Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 01, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-87

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

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Other issues:

Venezuela:

By then the Defense Department had also been sharing with Venezuelans a secret plan to foment insurgencies called Operation X Zone.

It all casts doubts on the narrative claiming that Goudreau operated as a freelancer in a vacuum in one of the most closely watched areas of the world.

Covid-19:

Household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is common and occurs early after illness onset. Persons should self-isolate immediately at the onset of COVID-like symptoms, at the time of testing as a result of a high risk exposure, or at time of a positive test result, whichever comes first. All household members, including the index case, should wear masks within shared spaces in the household.

Covid-19 in German language:

France bad, headchoppers good?

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on November 1, 2020 at 15:07 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Richard Steven Hack @77

We can certainly agree to disagree! I don't mind. You're on here fighting for what you believe in, which is fine. I'm content to take you at face value, that you really believe lockdowns are the best option. I've no need to attribute sinister ulterior motives to your position. People rarely think exactly the same way. This is something which any free society takes into account.

There is, however, one significant difference between us. If others wish to social distance, stay at home, wear masks or get an experimental vaccine then that's their business. I've no wish to make them stop doing those things. I don't want the government to create a law prohibiting mask wearing. Ironic that a year ago liberals were pushing for laws to make it illegal for Muslim women to cover their faces. Now making everyone cover their face is all the rage.

I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. I've a big problem when they feel they have the right to force their opinion onto me. That's what's really going on here. People, mostly liberals, incapable of respecting the opinions of others.

Posted by: EoinW | Nov 2 2020 12:30 utc | 101

Posted by: m | Nov 2 2020 8:49 utc | 93

Yes, the formidable Turkish military probably isn't. Which explains a lot about how Erdogan proceeds in pursuing his ambitions, dead jihadis/Azerbaijanis don't affect his electoral prospects like losing battles with his own military would.

It could explain Russia's patience with him too, he's not the conventional military threat he appears to be.

Which is not to say he can't do some serious damage.


Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 12:31 utc | 102

The bunny theory of American politics is a jenga tower of nonsense. Sure, it can explain the potential coming upset Trump win reboot, but as RSH points out any number of convoluted explanations would work as well, including ones involving Martians or lizard people. These elaborate schemes all require some suspension of disbelief, though. In the bunny theory we have to accept that the deep state/establishment is enthusiastically punching itself in the face à la "Fight Club" (2min) in order to give the illusion that Trump is a "Glorious Leader". Of course, we have to accept that the deep state/establishment is continuing to knock their own teeth out despite it being an obvious wasted effort that isn't convincing anyone that Trump is a "Glorious Leader". Instead, most of those voting for Trump are doing so for the very reason that Michael Moore (a humanity watcher far more insightful than our resident bunny) explained in 2016(4min), which is that to them Trump is a human Molotov cocktail thrown at the establishment.

"Human Molotov cocktail" or "Glorious Leader"? Are the "deplorables" so stupid that they think Trump is the Messiah, or do they just love watching the hypocritical elites lose their monocles and clutch at their pearls over everything he says?

You can build all kinds of baroque and convoluted explanations for it if Trump pulls off another upset, but hubris, incompetence, and delusion among the deep state/establishment covers it all without the need to conjure into existence elaborate plans by an omnipotent and infallible gang of overlords. I am not saying the deep state/establishment doesn't cook up ridiculous schemes, but rather that the most pertinent characteristic of those schemes has for decades been that they don't work.

If Trump pulls off a win, that is not confirmation of the success of a complex and inscrutable establishment plot, but rather simply yet another establishment effort gone wrong because they are out of touch with the real world and failed to read the lay of the electoral landscape correctly again.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 12:38 utc | 103

C1ue @ 81

I must respectfully disagree on your mask position. I would say they are as bad and, for some members of the community, far worse than lockdowns. For one thing, there is a potential of mask laws becoming permanent. Imagine people at work 8 hours a day, 5/6 days a week always having to wear masks. Maybe the harm is minimal, however we do not know that. We do know that it is not natural to cover ones mouth and nose for long periods. Forcing people to do something that is not natural is never a good idea.

Plus any supporter of a free society cannot support governments making people wear masks. It's a clear violation of their freedom of choice. Why can't they treat people like grown adults, capable of making their own decisions, instead of irresponsible little children? People who do not want to wear masks now know what it felt like to be a Jew in Nazi Germany and have to wear the yellow Star of David badge.

Worst of all is the psychological damage. This is when I get really angry. Children are highly impressionable. I have a cousin who was swarmed by some turkeys as a little girl. Just a momentary thing, yet she's had a lifetime fear of birds because of it. Plus we all remember how the Khmer Rouge indoctrinated children and turned them into conscienceless killing machines. Making children social distance and wear masks is a horrible idea. Could we not just find a Leper Colony to send them to? Before they go to bed at night, do we tell them not to look under the bed or the Boogie Man will get them? Yet it's okay to frighten them with a deadly invisible virus? Won't they be scarred for life?

Canada's most famous germaphobe was the pianist Glenn Gould. The man had such a fear of germs he would wear thick gloves during summer. Not quite as amusing to see as Lovey Howell and her opera gloves on Gilligan's Island. Seriously, for all his fears and precautions Gould died at the age of 50. I see what we are doing to children now and I wonder if we're creating a generation of paranoiac basket cases who will have a life expectancy of 50. But my 99 year old Aunt has survived 8 months of the pandemic and is well on her way to 100. So it's worth it!

Posted by: EoinW | Nov 2 2020 12:57 utc | 104

EoinW@104 -

"People who do not want to wear masks now know what it felt like to be a Jew in Nazi Germany and have to wear the yellow Star of David badge."

Wow. You are a complete and utter fucking moron. I am embarrassed for you.

You are lucky this isn't my place, cause I would toss you out in a heart beat. Idiot.

Posted by: visak | Nov 2 2020 13:16 utc | 105

The continued denial of the effectiveness of lockdowns ITT is bewildering. Every country that presently has few to no new daily cases practiced some kind of a lockdown, alongside a testing and tracing regime with near universal access and mandatory participation. Pandemics, epidemics, what have you, are solved through action by the center. They are not solved by letting people go about their lives as normal, in the hopes that they will behave rationally under the irrational constraints of a capitalist economy.

The claim that death rates are receding is highly misleading. As case rates increase and hospitals reach the limits of how many they can treat, as bottlenecks in expertise and needed drugs start to occur, the death rate will reach spring in Lombardy levels in countries that have not taken the pandemic seriously. We are entering cold weather which increases the transmission rate and are still months away from the mass rollout of a vaccine, and potentially years away from a successful mass vaccination campaign. This doesn't mean it's hopeless. What we need, what we needed, was short-term economic planning to provide those in quarantine with goods, and to keep a minimal number of young, healthy, people at work, hopefully at a higher wage rate and with ample social recognition for their sacrifice. But we won't get that, because GDP and "the market" uber alles.

Vietnam succeeded because of institutional and administrative competence that the so-called "Western" world no longer has, which it sold its capacity to do in the name of breakneck GDP growth. Unfortunately, we can't eat put options and we can't burn digital representations of capital gains in a furnace. Only those countries which had not totally dismantled their economic planning systems in the name of restoration of profit rates are going to do well in the coming months. For those of us in the US, I think now's the time to get a little collection of toilet paper going again. This is the climax of the whole affair.

Posted by: fnord | Nov 2 2020 13:37 utc | 106

Visak @ 105
Well said why are these morons still allowed on this site, their deranged false logic is really costing lives. Plus massively damaging The credabilty of this blog.
I have started to wonder —- is this an unbiased geo-political site that is giving a platform to the extreme right wing ?
Or is this a right wing blog ?
b ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 2 2020 13:46 utc | 107

Alistair Crooke has some new insights into what Germany is up to:

All eyes remain on the U.S. election, and on fathoming its consequences. But in the shadow of ‘The Election’, there are other ‘moving parts’: Germany just offered Washington ‘a sweetheart deal’ in which, Europe – with Germany leading – accepts to leverage America’s full-spectrum strategy of isolating and weakening Russia and China. And in return it is asking the U.S. to acquiesce to German leadership of a ‘power-political’, European entity that is raised to parity with the U.S. That, bluntly, is to say, Germany is angling for ‘superpower’ status, atop an EU ‘empire’ for the new era. Putin recognised such a possibility (Germany aspiring to be a superpower) during his recent speech to Valdai.

But the other ‘moving parts’ to this bid are very much in motion, too: Firstly, Germany’s ploy is contingent on their hopes for a Biden win, which may, or may not, occur. And then, too, President Macron seeks for himself, and for France, the leadership of Europe – with this latter – to an extent – being contingent on a ‘no deal’ Brexit taking place at the end of the year, that would further weaken a dis-animated and fading Merkel. France rather, plots the ‘Great Reset’ of Europe: A regulatory and values enforced ‘space’, underpinned by a common fiscal and debt regime that would rebuild France’s economic infrastructure.

Why Is Europe Courting Revolution?

The EUROcrats show us who they really are, still the wannabe imperialists, and "secretly" in competition with each other for #1 status.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 13:58 utc | 108

Speaking of the pandemic...

Covid-19: The 3rd Leading Cause of Death and Other Hard Data


The number of new Covid-19 cases in the United States is now at a record level, averaging more than 80,000 per week and accelerating upward. Hospitalizations are surging across the country, and deaths are ticking back up. Based on the latest seven-day averages:

Every second, another American is diagnosed with Covid-19.
Every 42 seconds, another American is hospitalized for Covid-19.
Every 2 minutes, an American dies of Covid-19.

If these trends are not reversed, and if a successful vaccine is not available on a widespread basis soon (most experts expect late spring at the soonest), leading epidemiologists and other infectious-disease experts say the pandemic could end up killing more people than any single natural or human-caused scourge in U.S. history, including the 1918–19 flu pandemic (675,000) and the Civil War (620,000).

The U.S. death toll of WWII (405,000) will almost surely be surpassed sometime this winter, given the current rise in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. That’s just simple math at this point, barring a significant ramp-up of mitigation efforts.

Of course, the morons will claim its the underlying conditions that are the "cause" of death - despite the fact that most of these people would be alive today if not for the virus.

And from The New Yorker:

Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, a Regimen for Reëntry
Health-care workers have been on the job throughout the pandemic. What can they teach us about the safest way to lift a lockdown?

tl;dr: The same advice: wash hands, stay apart, wear a mask. Doesn't address the tracing and isolating - because the US doesn't do that.

And people are doing those things (well, at least up until June), according to this report:

We’ve Made a Lot of Covid-19 Progress, but It’s Fragile

Every 10% additional non-compliant people adds to 100,000 lost lives.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Nov 2 2020 14:11 utc | 109

Iranian vs Israeli influence, Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Watching the this series and in the episode "30" season 6:16, it depicts an American Israeli activist who is killed by Israelis while trying to stop them from destroying a Palestinian home (actually quite plausible). But it is revealed that the Palestinians set her up to be a martyr by planting information so that the Israelis thought that home had explosives and in the film footage, it kind of looked like she was shot by the Palestinians.

But wait there's more.
The Israelis tried to cover up this story because the Palestinian activist was actually a Mossad agent and they did not want to blow her cover.

So we have the victimized Israeli army setup by the vile Hamas to shoot a heroic member of the Mossad who was trying to save Palestinians (and they probably didn't even shoot her).

Yeah. The Iranians have us wrapped around our finger. It's bad enough that we must live in fear of Iranian terrorism but now they are twisting our minds to like them.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 2 2020 14:37 utc | 110

Why manufacturers are not rushing from China to India

The most important factor:

Second, acquiring basic amenities like land, water and electricity required for manufacturing is not as easy as in other destinations. For example, it takes eight days to three weeks to get an electricity connection.

Land acquisition is a more tedious task in India.

Third, India has weaker and less efficient infrastructure than China, such as highway and rail networks. The seaports and airports are also less efficient at handling freight than in China.

The less efficient infrastructure means more additional logistical costs for production and transportation. The extra costs make it harder for companies to be competitive.

You can't build a high-speed railway with human bones and skin (even though Modi would love it if that was the case). There comes a stage of technological development where demographics doesn't matter.

The second most important factor:

Of India’s 1.3 billion population, 800 million are poor, low, or lower-middle-income people who receive food grants from the government. Such people will not be consumers of American companies’ pricey goods and services.

Foreign companies do not enter a country just because it has a large population. The population needs to have sufficient purchasing power to consume their products.

China is both a producing and a consuming country. It has about 800 million middle- and high-income people. For instance, China was Apple’s third-largest market in 2019 globally, and it is the largest market in Asia.

India is estimated to have only 20% of the purchasing power of China because India’s per capita income is just US$2,104, whereas China’s was $10,261 in 2019.

So it would be idiocy to expect an American company to leave the Chinese market and come to India. In India, no market demand can be found as Modi claimed in his interview.

The departure of General Motors from India three years ago of Harley-Davidson more recently indicate that Indians cannot afford US companies’ goods. As there is little consumer demand for American companies’ products, they don’t see enough sales prospects to justify relocating to India.

Investing in people matters.

Posted by: vk | Nov 2 2020 14:50 utc | 111

EoinW @ 104

...For one thing, there is a potential of mask laws becoming permanent...

Making children social distance and wear masks is a horrible idea...

as well as being a crime against humanity!

...I see what we are doing to children now and I wonder if we're creating a generation of paranoiac basket cases who will have a life expectancy of 50...

when in ten or fifteen years there is an undeniable spike in premature dementia we'll know the reason why.

Posted by: john | Nov 2 2020 14:56 utc | 112

The pro-lockdown Covidiot wingnuts sure are babbling today with especial idiocy. Feeling some fear for your technocratic-fascist nightmare program?

The Crooke piece linked above (comment 108) moves on from scoffing at Germany's Fourth Reich and France's Third Empire fantasies to confront the tottering existential position of the lockdownists.

"On the practical plane, whereas first phase Covid tended to provide support to Europe’s incumbent governments, this present infection spike is shredding support for incumbents. [Reaping a political whirlwind from their own terrorism over a mild flu-like virus.] Protests and riots are increasingly taking place across Europe. Episodes of violence have been met with horror by the authorities...

To the structural unemployment already incurred in phase one, now must be added another wave of possibly irreversible unemployment, (again) in the services sector. For small businesses and the self-employed, it is a nightmare. Not surprisingly, the anger grows as those losing their means of living observe that civil servants and the middle classes more generally, are passing through this episode, virtually unscathed. [As we've observed from day one, there's a strong correlation between cultism and support for the lockdowns and the financial and job privilege of being able to take time off, work from home without great fear of losing one's job. Among its many other evils, the terror-lockdown assault using "Covid" as a pretext is class war from above.]

There is absolute confusion as governments try to square keeping the economy alive, with containing the infected from overwhelming hospitals [Which we've long known was always a lie; and here we see idiots still repeating it to this day.] – achieving neither. No one is on their balcony these evenings banging cooking pots in communal solidarity. [Praise Jesus we're at least done with that retardism.] Today, protests and riots have taken their place.

Into this mounting anger is inserted dark suspicion. Some may view Covid as pure conspiracy; others will not. Yet it is not ‘conspiracy’ to believe that European governments knowingly have used the pandemic to increase their tools of social control. Was this concerted in anticipation of the changes implicit to the ‘Great Reset’? We do not know. Yet, from the outset, western governments couched their measures as ‘war’ – and as war that required war-time state-directed economics, and war-time public compliance.

Rightly or wrongly, it is becoming a culture war. Overtones of the anger on U.S. streets. Again, dark suspicions that cultural life is being closed down in order to prepare Europeans for the drowning of their cultural identities into a big Brussels-made, melting-pot. These fears may be misplaced, but they are ‘out there’, and viral.

It is Europe’s political fabric and societal cohesion that is in play – and its leaders are not just confused: They fear.

It would indeed be hubristic delusion then, were European leaders to proceed with the automation ‘Great Reset’, and add yet more structural unemployment to a pile, already threatening to topple, under its growing weight (into mass protest). Do they want revolution?"

Goebbels lobbied in vain for years to get Hitler to agree to such lockdowns of the German domestic economy during an actual bona fide war. As late as 1943 after the Stalingrad debacle Hitler still refused to give Goebbels the authority he sought. Only after the 1944 bomb plot did Hitler give him a partial go-ahead.

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

The elites and their media perpetrating the terror-lockdown assault are the same impresarios of the “war on terror” which never got the mass-submission response they tried to induce. Their mindset and motivation in propagating the “war on Covid” is exactly the same: Provoke panic and hysteria in order to attain predatory tyrannical economic and (anti-)social goals they never could attain under regular conditions.

As for the Covid Death Cult, they’re the same as the picked audience in Berlin’s Sportpalast in February 1943 who responded to Goebbels’s shouted question, “Do you want total war?” with the rabid shriek, “Yes!”

In that case the concept meant battening down the hatches during a real war crisis. Today it means inventing the crisis out of thin air in order to wage total war on themselves and their own countrymen.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 2 2020 14:58 utc | 113

@ vk #111
Yes, plus. . . .
Because of a caste system, India's "untouchables" are a quarter of the population.

Millions of people, about 25% of India's population of 1.3 billion people, are grouped under the scheduled castes (Dalits) and scheduled tribes (Adivasis) in India's constitution. Adivasis are indigenous Indians who have been socially and economically marginalized for centuries. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2020 15:08 utc | 114

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2020 15:08 utc | 114

I quite agree, to compete in a modern technical world, you HAVE to develop ALL of your human capital. And that means all those grubby little poor kids get all the education they can handle, plus excellent care and nutrition, regardless of who their parents are.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 15:19 utc | 115

The comparisons of public health lockdowns to Nazism is bizarre beyond words. I don't think it really even deserves a counter beyond the recognition of its prima facie absurdity. The notion that masks would become permanent seems to be some kind of Angloid fear of doing things the "Oriental" way. Masks are indeed normalized in countries which are not as superstitious and not as silly in general as ours. It is probably a good idea for us to adopt the practice of wearing a mask when we have a respiratory illness, especially one which is contagious. During an epidemic on this scale, universalized mask wearing has clear virtue.

I have no idea where this impression of "elites" is coming from besides the right-wing disinformation machine which attacks this comment section like it attacks imageboards with scant moderation. The "elites" here in Louisiana are anti-lockdown. The private property owners whose interests are systematically given priority in the state have lobbied successfully against public health measures and enforcement of these measures is practically non-existent.

Are these people serious? I welcome them to go and get the coronavirus. If it doesn't kill them, it might make them live ten years less than they would have otherwise, and then they and I can finally stop breathing the same air. We should provide free Wuhan flu injections to anyone who thinks it's just no big deal. They want immunity, there's one way to get it, for at least a few months anyway.

Posted by: fnord | Nov 2 2020 15:21 utc | 116

@108
Re: EU as a superpower, Germany/France, etc

That is an important angle to watch. On paper, a unified EU would be a more serious threat to US hegemony than even China. Exceeds US in all categories except military: population, trade, technology, industry, finance*, soft power, pretty much all aspects of human development, and even the various measures of 'rule of law', such as it is.

In reality they will just play the French and Germans off against each other.

[* more wealth in US I think, but far healthier debt levels and tax structure in EU ]

Posted by: ptb | Nov 2 2020 15:23 utc | 117

fnord | Nov 2 2020 15:21 utc | 116

The comparisons of public health lockdowns to Nazism is bizarre beyond words. I don't think it really even deserves a counter beyond the recognition of its prima facie absurdity.

The delusion that any of these governments or their media care the slightest bit about public health is bizarre beyond words. I don't think it deserves a counter beyond the recognition of its prima facie absurdity.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 2 2020 15:31 utc | 118

Good article today from Ron Unz on the Glenn Greenwald resignation. Unz paints the Intercept as a sort of solid gold jail for that muzzles investigative journalists with high salaries.

https://www.unz.com/announcement/glenn-greenwald-escapes-his-100-million-webzine/

Also cites interesting salary and compensation data dug up by b's good friend Max Blumenthal:

https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1322289829904863232/photo/2

Intercept's editor in chief Sarah Reed's total compensation package = $478K.

Posted by: gm | Nov 2 2020 15:33 utc | 119

Err: Intercept's editor in chief Elizabeth Reed..'

Posted by: gm | Nov 2 2020 15:37 utc | 120

The coronavirus pandemic could be stopped dead in the US in two to three weeks if Americans could manage a hard lockdown accompanied by aggressive test/trace/isolate. Of course, that is far too much self-discipline and delayed gratification for infantile Americans to cope with.

Just think of it: Two to three weeks and America is no longer Cootiestan and you can safely go back to clubs and theaters and sporting events. Can Americans control their ego-centrism that long? Of course not. We must remain a plague state indefinitely due to our culture of self-centeredness.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 15:42 utc | 121

@ Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 13:58 utc | 108

I don't know how the Europeans themselves see the situation, but, from the viewpoint of the rest of the world, the EU always was a blatant attempt of West Europe to create an USA on the other side of the North Atlantic. Even the name suggests it.

There are a lot of evidence the EU is an attempt to create a second USA:

1) the model of unification of the EU members is through finance (Euro Zone): it has a Central Bank (ECB), a free market (free circulation of people, commodities and services) and an aggressive attempt to unify fiscal policy of each member of the Euro Zone (deficit limits). This is a mini-USA;

2) the map of the EU gives us a clear geopolitical picture: the EU's pattern of expansion is clearly a revival of the dream of Europe's first ruler, emperor Augustus, who envisioned a Roman Empire that extended to the river Elbe and already controlled the Balkans and the rest of the Mediterranean. This also explains France's aggressive interventions in the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey, Lebanon), even though the French Empire has been extinct for some decades. Ironically, the first territorial loss of the EU was the UK - Britannia was the last province conquered by the Romans (during Claudius) and the first to be lost (after the death of Magnus Maximus) (not counting the ephemeral provinces of Dacia and Mesopotamia, which were never truly colonized);

3) Germany has a clear intent of giving preference to the Eastern European countries when it comes to membership to the EU. The then newly created "3% rule" was clearly directed to rapidly absorb the ex-Warsaw Pact and ex-USSR nations, as those nations had 0% debt to GDP by definition, since they were socialist not long ago. But the most aggressive expansion was to the ex-Yugoslavia nations (Illyricum), which gives credence to the Roman hypothesis than the Prussian hypothesis (after all, the most important nation for Germany in the East - Poland - already was a member, so there's no haste in that front);

4) They are openly testing the waters for the foundation of an European Army, as stated many times by the French president and the faction represented by Jan-Claude Juncker. The only obstacle here are the multiple languages spoken within the EU (which makes a truly unified Armed Forces impossible) and, more importantly, the existence of NATO.

Posted by: vk | Nov 2 2020 15:45 utc | 122

The delusion that any of these governments or their media care the slightest bit about public health is bizarre beyond words

You're right, the US government does not give a damn about public health, which is why at nearly every level it has abdicated the responsibility of protecting it outside of the span of a couple months, and hence why - putting GDP growth ahead of saving lives and quality life years - we have allowed cases to explode again.

You might as well go full Birchite and compare the lockdowns to the NKVD going door to door for dissidents to Stalinism, rather than tired comparisons to Nazi totalitarianism. That's what the GOP are doing here, in arguing against lockdowns. What's delusional is this gut feel you share with the most noxious right-libertarians, that anyone in a position of authority (besides, of course, your boss, your parents, and your pastor) is simply trying to hurt you, that the public sphere is a sphere of pain and suffering and domination, and that collective affairs are best left unattended.

Posted by: fnord | Nov 2 2020 15:48 utc | 123

Russ @ 118

You got the nail on head with the ‘they don’t care” line.

Persons with asthma should not wear masks. Persons with COPD should not wear masks. Under age 3 or over age 80 should not wear masks. Not a comprehensive list. Adds up to a lot of people. Go to the supermarket and see 100% compliance. Who are the non-compliant who are killing us all? I do not wear a mask while driving my car or while walking on a sparsely populated sidewalk. Those who imagine a one second encounter at 6 feet or greater outdoors in a breeze is lethal are beyond hope.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 2 2020 15:49 utc | 124

@EoinW #104
The primary reason you are against masks is because you see mask laws a legal tipping points.
I don't believe in tipping points. If people hate masks - they will simply ignore the law.
Social distancing for kids, etc - again, nonsense. Kids will do what they do.
History shows very clearly that insufferable laws in the US will change: Prohibition (and its repeal) is a great example.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 15:49 utc | 125

@William Gruff #121
I kept looking for the /sarc but didn't see it.
If China can't lock down hard enough to "stop COVID in its tracks" - why do you think anyone else can?
Note that China has been having regular outbreaks despite travel bans and what not.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 15:50 utc | 126

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 13:58 utc | 108

Thanks for that link.

European governments have been caught off-guard. There is absolute confusion as governments try to square keeping the economy alive, with containing the infected from overwhelming hospitals – achieving neither. This represents the cost of the ‘summer opening’ to save the tourist season.

Exact description of what happened in the small town I live. We had zero cases until the summer came, then it slowly started spreading, the main infecting spot was a house where temporary workers of beach discotheques lived piled up, slowly but surely the bug infected all the small towns around the area. Some economy they call it, a bunch of illegals and drug dealers poisoning our youth and them poisoning everybody else. So we have courses for becoming a disc jockey, or an influencer, or salsa dancer, or a community manager, while the Chinese graduate over a million technicians and engineers every year. A bright future awaits us.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 2 2020 15:54 utc | 127

Italy did a hard lockdown and quarantined from 9 March 2020 – 18 May 2020[a]
(2 months, 1 week and 2 days)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_lockdown_in_Italy

They did mass testing, contact tracing, the whole shebang.

Now it seems they’re about to go for their second lockdown in the space of six months.

Posted by: Down South | Nov 2 2020 15:56 utc | 128

Posted by: vk | Nov 2 2020 15:45 utc | 122

You make good points. I'm mainly struck by the hubris. "They have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing." The Navalny clown show had me puzzled when Merkel jumped in with both feet, but once that clicks in it all makes "sense". They seem remarkably unaware of who they are dealing with in Uncle Sugar too. "There can be only one."

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 15:57 utc | 129

They did mass testing, contact tracing, the whole shebang.

And then what did they do? You forgot about that little bit of time when they completely let their guard down, when they re-opened prematurely with levels of transmission and active cases which were still too high. Mass testing and contract tracing are necessary first steps. What Vietnam and South Korea and China show us is that this has to be coupled with a public welfare system that the so-called "Western" world can no longer tolerate the existence of, as this reduces their "economic viability," i.e., it makes us one iota less dependent on the dictatorship of capital which is, in the final analysis, giving the orders here. Countries which feature less capitalist domination, either because of the mediation of this domination by a communist party, or because of an intense and semi-victorious class struggle against capitalist domination, are not so cowed, and have largely been successful in keeping the pandemic at bay.

It's time to stop fearing the Orient. They've figured some shit out and we would do well by ourselves to learn from their example.

Posted by: fnord | Nov 2 2020 16:09 utc | 130

@Paco

Thanks for that link.

---

Exact description of what happened in the small town I live. We had zero cases until the summer came, then it slowly started spreading, the main infecting spot was a house where temporary workers of beach discotheques lived piled up, slowly but surely the bug infected all the small towns around the area. Some economy they call it, a bunch of illegals and drug dealers poisoning our youth and them poisoning everybody else. So we have courses for becoming a disc jockey, or an influencer, or salsa dancer, or a community manager, while the Chinese graduate over a million technicians and engineers every year. A bright future awaits us.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 2 2020 15:54 utc | 127

My pleasure. Thank you for your testimony. That sounds typical of how it spreads, it likes crowding and no ventilation. Cold helps it last longer outside the body. More exposure leads to worse illness. Sunshine, good food, good friends and fresh air will serve you well.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 16:10 utc | 131

c1ue @125

China did stop covid dead in its tracks, and when diseased people bring it to China from abroad (100% of the cases in China for months) then they successfully contain it again in a matter of days.

There are no travel bans within China. International travelers must quarantine due to the inability of other countries to contain the pandemic, but spread of the virus is entirely halted inside China and their domestic economy has fully recovered.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 16:10 utc | 132

how many people here think it is mostly men talking?? very few women appear to get wound up like this or bother to post at moa...

i used to think having to go thru the every 4 year usa election cycle as too much.... now i see covid is going to replace it and it is going to be non stop... you know.. the strong adherents on either side of the debate who are so attached to their view that every time someone says something on the topic they don't agree with, they have to be right in their throwing their 2 cents in or worse... oh well.... so much for stepping back... this appears to be what we are stuck with for now.. a bunch of mostly men, so attached to their viewpoints, that anyone who steps out of line with their perspective is going to get blasted...

Posted by: james | Nov 2 2020 16:13 utc | 133

More revelations on the FBI evidence coverup/erasure department's handiwork in the Seth Rich case, turned up through a FOIA action by Judicial Watch:

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/11/turns-fbi-hiding-seth-rich-documents/

The first hint of the coverup came from David Hardy, an FBI Senior official, who affirmed in a 2017 affidavit that there were no responsive records. Hardy is the Section Chief of the Record/Information Dissemination Section (“RIDS”), Information Management Division (“IMD”),1 Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), in Winchester, Virginia. Here are the relevant portions of his first affidavit:

[...]

The FBI finally admitted to Judicial Watch in January 2020 that they had emails between the Washington Field Office and FBI Headquarters. These are dynamite because they show that the FBI’s Washington Field Office (which is not located at FBI Headquarters on 9th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW in Washington, DC) was communicating with the FBI’s Peter Strzok and the Counter Intelligence Division. Why in the world would the FBI be involved in investigating what was supposedly a mere robbery of an unfortunate white victim (i.e., Seth Rich) and communicating on this investigation with the Counter Intelligence Division (CID) of the FBI. The CID only works international spy cases.


Posted by: gm | Nov 2 2020 16:17 utc | 134

With respect to COVID the gold standard is not in Europe or North America, its in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia. Some did full lockdowns and contact tracing, some did selective lockdowns and contact tracing - the most important thing is that they were, and are still, disciplined and fully resourced with what they are doing.

The approach in the other Anglo nations (US, Canada, UK) fits the usual "muddling through" plus a big chunk of nepotistic crony capitalism and pissy narcissistic and hubristic bullshit, with the US leading the way with its insane "healthcare" system and lack of any care for the bottom 50%. The 6 months between wave 1 and 2 seem to have been used for little benefit. Add Brazil (now benefitting from the onset of Spring and probable undercounting) and other South American countries to this list.

Europe and Scandinavia generally have a more disciplined and resourced approach than the above Anglo nations, but still nowhere near what is happening among the Asian/Oceanic group. The Swedish numbers are now trending very badly, once again significantly worse than their Scandinavian neighbours.

Posted by: Roger | Nov 2 2020 16:23 utc | 135

There are no travel bans within China. International travelers must quarantine due to the inability of other countries to contain the pandemic, but spread of the virus is entirely halted inside China and their domestic economy has fully recovered.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 16:10 utc | 132

Yes, they did, and they do, and we here in the West would be in much worse shape now if they and their Asian partners had not done that, as they will be able to keep us supplied with all the things we get from them, they will be feeding and clothing the world while it struggles with the disease. So I think a bit of gratitude is in order instead of all this whining. Maybe atacking them would not be the best idea.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 16:24 utc | 136

Does sheer energy and hard work matter in this election?

Trump has been the Energizer Bunny.
Yesterday, his last appearance was 11:30 pm - the 5th state visited that day.
He not only did his full spiel - he stayed longer just to talk more.
And there were a lot of people. Since I'm on the West Coast, it isn't a trial for me to look online and see that there were many thousands of people turning out for an 11:30 pm rally for which Trump was delayed coming in.
He didn't use a teleprompter or even written notes, but still was on target with his messaging - consistent with at least the 2 previous rallies which I listened to, nor did Trump make any gaffes. Video here
Note the large numbers of people standing in the foreground because the bleachers were full.

Does this make enough of a difference for Trump to win?

Not clear. It can be argued that these people almost certainly have voted/would or will vote for Trump anyway, but the commitment and energy probably means something. The earlier rallies in Michigan and Nc were with 30-45 mph winds and around freezing temps.

Contrast this with the Obama/Biden rally in Michigan the same day (Nov 1)Youtube source

The camera is tightly focused on Obama/Biden until the very end - when it becomes very clear that there are a literal handful of people present.

Sure, the Democrat message likely discourages turnout. But the again, this low turnout seems extraordinarily poor for a candidate that is supposedly up 6-7 percent in the polls in Michigan and an ex-President who is supposed to be a rock star.

Trump is doing another 5 rallies today in 4 different states. If these rallies do nothing but generate 1000 new votes each - this makes a difference. Trump being present in all of these places energizes his supporters including those delivering on the ground game.

This is why I still don't have faith in the MSM polls - Trump didn't have Air Force One in 2016 to do this but he was out there pushing hard. I posted earlier how he did 69 rallies in the 38 days from October 1 to election day. It seems certain that Trump will have done far more rallies in 2020.

In the meantime, SF has boarded up downtown. The City, or at least the property owners in Union Square, Financial District and lower SOMA seem to think there is a real chance of more rioting.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 16:26 utc | 137

Important news:

China breaks record in double-cropping rice output, achieving yield of 1,500 kg per mu

China’s third-generation hybrid rice has broken the world record to become the highest-yielding double-cropping rice, with an output of 1,500 kilograms per mu (about 0.067 hectares), CCTV News reported on Monday.

[...]

At an on-site interview by CCTV News, Yuan said that the result is of great importance to safeguarding China’s food security. With an annual yield of 1,500 kg per mu, it can feed 5 persons per mu a year.

--//--

Delusions of the Empire:

Vietnam acting as ‘bulwark against China’ only US’ wishful thinking

China and Vietnam are socialist countries. The US has been suppressing the rise of China, a major socialist power, and Pompeo even called the Communist Party of China a "new tyranny." This would more or less trigger Vietnam's vigilance. After all, for some American political elites, ideological disputes have been deeply engraved into their minds, and their prejudice against socialist countries is difficult to change.

[...]

The article also mentioned that Vietnam wants "powerful friends as backup" to fend off China's "expansion" in the South China Sea. China and Vietnam have maritime territorial disputes, but this is not the whole picture of their bilateral relationship. The two countries have the ability to manage this dispute and prevent it from becoming a dominant aspect of their relations.

[...]

In 2018, Vietnam overtook Malaysia as China's largest trade partner in ASEAN, and China has been Vietnam's largest trade partner for 15 consecutive years. Vietnam is an important country for China to promote the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), especially the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and Vietnam's economy also benefits from the BRI.

The logic is clear: after the USA is done with China, Vietnam would be next (as it is also a socialist country). It's reverse domino effect, and the Vietnamese know it.

Besides, most of Vietnam's growth and prosperity already comes from China either way, it's not that it is difficult for the average Vietnamese to visualize the correct path to be followed here.

--//--

China's take on American democracy:

How damaged is the US democracy?

The reasoning here is simple: you live by the sword, you die by the sword. If you're a liberal democracy supporter, that means either you have a "one person, one vote" direct system or you don't. It's that simple.

Posted by: vk | Nov 2 2020 16:34 utc | 138

@EoinW | Nov 2 2020 12:57 utc | 104

Thank you, you speak for me as well with your words in this and earlier posts.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 2 2020 16:35 utc | 139

@visak | Nov 2 2020 13:16 utc | 105

You are lucky this isn't my place, cause I would toss you out in a heart beat. Idiot.

I would recommend a course in tolerance.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 2 2020 16:36 utc | 140

Early voting totals reach 95 million, nearly 70% of all votes from 2016 U.S. election

It's all over, we just don't know the outcome yet.

I voted early because I don't want to touch those icky voting machines. You could pick something up.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 16:36 utc | 141

fnord @ 130

Spoken like a true ideologue impervious to facts.

How is Italy with one of the highest debt to GDP ratios in the world supposed to fund a welfare system that enables people to live indefinitely in a lockdown until a vaccine is found ????

If that is your answer to combat COVID-19 you are completely out of your mind.

Posted by: Down South | Nov 2 2020 16:37 utc | 142

Russ@118 quotes "The comparisons of public health lockdowns to Nazism is bizarre beyond words. I don't think it really even deserves a counter beyond the recognition of its prima facie absurdity."

Russ@118 then comments "The delusion that any of these governments or their media care the slightest bit about public health is bizarre beyond words. I don't think it deserves a counter beyond the recognition of its prima facie absurdity."

The grotesque stupidity of this lies in the fact it is putting business as usual ahead of any health measures is precisely what proves these governments don't care about public health. This is especially true in the US which prefers an ineffective and expensive health care system solely because it's more profitable to private parties. The media of course have zero to do with the original comparison to Nazism which makes the comment even more deranged.

Contempt for fact and logic, loving lies, and petty malice are moral failures, not wit. Such simple-minded insolence earns Russ the hearty contempt of all sane people. Masking policies are health measures, not Nazism. It is despicable to pretend otherwise.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Nov 2 2020 16:38 utc | 143

vk often says many sensible things, which is why it is so galling when vk tosses off blatant absurdities. vk goes out of the way to give evidence everything in vk's comments should be disregarded.

In this case, the idea that Dacia was never truly colonized is nuts. There's a reason why Romanian is spoken in that area today and it's not because the Romans just came and went.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Nov 2 2020 16:40 utc | 144

@William Gruff #132
The Uighur province, Xinjiang, just got locked down again. There are no outside travelers going there, at least on airlines, because that whole region is national security locked down to start with. And there can't be people going there by train/car because the rest of China is COVID-free, so you say, right?
Beijing was locked down at least partially in June. Lockdowns were also re-enacted in May for regions holding 8 to 9 digits of population.
So no, I don't agree with your statement that China has "beat" COVID.
And again - if China hasn't done it with its ginormous surveillance and state power, nor has any European nation, why again does anyone believe they will work now?

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 16:46 utc | 145

@fnord | Nov 2 2020 15:21 utc | 116

The comparisons of public health lockdowns to Nazism is bizarre beyond words. I don't think it really even deserves a counter beyond the recognition of its prima facie absurdity.

I took part in a debate in the forum controlled by the largest Norwegian newspaper and stated what is quite obvious: There is no actual evidence to claim a pandemic, the null hypothesis holds. For that I was called a Nazi and the forum "moderators" locked me out. The guy who called me a Nazi is still there.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 2 2020 16:49 utc | 146

steven t johnson | Nov 2 2020 16:38 utc | 143

"The media of course have zero to do with the original comparison to Nazism which makes the comment even more deranged."

Joseph Goebbels was, of course, the Nazi Propaganda Minister and hardly an obscure figure. The fact that you're ignorant of him certainly is in line with your ignorance of the longstanding, non-controversial science on masks (i.e., they're worthless outside a narrow clinical context), and your ignorance of all the facts of the entire fake "lethal pandemic".

But maybe it's just your dismay at seeing your affinity with such a zealous lockdownist that causes your intellect to shut down.

"Such simple-minded insolence earns Russ the hearty contempt of all sane people."

The contempt of stupid, ignorant and insane state-authoritarian followers like you is a badge of honor for me. Otherwise I would not have persisted all these years opposing your system.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 2 2020 16:50 utc | 147

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Nov 2 2020 16:40 utc | 144

Dacia was colonized, but was in a precarious position from the start, because of its geographical position (beyond the Danube). Hadrian always gave it up right after Trajan died (only remaining a province by abandoning its northernmost portion and dividing it into three). Dacia was completely lost by the end of the Crisis of the Third Century.

Mesopotamia was immediately abandoned by Hadrian; this one we can say for sure was never colonized. The problem with Mesopotamia was that it was a huge plains flanked to the east by a huge mountain range, from which the Persians could easily attack and recuperate the region. The desert landscape also made Roman-style colonization impossible - the region always being dominated by the fortress cities, not by a continuous agricultural space.

As with many of his predecessors (including the Republican-era ones), Trajan was in love with the history of Alexander the Great. He wanted to conquer Persia the same way Alexander did it four centuries before. In that context, Mesopotamia was more like a monument to his reign than a true necessity of Rome.

Of the truly consolidated provinces, Britannia was the first to be lost.

Posted by: vk | Nov 2 2020 16:54 utc | 148

@ Posted by: Down South | Nov 2 2020 16:37 utc | 142

How is Italy with one of the highest debt to GDP ratios in the world supposed to fund a welfare system

And here we see, on full and honest display, the capitalist realism which is driving the death toll in the US to 300,000 if it's not already there yet unofficially. How are they supposed to do all that? Well, they have credit, still, and they have manpower, physical resources, and probably some means of keeping track of these things. Wouldn't you know it, those are all the rudiments of an economic planning regime! What they lack is the political will to break the capitalist interests, to subject them to planning directives, and often enough because they offshored their shit to China in the name of higher rates of exploitation, the physical means to perform the planning. Yes, things are in a sorry state, but this is entirely because of the thinking of people like you, who are afraid of making The Market, that great Baphomet, a little upset.

Now I see what we're up against here, it is in fact the usual right-libertarian economic illiteracy presenting itself as cold and hard economic reason. Capitalism realism has us tight in its grip.

Posted by: fnord | Nov 2 2020 16:54 utc | 149

I am a retired nurse whose friends and five family members are caring for people who now wish they had believed science.

Posted by: Maureen O | Nov 2 2020 17:03 utc | 150

Richard Steven Hack @Nov2 6:11 #85

All theories remain as theories ... Citing your theory as having "predictive power" in advance of the prediction coming true is ridiculous.

I've already accepted that. Maybe that wasn't clear. I said explicitly @Nov2 5:04 #82 that I'm addressing the question of how much credibility a theory can be said to have AFTER IT HAS SHOWN to have predictive power.

I've suggested that there are differences in how scientific theories and social theories are validated. Science relies on repeatability while social theories may gain credence via a one-time accurate prediction of a surprising result.

I've noted that theories are often dismissed by laymen as "only a theory". This creates the conundrum and 'credibility trap' that I'm concerned about.

=
You don't, by your admission, have any "observable facts." You have "close observations" of historical facts ...

I don't understand this. "Historical facts", like "Trump became President after the 2016 Presidential election", have been observed.

=
What you haven't done is make a case for *how* the Deep State has thrown this election for Trump. You simply assume they have - with zero evidence. List the actual measures you think the Deep State has used to *guarantee* the landslide you think is coming.

I'm not assuming a possible future event as a fact. It's a logical inference based on my theory of Deep State's use of a popular nationalist politician as a tool.

How the Deep State would manipulate an election is not very difficult to fathom. They don't control everything but they do have partners in media and top officials. And they know how the electorate responds to people and events. So what they do is have the Democrats nominate a flawed candidate that alienates key parts of the electorate (progressives and blacks) and fails to campaign well because he's old and cowers "in the basement". And have Pelosi refuse a stimulus deal that would provide individuals with sorely-needed cash. And have a series of "October surprise" that benefit Trump - no such surprises for Biden, though!

Then there's the "ground game": a huge get-out-the-vote effort by Trump coupled with complacency by the Democrats. In districts where voting is close, there might be the tradition ballot access issues and/or "lost" mail-in ballots (already set up to some extent with the Post Office issues).

This is not an exhaustive list.

<> <> <> <> <>

Thanks for a worthwhile discussion.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 2 2020 17:04 utc | 151

Posted by: fnord | Nov 2 2020 16:54 utc | 149

Now I see what we're up against here, it is in fact the usual right-libertarian economic illiteracy presenting itself as cold and hard economic reason. Capitalism realism has us tight in its grip.

Yep, debt you see is an imperishable physical quantity, akin to a black hole or something, while people are ephemeral and can be dispensed with when they interfere with paying the debt. In fact what you do about the debt is cancel it and take care of your citizens instead. Fuck the debt. This is WHY the Chinese are kicking their ass economically. But they are much too full of themselves to see that.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 17:13 utc | 152

An example of the historically proven and today openly proclaimed totalitarian surveillance goal.

https://www.unz.com/rpaul/no-vaccine-for-tyranny/

"The assault on our liberty will not end with deployment and use of a vaccine. Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a “public-private partnership” in charge of producing and delivering a coronavirus vaccine, has said that those who receive a vaccine will be monitored by “incredibly precise … tracking systems.” Slaoui has also indicated that tech giants Google and Oracle will help the government keep tabs on the vaccinated individuals. So, the vaccine program will lead to an increase in government surveillance!

Slaoui is just the latest “expert” to endorse forcing the American people to relinquish their few remaining scraps of privacy to stop coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates have urged development of a digital certificate for those vaccinated for coronavirus. People without the certificate would find their liberty severely restricted.

Those who think that the new surveillance system will be limited to coronavirus should remember that Social Security numbers were only supposed to be used to administer the Social Security program. They should also consider that the PATRIOT Act’s expansion of warrantless wiretapping was supposed to be limited to stopping terrorists. However, these powers have been used for a wide variety of purposes. Whenever government is given power to abuse our rights for one reason it will inevitably use that power to abuse our rights for other reasons as well.

Fauci and Gates’ digital certificate could, and likely will, be expanded to include proof individuals have received a variety of other vaccines and medical treatments. The digital certificate could even extend to monitoring a person’s lifestyle choices on the grounds that unhealthy habits make one more susceptible to diseases.

The digital certificate could also be tied to the REAL ID program to deny individuals who have not been vaccinated the right to travel. It could also be combined with a future mandatory E-Verify system to deny unvaccinated individuals the right to hold a job. Those who consider this “paranoia” should consider Britain is already developing a covid passport."

Anyone who has studied totalitarianism knows that its primary goal is not to suppress dissent and prevent rebellion but ever-escalating control and domination for their own sakes. So it is no surprise that submitting to coercive vaccination will only escalate the surveillance and multiply the bureaucratic obstacles one will encounter and hoops one must jump through.

And don't think for a second that a vaccine would then replace fascist pressure to conform to the superstitious, scientifically debunked rituals of face diapers and hex spacing. Since the goal of these is social control, the demand to submit to vaccination will only be added to these, never replace them, if the psychopathic impresarios of the terror-lockdown assault have their way.

And to repeat, none of this ever for a second had anything to do with public health. Governments and their media never cared about it, and the cultist wingnuts never cared about it.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 2 2020 17:18 utc | 153

c1ue @145: "There are no outside travelers going there [Xinjiang], at least on airlines, because that whole region is national security locked down to start with."

That's odd. There are plenty of flights to choose from going there. Which strange alternate universe do you live in where there are no flights to Xinjiang? Don't you realize that people can just go to online flight booking sites and check for themselves?

And perhaps you have not heard of this little side hobby China has been playing with lately called the "One Belt One Road Initiative"? Xinjiang has been seeing lots more traffic lately.

The lockdowns in China last at most a few days now and encompass limited populations. When the testing/tracking/isolation process is completed then the lockdowns are lifted. The lockdown you are referring to in Qingdao was lifted in less than a week, and wasn't a "hard" lockdown anyway. Theaters are open there again. Which city in the US can say that?

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 17:27 utc | 154

@136
Yes, they did [lock down] and we here in the West would be in much worse shape... they will be feeding and clothing the world while it struggles with the disease... should be grateful

well said, I second that

Posted by: ptb | Nov 2 2020 17:27 utc | 155

Norwegian - Sorry, no tolerance for the utterly stupid.

Posted by: visak | Nov 2 2020 17:41 utc | 156

@visak | Nov 2 2020 17:41 utc | 156

Norwegian - Sorry, no tolerance for the utterly stupid.

Condolences.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 2 2020 17:47 utc | 157

Bemildred @115--

Yes, the development of a nation's #1 asset, its human capital, is more important now than at anytime in human history. You noted why India will continue to fall behind its Asian peers, and the brief description of China's meritocracy I provided on the D-Party thread shows the reason behind the huge, widening gap between the two most populous nations. In the past, I've linked to and excerpted what Putin's Russia is doing, which provides the reason why it's so far ahead of the EU and the Outlaw US Empire; and just in time for this thread and sub-topic, we have Putin addressing the participants in Bolshaya Peremena:

"Hello Artek, hello competition finalists.

"I am greeting over a million schoolchildren all across Russia who have taken part in this wonderful contest, Bolshaya Peremena.

"This name is figurative and reflects your lives and school, the time of friendship, new knowledge and discoveries. Of course, it also reflects the huge social and technological changes, big changes that are happening now in the world.

"In order to become leaders in the turbulent, difficult 21st century, we need to create the best opportunities for people’s self-fulfillment, for revealing the talents and natural gifts that all people, adults and children alike, have, and for helping them find their way in life. This is what determines the future of Russia, its successes and achievements.

"This is why it is so important that Bolshaya Peremena has provided you with a unique chance to show the best side of your skills and knowledge, to choose a creative assignment, and tell everyone about your projects and ideas on a whole range of issues. These include art, journalism, environmental protection, science, technology, volunteering, history, tourism, and the development of our cities, your home." [My Emphasis]

As I've commented previously when posting Putin's addresses to Russia's youth, such motivation is never given by any USA politico, and we have no similar contests. Nor do we make human development and its required support mechanisms the sort of priority as Russia and China have. Imagine any US politician saying the following:

"Of course, my special gratitude goes to your teachers.

"Under the contest’s conditions, you could invite your favourite teacher, your homeroom teacher, art school teacher or coach. Due to the pandemic, they could not attend the semifinals but always supported you online. I thank your mentors with whom you began on your road to big success. Let us thank all the teachers of Russia for their invaluable work."

The reason such words are never uttered in the USA is education and educators have been under siege by Neoliberal privatizers and corporadoes who want to further dumb-down the populace which has made most teachers the political enemies of the Duopoly. Imagine the boost to the self-esteem to hear your president talk to you like this:

"Each one of you, without exception, is talented. You all are winners. Your main victory is that you overcame your doubts, took a step towards your dreams, and proved that you can achieve a lot thanks to your strong will, persistence, talent and, of course, hard work.

"Let me repeat that your personal success, as well as that of the millions of other school students, determines the welfare and the dynamic development of all of Russia.

"We will continue to pave the way for children and teenagers to be successful and talented. Without exaggeration, this is our national goal. I believe it unites all Russians." [My Emphasis]

Because Neoliberalism lacks any collectivist ethos--that we're all in it together to make our communities and nation a better place by investing in our youth--the nations using it as a political-economic system are slowly going down the drain as the focus is making a few crazy rich at the expense of the entire society.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2020 17:48 utc | 158

The EU has a huge 2nd wave (or rather, the continuation of the 1st wave) because it refuses to put restrictions to circulation
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/10/13/covid-19-council-adopts-a-recommendation-to-coordinate-measures-affecting-free-movement/
Most of the big EU states do little or no contact tracing, and have focused on applications meant to warn someone he has been in contact with a positive case, rather than trying to locate the superspreaders. The surge started in Spain in July, France in August, both the main touristic destinations of the Europeans. It naturally went exponential when all the EU states reopened their schools in September, without consideration for the staff or the families of the pupils.
https://www.princeton.edu/news/2020/09/30/largest-covid-19-contact-tracing-study-date-finds-children-key-spread-evidence

Interestingly, the EU countries that had seen very little case in the Spring, e.g. Tchec Republic, have had a quicker peak. Seems that antibodies work indeed.

Posted by: Julie | Nov 2 2020 17:57 utc | 159

vk 122 Re: "full" EU integration etc

The first really big pre-requisite was letting the UK go. That just happened.

The second well be a unified military, your 4th point... Just to speculate about that, it seems like an area where big internal contradictions have to be resolved.

One contradiction is the effect of a unified army on the Franco-German balance, already mentioned. The most noble purpose of the EU is perhaps to prevent another war between the biggest continental powers in 50 years or whatever. Part of that balance is that Germany is economically dominant, but France gets to have the nukes and the bigger military. A continental army would ultimately detract from France's position. And Germany doesn't seem to mind this arrangement at all, as they face no actual security threats whatsoever.

Another contradiction is the eastern states. Many of them make huge noise about Russia, but in practice they are dominated by debtor relationships to richer EU countries. Being a favored host of US-within-NATO, in a limited way, provides some little counterbalance there. An EU less dependent of NATO would undercut this, so they may well veto a substantial EU military, even if it would theoretically align with the stated fears of a Russian invasion (complete nonsense in light of the actual continental military balance).

The most that will have general agreement, I'm guessing, will be to shovel a pile of money to EU aerospace companies. Being forced to buy and maintain F-35's is too dumb to ignore.

Maybe there will be just enough military integration so that an eventual repeat adventure in North Africa or Lebanon etc isn't just the French doing it by themselves, nor them being forced to bring in US neocons to screwing it up. (they'll screw it up just fine without on their own, but nobody phrases it quite that way in their mind)

Posted by: ptb | Nov 2 2020 18:04 utc | 160

fnord @ 149

Yes, things are in a sorry state, but this is entirely because of the thinking of people like you, who are afraid of making The Market, that great Baphomet, a little upset

Our neighbours to the north of us in Zimbabwe were as economically illiterate as you appear to be. You see Mad Bob Mugabe when he realised his political power was waning and there was a good chance ZANU PF would lose the election he thought a great way to make himself popular with the masses again would be to expropriate land from the white farmers at no compensation and hand it over to black farmers. So Mad Bob thinks it’s a great idea and decides to hold a referendum on the matter thinking the masses would support him. However instead of supporting what was clearly a political stunt to shore up his own political power base Zimbabweans voted AGAINST the move as they realised what the disastrous consequences would be.

However Mad Bob did not care he ignored the will of the people expressed in the referendum and ignored the dire economic effect his decision would have and he went ahead and expropriated the land without compensation. Now as a good communist I’m sure you support wholeheartedly such an anti-colonial, anti-imperial move. All hail Mad Bob!!!

The consequence of Mad Bob ignoring his peoples wishes and economicy reality is that the Zimbabwean economy collapsed. But you see Mad Bob had a plan! He decided he would print his way out of economic hardship he had brought down on his people and so the printing presses were switched on printing money day and night. Mad Bob was pleased.

However economic reality came knocking on Zimbabwe’s door when hyperinflation hit with a vengeance. The Zimbabwean currency became so worthless that the only way to escape the hyperinflation he had unleashed was to dollarise the economy!!!!

But this did not save Zimbabwe from economic ruin which it still finds itself today as a result of Mad Bob’s economic illiteracy!

The moral of this sad tale is don’t ignore economic reality.

Posted by: Down South | Nov 2 2020 18:05 utc | 161

So what they do is have the Democrats nominate a flawed candidate that alienates key parts of the electorate (progressives and blacks) and fails to campaign well because he's old and cowers "in the basement".
_________________________________________

How the deep state made all that happen is quite interesting.

On the day that the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call was released, what was going to happen should have been obvious to any student of Kayfabe.
First of all the whole notion that the CIA agent was so appalled by the violation of etjics in that phone call that they had to blow the whistle is just so absurd and silly that it is hard to believe anybody swallows it. But predictably all the anti-trumpers are suddenly convinced the CIA is the hall monitor that maintains the highest ethics in diplomacy.

What was obvious to me at that time was the whole purpose of exposing the phone call was to:
A) Damage Biden's reputation and paint him as corrupt
B) Propel the Democrats to double down on that damaged candidate
C) Set the stage for the concrete evidence of Biden's corruption to be released as an October surprise.(IOW, they already had the evidence)

All of that was easy to predict and all of it came true.
Once the phone call was released it was set in Stone that the Democrats would run a this loser against Trump. No rabid trump hater would ever admit that Trump had successfully derailed Biden's electability.

The whole thing is a masterpiece in how the CIA manipulates an election in plain sight and most people cannot see it.


Posted by: jinn | Nov 2 2020 18:31 utc | 162

Related to my comment @158, we have Putin addressing the Russia Calling Investment Forum where his introduction again emphasizes Russia's current and longstanding aims:

"The indisputable priority for Russia in this situation is the protection of the life and health of Russian citizens, of our families. I mentioned this on numerous occasions. This is the logic by which our actions have been and will be guided during the pandemic, when we coordinated a package of anti-crisis measures designed to save jobs and protect people’s incomes and to stimulate new contracts in the production chain. I would like to point out that total federal allocations approved for these support measures amounted to some 4.5 percent of the GDP. We know that some countries have allocated even more."

I call Russia a Collectivist Society that retains a degree of its Socialist past that's now blended with some Capitalist features as the following demonstrates:

"Let us consider, as an example, the easy term mortgage programme with a 6.5 percent interest rate. This form of targeted support has proved effective. According to forecasts, the amount of mortgage loans issued this year will be record-high at more than 3.5 trillion rubles. In addition, this measure has not only helped the construction industry but has also encouraged additional demand for the output of related sectors, which employ millions of our citizens.

"I have said already that a decision was taken to extend the easy term mortgage programme until July 1, 2021. We will also allocate considerable funds from the federal budget to promote rural mortgages. Next year we will nearly triple them.

"At the same time, I would like to remind you about our goal: while making mortgage loans more affordable, we must also expand supply on the housing market to prevent imbalances and a rapid growth of prices – we are aware of this danger. Otherwise, the lowering of the mortgage interest rate will have no effect at all.

"In this regard, special focus should be on the infrastructure support for housing construction and, in general, the development of regional infrastructure, including motorways, utilities, public transport and social facilities.

"We will expand long-term debt financing, remove regulatory restrictions and create lucrative opportunities for safe investment of free capital and savings, so that companies and regions can bring in additional resources to achieve these goals.

"All the more so as the activity of domestic, including retail, investors is on the rise in Russia. This goes to show the level of trust in the domestic economy. Of course, this is also due to the rate cut. Nevertheless, it is also a measure of trust in the economy in general. It is a major investment source that should be used to promote sustainable development and implement infrastructure and other projects of Russian companies."

At Valdai, Putin emphasized the fact that a balance is sought to arrive at the most efficient outcome regardless the issue. Also noted is further close cooperation in other areas of finance, which provides an excellent lesson in how government can help with the Real Economy's growth. China likely follows a similar pathway. The main portion of the transcript records Putin's interactions with foreign investors, which provides an excellent insight into Russia's economic projects and the overall balance between state and foreign investment Putin/Russia seek. When reading the details, for those within the Outlaw US Empire, take note what Putin's prioritizing to Make Russia Great. A revealing section is where Putin is asked about low income and poverty about half-way through, and he provides a very detailed answer that concludes with a mention of the digital world:

"Investment, private investment in the first place, structural changes based on new digital platforms, digitalisation of the economy and the life of the country and the state in general are, certainly, a very important area. We are not going to follow any established pattern here. You asked if we want to follow the Chinese pattern of data protection, or the European one. We will have a Russian pattern. But protection of personal data is extremely important. It is a human rights issue. People have the right to protect themselves and their families from the abuse of personal data." [My Emphasis]

Compare that with the view of the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals. Snowden might not have brought his files into Russia, but he brought himself, which was just as good, IMO. Towards the end, Putin is asked about the role of oil and gas exports in the future economy as becoming problematic. His very detailed answer to this question clearly proves beyond all doubt the Russia is far more than an Oil & Gas Station that by 2035 will be viewed as something else. As with all of Putin's interviews, presentations and discussions like this one, much is learned about Russia's current condition, its direction, and its priorities. One can also judge the degree by which Putin has grown. For all the damage Yeltsin caused, he gained some atonement by appointing Putin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2020 18:52 utc | 163

The Atlantic provinces of Canada have managed Covid quite well, their numbers are very low. There has been regional cooperation, assisted by a smaller population base, and something like a quarantine directed at outsiders coming into the region (i.e. from Quebec). There are no lockdowns. This example seems to highlight intelligent cooperative public health measures, and tends to disprove concepts of an overarching fascist plan for total control - which conceivably would not allow a "good example". It seems that the poorer performing regions in North America and Europe are the result of terrible public health decisions - including unnecessary lockdowns etc - rather than a pre-existing "plan".

One recognized result of the Spanish flu epidemic was that cities and regions which instituted proper public health initiatives designed to throttle the rate of infection managed to return their economies to fully functioning much much sooner than cities and regions which instituted partial or no measures. That example undercuts the economic reasoning behind "herd immunity" or similar arguments.

Posted by: jayc | Nov 2 2020 19:18 utc | 164

The last installment of my "Putin Report" is his meeting with those involved with Russia's space program from which we can learn a few things, although Roscosmos's Rogozin's report isn't included:

"In this sphere, we must proceed from our priorities, of which you are all well aware. These are improving the national space infrastructure, building up the number and quality of the orbital satellite group, working consistently to carry on the programme of manned flights, creating a forward-looking range of launch vehicles as well as increasing the share if innovative space equipment, products and services.

"I would like to reiterate that the attainment of these strategic goals is extremely important for the country, for the efficient development of the national economy, and for enhancing national security and maintaining Russia’s leading positions on the global space market, where competition has been growing rapidly, as you are all well aware.

"In this context, Roscosmos has been instructed to prepare several new programmes, including those aimed at creating a super-heavy space launcher and a satellite cluster within the framework of the Sfera project, as well as the further development of the GLONASS system."

It continues to be highly ironic that the Outlaw US Empire continues to subsidize Russia's space program though its purchase of rocket motors and help with getting people and supplies to the ISS.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2020 19:20 utc | 165

@ karlof #158
Putin: . . we need to create the best opportunities for people’s self-fulfillment, for revealing the talents and natural gifts that all people, adults and children alike, have, and for helping them find their way in life. . .

This is the correct meaning of education, derived from educare, to draw out "the talents and natural gifts" that everyone has individually, in an infinite number of ways looking at all individuals. Putin was right on. Hurrah for him.
In the US, we have the theory of multiple intelligences first championed by Howard Gardner. The theory of multiple intelligences proposes the differentiation of human intelligence into specific “modalities of intelligence”, rather than defining intelligence as a single, general ability. Some people are good at math, some at sports, some at conceptualizing, some in art . ..it's endless.

This is different from the US education system which uses teachers (an unfortunate job title) to instruct children with readin, 'ritin and 'rithmetic, then testing them all with standardized tests of English and algebra, because they are easy to test don't you know, and when is the last time you or I have needed algebra for heaven's sake.
Meanwhile in the classroom it's 'sit down and shut up' which results finally in high school graduates who don't have a clue what they're suited for, have been brainwashed not to think for themselves, need guidance from church and/or government to survive, with a high percentage of them branded as stupid because they (understandably) hated algebra. Are these the sort of individuals that are suited for a "democracy," with citizens doing the governing? . . .No, so it's good we don't have one.
We need Putin's education concept in the US. And probably his logical thoughts on empowering people are another reason to keep him on the US shit list.

re: Neoliberalism lacks any collectivist ethos--that we're all in it together to make our communities and nation a better place by investing in our youth
There is a collectivist ethos to invest in our youth, but it's oriented not on individuality but on providing (non-union) factory workers who do what they're told.. . .oops, not many factory jobs, so wait on tables. . .oops, no more dining rooms. . . .Well you'll just gave to design some tasks or products which people need and support yourself! . . .Yikes, that's a whole new system, I can't do that.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2020 19:27 utc | 166

For all the damage Yeltsin caused, he gained some atonement by appointing Putin.

It was pure chance, what Yeltsyn and his entourage wanted was to keep the spoil and not be prosecuted for their numerous crimes. So they chose who they thought was able to hold his part of the deal. Putin showed for the first time his true mettle in a very symbolic Russian way, with the war in Chechnya a disaster he harangued the military in a camp tent, and when the time came for the toast, a must in any reunion of that sort, he raises his glass to put it untouched on the table and promises a real toast when final victory is achieved.

Curiously, looking for a related link I just found out that twenty years later VVP held his promise, and had a toast for the fallen with some of the people in that tent. The clip from 1999 is in the article.

https://www.interfax.ru/russia/676223

Posted by: Paco | Nov 2 2020 19:38 utc | 167

France has banned the grey wolves nationalist front. Turkey is furious. See RT.

This is good news, nationalist terrorist groups should be proscribed in all peace lving societies.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 2 2020 19:56 utc | 168

@William Gruff #154
Having available flights doesn't mean the region is "open".
Here is an objective review for foreigners traveling to Xinjiang: Far West China blog on travel to Xinjiang

Keep in mind: you will be stopped by police as you travel. You will likely be asked to show your passport hundreds of times while you’re walking around. You will get annoyed by the security state that is Xinjiang.

But…

…it’s safe.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 20:02 utc | 169

@ Norwegian | Nov 2 2020 17:47 utc | 157... thanks norwegian.. what some posters fail to see is how their posts truly reveal themselves over the course of time.. this person you are trying to talk sense into continue to opt for their own character assassination!

vk - thanks for the link on china rice output with the hybrid.. that story was interesting.. here it is again for anyone interested...
https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1205385.shtml

@ jayc | Nov 2 2020 19:18 utc | 164.. i see it much the same as you... this is why all the covid conspiracy talk doesn't really add up for me...

Posted by: james | Nov 2 2020 20:23 utc | 170

"China to build world’s longest underwater high-speed rail tunnel" At 16.2 Km in length, the tunnel's construction will employ new methods to help ensure no outbreak occurs within the constriction team:

"According to the officials, the geological exploration AI (artificial intelligence) management system which will be used during construction has functions of full monitoring of the drilling process. It could realize 'zero contact' remote supervision and effectively avoid the risk of an epidemic outbreak at the construction site."

China also opened one of the world's most recent engineering marvels, the world's longest sea bridge at 55 Km connecting mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau. The article includes a 2+ minute video that's very impressive. An important thing I learned is China charges tolls for its bridges and expressways, which was surprising.

Last we have this Asia Times report, oddly classified as an op/ed, saying "Huawei has passed all international 5G standard and security evaluations, giving the lie to America‘s bogus backdoor claims," thus "Exploding the myth of Huawei’s 5G security risk." Such an article marks a major turn in rhetoric by the publication likely because its author is Michael MacDonald, Chief Digital Officer at Huawei Asia Pacific. It further reports:

"Chinese 5G vendors including Huawei have openly submitted their products and codes for independent review over and over again, only to have unintentional coding problems labeled by American officials and echoed by media as intentional 'backdoors' designed to subvert Western security.

"The reality, however, could not be further from the truth. In May 2020, Huawei was awarded the world’s first Common Criteria (CC) Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+ certificate for 5G products.

"The certificate indicates that the security of Huawei 5G base station products reaches the world-leading level and can provide trusted security assurance for 5G wireless access. The Common Criteria, in effect since 1999, is an internationally recognized security certification evaluation....

"There are seven EAL certification levels, with EAL 4+ being the highest for the telecom industry. It requires that the source code be tested and certified by independent analysts....

"With the intention, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, to “develop a set of international rules on data security that reflect the will and respect the interests of all countries”, China is tackling head-on America’s bogus narrative that Chinese technology presents security risks....

"The US has let its technology leadership slip on the assumption that the rest of the world couldn’t possibly take up the torch and bypass its slowfooted companies and engineers.

"But the torch has irrefutably been passed from the US to China and it’s high time that America stops trying to snuff out the ignition of an emerging 5G digital economy and all it means for the betterment of humankind."

Quite an offensive rebuttal, IMO! Lots of additional technical information on security protocols and the testing of systems that show who is really serious about 5G telecom security, and that's not the Outlaw US Empire. Based on its history, there're excellent reasons not to trust anything said by the Empire particularly when it comes to anything related to security as it views other's security as a threat to itself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2020 20:38 utc | 171

Looking at MSM polls vs. Trafalgar

To summarize, Trafalgar's polls are architected differently because Robert Cahaly believes these factors are skewing results away from reality:
1) Insufficient number of samples (peoples polled). It should be at least 1000.
2) Conservatives don't respond to telephone and online polls well - with the exception of Never-Trumpers. Cahaly has 5 other methods to reach audience.
3) Poll question writing and number of questions: conservatives are quickly put off by perceived skew in polling questions and by overly long (i.e. more than 9 question) polls.

Given this, I looked at all of the top MSM polls as listed by RealClearPolitics for Pennsylvania for 2020.

a) Trafalgar
b) Monmouth
c) Susquehanna
d) Rasmussen
e) NBC News/Marist

1) Sample sizes
a) Trafalgar: 1062
b) Monmouth: 502
c) Susquehanna: 499
d) Rasmussen: 800
e) NBC News/Marist: 1106

2) Sampling methods
a) Trafalgar: 6 - Live callers, text, voice, email + 2 proprietary
b) Monmouth: 1 - telephone
c) Susquehanna: 1 - telephone
d) Rasmussen: 2 - online and telephone
e) NBC News/Marist: 1 - telephone

3) Poll length
a) Trafalgar: 9 or less (actual one not known)
b) Monmouth: 12
c) Susquehanna: 22 questions (2 multipart qualifying plus 20 base)
d) Rasmussen: 8 (? - actual questions aren't shown)
e) NBC News/Marist: 8

Here is what the list of RCP polls is showing for 2020 Pennsylvania at this moment:
a) Trafalgar: Trump+2
b) Monmouth: Biden+7
c) Susquehanna: Trump+1
d) Rasmussen: Biden+3
e) NBC News/Marist: Biden+5

And here is what these same polls showed in 2016 for Pennsylvania vs. actual results

Final Poll
a) Trafalgar: Trump+1
b) Monmouth: Clinton+4
c) Susquehanna: Clinton+2
d) Morning Call: Clinton+4
e) Gravis: Clinton+2
f) Rasmussen: NA (Didn't exist)
g) NBC News/WSJ (different?): Clinton+12 (old - 10/3-10/6)

Actual Result: Trump +0.7

Reviewing the other battleground state polls:
CO: Trafalgar: Clinton+1 vs. actual Clinton+4.9
FL: Trafalgar: Trump+4 vs. actual Trump+1.2
GA: Trafalgar: Trump+7 vs. actual Trump+5.1
MI: Trafalgar: Trump+2 vs. actual Trump+0.7
NC: Trafalgar: Trump+5 vs. actual Trump+3.7

Trafalgar was directionally correct in every single state it published a result for (i.e. correctly called the winner).
Trafalgar correctly called MI vs. the RCP average of Clinton+3.4.

Again, this doesn't mean Trafalgar will be right in 2020, but this shows their track record.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 20:48 utc | 172

@Jackrabbit | Nov 1 2020 22:11 utc | 43

Important to note that I'm not simply saying that "Trump wins" but that Trump wins in a landslide.

Trump will probably win the voting at the polling booths, as Republicans will probably be the overwhelming majority of in-person voters.

However, the mail-in ballots will likely be 70% Democratic.

When the latter are counted, I have no idea which way the election will go. This is why Trump has floated the idea of not recognizing the mail-in votes.

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 2 2020 21:11 utc | 173

Don Bacon @166--

Thanks for your reply and further embellishments. How many share our anger and indignation, I wonder. I never thought algebra was insipid; I was miffed we weren't told it was the basis for understanding higher mathematical functions we'd need if we wanted a career in most science-related fields. And I again find the perceptive abilities of Isaac Asimov beyond brilliant writing about the demise of the US Empire before it had emerged from its shell.

Paco @167--

Yes, I've heard Putin voice similar thoughts as to why he was chosen. I'm very pleased the Kremlin provides as much information as it does. It seems Putin has taken well to using the new digital tools to increase his job efficiency. Hopefully Russia is filled with young adults in their 20s & 30s yearning to be the next Putin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2020 21:17 utc | 174

c1ue @169

Nothing in the blog you linked in any way suggests that Xinjiang is anything but open for business and tourism. Why do you link something that entirely disproves your point?

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 21:24 utc | 175

Cyril @Nov2 21:11 #173

... mail-in ballots will likely be 70% Democratic.

Pollsters should be allowed to take samplings of the mail-in ballots on election day so people know what to expect.

Naturally, this will not be done so as to increase the angst and keep viewers on edge for hours ... or days.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 2 2020 21:28 utc | 176

@William Gruff #175
Which part of "hundreds of security checks just walking around" - noted by someone who is a tourism booster - strikes you as open?

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 21:31 utc | 177

Posted by: William Gruff #154

"The lockdown you are referring to in Qingdao was lifted in less than a week, and wasn't a "hard" lockdown anyway. Theaters are open there again. Which city in the US can say that?"

Sadly, the entire commonwealth of virginia can.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Nov 2 2020 21:45 utc | 178

Here is the source data for what Rickard's referred to: "are you better off" percentages in the past multiple re-election years:
Gallup poll source

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 22:29 utc | 179

A Harvard Business Review article (from 2016) talking about how polls are problematic: HBR source

The real problem comes when potential respondents to a poll are systematically refusing to pick up the phone according to characteristics that pollsters aren’t measuring or can’t adjust to match what’s in the population. For instance, while Census numbers can tell us how many Asian-Americans live in a particular state, they can’t reliably tell us how many Republicans, or liberals, or evangelicals are in that state. As a result, if a group like evangelicals or conservatives systematically exclude themselves from polls at higher rates than other groups, there’s no easy way to fix the problem. Often, it may not even be clear that there is a problem, especially for characteristics that aren’t commonly measured on polls or that can fluctuate, like church membership and political preferences, respectively.

None of this would be a problem if response rates were at the levels they were at in the 1980s, or even the 1990s. But with response rates to modern telephone polls languishing below 15%, it becomes harder and harder to determine whether systematic nonresponse problems are even happening. These problems go from nagging to consequential when the characteristics that are leading people to exclude themselves from polls are correlated with the major outcome that the poll is trying to measure. For instance, if Donald Trump voters were more likely to decide not to participate in polls because they’re rigged, and did so in a way that wasn’t correlated with known characteristics like race and gender, pollsters would have no way of knowing.

...

Part of the problem, and what makes this election different, is a seeming failure of likely voter models.

...

But in elections in which past voter behavior is upended, such as President Barack Obama’s win in 2008, they can fail catastrophically.

...

Imagine that there’s a group of voters who don’t generally vote and are systematically less likely to respond to a survey. So long as they continue to not vote, there isn’t a problem. But if a candidate activates these voters, the polls will systematically underestimate support for the candidate. That seems to be what happened Tuesday night.

Or in other words - Cahaly's methodology isn't coming out of left field. He is seeking to address a known potential problem.

We don't know how successful he has been - but we will have another data point in the next week or two.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2020 22:39 utc | 180

Election view from Pennsylvania
https://thebaffler.com/latest/the-view-from-pennsylvania

Posted by: Joe | Nov 2 2020 22:45 utc | 181

Britain to nationalize its nuclear weapons industry

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 23:10 utc | 182

c1ue,

I would take those negative reports of Xinjiang with a grain of salt.
I did read or saw a video recently by an American who was biking through there and he said it was fine.

Posted by: arby | Nov 2 2020 23:36 utc | 183

RE: Jen | Nov 1 2020 22:08 utc | 42

"I understand the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow is based on at least 15 years of research on finding a vaccine for the original SARS virus."

Interesting, that explains a few things for me. Keeping in mind that (1) never before had anyone found an (offically used) coronavirus vaccine, and (2) developing and properly testing any vaccine on average takes well over a decade, and (3) at minimum 8 years, I had been wondering about the Sputnik V that seemed to arrive out of the blue sky.

First I thought it was a ruse to frustrate the trillion dollar covid profiteering heist of Gates & Big Pharma. Then, when it went on to volunteer trials, I couldn't believe the Russians would put their people at such risks and thought they'd pulled an existing vaccine out of bio-weapons research.

If Jen's info is right, it could be an innocent and good-hearted previous research attempt that has been revived and might be put to good use with some delay.

Posted by: Leser | Nov 2 2020 23:40 utc | 184

Posted by: Russ | Nov 2 2020 14:58 utc | 113 As for the Covid Death Cult, they’re the same as the picked audience in Berlin’s Sportpalast in February 1943

Godwin's Law! LOL

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Nov 2 2020 23:57 utc | 185

Oct 28, 2020
NDI Announces Plans to Open a New Office in Taiwan
Today, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) announced it will open a representative office in Taipei, Taiwan, later this year. This follows the Taiwan Ministry of the Interior’s approval of NDI’s application for registration last month.

NDI recently gained interest in Asia by fomenting the Hong Kong riots.
"Since 1997, NDI has worked with Hong Kong academic institutions, political parties, and civil society groups from across the political spectrum to advance nonpartisan research, education, and dialogue supporting inclusive and responsive governance."

old news
December 21, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its four core grantees, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Solidarity Center, and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) are deeply gratified that the U.S. Congress has shown strong bipartisan support for our work with a substantial increase in NED’s annual appropriation

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2020 23:57 utc | 186

News has come about that from November 1, people entering Japan from China (including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao) will no longer need to undergo nucleic acid testing at Japanese airports. Similar restrictions with other countries were lifted on October 30.
https://t.qianzhan.com/caijing/detail/201102-71dad322.html
And in similar news:
https://travelbiznews.com/japan-to-lift-entry-ban-on-china-south-korea-6-other-nations/
In light of what Jackrabbit (9) said, I suppose Japan could be added to the list Roger (135) provided

With respect to COVID the gold standard is not in Europe or North America, its in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia.

Posted by: Digby | Nov 3 2020 0:09 utc | 187

I recall during the promotion of terrorist head choppers by ObamaInc to overthrow Assad that blowback would arrive at some future point in a Europe fully backing Obama's ISIS. That time seems to have arrived with the attack in Vienna coming on the heels of events in France. Great job NATO vassals!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3 2020 0:17 utc | 188

@Joe 180
thanks for that Baffler link, good read & not too long. Apparently the Trump campaign is now going around bragging about how much union support it has (!). Way to go Democrats.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 3 2020 0:21 utc | 189

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 2 2020 17:04 utc | 151 I've already accepted that. Maybe that wasn't clear. I said explicitly @Nov2 5:04 #82 that I'm addressing the question of how much credibility a theory can be said to have AFTER IT HAS SHOWN to have predictive power. I've suggested that there are differences in how scientific theories and social theories are validated. Science relies on repeatability while social theories may gain credence via a one-time accurate prediction of a surprising result.

And *I* said repeatedly that your theory *would* be more credible if it proves to be true.

"I've noted that theories are often dismissed by laymen as "only a theory". This creates the conundrum and 'credibility trap' that I'm concerned about."

And I already addressed that. Now you're being repetitive.

"I don't understand this. "Historical facts", like "Trump became President after the 2016 Presidential election", have been observed."

I'm talking about observed fact *today* as opposed to four years ago. You have *zero* observed facts *today* that support your theory. You have only assertions that this or that is true about people you don't know and have no direct contact with and who have not said either their motivations or their actions.

You literally have *only* a theory and *one* historical fact which has already been explained by various other theories. You have zero current ground truth facts.

"Tt's a logical inference based on my theory of Deep State's use of a popular nationalist politician as a tool."

And as I've said over and over, yes, it is a logical, plausible and credible theory. It still remains *only* a theory. I mean, seriously, did you ever study reason, logic, or the scientific method in school or in books? Can you not distinguish between a theory and a fact? Logical inferences are *not* facts unless they are based on facts and they adhere to the rules of logic.

You can't even prove that Trump was put forth by the Deep State in 2016, let alone now. You have produced absolutely zero evidence of that possibility that overrides any other theory as to how Trump won in 2016.

"How the Deep State would manipulate an election is not very difficult to fathom. They don't control everything but they do have partners in media and top officials. And they know how the electorate responds to people and events. So what they do is have the Democrats nominate a flawed candidate that alienates key parts of the electorate (progressives and blacks) and fails to campaign well because he's old and cowers "in the basement". And have Pelosi refuse a stimulus deal that would provide individuals with sorely-needed cash. And have a series of "October surprise" that benefit Trump - no such surprises for Biden, though!"

And once again, this is nothing but *theory*. You have adduced zero facts supporting that theory. You've merely reiterated your theory. What I want from you is precisely how the Deep State is going to override with certainty (in their view) the opinions of 150 million people (or even the swing states voters) in a manner that guarantees Trump the landslide victory you're claiming the Deep State has orchestrated.

"Then there's the "ground game": a huge get-out-the-vote effort by Trump coupled with complacency by the Democrats. In districts where voting is close, there might be the tradition ballot access issues and/or "lost" mail-in ballots (already set up to some extent with the Post Office issues)."

Nothing that doesn't happen in every election. Still zero evidence of Deep State involvement beyond what political parties always do. Of course, Trump is going to try to rig the election in his favor through his campaign. Show me the Deep State operatives involved. Show me the emails, phone calls, meeting transcripts of exactly who is doing what. Arguing that Trump is fighting to win is hardly proof that the Deep State has actually *orchestrated* that win.

"This is not an exhaustive list."

It's not any kind of list. It's just reiterating a theory. There's still no direct evidence that the Deep State not only wants Trump to win but has orchestrated an actual landslide win.

Face it, you're run yourself out on a very slippery rail. You can't answer that question because other than people directly involved, *no one knows*. That's because it's just a theory.

You've made your prediction. I've made mine. When the votes are tallied, we'll see if you're right. I'm done with this.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Nov 3 2020 0:27 utc | 190

c1ue @177

Obvious hyperbole from a clown who thinks wiggers getting occupational training is a tragedy. "Oh, the poor wiggers' beautiful culture of sleeping with goats to keep warm in the winter is being destroyed by the evil chicoms!"

Hey, they are probably even being "microaggressioned" too! Meanie chicoms probably look at those wiggers in a disapproving manner when they pass by with an eau de goat olfactory force field erected. Such cruelty! Can't those chicoms understand that what to them is poor dental hygiene is a defining component of wigger identity?

I apologize for not taking your concerns seriously, but your concerns for the Uighurs are rubbish and laughable. The blogger may as well have said "... millions of security checks..." or "... billions of security checks...". One thing he got right, though, is that the place is safe now that America's "identity politics" cancer in the region has been dealt with.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2020 0:38 utc | 191

James - I was surprised to see your comment to norweigen. When I first came to this place 10 years or so ago, I was immediately hooked. So many intelligent people conversing about intelligent things. This place was an intellectual gold mine.

Now? We have idiots who are incapable of getting through a single thread without some bozo making some ridiculous statements involving nazis, or something equally ridiculous. Is this the level of intellectual conversation that brings you here? It is fucking ridiculous. There are literally thousands of sites where one could have such ridiculous conversations.

Anyone else notice most of the old timers dont seem to be around much anymore? I miss the old place. Perhaps it is time to look for a different bar.

Posted by: visak | Nov 3 2020 1:08 utc | 192

@ visak.... i read a few posts of yours recently - completely dismissive of jackrabbits thoughtful post to you and a few others... i think it reflects directly on you... now, maybe you see it differently, but that is how i see it.. contribute something positive and be what you're wanting to see.. bemoaning how it isn't the same is like trying to live in the past... being dismissive of others isn't a great approach either.... thanks for taking the time to reply to a post that wasn't directed at you, but was about you..

Posted by: james | Nov 3 2020 2:03 utc | 193

@William Gruff #190
You have jumped the shark.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 3 2020 2:14 utc | 194

@ Don Bacon with the claim that no one ever uses algebra anymore.

Au contraire. I am currently building my 4th sauna and it will be in a 12 foot by 7 foot box with a shed roof and two different floor heights. I am engineering it on the fly and had to calculate the extension of the lower floor roof triangle to get the height of the higher floor wall.....8 is to 42 as X is to 144

Thanks to Karlof1 for all the Putin quotes as I am too busy to follow any links these days...rain is coming...

.....

.....

.....and thank Gawd the US (s)election process is winding down....how long will the denouement last?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 3 2020 3:21 utc | 195

@ ph #194
I am currently building my 4th sauna [using algebra]
That's funny.
You needed #4 b/c you used long division on the first three and you lost self a-steam?
Let's get serious.
What do you call a bunch of Asian people in a sauna?. . . . ..Afghan sweaters

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 3 2020 4:10 utc | 196

@ Don Bacon | Nov 3 2020 4:10 utc | 195

a squared plus b squared equals c squared

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 3 2020 5:59 utc | 197

@james | Nov 3 2020 2:03 utc | 192
Well said. I often do not agree with you, but right now the most important thing is to promote a civilized dialogue, and I appreciate your contribution here.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 3 2020 7:02 utc | 198

thanks norwegian... we are on the same page here.. i likewise appreciate your participation here as well! on and upwards!

Posted by: james | Nov 3 2020 7:08 utc | 199

EXCLUSIVE | MH17 Suspect Appeals To Dutch Prosecution

One of the MH17 suspects Sergey Dubinsky comments on the case for the first time and makes an unexpected offer to the dutch prosecution.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjzQK9LMjhE

Posted by: Mao | Nov 3 2020 10:52 utc | 200

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