Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 04, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-79

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Julian Assange:



The pandemic can be described in percolation theory terms. Low incidence in a population keeps the growth rate low (currently in Germany). But after a critical incidence rate is passed (due to super-spreading events) the growth rate suddenly jumps upwards (currently in Spain, UK and elsewhere). Speaking colloquially: When there is sufficient shit flying around some of it will eventual hit the fan.

Leading the world:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on October 4, 2020 at 13:33 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

"How much damage can Arab states do to the Turkish economy?"

I caught up with this article about Arab hostility towards Turkey and the possibility of reduced economic ties yesterday, and it misses one key point which could well be significant: Real Estate.

The construction industry is key to Turkey’s economy. If you remember back to the Russian sanctions in 2016 it was the hit to Turkish construction in Russia that really floored Erdogan. Here the situation is more to do with Arab investment in real estate in Turkey. The once mushrooming luxury residences are completely beyond the affordability of Turks and are a key investment for Arabs – It is estimated that Saudi Arabia was responsible for 30% of investment in real estate in 2017 and that the goal of increasing this multifold to $25bn by 2023 had been set.

This is not just important for the economy, it is also extremely important for Erdogan’s survival. A lot of key business allies are in the construction industry currently being held afloat by ludicrously lucrative untendered state contracts (discussed here ) for which the taxpayer will be massively overpaying for years to come – the airport and the latest pandemic hospitals are just the latest examples of Erdogan’s largesse when it comes to mates in construction! And of course the ‘Kanal Istanbul’ is/ will be heavily reliant on Arab investment if it goes ahead.

Will Qatar come to the rescue? Not clear. When Erdogan did his whirlwind tour with his begging cap a couple of months ago, Qatar forewent the opportunity to ‘invest’ further in Turkey.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 6 2020 6:30 utc | 201

Add up Kirgyzstan to the list of color revs, as if Belarus and the war in Artsakh wasn't enough. All this while the ship of empire drifts in the middle of a great storm.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 6 2020 6:42 utc | 202

The present American / Trump buseness model is ——-
Theft using violence and deception.
Carried out toward its own people and abroad.
That’s it. Now you either support that and are an acoplace. Or you are against it.
It’s that clear cut, basicly ‘pick your side’ and no the Dems aren’t any different.
If you condone violent repub or dem ——- Your anti American and anti-social.
Let’s just keep it simple.
Let’s not fall for the razzmatazz it’s all just consumer manipulation.
We’re looking at Trumps business model and I’m not buying.
The cost in human life is to high.
PS Russ what’s you to die of the virus.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 8:47 utc | 203

Typo — ps Russ wants you to die of the virus

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 9:28 utc | 204

So, after helping spread Covid19 to numerous WH staff and journalists, a victory salute with 2 secret servicemen breathing the same air as him in a sealed vehicle, the Donald is back home keen to show everyone how tough he is.

I seem to understand many patients get better only to get much worse with CV? Even his own doctors said days 7-10 are critical.. it's only been 5 days so far by my count.

No doubt my bias is shaping my perception, but am i the only one willing to put a 10'er Trump is a bit early to claim success, and likely to be back in Hospital in a few days?

Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 6 2020 9:30 utc | 205

Ex-OPCW chief Jose Bustani reads Syria testimony that US, UK blocked at UN (The Grayzone, October 5, 2020)

(Bustani’s testimony was blocked by 6 nations: the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, and Estonia.)

Posted by: S | Oct 6 2020 9:32 utc | 206


That's settled then,thank you,I was a little bit expecting a reaction from you on this.

On "the flu" we have about the same take.Indeed everybody is pretending now something.Some are pretending it is dangerous,others are pretending to wear mask like my self when once a week I go to the supermarket.I still, have the same mask that I got in april,and I pretend to wear it loosely,but might put it over my nose when crossing police officer.I cannot afford a fine for my convictions.I see friends "pretending" to be fearful with some,and then discard fear with others,so in social contacts it is now important to try and figure out the corona-stance of your acquiantances.That is very funny to watch.

Then the french government pretends corona is making a heavy comeback amongst parisians ansd marseillais.So now the bars over there must be closed,restaurants can stay open!.So all bars make sandwiches,that's France for you,the champion mondiale de la pretention.The government is punishing the french because they dare to make sheepy noises.

There is no saturation in any hospital.Neoliberal politics have been anticipating to cause pretended saturation,by cutting for twenty years in hospital beds and personal.It is all orchestrated by the usual suspects.
The people who could die of it are dead already now.But "they" want to take society down,and violate human rights as a standard political goal.Look what is happening in formerly great-britain.That country has nothing to do anymore with the legacy of Magna Carta.

In Vienna,Austria,a ranking member of Turkish secret service has turned himself in to the police,because he was not able and willing to fulfill his mission to kill three Austrian politicians.Thierry Meissan wrote an article stipulating that there is overwhelming presence of Turkish secret agents in Europe,and indeed that is in the direct line of Erdogan who wants to conquer Europe for Islam "through the womb of their women"

Posted by: willie | Oct 6 2020 10:19 utc | 207

@sad canuck No. 170

Here we have a situation where Russia is being systematically stripped of allies and surrounded by salami tactics. It's pointless to talk about whether the Armenians "made sacrifices" (yes, they are, they're fighting and dying though outnumbered and outgunned). Even if they weren't, rational foreign policy involves keeping one's enemies away from one's back door. All Pitin needed to do to *avoid* the war was call Erdogan and warm him off before the fighting began. But Putin's top bust appeasing Sultan Erdogan for reasons that no longer make any sense. If the West isn't "agreement capable", Erdo is a thousand times more so.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Oct 6 2020 10:28 utc | 208

james 124#

Of course I am not aware of the green programs that the green parties all over the world are supporting.That said,I think a good measure to judge those programs is to look at what level they are promoting climate-change and its pretended financial solutions (ecology-taxes) like selling CO2 emissions-rights to countries and multinationals,as in opposition to real dangers to animal species,Mother Earth herself and the human life,that we witness in the continued chemical warfare on the vegetable kingdom,chemical pollution of our food supplies,chemical warfare on insects,relentless plastic production we'll be stuck with for thousands of years,etc.etc

.A good indicator of the absence of real green interest is when they start to heavily support identity politics that have nothing in common with ecology,and supporting bombing of poor people in countries faraway,even with depleted uranium,while everybody knows that military action is the utmost nec plus ultra of polluting the environment and the americanmilitary is the worlds biggest consumer of petrol.

Posted by: willie | Oct 6 2020 10:40 utc | 209

Max Blumenthal has subjected himself to watching Showtime’s mockumentary The Comey Rule and highlights some of its most egregious lies in this Twitter thread.

Posted by: S | Oct 6 2020 10:44 utc | 210

157# tucenz (twocents?)

Thank you very much for the Assad-quote and link.I always felt he was the right man in the right place.He is very intelligent,and his talk is always very to the point.Also he shows us a particular mindset that I think is much more common to middle eastern peoples than to europeans:the knowledge that one's personal life may end in a twitch of time,at any moment,and live up to it.
Truely a great man,one of those who will be remembered even in 500 years,like Khadafi,Chavez.Assad walks and talks in the street,with everybody,no security personnel in sight.His lady is an angel.

Posted by: willie | Oct 6 2020 10:59 utc | 211

A sucssefull two month lockdown in April/May the virus would have been completely eradicated.
When the lockdown began to work they stopped doing it !
Six months on and counting ——-
Who do we blame ——-
The pro lock downers ?
Or the anti lockdowners ?
Other than that just stop the planes, as they should of done on day one.
Criminal negligence !

Posted by: Maek2 | Oct 6 2020 11:12 utc | 212


Thanks for the link,might be very interesting to watch.Now as for the fact that nazism should never happen again,the european union doesn't give a fuck about nazigroups in Ukraine,and jewish so called philosophers in France are on their side as well.

I for one have a very simple equation,or axioma if you will:

NATO equals NASA equals NAZI,this is true from the 1950 up to now.

Posted by: willie | Oct 6 2020 11:16 utc | 213

Trump's political base shares some base demographic characteristics of the unfortunate souls who have perished to COVID-19.

The stronger second wave of this pandemic will crash down upon the US electorate in prime election season.

After 60 livin' large years of American bullshit I gotta say this:
This sucker is gonna blow - please stand a safe distance away from the US this fall.

Posted by: David N Metheny | Mar 7 2020 15:18 utc | 7

Posted by: David Metheny | Oct 6 2020 11:20 utc | 214

Trump who was heaving and gasping for air like an orange blowfish out of water on the White House balcony called himself an incredible hero and tweeted a video of his royal blowhard self set to triumphal music landing in front of the White House portico followed by the back view of His Haughtyness saluting from the porch.

He's enthralled with his sick self while thousands of people are dying every week and hundreds of thousands are dead from Covid. He's depraved.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 11:37 utc | 215

S @212

That show Blumenthal was commenting on is obvious fiction, but for millions of Americans it is a history more real than what they had for breakfast yesterday. It is a great example of how brainwashing works.

And you, dear Reader, thought brainwashing involved being drugged and strapped in a chair while shadowy and sinister men chanted obvious untruths at you until you submitted, or something similar? You cannot imagine people voluntarily participating in their own brainwashing, much less enjoying it as "entertainment"?

I can say this with absolute certainty: If you watch TV and it doesn't feel like torture to you then you have been successfully brainwashed. Further, you will feel driven to participate in additional brainwashing of yourself in order to keep the manufactured reality "program" running in your head up to date (you will start experiencing cognitive dissonance if your brainwash programming begins to become outdated).

Most of the brainwashing in capitalist mass media isn't quite as obvious and heavy-handed as that show that Blumenthal was critiquing that S linked to above, but it is there nonetheless. Always remember that in capitalist mass media the product that is being sold is not the show, or even the advertisements, but rather it is you, the viewer, and your lavaged mind. The viewer is not the customer; the viewer is the product. The entire purpose of all capitalist mass media is to condition the viewers' minds in ways that benefit the sponsors of the media, all of whom are capitalists.

If you watch TV then your mind is a manufactured product bought and paid for by big business. You do not control it. The TV controls it. That is what the capitalists pay for in the "programming" that you consume.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2020 11:42 utc | 216

@218 William Gruff

Yes, I fully, 100% agree with you on that, but include Fox News in there, an outlet where you would be hired in an instant for the whitewashing job you do on Trump Con every day here.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 12:03 utc | 217

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2020 11:42 utc | 218 If you watch TV then your mind is a manufactured product bought and paid for by big business. You do not control it. The TV controls it.

Doesn't apply to me, regardless of your "certainty." I'd say it more applies to you. Tell me you've *never* watched TV, even as a kid. They programmed you long before you were aware of it. I am absolutely certain of that, because I've seen your belief system displayed here.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 12:24 utc | 218

Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 6 2020 9:30 utc | 207 am i the only one willing to put a 10'er Trump is a bit early to claim success, and likely to be back in Hospital in a few days?

Depends on whether he had actually had it in the first place. It could have been another one of his election con games. We'll see.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 12:27 utc | 219

@willie | Oct 6 2020 10:19 utc | 209

Thank you for the description of the situation that everybody is pretending in France! This was valuable confirmation. It confirms that the west is in a situation of universal deceit, As you probably know "In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" (Orwell). So telling the truth about the pretended virus threat is now abosolutely verboten,

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 6 2020 12:29 utc | 220

Infected Trump Returns to White House, Risking Lives to Record Video on Behalf of Virus
The infected president removed his mask, endangering White House staff to record a video downplaying Covid-19.

Again, this assumes he has actually has it.

As the dissident Republican consultant Stuart Stevens noted, Trump’s manic surge of energy could be a side effect of the dexamethasone, a corticosteroid which is a banned performance-enhancing drug. “Trump could barely walk down a ramp before he was sick,” Stevens tweeted. “Of course he feels better jacked on steroids.”

If he does have it, his behavior is nothing short of criminal, indeed lunatic. This guy is a threat to literally everyone near him - and every one of the rest of us.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 12:38 utc | 221

Thank you for that very informative article AtaBrit.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 6 2020 12:39 utc | 222

Lockdown is a bit like sex to produce a baby, it doesn’t work if you give up halfway.
Premature virus eradication (tm)
Anti-lockdowners see a doctor, there is help for your complaint !

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 12:46 utc | 223

Everything We Know (and Don’t) About Trump’s Health Right Now
Here’s what the president’s doctors said — and didn’t say

Heart function is a major concern with Covid-19 and is one of the primary causes of death from the disease. The virus can cause heart failure, heart attacks, blood clots, inflammation of the heart, and even directly infect heart cells themselves. Trump has a common, moderate form of heart disease, which puts him at high risk for cardiovascular complications from the coronavirus.

Gounder said that in addition to the information provided, she would like details about the president’s white blood cell and platelet count, as well as his levels of inflammatory markers and blood clot tests. “I think his condition is more severe than they are communicating to us,” she says. “There’s no reason not to release more details like blood tests unless they’re wanting to withhold that kind of information. If the numbers are normal, this would put things to rest and reassure people, so they’re withholding that for a reason.”

Or he never had it in the first place, and it's all a scam.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 13:02 utc | 224

@223 Richard Steven Hack

The only mask that suits Trump is the Dexamethasone hiding his symptoms. Let's see him when he's weaned off that invisible crutch.

By the end of next week, the latest, this charade will boomerang and we'll have the full picture. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 13:03 utc | 225

Main reason why Trump wanted to get out quickly imo is that it immediately had an effect on Wall Street.
A mad man on steroids... hopefully gone soon.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 6 2020 13:05 utc | 226

Who Has It Now? Tracking Covid-19 As It Spreads Through Trumpworld

This is ridiculous. If I were any of these people, I'd be suing his bitch ass for reckless endangerment.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 13:07 utc | 227

HK extends epidemic rules as new cases pick up

The pattern is clear: socialist countries are being successful in containing the pandemic, while capitalist countries/regions are not. China and Vietnam are on a league of their own, while the rest of the world is competing to see who's the least worst.

HK now has more new cases than the entire Mainland.

Posted by: vk | Oct 6 2020 13:32 utc | 228

What a time to be alive, interesting times etc. etc.:

America May Need International Intervention

Posted by: vk | Oct 6 2020 13:40 utc | 229

Crazy drug witch @219: "...but include Fox News in there..."

Of course. I did say all capitalist mass media, did I not? Oddly enough, though, members of the faux left in America are safer consuming brainwashing products being delivered by FOX than they are brainwashing products delivered by "liberal" capitalist mass media. This is because the brainwashing on FOX is tuned to a slightly different world view (very slightly different, but different nonetheless) than what works best on you. The efforts to manipulate your perspective will possibly stand out a little for you and allow you to apply critical thinking. The mental manipulation will completely evade your defenses if it is tuned to your prejudices and delivered by say Rachel Maddow, and critically examining the brainwashing will be impossible for you.

"How can brainwashing work by telling me to believe what I want to believe?"

Good question! Ponder it some more and see if you can work it out.

Richard Steven Hack @220

Yes, I absolutely was brainwashed. As I pointed out, though, the brainwashing goes stale if it is not kept current. The Boris & Natasha vs Moose & Squirrel brainwashing needs to be incrementally updated as the media consumer ages in order to continue to work as designed, for instance.

Question: Have you ever experienced real culture shock? Not just a little surprise at something you are not accustomed to, but the real deal, with shortness of breath, dizziness, feverishness, that knocks you on your butt for days like a covid infection? Usually sets in several months after being embedded in a very alien environment? No, of course not, because your mind is so much more powerful than anyone else's. Maybe you can just "power through" the covid the same way! Or maybe you've just never been in a situation that would trigger real culture shock.

In any case, if you have experienced culture shock (the real thing) then know that the process of breaking out of the mass media programming feels very similar. The overturning of paradigms that were once part of your thought processes at the subconscious level triggers literal physical nausea. The experience is quite unmistakable. It is an experience that I know you have never had because afterwards you would be unable to consume current mass media without severe dissonance. Once the poison is purged then even small doses will trigger a reaction, yet you have written positively of some contemporary mass media. That would not be possible if you had broken the remote control of your mind.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2020 13:42 utc | 230

So what I see is Trump cares more about his image than his life. He's doubling-down, he's betting he's going to beat it, in time for the election. Going for all the marbles.

Well, I can respect that sort of attitude when it comes to ones personal affairs, but it's not a good way to run a country.

He never should have listened to Hillary.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 6 2020 13:56 utc | 231


great comment to Hack, and I concur about legitimate culture shocks coming with physical symptoms. I went through something similar after reading and thinking about the counter-culture con perpetrated by black budget alphabets on the gullible boomers during the 60's. I DID NOT want to think that the music I adopted as I rebelled with mind-expanding substances was part of another prison that existed outside the suburban prison I naively thought I was rebelling against. it took a long time to integrate this realization, and that period was marked by anxiety and lots of unhealthy self-medicating.

Posted by: lizard | Oct 6 2020 14:06 utc | 232

Here's something maybe b can tackle:

If REGN-COV2 (Regeneron) provides a therapeutic substitute for the naturally-occurring immune response and is usually administered before the patient's own antibodies kick in, and Dexamethasone suppresses the immune system and the latter including Remdesivir are usually administered when a patient is critical on a ventilator or needing oxygen, then doesn't this mean that Trump will not have created Covid-19 anti-bodies and these treatments would be less effective if needed a 2nd time? And should it be the case that he wasn't able to generate Covid-19 anti-bodies when he's weaned off the Dexamethasone and he's off the Remdesivir, then won't he have a suppressed immune system and be susceptible, vulnerable to contracting Covid again?

Just wondering.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 14:22 utc | 233

Russ @198

Where did you get the absurd notion that Wall Street overall has any better a sense than anyone else of long-term survivability as opposed to the plunder opportunities of the moment?

I got that from you. You are the one claiming that Covid is part of some grand scheme by Wall Street and I was the one arguing that Wall Street is just acting in their usual opportunistic manner. Covid was as big a surprise to Wall Street as it was to everybody else.

A lot of what you say about the Covid phenomena is true and a lot of it is false. There is no doubt that some places in the world have responded far more sanely than others. IMO Sweden and the US responded in about the same way with about the same outcome. Sweden did not just go on about their business as usual. Sweden went into lockdown just about the same extent as the US did. You can easily see this by comparing the economic impact in both countries. People stopped going to stores and restaurants and movies in Sweden as they did in the US and that clearly shows up in the economic data of both countries. You can also compare Hong Kong to Sweden. Both have about the same size population and yet HK has had only 1% of the deaths that Sweden has had. The big difference there is that in HK everyone put on a mask in public from day one. Masks do work to allow a population to operate closer to normal levels. Your whole premise that people would ignore the deaths and behave as normally if the govt told them to do that is a fiction.

Your understanding of the 2008 collapse is flawed. In 2008 there was little real danger that the productive economy would collapse. It was just an old fashioned speculation bubble in Wall Street and then the inevitable resulting bubble bust and the run on Wall Street Financial institutions. Wall Street was saved but the speculators lost their asses and the resulting subdued speculation has been an ongoing problem for Wall Street. Now the speculators that invested in fracking are being wiped out and that is another cash cow for Wall Street down the drain. Low interest rates are the consequence of this subdued desire for speculation. Low interest rates is not something Wall Street is happy about despite the plethora of useful idiots like Max Keiser telling you otherwise.

To see the difference in the 2008 collapse and the 2020 collapse here is a chart of US Federal expenditures. The graph includes a red line showing consumer prices as a background reference. As you can see from the graph there was hardly any stimulus response to the 2008 crises but for 2020 Federal spending has doubled in response. There has not been a spike in Federal spending like that since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. If the government had spent money in 2008 like they are in 2020 the economy would have been booming within weeks. Of course that would not be good for employers who need unemployed people to keep wages down.

The graph showing how govt spending has sky-rocketed shows the full extent of how scared Wall Street really is. They understand perfectly well that if the real economy goes down they will follow and they are now prepared to do just about anything to keep the productive economy from caving in.

Posted by: jinn | Oct 6 2020 14:29 utc | 234

I wrote:
Sweden went into lockdown just about the same extent as the US did.

What I mean is don't look at what the 2 countries said they were doing look at what they actually did

Posted by: jinn | Oct 6 2020 14:33 utc | 235

It seems a UK court has decided that Random Guido is not the owner of Venezuela's gold:

UK Court Decision on Venezuela Gold Deals Blow to Regime Change Efforts

And Yves takes on how a fondness for cheap labor and economic underclasses makes it difficult to defeat pandemics:

Covid-19 and the Global Addiction to Cheap Migrant Labor

This is a very significant point, modern sanitation requires a modern lifestyle, underfed and overworked underclasses look just like candy to infectious agents. It is one of the common factors in countries where Corona is running free, they love cheap labor. It is no accident the socialist states are kicking butt on Corona, they (theoretically at least) take care of all their citizens.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 6 2020 14:35 utc | 236

No one should be surprised by Trump's behavior during this COVID episode - spoiled, entitled rich kid showing made for camera bravado and acting 'macho'. He was clearly desperate to get back to the White House and act as if nothing happened. What I want to know is how are the other 28 known (plus how many unknown?) infected individuals are doing including Chris Christie and Melania? How many more people in their circle will come down with it?

Posted by: the pessimist | Oct 6 2020 14:40 utc | 237

Both Trump and Bidan are in potent when it comes to satisfying
It’s so sad, the rest of the world can clearly see how barren America is at present ! No shine in their eyes, bitter and twisted no spirt, just a few rather nasty devious ways.
America could be so firtile.
Let love into your heart I say.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 14:44 utc | 238

@Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 13:02 utc | 226

Or he never had it in the first place, and it's all a scam.

Of course it is a scam, that is the whole point.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 6 2020 14:48 utc | 239

Maek2 @Oct6 11:12 #214

A sucssefull two month lockdown in April/May the virus would have been completely eradicated.

As it was in other countries like South Korea, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, etc.

But then no 'National Emergency' would be needed. And without a 'National Emergency' there could not be a bailout of Wall Street and Boeing.

When the lockdown began to work they stopped doing it !

I could see this coming when "bend the curve" was made the primary goal. As soon as the bailouts were done, the main goal of the Administration was to end anti-virus measures ASAP and they ginned up a libertarian mob to argue that fighting the virus was authoritarian, when in fact, it was just the opposite: the commercial interests that Western governments truly represent want the economy restored.

Who do we blame ... Criminal negligence !

It does right to the top. And, for anyone paying attention, it shows just how corrupt Western governments are and how our entire culture is compromised/captured.

<> <> <> <> <>

Don't forget the dozens of epidemiological professionals and years of planning for a major outbreak. All of which was undermined by Trump/BoJo/Macron/etc which pretends that USA was caught unaware by a sneaky China.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 6 2020 15:04 utc | 240

Tom @Oct6 5:11 #199

Thanks for the link!

Whenever one look back at critical commentary/film of 1930's Germany you are struck by the jingoistic intimidation and the spectacle. Spectacle that, in hindsight, was definitely intended.

Trump's bout with coronavirus has this sort of spectacle. From the media hype of his condition, his use of doctors as PR people, his drive-by stunt, and his over-the-top return to the White House.

As a showman, Trump is a natural at such spectacle. Probably one of the reasons why he was chosen by the Deep State over Hillary.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 6 2020 15:22 utc | 241

Thanks to everyone, and I recommend vk's post of the NYT editorial @ 231. Therein the writer suggests that if Trump objects to the election of Biden, outside support for the latter could legitimately be requested from the UN. The point which stood out for me in that editorial was the mention of the murder of the Irani general Soleimani (to which I will add Iraqi generals also died). There again, similar to Trump's approach to covid, he did not back down from having done that multiple assassination. Thus, he is vulnerable to international action on that decision alone, let alone his current actions, which are irrational to the nth degree.

I can only hope those actions are so irrational that even other US 'freedom lovers' who support his covid stance must be appalled at the risk he is presently foisting upon his hapless staff and family. I've never been in the White House, but my understanding is that the layout is a colonial one. If so, (and I have been to Mount Vernon) space is on a small scale. Do wear masks, people!

Such reckless endangerment as appears to be happening in what must be considered a public space ought to be remedied sooner rather than later, no matter the political cost.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 6 2020 15:47 utc | 242

Here's some questions maybe anyone who understands the subject matter can tackle.:

If REGN-COV2 (Regeneron) provides a therapeutic substitute for the naturally-occurring immune response and is usually administered before the patient's own antibodies kick in, and Dexamethasone suppresses the immune system and the latter including Remdesivir are usually administered when a patient is critical on a ventilator or needing oxygen, then doesn't this mean that Trump will not have created Covid-19 anti-bodies and these treatments would be less effective if needed a 2nd time? And should it be the case that he wasn't able to generate Covid-19 anti-bodies when he's weaned off the Dexamethasone and he's off the Remdesivir, then won't he have a suppressed immune system and be susceptible, vulnerable to contracting Covid again?

Just wondering.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 15:49 utc | 243

The data scientist exposing US white supremacists: 'This is how you fight Nazis'

The far-right Proud Boys group, whom Donald Trump refused to denounce this week, have been linked to assaults on protesters, white supremacist organizing, the spread of Covid misinformation and other threats against Americans.

Emily Gorcenski has been tracking them every step of the way.

Since 2018, the 38-year-old data scientist has been exposing members of the far right and cataloguing white supremacist violence across the US through her site, First Vigil....

Using court files and other public records, the anti-fascist researcher has catalogued hundreds of criminal cases, connected the dots of dangerous neo-Nazi networks, and revealed links that journalists and authorities have missed.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 6 2020 15:52 utc | 244

thanks @ russ and @ willie.......

Posted by: james | Oct 6 2020 15:57 utc | 245

So, the Trump rips off the mask of oppression and salutes America while holding the dead corona virus in the other hand in front of the whole nation.

That performance alone should be enough to win the role of CEO of Corporate America for another 4 years.

So, millions of obese Americans will be fighting for America by crowding into all you can eat restaurants and fist fighting at Black Friday openings.

Posted by: Randy | Oct 6 2020 16:13 utc | 246

Well, Trump is not my cup of tea, but here he has a very good point:

Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!
2:03 PM · Oct 6, 2020

Twitter has decided that the truth is "misleading and potentially harmful":

That's how things go in times of universal deceit.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 6 2020 16:19 utc | 247

"He's enthralled with his sick self while thousands of people are dying every week and hundreds of thousands are dead from Covid. He's depraved.

Yes, I fully, 100% agree with you on that, but include Fox News in there, an outlet where you would be hired in an instant for the whitewashing job you do on Trump Con every day here."
Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 12:03 utc | 219

"This guy is a threat to literally everyone near him - and every one of the rest of us.
This is ridiculous. If I were any of these people, I'd be suing his bitch ass for reckless endangerment."
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 13:07 utc | 229

Dayum, the idiotfucktard force is strong today.

Circe- every President for the past 60yrs has been a depraved war criminal murderer, to the tune of 100ks- to millions dead through CHOSEN wars of aggression. But by all means, continue to stuff your head further up your own ass.

Hack- suing the Pres for a virus? How about criminal charges for murder/assassination of Soleimani? Oh I guess I'm just reaching for the rainbow. By all means, go ahead and sue for a virus- America, the land of brilliant selfish pussies.

Posted by: CitizenX | Oct 6 2020 16:25 utc | 248

@Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 13:02 utc | 226 Or he never had it in the first place, and it's all a scam.

Of course it is a scam, that is the whole point.
Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 6 2020 14:48 utc

Trump took a cocktail of powerful drugs, probably on his insistence because his oxygen dropped a mere 4 points. Either he did so because he had some symptoms and was scared shitless or the doctors are lying about what he took. Although his doctor Conley concealed what the x-rays demonstrated with expected findings and refused to give other important details. I think it would be professional suicide to lie about the medication. Therefore, I'll go with: he tested positive because he got the virus.

But yeah, there are a multitude of unanswered questions and that in itself is a scam.

It can therefore be assumed that Trump is orchestrating a cover-up. What else is new? It's what he does when he's desperate--scam and then lie about it.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 16:31 utc | 249

Part of our ongoing discourse about political-economy touches on the program of Henry George from the late 1870s in the USA. I'm currently looking closely at that time period again and came across a long essay, 46 pages, Hudson had published by the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 67, No. 1 (January, 2008), "Henry George’s Political Critics," that some will want to bookmark to read when they have the time to do so. What follows is the paper's abstract:

"Twelve political criticisms of George were paramount after he formed his own political party in 1887: (1) his refusal to join with other reformers to link his proposals with theirs, or to absorb theirs into his own campaign; (2) his singular focus on ground rent to the exclusion of other forms of monopoly income, such as that of the railroads, oil and mining trusts; (3) his almost unconditional support of capital, even against labor; (4) his economic individualism rejecting a strong role for government; (5) his opposition to public ownership or subsidy of basic infrastructure; (6) his refusal to acknowledge interest bearing
debt as the twin form of rentier income alongside ground rent; (7) the scant emphasis he placed on urban land and owner occupied land; (8) his endorsement of the Democratic Party’s free trade platform; (9) his rejection of an academic platform to elaborate rent theory; (10) the narrowness of his theorizing beyond the land question; (11) the alliance of his followers with the right wing of the political spectrum; and (12) the hope that full taxation of ground rent could be achieved gradually rather than requiring a radical confrontation involving a struggle over control of government."

I recall one of my history prof's comment about George when he saw my copy of Progress and Poverty that he was "incomplete" in his proposal, but added it was good to see my interest since he was an important player from that time. I should add for the more curious that at Hudson's website on the right margin is a category named "Real Estate and Georgism" that contains many of Hudson's older published papers that represent quite a trove. From that trove, the one at the top of the list, "Incorporating the Rentier Sectors into a Financial Model," I'd deem a must read. Enjoy!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 6 2020 16:32 utc | 250


The pandemic can be described in percolation theory terms. Low incidence in a population keeps the growth rate low (currently in Germany). But after a critical incidence rate is passed (due to super-spreading events) the growth rate suddenly jumps upwards (currently in Spain, UK and elsewhere). Speaking colloquial: When there is sufficient shit flying around some of it will eventual hit the fan.

All you are describing is modelling by algorithm.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2020 16:40 utc | 251

Our masters educated me early in life, so I have been able to navigate this experience of living relatively free of delusion.

Not sure now of the exact timeline(s), but all this actually happened.

My older brother (by 6yrs) went off to a Catholic University that had mandatory ROTC (Onward Christian Soldiers) in the late 60's during the VN war. He staged a one-man protest objecting to the war and US militarism and was given the option to conform or get kicked out. He left. Not long after as me and my younger brother sat with our parents in Sunday mass the pastor, in front of the whole congregation, called my older brother a traitor, a coward, and a disgrace to "his" church and congregation. Lesson one. (Because of this action he was able to obtain Conscientious Objector status and cleaned bedpans for 2yrs in a VA hospital.)

During theology class in my junior yr in HS when the Brother stated that "all those who have not heard and accepted the words of Jesus could never attain eternal salvation" I raised my hand and told the Brother that that hardly seemed like a just God, my folks had a conversation with school administration and I found myself starting the year over in the local public school.

I fell in with the wrong crowd there - 14 of the best and the brightest - in that we were all appalled at the the journalism class school paper trying to turn the student body into mindless plastic status quo zombies, and so we decided to print our own paper, a harmless mimeographed collection of psychedelic artwork and really bad poetry. Hardly even touched on real politics. We were all expelled for two weeks and accused of being communists. For my part I knew nothing then of socialism or communism (my great contribution was the name - The Speakeasy). Our "crime" was in distributing our little rag in the hallways between classes. The story of this farce made it into the largest newspaper 40 miles away.

During those formative years I listened to all of the early Zappa and the Mothers (Trouble Comin' Every Day, Concentration Moon) , Firesign Theater (We're All Bozos on This Bus, All Hail (John)Lenon and (Groucho)Marx,) and George Clinton and Funkadelic (Funky Dollar Bill, Eulogy and Light.) Also played (trumpet) in a soul band and one of our adult lead singers, though he could rendition James Brown's It's a Man's World to bring down the house, he never-the-less ended by shooting too much horse into his veins and our drummer, talented and vibrant, turned his brain to jello sniffing glue.

And as I aged into adulthood I watched the ominous concentration of wealth - the mergers and consolidations, hostile takeovers, and the evisceration of regulations meant to limit that - and the solidification of the militarist ethos and mythology, of this great sick nation. It was not merely in jest that I remarked, after the '16 election that: "Native Americans probably regard it as absolutely normal that a scheming real estate speculator is now the captain of the ship of state."

During last night's staged spectacle that pre-empted the networks' evening "news" I had a Deja vu moment - of watching OJ Simpson's white Bronco wending its way along a California freeway. Birds of a feather. And there was the fourth estate, creating and massaging the spectacle. (Trump, when he was pretending to have daily Covid briefings also got away with (for a few nights) of pre-empting the evening "news." Get it?)

Lastly (somebody stop me - please) this from The Oracle of the Doomed Empire: "I love the uneducated - they're so loyal."

Posted by: vinnieoh | Oct 6 2020 17:01 utc | 252

Bemildred | Oct 6 2020 14:35 utc | 238:

Venezuela’s gold:
This decision is certainly good news, but I think it still bears a more cynical interpretation than a mere win for right over wrong. The sheer overreach involved in saying Venezuela’s gold deposited in London belongs to Random G. and his merry band is probably unnerving to many other depositors, who are wondering if all it takes is a stroke of the pen in Washington to say they are no longer themselves, and their property belongs to whoever the U.S. government now deems fitting owners. That could be bad for business at the Bank of England.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 17:49 utc | 253

@Mark2 #214
it is nonsense that a "better lockdown" would have stopped COVID in March/April.
SF and the entire Bay Area has been locked down, hard, for 7 months. I can testify to this since I was seeing the empty streets for this entire period. Even in September when I started to travel again - the airport remains empty and there are no tourists and few biz travellers.
The COVID infection and death rates didn't decrease to any significant extent in this entire period - which is to say they weren't severe to start with but didn't decline either. Which is the same story for California overall.
Since mid September, SF and the Bay Area are starting to reopen restaurants - we'll see if there is a "spike" up as opposed to the more or less level case rates, but what is 100% clear is that the lockdowns do not eradicate anything. The decreases are primarily occurring in states that had severe death tolls like the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut/Massachusetts grouping - and even there, there are still cases and deaths.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 6 2020 17:50 utc | 254

vinnieoh | Oct 6 2020 17:01 utc | 254:

Thanks for the quick trip through the last few decades of life in the U.S. It’s surely a failure of the system that you managed to retain your humanity, but I think there have been a lot of refinements to the instruments enforcing compliance and conformity since you came up.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 17:58 utc | 255

Circe wondering

Stop wondering. It never happened. Trump’s condition, in any version, did not indicate Remdesivir or Regeneron. First comes with major side effects and “Adverse Events”. The second is too new and too dangerous to play with live on stage. Trump did a pharma advertisement.

Repeat, Trump did a pharma advertisement. Stop being so wholly totally completely gullible.

Posted by: oldhippie | Oct 6 2020 18:03 utc | 256

Norwegian | Oct 6 2020 16:19 utc | 249:

Well, Trump is not my cup of tea, but here he has a very good point …
The number of times I’ve said that to myself over the last five years, without ever losing sight of what a demented baboon Trump is, has been a lesson in how far public discourse in the U.S. has fallen.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 18:06 utc | 257

C1ue @ 256
Part of me, part of all of us would like to beleave you, after all we’re all fed up with the virus, granted.
The glaring flaw in your statement is —
What you say goes against all known medical science.
Are you suggesting the virus is airborne for long distance and a long time ?
Are you suggesting that the lockdown in SF, Bay Area , California was anywhere remotely near 100%.
Think carehome transmition, Hospital transmition, homeless, and yes the antilockdown brigade,👈🏻
Baring in mind the cavalier attitude Trump had at the time regarding the virus. And fake herd immunity medical advice.
No c1ue I think your deluded or have a deveous agenda. Something I have suspected for a long time.
I think your lying.
So you say despite the lockdown the virus still spread ?
How ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 18:18 utc | 258

@250 CitizenX

You can engage in whataboutism all you like, but I'm correct in slamming William Gruff for consistently whitewashing Trump because Trump is, after all, just as criminal as his two predecessors, and he's the current criminal in the WH, sooooh, the buck stops with Trump.

Hence, since you're pretending not to discriminate on crimes, it's curious why you are throwing a hissy fit at me because I rightly checked Gruff's hypocrisy? THAT is the question, isn't it? You should be pleased that I'm not selective with my criticism of criminals and fake media. Instead, here you are barking and protesting too much and snapping back like Gruffie's yappy guard dog.

Check your duplicity at the door, rover, before you try to mess with me!

Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 18:23 utc | 259

To @260 oldhippie on the Open Thread

I'd be curious to know if b like me is gullible too, believing Trump got Covid and really got a potent cocktail to wash it down?

Oops! There's a new thread! 😆

Better luck next time oldhippie...

Posted by: Circe | Oct 6 2020 18:37 utc | 260

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 6 2020 17:50 utc | 256

It is the same everywhere. The parts in Germany with the harshest lockdown measures - Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg - are the ones with most positive test results. These two facts are of course related but the lockdowns did not change the number of positive test results.

Spain has been a complete outlier in Europe in terms of renewed lockdown and test results. It may be related to the fact that Spain is broke and has become European Leader in clinical trials of possible covid-19 treatments.

Lukashenko claims that the World Bank conditioned financial help on Covid-19 measures. I tend to believe him. Global elites aim for global government and want to use this crisis to globalize human bodies.

The Transformations of the Human program is designed as a philosophical study and artistic exploration of the manifold ways in which artificial intelligence and biotechnology challenge our established conceptions of what it means to be human. By placing philosophers and artists in key research sites to foster dialogue with technologists, the aim of the program is to render AI and Biotech visible as unusually potent experimental sites for reformulating our vocabulary for thinking about ourselves. The Transformations of the Human program ambition is to feed our findings back into the production of both artificial intelligence and biotech and to thereby contribute to both human and non-human flourishing.

These people are crazy but they have a lot of money to spend and therefore a lot of influence. They want to be repaid by the taxpayer though.

These allocations should be agreed to immediately, coordinated by a G20 Executive Task Force as part of the G20 Action Plan, and be confirmed in full at the upcoming IMF and World Bank meetings. The two core economic institutions should be given reassurances that additional bilateral funding will be forthcoming and the need for further capital injections agreed.

The longer-term solution is a radical rethink of global public health and a refashioning — together with proper resourcing — of the global health and financial architecture.

The United Nations, the governments of the G20 nations and interested partners should work together to coordinate further action.

So covid-19 is a shock strategy concentrating on artificial intelligence ie surveillance therefore the lockdown and biotech therefore the vaccination. Consumers need neither, so the marketing is directed at states.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2020 18:39 utc | 261

It looks like the Pompous one came up a loser at the highly touted "Quad" meeting in Tokyo, with foreign ministers of US, Japan, Australia and India. The US intends that the Quad will be anti-China, but that hasn't panned out.
. . . .some remarks on the just-concluded Quad meeting:
Pompeo asks ‘Quad’ allies to stand against China’s ‘corruption, coercion’ was only Pompeo who publicly criticized China in his remarks at the meeting, while Motegi (Japan), Payne (Australia) and Jaishankar (India) did not name the world's second-biggest economy explicitly. . Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at the start of the meeting. “Our four countries share the objective of strengthening a free and open, rule-based international order.” He notably did not mention China in his initial remarks, and the government said the talks are not directed at any one country. . .Although planned stops in South Korea and Mongolia were scrapped, Pompeo said it was important to go ahead with the four-way talks in Tokyo. . ."We’re hoping to have some significant announcements, significant achievements," Mr Pompeo had told reporters in the United States before departing for Tokyo, declining to say what they would be. . . .But the ministers did not release a joint statement, nor hold a joint press conference. . .They agreed to hold the four-way foreign ministerial meeting on a regular basis, and convene a third session at an appropriate time next year, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 6 2020 18:41 utc | 262

Dispite being serverly flawed how can anyone suggest the belated lockdown didn’t prevent a verticle escalation.
Who would like to pridict the present infection rate had there been no restrictions !
Don’t come back with——- ah but Sweden, basicly the Swedish are ten times more intelligent and ditto social consounce compared to the average deluded American.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 18:53 utc | 263

Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 18:53 utc | 267:

There’s no evidence of effectiveness of lockdown when comparing infection rates among the various U.S. states:

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 19:03 utc | 264

David G @ 268
Your link is just another biased opinion based on flawed evedence! More holes than a piece of Swiss cheese.
Psycalogical deniel. Bias confirmation.
The lockdown was sabotaged.
Deliberate shortage of ppe
Deliberate misinformation.
Doing the right thing but deliberately to late.
Moving infected patience from gen hospital to care home.
I could go on but you wouldn’t listen so I won’t.
None so blind.
But I’ll ask again what would the rate of infection be now with out the lockdown ?
Imagine if they had closed the flights ect ..... no infection! Just grasp it please it’s called reality.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 19:48 utc | 265

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 19:03 utc | 268

China is evidence that lockdowns work, and a variety of other countries too, like New Zealand for example. If you want to know what works, you need to look at places that conquered the disease, not the USA. We fucked it up.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 6 2020 20:03 utc | 266

Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 19:48 utc | 269:

Well, those are certainly words – most of them, anyway.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 20:03 utc | 267

i agree with belmidred and mark... the last place to look for understanding on covid is the usa.. or, you can use it as a bad example of what not to do.. that much is obvious and on constant display given the trump phenom at present as well..

Posted by: james | Oct 6 2020 20:17 utc | 268

If you’re not willing to look at studies examining how different outcomes correlate to different approaches, then you’re not interested in finding out whether they work. It’s normal human psychology to just want our preconceptions reinforced; the point of science is to try to wrest some actual knowledge from the universe despite that limitation.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 20:25 utc | 269

If you’re not willing to look at studies examining how different outcomes correlate to different approaches, then you’re not interested in finding out whether they work. It’s normal human psychology to just want our preconceptions reinforced; the point of science is to try to wrest some actual knowledge from the universe despite that limitation.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 20:25 utc | 273

All true no doubt. Thank you for pointing that out. Did you have any comment on the Chinese handling of the disease? What they did there and how that turned out for them?

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 6 2020 20:35 utc | 270

David G 273
Unlike some commenters here I suspect you are genuine and sincere I respect that.
My motive is to prevent more months of death and infection.
I notice you can’t or won’t answer the many questions I’v asked ! That’s the tell.
Your view is based on mistaken group think only.
Do you spend time on the off-Gardian site ?
That’s an Israeli lobby group front line disinformation site.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 20:37 utc | 271

The buffoon Trump is def. sick win Cov-19. IMO, American elites is sick and tired of him (he's annoying, cheap, vulgar), also, they got what they wanted from the Orange buffoon: tax cuts. YET. He failed in his mission towards China. Now it is time to be discarded. Let's start the Obama era 2.0 with Biden/Harris. Will be Susan Rice the next Secretary of State?

Posted by: Nick | Oct 6 2020 20:45 utc | 272

Bemildred | Oct 6 2020 20:03 utc | 270:
james | Oct 6 2020 20:17 utc | 272:

I pointed to a report asserting that no correlation between lockdown and infection can be found when comparing the various U.S. states, and the responses were about how cruddy the U.S. is. That is a non sequitur.

After the better part of a year of this, with so many jurisdictions (countries, subdivisions of countries, localities) starting and stopping lockdowns, there should be robust studies examining whether they correlate, with meaningful timing, to infection rates. The only studies I have read about (such as the one in the story I linked to) have found no such relationship.

Could such studies be out there, and I’m not seeing them? Sure, but here the Sherlock Holmes “dog not barking” heuristic comes into play: such studies would be trumpeted by corporate media and everyone else pushing Planet Lockdown since they’d support the narrative, so why the silence?

Just shouting “Look at Taiwan!” or whatever is not a substitute for a real analysis. I could shout, “Look at Argentina!”: under endless lockdown, with today the highest coronavirus positivity in the world. But that wouldn’t prove anything on its own either.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 21:01 utc | 273

@ david g... i don't mean to be dismissive.... i live in canada and i feel that some aspects of the lockdown have been very effective... it isn't a carte blanc thing... even in sweden which another poster in the latest thread brings up - these people typically social distance... it is much harder to do this in a large american city...

my problem with studies done using the usa is how open to partisanship they are... i used the example of enron earlier as an example of one of many ways of fudging data via accounting has been so successful in the usa, until it isn't.... i have a hard time relying on usa data! i am sorry...

and, i think putting it in this black and white way - lockdown, verses no lockdown, excludes a number of other options that i think have been and are being explored.. so, i don't really like the framework of the conversation and haven't been following it closely as a consequence.. - 2 reasons - anything involving data from the usa i tend to blow off, and anything put in these black and white terms - lockdown, or no lockdown - i also tend to blow off... now, maybe i am fooling myself, but i honestly believe there are reasons that certain countries appear more successful then aspect is the use of masks... another aspect is more social countries where medicine is paid for, and 3, is a citizenship that is more receptive to altering their approach, as opposed to immediately claiming their civil liberties have been infringed upon... so, i will give you this - i am biased in my limited ways of perceiving all this!

Posted by: james | Oct 6 2020 21:08 utc | 274

Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 20:37 utc | 275:

I appreciate your saying that you think I am commenting in good faith, and I believe you are too. But your comment @269 was just a scattershot of assertions, and unless we can reach an agreement on money I don’t feel obliged to respond to all of them.

The first thing you said @269 was that the article I linked to @268 has “More holes than a piece of Swiss cheese”, which you figured out in the 45 minutes between my comment and yours. I’d really, non-snarkily like to know what is wrong with the data or methodology in that article. It’s not a peer-reviewed study, just a magazine article as far as I can tell, so there may be problems aplenty with it, but just bad-mouthing it without specifics doesn’t add much to the discussion.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 21:16 utc | 275

Quite possibly the solution to the dilemma whether quarantines work or not might be found in how widespread the virus was when the quarantine was effected. There would be a point where infection is widespread enough, given the asymptomatic nature of infection, to become automatically perpetuating in a population. Those places where the tipping point is below self-perpetuating, quarantines work; where the virus has achieved self-perpetuation in a population quarantines don't. This implies early effective quarantine does work and delayed quarantine fails. Could this be any simpler?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 6 2020 21:34 utc | 276

james | Oct 6 2020 21:08 utc | 278:

So the U.S. states imposing lockdowns are fudging data to make it look like they have no effect? That’s some 12-dimensional villainy right there.

You refer to “putting it in this black and white way - lockdown, versus no lockdown” but that’s a straw man: nobody (certainly not I) is asserting that studies have to be carried out on such a crude, binary basis. I know I read somewhere of an academic group (I can’t recall the specifics at the moment) that is trying to quantify lockdowns comparatively in terms of severity. Such data would of course be part of any meaningful analysis.

There is no question that extracting meaningful lessons from the cloud of variables involved in looking at whether measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus is difficult. But I think the burden is on those implementing and justifying this unprecedented disruption of human life worldwide.

I’ve appreciated this exchange, but I’m afraid I have to sign off for a few hours, so the last word is yours.

Posted by: David G | Oct 6 2020 21:36 utc | 277


Eddie Van Halen died age 65 from his long battle with throat cancer. Back in 1990, I took all their CDs at that time and made my own Best of Van Halen cassette tape "album"--3 hours of music with the theme of losing then rediscovering Love. I was fortunate to see him live once in 1989 at Fiddler's Green in Colorado. A somewhat different man from Freddie Mercury, but a top-notch musician all the same!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 6 2020 21:37 utc | 278

This debate really matters becouse ——-
We need fore-sight, where will we be in 6 months, 1 year 3 or 4 ?
I don’t hear that question asked never mind answered.
Not by polatitions , scientists or here ! That concerns me.
lockdown, mask and social distancing failed becouse it was never given a chance by politicians, business and the antis now they are the very ones complaining now !
And yet they have no plan. That fact deeply deeply concerns me.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 6 2020 21:59 utc | 279

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2020 13:42 utc | 234

Maybe you should see your doctor. LOL It sounds like severe anxiety reaction. No, never had any of that - and yet, here I am, more radical than you'll ever be, with your absolute belief in the state and society and human nature and your wishful thinking that somehow things could change.

Maybe it was because I started out in high school as an Objectivist, then during the Army learned the real nature of the state - now that was a culture shock! Were you in the military during Vietnam? That would have been a learning experience for you! Then after the Army, I was exposed to anarchist thought via The Libertarian Connection zine. Thinking through anarchism vs limited state Objectivism, I reasoned out that Rand was wrong. From there it was exposure to conspiracy theory by Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminati Trilogy. Over the years I slowly shed every bit of respect for human beings, via corporate life, unemployment, Welfare, homelessness, and eventually prison - and "The Hole" in prison to boot.

You think you've lost your brainwashing? You wish! You don't know the meaning of the concept. And I'm still progressing even now, right this week, working on coming up with more advanced means of resistance. You have no idea what real freedom of thought is, if you think TV is the worst that can happen to you.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 6 2020 22:00 utc | 280

karlofi, are you aware that Alfred Russel Wallace- the naturalist whose independent conclusion that life evolved is said to have prompted Darwin to publish his research into the subject- wrote a book Land Nationalisation with conclusions very similar to Henry George's?
Marx wrote to his friend Sorge, on the publication of Progress and Poverty, that " It is a first, if unsuccessful attempt at emancipation from the orthodox political economy."
The importance of George's ideas in sparking movements in Ireland and Scotland that led to the Scottish Land Restoration League -'to restore the Soil of Scotland to the people for whom it was intended' and in Ireland where the Irish Land League is often underestimated.
(Published in error on the Trump thread.)

Posted by: bevin | Oct 6 2020 23:00 utc | 281

@ David G | Oct 6 2020 21:36 utc | 281.. i was speaking generally and not to the specifics of that! i would suggest that a lot of websites seem to have a built in bias like the one you link to @268 - more then anything... the fact is one can take data and spin it any number of ways... it may or may not be the data that is the problem.. also conflicting data is often left out to further a particular angle!

i think the biggest disruption, aside from any deaths that people have directly been a family member of, is the economic disruption... but my thinking on this is that the world is headed for a major disruption and can't continue on as it has been the past 50 years... otherwise i think i understand hear what you are saying...

Posted by: james | Oct 6 2020 23:03 utc | 282

Mark2 208

"Russ wants you to die of the virus"

If I wanted that, I'd sure have been sorely disappointed. But you don't disappoint with the retarded level of your "logic", same as with every other thing you say in your drunken comments on any subject. As I recall you're a rank liberal that worshipped the cowardly imbecile Corbyn. Now why would I want anyone to die of the virus, when that would tend to be evidence I'm wrong and that something should be done, rather than doing nothing* as I've always advocated. But you and your fellow cultists of this malevolent new global religion certainly have a psychopathic emotional investment in as high a covid death toll as possible.

It's really wingnuts like you who are holding a death-lusting Jonestown revel over all this. One would think more covid-believers would say "I wish I was wrong and the skeptics were right", but I've never once heard that. On the contrary, it's clear that you cultists personally identify with your delusion of the alleged lethality of the virus and revel in it, same as with any other religious/ideological opinion you deeply cherish.

And your lockdowns have consistently and deliberately failed to protect the concentrated elderly and sick in nursing homes and hospital wards. Your governors and ministers have deliberately forced infected patients into these places with the goal of killing as many as possible. Your "health care heroes" never were subjected to any rigorous decontamination procedures. This has been a mass euthanasia campaign patterned on that of the Nazi T-4 program. All that blood is on your willing hands.

And then there's the vast numbers who have been or will be killed by the lockdowns themselves, those who couldn't get cancer screenings and treatments, those who couldn't get care for heart attacks and strokes, the general stress and despair, lack of access to good food and health care driven by the psychological, social and economic destruction, the vast human wreckage all this has wrought, and the suicides and general lessening of lifespans from the psychological and physical stress, including the deliberate systematic destruction of the very immune systems we rely upon against this and any other virus. All that blood is on your willing hands.

Let's never forget that one of the first, most aggressive aspects of the lockdowns was to urge or order people to stay away from the wholesome, immunity-building outdoor air, even to stay out of parks and woods, and to stay indoors to breathe only the more polluted air amid a depressing habitat. This was both a direct physical attack upon us with the goal of making us more sick, and a key part of the propaganda designed to make people think, in spite of whatever conscious knowledge they have about germs, that the real cause of illness is the air itself, the medieval miasma. The maskism ideology is intended, among other malign goals, to reinforce this regression to the medieval superstition that the air itself is poisonous.

It's your anti-human Covid Death Cult which is chanting "Long Live Death!", it's you that now live an ongoing pantomime of death, a regression to the danse macabre. It's we skeptics and dissenters who want to get on with living life, as human beings. Life which never should have been subjected to such a fascist assault and mass lunatic abdication in the first place.

*That is, doing nothing except for protecting the concentrated vulnerable, the one thing you and your lockdowns did NOT do, and not by accident.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 6 2020 23:41 utc | 283

Mark2 "That’s an Israeli lobby group front line disinformation site." (273)
Could you clarify that?

Posted by: David G Horsman | Oct 7 2020 1:10 utc | 285

how technology is removed from USA governed America and transferred to Oligarch heavy Israel"

its the entire nation state system,, and the Oligarchs that own it.

Posted by: snake | Oct 7 2020 1:11 utc | 286

We should not forget that Americans, in general, are in poor physical condition and therefore more prone to damage from a deadly virus.
>Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day;2 only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
>Only 35 – 44% of adults 75 years or older are physically active, and 28-34% of adults ages 65-74 are physically active.
>More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth. . .etc. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 7 2020 3:08 utc | 287


"Trump did a pharma advertisement."

I was thinking exactly that as I listened to the list of drugs. Doesn't matter whether is a fake. He's commodified himself 100%


I agree with the current pope and vk (quite a combination) that a fundamental lesson of this pandemic is evidenced through how the various states cared for their peoples, some doing quite well and others failing exceptionally. I live in a failed exceptionally state. Politics captured science.

While some barflies complained recently (I did not have time to comment then) that the “Fratelli Tutti” encyclical I provided a link for says nothing about making systematic structural changes, they are simply wrong. Perhaps they did not read the encyclical?

I understand the reluctance to give much ear to any doctrine, especially a patriarchal one. However, these are educational letters. This encyclical is the third letter of a remarkable collection of teachings. They are written for billions of our brothers and sisters regardless of our own beliefs or thinking. I see a person of stature loudly saying to billions of people in the world that the West has failed people everywhere; it must structurally change from the bottom up.

So, the pandemic teaches us of the West that we cannot simply do more of the same. We must create new systems. Here’s Francis on that:

7. “Anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality.”
He doesn’t use bluntness to name the root of the problem explicitly, but he comes close:

”168. The marketplace, by itself, cannot resolve every problem, however much we are asked to believe this dogma of neoliberal faith. Whatever the challenge, this impoverished and repetitive school of thought always offers the same recipes. Neoliberalism simply reproduces itself by resorting to the magic theories of “spillover” or “trickle” – without using the name – as the only solution to societal problems. There is little appreciation of the fact that the alleged “spillover” does not resolve the inequality that gives rise to new forms of violence threatening the fabric of society. It is imperative to have a proactive economic policy directed at “promoting an economy that favours productive diversity and business creativity”[140] and makes it possible for jobs to be created and not cut. Financial speculation fundamentally aimed at quick profit continues to wreak havoc. Indeed, “without internal forms of solidarity and mutual trust, the market cannot completely fulfil its proper economic function. And today this trust has ceased to exist”.[141] The story did not end the way it was meant to, and the dogmatic formulae of prevailing economic theory proved not to be infallible. The fragility of world systems in the face of the pandemic has demonstrated that not everything can be resolved by market freedom. It has also shown that, in addition to recovering a sound political life that is not subject to the dictates of finance, “we must put human dignity back at the centre and on that pillar build the alternative social structures we need”.[142]
169. “In some closed and monochrome economic approaches, for example, there seems to be no place for popular movements that unite the unemployed, temporary and informal workers and many others who do not easily find a place in existing structures. Yet those movements manage various forms of popular economy and of community production. What is needed is a model of social, political and economic participation “that can include popular movements and invigorate local, national and international governing structures with that torrent of moral energy that springs from including the excluded in the building of a common destiny”, while also ensuring that “these experiences of solidarity which grow up from below, from the subsoil of the planet – can come together, be more coordinated, keep on meeting one another”.[143] This, however, must happen in a way that will not betray their distinctive way of acting as “sowers of change, promoters of a process involving millions of actions, great and small, creatively intertwined like words in a poem”.[144] In that sense, such movements are “social poets” that, in their own way, work, propose, promote and liberate. They help make possible an integral human development that goes beyond “the idea of social policies being a policy for the poor, but never with the poor and never of the poor, much less part of a project that reunites peoples”.[145] They may be troublesome, and certain “theorists” may find it hard to classify them, yet we must find the courage to acknowledge that, without them, “democracy atrophies, turns into a mere word, a formality; it loses its representative character and becomes disembodied, since it leaves out the people in their daily struggle for dignity, in the building of their future.”

He also denounces so-called just war doctrine:

”We can no longer think of war as a solution, because its risks will probably always be greater than its supposed benefits. In view of this, it is very difficult nowadays to invoke the rational criteria elaborated in earlier centuries to speak of the possibility of a “just war”. Never again war!”
What will Pompeo and associates not do to bury his teachings? Asked rhetorically of course.


Posted by: suzan | Oct 7 2020 3:45 utc | 288

I apologize for the loss of the block quotes due to timed out. Had to copy and paste. Forget to redo the html tags.

Posted by: suzan | Oct 7 2020 3:47 utc | 289

suzan 293

Sounds about as good as a reformist manifesto can be, much like his environmental letter of several years ago.

7. “Anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality.”

Very true. Everything that's been done and which continues to be done in the name of "fighting the pandemic", but which really is trying to appease the existential economic and ecological fears that have been fixated upon the idea of a lethal pandemic (covid-19 doesn't measure up in reality, though if civilization continues this path it will get its pandemic death wish soon enough), is only so much propitiatory superstition and redoubled violence trying to solve what violence has generated in the first place.

The same long has been true of mainstream corporate environmentalism and its climate-industrial complex. Here too the political wonks and cultural nabobs have no thought but a better "green" ecocidal violence. The violence itself must continue unto total collective suicide.

But for those reasons it's far too late for even the best reform visions. What time and resources were still available when such ideas first were broached many decades ago have long since been squandered. Gaia's encyclical is clear: The berserker rampage has to end.

Here's part of my letters from the Earth.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 7 2020 5:48 utc | 290

@ suzan | Oct 7 2020 3:45 utc | 293 about Pope Francis's latest screed

I was taught by the Jesuits for my four years of high school. I know that Pope Francis, the Jesuit, knows that the Catholic church minted money between the 1204 to late 1600's. The Catholic church use to outlaw usury come the Pope's screed didn't reinstitute that?

How come the Pope's screed does not advocate countries governments actively nationalizing all banking and financial services in the West?

How come the Pope's screed does not speak to the sickness of unfettered inheritance laws in the West and the whole notion of Private Property and ongoing accumulation thereof?

The financial structure of Catholic church would be challenged to exist in a "global finance is a public utility" world, wouldn't it?

I consider a "global finance is a public utility" world one like China that is totally secular. China does not allow Amy Barrett's in its government and I think that is a good thing. China wants people running its government to have the evolving service to its people be its religion rather than be influenced by one of the 300+ registered religions in China.

I shared many of the early writing paragraphs of this screed in my initial comment and wrote about how good of words they were/are. But humanity is in a civilization war, suzan, and China is showing the world a better way than the shit show of the West trying to out rape their friends and neighbors. So, until and unless you and the other monotheistic religious followers can get your current anti-humanistic private finance based form of social organization to be less repressive then I suggest you get out of the way of people that find religious myth to be stultifying and those that practice it, abdicating responsibility for some/all of their life decisions to myth and yours own this current shit show, I don' says "In God We Trust" on all those West Reserve Currency Federal Reserve Notes, to fight godless communism.......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 7 2020 6:19 utc | 291

Russ @ 287
You need to get psychiatric help.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 7 2020 7:28 utc | 292

Great Barrington Declaration
"As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. (...)"

"Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations."

Posted by: Die Niemandsfuchs | Oct 7 2020 7:33 utc | 293

Nowadays I need a bit of humour to get the nod off to sleep n playing vids on those damn flatcreens screws with my eyes, so I've been reading a bit.

Decided to read some Sven Hassel, who wrote about his life as a member of a german penal unit during WW2.
The books are fiction, but at least the first few are semi-biographical and the one I'm reading is his first "Legion of the Damned".

Basically Hassel was a Dane deemed to be of 'German extraction' so he was conscripted after the Nazis invaded Denmark.
Now chaps like him who didn't get off on murdering for Adolf were literally stuffed between a rock and a hard place, Hassel shot through (deserted) straight after basic training, then got caught, then threatened with the death penalty. 'Death' was serendipitously converted into 25 years hard labour, then, after having been enslaved, starved, and beaten to within an inch of his life for 18 months or so, he was offered an opportunity to perhaps 'redeem' himself by joining a penal company attached yo a panzer regiment.

This meant 'dregs' such as he, might get a 2nd chance to butcher innocents, if they agreed to do every dirty & dangerous mission that no one else wanted.

The platoon leader was a bloke they called the Old 'un, because he was close to 30 when the rest of the platoon was late teens, early 20's.
Here is the Old 'un on the chances of Germany having a revolution when Adolf & the rest of the nazi scum come grinding to a halt:

_"Now don't be naïve, Hans. As long as there is one single officer who sticks to discipline we will keep silence, step and direction. Just look how it went in 1918. In 1918 it wasn't till the whole thing collapsed that the lads in field gray revolted. But God preserve us from a revolution. Pointless, aimless stupidity. No, my lad, the little German sausage eater is so frightened of everything that he doesn't dare think, and you don't make revolutions with frightened men whose stomachs turn at anything strong. It ended as it had to: the clever ones ran off with the swag. The bloodhounds were allowed to go scot-free, and today there they are, cracking their whips over us again. I have no doubt that the whole thing is going to collapse again, but you may call me Adolf if that leads to revolution. It will be the same story again. The clever ones will find their like and take care of Number One, and when a suitable time has passed they will help the bloodhounds up again and shove nice new whips into their paws, and then we will have to put our backs into it all over again. Until my highly esteemed fellow countrymen begin to discover what it's all about, I have no confidence in them. Hitler and his dregs will be slaughtered, of course, and the sooner the better, but what are they but filthy puppets? And it's not making a revolution if you just smash the puppets and let the director run off with the takings."_

Thus, The Old Un in 1941.

Amerikans take note, nothing has changed as long as amerika remains a huge nation where the 'leaders' are remote from the citizens, people can hurl rocks, molotov cocktails and obscenities at each other while the arseholes laugh at your naivety.

One: Everyone who isn't a plutocrat needs to hang with everyone else who isn't.
Ditch all that bible bashing nonsense along with the race nonsense and get together,

Now I know that many normal amerikans on both sides of the divide (not the artificial dem/rethug divide, but the difference between those who know they will never get a look in and those who hope that maybe if they play their cards right they may get a look in, still believe that the republic/union can be saved.
It cannot for one simple reason the current amerikan population is at least 10 times too large for any wannabe leader to communicate with citizens without the assistance of some third party newspaper, TV station, social network or cable media player.

That means messages cannot be objective, uncorrupted or truthful once a population gets beyond a couple of degrees of separation between the citizens.

There is simply no way if a national entity wants a representative / leadership form of government that such a system can work fairly, free of power imbalances and corruption ,once its population is > 8 to 10 million citizens.
Indeed the number may be somewhat lower than that, the best, most workable maximum population should be calculated by swots prepared to put in the graft that I am not.
Two: Don't tear off more than you can chew, stay small enough that potential leaders cannot hide away in some 'center of government' and do an amerika redux, small enough that most citizens know the leaders, or at the least know someone who does.

All is not lost, waiting until when the shit hits the fan in amerika will be too late, IMO amerikans need to be working right now now at developing common ground between the scared whitefellas and the angry blackfellas, because they have much more in common with each other, than any of 'em they have ever had with the arsehole elites.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 7 2020 8:16 utc | 294

Posted by: Die Niemandsfuchs | Oct 7 2020 7:33 utc | 297

China and the Western Democracies Need to Find Common Ground


Promoting US-China Dialogue on AI & Security

Like electricity, artificial intelligence is a pervasive technology that is woven into products and services across many industries and sectors, many of which have both civilian and military applications. And U.S.-China relations are extensive, even pervasive, across industrial sectors and along the diplomatic, economic and strategic domains. The Berggruen Institute seeks to improve mutual understanding between the United States and China about security risks, safety concerns, and potential cooperation opportunities with respect to AI in the security sphere. The ultimate goal is to articulate approaches to AI/Security risk management, including shared norms, that can inform formal diplomacy and strategic dialogue between these countries.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 7 2020 9:36 utc | 295

and add to
Posted by: somebody | Oct 7 2020 9:36 utc | 299

The transformation of the human

By placing philosophers and artists in key research sites to foster dialogue with technologists, the aim of the program is to render AI and Biotech visible as unusually potent experimental sites for reformulating our vocabulary for thinking about ourselves. The Transformations of the Human program ambition is to feed our findings back into the production of both artificial intelligence and biotech and to thereby contribute to both human and non-human flourishing.

China is leading in artificial intelligence, biotechnology and big data - leaving Western countries far behind - far, far behind.

So this is about making Western production compatible with the Chinese way of doing things - behaviour, way of consumption, payment systems, surveillance.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 7 2020 9:43 utc | 296

add to
Posted by: somebody | Oct 7 2020 9:43 utc | 300

And maybe Australia's dependence on exports to China explain their police state overreaction to covid-19. It is shock therapy to get people used to a new normal.

Same for New Zealand.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 7 2020 10:09 utc | 297

We’re better protected against foreign interference this election. But what about perception hacking? (The Washington Post, October 4, 2020)

Wherein the authors explain that the insane anti-Russian paranoia stoked by the entire U.S. media over the past four years is actually a result of Russian “perception hacking”. Yes, it was Russians who have manipulated U.S. “journalists” and talking heads into writing all those crazy articles and making all those crazy claims about Russians turning off the heat in winter, Donald Trump being a Russian asset since 1987, and so on. Russians did it! Obligatory reading.

Posted by: S | Oct 7 2020 10:14 utc | 298

His popeness bank account was hacked,like so many other millions worth of accounts in the Vatican amidst other pedocrime scandals.Why should I even read what a jesuit writes,they are taught taqiyya avant la lettre.Jesus!

Posted by: willie | Oct 7 2020 10:27 utc | 299

Posted by: S | Oct 7 2020 10:14 utc | 302

Well, Russians were involved in the Christopher Steele dossier :-))

What would you do, as Putin, if you wished to stop capital outflow from Russia?

But joking aside the economic war against Russia seems to increase.

Covid-19 was an attack on energy producers - everybody else profits from sinking prices.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 7 2020 11:35 utc | 300

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