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July 19, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-57

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

  • July 17 - Signees Of Letter Against 'Cancel Culture' Exposed As Frauds
    Thomas Chatterton Williams on Useful Idiots, Interview Only (vid) - Matt Taibbi & Katie Halper/Useful Idiots
    ☀️👀 @zei_squirrel - 3:25 UTC · Jul 18, 2020
    HAHAHAHAHAHA here's thomas chatterton williams, the main drafter of the harper's letter, saying he didn't have glenn greenwald sign it because he was "outvoted on that". HAHAHAHA they "cancelled" glenn in the anti-"cancel culture" letter. LMAO you really can't make this shit up
    also LMAO they literally had a whole list of names they "cancelled" beforehand from being able to sign the letter. HAHAHAHA what a pathetic shitshow. here's your proof that these pathetic grifters used chomsky's name for clout and nothing more. what a sad bunch of losers
    I actually thought glenn was asked to sign it but didn't out of principle, but of course not. the guy jumps at every opportunity to boost these grifters, he would've definitely lent his name to it, but was blocked from being able to by them. godDAMN this is hilarious
    btw who else was on the "cancelled" list and why? which people were deemed too "heterodox" for the likes of chatterton williams, yascha mounk and the other hacks who drafted the letter? good luck trying to get them to reveal that. their grift relies on pretending to be principled
    I gotta be honest I liked jordan peterson a lot more than this boring trite shit. these people self-destructed and turned themselves into living memes within like a week of gaining a little bit of attention. jp rode that shit for like months before he hit the wall
    also we all know it was bari weiss who blocked glenn for having the gall to expose her long history of censoring people she doesn't like, so you can stop this pathetically transparent feigning ignorance act. god where are you jordan? I WANT YOU BACK THESE PEOPLE ARE SECOND-RATE
    Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald - 12:39 UTC · Jul 18, 2020
    1/ Regarding the apparent fact that the Letter’s organizer wanted to have me sign but the luminaries actually in control cancelled me (I was never asked), it’s been obvious from the start that the Letter was signed by frauds, eager to protect their own status, not the principles.
    2/ I’ve been defending these principles for decades, as a lawyer & journalist — **not** as a way of protecting honored elites from criticism, but by defending those with no power punished for their views: often by people like those who signed The Letter: Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation
    3/ That large numbers of the Letter’s signatories don’t give the slightest shit about principles of free speech & discourse — many have been at the forefront of “cancelling” — but are only petulantly objecting because they now hear criticisms is obvious. Dozens of them are frauds
    4/ All that said, that many of the Letter’s signatories are frauds does not impugn the principles they’re cynically invoking for their petty, self-absorbed interests. I devoted our show yesterday to this: it’s the marginalized that need these protections: Elites are Distorting the "Cancel Culture" Crisis - System Update with Glenn Greenwald (vid)

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on July 19, 2020 at 13:30 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thanks b and living in Calif. I wear a mask whenever I enter a store. I'm lucky the house I rent is on a farm in the central valley.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 19 2020 13:40 utc | 1

Vaccinegate has been debunked.
You are not surprised but...get was debunked at Reuters!
(Someone is in hot water for sure)
“Russia on Friday unveiled a deal with AstraZeneca to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the pharmaceuticals giant and Oxford University, a move its wealth fund head said showed Moscow had no need to steal vaccine data. ”
““There’s nothing that needs to be stolen,” Dmitriev, who is involved in coordinating Russia’s own pursuit of a vaccine, told Reuters. “It’s all going to be given to Russia.”
“Dmitriev said Russia’s acquisition of the British-developed vaccine was designed to complement, not replace its own home-grown vaccine, the one that Moscow is focusing on developing. ”
“Western allegations that Moscow was trying to steal vaccine secrets looked like an attempt to undermine the credibility of Russia’s own vaccine, he said, describing it as one of the world’s most promising, together with the Oxford vaccine and a Chinese-developed one.
“Those attacks show that other countries are not having an open approach, they are not happy for the Russian vaccine to succeed, and they are jealous of the Russian vaccine possibly being the first one and possibly being more efficient than others,” he said.
“It’s part of the global (vaccine) competition.”

Posted by: librul | Jul 19 2020 13:52 utc | 2

"many of the Letter’s signatories are frauds does not impugn the principles they’re cynically invoking for their petty, self-absorbed interests."

Indeed. Also the description of the letter as "boring trite shit" is also accurate. I finally broke down and read it. Nothing but platitudes. The only reason it gained any notice is the list of "celebrities" attached to it.

There was no suggestion in the letter that the solutions are obvious: Do away with the *power* to censor and you won't have censorship. Eliminate the authority of employers to punish employees for things said and done (other than actual charged criminal offenses) which do not impact the organization they work for and retribution can be eliminated. Pass a law that 1) treats social media platforms above a certain size as "common carriers" so they cannot be sued for the content they publish, and 2) as such prevents them from censoring the content they carry. Blogs the size of MOA would be unaffected and could do what they want.

The real question is: Who ultimately financed the production of this letter and what was the actual hidden agenda? Preparation for a push to "regulate the Internet" - which has long been a goal of these people? In addition, perhaps a push to finally destroy the BDS movement? Other agendas?

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 19 2020 13:55 utc | 3

"Iranian Hackers Accidentally Exposed Their Training Videos (40 GB) Online - Hackernews"

Ah, yes, gotta watch those mis-configured cloud servers! Nice to know the CIA and NSA aren't the only incompetent state hackers. LOL

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 19 2020 14:00 utc | 4

Iran (subject to a couple of months of mysterious explosions) and Hezbollah making preparations:-

"Hastily and under the watchful eye of Israeli and US drones, Hezbollah is storing hundreds of tons of food stock, supplied by Iran, in dozens of improvised warehouses on the Syrian-Lebanese border. This new and unusual step by Hezbollah reflects Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s recent promise to prevent the starvation threat looming for the Lebanese population."

When Hezbollah flags up the China and Iran options, the US trembles (EJ Magier)

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 19 2020 15:12 utc | 5

That Glenn Greenwald discords with the people who signed the letter, but believe in the content of the letter is not surprising to me. He may be one of the least worst problems with our world today, but he's not a revolutionary. When (if) the cookie breaks, he will be at the side of the bourgeoisie (as will this Jordan Peterson many talk about, but is actually just charlatan from an era of advanced intellectual decay of the West).

Just to clarify my argument, here's my opinion: the apex of Western intellectualism was in the 19th Century. It's apex was Karl Marx, who was a culmination of both French Illuminism, German philosophy (Subjective Idealism, a.k.a. "Hegelianism") and British Political Economy.

It is not a coincidence Marx represents the apex and the beginning of the end of Western intellectualism. Immediately after his breakthrough, Marx was persecuted and attacked by all the kinds of charlatans from all fronts you can imagine. He died as a nationless indigent in London, and was buried in a communal grave (his bust at the cemetery does not have the body, and is a much later monument). The capitalist class immediately realized that progress in what we nowadays call "humanities" would lead to revolution, so they purposely enforced a process of imbecilization. Hegel was discarded and gave way, in the post-war, to a chimera called "Neokantism" (the living corpse of Kant wandering around the streets of New York, London, Paris and Berlin). Political Economy was abandoned to give way to "vulgar economics" (they already existed alongside PE, but became the only option available after Marx). Illuminism was silently abandoned: in 1989, the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, the revolution was publicly condemned, with intellectuals there claiming it was "unnecessary".

After Marx's death, the West was still able to progress in the so-called "hard sciences" (STEM) for some 100 years more. But now, in the 21st Century, not even in this area the West is being able to progress anymore, with the area being infested with charlatans, big pharma and big tech sellouts and falsifiers of experiments. The Empire has grown old.

Curious fact: Marx is the first truly universal philosopher in Human History. In China, you can see his portrait alongside the other great Chinese philosophers, as if he was their successor. The Chinese consider Marxism the legitimate successor of their own philosophy. You can also see Marxism in Japan (its minuscule after a century of vicious persecution, but it's there), India and Africa (where it was responsible for one or two revolutions). That makes Marx the only philosopher who can claim both the Western and the Eastern lineages of human thinking, thus the only true universal philosopher of our times.


On to the news:

China's human rights progress deserves applause instead of smearing

Westerners should stop supporting a tribe of terrorists and pretending to like Islam all of a sudden just to smear China. It's ridiculous, it's not deceiving anyone.


China's industrial robot output surges 29.2 pct in June

That's socialism. As Lenin once said when the USSR was formed: "Communism [N.A. - socialism] is Soviet government plus the electrification of the whole country". That is, socialism is all about reality, praxis: there's time for speech, and a time to build. Mostly to build.

Give me one capitalist country that will do the same during an economic crisis.


IMF says U.S. economy will drop 6.6% in 2020 in face of pandemic

Another revision by the IMF (the first one was some -2%, and I called here it was "too optimistic").

I think a -6.6% fall in GDP is plausible for the USA. The USA, as the HQ of capitalism, has tools and weapons that the rest of the world doesn't have, so, if they get lucky, a mere 6.6% fall is possible.

But, all in all, I still think it's still too optimistic. For example, the IMF still refuses to admit a second wave will come to the West.


DoJ confirms role in Brazil's regime change:

Departamento de Justiça dos Estados Unidos confirma atuação informal na Lava Jato

The only doubt was which institution of the USA was involved, and how many.


While China builds robots, Europe does... erm...

Sun, sea, safety: Greece woos Europe's pensioners with 7% income tax rate

The amazing thing is that this is a positive article by The Guardian. Not joking - it even states at the sub-headline that "Athens offers generous tax incentives to lure retirees – and boost its own struggling economy".


Joke of the week:

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson insists he can avoid second England-wide lockdown


EU recovery summit could end with no deal, says Merkel

If you have to name your summit a "recovery summit", then you automatically admit there won't be any recovery. If you can commence a recovery, you just do it, you don't need to talk about it.


It's not just the USA:

After dark in central Seoul’s nightlife epicenter

American idiot? More like South Korean idiot.


Huawei losing its 5G grip on Europe

Or, alternatively: "Europe losing global power status by refusing to use Huawei 5G".


Financial Institutions Urged to ‘Sacrifice’ Profit to Support Businesses

China Plans to Strengthen Control Over State Financial Institutions

Update: China Seizes Multibillion-Dollar Firms Controlled by Fallen Tycoon

You won't see this in a capitalist country.

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2020 15:24 utc | 6


Yawn, just how many times can hypocrites rehash the same tired trite of "rules for thee, but not for me" and "I'm all for a level playing field, but only if it suits me" in a new shiny package?

Posted by: J W | Jul 19 2020 15:29 utc | 7

I have a little experiment for supports of wearing masks, and how " supposedly " harmless they are.

Basically, put on some clothes and then go for a quick jog for about 10 minutes. After you are done pay attention to your heart rate, the rate of your breathing, your fatigue levels, and so forth.

Now repeat the same procedure again later when you are fully rested. You have to keep all the variables the same obviously. Same clothes, same jogging distance, same rate. However, this time do it with a properly worn mask.

Afterwards, come back and let us know if you notice any differences.

Posted by: Fog of War | Jul 19 2020 16:26 utc | 8

thanks b.... lots of interesting stuff covered... do you feel like writing on libya, or serbia or any of those topics??

regarding ''the letter'' and the signers... it seems to me this is like some turf war between mainstream media and the internet - social media in particular... as i understand it, it is a power conflict... mainstream news like nyt, wapo and etc, are going the way of the dodo bird and don't like it.. but they have been cancelling whatever they don't want to talk about for quite some time... it is not like the msm is a freely run, open source set up.. it is the exact opposite... certain interests are maintained under the guise of objective coverage of events... that is far from the truth... so now that social media and independent websites gain followers, certain messages can come forth ... that freaks the powers that be out! well, that's how i see this...

@8 fog of war.... are you a 1 topic only kind of person???

Posted by: james | Jul 19 2020 16:58 utc | 9

current federal Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines state:

Cloth face coverings:

Are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE).

Will not protect the wearer against airborne transmissible infectious agents due to loose fit and lack of seal or inadequate filtration.

Are not appropriate substitutes for PPE such as respirators (e.g., N95 respirators) or medical face masks (e.g., surgical masks) in workplaces where respirators or face masks are recommended or required to protect the wearer.

May be used by almost any worker, although those who have trouble breathing or are otherwise unable to put on or remove a mask without assistance should not wear one.
Surgical masks:

Should be placed on sick individuals to prevent the transmission of respiratory infections that spread by large droplets.

Will not protect the wearer against airborne transmissible infectious agents due to loose fit and lack of seal or inadequate filtration.

It appears that there may be an even bigger downside to wearing masks as eloquently explained by one medical specialist:

“While most agree that the N95 mask can cause significant hypoxia and hypercapnia, another study of surgical masks found significant reductions in blood oxygen as well. In this study, researchers examined the blood oxygen levels in 53 surgeons using an oximeter. They measured blood oxygenation before surgery as well as at the end of surgeries.4 The researchers found that the mask reduced the blood oxygen levels (pa02) significantly. The longer the duration of wearing the mask, the greater the fall in blood oxygen levels.

The importance of these findings is that a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity. Studies have shown that hypoxia can inhibit the type of main immune cells used to fight viral infections called the CD4+ T-lymphocyte. This occurs because the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called the Tregs. . This sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19 and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections and if so, having a much worse outcome.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 19 2020 17:09 utc | 10

b, thanks for so much to absorb. I was not particularly impressed by the first twitter link comparing pandemics, though it is an interesting study in general. I felt the differences between flu and covid were being obscured, especially in light of what is happening this summer in the US.

On the hidden 50% statistic, I first noticed that between the two graphs the colors have shifted in what the low figure is that each block designates, so the graphs look basically similar to the eye. I'm not good at reading graphs so apologies if this isn't a factor.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 19 2020 17:24 utc | 11

Sorry should have said the first comment goes to the first link but second one on graphs is for the Georgia example.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 19 2020 17:26 utc | 12

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 19 2020 13:40 utc | 1

Welcome back brother hasn't post a long time remember pitch forks?
Arnold frm Thailand missing too and Ben he's living in senor home in LA at that time hope he's well and safe..

Posted by: JC | Jul 19 2020 17:49 utc | 13

Why is there an organized effort to spread SARS-COV-2?

  1. Capitalism 1: The sooner that older people die, the less money government has to pay.
  2. Capitalism 2: fat profits for Big Pharma.
  3. Racism: Blacks and latinos die in relatively greater numbers.
  4. China smack-down 1: USA allows lawsuits against sovereign nations. There are lawsuits against China from American companies. It's likely that Trump will freeze Chinese assets (esp. $1 trillion in Treasury Bonds) at some point soon.
  5. China smack-down 2: Causing a large number of deaths but blaming China can be turned into a propaganda victory for USA/Empire that strengthens their rule and justifies hardships that result from conflict with China (and all nations allied/associated with China).
  6. Illusion of Democracy: supporting Trump via excusing his Administration's failure to protect American lives. (In fact, USA Deep State is anti-China and they're calling the shots - Trump, like Obama before him, is merely their front man.)

<> <> <> <> <>

Don't be fooled. The astro-turfed fake libertarian anti-mask propagandists have an agenda. They are not just annoying bullshitters. They are malicious asshats.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 19 2020 18:03 utc | 14

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2020 15:24 utc | 6

vk, careful when in Asia Times website and SCMP (South China Morning Post) and Asia Times are China's basher. I'ved known them for years. Asia Times took over by a Japanese media company. I can't tell any more forgot. But did a search soon after the Jap took over from Australian in HK. Pepe Escobar and Peter ?? were their best contributors.

Posted by: JC | Jul 19 2020 18:04 utc | 15

Yet the one consistent thing I see from the Left is endless insults against people who oppose the lock downs or mandatory mask wearing. EoinW

I really must say that I do not understand why the mask wearing is such a problem for USAians. Blue Dotterel

> from prev. thread.

Well The Mask is becoming a real-life object symbol in the USA’s culture divide, which reflects in some measure a growing tribal split, the outcome of slice-n-dice electoral politics and the oligarchic aim of divide to control.

In the US, symbolic, so-called ‘cultural’ aspects are pushed to the fore-front, in contrast to real-life issues, dollars for food, gas, med care, etc. vs. Statues, slogans written in the street, language used to address and describe people, use of bathrooms, awards given, etc. (Compare with the Gilets Jaunes who coalesced against a small tax hike on diesel fuel, which impacted them terribly.)

Engineered to obscure the deeper issues. The illusion of a rich country is bolstered: heated arguments and social stratification apparently rest on language use, skirt wearing/length, love of aragula, movie tastes, presence of penis or not, ugly hats, etc.

So … to Masks. Making sudden radical changes in sumptary laws is very difficult in a culture where ‘do your own thing, be your own person’ is ingrained and class-defined, and where rules, conventions, are very strict (ex. nudity, corporate wear, ties, bras..) - conservatism and class divides in appearance are set in stone.. it becomes hard to add or subtract, change.

Wearing a mask, under orders, removes the last vestiges of one’s identity, the face and its expression; implies being muzzled, shut off, not allowed to speak or claim a public presence. (See Gitmo. Dangerous dogs. Torture.) Plus, if donned willingly, the mask signals hiding oneself for deceptive purposes, or even Satanic intent. No wonder ppl object.

Finally, why should Americans trust, or even roll-yr-eyes listen to the likes of the CDC, Trump, Fauci, local governors, Medicos galore, when all of them sent out superficial junk messages, masks don’t work oh no, or they work but only for med. perso not you, or they do work but not so much, yes we lied for x reasons, some masks are good, now everyone shoud wear them, even a bandanna is great, etc. etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 19 2020 18:28 utc | 16

OpenAI's GPT-3 may be the biggest thing since bitcoin

Summary: I share my early experiments with OpenAI's new language prediction model (GPT-3) beta. I explain why I think GPT-3 has disruptive potential comparable to that of blockchain technology.(...)

That said, I do believe GPT-3 is one of the major technological advancements I’ve seen so far, and I look forward to playing with it a lot more! Very strange times lie ahead…

(Manuel Araoz in his blog)

I am always reminded not to get so surprised when quantity yields quality, yet that must certainly mean we are missing the fundamentals that we're presented with. Don't let earlier warnings regarding applications of previous research into neural networks to make you dismiss the new possibilities raised.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Jul 19 2020 18:32 utc | 17

@ 13 blue dotterel... without any links, mostly all i see when i put in the search engine - Dr. Meryl Nass of Maine - is a lot of connections to discussions on the antranx vaccine from back about 20 odd years ago.... as for the Hydroxychloroquine issue, i had read it was a concern among people with heart issues... as for turkey where you live, they have been successful to date in a low number of deaths, but i wonder if that has to do with the average age of turkish people being somewhere around 28? i think there are a lot of factors that go into numbers and as you know, people like playing with numbers to present any number of inconclusive conclusions... so, i am not sure where you are hoping to go in all of this... the basic conspiracy theory is that it is not being used because big pharma doesn't want it to interfere with their profits... i guess you can throw bill gates into that too... it is an ongoing question that seems to constantly plague this conversation on covid..

Posted by: james | Jul 19 2020 18:32 utc | 18

regarding n95 masks... they don't work for people who are carrying the virus - asymptomatic and wish to protect others...they are designed to breathe out freely, but protect one from what they breathe in!~ i wish those critiquing on masks would keep this in mind... again - we enter the quagmire on the quality and nature of different masks...

Posted by: james | Jul 19 2020 18:35 utc | 19

@ 18 vasco da gama... thanks.. interesting... makes one wonder who is real and who is not on internet forums and etc. etc...

Posted by: james | Jul 19 2020 18:45 utc | 20

Hi b, maybe you have seen the interview the Anti-Spiegel did with Alexander Onischenko a former ally of Poroshenko. But it is mostly about the connection of Biden to the Ukraine - here anyway the link: BidenLeaks Teil 4: Wie Joe Biden und George Soros nach dem Maidan in der Ukraine Milliarden verdient haben/A>

Posted by: Fran | Jul 19 2020 18:53 utc | 21

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 19 2020 18:03 utc | 15

"China smack-down 1: USA allows lawsuits against sovereign nations."

Just in case freaking Americans forget - Ford and GM makes and sold more cars in China than in American! Further, Volkswagen (Santena) is Chinese best loved cars since the early 90s. I was there and my Chinese (He is a Manchurian) friend told me....

China smack-down 2: Causing a large number of deaths but blaming China can be turned into a propaganda victory for USA/Empire that strengthens their rule and justifies hardships that result from conflict with China (and all nations allied/associated with China).

Really? While Americans fighting among themselves putting out fires (Covid-19) which are out of controls, China posted an impressive 3.2% GDP growth 2nd Qtr. Even with the massive floods within the Yangtze rivers basin they are expecting to outgrow any industrials’ nation for the year 2020.

Posted by: JC | Jul 19 2020 19:01 utc | 22

James @ 20, the UCSF conversation b linked to on Friday was seeming to say that because hospital workers in covid situations were very close to patients on an ongoing daily basis, (not to mention they are essential for coping with extreme cases) it was discovered early that to prevent high mortality among them they should have the n95 masks. This goes along with the understanding that dosage is cumulative. In hospital wards with sick patients, the dosage received is greater than in most other environments, especially since the rooms in which the later stage patients are have been pressurised to prevent the virus leaking out of the room. So to protect the wearer those are more effective also, but can become uncomfortable if used for more than short encounters, that's my understanding.

This also means that along with wearing more comfortable masks when not so exposed (and that link also discussed face shields, which I don't think have been addressed in our conversations) it is important to have an adequate ventilation system. Fine droplets, which carry the virus, can accumulate in still air or air that is constantly recirculated, but those are also effectively stopped for the most part by a cloth barrier for ordinary persons or the standard surgical masks available many places. No one is advising a jogger to wear a mask since such persons are moving through a high enough volume of open air that any floating virus droplets she/he might encounter are an insignificant threat because dispersed even in not so good air. I love my home ventilation, on the crest of a hill with airflow north to south from the distant Rio Grande mini canyon. I know not all are so privileged, but fans do a good job also getting outside air in and vice versa.

We really do know all of these things now. I'm comfortable with my homemade mask. It serves for entering public closed environments, which are grocery stores and that's it at present. If I worked in a meatpacking facility I would probably look carefully at face shields and better ventilation. Different strokes for different folks, folks.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 19 2020 19:26 utc | 23

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 19 2020 18:28 utc | 17

"Finally, why should Americans trust, or....CDC, Trump, Fauci, local governors, Medicos galore, when all of them sent out superficial junk messages, masks don’t work oh no, or they work but only for med. perso not you, or they do work but not so much, yes we lied for x reasons,....great, etc. etc.... The Mask is becoming a real-life object symbol in the USA’s culture divide, which reflects in some measure a growing tribal split, the outcome of slice-n-dice electoral politics and the oligarchic aim of divide to control. "

Should we trust anyone or what they said? it's contradicting and confusing repeated again and again...Russia, Russia earlier and now China, China. Shortly a real "revolution of our time" with the kid Joshua Wong HK turncoat leading Trump, Biden, Pelosi and Pompeo down America's Main streets.

Posted by: JC | Jul 19 2020 19:27 utc | 24

JC @Jul19 19:01 #23

Your comments suggest that USA will never dare take any strong action against China. I disagree. Relations have worsened quicker than most ever imagined and all indications are that they will get even more strained.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 19 2020 19:30 utc | 25

Relating to what appears to be sabotage of Iran's Natanz and missile facilities, I believe that Mossad would be the likely culprits to carry out these operations in tandem with CIA directives.

Regarding Michael d'Andrea: what kind of man marries a wealthy, plain-jane Muslim woman 10 years his senior and converts to Islam when he's a chain smoker responsible for the torture and death of countless Muslims and is in a top counter-terrorism position that his predecessors quit after 2 or 3 years?

These are words and phrases that come to mind when I try to decipher that contrarian enigma:

Lasted this long in such a post because maybe he's...insane?
secretly hates Allah
Money is good, correction...god
Is a fascist radical,
master at deception and manipulation
Without scruples (Trump sees himself)
Obsessed with something besides nicotine...
Violence porn?
Really not James Bond, but likes the fearsome man of mystery illusion attributed to him
Fantasizes with being a cut-throat Arab sheik, like butcher MbS or
Just plain American psycho.

American foreign policy is psychotic. When dum-dum Bush invaded Iraq with of course geniusZionist inducement, he unleashed refugee Pandora on the rest of the world. Now, almost overnight, we have Arabic popping up on every street corner. Really great giant step for civilization...🙄.

On the virus: Sanitize, wear a mask and socially distance, but I agree with broken clock Trump on this: Get your lazy asses back to work or school! It's not work that will kill ya; it's all that lack of discipline!

Quit the obsessive coddling for no good reason, except Covid e x p l o i t ation.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 19 2020 19:59 utc | 26

On the previous Georgia forum, Grieved came up with an intriguing question for Richard Steven Hack, which he answered towards the end of the thread. The question posed was interesting enough to me that it could be expanded to a general thread, so I post the nub of it here:

Do we need to have beliefs that are subject to refinement from emerging facts, rather than facts that are allowed to emerge only subject to beliefs?
[Posted by: Grieved | Jul 19 2020 6:19 utc | 182]

Richard's answer made it clear to me that each of us come to our beliefs through our life experiences, which face us with individualized sets of unique circumstances. That would seem to demand from us a multiplicity of basic beliefs, and so they do. But where we can agree, and do agree, is upon the basic ones. Fair play is one common measure. Another is what comes under the heading of "good". (I remember from my greek grammar freshman year in college that 'all men desire the good.' That got imprinted upon me, along with Platonic thought seeking to refine that concept for those who believed that their 'good' was to achieve wealth or power.

College is a great place for folk to start refining their own beliefs, because any they have are still quite malleable. At least, it was a good place for me to do that as up to that point I had simply absorbed what was told me by my teachers, (who fortunately were not out to propagandize me, being themselves a diverse lot.) Some, though, don't need college. They already from infancy have been challenged in the school of hard knocks, and like trees strengthened by the wind, they have strong trunks from the getgo.

I'll just say that in each of us, in our hearts of hearts, we overcome our diversity of particular beliefs by having a very similar set of the basics. Facts constantly test those basics but we are more alike than sometimes we think we are even there.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 19 2020 20:08 utc | 27

I meant to say 'multiplicity of beliefs' in the third paragraph above: "...multiplicity of beliefs, but we can agree on the basic ones." Fell over my own foot, as often happens.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 19 2020 20:11 utc | 28

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 19 2020 19:30 utc | 26

Nope, I'm not saying that but rather American under Trump will anything to win - even going to war to win the presidency. You know Putin is a chest's grandmaster but Xing Jinping even better he has both the guns and butter as a white would say. Looking back Xi Jinping knew before CCP met earlier, convince China’s top leadership-around 370 Communist Party officials-are meeting National People’s Congress sometimes Oct 30, 2019.

China held its National day parade Oct1, in inner Mongolia China vast armaments displayed. Trump wanna fight China at China's turf, meaning another brutal China civil, the Chinese killed each other. Taiwan vs China Mainlander. Xi is not that stoopid. He knew Trump game plans. My position, I'm not convinced of communism but I believe in Socialism with Chinese Characteristic. Capitalism is dead and Xi Jinping proves it.

EU better wises up. Germany future survives - Volkswagen, Siemens, Mercedes-Benz and more depends Merkel directions. China could killed off Boris’s UK within 12-mths - Cathay Pacific (UK Swire) HSBC (UK Home) and lastly Jardine the opium traders with China an unequal treaties... Jardine probably could wiped out UK! Do searches to proof me wrong.

I dun believe Xi will start the first salvo but will never stoop down its tit-for-tat following each steps’ Trump took raising the stakes. Did you know the Chinese are die-hard gamblers, dun ever watch heart attack games?

Posted by: JC | Jul 19 2020 20:25 utc | 29

One more point though on Covid where I really depart from Trump. All those rednecks in Trump red states who were giving the finger to mask and distancing guidelines are getting infected in droves. Unfortunately, the most ignorant of these aren't ending up on ventilators. They're just killing others with their arrogant stupidity.

Covid's killed a lot of mostly good people, but here's what Covid accomplished: It's demonstrating just how ignorant, lazy and dishonest a too large part of society is. The job for the rest of us is to shame the hell out of them as often as possible.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 19 2020 20:27 utc | 30

@ Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 19 2020 20:14 utc | 30

They rise because they expect it to contaminate the Western markets, not because their profitability itself rose.

As my many links in my first comment here illustrate, the CCP is not willing to give in to the financial sectors - not domestic, let alone international. This causes a huge point of attrition with the West:

Capital Wars

Dollar’s pain not yet the yuan’s gain

China will develop a financial sector. But on its own terms.

On a side note, there is a narrative frequently told by some Taiwanese and Hongkongers (or descendants of KMTers) that the Mainland, with the rise of Deng Xiaoping, essentially adopted KMT policy and was only successful because they did so. In other words, that the KMT ultimately won the Civil War. Pardon my French, but this theory is crazy and pure bullshit, in every facet of it (empirical, theoretical, historical).

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2020 20:53 utc | 31

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 19 2020 20:14 utc | 30

Well said, but not all correct, :-)

"As Chinese stocks rise so too do European and US stocks also rise. One for all and all for one."

Stock are man made and not exactly the mood in the real marketplace where Chinese lives depends. Go search and read up on Abraham Lincoln "Labor and Capital". A family live in the mountain or cliff. He survives on less than a few cents a day and took him more than 4-hrs up and down the cliff, Where his children unschooled. Xi Jinping changed all that. Provided free house, initials TV, rooms furniture and more for the home, find jobs for the head of household free schooling. These are mainly minorities 100millions still lived there since 2019.

Fucking BBC on China Cliff Dweller

Posted by: JC | Jul 19 2020 21:07 utc | 32

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2020 20:53 utc | 33

My dad was a KTM officer, and I support the Mainlander and Xi Jinping - nothing unusual! It a matter of time Taiwan reunited with China and what Americunts gonna to do?

Can you imagine another China’s civil war.... Taiwan is no match this time but cunning Trump, Pompeo and Boris would love to see Chinese fighting the Chinese... fucking 5eyes... Fat hopes? Maybe Boris thinking more unequal treaties? Japan would love to reoccupy China two North Eastern provinces again?

Posted by: JC | Jul 19 2020 21:34 utc | 33

@ Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 19 2020 21:11 utc | 35

China didn't nationalize the nine financial institutions: it seized them. The Chinese government didn't pay a penny.

From the link I put at my first comment here:

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) took over four insurance companies and two trust firms, and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) seized (link in Chinese) two securities companies and one futures firm, according to official statements Friday.


The massive seizure involves assets amounting to more than 1.2 trillion yuan ($171.5 billion), according to Caixin calculations based on financial reports. It marks a major step for regulators to dismantle a sprawling business empire built by Xiao under the umbrella of Tomorrow Holding Co. Ltd., one of the highest-profile targets of China’s crackdown on financial risks.

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2020 21:37 utc | 34

donkeytale @Jul19 21:11 #35

In the US system these types of financial institutions would be bailed out or shuttered through bankruptcy. In China they are nationalized.

Wrong. US bailed out all the big banks in 2008-9. US just bailed out the financial sector again with trillions in loans (with hundreds of billions in real value - assuming they get paid back).

And US just bailed out Boeing and helped Big Pharma to loot us all by not agressively fighting the pandemic. (As I've previously noted, despite years of planning, USA made virtually every possible "mistake").

US oligarch & corporate-friendly neoliberal government works against the people. The Chinese system is much better for ordinary people (though it still fails in some case, of course).

If USA/Anglo-Zionist Empire took control of the world (as they are determined to do) then many people will experience a living nightmare. USA/Anglo-Zionist Empire has not shown the wisdom and humanity needed to lead the world. IMO What's best for the world is a balance of power between several powerful blocks that compete to provide their people with a high standard of living and scientific achievement.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 19 2020 21:48 utc | 35


I think you're unrealistic about a few things. Your person experience seems to cloud your perspective.

For example Chinese unification may be just a "matter of time" but it ain't gonna be any time soon.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 19 2020 21:55 utc | 36

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 19 2020 21:11 utc | 35

It looks like you are trying to manipulate people.

Nationalisation and bail out of private investors by the government are two very different things. Not surpsisingly capitalists have been hostile to the nationalisations from the 60s-70s and the West has generally moved away from nationalisations of businesses, espeically after the Tacher - Reigan era.

In the first case, government (society) takes over a broken business. The private investor no longer has any control over that business and what happens to it later. And he does not always gets a good treatment or price.

Government may try to fix the business via various ways. It may decide that it is strategic for the country and thus the Government should have control over it (this is how Russia operates for example). Or let it go in more acceptable ways for the working people there - with some reasonable compensation for them.

In the second case - the private investor remains in control, even though he was bailed out by the Government. He continues to be in charge of that business, sometimes a large, strategic business.

>>For the world it appears both of the largest two economies are heading for depression.

This does not look to be the case for China because:

1. China beat almost anyone else in virus mitigation and thus will register the best growth this year, between 2 and 3 percent. Almost everyone else is between -5 and -10. See their second quarter, very good performance.

2. Debt rate did not increase a lot as a result of the crisis, the Chinese Government was very careful not to increase the debt. The stimulus that followed is relatively small compared to others and this time is in areas with high return, such as 5G coverage for the country and industrial internet.

3. Most specialists admit that it was China that gained most from the Corona crisis. Here is one piece from the US futurologs from Pardee.

Where broad measures of material capabilities are concerned, the picture is clear: COVID-19 is closing the gap in relative capabilities for the U.S. and China and accelerating the U.S.-China power transition.

This is the view of the IMF too.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 19 2020 22:08 utc | 37

If any in power cared about our health or our lives -

It would be possible to stay home when sick. Wage slaves can’t do that. Employees can’t afford or risk time off work. Persons with weak social networks have to go shopping even when ill. Only the well-off can stockpile to reduce trips.
One simple change would be to remove all ex-military from any type of supervisory position. Any who had ever been heard to say to an underling “Suck It Up!!!” or “We Own You” would be sent to a lunatic asylum. That sort of drill sergeant abuse is still pervasive for those at the bottom of the heap. Covid doesn’t change it.

Next, if they cared about us at all it would be possible to go to a doctor when sick. Particularly if a patient had a contagious/infectious disease it would be possible to go see a doctor and not risk becoming a pauper. It would be possible to treat a condition before it was an ICU case. Covid has not changed anything at all.

Instead of doing the simple and obvious above they have set to work making us fight each other and hate each other over masks. And everyone falls for the trick.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 19 2020 22:13 utc | 38


I read the link then I found this:

"What might a Chinese world order look like?...The Chinese Communist Party’s imprisonment of over one million Uighurs provides another." which was sourced from CFR aka Council of Imperialist Relations. (Anybody really surprised?)

Then it became clear to me the main aim of the work is to propagate the "1 million imprisoned Uyghurs" lie and "Chyna Bad" under the guise of academics.

Posted by: J W | Jul 19 2020 22:55 utc | 39

@24 juliania.. thanks! i was mostly addressing that to the next yoyo who comes to tell us about n95 masks... probably won't work, but i tried!

@ 42 oldhippie... so true all that you say.... it is one glaring difference between the usa and canada, although we have ignoramus's here in canada that want us to be more like the usa - typically what are referred to as 'progressive conservatives'... whackjobs is more like it... thanks for your comment.. the last lines are especially true..

Posted by: james | Jul 19 2020 23:05 utc | 40

Posted by: J W | Jul 19 2020 22:55 utc | 43

Dun believe anything from Chinese basher... But overall Passer by is more correct and I'm drafting a rebuttal.

Posted by: JC | Jul 19 2020 23:07 utc | 41

I don't understand why people engage with 450 king donkey If it is just for mental exercise I suppose I can understand it. If it is to get counter arguments in the thread for current and future lurkers' edification, I can understand that too. If you imagine you can educate that David Brock employee and change its opinion then the joke is on you and you entirely misunderstand the poster's purpose for being here.

That is, detox the thread of that poster's poison and use that poster for rhetorical target practice, but don't try to convince the poster of its mistakes. It really doesn't care and will endlessly repeat an assigned narrative even after you have debunked it time and again.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 20 2020 0:04 utc | 42

[email protected]

“On a side note, there is a narrative frequently told by some Taiwanese and Hongkongers (or descendants of KMTers) that the Mainland, with the rise of Deng Xiaoping, essentially adopted KMT policy and was only successful because they did so. In other words, that the KMT ultimately won the Civil War. Pardon my French, but this theory is crazy and pure bullshit, in every facet of it (empirical, theoretical, historical).”

Actually, there is a lot of truth to this. Chinas rise to power began when Deng adopted private ownership and capitalism to their authoritative government and state controlled economy.

At this time the Asian Tigers were enjoying great success. Taiwan and South Korea were in the process of winding down martial law , Hong Kong was under British rule and Singapore had a benevolent dictatorship. All had major state run industries many with private ownership , and competitive start ups in manufacturing and trade and there was strict government control, with wealth concentrated among the elites in and out of government.

While countries like South Korea and Taiwan dropped martial law and became more democratic and broke up some state controlled industries, and Hong Kong transitioned away from colonial rule, they all allowed their manufacturing to move to China and transitioned more to service and R&D . While such a transition helped environmentally many workers from Taiwan and Hong Kong especially were forced to work in China overseeing operations there. The impact on the local economy was not insignificant and the cause of some stress.

I do think there is great similarity between Taiwan in the 1980’s and China in the early 2000’s. I lived in both countries during these years, as well as Hong Kong.

Obviously there are differences. China insists on the illusion of Socialism while KMT was devoutly anti-communist. But they had a lot in common. Not today of course. Taiwan might be one of the last remaining Democracies starting late as it did. China seems no closer to democracy than it was although I have not been back there for 15 years.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jul 20 2020 0:08 utc | 43

Jackrabbit #15
JC #35

Thank you both for sanity and persistence.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 20 2020 0:16 utc | 44

Kay Fabe #47

The feint to pseudo capitalism was a ploy to recruit technology and appropriate the knowledge of the West.

The bonus was that capitalist greed led the manufacturer's to follow.

The outcome THEN became a modified socialism with a broader wealth foundation to distribute.

The constant is the Chinese Communist Party and the Socialist Democracy that is China today. A resounding success to the horror of the renter class and Western oligarchs.

It's enough to turn a Venetian in the grave.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 20 2020 0:27 utc | 45

J W #43

Imprisoned uighurs?

The alternative is that we all become Palestinians, imprisoned by Israel government copies and used for target practice and kneecaped.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 20 2020 0:32 utc | 46

JC #31

Salut brother JC. You win today's typo award.

"you know Putin is chest's grandmaster. "

Don't you love auto correct.

I immediately recalled that image of Putin barechested on a fine horse.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 20 2020 0:50 utc | 47

cancel culture.. that is like what the msm has done with julian assange who is experiencing the abomination of uk-usa so called ''justice' and legal system.... too bad these signee's can't find it in them to take a moment to consider the perfect example of someone who has been forever cancelled the past however many years.. .

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2020 1:15 utc | 48

As I predicted, the mountain gave birth to a mouse:

Indian, Chinese Soldiers Disengaging After Deadly Clash in Ladakh

At first, I thought about explaining why the geography of Ladakh can't sustain a non-nucler large scale war. But then I realize the Western MSM can feed you all with their famous satellite and drone photographs of the place, so it would become easier to understand...

Posted by: vk | Jul 20 2020 1:32 utc | 49

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 19 2020 22:08 utc | 41

Overall I'm much in tunes to your assessments. Your first point, yes GDP for 2nd qtr was 3.2%, CGTN, Global Times and XinHua News said the rest of the year may end upper plus 5%, that was before massive flooding in the Yangtze Rivers’ basin. Your 2points, extremely correct China keeping the stimulus small, more rooms to expand if needed. The top down approach targets where do most good for the people. Something unheard of the CCP giving 1st preference poor family 23 millions (Not sure) university graduate first choices to jobs. Your3 points its Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

Even donkeytale and Jackrabbit more or less correct but do we needs to nick picking points that may be irrelevant, I can live with it.

Referring to Jackrabbit @40 "Chinese unification may be just a "matter of time" but it ain't gonna be any time soon". China is raising and growing fast. Taiwan needs to do something about it. Did you know Japan begging TSMC to joint Ventura build microchips’ plant in Japan and Trump tried that too in Arizona? Like it or not China's SMIC is growing fast, recruited top TSMC engineers and key people to SMIC.

Jackrabbit, I ain't no old fool. I known what's I'm talking. Been there physically and mentally and the many places mentioned now and earlier. Sorrie no offend intended but facts!

Wait a year or two when Taiwan beginning to crumple and unemployed increases, Tsai Ing-wen loose popularity. Been to Kaohsiung Taiwan often on business and Taipei for pleasure with my family. Kaohsiung is where Taiwan fortune or future lies, without which she is dead. Tsai Ing-wen is corrupted and conspires with SCMP (South China Post) to start a civil war with the Mainlander...

Posted by: JC | Jul 20 2020 1:44 utc | 50

Reading Prof. Balloux's thread and I have to say:

What? "Complications: Any life-threatening infection requires time to fully recover from and can lead to long-term sequelae. This is true for influenza and #COVID19, which have both been linked to a wide spectrum of long-term adverse consequences." The flu has long-term adverse consequences??

What? What? "Vaccines: Vaccination against influenza began in the 1930s. The efficacy of flu vaccines is generally good." Is he talking about these flu vaccines that are frequently extremely ineffective, and prone to greater adverse reactions than other vaccines? Do they get some other flu vaccine at UCL?

Wha... "Summary: #SARSCoV2 behaves in most ways like a pandemic influenza strain. The only major epidemiological difference between #COVID19 and flu pandemics is the age risk distribution, with influenza being highly dangerous to young children in addition to the elderly." This UCL that he's part of, is that some UCL that's located elsewhere in the galaxy other than the UCL in London?

And he works at the Genetics Institute. Just to reassure everyone.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 20 2020 1:50 utc | 51

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 20 2020 0:50 utc | 51

Awe please spare me my ENG. They suck and everyone knows it.

Me trying to show Putin is good, very good. But Xi Jinping may be equal or better. Xi don't talk like Trump but likewise Putin. See the different? Putin got guns but some butter. Xi Jinping got both. See the different again?

China keep repeating nobody win in trade wars the same with sanction. Xi to Trump "you push the button, I'll push my button too wanna try"?

Posted by: JC | Jul 20 2020 2:00 utc | 52

Posted by: vk | Jul 20 2020 1:32 utc | 53

Of course, AP doesn't like the fact that their Hindustan vassal struck first, got mauled and ran away with tails behind their legs from evil Chyyyyna, so this whole thing is 'cancelled' to a "disengagement" of a "dispute". You can imagine what kind of glorious narrative if the Indians won instead.

Posted by: J W | Jul 20 2020 2:13 utc | 53

"It’s a vital resource for Fardosa and her family – and now also key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 by making it easier to wash hands and clean household items."

This is a quote from a UN Development Program page. ( Apparently, in Somaliland it is considered important to wash you hands to prevent infection from Covid-19. Not a single mask in these videos, but they're all outside, so...

In the developed world, in many places, we are now told washing hands doesn't matter much, just wear a mask. (Although washing THE MASK, if it's reusable IS important.)

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 20 2020 2:22 utc | 54

Ramin Mazaheri has illustrated quite well that the economic rise of China did not begin from scratch with Deng's policies. It began with Mao, and in particular with the vastly misunderstood Cultural Revolution, which brought education to rural China.

The result was a literate and educated population across all classes in China, for the first time ever. The human wealth was invested in first, and not only education, but real political power, was distributed to the local level - no simple task. Mao and his colleagues saw this great need, and fulfilled it.

Here is probably the best link to enter into Mazaheri's 8-part series on the Cultural Revolution:
Why was a Cultural Revolution needed in already-Red China? (3/8)

The CCP had done a lot of redistribution of wealth, but the two pillars of Marxist thought simply cannot exist independently: redistribution of wealth is nothing without a concomitant redistribution of power and control over politics/workplaces. [...] What good is implementing the first pillar of Marxism without creating the second pillar? How can China introduce socialist rule of law and expect success, when workers have not been educated and trained in empowerment?

Once China got these relationships remedied, that is when China began to take off economically, and that is essentially the thesis of Han’s entire book. The proof of the correctness of his thesis is the CR [Cultural Revolution] era's staggering human and economic development that he demonstrated.

By illustrating that the empowerment of the CR decade produced the rural industry, agricultural boom, and the educated workers who laid the foundation for the continued economic success of China into the 1980s and beyond, Han shows how the CR proves that socialism is not merely high taxes on the rich but an entirely new culture.

There is no doubt: everybody wants and needs local decision-making; but socialism is not anarchism – socialism contains the non-paradox of a central organizer and planner overseeing local independence.

This failure to implement Marxism’s second pillar is truly the hardest part of socialism – anyone can write a check – and when socialism has collapsed it has been because of this failure.

In that long quote above I took selected pieces from the article and combined them. There was just too much worthy of quoting in the article. I recommend it very highly, and the entire series, for a revolutionary view of the Cultural Revolution and a clear illustration of what China actually has achieved.

China's real achievement is vastly deeper and broader than the simple use of a few capitalist mechanisms. Something much greater than this underpins modern, revolutionary China. And Mazaheri's articles successfully unpack it.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 20 2020 2:32 utc | 55

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 19 2020 17:09 utc | 10

I pointed out that cloth masks were ineffective relative to N95 months ago here. The hierarchy is N100, N99, N95, surgical masks, then anything else. There is a reduction of maybe 25% in effectiveness per level (except for the N masks.) T-shirts are almost useless, having an effectiveness of maybe 10-15%.

*Doesn't mean they shouldn't be worn.*

People don't seem to understand that avoiding infection is a game of probabilities. It's not a binary either-or situation. Anything you can do to impede the progress of a viral load from the environment to your vulnerable surfaces is worth doing if it's practical. Wearing a mask is practical.

Minor repeated reductions in oxygen or increases in carbon dioxide is not going to kill you and is unlikely to have long-term physical effects. And there's a good chance that eventually we'll stop wearing them once the virus has been reduced in the environment.

Asians have been wearing masks frequently for a long time. Health workers wear masks frequently for extended periods. Cite a study where that has had long-term negative health effects.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 3:27 utc | 56

Anonymous "In the developed world, in many places, we are now told washing hands doesn't matter much, just wear a mask."

Depends what criteria is used for developed. Many countries in the so called west are third world countries when it comes to development of the mind. US is not just third world but stone age.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 3:37 utc | 57

vk 53

China pushed the Indians back onto the their side of the line. China look to have built a permanent position at patrol point 14 to stop India moving up the Galwin valley and I would guess the construction crews are now pulling out. India had built a major bridge suitable for moving heavy convoys into the valley of which only five k's is on their side of the line, so they also would have had military construction crews in the area.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 3:44 utc | 58

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ //
On the previous Georgia forum, Grieved came up with an intriguing question for Richard Steven Hack, which he answered towards the end of the thread. The question posed was interesting enough to me that it could be expanded to a general thread, so I post the nub of it here:

Do we need to have beliefs that are subject to refinement from emerging facts, rather than facts that are allowed to emerge only subject to beliefs?
[Posted by: Grieved | Jul 19 2020 6:19 utc | 182]

Richard's answer made it clear to me that each of us come to our beliefs through our life experiences, which face us with individualized sets of unique circumstances. That would seem to demand from us a multiplicity of basic beliefs, and so they do. But where we can agree, and do agree, is upon the basic ones. Fair play is one common measure. Another is what comes under the heading of "good". (I remember from my greek grammar freshman year in college that 'all men desire the good.' That got imprinted upon me, along with Platonic thought seeking to refine that concept for those who believed that their 'good' was to achieve wealth or power.
// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is an amazing representation that echoes back to one of my most fundamental beliefs. Which is --- Wait for it ---

Much like birds and other mammals, your basic human has two competing systems of cognition. That is to say, we have the 'rational' or 'intellectual' system, but also a 'visceral' system. When these two powerful systems are in disalignment, we get 'cognitive dissonance', which is painful. A funny thing happens. The visceral system always wins. Why? Because it bears no burden of 'honesty'. The concept of 'honesty' was never all it was cracked up to be. For example, one can be perfectly honest whilst being perfectly wrong. And there are many more problems with it.

The sociopath typically has a perfectly intact intellectual system, but a totally non-functioning visceral system. So he/she can totally understand, for example, that the 'past' is a real thing, and the 'future' is also a real thing. These things are (usually) impossible to deny on the intellectual plane. But if there exists no visceral axis, these things are as nothing. This means if I make a deal with you, then that was an agreement that only existed in the abstract non-existent 'past'. It means nothing. If I take a drug that will certainly cause me to become helplessly addicted in the 'future', since while the 'future' may have a totally accepted intellectual meaning, without any visceral meaning, it is of no consequence. So there is no 'reason' to not take the drug if it feels good right now.

Your ordinary student is never exposed to this paradox, and consequently falls for all sorts of nonsense. This is what is called 'normal'.

Posted by: blues | Jul 20 2020 4:05 utc | 59

Posted by: james | Jul 19 2020 18:35 utc | 20 they are designed to breathe out freely

That is only the *valved* masks. Non-valved medical masks do not breath out freely. See here.

More factual information from 3M here: (PDF).

The real problem is masks that don't measure up. This article says half of the masks manufactured in China don't actually capture 95% of particles. Since all of my masks are from China, that is concerning to me. However, even if a mask only does 50%, that's still better than most non-respirator masks.

As for health issues from wearing's the scoop on that. In short - no, they don't.

Further">">Further discussion on Chinese KN95 masks - *if made properly*, they are just as good as American N95 masks.

The Smart Air company has a number of good articles on masks for use with the pandemic. I recommend reading them.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 4:06 utc | 60

Botched another link...sigh... That link should be this.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 4:09 utc | 61

Oh, Christ, the goddamn PDF link doesn't work. Try it AGAIN.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 4:11 utc | 62

JC "Putin got guns but some butter. Xi Jinping got both."

My view is Xi is still a bit short on guns, so the two countries compliment each other. Russia are setting up and early warning system for China. Russia also has the ability to annihilate US and although China has some nukes, they may not be enough to deter the US. Submarines is another weak point for China if it comes to a sea blockade, though if they achieve the ability to detect submarines from space then subs will be obsolete. Leading edge military jet engines is another area China is still catching up on. Russia has a huge scientific data base from the Soviet Union that they can draw on in designing new systems, though with China's huge investment in science, it may not be that long before they take the lead. At the moment China leads the world in communications and manufacturing power. Quantum communications, 5G, road, rail ect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 4:12 utc | 63

Posted by: juliania | Jul 19 2020 19:26 utc | 24 fans do a good job also getting outside air in and vice versa.

Correct. That UC Davis interview specifically discussed air changes per hour, which is important. That is why I always open the window in the shared toilets, as virus particles build up in toilets if not aerated.

I also debated whether I should vacuum my rug today. It turns out that most vacuums, especially older ones, are poorly sealed and their air exhaust will kick up dust and virus particles out the back while sucking them up in the front. So I went ahead and did it anyway - but I turned on the fan in my window in order to accelerate the air exchange.

Also, any vacuum used should have a HEPA filter to minimize dust dispersal. They developed those to help people with allergies be able to clean their residences while going into coughing fits. They should also work to control virus particle dispersal.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 4:19 utc | 64

Richard Steven Hack 64

Early on people and companies were just by anything from China without first checking what they were buying, so then the Chinese government brought in export standards which slowed down the shipping as everything had to be tested before it left China.
It would have been interesting though to see US made masks run through the same tests.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 4:52 utc | 65

Posted by: juliania | Jul 19 2020 20:08 utc | 28 But where we can agree, and do agree, is upon the basic ones. Fair play is one common measure. Another is what comes under the heading of "good".

If by "good", you mean "necessities of life", we can agree. Everyone needs the "Maslow hierarchy" - at least the lower levels.

But as I suspect I've made clear by now in my posts, if you mean "good" in terms of "good and evil", we part company.

The problem with terms like "good", "truth", "justice" (and "the American way" LOL) is that they refer to nothing but some images inside the head of the speaker. There are no objective, factual referents for any of those terms. You can point to a chair. You can't point to "the good".

The late Robert Anton Wilson and a few other libertarians have pointed out that "rights" are a myth. Ayn Rand used to define rights as "conditions of existence which are required for men to live" (paraphrased slightly). That is simply a tautology. Why bother to use the term "rights" to define the requirements of oxygen food, water, etc.? Well, her idea was that "freedom" was such a "right". Well, why not say so? This exposes the problem: concepts expanded beyond necessity. Which is amusing because Rand was adamantly against precisely that error, as she discussed in her epistemology. The point is that without a precise definition of what a concept refers to, it's an invalid concept - a "spook", as Max Stirner would call it.

Further analysis is provided by Wilson in his "Natural Law, or Don’t Put a Rubber on Your Willy".

He references L.A. Rollins work, "The Myth of Natural Rights" which is a further exposition. A review of that work is here.

"College is a great place for folk to start refining their own beliefs, because any they have are still quite malleable."

I'm not sure about that. Possibly true. I went to college in my late 20's. Much of my belief system was already in place, although it was still being refined (as it was for the next forty years, actually, and still is.) Continual refinement might be a desirable characteristic.

"(who fortunately were not out to propagandize me, being themselves a diverse lot.)"

You lucked out.

"Some, though, don't need college. They already from infancy have been challenged in the school of hard knocks, and like trees strengthened by the wind, they have strong trunks from the getgo."

Being bullied throughout grammar school and the two years of high school I attended before dropping out, that would be me. Exposure to "injustice" in church, school, and on the playground taught me the lack of worth of most humans at a very early age. And eventually of course, one always recognizes that one's parents aren't the loving gods you thought they were when you were little - and that they're just as dumb as everyone else, if not more so (in the teenage years, at least.)

"we are more alike than sometimes we think we are even there."

I'd be inclined to say that's the actual problem. Most people are "herd thinkers". And a lot of the ones who think they aren't - witness both our leftists and our rightist trolls here - are deluding themselves that they aren't.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 4:55 utc | 66

@ rsh... thanks richard... it is more nuanced then i realized..

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2020 5:05 utc | 67

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 4:52 utc | 69

Yes, I remember when they did that. I think I got mine before they did that, so I have no way of knowing how good my masks are. Nothing I can do but hope - or replace them with real 3M if and when 3M ever gets enough produced that civilians other than health care can get them.

Wirecutter has an article on what they consider the best masks - but they excluded all "non-valved" masks from consideration, which makes the article useless if one is interested in not spreading the virus when one might be pre-symptomatic.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 5:11 utc | 68

@28 juliania & blues @63

As humans, or in fact as sentient beings of any kind, all we trust is our own experience.

And this is all we should trust. It is our most intimate guide and helper in trying to decide what is reality.

This doesn't mean that we're accurate in our picture of reality, by any means. But this is how we derive that picture. Even when we think we're thinking about things "out there" on the outside of our eyes and our self, that very thinking is simply a personal experience happening "inside".

So, as blues points out, the "visceral" evaluations always count for more than logic - at least until we can roll the logic around and around, and come to see it in our own terms, which is to say, to experience the truth of it. Like getting the theory approved by what we know in our bones.


I didn't think I could actually move any further with this particular discussion, after Richard laid out all the terrain of his own beliefs the way he did. The difference between what he believes and what I believe seemed too great for me to find the words ever to bridge the distance. I knew it would have to be a large "meta" kind of next statement.

And then you nailed it, juliania, that we all believe what we believe within our own intimate realm of experience. But this doesn't refer simply to past experiences or learned things. Experience is happening all the time, in every moment that we think or write or read or act.

Even our believing, and the unfolding of the words to describe the concepts of the things "out there" - it's all a stream of experiencing that we're doing. We are made up of this stream. This is what we are.


The Buddha taught that he had given us a path to follow if we wished to uncover our enlightenment, but that this path could only be trodden by each of us by our own doing. I came to see that this meant, in our own experience - which is all that we trust. And this is where enlightenment lies - in our own experience.

To put it another way, if we should become enlightened, this will be a thing we experience, and only a thing we experience - it can be no other way.

Nothing can be any other way.


I think I'll stop there for the moment :)

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 20 2020 5:20 utc | 69

Just saw this on Twitter...

This explains why I post. :-)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 5:42 utc | 70

Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT

In addition, the memo suggested that should federal law enforcement be deployed to other U.S. cities that are experiencing unrest that, "if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies.”

Portland mayor: Trump administration policing tactics are 'abhorrent'

"People are being literally scooped off the street into unmarked vans, rental cars, apparently. They are being denied probable cause. And they are denied due process. They don't even know who's pulling them into the vans. The people aren't identifying themselves. And, as far as I can see, this is completely unconstitutional," Wheeler said.

He was quoted on Twitter as saying this as well:
Portland mayor on CNN: "What I want to do is raise awareness nationally. This could happen in your city. And what we're seeing is a blatant abuse of police tactics by the federal government, by a Trump admin that's falling in the polls. This is a direct threat to our democracy."

My response to that: What democracy? You're living in an oligarch-controlled, fascist, racist, imperialist, religiously fanatical (about money and Christianity) police state that makes Iran look like "the only democracy in the Middle East" (to quote that BS line about Israel).

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 5:54 utc | 71

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 20 2020 5:20 utc | 73 I think I'll stop there for the moment :)

Probably best - since I didn't follow half of that. LOL

Actually, I did on rereading. However, note that our "experience" also includes everything we read from and about others' experiences. This is what being a "social animal" is about.

You might want to read some Robert Anton Wilson. He comes from an individualist anarchist position (more or less), but he also has an "Eastern" view of looking at things as well as a scientific view. This is the link I referenced above. You might find it interesting in that he discusses the various models of cognition.

Wikipedia has an article on "Reality Tunnels" which mentions Wilson.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 6:14 utc | 72

Trump trolls gonna love this...

Google bans ads on coronavirus conspiracy theory content

In other words, if you try to make money off the conspiracy theories, Google is not gonna show your ads.

Now, I'm not one to go along with *any* kind of censorship, so I don't think I approve of this action by Google.

But I gotta say, that it will enrage the Trump trolls does kinda tickle me. Of course, all it will do is enrage them and result in *more* BS from them.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 6:21 utc | 73

@69 Peter AU1 & Richard Steven Hack @72

Masks. Everyone was buying from China because the US had nothing. All the Amazon stuff was coming from China. Naturally, scam artists jumped on board. and the testing by China was to filter that out. But none of this meant that China raised its standards of manufacture. China very well knew how to make masks, and had been surviving on that skill for a decade before the sheltered yankees had a similar need.

RSH - If I have to trust something, and I do during this pandemic, I trust Chinese integrity way more than 3M. Only because we are seeing how corrupted all the institutions of the US have become, and how incompetent. So even a good company can now screw up, it's just how it is in this country now. The Chinese people are up and bustling. The US people are down and failing. Not a value judgment on the people. Just the way it is in systems collapse.

The fabrics of the mask are made by a $4 million machine that manufactures meltblown material - like cotton candy spun from sugar except I assume spun from petrochemicals of some kind. In one of his articles here, b described the filtering actions of any material placed in the path of the virus. Essentially, one is putting up barriers to the travel of the virus, like a maze. Meltblown is just a fine mesh, down in the micron range of permeability.

The virus has no volition of its own, and I assume its momentum follows basic Newtonian trajectories. One layer of meltblown can present an obstacle for the droplets to pass though, like a chain link fence to a golf ball. Two layers, or three layers - which is what I think I'm seeing in these surgical masks - are like having three chain link fences stacked together, each one an inch behind another, working as a triple-layer barrier. Better than metal fences, the three barriers are flexible and move against each other by the wearer during breathing. Maybe a few golf balls can get through that kind of barrier - maybe.

So for short periods, which is all I care about, that strikes me as a decent barrier. b was making the same point about barriers to the virus, and you RSH have pointed out that it's a numbers game, playing the odds against happenstance and viral load, and that's how I view it too.


I have some meltblown, as it happens, ordered from China a while back. I also have small amounts of the three layers going into surgical masks. All this can be bought. I have quite a few of the 2.5 micron inserts that go into cloth masks that have the sleeve inside to slide a filter in. The filters can be removed and sanitized while the cloth mask gets washed.

I made one for a bandanna-wearing friend recently - following a Chinese video from January that showed how to fold a cloth scarf around a piece of meltblown (or whatever) and fold the ends over rubber bands for ear ties. Quick and easy, no metal, washable, microwaveable. RSH, you have the system of rotation to let your masks self-sanitize over time - that's perfect. I spent $100 on a small UVC light box, so I sanitize the removable filters and even the surgical masks in that. You can't watch it happen of course, so I have some trust that the thing is working. You gotta trust something. And I keep my paranoia pretty high.

Anyway, don't give up your faith in the Chinese masks, is my thought. It's your system that's keeping you alive as much as anything, beating those numbers, and it strikes me as a pretty good system.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 20 2020 6:23 utc | 74

Don't know if this was posted earlier...

Masks Off: How the Brothers Who Fueled the Reopen Protests Built a Volatile Far-Right Network

The Dorr brothers, who range in age from 29 to 40, have ties to tea party figures like Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul and have been dismissed by people on both the right and the left as astroturfing hucksters who are more interested in profit than policy. Even the National Rifle Association has denounced them as scammers. Before they began railing against public health measures, the brothers started gun rights and anti-abortion groups in multiple states, registering them as nonprofits and then paying out some of the money that they raise from donations to a for-profit direct mail company that they themselves control, according to IRS tax forms required to be filed by nonprofits....

By the institute’s count, Facebook groups promoting the reopen cause have 2.7 million members. At least 325,000 of those users belong to Dorr-affiliated groups.

Wonder how many of our trolls here come from sites created by these hucksters. Once again proving that morons are also suckers.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 6:32 utc | 75

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 20 2020 6:23 utc | 78

Excellent points. Yes, the physical barrier aspect was always what I suspected was the most important point of these masks, backed up by the electrostatic aspect (which is the problem with washing, or using alcohol to disinfect them, which disturbs that aspect, which is why I prefer rotation.)

I figure the masks I have, most of them anyway, are probably decent enough. But I may replace them with real certified NIOSH versions if and when they become really available again - and assuming they don't cost the $7 each I spent on the LAPG masks (the Chinese-bought ones were less.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 6:38 utc | 76

Governments around world eye tougher steps to fight COVID-19

Signs of governments reassessing their coronavirus response were scattered around the world Sunday, with the mayor of Los Angeles saying the city was reopened too quickly, Ohio's governor warning his state is “going the wrong way,” Hong Kong issuing tougher new rules on wearing face masks and Spain closing overcrowded beaches.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Los Angeles was “on the brink” of new widespread stay-at-home orders as Los Angeles County continued to see the state’s largest increase in confirmed coronavirus cases. California reported on Saturday its fourth-highest daily total of newly confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 9,000....

Cases in the Australian state of Victoria rose again Sunday, prompting a move to make masks mandatory in metropolitan Melbourne and the nearby district of Mitchell for people who leave their homes for exercise or to purchase essential goods.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said those who fail to wear a mask will be fined 200 Australian dollars ($140).

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 6:45 utc | 77

Grieved 78

I believe the Chinese controls were simply to ensure that a mask was actually the grade or standard it purported to be.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 6:55 utc | 78

Is the high share of 70% asymptomatic cases really confirmed?? The last time I heard something about that isue it whas claimed to be 15-20% with no evidence for high numbers of undiscovered asymtomatic cases. The extensive testing with a low percantege of positives seems to confirm this.

If the asymptomatic cases were really around 2/3 then this would mean the number of real cases is much higher the the number of officially counted cases, by the factor of 3 roughly.

Posted by: m | Jul 20 2020 7:09 utc | 79

This is hilarious...So perfect. These morons look like they're entering Fallujah...for the first time...

"Why are you acting so afraid no one is even over here." #pdxprotests

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 7:11 utc | 80

Posted by: m | Jul 20 2020 7:09 utc | 83

CDC's 'best estimate' is 40 percent COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic

I don't think anyone knows for sure what the figure is. Estimates range from 25-40%. There is also confusion over *how much* contagious the asymptomatic are.

More importantly are the number of people who are "pre-symptomatic" - which means they can shed viral particles *before* experiencing symptoms.

Then there's this: More than half of people with Covid-19 don’t know how they got it — here’s what that means for you

That makes contact tracing and isolating exposed persons very difficult.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 7:19 utc | 81

Mask-wearing obligatory in confined public spaces in France from today .Initially announced by Macron in his july 14th speech for the first of August,but over the weekend Health minister said it is in application from this monday 2 july.Fine is 135 euros.This will lead to more gigs cancelled,unless they are in the street.How can one sing masked?
Well,I tried wearing one saturday,but it is a sloppy experience and I don't think I will wear one correctly,it hangs down from my nose,it is to escape french fines.Before people start insulting me for that,i have to tell you that I see practically nobody,apart from going to supermarket once a week....

Posted by: willie | Jul 20 2020 7:20 utc | 82

Robert Evans (The Only Robert Evans) @IwriteOK · 2h
It is beginning to look like repeatedly tear gassing a crowd of moms may have been a tactical error.


This appears to be on ongoing situation in Portland. The crowd has surrounded the Federal Courthouse. Expect more trouble shortly. Apparently according to this Twitter observer, the cops are threatening people not to mess with their fence, which has inspired people to do just that. The cops have threatened to attack the crowd.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 7:28 utc | 83

Posted by: willie | Jul 20 2020 7:20 utc | 86 I see practically nobody,apart from going to supermarket once a week....

Do you mean you see no one "on the street", or you, personally, don't see anyone on most days except when you go out to market?

In either case, a mask doesn't do you much good, since there are no threats near you. Masks are for when you are in, as you say, "confined public spaces", that is, indoors in close proximity to people. There is a small risk of getting infected in open air passing by people, but it is really improbable. You'd have to be really unlucky. OTOH, I avoid passing near a "tent city" of homeless people - why take the risk?

Fining people for not wearing masks *outdoors*, say, in a national wilderness, wouldn't make any sense. Not that it would prevent a government from doing it. :-) But fining people for not wearing a mask on a *crowded* beach is another matter. Crowds are crowds, by definition.

And singing has been pretty definitely proven to be one way to infect people in an enclosed space, even with social distancing. Air movement of aerosols (as opposed to droplets) pretty clearly can infect people in such situations. 6-7 foot distance is not enough in enclosed spaces, although that is partly dependent on the amount of air movement due to ventilation. If air is sucked up and out and replaced by fresh air, the risk is lessened.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 7:40 utc | 84

Funny line from Twitter:

"I don't know why people are so against wearing a mask, most of ya'll been wearing one all your life, you two-faced MFs..."


Then there's: "Every disaster movie starts with the government ignoring a scientist."

Good point.

And in line with b's piece on Kemp:

Stephen Colbert Shreds Governor's Mask-Law Ban With Really Gross Joke

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 7:51 utc | 85

This is getting out of hand...but we still can't be sure which of these are actual sabotage vs "normal" incidents in any large country which are then being promoted by Israeli and Western media for propaganda purposes... Both of these incidents could be perfectly normal - but the Times of Israel coverage is likely part of a propaganda campaign.

It would be a cheap and effective ploy to start covering every normal accident in Iran as if it *might* be Israeli and/or CIA sabotage. This forces Iranian security to investigate everything more thoroughly than would otherwise be the case, and would cause Iranian officials to be put under pressure to respond in some way if their security services can not reassure them that these incidents *are* normal. That in turn could cause Iran to take actions which Israel and the US neocons hope would cause Trump to initiate hostile military action against Iran.

Fire engulfs factory in Iran’s 2nd industrial incident within hours

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 7:59 utc | 86

What Der Spiegel thinks of Trump...Fire Devil: A President Burns Down His Country.

Hit that one right on the head. Couldn't have said it better myself - except maybe the weird phrase, "Fire Devil", LOL.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 8:10 utc | 87

An infosec guy on Twitter points to this exchange in Trump's interview with Chris Wallace and notes "This isn't a trick question":

Aaron Rupar @atrupar · 17h
TRUMP: "I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election."
WALLACE: "Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results?"
TRUMP: "I have to see."
WALLACE: "Can you give a direct answer that you will accept the election?
TRUMP: "I have to see."

If Trump loses - and while I still won't call the election this early, it's beginning to look bad for Trump - expect hell for at least the entire month of December, if not longer. I mean, law suits, endless recounts like the "hanging chads" nonsense in 2000, maybe up to the point of Trump hiding in the White House bunker and refusing to come out like Stephen McHattie in the TV show, "XIII: The Series" (which is a series I recommend, by the way.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 8:18 utc | 88

As I've said before, the Trump trolls ought to talk to the front-line medical workers...

Over 100 Houston Doctors Slam Rep. Dan Crenshaw for “Spreading Dangerous Disinformation” on Coronavirus

The letter is here. (Documentcloud)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 8:39 utc | 89

m 83

High numbers of asymptomatic are a feel good propaganda thing. Most have no symptoms when they first become contagious, but the numbers that never develop symptoms are relatively low.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 8:40 utc | 90


Plenty of genuine people here that have developed their thoughts away from herd mentality. And most are different in some aspects.
My thought is all free thinkers begin with a baseline or foundation and then expand from there in relation to their experiences. Baseline starting points differ, as does life experiences.
For me, I guess being able to raise a family and see them able to go out in the world and start their own family is my baseline. This is overlapped with the historical saying - 'a good leader brings peace and prosperity to his people'.

Goering though had a good understanding of the modern western world ...
Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

For most here, democracy is still the sacred cow, but even that is something I no longer worship. Democracy is controlled by whoever controls the media.
For me, the baseline is family, as in father mother and children, and, a leadership capable of, or who's main interest is bringing peace and prosperity for the people..

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 8:58 utc | 91

Richard Steven Hack 92

Hopefully the US election will be a good thing for the rest of the world. I will be watching with interest. A good civil war will distract yanks from attacking other target nations of choice. As their target nations of choice will totally annihilate the US, a good civil war may be the best option. Simply cheer on both sides then shoot the last man standing and problem solved.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 9:29 utc | 92

Peter Au1 @ 97
I think that’s not a bad plan of yours, All though light hearted jest there’s an underlying good sound logic to it.
Any way Trump and the Dems will lose, Why ? Becouse we’v got Richard Steven Hack !! They won’t stand a chance, poor fools !
Dose Richard employ staff ? What an out-put. Ha ha
If we’d had him on the U.K. Labour Party team as a bouncer Corbyn would of got in no prob.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 20 2020 9:44 utc | 93

Blue Dotterel @ 96
The Aurthor you mention at Off-Gardian dose he have a name ? The false logic of his, that you relate has a strong smell of deliberate miss-information and ‘psychological rationalisation’ about it. Putting both him and your selve on the suspect list. Again.
The hidden message being — let’s all run around catch the virus and die ! Thanks but no thanks.
Off-Gardian are an Israel lobby group project, how about you ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 20 2020 10:02 utc | 94

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jul 20 2020 9:13 utc | 96 No – for a solid hour, I heard the following: that COVID19 – in reality, at most, a moderately serious flu virus – is the worst medical threat the United States has ever faced.

Like to hear what he considers the worst. Other than the 1918 version, I can't imagine what else it might be. Of course, one could always point to ongoing medical issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. But they don't qualify as "pandemics" or "worst medical threats ever faced."

"Moderately serious flu virus" is also ridiculous. What part of 140,000 dead - and on the way to 200-500,000 - is he incapable of comprehending?

"So, what about the people who do become infected? its too late for the mask to help them. How do we mitigate the effects of the disease?"

This why one wears a mask (and the other measures) - to make it to the point where there is either a vaccine or an effective treatment that prevents actually dying or suffering severe consequences. So far, there is no *proven* *effective* treatment - only treatments which may or may not be effective, pending decent protocol trials. The FLCCC MATH+ Protocol seems promising, but like (alllegedly) the HCQ, has not been given a real trial. Until there is a medical consensus, treatment protocols will be decided on a hospital-by-hospital, or insurance group, or state level. Nothing one can do about that.

"Unfortunately, politcally motivated scientific fraud as published in the retracted Lancet article, among others, prevents us from having an intelligent discussion of this even on Moon of Allabama.:

No. Trolls prevent us from having an intelligence discussion here.

"A final area for discussion, as important or more important than the above, is how to approach impending "lockdowns" of the economies in the future."

The proper way is already known: contact tracing and isolation. Which Trump is right now trying to deny the funds for in the upcoming coronavirus bill. The country needs at least 100,000 and likely many more (last estimate I heard was 140,000) contact tracers, not to mention places to isolate exposed persons from family and work. If he succeeds, there will be no solutions.

As I've said before, buckle up - things are going to get worse. And there's nothing anyone can do about it. except on a personal level, which means same as always: Wash hands, wear a mask, stay away from people, disinfect touched surfaces.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 10:02 utc | 95

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2020 9:29 utc | 97 Simply cheer on both sides then shoot the last man standing and problem solved.

That would be my plan. Except I still don't see any significant number of people actually *fighting* in a new civil war. Sure, you have a bunch of militias, and former military who are right-wing, and you have a handful of left-wingers who might take up arms (the vast majority would get killed quick going up against former US military) - all in all, I simply don't see anything like the first Civil War. That one occurred in a society where most people were armed, most people remembered the Revolutionary War, and most people were recruited by the state governments of the South and North respectively into actual functioning armies with uniforms, training, logistics, etc.

Today, US society is scattered over 50 states, most of the citizens are not only not armed, they have no clue about arms as the anti-gun crusades have repeatedly demonstrated (even most of the armed citizens have zero training), and the state governments are unlikely to want to take on the Federal military by forming their own armies.

I just don't see it. What I can see is an increase in the rioting and the imposition of martial law for the months of November, December and January if Trump loses. As well the law suits, recounts and media frenzy I mentioned. Maybe Trump does something so bizarre as to get him arrested or impeached for treason. But that's about it.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 10:11 utc | 96

Well,88 RSH,

I speak to my neighbours,and some friends in the neighbourhood,but we do not hug anymore,and few handshakes.Last week we had a gig in the street in to frolic up an evening market.It was organized by two bistrots and a pizzeria.That evening I counted about ten to fifteen maskwearers on grossly 400 to 500 people that walked by.For taking a leak and getting my beer,I had to go inside the bistrot,and there it was impossible indeed to avoid people,when the path between tables measures less than 1 meter.Anyway,a planned gig for september will be cancelled because inside job.Of course you are right about singing as a factor of contamination.In a nearby village there were a dozen choir singers that all got sick,two died,after rehearsing in a very small room.Those are still the only cases that I know about.Since februari!when the government stated clearly that masks would be useless.Now,when corona dwindles over here,they make it mandatory.Cherchez l'erreur,as the french might say.
However,tomorrow evening I have rehearsal with my group in a small basement,and we sweat a lot and do not wear masks.

Posted by: willie | Jul 20 2020 10:41 utc | 97

Another comment of mine (to RSH 88) down the drain,although it said"your comment has been posted".Maybe it is lingering in limbo?

Posted by: willie | Jul 20 2020 10:54 utc | 98

Posted by: willie | Jul 20 2020 10:54 utc | 102

Wait a while. Sometimes they pop up after fifteen minutes or more. Happened to me on occasion.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 10:58 utc | 99

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 20 2020 10:11 utc | 101

... the vast majority would get killed quick going up against former US military ...

Who do you suppose will do the actual productive work after this conflict, and what would the winners be able to offer in exchange for foreign trade goods?

Posted by: John Brown | Jul 20 2020 12:23 utc | 100

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