnson have is the brilliant marketing mind of Lady Ghislane Maxwell. That girl sure has a fine video collection to market and I doubt there is much herd immunity to resist her 'requests'. Makes her dad look a bit on the pale side I guess. One thing is for sure both leaders will have some time consuming mansplaining to do to their respective 'intelligence' services.

Enjoy your day.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2020 9:34 utc | 66

Posted by: guidoamm | May 28 2020 7:05 utc | 60 Seems to be the parent of the UK government's Integrity Initiative boondoggle

Seems to be a case of "attack the reporter" - without reference to the *US government documents* cited - which appear in fact to be the documents the CDC itself released in early April, before revising them downward in the latest scenarios.

And then of course there's this...

Team Trump Pushes CDC to Revise Down Its COVID Death Counts
https://tinyurl.com/ybkelnu9

And surprise...surprise! They did!

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2020 9:41 utc | 67

Hudd #63

To get a better idea of it all please watch UKColumn News at UKColumn.org who do a thrice weekly newscast. This is the only truly independent news broadcast left in the UK.

Thank you Hudd I too like UKColumn news. A bit tame but much nicer on the ears than George Galloway.

Sir Mark Sedwill is a dictator by default and I am not convinced should remain in his place. The deep state needs a deep enema IMHO and who better to deliver that than Cummings with Boris doing the towel boy part of the exercise. Time will tell how effective Cummings can be but I see him as possessing a mighty powerful position with an almost invincible PM. (Unless of course those grubs at MI6 etc have a cosy relationship with a dirt file somewhere.)

When it comes to people like Sir Mark and dictators, I prefer to have some say via a ballot box if at all possible. I gather he is comfortable with the Institute for Statecraft so I would be inclined to see him keel hauled.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2020 9:47 utc | 68

France bans use of hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment
The country’s public health agency advised against use outside of clinical trials.
https://tinyurl.com/ybm266qn

WHO pauses study of hydroxychloroquine in global trial
The study has enrolled 3,500 patients in at least 17 countries since March.
https://tinyurl.com/ya8b4yuw

US coronavirus death toll tops 100K as Trump pushes to reopen
The tragic milestone revives debate over the handling of the pandemic.
https://tinyurl.com/ybpzormy


A day before the U.S. reached the 100,000-death mark, Trump once again blamed China for not stopping the virus before it spread across the globe, and touted his decision in January to restrict travel from China to the U.S.

“For all of the political hacks out there, if I hadn’t done my job well, & early, we would have lost 1 1/2 to 2 Million People, as opposed to the 100,000 plus that looks like will be the number,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

Yes, folks, *Trump* is claiming *credit* for saving 1-2 million lives! You can't make this shit up!

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2020 10:11 utc | 69

Do We Finally Have a Treatment for COVID-19 That Saves Lives?
https://tinyurl.com/y9mudhmf

Recommends blood thinners in the same manner that the Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group does...


There is another treatment that hasn’t received as much coverage possibly because it isn’t one individual drug. It’s a broad category of blood thinners called anticoagulants. A recent pre-proof study of over 2500 patients from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that anticoagulation can decrease the mortality of critically ill patients with the coronavirus from a frightening 63% to a somewhat less daunting 29%.

Medical providers, including myself, often use prophylactic doses of blood thinners such as heparin or enoxaparin to prevent blood clots in hospitalized patients particularly in those with additional risk factors for blood clots, but now these medications are being administered to hospitalized patients who have no risk factors for clots other than having COVID-19.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2020 10:22 utc | 70

Things are cutting up rough in the USA. There are a few exceptions to the lockdown advice. Becouse it’s sound medical advice not only to protect your self, but to protect other inocent people from your infection. Of course some people continue to encourage deliberately infecting people with this virus. If it was aids would you knowingly infect or encourage others to infect people ?
One exception to the lockdown rule is when the police state cold bloody murder your loved ones then ———-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bFonW7NgJM

This is what the new normal looks like !

Posted by: Mark2 | May 28 2020 11:31 utc | 71

That's well written and unbiased (on one of the numerous methodological flaws of the 90,000 Big Data study)
https://drquay.com/hydroxychloroquine-political-science/

Posted by: Mina | May 28 2020 11:39 utc | 72

@ Richard

Only an “FYI” to assist your efforts in sharing: i bet many readers will not click on tiny urls.

Posted by: oglalla | May 28 2020 11:41 utc | 73

Good to know, with regards to what the WHO is doing: "It is not the case that HCQ has been removed from the trial. The WHO has paused that arm of the trial to allow for a review of the interim data to see if they are seeing the same impacts on mortality as have been seen in some other studies."
https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/05/26/last-post-on-hydroxychloroquine-perhaps/#comment-1345645

Posted by: Mina | May 28 2020 11:47 utc | 74

"The US is still (economical) imperialism Central, but China is playing catch up fast. Why support either? A multi polar world is the best outcome for all who prefer equal rights and duties over money and power.

Posted by: Antonym | May 28 2020 4:32 utc | 51"

Because it is China that is promoting a multipolar world and the US is flayling around at all countries trying to keep a grip on a unilateral world.

Posted by: arby | May 28 2020 12:05 utc | 75

blues @50: "The Truth is out there, somewhere."

No, it's regularly found right here in our host's posts and associated threads. It is not as if the truth is hiding from the New York Langley Times, it's just that they try so very hard to kill it in darkness while their buddies over at the Bezos Blog try to do the same with democracy.

"The center will not hold."

No, it won't, but that's a good thing. That rough beast slouching in the empire's direction is the empire's own mortality paying a house call. It may be difficult to accept when it seems like it was only yesterday that America was basking in the glory of the end of history and looking forward to a thousand year Reich, but the longer Americans fight their own just fate, the more innocent children they will kill around the globe. The only reason the corrupt city on the hill seems to shine anymore is because it is surrounded by high intensity security floods and klieg lights, blinding the city's residents to their own ugliness.

"(Dear b, please stop denigrating the New York Times. We did get the friggin memo, OK?)

We may be many dysfunctional things, but on average, not retarded."

"We"? Admitting association with the New York Langley Times? If so then it's fair to assume that memo you got originated from the George Bush Center for Intelligence Delusion Lying, Cheating, and Stealing... and Murder and Torture When Nobody is Looking.

The staff at the New York Langley Times may not be retarded, at least not due to any underlying biological issues, but they certainly are something far worse: deliberately self-deluded. They believe themselves to be in a war over the minds of their American sheep flock fellow patriotic citizens against subtle subterfuge from Daniel Ortega and Vladimir Putin and now even Xi Jinping; subtle subterfuge that exists only in their wildly deluded imaginations. But they know that subterfuge exists because their handlers contacts at Langley assure them it does; handlers contacts who themselves are so deluded and divorced from reality that they imagine Cuban crickets to be secret Soviet mind rays with such overpowering conviction that they develop psychosomatic illnesses.

So the staff at the New York Langley Times view themselves as combatants in an information war, but the enemy they are fighting doesn't exist. They massage the narrative to improve the position of "their side" in that war, which is another way of saying that they work to intentionally deceive their readers, though they tell themselves that's OK because it is to offset the nefarious efforts of their adversaries. But there are no adversaries to counter outside their imaginations, so the end result is that they skew their narratives for no other purpose than to support their own delusions. Thus their enemy becomes truth itself.

The New York Langley Times deserves far more than denigration. It deserves to be dismantled and its staff individually publicly shamed with such severity that many choose suicide over reforming their warped and deluded imaginations to better align with reality.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 28 2020 12:05 utc | 76

In much of the online readings of various blogs recently, I have encountered very little focus on how, historically, US administrations have responded to natural disasters of any sort. In light of Covid, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Katrina and numerous other instances, the sheer level of incompetence that reflects how USA handles such crises appears in keeping with how the US has always handled these disasters. Lots of bluster but very, very little substance or even empathy. A true you're on your own mentality prevails.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | May 28 2020 12:06 utc | 77

I’m not sure how one is supposed to prepare for the grim future predicted by Nouriel Roubini, the economist who precisely predicted the 2008 financial crisis. Maybe the “peppers” are on to something!!


https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/greater-depression-covid19-headwinds-by-nouriel-roubini-2020-04

Posted by: krypton | May 28 2020 13:17 utc | 78

On Flynn I must be frank - he has been a classic FBI setup
___________________________________________________

I'm afraid you have been brainwashed...
The facts show the exact opposite of what you have been led by the nose to believe.

The FBI said Flynn had committed no crime for which he could be charged.


The two FBI agents that interviewed Flynn both said that Flynn had not lied. The FBI had also looked at Flynn's relationship with Turkey and found no crime.

It was not until The trump administration appointed Mueller and took the Russia investigation away from the FBI and put it under the control of the Trump DOJ that the Flynn lied to the FBI story was invented. But Mueller and the Trump DOJ had no new evidence that the FBI did not already have.

It was always unbelievable that Flynn lied to the FBI because Flynn stated before the FBI interview that he knew the FBI had listened to the phone call and there was never any reason for Flynn to lie as there was nothing wrong with anything Flynn discussed with Ambassador Kislyak.
So how did Mueller get a conviction where the evidence clearly did not support one?
Mueller got Flynn's help and then the day after Flynn pled guilty Pres. Trump also jumped in to help sell the unbelievable story that Flynn lied to the FBI.

https://www.vox.com/2017/12/2/16727988/trump-michael-flynn-fbi-lies-obstruction

We now know the Flynn-lied-to-the-FBI story was faked by the Trump administration with the help of Trump's minions, in particular Mueller and Flynn. Without Flynn's help the charge of lying to the FBI has no legs. How is a conviction of lying to the FBI possible when the two FBI agents that conducted the interview are in the evidentiary record as saying that they believed Flynn was not lying? The only way it is possible is if the Trump DOJ creates a phony story about the FBI interview and then Flynn swears to the court that these brand new facts are true and correct. Now the same two parties (Flynn and the Trump DOJ) that created the phony story about the Flynn-FBI interview are trying to get the whole thing swept under the rug and they are blaming the FBI for what they themselves did.

Of course, that also means the stories of obstruction that flowed out from the Flynn lied to the FBI story, are also invented fake stories.

Posted by: jinn | May 28 2020 13:19 utc | 79

Kremlin chides ‘regrettable’ EU ban on allies asking Russia for humanitarian aid

See, kids: the goal is not to fight the pandemic, but to keep the propaganda narrative alive.

Politics never rest.

Posted by: vk | May 28 2020 13:39 utc | 80

Posted by: oglalla | May 28 2020 11:41 utc | 73 Only an “FYI” to assist your efforts in sharing: i bet many readers will not click on tiny urls.

Well, it's that or wreck the site with long ones. I could break them up manually, but then idiots won't put them back together correctly - and why should they? I could use the HREF method, but then they have to know to look in the information bar or the popup for the real URL, anyway, if they're paranoid. Probably not everyone does.

I'll try the HREF for a while. That at least means I don't have to fire up the URL shortener site and do a bunch more clicks. But there's always the chance I'll gum up the brackets and still screw it up, like I have the BLOCKQUOTE a couple times.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2020 13:43 utc | 81

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2020 23:54 utc | 38
Huffing and puffing about ‘the war with Iran’ again Richard?
I closed the book on that on May 25. Took your lollipop, your toy war you’ve be pining for, for over a decade away.
Finding new articles on the war, won’t make it so.
Tell me how it ends Richard. You too want Rapture, don’t you? Just say so. Christian Zionist fundamentalists pray for it every day. Are you a praying man?

Also, on quoting me, I noticed you are a cheeky bass-turd. You just took my quote out of context, by not including the first line which sets up whole argument. The line that you decided did not fit your purpose. That makes you a cheeky monkey.

Tell me how it ends, Richard.

Actually, let’s game this. The way I used to with your buddy, James Canning. Yeah, you know, the guy that was proud of his ancestors murdering Iranians back in a day.

President RS Hack is sitting in the White House. SecDef giving update on day 7 of the war.
Sir, sir, wake up sir. In response to the empire destroying the Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Esfahan (a world heritage site), Iranians just relegated several frigates and an aircraft carrier to decorate the bottom of that Iranian lake called Persian Gulf. At least 3000 are thought to be dead. Also, our bases are in an ash heap, smoldering.
Congressmen and senators are lining up the halls calling for “ACTION.” And the sheeple, well, you’ve gotten them so riled up, they too, want “ACTION.”
Sir, what are 8000 nukes good for, if you can’t use them? We’ve got to do something. What?
Sir, sir, snap out of it sir. Got to do SOMETHING.

Your move Richard.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | May 28 2020 14:05 utc | 82

R>S>H

This worked for me.. Someone posted on here how to do it. I printed it out and have it laying on my desk. I can almost now do it without looking.

#1. Type . That's "less than" character, then letter "a", then space, then word "href", then "equals" character, then letter "a", then "greater than" character.

#1. Place your cursor between the two straight quotes and insert your link, like so. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk>

#3 Place your cursor between >< characters and insert the title of your link, like so; Craig Murrays blog

Posted by: arby | May 28 2020 14:15 utc | 83

Sorry. That is messed up. Can't seem to copy it or write it out without things changing by themselves

Posted by: arby | May 28 2020 14:17 utc | 84

I wonder how much RSH hates all those stupid, ignorant colored people who violated social distancing in Minneapolis last night.

a summer of rage is coming. people are starting to realize how much they are being lied to while sociopaths loot trillions and plot our overt enslavement.

Posted by: lizard | May 28 2020 14:24 utc | 85

Lizard @ 85
This isn’t a ‘black v white’ thing it’s a ‘police state’ thing !
Don’t fall for or encourage the devide and rule tactic.
The elite have got their back to the wall, and desperate psychopaths do desperate things.
As far as social distancing goes— see my @71
Let’s get our unified priorities right here.
Richard Hack makes a lot of sense. More than the president trump !

Posted by: Mark2 | May 28 2020 14:42 utc | 86

@guidoamm
Sorry, but every time you post - you demonstrate yet again that you have zero comprehension over what nCOV is doing/can do/would have done.
The United States bombed the crap out of multiple nations over 3000 or so deaths from 9/11; 100,000 Americans are dead (and the real number is almost certainly higher).
Lockdowns made sense to "flatten the curve"; what has not made sense is the clear lack of medium and long term planning.
As with everything - nCOV response has now gone full political even as the core problem is still not resolved.

Posted by: c1ue | May 28 2020 14:52 utc | 87

On the double criminality of Meng Wanzhou, the BC judge basically ruled that the case for her extradition to the U.S. is to proceed. Bank fraud (for which Meng is charged and has admitted to) is a crime in Canada (max sentence 14 years) as it is in the U.S. (max 30 years!). The case will now wind its way through various appeals and is likely to end up in the Supreme Court. It will be years before any final decision is made on her extradition.

Posted by: krypton | May 28 2020 14:58 utc | 88

what has not made sense is the clear lack of medium and long term planning
___________________________________________________

I believe the plan is for covid to suddenly go away. I think Mr Trump explained that plan pretty clearly from the beginning

Posted by: jinn | May 28 2020 14:59 utc | 89

Posted by: arby | May 28 2020 14:17 utc | 84

Arby,
A good way to find out how to do it is to right click on this page and select 'View Page Source', there you can see how other links/formatting (bold, underline,etc) of pages are defined.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | May 28 2020 15:00 utc | 90

Global Times editorial today slaps Pompeo in the face with reality: The Outlaw US Empire "does not have that much strength at all." Because:

"The US regards Hong Kong as a pawn to confront the Chinese mainland. It has become obvious that once the US fails to take advantage of Hong Kong, it will treat Hong Kong people as enemies. The more sanctions the US imposes on Hong Kong, the more Hongkongers' interests will be tied to the whole country. The national security law for Hong Kong, together with the US' wrong actions, will reshape Hong Kong's public opinion atmosphere."

How's that for a swift kick in the groin!

Here's a report about the latest Outlaw US Empire provocation in the South China Sea that's used as part of the justification for China's 6.6% increase in defense spending:

"China takes both its economic situation and national defense demands into account when setting the scale and allocation of its military expenditure, and repeated US military provocations near China and some even into Chinese territory have obviously threatened China's national security, the anonymous expert said."

As I wrote a few days ago, the Outlaw US Empire lacks the components for an arms race as it offshored most of its strategic industrial plant over the last 30 years, and also lacks the skilled workforce even if it still had the infrastructure. The Parasite the Empire created is what has actually defeated the Empire, and it's allowed to continue to eat away at the nation's internal structure and societal core. As Gruff wrote above, they are blind to what's occurring in front of their noses. Meanwhile, China announces it will eliminate extreme poverty this year as planned and sees few impediments to its continued development. Do note how China's self-financing and focusing what might be termed as a bailout:

"As the premier put it, China needs to be creative in policymaking. The rollout of large-scale measures focuses on bailing out businesses, spurring market vitality, stabilizing employment and ensuring people's livelihoods, as opposed to relying on infrastructure investment."

Also note that none of the above is being done by the Outlaw US Empire as it slowly spirals around the toilet bowl.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 28 2020 15:51 utc | 91

Coronavirus Live Updates: 2.1 Million More U.S. Workers File for Unemployment Benefits; 40 million in 10 weeks

Ladies and gentlemen, let's get up and give a round of applause to the MMTers - the newest coterie in the long line of capitalist intellectual degeneration.

A couple more of these and the masters of the universe will think about reviving Hegel.

--//--

The World Is Still Far From Herd Immunity for Coronavirus

Hear this sound? It's the anti-lockdown gang crying in the corner.

Posted by: vk | May 28 2020 16:00 utc | 92

Hi, please tell us your views on what s going on in Lybia.
The prospects donot look bright for the anti jihadi forces.But we lack sound information The only undoubtful thing is that Langley/pentagon axis are trying hard to attract Russia bite the bait and then to a quagmire.

Posted by: augusto | May 28 2020 16:11 utc | 93

I haven't written anything about Putin in awhile, and his teleconference about Russia's "labour market situation" provides an excellent opportunity. What you'll read illustrates the acutely dramatic difference in policy between Russia and the Outlaw US Empire when it comes to supporting its populous:

"Once again, preserving the jobs and incomes of Russian families has been one of our top priorities since day one of our efforts to counter the epidemic. This, of course, is a fair approach and a fair principle, because people should always be our priority." [My Emphasis]

To be fair, Trump and Congress do favor some of the people--those at and associated with Wall Street--and what we've seen is those people are certainly Trump and Congress's priority, but not so much anyone else. Contrast that with Russia's policy:

"We have established a key, basic criterion for supporting businesses. From the outset, we have organised our work exactly this way: preserving the workforce and salaries is a priority. We offered incentives whereby companies and entrepreneurs who take care of their employees and strive to retain them, can count on greater support from the state. By that, I also mean direct subsidies to pay salaries at small- and medium-sized businesses in the affected industries in an amount equivalent to one minimum wage per employee in April and May, as well as easy-term loans with a 2 percent interest rate. These loans will be repaid by the state, as agreed, if staffing at a given company remains at the current level." [My Emphasis]

The above isn't the total policy, of course. Also note the tone of Putin's remarks, which have actually remained very consistent over his tenure as Russia's leader:

"We need to analyse and look deep into the problems of every person that asks for help, especially elderly people and pre-pensioners. This also applies to graduates of universities, colleges and academies that are finishing their studies and starting to work.

"It is necessary to look for suitable jobs in cooperation with companies, organisations and employers. These things must not be left to luck. It is necessary to offer snap courses, as well as education and retraining programmes for those who have lost their jobs." [My Emphasis]

By comparison, what do we see from UK, EU and Outlaw US Empire? Pretty much the opposite--unless you're in the top 10% who won't risk losing one cent--it's a Free Market where you're free to sink to your doom. Putin in contrast agreed to extend unemployment to October 1 and prior to that time will reexamine the state of the labour market to determine if that deadline needs to be extended again--policy that's the polar opposite of that within the Outlaw US Empire. What's somewhat astonishing is the Outlaw US Empire has about 130 million of its people unemployed while Russia's entire population is about 145 million but doesn't have a parasite that demands being continually fed massive amounts of money--about $8 Trillion for the first third of 2020.


Posted by: karlof1 | May 28 2020 16:31 utc | 94

@ 53 / 56 russ... that article could do with an update... the issue in the ontario nursing homes is really unfortunate... typically they are the privatized homes where the residents have suffered the most or worse... trudeau sent in the military to look more closely and what they saw was shocking... both he and the ontario premier ford are addressing this as we speak... the problem with privatizing everything, is the profit motive screws up the priorities in this situation... and the canadian medical care system really needs to include these homes under the same umbrella... you can't trust private corporations with anything of this nature... the premise of that article is very misleading...

Leaving out long-term care was medicare's original sin — and we're paying for it now

Posted by: james | May 28 2020 16:40 utc | 95

further to my link @ 95

Why it took an outside-the-box use of the military to rip the lid off Canada's long-term care crisis

Posted by: james | May 28 2020 16:45 utc | 96

People have started suggesting that culling the elderly was a deliberate policy choice by people like Boris Johnson and Cumo. After the last 20 years seeing how corrupt, ruthless and incompetent the political class has become, I think that it is a strong possibility. Cumo's decision to send Covid patients into nursing homes is especially galling, every nursing home or retirement residence I've ever gone to has signs asking people who are sick NOT to enter the residency for the health of the residents. Yet Cumo deliberately sent people infected with a deadly virus that is especially lethal to the elderly to homes treating the elderly. It's hard to imagine anyone being that stupid, so I have to consider the possibility that killing off the retirement beneficiaries was the purpose.

Posted by: Kadath | May 28 2020 16:54 utc | 97

Check out this video of the Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s cabinet meeting, footage from which made public by the Brazilian Supreme Court.

Text taken from video:

Why are they puttin handcuffs on a citizen that is working or a woman in the public square and the Justice doesn’t say anything? You have to f*cking speak!

You’re going to be quiet? Until when? Or do I have to keep exposing myself? You have to speak, put it out there! Dish it out!

You can’t put handcuffs, a decision of the Supreme Court itself. Are we going to be quiet? Until when?

They keep on humiliating our people. And that’s growing… People keep pointing at me: “I voted for you, you have to do something. Voted for you so you have to make decisions. And it is true. I couldn’t care less about reelection. “

And we have to think about that, all of us. What these sons of bitches want, Weintraub, is our freedom.

Look how easy it is in Brazil to impose a dictatorship, how easy it is. The people is locked in their homes. This is why I want, Minister of Justice and Minister of Defence, for the people to arm themselves.

That’s going to ensure that a motherfucker is not going to show up and impose a dictatorship here. Because it’s easy to impose a dictatorship here, too easy.

A fucking mayor makes a fucking decree, handcuffs people and keeps everyone at home. If they were armed they would go to the streets.

And if I was a dictator I would want to disarm people. Just like all the others disarmed the people before they imposed their dictatorships.

That is when our demonstration — and I ask that Fernando and moro sign the ordinance today — because I want to send a fucking message to these assholes on why I’m arming the people, because I don’t want a dictatorship here. And it can’t be postponed any more. Alright? It can’t be postponed anymore.

Whoever doesn’t accept my ideals — Damares — family, God, Brazil, guns, freedom of speech, free market, whoever doesn’t accept that is in the wrong government. Wait until 2020 Sir Alvaro Dias, wait for Alckmin, wait for Haddad, or maybe Lula, right? And you can go be happy with them. In my government you’re wrong.

To blow it wide, the gun question here. I want everyone armed because an armed people will never be enslaved.”

Posted by: Perimetr | May 28 2020 16:58 utc | 98

Hudson, Keen, Wolff, and many others have been very busy during the pandemic giving interviews. Hudson's latest is entitled "Defining a Tyrant" and was preceded by "Undermining public finance to drive privatization". On Renegade Inc, Ross Ashcroft reviews its production "Four Horseman" with an updated "Four Horseman: Chickens Home to Roost", which has an inciteful, Truth upside your head, introduction by Chomsky that lays out what the West is doing to itself and its future potential. Yes, I'm very much aware that here at this bar the above are all preaching to the choir, yet I'd also opine that what gets shared at MoA doesn't nearly get further shared as widely as it ought to be. Perhaps such materials need to be incorporated more frequently by b in his essays since they're why people come here, not specifically to read what's commented.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 28 2020 17:04 utc | 99

@ Posted by: Kadath | May 28 2020 16:54 utc | 97

This is not theory. This is a self-evident fact.

How do (capitalist) pension funds work? Regardless if they are private or public, the logic is the same: the pensioner is betting against the pension fund he will live past age x (this "age x" is determined by the signed contract); the pension fund is betting against the longevity of the pensioner past age x. Therefore, the pension fund is always shorting (financial terminology for "bet against") on the pensioner's longevity.

If the pensioner dies before age x, the pension fund loses money; if the pensioner dies at age x, then its break even for both parts; if the pensioner dies after age x, the pensioner gains money.

At first glance, you may think: well, it's a fair, equal and meritocratic system then. After all, the pension fund will exert positive pressure against the pensioner so that it will stimulate the pensioner to live a healthier lifestyle.

Well, not at all. In practice, the pension fund has a team of mathematical nerds at its disposition, while the pensioner is just the pensioner: he can be a mathematician, but in most case he will be a simpleton who will not even understand the logic behind the contract he will sign. The pension fund always wins on the average: its team of mathematical geniuses has already guaranteed that at the point of the pensioner signing the contract.

Sure, there's always aunt Susan who will live until 100-120 years old. But, for each aunt Susan, there are millions of uncle Toms who will die at 50-60. The pension fund gives you the illusion of equality because, in liberal culture, the individual is atomic (the secularized concept of soul).

When a pandemic happens, it's even more lopsided, for obvious reasons - as now the aunt Susans will become even more scarce. When a pension system is public, it will result in a huge deficit relief, as the State generally pays a third of the fund thanks to the social-democratic system of tripartite fund, established in the post-war period.

Posted by: vk | May 28 2020 17:14 utc | 100

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