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October 11, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-81

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:



The virus disrupts the cellular signaling system that alarms our immune defenses in very sophisticated ways. The immune defense is delayed but thereby often more intense than is good for our bodies. How does it do that? The first link, from April, already touched on this. The next two are new research.

Saudi Madness:

Class war:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on October 11, 2020 at 12:53 UTC | Permalink

next page »

who would vote for b?

Posted by: Noel Grannell | Oct 11 2020 13:13 utc | 1

The Steps for Reducing COVID Transmission link finally gets to Vitamin D if the reader is willing to click through 40 pages. And then merely links to a rather anodyne article at a general consumption health site. The mechanism T cells use to fight infection is very well known. The role of D is very well known. The results of having sufficient D is very well known. Health care 101. And great care must be taken to talk endlessly about masks and never touch on doing anything except cowering in fear.

Exercise makes a great difference as well. Again all mechanisms well known. Exercise in open air, not a bleeping gym, and do it unmasked.

Posted by: oldhippie | Oct 11 2020 13:29 utc | 2

I would any day. :)

Killary seems to prefer being able to set the world on fire as main job to being POTUS instead of Biden. I always wondered why she did not try it again, and now it is clear.
She will have all the power for her new cold/hot war without the hassle of presidential representation.
The bitch/witch knows where the true power lies.
Maybe that was her plan all along.

I am shivering. Literally.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Oct 11 2020 13:32 utc | 3

For those who understand German. In this recent debate between Prof. . Mansmann vs. Prof. Bhakdi on DW Nachrichten, Prof. Mansmann agrees with the latter on most things (except wearing masks). It seems like data more and more support Prof.Bhakdi.

Btw, while the number of infected may have served a purpose at the beginning of a new disease, how is that number relevant now? No other disease, including infections ones, are treated that way. A “case” in medical terms is when someone needs medical intervention or dies. Each of us harbor several trillion bacteria and viruses, including bad ones. Even a healthy person can be shown to carry many deadly viruses and bacteria. But it is not a problem until he has symptoms bwhy is it now different for SARS-Cov2?

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 11 2020 13:34 utc | 4

More on post 4:

Prof Bhakdi is not a COVID denier, he is a COVID realist. We should all take hygienic precautions typical for flue like diseases. What he says, and I agree with that, is that the current measures are disproportionate and are causing tremendous, and irreparable, damage to the economy and the society. Especially vulnerable are the young and the economically disadvantaged ones - not to speak of hundreds of millions of the poor and children in the global south.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 11 2020 13:46 utc | 5

Various happenings have convinced me that a takeover of Taiwan by China is imminent as described here. Such an event would have wide implications for both China and the US in various areas -- economic, military and political.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 11 2020 14:02 utc | 6

If anything can peel voters away from the Dems, it's the prospect of that harpy known as HR Clinton getting its talons on the levers of Power.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 11 2020 14:03 utc | 7

Watch Bolivia, they are on the front lines in the fight against the U.S. imperial mafia. Their election is October 18, next Sunday. The fascists are mobilizing on many fronts, ramping up their brown shirt terror campaign attacking MAS supporters, especially brutal in the lowland Santa Cruz region-- the Texas of Bolivia-- which is the center of fascist power, fossil fuel wealth and descendants of Euro Nazis who fled there after WW2.
Carlos Mesa is the perennial neoliberal darling and he is receiving more money and support lately as Anez is trying to convince fascists to back him.(Anez, the right wing money whore and born again white Christian, recently held a rally to celebrate the anniversary of Che Guevara's murder and pinned a medal on an old, wheelchair bound man who supposedly shot Guevara.) MAS presidential candidate Arce said many middle class who supported the coup are now disillusioned with the fascists since they lost huge amounts of their own wealth, businesses and jobs. Twitter feeds show Mesa supporters who are cops and will be poll watchers at an outdoor meeting; the cops switch from the orange "Mesa" uniforms back to their cop uniforms.
The fascists will attempt to retain power at any cost. They will not hand over the reigns of power to MAS. Watch for a lockdown and crackdown. I hope the Bolivian people are ready. They shut down the country in early August with road barricades, in essence, a general strike. They are very tough, mostly brown skin, don't need twitter to organize.
For those of us who do... here are a few links:
Mint Press Alan Mcleod details evidence that Twitter is colluding with the money people by wiping out the accounts of resistance people
Here is Camila Escalante, a Bolivian,covering Arce, fed through TeleSur which is out of Venezuela
Finally, Kawsachun news, out of the MAS stronghold in the Cochabamba region in Bolivia.

Posted by: migueljose | Oct 11 2020 14:07 utc | 8

Would someone detail what was said in the so-called bonus question in the interview with Alistair Crooke? I listened to the body of the interview yesterday upon vato’s recommendation. Thanks


Ep 187 Don’t Avert Your Gaze From the Abyss feat Alastair Crooke (pod) - Joanne Leon / Around the Empire

Posted by: suzan | Oct 11 2020 14:15 utc | 9

Thanks for the Russell Brand clip, b.
I'm a fan. I read his REVOLUTION book a few years ago.
He's as sharp as a tack and he's right. Trump figured out how the 24/7 Bullshit Game works, has hijacked it, and has been using it to out-bullshit the Bullshitters.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 11 2020 14:32 utc | 10

Bolivia followup
Bolivia's middle class looks more like suburban America and Europe: teachers, engineers, accountants, secretaries, all with smart phones and dreams of more stuff, in other words, wannabe addicts like us who are residents of the imperial homelands. Problem is... they're not in the imperial homelands. When my daughter was there in fall of 2018 her middle class Bolivian friends were 100% against Morales in spite of the fact that many had benefited from more affordable education because of MAS programs and impressive public sector redistribution. Their biggest criticism of him was "corruption" followed by "He's been in too long." They likely supported Carlos Mesa who was president briefly in the early 2000s before being run out by fascists. Mesa is a known sellout but the U.S. elites love him. Think: a straight Pete Buttigieg. He backed the coup but the fascists aren't really into him and some are now holding their noses and sort of supporting him.
When the coup happened my daughter's middle class, 20 and 30 something friends freaked out. They hoped for the best; in other words, they didn't support Morales an tried to get on with their lives. At least one supported Anez. My daughter went back to Bolivia for the month of February, this year. She has not wanted to talk about her experience, I think because she basically believed her friends and then she saw that the coup was an unfolding nightmare. If my daughter's friends support MAS this time it will be very hard for the fascists to even fake a win. I truly don't know what her friend or the rest of the middle class will do but I'm sure that the natives will be ready to fight. It's their land.

Posted by: migueljose | Oct 11 2020 14:34 utc | 11

Following US Pressure, Aid to Yemen Falls to Just 25 Cents Per Day - Alan Macleod / Mintpress

MoA’s link to this piece is to a Russian translation. The original can be read here:

Posted by: David G | Oct 11 2020 14:39 utc | 12

Hillary Clinton is not going to become Secretary of Defense in the Biden administration. The woman Hillary Clinton was going to make Secretary of Defense in her own administration is set to have the post under Biden: Michèle Flournoy. Cold comfort.

Posted by: David G | Oct 11 2020 14:48 utc | 13

Lockdowns only work from the point of view of economic recovery if adopted very early:

IMF Outlook: "Lockdowns impose short-term costs but may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing."

That means if your country vacillated, you got the short stick on both fronts - economic and sanitary. That's what happened in both the USA and the UK.

Sweden also vacillated, but it did a nationwide campaign to promote social distancing from the very beginning, which its people largely obeyed (I have heard the Nordic peoples do have social distancing culturally ingrained either way, so it wasn't too difficult for them to follow this instruction). It was still worse than its brothers Norway and Finland, but it was still better than the likes of Spain, Italy, Germany etc.


How China came to champion free trade

This analysis is wrong. It's not that China is "championing free trade" (i.e. capitalism), but that China wants to avoid the fate of its father, the USSR. The USSR begun to crumble when it was successfully isolated by the USA. China wants to keep all the doors open, so as to avoid the formation of an big enough anti-China block, thus avoiding the formation of the tool to isolate it. It is using capitalism against capitalism, giving it the rope with which it will hang itself.

That's also why I disagree with Pepe Escobar last piece. His source is anxious about the Western's apparently persistent prestige on the ideological front, and is thus pointing fingers at the CCP for not being aggressive enough on the soft power front (alongside the BRI). The thing is the BRI is a long-term project and building up soft power is very hard and depends on factors that are beyond the CCP's control. The main focus of the CCP right now is: avoid isolation at all costs.


You think American hypocrisy is bad? You haven't heard about French hypocrisy!

French billionaires seize pandemic opportunities

France is the land of what writer Pascal Bruckner calls “Bolshevism-lite,” where wealth is publicly hated but privately hoarded.

At least now we know the true reason the French elected banker Macron.


Biden will not treat allies as 'protection racket,' says adviser

It must be tough - and sad - to be a South Korean right-winger. Having to tell yourself lies everyday and every night...

Posted by: vk | Oct 11 2020 14:51 utc | 14

b: The virus disrupts the cellular signaling system that alarms our immune defenses ...

And so, once again ... NOT JUST A FLU!


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 11 2020 15:07 utc | 15

The voiced secret, already pointed by some of us at the very first moments of the conflict, of the obvious backing by NATO of Turkish incursion on the Caucasus through its proxies...Spoiler: oil interests at play along with containment of Russia/China through setting the zone on fire...

NATO underhandedly supports Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 11 2020 15:35 utc | 16

@Jackrabbit | Oct 11 2020 15:07 utc | 15

And so, once again ... NOT JUST A FLU!


The Branch Covidians are at it again. If the claims were true they would not have to be repeated 24/7.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 11 2020 15:47 utc | 18

Danish politicians held a confidential conference call this week with a person who turned out to be impersonating a leading Belarusian opposition politician, the Danish parliament said on Thursday.

Members of the Foreign Policy Committee unwittingly spoke with a person pretending to be Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya for 40 minutes on Tuesday before the call was ended abruptly, parliament said in a statement on the matter.

Posted by: Mao | Oct 11 2020 15:57 utc | 19

Russel Brand's commentary is very good. It complement's b's analysis.

IMHO, here's what they missed:

  • The lens that makes Trump understandable is MAGA and the Empire's need to confront Russia and China;

  • Trump's mock 'gladiator' abilities are part of the reason that he was selected by the Deep State as the MAGA Nationalist President;
  • Trump LIED to the American people about the seriousness of the virus from January-March. And he took no effective action against the virus or to prepare for its spread in USA. It seems clear that Trump intended to blame China for the deaths of large numbers of Americans and Trump also wanted to be CERTAIN that he could declare a 'National Emergency' at the earliest possible time. Only a 'National Emergency' would allow him to bailout over-extended Wall Street Banks (hold tens of billions of bad loans to the fracking industry alone) and Boeing (a "Too Big To Fail" defense contractor).

    Trump's lame excuse for lying was that he didn't want to cause panic. Trump and his handlers KNOW this is lame. So now they've replaced that CYA lie with a "Trump beat Covid" lie that (importantly) allows the media to memoryhole Trump's allowing the virus to spread in USA in the first 8-10 weeks.

  • We don't KNOW that Trump actually had the virus;

    Brand says "Trump had the stones" to maintain his anti-mask/anti-lockdown stance after a bout with the deadly disease. But it could well be that Trump is unaffected because his "stones" were never in danger.

    The unusually strong control of the narrative and 'gladiator' messaging is highly suspicious. In fact, Trump's supposed illness could not be traced back to the Rose Garden event or any individual. And when Trump was released, the doctors talked about how the medical care available to Trump was every bit as good as Walter Reed could provide - so why the trip to Walter Reed?

  • Trump's "BLESSING FROM GOD that I caught it [Coronavirus]" is extraordinarily reminiscent of Erdogan's "GIFT FROM FROM GOD" characterization of the supposed attempted coup against him. That supposed coup attempt strengthen Erdogan into a full dictator as it allowed him to mount an attack on any and all domestic enemies.

  • The Empire is a bi-partisan project. And USA's money-driven electoral system, coupled with a highly-controlled media, allows the Deep State to decide who will be President. And when that goes awry - as it did in the 2000 election when Gore beat GWBush - they find a way to fix it.

    Brand laments that we don't have good choices for President. For our EMPIRE FIRST establishment, that is a feature not a bug.

    • !!

    Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 11 2020 16:03 utc | 20

Hillary Clinton:

In a year marked by plague and protest, Americans are reckoning with long-overdue questions about racial justice, economic inequality, and disparities in health care. The current crisis should also prompt a reckoning about the United States’ national security priorities. The country is dangerously unprepared for a range of threats, not just future pandemics but also an escalating climate crisis and multidimensional challenges from China and Russia. Its industrial and technological strength has atrophied, its vital supply chains are vulnerable, its alliances are frayed, and its government is hollowed out. In the past, it sometimes has taken a dramatic shock—Pearl Harbor, Sputnik, 9/11—to wake up the United States to a new threat and prompt a major pivot. The COVID-19 crisis should be a big enough jolt to rouse the country from its sleep, so that it can summon its strength and meet the challenges ahead.

Among the highest priorities must be to modernize the United States’ defense capabilities—in particular, moving away from costly legacy weapons systems built for a world that no longer exists. Another is to renew the domestic foundations of its national power—supporting American innovation and bolstering strategically important industries and supply chains. These twin projects are mutually reinforcing. Modernizing the military would free up billions of dollars that could be invested at home in advanced manufacturing and R & D. That would not only help the United States compete with its rivals and prepare for nontraditional threats such as climate change and future pandemics; it would also blunt some of the economic pain caused by budget cuts at the Pentagon. Integrating foreign and domestic policy in this way would make both more effective. And it would help the United States regain its footing in an uncertain world.

Posted by: Mao | Oct 11 2020 16:06 utc | 21

Mao | Oct 11 2020 15:57 utc | 19:

According to local media, reality dawned after over half an hour of questioning, when “Tikhanovskaya” asked a question about “brothels with animals.”

“Brothels” was a giveaway because Western parliamentarians expect their sex with animals to be free of charge.

Posted by: David G | Oct 11 2020 16:11 utc | 22

Norwegian @Oct11 15:47 #18

Branch Covidians

People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 11 2020 16:13 utc | 23

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported that it found toxins in Alexei Navalny's samples. Representatives of the organisation noted, that the found toxins were not included in the list of banned substances.

"The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team and shared with the Federal Republic of Germany confirm that the biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Mr Navalny's blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics as the toxic chemicals belonging to schedules 1.A.14 and 1.A.15 that were added to the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention during the Twenty-Fourth Session of the Conference of the States Parties in November 2019. This cholinesterase inhibitor is not listed in the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention," the report said.

The US Novichok was not added to the Annex
Former member of the UN Commission on Biological and Chemical Weapons, military expert Igor Nikulin told Pravda.Ru that Russia put forward an initiative at the OPCW in November 2019 to include five new families on the list of toxic substances, including carbamates and Quarternats.

Four substances were included on the list, but the fifth one, the so-called "American" Novichok (which that USA was working on) was not added there. The United States, together with Canada, the Netherlands and island states collected a qualified majority and blocked its inclusion on the list.

"They could collect the qualified majority and the fifth family was rejected," said Igor Nikulin. "Most likely, the United States was hoping to use that substance for certain purposes," the expert added.

Posted by: Mao | Oct 11 2020 16:22 utc | 24

Is there a "fifth Novichok"?

An "American Novichok", as claimed by former member of the UN Commission on Biological and Chemical Weapons Igor Nikulin?

Posted by: Mao | Oct 11 2020 16:23 utc | 25

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 11 2020 15:07 utc | 15

b: The virus disrupts the cellular signaling system that alarms our immune defenses ... so not the flue

sigh. This is a propaganda campaign not science.

From 2002

Viral infections are serious battles between pathogens and hosts. They can result in cell death, elimination of the virus or latent infection keeping both cells and pathogens alive. The outcome of an infection is often determined by cell signalling. Viruses deliver genomes and proteins with signalling potential into target cells and thereby alter the metabolism of the host. Virus interactions with cell surface receptors can elicit two types of signals, conformational changes of viral particles, and intracellular signals triggering specific cellular reactions. Responses by cells include stimulation of innate and adaptive immunity, growth, proliferation, survival and apoptosis. In addition, virus-activated cell signalling boosts viral entry and gene delivery, as recently shon for adenoviruses and adeno-associated viruses. This review illustrates that multiple activation of host cells during viral entry profoundly impacts the elaborate relationship between hosts and viral pathogens.

It is what viruses do ... duh.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 11 2020 16:27 utc | 26

Financial disclosure forms show that Nancy and Paul Pelosi have invested between $500,000 to $1 million in Crowdstrike, the firm that first accused Russia of hacking the DNC.

Posted by: Mao | Oct 11 2020 16:37 utc | 27

thanks b for the week and the additional links here today....

Posted by: james | Oct 11 2020 16:51 utc | 28

Why would China invade Taiwan now, at a time when U.S. power is diminishing visibly by the day?

If they wait, the time will probably come soon when it will be apparent to everyone that the U.S. cannot defend Taiwan. At that point, Taiwan will probably agree to a settlement in which Taiwan becomes a satellite of China. Or, if Taiwan at that point refuses to agree to such a deal, conquering it will be much easier.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 11 2020 17:10 utc | 29

It seems that the Russians, having being accused with lack of evidence, want now to go to the deep of the issue and are coming around with more facts...They claim for Heiko Maas to provide the data in which he and Annegret Karrenbrauer ( both recently defeated to head their respective formations...) base their groundless accusations, plus caliming for maria Pevchikh to be questioned by prosecutors, adding data which we did not know, that the bomb call to the Omsk airport, where the deviated flight carrying seriously ill Navalny was about to land, came from... Germany! Of all places....This is a gross plot involving Germany, the UK, the US, and their puppets in Russia....

No less than 20 Western countries worked with Novichok agent - Russia’s Foreign Ministry

"As for the chemical warfare agent called Novichok in the West, its structure and mass-spectrum were presented for the first time in 1998 in the spectral database of the American Standards Institute," the commentary says.

"Subsequently, a whole family of toxic chemicals uncovered by the Convention [the Chemical Weapons Convention] emerged on the basis of the afore-mentioned compound. Along with Americans, no less than 20 Western countries worked with them. Therefore, Novichok is a purely Western brand. It was synthesized and is available in those countries in 140 options. We do not have it" Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ pronouncement on Moscow’s ‘absurd reproaches’ addressed to Germany and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) around the situation with blogger Alexey Navalny causes indignation and does not stand up to scrutiny, Russia’s Foreign Ministry also said.

"Such pronouncements are outrageous and do not stand up to scrutiny. All that we want is to get legal, technical and organizational assistance both in the bilateral Russian-German format and at the OPCW venue in the interests of carrying out a comprehensive, unbiased and impartial probe into all the circumstances of what happened," Russia’s Foreign Ministry noted.

"We want very much to know who is behind the anti-Russian provocation orchestrated from the very beginning. In response, we get aggressive rhetoric and outright manipulation of the facts", it said.

The four unanswered requests for legal assistance sent by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office relate not only to the Navalny ‘personal data’ as was claimed by Maas, the ministry said.

"It is no less important to clarify quite specific details of this case. These are the circumstances of the emergence and the exportation of a bottle from Russia, on which the traces of a chemical warfare agent were allegedly found, the possibility of questioning female citizen Pevchikh who accompanied Navalny and lives in Great Britain, and other very important applied aspects, including explanations for a message that the Omsk airport received from Germany about a bomb threat at the time when the airliner landed there with Navalny on its board," Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

"We insist that Germany should honor its commitments under the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and the protocols to it. The German side must give explanations, despite its stubborn reluctance to do so", the statement says.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 11 2020 17:13 utc | 30

I read Dr. Bhakdi's book "Coronavirus: Fehlalarm?" a month or so ago. The German text was available on my U.S. Kindle. I found it a persuasive book.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 11 2020 17:16 utc | 31

Reading that Clinton would be anywhere near a Biden presidency is making me think about voting for Trump instead of a 3rd party candidate.

The direction of failing empire will remain the same if either of the uni-duopoly get in but the tenor of the show will be different. I don't know on balance if Trump's bullying tactics will have been more effective than Clinton assholeness would have been or not.....Sleepy Joe is NOT a Trump type bully so having Clinton as the international pit bull makes some sick sense for empire....

The shit show continues.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 11 2020 17:22 utc | 32

Trump, again, in the heights of willing ignorance and whole disregard for spreading fake news related to public health in the middle of a pandemic, misunderstands and take not being contagious any more for being "immune"....obviating many people got reinfected...

It Looks Like I'm Immune': Trump Says He No Longer Has COVID-19

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 11 2020 17:30 utc | 33

While there is little denying the bad effects of Covid 19 - most particularly the loss of jobs for the ordinary working classes and thus their income and their growing likelihood of homelessness, immense poverty - frankly the worst aspects of this pandemic (from my POV), one does have to consider the really existing fatalities of two other major ailments, and consider them in relation to deaths from COVID 19 (at least as they stand; admittedly we are not at December 31, 2020, yet).

The YEARLY death numbers in the USA: For Cardio-Vascular related: in 2016 over 840,000; by 2019 over 640,000. An improvement, yes. Definitely. But significantly above and beyond 2-300,000.

The Yearly death numbers in the USA: For Cancer: 2018 (CDC) 599, 274 deaths. This is well within the usual annual range of around 600,000.

WHERE is the concern, the outrage, the determination to be effective in reducing these numbers? Yes having someone in your family die from Covid 19 will be a terrible emotional reality. BUT so is having someone you love die from the effects of a heart attack - a cardiovascular event of which you both were totally unaware because their doctor was. And yes, not being able to be with them (operations) or hold them (machinery) during their last days, hours is utterly heart rending, traumatizing. And it matters not what the cause is - believe you me.

Posted by: Anne | Oct 11 2020 17:33 utc | 34

Coronavirus: WHO backflips on virus stance by condemning lockdowns

Lockdowns have been used to control the coronavirus around the world, plunging millions of lives into chaos. Now the WHO has changed its mind.

The World Health Organisation has backflipped on its original COVID-19 stance after calling for world leaders to stop locking down their countries and economies.

Dr. David Nabarro from the WHO appealed to world leaders yesterday, telling them to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method” of the coronavirus.

He also claimed that the only thing lockdowns achieved was poverty – with no mention of the potential lives saved.

“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” he said.
“Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. … Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”

Melbourne’s lockdown has been hailed as one of the strictest and longest in the world. In Spain’s lockdown in March, people weren’t allowed to leave the house unless it was to walk their pet. In China, authorities welded doors shut to stop people from leaving their homes. The WHO thinks these steps were largely unnecessary.

Instead, Dr Nabarro is advocating for a new approach to containing the virus.

“And so, we really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method. Develop better systems for doing it. Work together and learn from each other.”

Posted by: somebody | Oct 11 2020 17:53 utc | 35

False flag in the making to ruin Russian mediated ceasefire?

The #USA embassy in #Azerbaijan has raised the alert level in the country, given the #coronavirus situation and the possibility of terrorist attacks.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 11 2020 17:55 utc | 36

Dismantling of huge cruise ships to turn them into scrap metal when they could serve as home for the millions of homeless in the coming eviction crisis, along with for refugees...

The dismantling of huge tourist cruise ships to turn them into scrap metal is triggered in Turkey due to the crisis in the sector due to the Coronavirus.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 11 2020 18:04 utc | 37

Past day, the US, UK and France blocked the testimony of José Bustani, former director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ( directly menaced on his personal and his family´s security by Bolton himself if he did not stop telling the truth...), at the UN to prevent him from uncovering the lies of the West against Syria about what happened in Douma...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 11 2020 18:08 utc | 38

Trump bootlickers are so desperate to turn things around for their Trumpgod that they're pulling Hillary out of their grab bag of desperate tricks. They're throwing Hillary like the kitchen sink but it's so pathetic and lame it won't stick either.

I'll bet you anything when Hillary doesn't want or get any Biden Administration post, they'll be crying in their soup, cause they'll have nothing to whine and gripe about.

Mao @27

Thanks for f*cking up the thread with that link. NOT!

Hoarsewhisperer is proudly boasting the obvious that Trump bullshits better that other bullshitters. For once I agree with that bootlicker!

Michele Flournoy should make Russiabots happy since she was critical of Romney's statement that Russia is the greatest threat and is instead more concerned with China. Not that that makes sense.

So nothing for the crybabies to whine about.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 11 2020 18:09 utc | 39

Correction: Trump bullshits better than other bullshitters.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 11 2020 18:13 utc | 40

somebody @Oct11 17:53 #35

Such blatant disinformation.

Who guidance to not use lockdowns as the primary means of fighting the virus is not "condemning lockdowns".


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 11 2020 18:17 utc | 41

@35 somebody

I really think your post is deceptive. I believe the WHO is referring specifically to WORK. Community spread and workplace spread are different. People have less chance of contracting Covid in a safety-regulated controlled environment than socially. Social gatherings, especially indoors and hosting gatherings at home should be prohibited, but all safety measures should be implemented so people can work and children go to school, and I believe this is starting to happen more and more.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 11 2020 18:23 utc | 42

Posted by: Circe | Oct 11 2020 18:23 utc | 42

Definitively no. He is talking about holidays:

“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry in the Caribbean, for example, or in the Pacific because people aren’t taking their holidays,” Nabarro told the outlet.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 11 2020 18:17 utc | 41

He is using very strong words. See the video. "By and large we'd rather not do it ... poverty, child malnutrition... terrible ghastly global catastrophe .. we appeal to all global world leaders not to ...".

Posted by: somebody | Oct 11 2020 18:42 utc | 43

No, Regeneron Did Not Cure Donald Trump of Covid-19

And there was no excuse for that infomercial in front of the White House.

On Wednesday afternoon, President Trump tweeted a nearly five-minute video in which he directly attributed his progress recovering from Covid-19 to a monoclonal antibodies treatment from Regeneron, a company in which he has previously invested. In the video, Trump implied that we no longer need to worry about the coronavirus because there is a “cure.”

There are many reasons to object to the president of the United States advertising the efficacy of an experimental drug and promoting, by name, a company he has links to and whose executive is a member of his golf club, while standing in front of the White House. But there’s one in particular that doctors identified in this bizarre episode: The president’s own health updates cast a shadow of uncertainty on the treatment’s effectiveness.

Earlier that day, Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s doctor, released a letter that didn’t itself provide much new information. Trump, it said, was reportedly symptom-free for 24 hours. (That isn’t surprising if he’s still on medications like aspirin or steroids that suppress symptoms.) Trump hadn’t needed any supplemental oxygen since he was hospitalized, Conley wrote. He also wrote that Trump had detectable levels of what are known as IgG antibodies for the coronavirus.

More telling was what the letter didn’t say. One detail that would indicate how well Trump is fighting the virus would be a decline in his viral load, i.e., the amount of virus in his body. In preliminary results on the monoclonal antibody treatment REGN-COV2, announced by Regeneron in a press release last week, the medication seemed to lower the viral loads of patients with mild illness. If the treatment is working, Trump might expect to see such a decline. But that detail was noticeably absent from this and other updates on his health. In addition, Conley’s letter noted that Trump is showing levels of IgG antibodies—but he didn’t specify if those antibodies came from the Regeneron treatment itself, which usually lingers in the body for four weeks, or whether Trump is producing any of his own antibodies.

With a history of cherry-picked updates on Trump’s health, experts say these omissions paint a startling picture. Based on previous updates, if Trump’s medical team were seeing any positive indications, they would have shared them. With that in mind, Trump’s pronouncement that he’s confident the REGN-COV2 is responsible for his miracle “cure” could be rather reckless. Not only is it experimental, he also has no actual evidence that it’s working—and he may have evidence that it’s not.

“There is zero evidence that he is ‘cured,’ and even if he’s getting better, there is nothing to prove it was (or wasn’t) the Regeneron treatmentDr. Megan Ranney, an associate professor of emergency medicine and public health at Brown University, told me. “Moreover, claiming ‘miracle cures’ already got people in trouble with hydroxychloroquine and bleach; I wish the president had learned to wait before making these hyperbolic statements.”

She said Conley’s mention of the president having IgG antibodies was “bizarre.” It implies that he doesn’t have IgM antibodies, a type of antibody the human immune system naturally produces before or at the same time as the IgG antibodies the treatment contains. Natural IgM and IgG antibodies would suggest that the body is mounting its own response to the virus, and they usually provide immunity for a few months. If Trump only has antibodies provided by the treatment, Ranney said, “then he likely does not have innate immunity, and when the Regeneron wears off, he will once again be susceptible to the virus.” To make matters more complicated, Trump is also taking dexamethasone, a powerful steroid that, when taken early in the course of Covid-19, could actually suppress the body from mounting its own immune response to the virus.

Ranney is taking Trump’s health updates with a hefty grain of salt. “I have to take these guesses because I can’t trust what is being told us,” she said. “All week long, the administration has provided incomplete or half-truthful press data about the president’s course. We are therefore forced to read between the lines.” Ranney said randomized controlled trials, not politicians’ statements, are the best way to know whether and how monoclonal antibody treatments work. “I do believe that this treatment is promising—it has good biologic plausibility for working—but it is just too early to say whether it is effective or not,” she said.

Dr. Ellie Murray, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, also emphasized the importance of the gold-standard clinical trials. Yet Trump’s endorsement of his treatment could sway the perspectives of potential participants. “When people have already prior beliefs about a medication, it can mean that it can be really hard to enroll participants. And the Regeneron trial is still enrolling,” she told me. What’s more, because Trump is on several medications, it’s difficult to tell which ones have helped him, she said.

Even if the clinical trials reveal that the treatment is effective, however, it’s not the panacea Trump promises in his video. Contrary to the astonishing production and distribution the president promised in his video, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to produce enough monoclonal antibody treatments for everyone who is ill. Because of the limited supply, it will likely only be used among those who are at highest risk of the virus, such as health professionals and the elderly—and those who can afford it.

Companies like Regeneron and Eli Lilly haven’t announced how much their monoclonal antibody treatments might cost, but the average annual price of existing monoclonal antibody treatments was nearly $100,000 in 2018. In his video, Trump claimed “everyone will get them free,” but it’s extremely unclear how that could happen—particularly for people who are uninsured or underinsured. In addition, because the treatment was developed by testing the antibodies against fetal tissue cells, there may be ideological opposition to it. (The treatment itself, however, does not contain cells from fetal tissue.)

Perhaps most concerning, in a slew of disturbing news, is Trump’s continued efforts to overrule or politicize the normal regulatory process for new drugs and vaccines. Until recently, he has repeatedly promised a vaccine would be available by Election Day, even if the administration had to override regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In his video Wednesday, the president said “I’ve authorized the EUA,” or emergency use authorization, to make the Regeneron treatment available to the public before the clinical trial data exists. Not only does that appear to be untrue, that’s also not Trump’s decision to make: The FDA authorizes EUAs.

While treatments like monoclonal antibodies seem promising, every expert I’ve spoken with over the past 10 months of reporting on the coronavirus has emphasized that the Trump administration continues to undermine potential progress by recommending certain treatments, vaccines, tests, and pandemic policies without having sufficient data. Far from helping, such announcements could do lasting damage to efforts to develop accessible, affordable, effective ways to stop the virus.

(Emphasis is mine.)

<> <> <> <> <> <>

This article brings some sanity to Trump's bizarre bout with Covid but fails to consider the possibility that Trump was never infected. That would explain why his doctor(s) haven't provided info about things like 'viral load'.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 11 2020 18:44 utc | 44

India's COVID-19 deaths apparently 2x-3x the official number; 300,000 deaths would put it ahead of the USA


My quick take on the two "class warfare" articles in the Open Thread ("Trump’s America Remains Stuck in the Shadow of Reagan" - Boston Review; "On feudal exploitation" - Stumbling and Mumbling)

Albeit with well intention, both articles make a vulgar interpretation of Marx.

The problem with the first article (Boston Review one) is that it considers Marx's concept of class struggle as just an reaction of the bottom against the top. No, class struggle is an integral part of Marxist theory, specially on Marx's wage theory.

According to Marx wage theory, real wages have a ceiling - the profit rate - and a bottom - the subsistence rate of the worker. The exact level of the wage will float within this band, but is determined by class struggle. When the balance of class struggle is on the side of the working class, wages tend to get nearer the ceiling (eating up the profits of the capitalist class); when the balance of the class struggle is on the side of the capitalist class, wages tend to get nearer to the bottom (throwing the working class to poverty).

Class struggle is thus not only a revolutionary moment for Marx, but a daily condition of the capitalist system.

Now, of course, in moments when the tide is on your favor, you tend to develop more class consciousness - victories unite. The reverse is also true: losses divide, thus eroding class consciousness. What is happening in the USA is that it is in a historic moment where the capitalist class is an unprecedented tide in its favor and the working class is in an unprecedented tide against, thus creating the optical illusion it is in a "warped", "unnatural" state of affairs.

The second article (Stumbling and Numbling one) is the most egregious of the two.

We don't live in a feudal society, nor are we in danger of returning to feudalism.

What determines feudalism is not lack of social mobility or technological stagnation, but serfdom. A serf is an agrarian worker tied to a specific piece of land by birth. He or she only exists to cultivate that land. In exchange, he or she - and their descendants - cannot be enslaved or removed from said piece of land. They pay their lord in kind, therefore they are not wage laborers.

It's not true there wasn't technological development during the Middle Ages. Agriculture flourished in Europe during that time, as this was the area innovation was most directed at.

In capitalism, labor is wage labor: the worker works for the capitalist for a definite amount of time in exchange for a given quantity of money.

Capitalist exploitation of labor doesn't occur only through technological innovation. Marx clearly put two forms of exploitation: 1) absolute exploitation and 2) relative exploitation.

What we're witnessing in the First World right now (since the neoliberal era) is the revival of absolute exploitation of labor in detriment to relative exploitation of labor. Absolute exploitation always existed in capitalism - it's just that, during the "social-democrat" era (1945-1975) it was restrained to the Third World.

Posted by: vk | Oct 11 2020 18:47 utc | 45

Granny's Sure Fire C19 Cure: Take a spoonful of regeneron once a day, and get plenty of rest and food for 2 weeks.

I'm reminded of the old joke about "...that incredibly lethal new substance just discovered, dihydrogen monoxide..."

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Oct 11 2020 18:49 utc | 46

Debunking Trump´s administration stubborn blaming on China for their own negligence in managing the pandemic in the USA...Here comes science, The Lancet´s analysis linked in this thread..

Spoiler: cohesiveness amongst government and population, centralized epidemic response system and fast response with selective lockdowns and effective national tracing system are the key for success...

The Lancet article says that "China was well positioned to deal with the disease. It has a centralized epidemic response system".

Another fact to highlight in The Lancet is that only 3% of the elderly population in China is in care homes (the rest live with their relatives), while in several western countries these facilities have been important sources of infection, neglecting the elderly.

"The speed of China's response was a crucial factor" says Gregory Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA.

China published, The Lancet continues, the genomic sequence of the virus on January 10, 2020 and began enacting a series of rigorous countermeasures. Later in the same month, Wuhan was subjected to a strict lockdown that lasted 76 days and public transportation was suspended.

Soon after, similar measures were implemented in all cities in Hubei province. Throughout the country, 14,000 health checkpoints were established in public transport centers. China established an effective national contact tracing system.

China's public health actions (January 29-February 29) may have prevented 1 to 4 million infections and 56,000 deaths. According to Gregory Poland “Commitment to the common good is ingrained in Chinese culture; the hyperindividualism that characterizes the US does not exist there".

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 11 2020 18:54 utc | 47

@ lysias | Oct 11 2020 17:16 utc | 31.. aside from giving jeff bezos more money, what did you get from it?? thanks... i agree with your viewpoint on taiwan..

@ somebody | Oct 11 2020 18:42 utc | 43.. that 2 minute video is a good promotional tool for 'public' as opposed to 'private' finance... the jobs aren't coming back... how about universal gauranteed income and getting countries to print and control their own money, rather then giving the power away to this small % who control 90% of the planets wealth and resouces? if nothing else comes out of this covid madness, i hope this does... this bullshit about jobs, jobs and the economy and etc - the whole thing needs to be turned upside down so kleptos like jeff bezos are forced to be on the same page as everyone else...

Posted by: james | Oct 11 2020 19:13 utc | 48

Occasionally ZH does post some decent journalism which the link below will take you to

Putin Trolls Biden: Communists & Dems Share 'Common Values' While Trump Record Hard On Russia

This post, after showing the Putin trolling of Biden, goes on to answer why Putin doesn't like what Trump has done.

Worth the read

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 11 2020 19:47 utc | 49

Jackrabbit @ 44

This article brings some sanity to Trump's bizarre bout with Covid but fails to consider the possibility that Trump was never infected

you mean, like, if you consider the possibility that cinderella had had a better sense of timing, her coach wouldn't have reverted to its original pumpkin form at midnight?

Posted by: john | Oct 11 2020 20:06 utc | 50

Red flag #2743:

If the claims were true they would not have to be repeated 24/7.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 11 2020 15:47 utc | 18

The disproportionate response is an obvious scam from almost _every_ angle.

Posted by: Rae | Oct 11 2020 20:06 utc | 51

This story doesn't seem to be getting the banner headlines it deserves:

Lockdowns have been used to control the coronavirus around the world, plunging millions of lives into chaos. Now the WHO has changed its mind.

The World Health Organisation has backflipped on its original COVID-19 stance after calling for world leaders to stop locking down their countries and economies.

Dr. David Nabarro from the WHO appealed to world leaders yesterday, telling them to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method” of the coronavirus.

He also claimed that the only thing lockdowns achieved was poverty – with no mention of the potential lives saved.

“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” he said.

Posted by: SimonT | Oct 11 2020 20:14 utc | 52

@H.Schmatz | | 16

Thanks for the link. Though, personally, I am unconvinced of the NATO claims. The article you link to refers to lip service, essentially, “mobilize the international media against the Armenians”. In my opinion, Macron is right when he says that “we are experiencing the brain death of NATO”. Bring it on. If NATO makes the stupid mistake of supporting Turkey in any tangible way, then its demise shall be brought about all the sooner. Anyway, your comment reminded me of this Foreign Policy piece from last week, Turkey’s Caucasus Adventure Risks Another Crisis in NATO
You might find it interesting.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 11 2020 20:14 utc | 53

"..They pay their lord in kind, therefore they are not wage laborers..." vk@45
Not wage labourers but forced to work of the lord's land. Arrangements varied but having to contribute hundreds of days' labour every year was not unbusual. And at vital times- sowing, for example, and harvesting all hands were called upon to ensure that the lord's work got top priority.
I would add that, in much of eastern Europe, serfdom coincided with the establishment of capitalism in agriculture. For example in the grain exporting lands of Prussia and Poland, labour was enserfed in order to allow the landowners to make large money profits from selling grain to the Netherlands and elsewhere.

"While there is little denying the bad effects of Covid 19 - most particularly the loss of jobs for the ordinary working classes and thus their income and their growing likelihood of homelessness, immense poverty ..: Anne@34
To blame the virus for the inability of neo liberal society to deal with it except through the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of lives is to let capitalism off the hook. It has been obvious for decades that there was going to be another pandemic and that society ought to prepare for it. Indeed in, for example, Ontario preparations were made after the first SARS emergency: stockpiles of equipment were laid in, additional capacity for ICU beds was planned, a reserve staff capacity was trained.
And all was wasted because neo-liberal economics demanded the auctioning off of equipment the shutting down of 'excess' beds and the transformation of nursing and janitorial positions into money spinners for labour traffickers in the gig economy.
So don't blame the virus, or heat disease or cancer, blame a capitalist class that puts profit and short term greed before the lives of your loved ones and humanity in general.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 11 2020 20:23 utc | 54

Covid19 was serious, but its over.

Look at the excess mortality statistics (figure 1) and see for yourself when Covid19 stopped having an impact - back in late June for many European countries.

This is not to say that I criticise in any way anyone's desire to wear a mask or take any measures they think are needed. There are still some infections and people need to use proper caution, guided by their own situation and by objective reality.

It just seems to me that the basis for draconian measures is "saving lives" but if lives are not being lost on a scale that shows up in total death statistics, then shouldn't the measures be commensurate and not draconian? We can save lives by banning all cars, but we don't, do we?

Doesn't anyone notice this? :-)

Posted by: Deltaeus | Oct 11 2020 20:26 utc | 55

Talk of an imminent PLA invasion of Taiwan is almost exclusively generated by persons from Taiwan and USA. If it should happen, it would be the result of an event such as an invitation to American military to install their systems and personnel on the island. Or a concerted effort to achieve international recognition of Taiwan as an independent country.

Posted by: jayc | Oct 11 2020 20:28 utc | 56

@ bevin | Oct 11 2020 20:23 utc | 54.. i hold the same sentiments in your comments to @ 34 anne and i bet when she reads it, she will agree with you too.. i tried to say something similar in my comment on somebody's video @ 48...

Posted by: james | Oct 11 2020 20:32 utc | 57

H.Schmatz | Oct 11 2020 17:13 utc | 30

The funny bit here is that the Russians have the Airport photos of Maria Pevchikh buying THE Novochoked bottle after having passed through security at Tolmachevo airport (Novosibirsk city), From an ordinary vending machine. Earlier Xray photos of her luggage by security show NO bottles of 500ml of any sort. Not having had any reply to their requests for information, the Russian had already started their own investigation, which still continues.

Obviously the bottle story has had to be changed. (and not "given" to the OPEC)

Stay tuned as the medical part is also falling into bits, and there were three bottles in the hotel room photo, so who were the other two for?

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 11 2020 20:34 utc | 58

lysias | Oct 11 2020 17:10 utc | 29:

Just fearmongering. It's the same playbook that Israel uses with respect to Iran. The red line for Beijing is US troop / equipment deployment which Beijing have been very clear about.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 11 2020 21:48 utc | 59

@25 Mao.

He was probably referring to GV agent however it's impossible to say for sure without the list in question.

Posted by: S.O. | Oct 11 2020 22:36 utc | 60

Class struggle... in Finland:

Work or toil in the pandemic

When trade unions in Finland recently proposed a 6 hour day, verbally backed by the Finnish prime minister, the idea was shunted off to a committee because of “resistance from employers, who have an interest in paying (as little as possible) for hours worked, not according to productivity. A six-hour day for eight hours’ pay means a higher hourly wage. It also means a loss of control over workers — not only in terms of a smaller chunk of each day where employers control the activities of employees, but also through the implicit acknowledgment that workers should have more of a say in organizing working life.” Keynes’ dream nearly 100 years ago of a 15-hour week is still just that – a dream.

Posted by: vk | Oct 11 2020 23:08 utc | 61

Usual crowd of pandemic deniers here. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 11 2020 23:16 utc | 62

He called it a 'scamdemic.' Then his family fell ill, one by one.

Six infections turned into nine. Nine went up to 14. It spread from one family member to the next, and it was like each person caught a different strain. My mother-in-law got it and never had any real symptoms. My father is 78, and he went to get checked out at the hospital, but for whatever reasons, he seemed to recover really fast. My father-in-law nearly died in his living room and then ended up in the same hospital as me on the exact same day. His mother was in the room right next to him because she was having trouble breathing. They were lying there on both sides of the wall, fighting the same virus, and neither of them ever knew the other one was there. She died after a few weeks. On the day of her funeral, five more family members tested positive.

Frankly, I hope *all* the pandemic deniers get to go through this with their families. Just a few less chimpanzees I have to worry about.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 11 2020 23:28 utc | 63

Posted by: Roberto | Oct 11 2020 23:31 utc | 64

Pepe Escobar wrote a 2-part article, part one and part two, dealing with academic Lanxin Xiang's book, The Quest for Legitimacy in Chinese Politics, published September 10, 2019 by Routledge. The book's Introduction can be freely downloaded here by scrolling to page bottom and clicking on "Full-Text" within the box on the right.

My initial reaction to Xiang's Introduction was highly critical and posted as follows at Escobar's FB:

Having found a PDF of Xiang's Introduction, he makes the following declaration immediately and without any supporting evidence:

"No doubt, the People’s Republic of China has been facing the most serious legitimacy crisis since its founding in 1949."

Without any evidence to support that assertion, I have oodles of "doubt." He further appears to posit that Democratic Centralism has completely failed without directly saying. As a scholar, in my appraisal, making such a provocative assertion evidence free is a big error and makes Xiang differ little from those in the West unqualified to write about China even though they try. And the passive language used, "... has been facing..." instead of the direct "... is facing ..." compounds the issue. I'm somewhat surprised you missed that when you wrote your articles.

I also wrote a few other response comments, some posted at MoA and some at Escobar's FB. Pepe says it's an important work; I see a glaring error immediately. Routledge wants $155 for the 166 page book! As far as I know, there's no "legitimacy crisis" happening within China now or during the time Xiang was compiling his book. Some of what Escobar relates from the work mark it as insightful; but given the unfounded declaration at its outset, just how valid are those insights? Indeed, it appears Xiang has created his own legitimacy crisis by impugning his credibility.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 11 2020 23:46 utc | 65

H Schmatz @ 30, Stonebird @ 58:

Here are some links, machine-translated from Russian into English, on the story about the water bottles that (supposedly) were in Alexei Navalny's hotel room in Tomsk and which Maria Pevchikh took (or was meant to take) with her to Germany:

Interior">">Interior Ministry: Maria Pevchikh, who flew to Germany with Navalny, did not have a water bottle (BK, 8 October 2020)

Interior Ministry: [Pevchikh] herself bought a "bottle from the room Navalny" already at the airport (MK, 8 October 2020)

A Navalny's associate did not find the alleged bottle with [Novichok] during the inspection (, 8 October 2020)

Maria Pevchik was not found the alleged bottle with [Novichok] during the inspection at the airport (Komsomolskaya Pravda, 8 October2020)

This information was posted to Mark Chapman's The Kremlin Stooge by Moscow Exile (sometimes Lord Snooty on other blogs) and John Helmer based his Dances With Bears article on some of these Russian-language media sources.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 11 2020 23:54 utc | 66

H Schmatz @ 30, Stonebird @ 58:

Sorry I screwed that first link so here it is again:

Interior">">Interior Ministry: Maria Pevchikh, who flew to Germany with Navalny, did not have a water bottle

You would surely think that any hoax would have been better planned than it is turning out so far. The whole story reeks of desperation as it falls apart. That tells us it was not very well worked out in advance and the perpetrators are grasping for straws.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 12 2020 0:02 utc | 67

H Schmatz @ 30, Stonebird @ 58:

No that didn't work either! Trying it again. Fingers crossed, third time is the charm.

Interior Ministry: Maria Pevchikh, who flew to Germany with Navalny, did not have a water bottle

Posted by: Jen | Oct 12 2020 0:04 utc | 68

Global Times editorial related to Taiwan's Tsai's 10/10 speech displays the escalation in rhetoric:

"The DPP authorities have gone too far. The whole Chinese mainland saw it: they are a gaggle of opportunistic politicians who refused mild measures only to be resigned to tough ones. The Chinese mainland is fully prepared for military means against the island of Taiwan. The PLA's military aircraft flying around Taiwan, flying across the so-called median line, the possibility of them flying over the island, and the determination of the Chinese mainland to strike back with overwhelming force at any moment are the only language Tsai authorities could understand. Chinese mainland society strongly demands that their country maintains military pressure on the island of Taiwan, and we believe that our country will do so.

"Time will tell that the 'Taiwan secessionist' forces will not benefit the Taiwan people, but will gradually suffocate Taiwan society. The Tsai authorities not only seek 'secession,' but also act as an accomplice of the US in the latter's strategic suppression against China. They will eventually pay a heavy price for it."

Clearly, China is done with being pushed around. These two sentences which preceded the above excerpt prove my assertion:

"Tsai authorities have turned completely hostile toward the Chinese mainland, and this issue can no longer be resolved through dialogue. The malevolent force might have to be subdued through military means."

Global Times has also initiated a three-part series on the espionage activities of Taiwanese separatists, with the first installment here. With Russia being faced with Bullshit charges again and attempted Color Revolutions on its flanks, China has apparently resolved to be far more proactive in defense of its legitimate security interests, which means directly challenging the Outlaw US Empire's constant provocations. I would say Don Bacon's concerns @6 above are quite correct. His link is to an Outlaw US Empire NGO aimed at supporting Taiwan, which becomes very clear by the rhetorical tone employed in the first sentence.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12 2020 0:08 utc | 69

karlof1 | Oct 12 2020 0:08 utc | 69:

Tsai knows that she'd never win in a straight fist fight. IMO, it's all rhetoric to prevent the Sino-Iranian deal that most likely be signed in about 7 days.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 12 2020 0:18 utc | 70

I followed Roberto's link (comment #64 currently) but didn't watch the video for multiple reasons, one being that it's Highwire. But I did read the comments there and couldn't help but notice this one and chuckle:

"I was trained as a chemist. A large part of my professional career was working in various parts of the filtration industry. I developed a line of mixed esters of cellulose membrane filters. Millipore type filters, that were used to sterilize flu vaccines for Merck Sharp and Dohme as well as other medical products companies. I developed respiratory protection products for Wilson Safety Products used in the mining industry. I worked for Baxter developing medical / IV filters. I have patents on three IV filters I invented. Baxter sold more than 5 million of one of those every year for most of a decade. I know a little bit about filters.
Surgical masks were not designed as filters and were not intended to be used as filters. Surgical masks were designed to be used by surgeons standing face down over an operating table holding a patient with an open wound. The surgeon wearing the mask would be able to talk to others in the room without discharging spittle droplets into the patient’s wound. Spittle droplets are large and can cause infection.
I witnessed a test of surgical masks. Small plaster particles were generated in a room. They were visible as a white dust in the air. A man was properly fitted with a surgical mask and spent a short time in the room. When he came out the mask was removed. A camera was focused on the man’s face. The entire area that had been covered by the mask was coated by the white dust. The camera showed that his nostrils and his mouth had been penetrated by the white dust. The dust particles were measured and found to be around 40 micrometers in diameter. The particles that penetrated the mask were the same diameter.
Covid-19 virus molecules are about 0.1 micrometers in diameter. That is 400 times smaller than the plaster particles that penetrated the mask.
Surgical masks will not prevent the wearer from inhaling or exhaling viruses or bacteria. They provide absolutely no protection for either the wearer or anyone nearby. They create a very dangerous false sense of security for everyone. They also force the wearer to rebreath carbon dioxide. Which will over time reduce the wearers blood oxygen level. That can become very dangerous especially for older people.
This farce is being promoted by sleazy politicians who believe that if they can convince people that they are protecting them or creating a safe environment for them by pushing this mask farce those people will re-elect them.
All politicians pushing this dangerous mask farce should be voted out of office as soon as possible."

Apparently this trained chemist and expert in air filtration doesn't understand the concept of aerosols. Nobody in their right mind has said that any commonly available surgical mask will block a single virus particle. But virus particles don't fly through the air on their own, now, do they. They ride on droplets of aerosols that are not only large enough for N95 masks to filter, but also wet enough such that even non N95 masks likely block a good deal of them from making it either in or out, at least not very far at all.

Thanks anyway, Mr. Trained Chemist, but I'll continue to don my N95 mask when I'm in enclosed public spaces or unable to maintain a reasonable distance from others. And I'll do so happily for the time being. Just as a test, I took the dog on a 2km walk with a mask on the other day. Took my blood 02 reading before and after. Result was 98% saturation both times.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 12 2020 1:46 utc | 71

donkeytale @Oct12 0:58 #71

obvious contradictions at the heart of Imperialism with Chinese characteristics ... that I have delineated in these very comment threads.

All I see in your delineating is an attempt to deflect anger at Western elites. It is the Western power-elite that killed manufacturing jobs and de-industrialised so as to line their own pockets and further geo-political goals.

So please tell us: what course of action do you suggest?

Shall we blithely accept the lies and gladly die for our own corrupt elites so that their progeny can bask in the glory of world domination?

The point is to admit the Chinese miracle is fraught ...

Yeah, the miracle is fraught with Western elite complicity. They thought they could spur a capitalist class that would regime-change the CPP. But they failed and Western societies have paid a price for that. Soon they may ask that we pay an even higher price via a shooting war.

The point is that you are pointing fingers. And then you stomp your feet because moa readers see what you're up to.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 12 2020 2:07 utc | 72

Just as satire & sarcasm whoosh straight past the bat in amerika, so does subtlety, Brand is trying to explain how Trump works in a way that is too subtle for most amerikan minds.
He doesn't outright sledge orangeutan with stupidly bombastic claims about trump statements, as Brand himself says, that is the worst way to critique the man since as any in depth examination of what trump does is more likely to reveal an over-reaction by his critics than to show trump being over the top.

trump's poses such as the current covid one, cannot be successfully taken apart by rationalisation, because the minority of amerikans who rationalise politics are never going to support him anyway, he's going for the 60% - 70% of amerikans who have been trained from birth by advertising to respond to issues emotively, without deep analysis.
Yet when I read the comments on the you tube page or here at MOA, there are basically three responses to what Brand said. The trump supporters go rah-rah because they imagine Brand was praising trump when he was criticising him with the stupidity used by TDS types.
Then there are the two types of response from those with derangement syndrome. They either decide Brand has 'swallowed the red pill' type tosh (very common reaction at MoA from the house dembot who cannot 'see' why bombastic doesn't work) or they try and labouriously explain that trump's act is part of some grand 'deep state' conspiracy, instead of seeing his messaging as what it is, an exploitation of amerikans' marketing indoctrination by a master marketer, from a man too selfish to be trusted in any conspiracy.

I guess seeing what trump actually is just doesn't play well in amerika. If they saw through the trump technique properly, how could they accept the deluge of less competent salesmanship for everything that keeps amerika in its cognitive dissonance esp dim politicians.
I notice b had to stop his occasional sarcastic posts here because too many readers just didn't get it.
Living in a world dominated by loud, brash, multicoloured lies pouring out of all media 24/7 makes humans immune to anything else eh.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 12 2020 2:21 utc | 73

Is it the purpose that clicking Current Top Picks leads to Sherena Shims Award website?

Posted by: Nah | Oct 12 2020 2:24 utc | 74

karlof1 @Oct11 23:46 #65

What do you have to say about Escobar's asserting that Russia wants Trump to win and Xi wants Biden to win?

I don't see that. I think it plays into Deep State/Empire narratives.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 12 2020 2:50 utc | 75

@ karlof1 #69
Yes, I'm quite confident that a China invasion of Taiwan is coming soon. As one China-watcher has said, such a solution to the Taiwan secession problem has been a certainty, and the only consideration has been why shouldn't we do it now. It's now certain, there's no reason not to do it.
>All this year Tsai (the Taiwan "president") has been crowing that Taiwan is a country. That's unacceptable to China . .as it was years ago to Abraham Lincoln, BTW.
>The balance of military power has changed, and China now dominates Taiwan. The Chinese army's meteoric rise coincides with a decrease in sales of high-end weaponry to Taiwan by almost every country from which it has bought arms. The US is now the only country willing to sell Taiwan complete weapon systems, but it has done so at a slower pace than in the past.
>Wars are won or lost on the ground, and Taiwan's army is almost non-existent. news: Retired military general calls Taiwan's combat capabilities ‘close to none’...Former Taiwanese general bows to China, claims Taiwan’s armed forces no match for PLA.
>from a China-watcher at Project 2049: "The PLA is now better equipped than it ever has been to launch a military invasion of Taiwan. This “nightmare” scenario is a looming threat to Taiwan’s continued existence as an independent and sovereign state."
>China has been holding military invasion drills monthly since summer here, here, here, and here (partial list)
>Pompeo: "Look, we have to admit a hard truth. We must admit a hard truth that should guide us in the years and decades to come, that if we want to have a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century of which Xi Jinping dreams, the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done. We must not continue it and we must not return to it."
>NSA O'Brien: "The time has come to accept that dialogue and agreements will not persuade or compel the People's Republic of China to change. There's nothing to be gained from looking the other way or turning the other cheek. We've been doing that for too long," he said. O’Brien said the US must stand up to the Chinese and protect the American people."
>Congress will probably pass H.R. 7423, the Taiwan Defense Act -- A BILL To maintain the ability of the United States Armed Forces to deny a fait accompli by the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan, and for other purposes. SEC. 3. Findings. (4) The Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report released in June 2019, states that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is “preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with the mainland by force, while simultaneously deterring, delaying, or denying any third-party intervention on Taiwan’s behalf. . . The National Defense Strategy Commission found that the United States Armed Forces must be postured “to deter and prevent a fait accompli by an agile opportunistic adversary” in order to compete effectively in the Indo-Pacific region and stated that “the United States must develop new operational concepts to achieve strategic advantage, including by addressing the ability of aggressive regimes to achieve a fait accompli against states on their periphery,”. . .
>That's a partial list of reasons why an attack is coming, one that China will win which will cause major changes in economies, military plans and political alignments.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 12 2020 2:57 utc | 76

Posted by: somebody | Oct 12 2020 3:21 utc | 79

There is a lot more, like multinationals and think-tanks trying to make Germany and Europe their new cheap workbench - Germany has played this role since the 1980's. Europe's media rooting for Biden and stuff like that.

When you look at the timeline it is clear that this was started by the World Economic Forum - ie "the world’s 1,000 leading companies" - plus China.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 12 2020 3:27 utc | 77

Here's a photo of Taiwan's "Thunder Tigers" over the "presidential office" on Taiwan's "National Day." -- Oct 10
Wouldn't you know, The China PLA Zhurihe Combined Tactics Training Base includes full-scale replicas of targets such as Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building . .(and Eiffel Tower!). . here
Probably the PLA has plans for the capture of "President" Tsai.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 12 2020 3:27 utc | 78

With the Taliban's endorsement of Trump, I find it hard to find ANY reasons not to vote for him.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 12 2020 3:53 utc | 79

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 12 2020 2:21 utc | 75 they try and labouriously explain that trump's act is part of some grand 'deep state' conspiracy, instead of seeing his messaging as what it is, an exploitation of amerikans' marketing indoctrination by a master marketer, from a man too selfish to be trusted in any conspiracy.

Agreed. I don't buy all the conspiracy theories about Trump - neither the one that says he has a "master plan" to "drain the swamp" or that he's just the front man for the Deep State.

The concern I have (such as it is) is that the American electorate is so easily swayed by a (faux) "alpha male" who sounds as stupid, ignorant, and malicious as they are, that Trump might actually win this election based on that alone. One can only hope that enough people will be so damaged by the economic downturn that they will blame it on Trump and vote for a change. Not that they'll *get* a change, but maybe they'll think so and vote him out.

Not that it matters, of course. But at least I won't have to read about that asshole and all his dumb-ass moron supporters. Every little bit helps.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 12 2020 3:57 utc | 80

It's obvious Russia backs Trump, Trump is the least likely to continue the legacy of Ukraine expansionism under Obama-Biden.

The issue with China is more complicated. Who knows what they think?

Perhaps Biden will be better for China because he will soften the tongue and get the trade back up, which means China win in long term.

But Trump's toughen tone might give rise to more anti-China voices across the globe, especially in Asia (Japan, S. Korea, Vietnam), but this will also strengthen nationalism at home for China. China will still win, but its facade of "friendly win-win globalism" will fail, and we will have nationalist states against each other.

So in this way, I think Biden winning will be more beneficial to China. The US's rich class can buy their ways into China and live as chinese, long after the USA has gone off in smoke. China knows that USA cannot subvert China because the chinese population does not share the whole "equality, multicultural" nonsense that liberal democrats are shelling. They know that ethnic homogeneity works.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 12 2020 4:08 utc | 81

somebody 79

Thanks for the timeline. As we see, Gates himself admits the basic form of the inevitable natural outcome (barring his fake Deus ex Vaccine) :

"The scenario ends at the 18-month point, with 65 million deaths. The pandemic is beginning to slow due to the decreasing number of susceptible people. The pandemic will continue at some rate until there is an effective vaccine or until 80-90 % of the global population has been exposed. From that point on, it is likely to be an endemic childhood disease."

The difference being that in reality the epidemic is vastly less lethal than this breathless Hollywood scenario, objectively quite mild. But otherwise the Gates cabal itself describes how herd immunity will develop. We could've gotten there much more quickly and with vastly less death and destruction if the masses hadn't obeyed the government-media terror assault and let themselves be locked down and tyrannized.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 12 2020 5:19 utc | 82

How telling that this site's resident terminal-Dembot is the most outspoken pro-lockdown cultist in terms of both full-blown fascism against living as human beings while at the same time extremely concerned that "work" and "school", i.e. institutional control structures, be fully resumed as soon as possible, under even more draconian strictures than pre-2020. (Needless to say, "work" here does not mean the small local businesses slated for eradication, but rather corporate control.)

circe 42

"Social gatherings, especially indoors and hosting gatherings at home should be prohibited, but all safety measures should be implemented so people can work and children go to school, and I believe this is starting to happen more and more."

This same commenter previously advocated conscription of the non-rich who test positive to serve capitalist control of the profiteering "health response."

All this - anti-humanity, fascist, pro-statist and pro-economic on the basis of neoliberal control - sums up the pro-lockdown position, and circe is the most typical pro-lockdownist here. The rest merely follow the nightmarish idea this commenter directly expresses.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 12 2020 5:31 utc | 83

Russ, you're really not doing a great job of distinguishing your own babble from Circe's. Both of you come off like rampant ideologues in some category whether from Circe's naive American quasi-leftist to your own whatever it is position of unimpeachable undeclared.

Who cares about the rich? Either way. Fuck'em. I, for one, would like to return the days of informed MoA commentary so that it matches the quality of the author's posts. Neither you nor Circe are helping, but I suppose it lends the veneer of balance when Don Bacon, Circe and Russ can throw about their relatos salvajes about Trump and the fake resistance of the Dimocrat USA party.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 12 2020 6:19 utc | 84

Sorry I might have confused Don Bacon for someone else. Maybe another Trump acolyte. Donkey Tale I'm not sure about yet even though I've been reading this thread for YEEEAAAARS. Gone are the days of Will Montgomery - or was it Montague, ahy?

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 12 2020 6:23 utc | 85

Below is a short Xinhuanet posting about some Australia research about Covid that sounds nasty

CANBERRA, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers have found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can live for up to 28 days on common surfaces including banknotes and glass.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) on Monday published the new research on the "survivability" of the deadly virus.

The research found that SARS-CoV-2 survived longer at lower temperatures, tended to survive longer on smooth surfaces such as glass and stainless steel and survived longer on paper banknotes than plastic banknotes.

Larry Marshall, the chief executive of the CSIRO, said that the research was built on the agency's previous COVID-19 work including vaccine testing and wastewater testing.

"Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread, and do a better job of protecting our people," he said.

"Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, reinforcing the need for good practices such as regular handwashing and cleaning surfaces," Debbie Eagles, deputy director of the CSIRO's Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP), said in a media release.

"At 20 degrees Celsius, which is about room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes.

"For context, similar experiments for Influenza A have found that it survived on surfaces for 17 days, which highlights just how resilient SARS-CoV-2 is."

Further research was undertaken at 30 and 40 degrees Celsius with the survival time of the virus falling as the temperature roses.

The study was conducted entirely in the dark to remove the effect of ultraviolet (UV) light on the virus.

I have read that some specific UV light has significant effect but don't have link or details in my head...

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 12 2020 6:28 utc | 86

Russia and Egypt joint naval exercises in the Black Sea (Russian). The Russian MOD site doesn’t seem to include an English version of the report, so here’s a report by Tass (English) as well. Interesting quote:

"Depending on their timing and location, naval manoeuvres send a kind of signal to regional countries and the international community," Mazlum continued. "They can also be viewed as a response to certain states’ attempts to destabilize the region, particularly the Eastern Mediterranean. Naval exercises underline the need for an effort to ease tensions in a region."

Egypt standing firm against Turkey in Libya, Greece/ Cyprus and now engaged in naval drills in the Black Sea. The above statement couldn’t be clearer.
And Russia seems also to be making very clear that Turkey is not the only influential ally in the region.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 12 2020 6:32 utc | 87

I wrote in a comment last Tuesday that I thought Trump would be dead in week and it looks like I am going to be wrong about that. Trump is now saying he is immune as well as that he is not spreading/has the virus. No negative virus results have been provided and no level of infection by the virus has been reported for Trump's supposed affliction with it.

All that aside, the numbers of people having the virus are going up as Xinhuanet reports

As of Sunday, India's COVID-19 tally continues to rise, with more than 7 million total confirmed cases and over 100,000 deaths. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, massive tests are underway in the country.

Brazil, ranking third only after the United States and India in terms of case tally, has the second highest death toll from COVID-19 at more than 150,000, Johns Hopkins University's data show.

Nepal reported 5,008 new confirmed cases on Saturday, once again setting a record-high number of confirmed cases in a day since the outbreak.

Similarly, Canada registered 2,558 new cases on Friday, also a record-breaking daily number. Its current national tally is more than 182,000.

Earlier this week, over 10,000 mink have died at farms in the U.S. states of Utah and Wisconsin after a series of coronavirus outbreaks. Farm workers are being directed to use protective equipment, local media reported.


The situation seems to become more worrying in Europe as many countries have experienced a continuous increase in daily caseloads, pushing European governments to strengthen restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.

After Paris and its neighboring regions were put on top coronavirus alert level on Tuesday, France' public health department on Saturday reported 26,896 new confirmed cases, another new record of daily infections.

According to French media, some health workers have been "traumatized" by the resurgence of COVID-19. "A lot of them will never get over it," said one of the nurses.

Since Oct. 3, Britain's daily case number has been continuously increasing to exceed the 10,000 mark. Daily cases on Saturday in Italy and Germany surpassed 4,500. Romania, with a caseload of 3,517 the same day, marked a record number of daily new cases since its outbreak.

Germany is making efforts to avoid a second lockdown and not to repeat its policies carried out in spring, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

Apart from France' policy to upgrade city alert levels, Italy has made it mandatory to wear face masks in outdoor spaces, and the Spanish government has ordered a 15-day state of emergency to bring down infection rates in its capital Madrid.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared in late September that he would "not hesitate" to order further restrictions if necessary.

All I know is that the financial rape of the world that is going on behind the shit show circus medical rape of the West will result in much more suffering than the virus.....not a positive thought, but reality.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 12 2020 6:44 utc | 88

China backs neither Trump or Biden. It backs itself while siding with Russia. They act together against their shared foe--The Outlaw US Empire's Duopoly and its backers.

Don Bacon--Thanks for your many replies! The Missus and I spent the weekend viewing the Jason Bourne series of movies. The mind set is the same in that fantasy and today's reality--They're the same voice, too. IMO, Taiwan could be locked up as easily as Crimea since it's useless to resist.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12 2020 6:45 utc | 89

China is no friend with Russia and vice versa. They are competitors now with alliance against a bigger foe.

But China will not help Russia if Russia is attacked and vice versa.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 12 2020 6:48 utc | 90

China will not help Russia if Russia is attacked and vice versa.

Smith | Oct 12 2020 6:48 utc | 95:

So sure are you about that. Their national interests may not be identical but they wouldn't leave each other out in the cold in that manner. Don't forget both China and Russia held a joint military exercise recently simulating an attack on Russia from the East.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 12 2020 7:09 utc | 91

Yes, I'm 100% sure of it.

As said, China and Russia are competitors, and they will most likely work out a deal with whoever invades the other and issue a deeply concern letter.

Both sides know this.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 12 2020 7:17 utc | 92

"Europe speaking in a French accent" is a really wonderful phrase. I would say one get`s a lot of things right if one reads: "Recent days have shown me that the times when we could rely completely on others are over to a certain extent.", as: "What we are witnessing is the brain death of NATO.", in a German accent.
(It is just a few decade ago that France and Germany considered each other arch enemies with unbridgeable cultural differences.)

It weren`t the Europeans that have terminated the vassal agreement with the USA but the Americans.

The relationship between overlord and vassal ist not just one of superiority and submission. It is one of superiority and submission AND MUTUAL FIDELITY. Vassals are not the same thing as slaves. Medieval European scholars have coined the term "consilium et auxilium" in order to describe the obligations of all sides involved.

"Consilium" means that neither the overlord nor the vassals make any important decisions without prior consultation and consensus building. The word of the overlord might have the biggest weight, but the vassals (the coucil) cannot just be ignored. Decision making is a process and it is always collective. A good example is the NATO Double-Track Decision. The Americans have violated this principle with their unilateral "withdrawel" from the JCPOA (Iran deal), the termination of the INF-treaty, the termination of the New START treaty and already prior with the Iraq war in 2003.

"Auxilium" is a multilateral military defense pact. The vassal have to provide some auxiliary troops for the overlords wars, but in exchange the overlord has to protect it`s vassals. The Americans habe violated that principle when Trump made cleare that henceforth military assistance would be only granted for cash.

The term" vassal" has now a mostly negative ring and is therefor avoided. In reality being a vassal has many advantages and vassalage is usually a mutually beneficial arrangement. The Europeans being vassals of the USA had been in the interest of both the USA and of Europe for many decades. The Europeans being slaves of the US is not in the interest of the Europeans.

Posted by: m | Oct 12 2020 8:15 utc | 93

China is no friend with Russia and vice versa. They are competitors now with alliance against a bigger foe.

But China will not help Russia if Russia is attacked and vice versa.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 12 2020 6:48 utc | 95

Yes, I'm 100% sure of it.

As said, China and Russia are competitors, and they will most likely work out a deal with whoever invades the other and issue a deeply concern letter.

Both sides know this.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 12 2020 7:17 utc | 97

These kind of thinking folks is the thinking of Trumptards.
An imaginary conditions where Russia or China would just sit back when US and NATO waged open war against it's allies one by one without intervening or hitting back similar objectives and then both China and Russia capitulate to the might of USA and it's allies from fear of getting nuked to oblivion from multiple direction. Sounds very mad no ?
I thought Syria intervention has blown such bubbles by now. Yet here they are dreaming of static vegetable walk in the park war with both.

Posted by: Lucci | Oct 12 2020 8:54 utc | 94

A few good articles related to the COVID 19 issue
The New Democratic Party (Social Democrat) is calling for a Covid19 excess rofit tax on corporations to help ordinary people who have suffered from the Neoliberal lock down incompetence and scams.

John McMurtry takes Global researh to task for considering the pandemic purely a scam:
He also refers to the NDP proposal:
"All well-informed people can agree on these facts of the Covid-19 crisis. The leading corporate rich have vastly profited from it, and the most vulnerable populations in the tens of millions have been stripped of their very livelihoods and prospects of secure life. This is the nature of the ruling disorder – to capitalize on any crisis to deepen its bleeding of the public even more than before. It happens again and again, as ‘shock doctrine’ has long recognized.

Certainly a Covid-19 Excess Profits Tax should be imposed to help pay for its astronomical costs. Canada’s New Democratic Party is already rightfully demanding this."

Yet, Global Research does have a good article on the Covid 19 propaganda of the billionaires via Tortoise Media, among others:

"For more than a decade, Kennedy Jr. has raised issues about vaccine safety through the organization he founded, Children’s Health Defense. The Globe and Mail piece stated:

“Like other conspiracy theorists, [RFK Jr.] has gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting his anti-vaccine messages to fit the crisis, firing off false allegations against Microsoft founder Bill Gates [on COVID-19 vaccines, and other issues] and about the safety of 5G telecom networks. Since February, Mr. Kennedy Jr.’s social media support has tripled from 229,000 followers to 665,000 today.”

At the end of what can only be called a smear piece, the print edition of The Globe and Mail stated, “This article was originally published by Tortoise, a different kind of newsroom committed to a slower, wiser news. To try Tortoise, Globe readers can get a 30-day free trial and a special half price offer…”

Strangely, the article made no mention of Children’s Health Defense, or of Kennedy’s Jr.’s August 29 speech in Berlin, where he addressed a huge rally. He told them that the COVID-19 pandemic is a “crisis of convenience for the elites” who are “destroying the middle class,” “using the quarantine to bring 5G into our communities” for “surveillance and data-mining”, and shifting us all “to digital currencies” and a cashless society that will benefit “the billionaires.”"

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 12 2020 9:40 utc | 95

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 12 2020 1:46 utc | 73

What is aerosol in simple words?
"Physiology, Pathology. a mist that lingers in the air, composed of fine particles (less than 5 micrometers in diameter) that form from the evaporation of respiratory droplets (5–10 micrometers in diameter) released into the air through talking, breathing, singing, whistling, coughing, sneezing, etc.: Recommended precautions against virus-laden aerosols vary according to the type of virus."

If you breathe the mist, you have to breathe it in and out through the cloth in your face, and if it is composed of fine particles it will break down in fine particles under pressure (eg by breathing).

The cloth is pretty useless as even the performance of standardized surgical masks is uneven.

The wide variation in penetration levels for room air particles, which included particles in the same size range of viruses confirms that surgical masks should not be used for respiratory protection.

My experience with masks says that they cause heavy breathing in physical efforts. If you can do that depends on the quality of your lungs and on age. Heavy breathing does all kinds of stuff to your body, same as low oxygen if you don't manage it, I would not be too sure there is no damage.

Main problem is that you tend to breath stuff back in that your body is trying to get rid of and that is not just CO2. And this stuff might have grown in the fabric of your mask.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 12 2020 10:07 utc | 96

Jen | Oct 12 2020 0:02 utc | 67

Thanks. It is called creative story telling by the powers that be.
"Once upon a time there was a big bad wolf - who has nothing to do with our story, and a fairy maidan called Maria Pevchikh. She said "what big water bottles you've got Navali-dear". Unfortunately she was then swallowed by circumstance beyond anyone's control - and disappeared into blighty, a blissful black hole". End of story.

The link shows the photo of her buying water bottles - there are three other photos in the series that show what was inside her suitcases. I don't know whether my link will show these as well.

---- ------- ----------
Seriously, most stories made up to "blame" Russia only last a short time.
The latest one is the release of the complete tape of the M17 (Bezler as the accused) supposed shoot-down by the Donbass rebels.

Which shows that they actually shot down a Sukhoi-26 earlier in the day and the tape supplied to the Dutch investigators by the SBU was cut to hide that the conversation refered to that. Not M17.

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 12 2020 10:21 utc | 97

Posted by: somebody | Oct 12 2020 10:07 utc | 102

Please explain how anything you transcribed there addresses my post at all. A single study about the (inward) filtration of "various" surgical masks, including those for which fitment is inadequate is but a lame attempt at throwing sh*t at the wall and hoping something sticks. Not mentioned or studied at all is how a cloth mask (non-"surgical") might limit and/or prevent the outward dispersion of aerosols by an infected individual.

Just a vague as can be attempt to cast doubt on the common sense approach to protecting oneself and others in an enclosed environment where semi-adequate to adequate facial protection (not including eye coverings) is worn by most or all. A single study of randomly selected "FDA approved" (going on mfg's own data, one must have noticed) "surgical masks" (seemingly a sales term, nothing more in that regard) isn't going to convince anyone with a brain that high quality masks with a stated/rated particulate/aerosol filtration level are of absolutely zero use or protective quality. Further, as a person with a decent college level physics and chemistry education, I still think it's common sense that any form of barrier between the face and the air is going to limit the projection of virus containing aerosols even if it doesn't prevent them entirely. Rather than a sick person (who shouldn't be in public anyway if they know they are sick) projecting their droplets, say 10 feet, it is likely limited to a foot or so.

Appreciated as well is your also vague attempt to cast aspersion on any and all masks by mentioning "heavy breathing in physical efforts." I clearly stated that I walked 2+ km wearing a mask (it was N-95 not KN-95, picked up the last time I was in the U.S. - and not intended to prevent the breather from spreading aerosols, rather to prevent inhalation of particulate matter) but what I didn't mention what that I'm 50 years old, and technically "obese" by the clinical definition. I also have high blood pressure and a relatively low 02 capacity. Nevertheless my blood 02 concentration measured by way of a fingertip 02 meter started at 98% and finished at 98%. The walk was rather brisk and consisted of probably an 800 foot (still think in the English system for heights) change in altitude. An older person who is overweight and out of shape isn't engaging in "physical efforts" if they are pushing a grocery cart around the standard American mega-mart. Why no study to back that assertion?

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 12 2020 10:31 utc | 98

Posted by: Russ | Oct 12 2020 5:19 utc | 87

It is useless to pick on Bill Gates. He is part of the crowd at the Davos World Economic Forum and this crowd are the top 1000 global companies.

There is another way of looking at this.

Outsourcing and the global supply chain mean that at each part of the production process there are people globally profiting from cheap labour. Meaning the number of millionaires has been growing exponentially.

Becoming a millionaire used to be the epitome of success. It now seems that being a millionaire has lost some of its luster and is almost commonplace. Over the last year, the number of international millionaires swelled to about 47 million. This growing class of people hold nearly 50% of the world’s wealth, according to Credit Suisse’s “Global Wealth Report.”

In spite of all the talk about trade wars, conflicts in the Middle East, tariffs and fears of a recession, we’ve witnessed an increase of 1.1 million millionaires from mid-2018 to the middle of 2019. This elite group is collectively worth $158.3 trillion.

This means products at the high end of production have become too expensive for the low end.

When Donald Trump forces China et al to buy expensive high end American products produced with American wages people at the low end of production can no longer afford them - there are no global consumers left. So the multinationals organising global supply chains producing cheap and selling it high end in the US have a cut of their profits if they want to continue staying in the market.

So as a first step big companies cut out the people who profit from labour within their supply chain by driving them into bankrupty in order to take them over and produce cheap themselves. This is what we see now. That is why companies have been so quiet about the lockdown.

Potentially this process re-empowers unions. And the middle class that used to profit from labour in global supply chains might fight back. The state is needed to finance the concentration process of the take-over. So a necessary part of this operation is population control and political lobbying.

It is the re-emergence of corporatism. Or if you want Fordism. You can also call it fascism.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 12 2020 10:38 utc | 99

add to
Posted by: somebody | Oct 12 2020 10:38 utc | 105

And for sure, Trump is part of the plan.

We get all the inequality of capitalism, without the justification that it’s been earned in a market -- and without a competitive market’s ability to automatically adjust to new conditions, invisible handishly. That inequality’s all the nastier because it seems more permanent— reflecting your station in life, your role in the organism. It’s no accident corporatism was the economic model of … well, you know what it was the economic model of.

It's the worst of many worlds. But it seems to be where this world is heading, this week.

So the Ford Foundation funds Black Lives Matter who supply the pretext for a police state. And the lockdown is a pretext for a War Economy. And wearing a cloth over your face psychological dehumanizing preparing you to accept it.

Ford's automotive factory, by the way, fought on the German side in WWII as well.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 12 2020 10:49 utc | 100

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