Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 02, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-61

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert. <

Other issues:

From the UCSF Grand Round video (~1:20 h) - Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard of testing pharmaceutical effectiveness. In six such trials given at various stages of Covid-19 Hydroxychloroquine showed none.


The NSA's favorite browser and network ...

Multiple Tor security issues disclosed, more to come - ZDnet

The 'anti-imperial' PKK Kurds ...

US oil company signs deal with Syrian Kurds - AL-Monitor

U.S. Civil War of 2020:

I’m in Minneapolis. First place I stop, most of the block is still boarded up. This grocery and tobacco store is owned by an Iranian, neighbor tells me. “They took everything.” Owner is deliberating whether to permanently close after the riots ... - Michael Tracey
Two months since the riots, and still no “National Conversation” - Michael Tracey
In Portland, some Black activists frustrated with white protesters - Reuters

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on August 2, 2020 at 13:50 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Damn glad I'm not a retiree in Florida...

Florida surpasses record for most COVID-19 deaths in single week

Meanwhile, Trump's crowd pulls out the same old BS about unemployment...

Mnuchin on $600 unemployment benefit: We can't be 'paying people more to stay home'

Sure, *some* people getting $2,400/month are "overpaid" - starting with Trump. But The national median price for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,216 as of June 2019. (The average monthly mortgage payment in the United States is $1029.) The average cost of food per month for the typical American household is about $550. That's $1,700 in expenses right there. In 2019, the average new car cost nearly $40,000 with an average monthly car payment of $550 per month - and that's for a small sedan - before gas. Now we're at $2,250. Add in $165-200/month for gas and we're over $2,400. Add $50/month for dry cleaning, $65 on personal care, etc. $2,400 does not cut it for a family of four. Maybe it does for someone like me, but I don't own a car, wash my own clothes, and eat on $250/month. Paying me $2,400/month would be overpaying me. But not for most people.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 11:20 utc | 101

Meanwhile the Orange Mophead continues to lie about the pandemic...

Trump: 'Fake News' not reporting 'big China Virus breakouts all over the World'

The Hill points out that percentage of positive cases remains at 8% despite increased testing, which means Trump is wrong with his incessant "more testing equals more cases" BS. The target is 3% positivity.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 11:25 utc | 102

And once again, polls prove that the US electorate is composed of morons...

Poll: Trump approval on economy, jobs holds amid economic downturn

Poll: Americans almost evenly split on Trump sending federal agents to cities

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 11:29 utc | 103

Apparently our trolls here are fans of Madonna... :-)

Madonna Shares Coronavirus Conspiracy Video And Says Cure Is Being Hidden

She shared the BS from that Dr. Stella Immanuel lame.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 11:33 utc | 104

Can't wait for the real circus to start...

A School Reopens, and the Coronavirus Creeps In
As more schools abandon plans for in-person classes, one that opened in Indiana this week had to quarantine students within hours.

A New York Times analysis found that in many districts in the Sun Belt, at least five people infected with the coronavirus would be expected to arrive at a school of about 500 students and staff members during the first week if it reopened today.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 11:39 utc | 105

And the wonderful economy news keeps coming...

New Report Says 370 Restaurants Have Permanently Closed In the Bay Area

And while the trend is a national one, San Francisco is second only to New York and Los Angeles among metro areas with the most businesses that are closed, either temporarily or for good. And SF is second only to Honolulu and Las Vegas in the rate of closures per 1,000 businesses — with 7.3 permanently closed per 1,000.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 11:45 utc | 106

The real circus has Barr as the Main Core and ringmaster.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 3 2020 11:47 utc | 107

@ Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 4:44 utc | 87

Here's page 31 of the WHO document linked here:

Outside of clinical trials, the following criteria should be met for access to investigational therapeutics: 1) no proven effective treatment exists; 2) it is not possible to initiate clinical studies immediately; 3) data providing preliminary support of the intervention’s efficacy and safety are available, at least from laboratory or animal studies, and use of the intervention outside clinical trials has been suggested by an appropriately qualified scientific advisory committee on the basis of a favourable risk–benefit analysis; 4) the relevant country authorities, as well as an appropriately qualified ethics committee, have approved such use; 5) adequate resources are available to ensure that risks can be minimized; 6) the patient’s informed consent is obtained; and 7) the emergency use of the intervention is monitored and the results are documented and shared in a timely manner with the wider medical and scientific community(133).

Long story short: the WHO doesn't recommend HCQ, but it understands if a given country still wants to administrate it on pure basis this is an incurable pandemic. The COVID-19 ticks all the seven boxes of the "exceptions to the rule", so it is basically cleaning its own hands.

Therefore, the Cubans are following the WHO's recommendations - if nothing else because there's no reason not to follow them.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 11:50 utc | 108

Let's hope so... Looks like even Republicans can't take this guy any more...

Could this anti-Trump Republican group take down the president?
Savage attack ads from a well-funded group of dissident Republicans are aiming to sway a key sliver of opinion in swing states

If Trump was truly tormented by the Reagan reference, the irony is striking. Trump himself stole, without attribution, Reagan’s 1980 slogan: Make America Great Again.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 11:50 utc | 109

Brazil's Bolsonaro says he has 'mold' in his lungs as his wife tests positive for Covid-19

He credits HCQ for surviving. However, he also claims he "caught mold in his lungs" - which obviously means his lungs were damaged by either the virus or whatever treatment he received.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 11:54 utc | 110

The painful truth about Covid and the economy – Trump is to blame

Got that right.

The White House argues that the extra unemployment payments have discouraged workers from seeking jobs because some are receiving more money in benefits than they would earn by working.

“We don’t want to create disincentives to work,” says Trump adviser Larry Kudlow.

More rubbish. A study by Yale economists finds “no evidence” that people who have lost their jobs are choosing to stay unemployed because of the extra federal aid. In fact, “workers facing larger [unemployment] expansions generally appear to be quicker to return to work than others, not slower.”

People can’t go back to work because there is very little work for them to do. Fourteen million more people are unemployed than there are jobs.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 12:00 utc | 111

I repeat - the only good cop is a dead cop.

Border Patrol Launches Militarized Raid of Borderlands Humanitarian Aid Camp

Camouflaged U.S. Border Patrol agents in armored vehicles launched a nighttime raid on a humanitarian aid camp in southern Arizona on Friday. Agents zip-tied volunteers’ hands behind their backs, shouted at them with rifles raised, and confiscated their cellphones, as well as the organization’s medical records. At least two helicopters hovered above the camp and a film crew documented the operation on the ground. Agents moved through camp structures and arrested more than 30 undocumented immigrants who were receiving treatment after trekking through the desert in the middle of heat wave.

The humanitarian group, No More Deaths, a faith-based organization out of Tucson, believes the operation was likely part retaliation, part violent publicity stunt. The raid marked the second time in two years that the Border Patrol descended on one of No More Deaths’ aid stations immediately after the group published materials that cast a negative light on the border enforcement agency.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 3 2020 12:08 utc | 112

Tuyzenfloot and all about polio:

Slightly older but informative:

"Polio Vaccination Causes More Infections than Wild Virus", "The Scientist", Nov 25, 2019.

The numbers from the WHO 2019 statistics on 20th of November 2019:
Polio from vaccination: 157
Polio from the wild: 107

"“It’s actually crazy because we’re vaccinating now against the vaccine in most parts of the world,” Vincent Racaniello, a virologist at Columbia University, tells NPR, “not against wild polio, which is confined to Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

Starting in April 2016, public health care workers around the world have made the transition from a trivalent vaccine with types 1, 2, and 3 to a bivalent version without type 2 to prevent such vaccine-derived cases."

These sorts of things happen all the time, it is important to be aware of and remember.

More recent but shorter from Nature (this could be a slightly shorter version of the one I vaguely remembered from the magazine/journal which I couldn't find. I almost commented about it on MoA at the time but decided not to):

Outdated polio vaccine causes new cases of disease, "Nature", 20 March 2020

"The researchers counted 41 outbreaks, which were linked to 859 vaccine-derived polioviruses. About 65% of those viruses probably emerged after the vaccine switch.

Because vaccine-derived polio outbreaks are becoming more probable over time, a new oral vaccine that doesn’t mutate easily is needed, the researchers say."

In other words this seems to imply that dropping type 2 wasn't satisfactory enough.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 3 2020 12:34 utc | 113

They may never be a 'silver bullet' for COVID-19, WHO warns

“The message to people and governments is clear: ‘Do it all,'” Tedros told a virtual news briefing from the U.N. body’s headquarters in Geneva. He said face masks should become a symbol of solidarity round the world.

“A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment — and there might never be.”


Guaido-supporting opposition block to snub Venezuela’s parliamentary election, allege they skewed in Maduro’s favor

Or they are afraid to lose the elections (cue to the NYT ludicrous headline about HK in my second comment here).


This is getting more and more ridiculous by the NYT:

Scientists Worry About Political Influence Over Coronavirus Vaccine Project

Yesterday, the same NYT published (main page, biggest headline, see my previous post): "Russia announced a mass vaccination in October after a shortened drug trial, raising safety concerns."

Talk about self-realizing prophecies...


Monopoly? What monopoly?

There’s a Deal to Save TikTok — if Trump Doesn’t Mess It Up: Microsoft wants to buy the Chinese app, and the administration needs to get out of the way.

"Save" TikTok? As far as I know, TikTok didn't need any saving until Trump threatened to ban it. So, all it takes is for Trump to get out of the way altogether. No need for Microsoft to "save" it.

Who said liberals are socialists? The longer the alt-right keeps vomiting this mantra, the more they demoralize themselves (which is a feat in itself, as they are the demoralized faction par excellence).


Samsung mulls buying stakes in Arm

So, why isn't the British/Japanese government all over this? Because Samsung isn't a Chinese company?


Beijing pushing New Delhi toward a hard choice

India wants an enormous chunk of Chinese territory to settle the dispute, which would cut China off Pakistan, thus effectively killing the main arm of the BRI.

It is India that is pushing China toward a hard choice.


China’s economy set to make stellar rebound in 2020

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 12:36 utc | 114

@ vk | Aug 3 2020 11:50 utc | 108

Oh vk, should I laud you for excellence in mental gymnastics nor should I lambast you for disingenuity?

You conveniently left out the WHO's main (contra-)recommendations, probably because it fatally undercuts your favorite narrative. In the pdf they even put a BIG RED "X" before it, so that you might notice the importance of the warning. Alas, you somehow entirely missed that while looking for some small print that you could lift out of context and proudly display in order to misinform your fellow barflies. Bravo, old chap, well tried and it almost worked.

For everyone's inspection, here is the and unadulterated full page 31, word for word.

------------ ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------

12. Antivirals, immunomodulators and other adjunctive therapies for COVID-19

We recommend that the following drugs not be administered as treatment or prophylaxis for COVID-19, outside of the context of clinical trials:
. • Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (+/- azithromycin), including but not limited to:
. • Antivirals, including but not limited to:
. . * Lopinavir/ritonavir
. . * Remdesivir
. . * Umifenovir
. . * Favipiravir
. • Immunomodulators, including but not limited to:
. . * Tocilizumab
. . * Interferon-β-1a
. • Plasma therapy.

Existing published literature on the agents listed above is mostly observational in nature, with few clinical trials; and does not provide high-quality evidence in favour of any of these agents. In addition, important side-effects have been described (122-131).
Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine +/- azithromycin: each can cause QT prolongation and taken together can increase the risk of cardiotoxicity.
Lopinavir/ritonavir: the most common adverse effects are gastrointestinal.
Remdesivir: elevation of hepatic enzymes, GI complications, rash, renal impairment and hypotension.
Umifenovir: diarrhoea, nausea.
Favipiravir: QT interval prolongation.
Interferon-β-1a: pyrexia, rhabdomyolysis.
Tocilizumab: URT infections, nasopharyngitis, headache, hypertension, increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT), injection site reactions.
2. This recommendation has not changed and is consistent with previous WHO guidance documents and other international grade-based guidelines (132).
3. Outside of clinical trials, the following criteria should be met for access to investigational therapeutics: 1) no proven effective treatment exists; 2) it is not possible to initiate clinical studies immediately; 3) data providing preliminary support of the intervention’s efficacy and safety are available, at least from laboratory or animal studies, and use of the intervention outside clinical trials has been suggested by an appropriately qualified scientific advisory committee on the basis of a favourable risk–benefit analysis; 4) the relevant country authorities, as well as an appropriately qualified ethics committee, have approved such use; 5) adequate resources are available to ensure that risks can be minimized; 6) the patient’s informed consent is obtained; and 7) the emergency use of the
intervention is monitored and the results are documented and shared in a timely manner with the wider medical and scientific community (133).

31 Clinical management of COVID-19: interim guidance

------------ ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------ ------------

Obviously and apart from the explicit contra-recommendations, points 2 and 3 of subsection 3 do not apply. The other points could be debated.

Next time, before you accuse others of selective and/or defective reading, do your own homework. And perhaps invest in a mirror sometimes.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 12:37 utc | 115

Victoria's COVID-19 SNAFU - A Theory.

Victoria is a state in the Token Christian UK-US colony called Australia. Australia is an utterly corrupt Mock Democracy run along Neoliberal lines in a political landscape dominated by politicians of the Labor and Liberal Parties. The Labor Party arose from the Trade Union movement and used to be funded by levies imposed on Trade Union members. But since Labor PM Bob Hawke(!) told the Airline Pilots Union to Go F**k themselves, in the 1980s (several years after the 1975 US-UK Regime Change coup of the Whitlam govt), and the Liberal Party declared War on ALL trade unions, this funding source gradually dried up.
With Unions outlawed the Labor Party's political leadership did what any unscrupulous self-serving toadies would do - they offered to sell out to the same Donors to whom the Liberal Party had sold out.

Donors in Oz are an extremely diverse bunch of crooks and pull ALL the strings in Oz Politics. The most obvious, generous and notorious donors, in no particular order are: The 'Israel' Lobby AIJAC, the Bankers Lobby, The No Cheap Petrol, Electricity, Gas & Telecoms lobbies, the Privatise EVERYTHING Lobby, the Fake War on Terror Lobby, and the Fake National Security and Fake Top Secret Stuff lobbies.

However, for today's tale of woe, we'll confine the discussion to the Residential Landlords Lobby and the Elderly Nursing Home Lobby, both of which attract an inordinate number of politicians with excess cash, as Investors - but keeping in mind the awe-inspiring influence of the previously-mentioned lobbies.

When bungled the quarantine hotels, by allowing thrift to over-ride commonsense and professionalism in the supervision of the quarantined inmates, they hired unqualified, untrained, out-sourced security-industry folks on low hourly pay scales - to save money. When the flaws in that cheap fix created a large COVID hotspot in Melbourne's Western Suburbs, FINALLY called on the experts to sort out the mess and subsequently locked down 10 suburban Postcodes, congratulated themselves, and went back to sleep. And that was a huge mistake.

What they failed to do was to ask themselves "What other risky demographics are prone to the ill-effects of cheap low-skilled supervision?" Had they done so, one obvious conclusion would have been Privatised Elderly Care, aka Nursing Homes, which accounts for 90% of all aged care. Unfortunately, Privatised Elderly Care was already going pear-shaped and when the 2nd COVID wave struck it was notable that circa half of the hundreds of new daily cases were Elderly Folk and their carers.
So this Surprise Outbreak was completely predictable and unsurprising when viewed against the backdrop of the very 'influential' Privatised Nursing Home Lobby.

This is the Short Version of what went wrong in Donor-controlled Victoria. will have a long-winded Version which won't include any mention of Donors and their Obedient Servants/savants.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 3 2020 12:51 utc | 116

@ Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 12:37 utc | 115

Logic lesson:

We recommend that the following drugs not be administered as treatment or prophylaxis for COVID-19, outside of the context of clinical trials

Apart from the fact that this is just a recommendation (go look at a dictionary for the definition of the word), you have the logic stance that they state a negative stance (not to use) under a condition (outside of the context of clinical trials). "If" -> (then) "no".

But then, at the end of the page, they add another stance. This stance is an exception to the rule stated at the beginning of the page. It is a "however" in relation of "Outside of clinical trials", then it lists the seven conditions where the first stance doesn't apply (of which the COVID-19 clearly satisfy, so they're basically giving carte blanche to the sovereign governments). It is a "however" -> "if" -> "yes".

Putting it into plain English, the sentence would be logically like that:

We recommend that the following drugs not be administered as treatment or prophylaxis for COVID-19, outside of the context of clinical trials: [HCQ et al], except in the cases of investigational therapeutics [i.e. the 1-7 points]

Put it simply, the WHO doesn't recommend the use of a list of drugs, but if the doctors want to experiment with them on their patients for [1-7], then they have their blessing.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 12:53 utc | 117

Meanwhile in Syria..

- RuAF has bombed the last hummus bar in Idlib.
- SAA has started some sort of limited ground offensive in NE Latakia.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 12:54 utc | 118

@ vk who does not seem to want to understand.

The WHO has no authority other than to recommend. The contra recommendations featuring a big red cross are more or less the strongest position they can take.

Do you really want others to believe that the WHO will make a strong recommendation in the main paragraph and then do a full 180 on that in some footnote remark? Tsk tsk..

The first remark already completely negates your selective and faulty interpretation of the third remark.

Points 1 - 7 of remark 3 are not optionals that one can choose and pick, they are conditions that all have to be met.

Stop pretending to be giving logic lessons when you are the one who needs reading lessons (and probably logic lessons after that)

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 13:05 utc | 119

@Peter AU1 | 89
A couple of recent developments that caught my eye were the Air Defense pact between Iran and Syria and this:
Egyptian troops sent to Idlib to support SAA.
Can only be symbolic, I suppose, a reinforcement of regional alliances.
While at the same time UAE and Turkey engage in a war of words about who the terrorist is.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 13:05 utc | 120

@ AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 13:05 utc | 120

The "Egyptian troops" story is likely MIT disinfo spread by jihadis. There are no Egyptian fighting troops in Syria, though it is very well possible and even likely that Egypt and Syria actively share knowledge and experience wrt. combating jihadi terrorism. After all Egypt has its own ISIS enclave in the Sinai and a sizeable subcontingent of Al Qaida terrorists currently occupying Idlib came from Egypt.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 13:13 utc | 121

Turkey's economy.

Here's a very honest and insightful article, in my view. To an extent it is testament to an honest attempt to protect Turkey's economy and businesses - Erdogan is battling to pull through to 2023, let's not forget. However the point repeated throughout is that the banking strategy is based on there being no second wave of Covid. Yet, watching what I can of the news from Turkey at the moment, Kurban Bayram has seen masses of domestic tourists flood beaches with no care for masks or distancing - just like the old dudes praying outside Haiga Sofia - and already there are reports infection rates having returned to June's levels. Add to that the recently opened borders with Russia tourists arriving and the situation is predicted to get worse. Working on the assumption that there will be no second wave may well be the flaw in the plan. (Just to remind you that the EU has heavily criticised the veracity of Turkey's 'well performing' COVID figures!)

What the article omits to mention, however, is that many raw materials used to produce exportable goods and goods for domestic use are themselves imported. So, when the TL falls, those businesses will see their raw material costs rise massively. Precisely the reason why so many businesses failed or were on the brink of failure in 2018.

Regarding the TL, it's been interesting watching the 'support' of the Lira at just under the 7tl:1$ mark. But when I read in this article that this year alone it had cost the reserves $65bn to achieve this I was shocked. That's 455bn TL!! unbelievable = 3x the minimum monthly salary per member of the Turkish population including toddlers!).

Unsurprisingly, Turkish financial advisors are telling people that the TL will sharply lose value in the coming months. When that happens businesses will start closing. When that happens, the political situation in Turkey will heat up. The opposition is already finding its voice thanks to the Babacan's new Dev Party which could take a lot of support directly from AKP. Interestingly Dev could mean giant, or it could mean ostrich. )))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 13:19 utc | 122

Whitney Webb is the best journalist in the world, in my opinion. She has a new website:
My apologies if other commenters posted this link already. I don't read fast enough to keep up with you all.
Whitney Webb's main focus:
Epstein/Maxwell-- calls them "middle managers", she follows the trail up to Wexner (Victoria Secret), Israel Mossad, U.S.intelligence. Says the trafficking and blackmailing are still up and running.
Israel/U.S. deep state-- lots of digging on this, connecting today with the 1980s, and, guess who?... Barr.

Posted by: migueljose | Aug 3 2020 13:27 utc | 123

Here are two interesting articles that exploring the Great Reset:

Posted by: Down South | Aug 3 2020 14:29 utc | 124

7/30/2020 the Origin of Covid-19 (CCP Virus): It comes from PLA Lab (Dr. Limeng Yan)

Wet market as scapegoat. Even their Bat-woman as a distraction reg.a different wild bat.
Backbone of Covid-19 is from a Zhoushan bat virus (far from Yunnan) and was double enhanced to make it stronger against humans.

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 3 2020 14:31 utc | 125

Whitney Webb is certainly very productive on a broad range of issues. I worry about 'connecting the dots': it is far easier to generate theories based on connections than to confirm the nature of the connections. I noticed several cases where she avoided this type of trap so I consider her pretty smart as well but it remains tricky material and if you keep creating connections which are potentially meaningful people will start to treat them as meaningful while the meaning has not been consolidated .

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 3 2020 14:39 utc | 126

@Sunny Runny Burger , for me it is enough to know whether the OPV policy the Gates foundation supports is within the spectrum of reasonable expert opinion (in that timeframe) or not. If it is within that window then I would not assume decisions driven by greed and overriding public health. This places the bar quite a bit lower than policies which are actually proven right.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 3 2020 14:40 utc | 127

@ Antonym | Aug 3 2020 14:31 utc | 125

You post a link to a youtube video from a channel that only exists since June 3 2020, has uploaded a total of 4 videos, the first one 5 days ago, all about badmouthing CHYYNNA and the CCP VIRUS!11!1!

Curiously, within 5 days of posting its first crappy video, the channel has acquired more than a thousand subscribers...

Antonym, you and your "info" are all astroturf.

I am not going to deconstruct the entire video, as it is tiresome and superfluous and probably full of stupid maga qtard fox "facts". Instead here are some interesting links that seriously call your agitprop narratives into question. BTW all this has been discussed here in detail in many earlier threads. Your fakenews is not going to sway any regulars here.

Does the CCP operate biolabs in North Carolina performing highly controversial Gain of Function research on SARS- and MERS-like coronaviruses? Why no, it's good ole' Uncle Sam doin that crazy shit:

Here is a good article, summarizing some of the scientific data about the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in terms understandable to the general public:

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 15:05 utc | 128

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 15:05 utc | 128

You know, the world's most populous country which has a quarter of their pig stocks got wiped out by disease raising much social discontent prior to Covid is definitely the same country developing human-targeted bioweapons where it will stand to lose the most in an outbreak.

How does that even pass a basic smell test?

Posted by: J W | Aug 3 2020 15:27 utc | 129

Tuyzentfloot | Aug 3 2020 14:39 utc | 126... thanks.. that is an insightful statement that i like to think i share, lol.... it is especially applicable in this time of uncertainty...

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2020 15:28 utc | 130

@james, not sure if you are serious because rereading it I think it didn't come out quite right. But the point is that connecting the dots is like a hypothesis. You need a hypothesis in order to proceed to a theory. A hypothesis is also much less than a confirmed theory, and if you keep a hypothesis around for long enough it will be treated as confirmed theories anyway.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 3 2020 15:55 utc | 131

It took a group of college football players to finally give voice to all those workers exposed to COVID with Jevon Holland being bold enough to challenge the entre underlying system:

"'We’re not your entertainment, we’re human beings,' Holland told Sports Illustrated. 'Just like you would help your family, we want to help our mother, father, grandmother, everyone.

"'We don’t know the long-term risks. We have no idea how it’s going to affect our body regardless if we show symptoms or not. I refuse to put my health at risk for somebody else’s benefit.'"

Unfortunately, the online version of the article differs greatly from the print edition as it cuts out a very good discussion of the risks vs rewards issues that underlie all of college sports within the Outlaw US Empire. But the above bolded quote bears repeating not just during COVID but during "normal" times as well:

"I refuse to put my health at risk for somebody else's benefit."

The Good Old Boys networks within Collegiate Sports is being rocked by scandals as a nationwide group of athletes is finally standing up and saying NO. Given the number of unknowns, I would advise my children not to attend physical classes, especially with the total disdain "leadership" has shown toward everyone's fundamental security.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2020 16:06 utc | 132

@Lurk | 121
Quite possibly. And the article I posted sources back to the Daily Sabah which is less than reliable at the best of times, granted. But the issue had been raised before in Iranian press, in Feb/ March I think, with regard to an multi-national Arab force to replace the US presence in Syria and while the idea of an Arab force doesn't seem to have moved forward, I was intrigued when this news broke.
We'll see what happens.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 16:35 utc | 133

Tuyzentfloot | Aug 3 2020 15:55 utc | 131

it came across quite well actually, but thanks for the additional commentary! my viewpoint is that conspiracy theories have fertile ground in times of uncertainty.... we can all point to different stats and viewpoints of doctors and etc. etc. as to the higher odds of a theory, but a theory or hypothesis doesn't necessarily make it to fact... i think we need to make room for uncertainty, but many people have a very low threshold for uncertainty and are more content to live with the alternatives... that is the way i see it... check out that nassim taleb link that RSH shared the other day as it puts a bit of meat on these bones i am trying to articulate...

and welcome back BEN!!! i wondered where you went to as well... hopefully you and LIZARD are able to continue to post - a couple of fine commentators!!

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2020 16:47 utc | 134

The World Bank's new report on the Chinese economy reveals many interesting things. [pdf in link inside the link]

First, China will be the first major economy out of the pandemic slump - indeed there will a rise in GDP over the year 2020 and an acceleration in 2021. China will avoid a recession in national output. After slowing to 1.6% this year, real GDP growth will accelerate to 7.9% in 2021.

Second, the recovery is being led by state investment (not dependent on profitability) while the capitalist sector investment (dependent on profitability) is falling sharply.

Third, the Chinese government is spending much more on topping up the incomes of the poorest through its Dibao scheme - at 1.65% of GDP or more than three times the average in other 'middle income' economies. "In per capita terms, social spending is estimated to reach $165 per person, which is lower than the average for North America ($295) but much higher than the averages in the East Asia and Pacific region."

Fourth - the World Bank estimates the poverty rate (at a level of $5.50 a day) at 19% and that the pandemic slump will not increase the overall poverty rate, just slow the annual reduction. "Without additional policy measures, 8-20 million fewer people are projected to escape poverty in
2020 (based on $5.50/day 2011 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)), compared to the pre-pandemic scenario... but "despite the large expected declines in household incomes, neither crisis scenario suggests an increase in poverty rates relative to 2018, as measured using the $5.50/day per person."

Fifth - the main obstacle to recovery is the deep recession in other countries, reducing demand for exports. "output in advanced economies shrinks by 7 percent, and global trade flows fall by 13.4 percent."

Only the most hallucinated, degenerate and envious Western socialist would still call China capitalist.


@ Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2020 16:06 utc | 132

'We’re not your entertainment, we’re human beings,'

Oh, boy, who's gonna tell the bad news to the kid?

72 years later, the great center-left illusion still haunts the West.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 16:50 utc | 135

"The NSA's favourite browser and network ..."
Interested to see this. I used to use TOR VPN a lot (Orbot - if I remember rightly), but it was pronounced 'illegal' and within months it became clear that ISPs were blocking connections somehow. Maybe it was just as well. I always had the feeling it gavae a false sense of security.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 17:04 utc | 136

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 16:50 utc | 135

"After slowing to 1.6% this year, real GDP growth will accelerate to 7.9% in 2021." and...... (from the web) "China reported that the country's GDP grew by 3.2% in the second quarter of this year"

Excellent.But, but, but... how can China GDP grow to 7.9% (2021) when China, never invents anything, they cheats, lied and steal?

PS: just this morning (8:30am) my neighbor and me almost starts a heated shouting match, he accused me being a commie...

Posted by: JC | Aug 3 2020 17:10 utc | 137

Lurk #98

Thank you.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 3 2020 17:50 utc | 138

The early vaccine hype is beginning to crumble:

The Right Way to Get a Vaccine at ‘Warp Speed’

They are already preparing the excuses:

I worry nonetheless that public pressure may mount to approve a product that doesn’t meet our standards. Other countries may decide to approve vaccines based on weaker evidence. Russia, for example, claims to be on track to approve a vaccine in just a few weeks.

Typical middle class arrogance: blaming the people for everything that is wrong in the world.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 17:53 utc | 139

Thank christ we finally got past Page 31.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 3 2020 17:56 utc | 140

JC #137

I guess for some people its easy to identify a commie. Did you ask him if he worked for senator McCarthy?

These are dangerous times and I wish you well. Such blind ignorance is a danger to all.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 3 2020 18:03 utc | 141

VK and Lurk, among others

One of the problems with WHO is its funding, demonstrating a clear conflict of interest. Now that the US has jumped ship the biggest contributor to the WHO is guess who? the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. The fourth largest funder is the GAVI Alliance largly backed by the Gates foundation. What do Gates and Big Pharma have in common - a deep desire to profit from the production of vaccines. This may be another reason WHO tends to vacillate on less profitable approaches to dealing with health issues. Who really controls WHO?

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Aug 3 2020 18:07 utc | 143

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 13:19 utc | 122

"the news from Turkey at the moment, Kurban Bayram has seen masses of domestic tourists flood beaches with no care for masks or distancing"

Yes, there is an article about the beaches today:
Being in a small seaside town myself, I can vouch for the somewhat lax behaviour here, probably worse in the more touristy spots

Not sure how much influence Babacan and the Dev party have at the moment as they are not much in the news compared to other parties. Out of sight, out of mind so to speak.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Aug 3 2020 18:19 utc | 144

@ Blue Dotterel | Aug 3 2020 18:07 utc | 144

It was never my intent to advocate for (or against) the WHO and its guidelines. I know that it is another example of an institution, purportedly founded in the public interest, but captured by special interests.

The issue under debate with vk was if the Cuban healtcare system follows the WHO guidelines, as vk claimed. Clearly they do not, but for some reason vk was a bit stubborn and obnoxious about admitting that he was misreading articles he had linked himself and making things up while blaming others for it.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 19:12 utc | 145

I really want to say to all barflies that I read and appreciate that it's over.This bar will be on forclosure soon.Like the USA it is on its way to destroy itself.Is it the average age of normally good reasoning folk around here,that makes them shit their pants because of some flu epidemic?I know that most of us are above sixty,and thusly in the threatened categories by Covid-19.Now the maskwearing issue makes people hate each other,mission accomplished for the trolling powers that be.Of course this site is followed by some state actors.Of course each one of us barflies has bought himself and paid willingly the instruments of our own surveillance,nothing new.But instead of continuing this way,we will be much more influent if we just would spent more of our keyboardhours,on ranting and commenting on MSMedia comment sections,in the hope to informe and convince more of our fellow citizens of the world about the deceit that those create on every sensible subject.
As a citizen of the world I really think it is better to get Trump than Biden as president of this part of the world,because it pushes MSM in a awkward position of spreading Trump-hate,in the same time that they keep on pushing the american power point of view to the masses.America is going down,Israel is going down,and we people of the world are hoping to finally get those Jewish-led destroyers (Sarkozy,Cameron,BHLevy,Clinton,Obama)of the state of Libya,stealing its gold reserves,its near a trillion bank reserves,and killing and maiming tens of thousands of human beings ,without any disapproval from MSM)before an international court.
Us Europeans have seen your ridiculous presidential and party campaigns with the yelling and cheerleading,and flagwaving for what it is,a stupid brainless attitude of immature people.And that was already so in the sixties,when we got those rallies on black and white television.We've always found the USA a stupid country with undereducated mostly dumb people.So,americans,suit yourselves,use those guns you say you have,organise senator and representative kidnappings ,kill some anchors and media pundits,make fear change camps and claim your rights,instead of letting them spin you in their web of falsities and lies,after they have paralysed your initiative and thinking capacities,with fearmongering.

For those that read French I link to an article about what French government has done,and is up to wrt Covid-19.

Be seeing you

Posted by: willie | Aug 3 2020 19:38 utc | 146

Found this gem of an article today while perusing Drudge.

China's Emerging Middle East Empire! How scary sounding!

As I read through it became more and more obvious that it's just another hit piece running down the usual list of topics from the Belt and Road to Uighurs to surveillance to the CCP's desire to control the world. Now, I can agree that they're probably right about the Uighurs insofar as the CCP sees them as a future impediment to their Belt and Road Initiative in the region bordering Pakistan - and I fully believe that the re-education/concentration camps and extreme surveillance in that province are real. I also do not disbelieve that the CCP is engaging in ethnic cleansing of sorts by busing millions of Han Chinese at the same time as (some) forced sterilization of Uighurs.

So yeah that situation is bad. It's almost like something the United States of America and the former European colonial powers themselves used to do!

But the rest of it, including the "secret police" and the surveillance and the vulture capitalist economy could be said in varying ways of the West.

Further, the stuff about China wanting to maintain a naval presence in their own f*cking hemisphere is being painted as though it's "aggression" on the part of the CCP, when in fact last I checked, the Chinese aren't sending naval patrols into (claimed) US territorial waters, nor have they launched any wars of aggression, even less ones that have been waging for almost 20 years, thousands of miles from China.

My question, then, is what is Tablet all about? Clearly it's a Jewish publication of some kind, but I'm not all that familiar with it. Are they simply Zionists based in the United States and interested in preserving the existing (but crumbling badly) world order with US hegemony over much of the globe including our role as attack dog for the Zionist regime? Or is there some nuanced Israeli foreign policy goal hidden here from less sophisticated consumers of middle east news like myself?

Posted by: _K_C_ | Aug 3 2020 20:15 utc | 147

migueljose #123

Thank you, Whitney Webb is a great journalist for sure. I am pleased to see her on her new site as I could not tolerate that ranting clown at Lastamericanvagabond and missed her excellent analysis.

Lurk #145

Thank you, every time I see said post I jump to World Socialist Web Site and move on.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 3 2020 21:31 utc | 148


If you look a little deeper you will find China has listed most ethnic cultures with UNESCO as intangible cultural heritages and something to be preserved. All ethnic groups in China are taught to read and write in mandarin as that is China's official language allows all China to have a common language on top of the ethnic languages and cultures.

"So yeah that situation is bad. It's almost like something the United States of America and the former European colonial powers themselves used to do!"

Once you look into US or five-eyes propaganda, you will that virtually 100% of it is projection. They accuse the target state of doing what they themselves are doing.
China had the same problems as other target states that have a Sunni muslim population. CIA and wahhabi clerics moving in, groups swearing allegiance to ISIS al Qaeda ect and many terrorist attacks. All part of the US war of terror.

Now yankistan is sanctioning goods coming from western China to ensure the Uighur's that didn't join the wahhabis have no work.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 3 2020 22:28 utc | 149

Peter AU1 #96

Pituri has a wide range of toxicity and plant selection ignorance can result in one being reduced to compost material. It can poison stock. It is a powerful stimulant and the loss of the knowledge of that and many other plants is a great loss indeed. The careless white land theft and settlement plus the virus pandemics that followed first contact erased much knowledge.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 3 2020 22:48 utc | 150

uncle tungsten

I looked into the native tobacco's awhile back. Some of the accompanying alkaloids in tobacco plants nornicotine, anabasine and anatabine. The shrub version was very high in these plus I think a few others thrown in.
The abbot half a dozen species of tobacco native to Australia with the species growing in different areas. Many of these have extremely high concentrations of nicotine compared to the domestic varieties with varying levels of the other alkaloids. Nornicotine is generally the other alkaloid after nicotine that can be in high concentrations.
Two of the Australian tobacco where extremely high (x10>) in nicotine but very low in the other alkaloids. A species that grows in central Australia and covers a large area and another that grows in the Carnarvon Ranges.
I grew a bit of tobacco a few years ago and researched it a lot at the time. Bought some native tobacco seeds but haven't planted them.
I had thought tobacco was a western thing that originated from the Americas but it turned out that the tobacco plant is native to many parts of the world and it has been used by many cultures for a long time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 3 2020 23:10 utc | 151

Duboisia hopwoodii is the shrub that was sometimes, or in places used as it contained nicotine, but also very high in other particularly nasty alkaloids.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 3 2020 23:13 utc | 152

there was a tree that had long thin fruits or seeds that supposedly could be smoked, i don't remember the name. never knew anybody that tried it, though.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 4 2020 0:34 utc | 153

@ Peter AU1 | Aug 3 2020 22:28 utc | 149

Re: wahhabi clerics moving in, you just gotta love how the Chinese added female imams to their local version of islam. Simply brilliant! Uyghurs can be muslims, yet at the same time enjoy emancipation and equality, core values of communism. Wahhabi freaks must be foaming at the mouth over these great Chinese innovations.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 4 2020 0:34 utc | 154

Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2020 0:47 utc | 69

regarding the stats on your graph of different countries use or not of hcq - how old is the chart?? it appears old, as the data on chile for example has changed and they have overtaken countries like the usa and netherlands in terms of ratio of dead per million.... so, the graph is ultimately not that convincing if you look closer... also south africas rates are rising rapidly as is indias rate...

Posted by: james | Aug 4 2020 1:01 utc | 155

peter au - lurk... that is quite the switch lurk! i agree with your assessment on the probable response of the whahabi freaks!

Posted by: james | Aug 4 2020 1:04 utc | 156

james @Aug4 1:01 #155

how old is the chart?

The chart is an exhibit in a lawsuit that was filed and announced on June 22, 2020. I imagine they used the most up-to-date data they had at the time.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2020 1:50 utc | 157


Twitter user Gummi Bear (@gummibear737) included a similar chart that included more countries and perhaps more recent data in his recent summary of HCQ (which appeared about 2 weeks ago, I believe). It's pinned to the top of his twitter if you care to look.

He concluded that: the HCQ/HCQ+Zinc studies, while not scientifically conclusive, show that the treatment is effective while studies that show it to be ineffective are flawed (sometimes so flawed as to be laughable) AND that countries that use HCQ/HCQ+Zinc have generally done better and their experience supports the efficacy of HCQ/HCQ+Zinc.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2020 2:03 utc | 158

@ Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2020 1:50 utc | 157 i think the chart is much older like maybe may or something when chiles numbers were much lower..

gummi bear is saying june and is using a similar chart... fact is chile is not fitting in with the graph data anymore.. i don't have a horse in the race, but just watching it all unfold over time..

Posted by: james | Aug 4 2020 2:24 utc | 159

@ J W | 129

How does that even pass a basic smell test?

The most populated country on Earth - China- has barely any Covid-19 deaths?

Solution: Xi, the CCP/ PLA's biggest leader since Mao has adopted his example's mode of sacrifice; while Mao used his population in "human waves" in conventional warfare or in thought experiments (Great Leap forward), Xi might be doing the same in biological warfare. Xi surpassed his example by including the rest of the world population (international flights out of Wuhan).
The CCP top cadre & family stay safe of course: Emperor's privilege, millennia old in China.

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 4 2020 2:27 utc | 160

Are you Indian? Your propaganda is very similar to India's propaganda.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 4 2020 3:25 utc | 161

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 4 2020 3:25 utc | 161

Chynnna bad because they didn't lockdown Wuhan before they had the information confirmed, rest like Hindustan and Yankistan good when they failed miserably despite months of actual prior warning.

We of MoA are all unworthy of His Omnipotence's hindsight powers.

Posted by: J W | Aug 4 2020 3:41 utc | 162


China has a high population density, but is a clean place. I have not been to India but watch many 'cultural' videos where India is promoting its culture. That is one place that literally is a shithole - sacred cow shit, dog shit, human, shit along with the piles of garbage. If a new disease of natural origins is to start anywhere, India is the place. That's what makes me think the various diseases that have hit China originate in the US bio-weapons labs that surround China and Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 4 2020 4:02 utc | 163

@Blue Dotterel | 144
"in a small seaside town myself"
Nice place to be, I'm sure. Are there many foreign tourists in Turkey or is it mainly domestic tourism that you can see? I read about Russian flights reopening but the numbers arriving seem small, definitely nothing like those required to revive the economy.

Babacan is interesting, I think. You are right he receives nothing like the coverage that AKP or Kilicdaroglu receive, but he now has his party up and running. He's interesting because he commands a lot of respect among professional, business AKP supporters given his previous stint at managing the economy and therefore could be the outlet that many frustrated AKP supporters are seeking and "the economy" is the perfect excuse to back him over more 'AlBayrak' puppetry.
Probably won't effect Erdogan's Presidency much but it could undermine AKP/ MHP's weak majority sufficiently to cause problems. That's been my thinking for a while now.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 4 2020 4:31 utc | 164

Peter AU1 my own experiences are a bit outdated and old but I think unless one is unlucky or seeks it out (or is experiencing floods) India is not much more dirty than Europe or China used to be fifty years ago or less except for the really big issues such as with the Ganges or Arsenic content in wells which they are working on (okay civic infrastructure too, but they have the brainpower and muscle so it's only a matter of priorities and time). (Side note: India had the nicest soap I've ever used: it was a smallish hard green vegetable-derived bar). A lot of the rest is simply culture shock from different systems than one is accustomed to, for example I don't know if the Japanese mostly still use the typically Asian squat toilets in public restrooms and carry personal handkerchiefs for drying their hands after washing (no paper anywhere!) like just about everyone in Asia did or maybe still do, maybe this has disappeared during the last two or three decades or maybe not.

Then again I'm no stranger to seeing cows roaming around and these days an incredible amount of people in the west have never been close to an actual cow :D (stay well away if they have calves, they can/will kill you to make sure you're not a threat! Not joking, once in a while people are killed by cows in Europe by being trampled to death because they didn't know).

I never stepped in a cow patty in India but have done several times in Europe :| (all my fault though).

Hopefully this doesn't destroy my argument but the rat temple in India is highly recommended to anyone who gets the chance to visit! Unless one doesn't like rats of course.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 4 2020 7:38 utc | 165

@Peter AU1 163

Pandemics originating from China since its independence:

1957: H2N2 from Guizhou province
1968: H3N2 or Hong Kong flu;
1996: H5N1 Bird Flu from Hong Kong;
2002: SARS-CoV-1 origination from South China;
2007: H7N9 Flu from Shanghai;
2019: SARS-COV-2 from Wuhan;

Similar list or India can't be made.

Main reasons for China: demand for "wet" markets with live exotic animals everywhere; having farmers live closely with with half the world's pigs and billions of ducks; collect human feces to fertilize farm fields. Lots of international airports, flights and passengers. Roads look clean, yes.

In India on the other hand most Hindus are vegetarians; consequently no wet or dry exotic animal markets; very few keep pigs or ducks. Indians do not use human feces to fertilize farm fields; very clean inside the house: no hand shakes, separate hands for eating and washing. Fewer international airports, fewer flights, much less air passenger traffic. Roads close to settlements messy, yes.

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 4 2020 8:44 utc | 166

Sunny Runny Burger 165

If it wasn't for India's geo-political ambitions and it belief in its own exceptionalism, I would just think 'poor bastards'.
India has a huge slum population plus those that are not in slums but still live in abject poverty. With their class system it is likely this will change. To the contrary, India proudly puts out video's on their culture - the cultures people develop that allows them to survive for a time under those conditions.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 4 2020 10:05 utc | 167

@Peter AU1 167

*"India's geo-political ambitions" ??
Which ones? the 1 km of Galwan valley mouth at 4500 m height next to their main supply road which they patrolled since before 1962? The few km2 Doklam plateau of Bhutan that the PLA wants, close to India's "chicken neck"? Which open sea coral reefs did the Indians convert into military basis? Did they claim the Indian ocean like the Chinese do for the South China sea?

*India's many diverse cultures survived thousands of years of foreign invasions. No indigenous power grabs by Indian Emperors either. China is the reverse: Han dominance and authoritarianism for millennia till today.

*Admiring "Might is Right" is a dangerous and too well trodden path, not only regarding the US but also for present Western middle class darling CCP China.

*Poor bastards? Better than rich bastards. The main issue apart from simple material living conditions is what people value: more material hording or spiritual goals.

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 4 2020 10:27 utc | 168

India's wet markets. Quite a list to choose from here.
"The Indian state of Nagaland has banned the import, trading and sale of dog meat, in a move celebrated by animal rights activists.

The north-east state's government announced the ban following a sustained campaign by animal welfare groups.
They hailed the decision as a "major turning point" in ending cruelty to dogs in India.
But some civil society groups criticised the ban, calling it an attack on food customs in the state."

New influenza strains naturally appear regularly but no doubt is one one of the bugs the US bio-weapons crowd play with.
Antonym I see you have included a couple of flue strains that you say kicked of in British territory?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 4 2020 11:32 utc | 169

The troll is repeating more debunked disinformation, so it is likely that our host will play janitor and clean that mess up. If you reply to the troll that just makes our host's cleanup job more involved.

Sunny Runny Burger @165: "I never stepped in a cow patty in India"

They are collected, dried, and used for cooking fuel in India.

As for squat toilets, while I like my porcelain throne at home, squat toilets are definitely more hygienic for public use.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2020 11:50 utc | 170

Doesn't matter if its a throne or a hole on the ground, but this is a bit rough.

Sunny Runny Burger
I take it you didn't grow up running around bare foot on a farm.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 4 2020 12:37 utc | 171

Peter AU1 @171

You should look on the bright side: crapping right on the street whenever you happen to get the urge sure is convenient. It even seems to be catching on in San Francisco, which is America's most progressive city. Maybe it is the (shit) wave of the future?

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2020 13:23 utc | 172

This is hilarious:

Ladakh: The Anatomy of a Surprise -- Was India caught off guard along the Line of Actual Control? Why?

Without mentioned any source, the author - who's credited as an "independent New Delhi-based security analyst, researcher, and consultant" - states that:

We now know that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) mounted a large operation starting early this year to shift the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China in eastern Ladakh, across a front spanning hundreds of kilometers. In order to do so, the PLA moved artillery and armor, along with divisions worth of troops, into forward positions as a deterrent.

This led to the largest standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies in more than half a century. On the night of June 15, the two armies at one of the locations where the PLA had intruded, in the Galwan Valley, got into a major melee that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead. As The Diplomat went to publication, the process of military disengagement had begun. It is not known, however, whether India will eventually have to live with a LAC shifted in its adversary’s favor.

Why did the author felt the necessity to write down (or was his editor?) that bizarre, absolute random excerpt that I highlighted here?

The answer is very simple: The Diplomat is a monthly magazine. The Ladakh incident happened in mid-June, which would put it in the July magazine the soonest. But that would be a stretch, because, by mid-June, the July edition must've already be well into its finishing stages. We know with absolute certainty the Ladakh incident wasn't covered in the July issue because the summary is available at their website.

This serendipity of the magazine format left the Ladakh incident to the August issue. But by August, the conflicted had already died down.

Why did it die down? For another very simple reason: the author is lying. Not only the PLA didn't advance to Indian positions in the LAC - but the exact opposite happened: India was building up to advance to the Chinese side since April:

CCTV exposes India's border provocation against China

These CCTV images (they are available in the video in the link) came to the forefront at July 6th. They unequivocally prove it was India - not China - the aggressor.

The very same day, it was announced the situation was "eased", after both countries reaching a "positive consensus". That is fancy diplomatic wording that means the conflict was effectively over because the Indian government was caught red-handed:

China, India reach positive consensus on easing border situation

By July 7th, the Diplomat's piece probably was already ready or commissioned, so it was too late to call it off (assuming the magazine has a professional editorial corps on the publishing side, the August issue was already entirely commissioned by the beginning of the previous month, as is or should be common practice).

However, the author's lie is just to big to accept this mundane explanation.

The main reason I think The Diplomat decided to keep the piece was this paragraph:

The LAC is neither demarcated on the ground, nor do both countries agree on where it lies in terms of a common official map. In many ways, it is the perfect place for China to test its incremental land-grab strategy along the lines it had first perfected in the maritime space in the South and East China Seas.

"In many ways" is the adverb the author uses to conjecture China did the aggression - even if just in thought (as a dress rehearsal to the South and East China Seas!!!). He says that because the LAC is not official at all: by that technicality, he can claim that, when India built up in the region, China automatically became closer to them!

He then changes the subject about how the Indian intelligence is an absolute failure, which then connects the rest of the piece with the headline. The piece is the cut off after two paragraphs by a USD 30.00 paywall.

My guess is the piece originally was commissioned as a virulent fake news propaganda against Chinese aggression. It should be a piece for the ages: a call for the entire Indian people - and all its Western friends - to a hot war against China. But when the truth came out and the piece already was in the works, they changed to a piece over Indian intelligence ineptitude as an emergence plan B.

Posted by: vk | Aug 4 2020 14:09 utc | 173

William Gruff

Similar elites in both countries, though India has a further handicap in its caste system.

Notice the woman cleaning the street takes her shoes off so they wouldn't get dirty? Some aboriginal stockmen were like that, wear their boots for mustering, but when it come to working in the yards, they would take their boots off so they didn't get cow shit on their boots.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 4 2020 15:01 utc | 174

@gruff--people who have lived in sf for decades have thrown out of their homes by greedy landlords. the public restrooms are few and far between. what exactly do you expect homeless people to do? far as i can tell, san francisco is now run by tech billionaires and right wing democrats like kamala harris. i'm sure they're very woke etc, but when it comes to class issue they are 100% on the side of the elite.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 4 2020 15:21 utc | 175

Massive explosion (possibly several) reported in Beirut.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Aug 4 2020 15:50 utc | 176

The initial look of the cloud suggests the explosion started underground... unusually large bunker buster? Ground debris is being thrown up much faster than the speed of sound, and takes a second for the shockwave to catch up. Fascinating.

But then, it would be a lot of extra work trying to keep underground bunkers dry under a seaport.

But let me guess: The mass media will say it is another "arms depot". Two identical large explosions and no secondaries, but it will be called an "arms depot". We'll all believe that, right?

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2020 16:22 utc | 177

Faulty logic prompted by callousness and tribalism @SST:

Yes, George Floyd Killed Himself by Larry C Johnson

Questions avoided:
  • Would Floyd be dead if the police encounter had not happened?
    No. So he didn't kill himself.
  • Did Floyd leave a suicide note?
    No. So he didn't intend to kill himself.
  • Did Floyd's death spark the protests?
    No. It was just the latest in a long line of unjustified killings of black men in custody.

Perhaps more can now see that "It's only a training issue!" was just a red-herring. The real "issue" is the racist attitudes of a white establishment boot-lickers that so cherishes their supremacist mindset that they would lie to protect it.

Floyd didn't kill himself. But SST has killed its credibility (again).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2020 22:56 utc | 178
Covid vaccin trials

Posted by: Mina | Aug 5 2020 9:48 utc | 179

‘Disgusting’ study rating attractiveness of women with endometriosis retracted by medical journal

A widely criticised peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.


“When I first read the study and saw it was by Vercellini, I thought I must be reading it wrong, since he is such a powerful and respected endometriosis specialist. But it would appear that time, money and energy has been put into a study trying to draw a connection between rectovaginal endometriosis and the way a woman looks, from the perspective of others.

A peer-reviewed study by a world renowned specialist is a pseudo-scientific piece of garbage.

Now, if this happens in the peer-reviewed world, imagine what comes out in the non-peer-reviewed...

That's why we must be very careful when quoting non-peer-reviewed papers or opinions of scientists given in interviews for newspapers. They are humans and thus susceptible to power, money, vanity, fame and corruption.


‘Pax Sinica’ in the Middle East, revisited

No amount of US pressure can cripple Iran's economy – let alone topple its Islamist regime – if China does not want it to happen

David P. Goldman being the "Master of the Obvious" here.

Yes, the world is a complex place, the USA cannot simply bomb everybody it doesn't like to oblivion. Who knew?


For the unemployed, rising grocery prices stretch budgets even more

Never thought I would live to see that day: the USA suffering from a textbook Third World problem.

There's no sugarcoating over this: if your average citizen has a problem buying food, you're not a First World country, period.

But maybe the old Cold War division between First and Third World are dissolving into one chaotic postmodern ooze.


Posted by: vk | Aug 5 2020 11:55 utc | 180

I've got to laugh at this one
"Facebook, Twitter pull Trump posts over coronavirus misinformation"

Pissant clowns governing yankistan.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 6 2020 2:39 utc | 183

Last night's edition of's Planet America interviewed the US Pollster who CORRECTLY predicted Trump's landslide win in 2016. He thinks that the current populist polls are 'forgetting' that Trump's Deplorables have been so severely shamed that many will not admit to pollsters that they're Deplorables. His workaround is to ask people who they think their friends/neighbors will vote for in November?

The result of those polls show that significantly more people think someone else will vote for Trump than are prepared to admit that they themselves would do. This leads the pollster to conclude that Trump is already 2% ahead of a Democrat candidate - despite what the populist polls say.

He also thinks that Dem voters are so cock-sure that they won't bother voting, whereas Deplorables are so sick of the Trump-bashing that nothing will keep them away on Election Day.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 6 2020 3:37 utc | 184

ADKC @Aug5 12:08 #181

Caution is required over any fast-tracked or mRNA vaccine


  • The vaccines have side-effects, many of which can be severe;
  • Multiple doses (injections) may be necessary;
  • But even worse:
    “Studies have suggested that coronavirus vaccines carry the risk of what is known as vaccine enhancement, where instead of protecting against infection, the vaccine can actually make the disease worse when a vaccinated person is infected with the virus.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 6 2020 3:40 utc | 185

HKer "economist" pooh-poohing China's lack of ballpoint manufacturing capability in 2016, only to have his smug face slapped by China's TISCO achieving the breakthrough a mere months later, and has kept silent on the matter ever since. Fast forward to today, I can buy 12 Chinese gel-ink pens for the price of one Japanese equivalent.

In the same article the bananaman also held China to an impossible standard by highlighting it's weaknesses in some manufacturing sectors versus the entire world, while conveniently ignoring the similar problems in Western countries that he was jerking off to. Not hard to see why such HK "talents" of the mental gynmastics and identity politics kind are vastly out competed left, right and center by actual productive people in Shenzhen next door.

Posted by: J W | Aug 6 2020 5:27 utc | 186

@james, I will check out Taleb.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 8 2020 14:43 utc | 187

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