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October 22, 2020

Open Thread 2020-84

News & views ...

Posted by b on October 22, 2020 at 17:04 UTC | Permalink

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@ cirsium | Oct 24 2020 18:20 utc | 199

Recollecting of the period in question, it seems most hospitals were plum full of people in various states of emergency. Once the surviving patient was stabilised, to free hospital beds, they would be transferred to the nursing homes where qualified, competent and experienced personnel could continue their ministrations; a logical step had the infectious nature of the virus been better known. Grab a breath and think those accusations through, just a little.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 24 2020 19:54 utc | 201

@ 201 Correction:

… their ministrations; not a logical step …

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 24 2020 20:00 utc | 202

@Richard Steven Hack #162
Yes, we are done here.
The reality is that if no nation in the entire world can succeed with lockdown and testing policies, then that policy is clearly either wrong or unworkable.
It really doesn't matter which.
The only countries that are doing well? Sweden and South Korea - neither of which locked down.
Doubling down which "short sharp lockdown" nonsense is to believe that everything will be different if only the same insanity is tried again.
And let me be more clear: every single person has the option to lock themselves down. Feel free to do it.
When the desired policy is to force everyone to do so - there has to be both agreement on the part of the victims and some evidence that the proposed policies will work.
There is neither.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 24 2020 20:47 utc | 203

@Hor, Jennifer #177
Do you have some links supporting what you wrote?
I am not terribly convinced a peasantry is able to manufacture guns and powder in the best of circumstances - and in Japan in particular.
Japan doesn't have significant iron or coal reserves; even the lack of draft animals means there is no source for saltpeter. Nor is manufacture of guns, simply a matter of slapping together some iron into a tube. There is also significant skill and technology required even beyond the material inputs.
Guns could be bought from the outside, but they would be fantastically expensive and extremely difficult to maintain supplies of shot and powder. Again, not at all clear how a peasantry primarily involving in growing rice can afford fantastically expensive guns from abroad any more than they could afford other Western luxuries. The peasant classes dressed in hemp due to the high cost of food itself, as one example.
One of the reasons why Japan was so interested in Manchuria was precisely its reserves of iron and coal.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 24 2020 20:58 utc | 204

ciue 203

I quote:"The reality is that if no nation in the entire world can succeed with lockdown and testing policies, then that policy is clearly either wrong or unworkable."

It appears that such a policy did work very well in China.

That the West cannot follow the example of Chona stems from idiosyncrasies
peculiar to Western society, mainly the ingrained individualism of its citizens.

Posted by: CarlD | Oct 24 2020 21:49 utc | 205

Apparent Hunter Biden kompromat (15:47 min video) from a curious media source: Taiwan's [anti-communist?] GTV, seemingly intended to smear *both* the Bidens *and* the Chinese govmt.

Posted by: gm | Oct 24 2020 23:59 utc | 206

Taiwan's GTV releases 2nd kompromat video of Hunter allegedly weighing out 4.7g crack cocaine.

Comments to story indicate GTV plans to release one new Hunter kompromat video *per hour* for the next 10 days.

Posted by: gm | Oct 25 2020 0:55 utc | 207

@207 I guess that stuff was on the missing laptop. Hunter really let the team down there.

Posted by: dh | Oct 25 2020 1:21 utc | 208

ZH Story says Twitter nuked the Hunter crack-smoking foot-job video... no surprise there.

But the ZH story also mentions Guo Wengui (one of the persons speaking at beginning of Hunter video), who if you can believe the Wikipedia entry is a Chinese national billionaire construction/building magnate who ran afoul of, and is now on the run from the Chinese govmt, and *just* coincidently happens to be a business partner with Steve Bannon on several ventures, among them being the recently organized media company GTV Media Group[releasers of the Hunter kompromat], which the the FBI does not like for some reason (again according to the dubious Wikipedia)

What I hope becomes clear is whether the stuff GTV is releasing now comes off the Hunter Biden laptops or comes from other independent sources.

Posted by: gm | Oct 25 2020 2:47 utc | 209

Goddamn this is some Eyes Wide Shut shit.

How the fuck does the chinese have access to this?

Posted by: Smith | Oct 25 2020 2:55 utc | 210

Below is a posting from Xinhuanet about China's next 5 year plan

BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The proposals of China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for economic and social development will be assessed during the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee later this month. This top-level policy blueprint bodes well for the country and will help bring certainty to the world.

The five-year plan model represents China's valuable development experience, which stresses optimizing economic governance with a holistic approach and striking a dynamic equilibrium among multiple targets. For those interested in China's development miracle, it is important to understand how the country's five-year plans are formulated.

First, China's planning reflects a clear development roadmap of a country with nearly one-fifth of the world's total population, including 400 million middle-income earners. China's stable development benefits the world. The Chinese leadership has been steadfast in approaching major issues concerning China's development from a long-term, strategic and systematic perspective. Its unique five-year planning mechanism has ensured the country's gradual and concrete steps toward its goal of modernization, providing predictable opportunities to the world.

Moreover, based on broad social consensus, the country's five-year plan features stable and consistent policy, bringing a desired degree of certainty to overseas investors. The decision-making process involves input from thousands of think tanks, government agencies, universities, prominent scholars and professionals. It also takes into account extensive consultations from primary-level representatives. From Aug. 16 to 29, over 1 million suggestions for the 14th Five-Year Plan were received from netizens, providing valuable input for the decision-making process.

As the process demonstrates, China's five-year plans are not designed to attract votes or score political points as is done in the West by some politicians. They are aimed at realizing the people's aspirations for a better life.

Once a plan is decided, the leadership ensures its implementation. The country has targeted measures to perform tasks outlined in the plan and a strict supervision mechanism to make sure the goals are achieved. Development goals set for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) are about to be accomplished as scheduled, evidence that the leadership keeps its promises.

China's well-designed planning and implementation model serves as a key reason for the country's consistent economic growth over the decades. Meanwhile, its long-term prosperity provides great opportunities to foreign companies.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China's business environment has seen remarkable progress, with lowered business operating costs and optimized services for enterprises. Foreign firms' confidence in the Chinese market was strengthened and many have expanded their footprints in the country.

When formulating the 14th five-year plan, China will make more efforts to build a new development pattern, deepen reform and opening up, and forestall and defuse major risks and challenges.

The five-year plans also play a significant role in achieving common development and solving global issues. For instance, the country plans to set a carbon intensity target in the 14th Five-Year Plan in accordance with goals to have CO2 emissions to peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, a concrete step to tackle global climate change.

Does anybody have a clue how the global private finance elite plan and execute the ongoing control of society in the West?

Is it true that empire's only hold is Might-Makes-Right and that control vector is finding its limits?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 25 2020 4:19 utc | 211

CarlD | Oct 24 2020 21:49 utc | 205

"It appears that such a policy did work very well in China."

1. Unlike the China-worshippers here who are merely the mirror image of US-worshippers, I don't believe on faith the Chinese government's depiction of its domestic situation, any more than I believe that of the US government regarding the US situation with which I am far more familiar.

So I understand that we lack good knowledge of how bad the Chinese situation was in the first place, whether their draconian measures really helped, or whether all the same panic, mania, data manipulation, opportunism and lies were going on there as were near-universal across the West; the lies and lunacy metastasizing around the idea of covid (certainly not the real thing) being the real "pandemic".

Since the vast majority even among "informed" Westerners are so morbidly ignorant of the facts of what's happened in their own states, cities, neighborhoods, how do they know anything about what's happened in China?

2. If there was a bad covid outbreak in China and the Chinese believed it to be a US bioattack, as used to be the near-consensus view at this very site, then China's response was a war measure, not a peacetime public health measure.

Leaving aside how idiotic it is to impute ANY public health concern to any Western government, you're admitting that lockdown measures are war measures, not peace. Of course we often deploy the rhetoric that e.g. the US government wages war on its own people. Now the lockdownists want to uphold and exalt the literal application of wartime lockdowns on a permanent basis.

You all failed to get the people to go for it when you evoked the specter of the "terrorist" bogeyman lurking on every American and Western street. But you hope this figment of dementia called "covid" will do the trick.

(Meanwhile Goebbels lobbied in vain for years to get Hitler to agree to such lockdowns of the German domestic economy during an actual bona fide war. As late as 1943 after the Stalingrad debacle Hitler still wasn't giving Goebbels the authority he begged for. Only after the 1944 bomb plot did Hitler give Goebbels a partial go-ahead.)

3. "That the West cannot follow the example of Chona stems from idiosyncrasies peculiar to Western society, mainly the ingrained individualism of its citizens."

Whatever else we've learned from the brain-dead abject mass submission of the masses of the West, their obedience, flat-earth faith in the noise spewing from the TV, willingness to pour gasoline on their own economic position and light the match, we've learned that the alleged "ingrained individualism of its citizens" is one of the most absurd myths of all.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 25 2020 4:45 utc | 212

212 continued -

Forgot to add that regardless of the alleged individualism, or lack thereof in this case, of Western citizens, by far the main culpable parties are the Western governments and elites, whether you believe them incompetent or malevolent.

Those governments systematically dismantled all public health safeguards, systematically poison the food, water, air, environment, systematically inculcate every kind of nihilist sociopathy in the people. Therefore these governments are the primary culprits in any case where individualism really was hindering an actual public health campaign, if any government really did have a road-to-Damascus conversion and try really to do something for the public health.

I'll be impressed the day the people really call for the abolition of industrial and agricultural poisons and factory farms and an end to deforestation and desertification, and governments really do that. Until such a day that governments and peoples demonstrate actual bona fide concern for public health in this way the whole lot of them can STFU about covid. In the current context to evoke the very term "public health" and accuse skeptics and dissidents of "selfishness" is nothing but the most fraudulent and hypocritical concern-trolling and virtue-signaling.

From early on it was clear to me that the mass cultist aspect of the covid lunacy stems from free-floating fear-itself over how the economic civilization is committing collective suicide by destroying its ecological basis in these ways, while the mass flagellant submission to lockdowns and to the most demeaning and dehumanizing superstitious rites of face diapers and hex spacing is a desperate attempt to propitiate the Earth, seen by the civilization's dominionist theology (these days laundered through such pseudo-secular civil religions as technocracy, scientism, "Progress", "Growth") as some kind of monster rather than our one and only home and basis of life itself.

(The other source of the pandemic of fear-itself stems from near-universal socioeconomic precarity. How does it help the beleaguered economic position of individuals, families, small businesses, unions, institutions such as public schools and libraries, such cultural entities as orchestras and opera companies, to economically liquidate themselves once and for all by submitting to lockdowns deliberately intended to liquidate them permanently? Obviously this is mass socioeconomic suicide. All I can think of is that they prefer an end to the uncertainty and anxiety and desperate striving against being destroyed, by submitting to the destruction. Like the way a murderer often claims to feel relieved after confessing to the police.)

Posted by: Russ | Oct 25 2020 5:12 utc | 213

The theory you're using is the Theory of Statecraft, which states History is the history of the eternal struggle between the free individuals and the State's oppressive machine.

In my opinion, this theory - widely used by capitalist/liberal historians, specially historians from "Economic History" field - is pure pseudo-science. The State didn't exist before the Westphalian consensus was created and then spread through capitalism in its industrial phase. You cannot, by any stretch of imagination, call what existed in Antiquity and the Middle Ages "State".

Posted by: vk | Oct 24 2020 13:25 utc | 184

This is true. Reading so much of Chinese history prior delving into European, I always getting perplexed by the West total phobia of state and government. How could they be so suspicious of a body (state) in which themselves (people) had in hand creating it? It turns out that 'State' for the West is a very recent invention, and unlike China they never really developed it well beyond an apparatus of the powerful elite to exercise their will and agenda to the populace. It is kinda ironic considering that the West has championing democracy for so long and belittling those who don't, and yet their State is barely a reflection of their own people.

Posted by: hangar | Oct 25 2020 7:11 utc | 214

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24 2020 14:31 utc | 193 -- "It's believed that most natives died from disease."

I can go with that.

I suppose that would include the disease handed to the Native Americans on infected blankets.

And that terminal 'disease' caused to bisons using long rifles from slow-passing trains.

Oh, and the 'disease' called malnutrition caused by crops catching fire spontaneously just as olde whitey slunk away round the bend.

Heh, but what do I know? I wasn't there watching the Great Amedikan Genocide, was I?

Posted by: kiwiklown | Oct 25 2020 10:12 utc | 215

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 25 2020 4:19 utc | 211 -- "Is it true that empire's only hold is Might-Makes-Right and that control vector is finding its limits?"

Short answer is yes.

When will Private Finance be replaced by Public Finance? Soon, but not yet. Not even in our lifetimes. Maybe in our children's lifetimes.

When will Right Makes Might? Again, soon. If Russia and China does not blink, and fire the first shots, they will show the smaller nations that Right Makes Right.

That is why the West is going for the Great Reset, while they still can. Opening move? Covid19.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Oct 25 2020 10:26 utc | 216

C1ue @ 204:

Wikipedia article on tanegashima (matchlock arquebuses or muskets), also known as hinawaju. These were introduced into Japan in the 1540s by the Portuguese.

David Howell, "The Social Life of Firearms in Tokugawa Japan" (Journal of Japanese Studies: Volume 29, 2009, Issue 1)

Guns were surprisingly common in the villages of Tokugawa Japan. This article examines the ‘social life’ of firearms, focusing particularly on the hinterland of Edo. It traces the evolution of institutions governing peasants' possession of guns and examines prevailing conceptions of the uses of firearms. Building on the work of Tsukamoto Manabu, it argues that for much of the period guns were perceived to be farm implements rather than weapons per se: they were used to frighten or kill animals that damaged crops but not in conflicts among people. Starting in the 1840s, however, guns came to acquire an unequivocal character as weapons. This transformation came in response to anxiety over the proliferation of masterless samurai, unregistered commoners, and other disorderly elements, whose activities were seen as undermining the fabric of rural society.

Matthew Stavros, "Military Revolution in Early Modern Japan" (Journal of Japanese Studies: Volume 33, 2013, Issue 3)

Military changes that took place in Japan during the late sixteenth century bear a striking resemblance to those in Europe at about the same time. This essay argues that the Roberts thesis of military revolution – widely applied to Europe – provides a useful framework for identifying a series of cascading developments that, once realized, constituted the fundamental elements of a similar revolution in early modern Japan. These included: the almost universal adoption of firearms, the development of tactics for the effective deployment of those firearms, and finally, a change in the composition and organization of armies leading to the professionalization of warfare. Most important, by revolutionizing the way armies were organized and wars were fought, Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi contributed directly to the emergence of new notions of centralized authority that were critical to the creation of a unified and peaceful early modern state.

Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi were famous military leaders of late 16th-century Japan.

Samurai Archives Japanese History Podcast / Episode 5: The Myth of Samurai Giving Up the Gun

In this podcast we examine the myth of Japan's Samurai giving up the gun during the Edo period (1603-1868). In 1979, Professor Noel Perrin wrote a book called Giving Up the Gun, Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879, and in this book he claims that Japan gave up the gun, or "put the genie back in the bottle" as it were, and pushes his theory to show that the contemporary nuclear arms race happening as he wrote the book could be reversed. A great thought, unfortunately in academic circles in the West and Japan, his work is not taken seriously, and the Japanese language version explicitly states that the book is not based on historical fact. Despite this, writers and scholars who do not generally focus on Japan have liberally cited his work, which has kept the myth alive. Add to that the pop-culture image of Samurai as honor-bound righteous warriors who would never do something so dishonorable as shoot an enemy from a distance, and it's easy to see why the myth has endured.

Japan in fact didn't "give up the gun" at all. Guns were being produced and used throughout the Edo period. It was more of an issue of guns not being necessary during this time of peace, and Samurai already being armed with swords as a matter of course anyway - why bring a bulky, long-barreled muzzle-loading single-shot arquebus to a sword duel?

Posted by: Jen | Oct 25 2020 10:46 utc | 217

Sorry my comment @ 217 left off a link.

Matthew Stavros, "Military Revolution in Early Modern Japan"

Posted by: Jen | Oct 25 2020 10:51 utc | 218

@209 Then there's the question of will the US public be shocked and appalled or will they see it as normal recreational behavior.

Posted by: dh | Oct 25 2020 13:33 utc | 219

@ Posted by: Russ | Oct 25 2020 4:45 utc | 212

RE: 2. If there was a bad covid outbreak in China and the Chinese believed it to be a US bioattack, as used to be the near-consensus view at this very site, then China's response was a war measure, not a peacetime public health measure.

Doubtful. Chinese leadership over the last four decades has been careful and measured in their international actions, and they surely recognize that a "war measure" 'cure' now would be much worse than the disease, er.. CV pandemic itself. Especially as the CV outbreak/release [whatever] is now a fait acccompli.

I think the Chinese leaders think much the same as Putin expressed (if one reads his words closely) in the first part of his Valdai Discussion.

There you will find that in paragraphs 3-7 and paragraphs 9-11, Putin's discusses the pandemic's hardships, challenges, and Russia's positive responses to it.

But Putin tucks in *para. 8* right in the middle of that long string of 'pandemic paragraphs' where he says this:

We see the rapidly, exponential development of the processes that we have repeatedly discussed at the Valdai Club before. Thus, six years ago, in 2014, we spoke about this issue when we discussed the theme The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules. So, what is happening now? Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying and sometimes seems to be a fait accompli.

Putin is also very careful and measured with his words, and the way he inserts the provocative statements of para 8 into the center of the nine paragraph-long 'pandemic' topic, is very telling to me.

It harkens back to those 'Rules for Business Communications' short courses that corporations used to put their mid-level new hires through at the beginning of employment.

Among the rules I recall for how to best broach controversial/provocative subjects in business memos and letters are:

1. Whenever possible make your provocative statements in the form of a *question*.

2. Never raise your most controversial points at the beginning, or closing of your memo. Make your most provocative/impactful statements deep within the body of the document, where they will be softened by the surrounding text.

I believe this is precisely what Putin is doing in Paragraph 8. When he states:

"So, what is happening now? Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying and sometimes seems to be a fait accompli" , he seems to be implying quite strongly that the CV pandemic is the result of some outlaw actions (accidental or deliberate release of a prohibited bioweapon), and it is now a fait accompli, one that we must face and deal with head-on. Period.

Posted by: gm | Oct 25 2020 15:04 utc | 220

gm | Oct 25 2020 15:04 utc | 220

@ Posted by: Russ | Oct 25 2020 4:45 utc | 212

RE: "2. If there was a bad covid outbreak in China and the Chinese believed it to be a US bioattack, as used to be the near-consensus view at this very site, then China's response was a war measure, not a peacetime public health measure."

Doubtful. Chinese leadership over the last four decades has been careful and measured in their international actions, and they surely recognize that a "war measure" 'cure' now would be much worse than the disease, er.. CV pandemic itself. Especially as the CV outbreak/release [whatever] is now a fait acccompli.

Self-evidently if there's an explosion in your house your response and mindset going forward will be different if you think someone planted a bomb than if you think it was an accident. Especially since in the former case your "fait accompli" is very likely to be followed by further attacks, as this one likely was followed by a bio-attack in Iran.

As for China's "international action" response, obviously they weren't going to send the missiles flying over a strongly suspected but not immediately provable bio-attack. First they were going to lock down against further attacks within their country. That's a primary goal if you suspect such foreign agents launching such attacks within. That's the war measure which every lockdownist everywhere applauds and yearns to see in their own countries.

So I wanted to know what kind of foreign bio-threats and bio-attacks, what kind of terrorist action the cultists really fear or, as in the case of the elites and their media, are pretending to fear, that they want permanently to entomb themselves and forcibly entomb all future generations under conditions of wartime lockdowns.

As for the elites and their media perpetrating the terror-lockdown assault, these are the same impresarios of the "war on terror" which never got the mass-submission response they tried to induce. Their mindset and motivation in propagating the "war on covid" is exactly the same - provoke panic and hysteria in order to attain predatory tyrannical economic and (anti-)social goals they never could attain under regular conditions.

Hitler and Goering thought they did pretty well exploiting the Reichstag fire to greatly accelerate the Gleichschaltung and imposition of the Emergency Measure on a permanent basis. But even they would be astonished at the results so far of this vastly greater distortion, the monstrous propaganda inflation of a bug whose effects were readily comparable to the regular flu into the most imminent and total existential danger humanity ever had faced, requiring the immediate cessation of all rational thought and democratic deliberation and debate and the imposition of the most open-ended state of emergency ever.

It has to be so open-ended precisely because the actual threat immediately becomes so hard to see the moment you actually try to look at it with clear eyes. That's how modern propaganda-driven tyranny always functions. Whatever war crisis the Chinese government really perceived or continues to perceive, there's no doubt at all about the deliberate fraudulence, cynicism and malevolence of Western governments in drumming up this same war fever in order to impose wartime lockdowns out of purely ulterior motives and toward tyrannical goals.

As for the mass death cult, they're the same as the picked audience in Berlin's Sportpalast in February 1943 who responded to Goebbels's shouted question, "Do you want total war?" with the rabid shriek, "Yes!" In that case the concept meant battening down the hatches during a real war crisis. Today it means inventing the crisis out of thin air in order to wage total war on themselves and their own countrymen.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 26 2020 6:18 utc | 221

@ Russ | Oct 26 2020 6:18 utc | 221

I guess I was taking the term "war measure" in a more literal 'tit-for-tat response' meaning, and you were meaning it in a 'defensive/protective measures' sort of context.

Posted by: gm | Oct 26 2020 15:33 utc | 222

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