Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 20, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2020-100

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> While Kushner was not a driving force behind AMMC, the source who spoke on a condition of anonymity explained, the joint effort was led by campaign lawyers to reassure a paranoid Trump that no one was taking secret cuts. Parscale, it was thought, should not hold dual roles as head of a company serving as a campaign clearinghouse and campaign manager. Parscale and Kushner both signed off the arrangement, the source confirmed. <

Other issues:



There is a new variant (B.1.1.7) of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in Britain. It seems to be more transmissible and has become the predominant variant. There are no signs so far that it causes a more severe Covid-19 disease or more deaths.

Prof Francois Balloux @BallouxFrancois - 7:02 UTC · Dec 20, 2020
I felt it may be helpful to provide an update on the new #COVID19 lineages in the UK and in SA that might both be more contagious than any #SARSCoV2 in circulation until recently. Those comments should be considered preliminary as the evidence available to me is still sketchy.
Nick Stripe @NickStripe_ONS - 21:39 UTC · Dec 19, 2020
I have seen the table below being widely shared to falsely imply that deaths are no higher than normal this year
The table is both factually incorrect and misleading
Those who created it deliberately sow confusion and doubt



Saudi Arabia:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on December 20, 2020 at 14:41 UTC | Permalink

next page »

If “Medicare for all” passes and indeed saves hundreds of billions annually, I expect this regime to spend the “savings” on war.

Posted by: oglalla | Dec 20 2020 14:48 utc | 1

Do a search on "smartmantic lawsuit"

They are denying a lot of what Lawyer Sid claimed.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 20 2020 15:06 utc | 2

Will they go to war over the fish? I find it very interesting that 5 or so years on it appears nothing has been done to resolve this obvious sticking point. Wars over food are the worst.

EU-UK Trade Talks Floundering over Fish as Cutoff Day Nears

So Rmoney is on board with the Russia did it version of the "hack". I wonder what he is up to? Is a comeback in the offing?

Romney says Trump has 'blind spot' on Russia, calls hack 'extraordinarily damaging'

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 20 2020 15:18 utc | 3

So, Nick Stripe says the table was deliberately designed to mislead. If you divide the 45 week total of 2020, up to end week 45, by 45 and multiply the result by 52 you get the extrapolated annual total of 561K, not too far of 2018 total of 541K. More deaths by 20K and 28K more than the 533K of of 2019. But still not a mass slaughter and the increase also excludes any gain in total population year over year.

Posted by: erik | Dec 20 2020 15:21 utc | 4

In St. Petersburg, the northern capital of Russia, a unique vessel called the North Pole was launched.
The icebreaker, which is a self-propelled platform 83 meters long with unusual hull contours, is a floating observatory and meteorological station, has 20 laboratories on board. Sailing autonomy is 2 years.
The icebreaker looks like from science fiction films and has no analogues in the world.
The planned commissioning of the vessel is 2022.

Posted by: alaff | Dec 20 2020 15:23 utc | 5

EU countries shutting down travel to and from UK amid new highly infectious Covid-19 strain scare

So much for "herd immunity" - after all it worked wonders in Human History! The Black Plague only killed 33% of the population!

I love when I'm proven to be right. And it happened in the UK of all places - the biggest country to completely refute lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic. It's like Mother Nature is showing the petite-bourgeoisie the middle finger.

Side note: Sweden - the other "herd immunity" darling, has just enforced lockdowns. Their schools are also closed.


General apologizes for 'miscommunication' over Pfizer vaccine shipments to states

But I thought the free market was the best mechanism possible for the optimum relocation of resources?

Reality is a bitch, isn't it?


Sinovac secures annual output of 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by end of year

End of 2020 year, not 2021. For 2021, that capacity will double, to 600 million doses.

Besides being the second best vaccine available (behind only the Sputnik V, which is more expensive because it requires two doses instead of one), the Sinovac vaccine is easily stored:

The vaccine packs are stored at 2C to 8C. But thermal stability tests have shown the vaccine can be effective for more than one month at 25C and more than 20 days at 37C.

With those advantages, it is not wonder even the rabid and hallucinated and unconditionally pro-USA Bolsonaro is caving in to the inevitable, as he recently has approved - against his will - the Sinovac vaccine to Brazil, through Brazil's equivalent to the American CDC, Anvisa.


More fake news by the NYT:

No "negative" news: How China censored the coronavirus

Here's a hint for beginners in Contemporary History, : if it is republished in The Japan Times, it is automatically fake news (propaganda warfare piece). This is a propaganda device called "triangulation", and is widely practiced by Western MSMs across the globe.

The Japan Times is what we here in my country call a "portal", i.e. a pseudo-newspaper that mostly buys the rights to republish other newspapers (usually, news agencies, such as AP, Reuters, ANSA, France Presse et al, but also world renowned newspapers such as the NYT, Bloomberg and WaPo), while keeping its original content production (in Japan Times' case, about Japan itself) to a minimum, in order to cut costs with journalism per se. It is a pamphlet disguised as a newspaper. The difference between The Japan Times and the likes of Sputniknews is in the fact that the latter puts a twist, a counter-opinion over the content of the Western newspapers while explicitly citing the source, which puts it more in the category of the British "tabloid". In other words, Sputniknews et al are what we call counterpropaganda outlets (yes, counterpropaganda/counter-intelligence agencies and operations are as old as propaganda and intelligence themselves). Many modern counterpropaganda outlets even make their reputations over tweets - but that doesn't necessarily mean they are counterpropaganda: propaganda outlets can also do the same in order to neutralize counterpropaganda outlets: clear examples of that are the "alt-right" blogs and websites that recently proliferated in the USA. Each propaganda device has a correspondent counterpropaganda device, which has a correspondent propaganda device and so on: there is no 100% formula to determine which is which, so critical thinking and erudition on the historical period you're analyzing are the decisive tools.

Triangulation is when a given media cartel (MSM) gathers secretly with their editors to "rig the game", and synchronize their editorial lines. The biggest newspapers/TV stations usually go first (if there are three of them in the same country, they relay which goes first), followed by the middle sized ones one day later and so on. This process ideally involves written propaganda (newspaper), TV stations (video, television) and radio - hence the name "triangulation".

The goal of the triangulation tactic is to create to the masses the illusion the event portrayed is: 1) of national or global importance, 2) that it really happened in the real world and 3) therefore, that the MSM had to talk about it "against their will", that is, that they really did investigative journalism to get the "fact" portrayed. It also creates an aura of truth because of the scale of the propaganda, where its detractors can be dismissed as being "conspiracy theorists" outright.

Posted by: vk | Dec 20 2020 16:37 utc | 6

Mike Wallace, a rare voice in the European Parliament who earns his wage as representative as he always denounces what nobody else dares to do, here denouncing not only foreign illegal interventions and consequent unaffordable military spending, but also Abyi Ahmed crimes in Ethiopia...whose denounced as well by myself in this forum, practically in solitude, awarded me the coordinated attack by a crew of trolls directed by a known poster who, interestingly, being ubiquitous for years so far, now that I have not much time ( nor interest by the overwhelming and redundant presence of US elections topic...) to post, remains almost absent from commenting...

One would say that his main goal was to get me out from commenting...

Recall that he was supported by some other regulars here who are more pendant of ( argued by them...) my "lose of credibility", than of denouncing the increasing fascistic traits the authorities in their countries are unleashing, as mandatory vaccination and arbitrary arrests for even playing ice Canada!

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 20 2020 16:48 utc | 7

@alaff | Dec 20 2020 15:23 utc | 5

The icebreaker looks like from science fiction films and has no analogues in the world.
The planned commissioning of the vessel is 2022.

Although much larger and modern, the hull looks a lot like the old polar vessels Maud
and Gjøa from 100 years ago. The hull shape has long been known to be well adapted to icy conditions.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 20 2020 17:03 utc | 8

A New Congressional Budget Office Study Shows That Medicare for All Would Save Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Annually - Jacobin

In USA, healthcare sector has the total revenue at least triple of Military Industrial Complex, and it is extremely rapacious. Regulatory capture is rampant and costs are bloated, often beyond imagination of Americans, including those "well informed". One should note that Australia makes it will less than half of USAian expenditures per capita with better outcomes. "Of course", this happens with a single payer system that severely dampens regulatory capture etc., government has to balance the budget to some degree while getting pressure from the voters to actually provide quality care. By the way of contrast, market mechanisms cannot deliver any cost reductions except by reducing the "consumption" in response to "price signals", that partly explains rather meager health outcomes in USA -- when we compare with countries like Australia, Greece, Japan etc.

Recently I encountered an example how costs are blown up beyond imagination. I belong to at least half of adults with herpes simplex infection and roughly annual annoying outbreaks that may be occasionally dangerous (in my case, once in 40 years). There is a good reliable cure, acyclovir, and a minor but annoying (and ugly looking) outbreak can be treated quickly with an ointment or cream. As my tube of ointment got severely out of date, I got another one. Currently I have no coverage assisting with medication costs. And I got a needed prescription quickly, called to my pharmacy.

First price check (it takes time in American pharmacy! apparently somewhat bewildering computer queries), 300+ dollars for 30 g tube. Few years ago I got such a tube for 200+, in part because I wanted to use it quickly and there were no other sizes in town. More checks: 15 g tube, with a store discount, 50 dollars. But there is no way to use that much in few years -- the skin area that you treat is typically very small. What about smaller sizes? Yep, there is a cream in 5 g tube. I got another prescription, for the cream (took three days while the old tube helped me with the outbreak, so I was patient, physician office was apparently quite confused why I am switching from ointment to cream).

Now how much is 5 g tube of cream? 600+ dollars. How about a generic? THIS IS A GENERIC!!! Zovirax, brand medicine, is 900+. I got 15 g for 50 dollars and made an online check how is it in Poland (I still remember the language).

Take a deep breath. Around 2 dollars, without prescription (can be less and can be more, highest seemed to be 2.50 USD = 10 PLZ. Mind you, the expiration date on my ointment is in 2 years, so I good a deal (50 rather than 300 or 600) that costs 25 times more than in Poland. There it is produced by a local company with cosmetics as the main line of business. As far as health outcome is concerned, it is a medicine that is good to have at home just in case to treat the outbreak instantly, reducing the ugly look within 1-2 days and also the risk of getting the infection of cornea that once happened to me. And many people would do it, especially for 2 dollars and no doctor appointment (or 30-60 minutes on the phone).

There are several examples like that that I encountered personally, having a reasonably good health so few medical experiences. Consider: the intricate regulation of generic medicines in USA increased the cost 25 times.

A similar ratio also affects another medicine that is worth to keep just in case, injectable epinephrin, good to have if you are at risk to anaphylactic shock, people with an allergy can get it from a wasp bite etc. 16 dollars in Poland (80% covered by insurance), more than 300 in USA (covered or not covered). For full benefit, you should carry the syringes when you go out, and in six months the doses are out of date. Bloated costs reduce the number of people who take the precaution against occasionally lethal shock, and offer no benefits whatsoever. BTW, a dose of epinephrin costs about 1 USD, the extra cost in USA and Poland is to make it easy for the affected person to inject it without help.

Thus we have many billions intercepted by rapacious companies on two simple medicine. Rationally managed single payer system should be able to reduce the costs by 1-2 trillions per year and improve the health in the process.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 20 2020 18:05 utc | 9

Just, Got on board a eastbound 737 max
Didn't think before deciding what to do
Oh, that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies
Rang true, sure rang true
Seems it never rains in Utah
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before

Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it?
Had offers but didn't know which one to take

Posted by: Kooshy | Dec 20 2020 18:06 utc | 10

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 20 2020 17:03 utc | 8

Yea, this is not an icebreaker, but a self-propelled platform with the purpose of getting locked in Arctic ice and drift until sea current and summer will release it. Because of the global warming, the method of making a camp on the ice became unreliable, necessitating rescue missions performed by actual icebreakers.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 20 2020 18:16 utc | 11

thanks b... regarding the M4A topic, uncle tungsten left a video from jimmy dore on the open thread that is worth watching - here it is again

AOC Loses Committee Seat In Pelosi Orchestrated Coup.

@ 10 kooshy - safe trip!! looks like good lyrics for a song!

@ juliania.... so my brother gave me a copy of brothers karamazov... it is penguin classics translated by david magarshack.... can you run it by me again what the drawbacks are to this particular translation? thanks..

what i am listening to now.. The Carla Bley Band - Live in Paris (1982)

Posted by: james | Dec 20 2020 18:25 utc | 12

regarding the links on saudi arabia - i sure hope the yemeni people can get some retribution on those monkey men... thanks for sharing that...

Posted by: james | Dec 20 2020 18:26 utc | 13

Folks, i think you have been misdirected.. on why the content delivered by NYT and other msm are all about real war over cyber intrusions. (As B said, anyone including China, Russia, you me, the moon, Mars, Zupiter. and points years and light years away can hack nearly anyone'es digital security. War with anybody (d/n matter who) is not about national defense of the nation state, or protecting the governed from foreign risks, as B said in his last article, the nations of the world spy on each other since the beginning of time. The Trojans began the process.

You see' when a private corporation in USA governed America or in UK governed UK, or in Israel governed Palestine, has a secret (copyright, patent or trade secret) the private Oligarchs and their monopoly powered corporations don't want persons anywhere in the world to steal, copy, use or improve their copyrighted software. Economic Zionism is at play here.

The monopoly powered private corporation, depends on the nation state to protect their copyright privilege. Go to war, write treaties do whatever is necessary; but make damn sure, we the private monopoly powered corporation, have the monopoly we paid you law makers to give us.

Monopoly powered corporation enjoys a monopoly on the market place only as long as the government that wrote the law, and that granted the copyright to the private corporation, enforces the monopoly of copyright against all competitors: domestic or foreign.

Microshit invents an OS, copyrights it, and makes trillions, gets the USA to adopt the software into its national defence, and promises the USA no smart person can break into the Microshit software. Micro smart, breaks into Microshit's computer, copies the copyright protected OS, removes the copyright, puts the entire copied file into the foreign language native to Micro smart, and presto Micro smart now has a competitive product to challenge Microshit with. Microshit sues, but to make the suit stick, it needs international agreements that prevent Micro smart from hacking Microshit and using the stuff Micro smart copied from Microshit.

Worse from Microshit's POV is after Micro smart copied the Microshit stuff, it edited out the spy ware and the secret Digital Rights Management that was hidden deep inside the Microshit software, and added a few hundred lines of code that improved the copied software; it now is 3x faster, 4x smarter, and is protected from hacking by anyone including Micro smart. So the faster, smarter, no spyware OS takes a large share of the market from Mircoshit. and Microshit talks the USA into going to war against Russia, China, Iran or whomever because Micro smart outsmarted Microshit and converted the world to open source.

Posted by: snake | Dec 20 2020 18:39 utc | 14

Thanks James it’s a 737-900 we is that Max ? One way to find out
Marry Christmas to all

Posted by: Kooshy | Dec 20 2020 19:06 utc | 15

Cutting Ties with UK's Johnson

Fisheries dispute threatens to sink post-Brexit trade deal | EurActiv |

A group of UK MPs warned on Saturday that Britain has not installed the complex IT systems and port infrastructure needed to ensure trade with the EU runs smoothly.

The coronavirus epidemic has added another level of crisis. Southeast England, which includes the Channel tunnel and ferry ports was ordered back into lockdown this weekend after a new fast-spreading strain of the virus was detected.

Belgium suspends UK flights, trains over virus strain

The abrupt decision came a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a lockdown for London and parts of southeast England to at least 30 December.

He linked a surge in Covid-19 cases in those areas to the new strain of the coronavirus that he said could be up to 70% more infectious than the others seen so far.

Belgium’s travel suspension from the UK would affect flights and the Eurostar train service that runs from London.

It follows a similar ban declared by the Netherlands.

Goods into the UK has priority as no-deal looms BIG. Let’s blame a SARS Covid-2 mutant for a Tier 4 lockdown and cut all passengers travel 😄 see y’all in the NewYear 2021.

Posted by: Oui | Dec 20 2020 19:10 utc | 16

@ Piotr Berman => 9
Zovirax Cold Sore cream 2G
Price NZ $ 15.45
Due to Regulatory requirements we are UNABLE to send this product to the USA
PHARMAC, the NZ drug buying agency.
Runs a competitive bidding process that saves NZ billions of dollars annually.
A primary target of the now defunct TPPA
More Here

Posted by: David KNZ | Dec 20 2020 19:23 utc | 17

@Piotr Berman | Dec 20 2020 18:16 utc | 11

Because of the global warming, the method of making a camp on the ice became unreliable,

Good to see some decent jokes around here, it keeps the spirit up. :-D

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 20 2020 19:24 utc | 18

CDC Launches Probe, Issues New Guidelines After Thousands Negatively Affected Following New Covid Vaccine"

As of Dec. 18, 3,150 out of 272,001 recipients reported what the agency terms “Health Impact Events” after getting vaccinated. The definition of the term is: “unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional.”

Posted by: groucho | Dec 20 2020 19:50 utc | 19

here's another joke norwegian--thinking that antarctica isn't still old despite global warming, and pretending that gigantic oil companies with billions of dollars are helpless victims of scientists. yeah the system is so unfair to giant defense contractors and banks and oil companies, whatever are they to do to save themselves. but that one isn't really a decent joke; it's more like blaming russia or china for trump's election loss, instead of the trump campaign.
an inconvenient truth--fossil fuel lobbyists were sprinkled through the trump administration and will have equal influence in the biden administration.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 20 2020 19:53 utc | 20

-vk | Dec 20 2020 16:37 utc | 6, Re: Japan Times/questionable China covid statistics

My recollection of Japan Times from a decade back, is that it an english language (only) broadsheet that contained an actual attached section of the NYT International Edition /Intnl Herald Tribune (also printed up from within Japan).

The largest daily/news company in Japan is the privately owned Yomiuri Shimbun. It is said to have
a generally more pro-LDP (dominant conservative ruling party) editorial stance compared to the purportedly more liberal-leaning Japan Times.

However, as a foreigner living there for several years, both papers seemed quite apolitical and balanced to me, in comparison to the majority of American news organizations I was used to, which exhibit very clear political affiliations and editorial stances/biases for the most part.

Regarding suspiciously low Covid statistics reported by China, the Yomiuri Shimbun puts out a daily updated coronavirus data page.

The third chart at the bottom of the page is a very easy to grasp log-log plot of Coronavirus cases by country for selected Asian, European, and western hemisphere countries as percentage of total population.

It is pretty clear from this plot that:

a). China is a suspiciously/ridiculously low outlier with the rest of the countries plotted on the graph.

b). USA is #(!) among all the countries plotted, in doing the *Worst Job* controlling covid within its borders.

Posted by: gm | Dec 20 2020 19:53 utc | 21

@Norwegian, #8.

Although much larger and modern, the hull looks a lot like the old polar vessels Maud and Gjøa from 100 years ago. The hull shape has long been known to be well adapted to icy conditions.

Thanks, checked both links. In my opinion Maud vessel does not look like the the North Pole. The Russian icebreaker has a bow completely devoid of corners, it is a single rounded contour, while the Maud has a traditional hull, you know. Gjøa also has a very traditional "angled" bow, unlike the North Pole. Rather, it can be roughly compared to this (motor ship "City of St. Petersburg").

Anyways, the newest Russian scientific icebreaker is planned to be used, among other things, for joint international research of the Northern latitudes. Such an icebreaker will benefit everyone. This is good.

Posted by: alaff | Dec 20 2020 19:55 utc | 22

"cold" not "old". but while i'm at it, anthony watts made a big deal of the ship getting stuck in the ice, but he didn't shut down when the one major study financed by oil and coal companies and conducted by so called skeptical scientists replicated the findings of other scientists, even though he said he would. that's why exxon and british petroleum et all originally opted for an ad campaign instead of financing competing research, because their own scientists told them what was happening privately back in the 70's.

any time somebody that claims to oppose the current system makes excuses for big banks or defense contractors or billionaires or fossil fuel companies i know they aren't serious.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 20 2020 19:59 utc | 23

The article on the Saudi-Pakistani divorce is interesting.

It looks like the 'Empire' has lost Pakistan to the 'Multi-Polar World Order'

Posted by: dh-mtl | Dec 20 2020 20:48 utc | 24

A shockingly worthwhile article from the New York Times on global warming's impact on Russian agriculture in its eastern region and increased trade with China. Punchline: A likely huge boon for Russia.

Russia global warming

"The groundwork was laid in May 2015, when Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to form a $2 billion agricultural fund for trade partnerships in Russia’s east. Investments like these support loans and farming and the construction of badly needed roads and electrical lines in Russian villages like Dimitrovo, while also opening the literal back door — Russia’s remote southeastern border — to China’s colossal market, a market that Putin has coveted. Since then the money has continued to flow, with nearly $14 billion reportedly invested by 2017 across Russia’s resource sectors and another $10 billion pledged by Xi for cross-border infrastructure efforts. This year, the first major bridge linking the two countries across the Amur River was completed."

Some comments noted that there are notable problems with weeds in some of these areas, but no reference to that issue in the article.

Posted by: Schmoe | Dec 20 2020 20:58 utc | 25

Dear All:

We have here an instance of sane thinking from two Europeans

Posted by: fyi | Dec 20 2020 21:15 utc | 26

Tomorrow, at 18:27 UTC, it will take place the Encounter of Giants, the Conjunction Jupiter/Saturn, an event which we will not probably witness ever more, and which produces a vision in the sky of the so called "Star of Belén"...

Wondering whether there is any affictionate to astrology/astronomy here and whether he/she finds any significance to this event.. happening right now, when the world is changing so much..

A page with some links to some Spanish observatories to witness the event live...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 20 2020 21:20 utc | 27

A book about how China eradicated poverty has just come out:

Libro sobre el éxito chino en su combate a la pobreza

If you can read Spanish, highly recommend the reading. There's a link for either reading the whole book online (ISSUU) or download it in the article.

China is still not out of the woods. Many of the poor lifted out of their conditions have only achieved it through direct and constant aid from the State. The Chinese still have a long way to go, through a path full of obstacles and traps - the main ones being a foreign war (by the USA) and the infamous "middle income trap".


It seems a "60 minutes documentary" will come out through CBS, telling us all about the "miracle" of the Pfizer (or Moderna?) vaccine. A propaganda piece worthy of Orwell's darkest dreams.

Posted by: vk | Dec 20 2020 21:41 utc | 28

H.Schmatz #7

Thank you for the Mike Wallace link. Good to see there are free speakers in the EU chamber. I guess he is from the UK so Brexit will remove him to the relief of the war mongers and clown fish in the echo chamber.

The extreme behaviour of policing across the planet is disgusting. I thought the UK had lost its mind arresting people at beaches or old folk out for a solitary walk, but arrested for playing hockey in the open frozen air in Canada is truly the pits of power abuse. But never so low as in the USAi.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 20 2020 21:44 utc | 29

H.Schmatz #26

Tomorrow, at 18:27 UTC, it will take place the Encounter of Giants, the Conjunction Jupiter/Saturn, an event which we will not probably witness ever more, and which produces a vision in the sky of the so called "Star of Belén"...

Wondering whether there is any affictionate to astrology/astronomy here and whether he/she finds any significance to this event.. happening right now, when the world is changing so much..

Thanks for the tip. I took a peek at what some online astrologers were saying but all I got was poorly written word salad. So being carnivore I went off to NASA picture of the day and found this. Hint - right hand side just above the tree line. Yes, I know, its bit 'National Geographic' but then....

It is a good site and there are hundreds of truly stunning images of space stuff. From Hubble to the magnificently simple backyard telescopes. Enjoy the browse.

If any barfly can point me to a good astrological analysis of this conjunction I would appreciate it.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 20 2020 22:15 utc | 30

And then there is Deep Field a 30 minute video of compiled images from space and terrestrial telescopes.

I think one should add their preferred sound track like Pink Flyod or cello or the magnificent Valentina Lisitsa

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 20 2020 22:26 utc | 31

dh-mtl #23

It looks like the 'Empire' has lost Pakistan to the 'Multi-Polar World Order'

The Pakistan government had better close every western embassy and remove every NGO receiving foreign funds and insist on weekly bank account reporting to watch the source of funds. That way the west will find it very hard to 'support the colour revolution'.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 20 2020 22:31 utc | 32

Evolution should favor variants of a virus that are more transmissible. It should also favor variants that are less fatal.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 20 2020 22:34 utc | 33

Evolution should favor variants of a virus that are more transmissible. It should also favor variants that are less fatal.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 20 2020 22:34 utc | 34

REVEALED: ‘Simple Math’ Shows Biden Claims 13 MILLION More Votes Than There Were Eligible Voters Who Voted in 2020 Election

Fucking Wow.


Posted by: Josh | Dec 20 2020 22:45 utc | 35

Good to see Bernie still mentions medicare for all and... While Bernie is busy campaigning for the run offs there is a chance that he won't try to commandeer the #forcetheM4Avote campaign.
fabricate a replacement for Pelosi in the next week or so and she steps down to go eat ice cream etc. Then Bernie declares a win and insists they forget the M4A vote forcing maneuver. Its a Bernie thing. Raise hopes, divide and then destroy the momentum of the People's Party.

Meanwhile here is a good take on the utter evil that is the Demoratss when it come to rigging their Iowa primary elections.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 20 2020 22:52 utc | 36

Well I stuffed that up...

Good to see Bernie still mentions medicare for all and... While Bernie is busy campaigning for the run offs there is a chance that he won't try to commandeer the #forcetheM4Avote campaign.

I figure there is a good chance Bernie will be pushed into action to 'lead' the #forcethevoteforM4A and steal their control of the agenda. People will tell Bernie to go away D's accuse the left of being hopelessly divided and the Peoples Party is injured at its first breath. That's how they have always done it.

Meanwhile the D's will be hard at it behind the scenes to fabricate a replacement for Pelosi in the next week or so and she steps down to go eat ice cream etc. Then Bernie declares a win and insists they forget the M4A vote forcing maneuver. You know the lines 'don't imperil the run offs, too early, when we have a majority, gently gently catchee monkey' etc, etc,.

Its a DNC/Bernie thing. Raise hopes, divide and then destroy the momentum of the People's Party.

I guess the #forcethevote team have already gamed that trick.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 20 2020 23:03 utc | 37

lysias #31

Evolution should favor variants of a virus that are more transmissible. It should also favor variants that are less fatal.

Like the evolution of homo sapiens?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 20 2020 23:06 utc | 38

I am in the US. Acyclovir cream is around $750. for a small tube. My doc wrote me a script and I buy it from North Pharmacy in the UK. The cost plus shipping is around $87 (I don't have the sizes offhand but the sizes for the $750 and the $87 plus shipping were the same size.

My doc did not believe it until he looked.

Posted by: Linda Amick | Dec 20 2020 23:18 utc | 39

Democrats and ruling by fear” by Leonard C. Goodman is a great article. Thanks, b!

Posted by: S | Dec 20 2020 23:31 utc | 40

Piotr Berman @9
Linda Amick @37

Yes, my experience with price of Acyclovir also is the same, around 3-4$, when I was younger decade ago and backpacking across eastern Europe.

Had to stop using it as had bad side effects (dried skin, rashes). Good folks pointed me to better alternative - swabbing it with apple cider vinegar few times a day. Cuts healing in 1/3 of time, no risk of reinfection and no side effects.

Posted by: Abe | Dec 20 2020 23:50 utc | 41

141 million US voters voted, tRump got 74 million.
Do the math tds suffering NPC`s😉
a tad over 60% off US voters, there are ca 212 million registered voters.
But i guess the tds crowd will now just start claiming math is rayzizz🤷‍♂️
Goalpost moving is their speciality😂

Posted by: Per/Norway | Dec 21 2020 0:07 utc | 42


If the thread will indulge me, I would like to present, as a reference, a Supreme Court opinion from 1868 that spells out clearly why the Union of the States is a perpetual union, and why there is no right of secession inhering in any state, not even Texas.

Many thanks to suzan in the previous open thread for finding this case:
Texas v White et al

It's apparent from this opinion that earlier Court opinions had long settled this matter, but this case is useful precisely because it can thus deal with the matter of secession in a very succinct way. Also, the case involves Texas, whose people have often held the mistaken belief that the state has the right to become an independent nation again, simply by its own choosing.

The whole opinion is worth reading, since much of it details the course of the rebellion of the states - it's quite gripping if you bring a little Hollywood imagination to the narrative.

But in the Opinion itself, I suggest paragraphs 97-103 are the heart of the matter, and I'd like to excerpt from this section at length, with my emphasis:


Did Texas, in consequence of these acts, cease to be a State? Or, if not, did the State cease to be a member of the Union?


It is needless to discuss, at length, the question whether the right of a State to withdraw from the Union for any cause, regarded by herself as sufficient, is consistent with the Constitution of the United States.


The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form, and character, and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these the Union was solemnly declared to 'be perpetual.' And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained 'to form a more perfect Union.' It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?


But the perpetuity and indissolubility of the Union, by no means implies the loss of distinct and individual existence, or of the right of self-government by the States. [...] The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States.


When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States.


Considered therefore as transactions under the Constitution, the ordinance of secession, adopted by the convention and ratified by a majority of the citizens of Texas, and all the acts of her legislature intended to give effect to that ordinance, were absolutely null. They were utterly without operation in law. The obligations of the State, as a member of the Union, and of every citizen of the State, as a citizen of the United States, remained perfect and unimpaired [...]


Our conclusion therefore is, that Texas continued to be a State, and a State of the Union, notwithstanding the transactions to which we have referred. And this conclusion, in our judgment, is not in conflict with any act or declaration of any department of the National government, but entirely in accordance with the whole series of such acts and declarations since the first outbreak of the rebellion.

I've emphasized the one point that to me is most important. There is no injustice in the fact that every state has entered the Union in perpetuity, because the member states by a 3/4 majority can choose to amend the Constitution in any way they wish - and I've suggested previously that this includes dissolving the Union itself if the states so agree.

I've never understood why the leaders of the South, as schooled and learned as they were, chose to war against the North, rather than to take the political path to persuade the other states to let them go peacefully.

Carl Sandburg describes as the attitude of the South, that they believed they were superior fighters to those of the North - one southerner was worth five, kind of thing. The South thought the North was unhip, inflexible, boring - or something like that - while the South was cultured and supple as a whip. How they never understood that wars are won by machinery and that the North had plenty of it to crush the South, I don't understand. I suppose they thought they were the Vietcong. They wasted all that energy, that they could have poured into the political finesse of all their desires.

And all to prove that there is no right of secession from the indissoluble Union, except through amendment, by agreement of the states.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 0:20 utc | 43

Not much reported in western media, but a major leg of the BRI is now onboard, a train running from Turkey to China. China has been using the rail line for a couple years to take freight to Europe, but recently Turkey invested in the project and now runs a freight train, too. This commitment to the BRI by Turkey suggest to me that they have no interest in stirring up trouble in western China or the Turkic Stans as this route will be very prosperous for Turkey and will require geopolitical stability to fully function.

Interesting things to note is that the rail line goes around Armenia. The WTO wouldn't fund the project, so the investment was covered by Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Posted by: jason | Dec 21 2020 0:32 utc | 44

Jimmy Dore's latest: Force the Vote...

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 0:41 utc | 45

To refresh my second language, Russian, I watch videos in that language (some mixed with Ukrainian), and thus I heard the excepts of end-of-the-year news conference of the president of the Russian Federation. In comments I learned a beautiful new Russian word: naglosaxon == essentially, and Anglosaxon, but shameless/insolent (naglo- ).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 21 2020 1:01 utc | 46

"British medical journal The Lancet published research on Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of the vaccine, revealing no adverse effects in patients and triggering an effective immune response. More than 50 countries have requested roughly 2.4 billion doses across India, Brazil, China, Argentina, South Korea and numerous others."

Posted by: groucho | Dec 21 2020 1:02 utc | 47

It's not White versus Black. It's White and Black versus White. Wynton Marsalis

This is for the Jazz Heads along with the political junkies. The above is from the latest album project released by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Ever Fonky Lowdown, headed by Wynton Marsalis. I just caught it accidentally on the Sirius/XM Classic Jazz satellite radio station since it was just released. It's only available in the format at the link, unfortunately. Wynton isn't as radical as he might be, but he does use his position and his music to make statements occasionally. This album is one of those. I'll need a few more listens, but it seems he has the socio-political situation correctly pegged. And when I heard him utter the words cited atop, I quickly scribbled them down because they're 100% correct. But don't just take it from me; here's a review saying what needs to be said:

I saw Mr. Marsalis speaking on Bill Maher’s Real Time and was moved to Listen to “The Ever Fonky Lowdown.” I’m not typically a jazz Listener, but I love satire and music. And humanity. “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” is a jaw-dropping example of how Art that has the power to transform society. I feel like I just Listened to the jazz/spoken word version of Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22,” the classic anti-war satire. “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” is that level of greatness.

Our arrogance is killing us, from people in their communities to the Mother Earth herself. “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” explains it all within the context of America’s history of racial and economic injustice with a healing sonic truth that is an answer to generations of prayers and activism.

Block out two hours and Lsten to it as you would watch a play. “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” is a great work of transformational art. “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” can change you. “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” can change the world. But you must Listen, and let it do it’s healing on your mind and life. There’s no way to Listen to this and not want to bring light in the world through your actions, being, through what you create.

If there is a golden future of peace for our planet, I hope when people ask what it was like before the world is ruled by Justice, they’re told to Listen to "The Ever Fonky Lowdown."

The review suggests watching this interview, and I highly recommend doing just that as Wynton pounds the nail through the board. Another interview, "Take Note: Wynton Marsalis On The Intersection Of Jazz And Democracy:
What does jazz music have to do with democracy?" The promise: "He’ll explore power, struggle, finding common ground and how those factor into his new album, The Ever Fonky Lowdown." His philosophical views are really deep and the truths he articulates are very important. I don't think anyone will be disappointed or think their time wasted by listening.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 1:02 utc | 48

Stella Morris just retweeted Sara Palin advocating that Assange be pardoned, says she was wrong and that she has learned some things. It's refreshing to hear someone who I reviled say what she just said. Gives me hope.

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 21 2020 1:11 utc | 49

james@12, I don't know that translation at all, but good on your brother for lending you his copy. The one thing many translations don't have, (and my modern library one is guilty of this) is the forward "From the Author." That is really an essential read, and you might be able to find it online as it is not long. It can be also rather confusing that names are either very formal or given as nicknames - Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov, the young hero, is also known as Alyosha, for instance.

Here's the start of that foreword,so you can check it against your copy - this is the Pevear translation:

From the Author

Starting out on the biography of my hero, Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov, I find myself in some perplexity. Namely, that while I do call Alexei Fyodorovich my hero, I myself know that he is by no means a great man, so that I can forsee the inevitable questions, such as: What is notable about your Alexei Fyodorovich that you should choose him for your hero? What has he really done? To whom is he known, and for what? Why should I, the reader, spend my time studying the facts of his life?

Happy would I be if I can be of any further help. Advice is, take it slow, and enjoy!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2020 1:29 utc | 50

@Piotr Berman #9
The pharma costs get attention, but the real reason why health care in the US is so costly is due to health insurance. In particular, the amount of administrative overhead cost vs. actual care provided is enormous.
Even with pharma - how much of the extra cost is due to the lack of a centralized procurement system, which national health care countries have?

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 21 2020 1:55 utc | 51

A New York socialist with a tiny YouTube channel goes to AOC’s office and discusses Dore’s idea with an office worker there: Discussing the Dore referendum at AOC's office in NYC (vid).

Posted by: S | Dec 21 2020 2:14 utc | 52

#37 Just for comparison, online Indian pharmacy 5g generic Zovirax $7.00 USD made by Cipla

Posted by: BillB | Dec 21 2020 2:33 utc | 53

@ Kooshy | Dec 20 2020 19:06 utc | 14.. thanks and to you as well! i am not sure if that is a MAX..

@ dh-mtl | Dec 20 2020 20:48 utc | 23.. that is what i thought when i read it too... it's essentially over for the west...

@ H.Schmatz | Dec 20 2020 21:20 utc | 26.. it is an every 20 year cycle.. what makes it the 'only once in 800 years' is the tie in to it being on winter solstice in the northern hemisphere at 0 capricorn - tropical zodiac... i think the saturn-pluto conjunction is more significant and the fact it is really a triple conjunction of jupiter-saturn and pluto... as the french astrologer barbault pointed out in his work on planetary cycles 2015 or 2016 - last time this planetary trio got together we had another pandemic - sars, as memory serves... he basically said in this book written 4 or 5 years, there is a likelihood of another pandemic and indeed he was correct..

@ karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 1:02 utc | 46 here is a direct link to listen on youtube - the ever fonky lowdown wynton marsalis thanks... listening to it now... it is spoken word and music... this has become more common the past 10 or more years in the jazz form.. terrence blanchard did a recording 'choices' with the well known philosopher dr. cornell west... i am into this wynton recording for 3 tracks and find it really boring and predictable... oh well.. i might have to shut it off soon! i am on track 7 of a 53 track recording.... it ain't doing it for me!! thanks for sharing either way...

@ migueljose | Dec 21 2020 1:11 utc | 47.. it is always refreshing when someone acknowledges they were wrong and have the strength to admit it!

@ juliania | Dec 21 2020 1:29 utc | 48.. thanks juliania! my brother gave me this copy - so it is now mine! he is generous that way! he helped adjust the valves on my honda fit today too - a 2 hour job that has made the car run a lot better! it is supposed to be done every 100 k, but i have 243 kon this 2007 and never had it done.. he is a man of many talents! in this copy i have what is about a 10 page translators introduction, followed by ''to the reader'' 2 page commentary which is much the same as what you have quoted here... thank you.. i will keep you posted.. i am still reading that alan lomax book and a few others.. hopefully i get to this soon in the new year.... cheers james

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2020 2:35 utc | 54

@ karlof1 ... here is a link to the terence blanchard recording i was mentioning to you with dr cornell west...choices the music is much more engaging to my ear!

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2020 2:39 utc | 55

@c1ue #49
a week ago the CBS "60 Minutes" ran a piece about Sutton Healthcare in No. California - it is about the monopoly position of the hospital chain, which became stronger than the insurances, and even the big employers (the whole Silicon Valley armada of companies) could not do anything about it... It was new to CBS??? I and many other people have seen the consolidation beginning in mid 1990s, with big hospitals gobbling smaller ones, and buying out physicians practices like crazy, leaving solo practitioners in the dust! And the administrative staff growing from one administrator to a phalanx of CEO´s, under CEO´s, vice presidents and their secretaries and secretaries getting helper secretaries.. The salaries of those small town hospital CEO went up to 500K per year... and those in the larger cities up to 3 million $ (ask for them in St Louis....). On top of that there is the whole medical-industrial complex, and to top it off -- the medico-legal complex of lawyers suing whatever they can, and insurances paying out millions because defending cases is too expensive...I have seen this all and i can vomit thinking about it. Something has to give, and the pandemic may be the catalyst.

Posted by: bystander04 | Dec 21 2020 2:44 utc | 56

Understanding Bernie Sanders freezing out left viewpoints and ALWAYS plays to the center. 90 seconds from Sceptical Mantis.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 2:57 utc | 57

Posted by: vk | Dec 20 2020 16:37 utc | 6

Dear VK, Mr Bolsonaro rejects Covid vaccine as a whole. He refuse to be vaccinated nor by USA made vaccine nither by China made one.

There is not lockdown in Sweden. recomended Mask at public transport during peak hours and others restrictions on publics venues.

Posted by: Roberto | Dec 21 2020 3:03 utc | 58

Looks like AOC does not have the will, the integrity, the intention to challenge anyone to get the M4A floor vote.

Jimmy Dore and Briahna Joy Gray discuss her mealy mouthed interview with that leading 'news' outlet - the Intercept.

You can smell the betrayal in both AOC and the interviewer. Both crafting words of deception and arse covering and defeatism. The context here is important. Just 24 hours after Pelosi throws AOC overboard for a conservative Dem appointment to a committee, AOC won't fight back.

What's up AOC? Ghislaine Maxwell got your tongue or something?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 3:16 utc | 59

#56 Roberto

Brazil supreme court rules COVID vaccine can be mandatory. President Bolsonaro may have no choice unless he wishes to be fined or have his personal freedom curtailed.

The "Last Dictator of Europe" has been proven to be less of a dictator than those ho routinely call him one. Time for all freedom loving peoples to move to Belarus! Better healthcare, (far more beds per capita) fewer elderly in nursing homes and a recommended shot of vodka and an evening in the sauna promoted my the President. Don't know about the vodka, but the sauna would be of benefit. A better quarantine system it seems as well.

"Quarantine stations were set up at all the points of entry. Screening measures include temperature checks. This system of control really works, [healthcare minister] Vladimir Karanik noted. This helped identify symptoms of a viral infection in more than 250 people, however the absolute majority of them had influenza, parainfluenza, and adenovirus. If a person tests positive for coronavirus, healthcare workers put their contacts under medical observation. “Such a targeted approach helps curb the spread of the virus,” the minister said.”"

Belarus may not be a big tourist destination, but that might change given the lockdowns! I recommend a visit to Brest Hero Fortress if you do decide to travel off the beaten path. Brest Fortress movie of Great Patriotic War

Posted by: Tom | Dec 21 2020 3:46 utc | 60

@ Tom | Dec 21 2020 3:46 utc | 58 who wrote
Time for all freedom loving peoples to move to Belarus! Better healthcare, (far more beds per capita) fewer elderly in nursing homes and a recommended shot of vodka and an evening in the sauna promoted my the President. Don't know about the vodka, but the sauna would be of benefit.
Thanks for the sauna reference
Tonight will be my 3rd night in my new, personal built, except for heater, is wonderful! I have been without a sauna for over 2 years but have built/used 3 saunas before this one. When I got sideswiped by a SUV riding my bicycle in 2006, my sauna became more than a nice-to-have.

Saunas are highly recommended by me and one can find them all over the world alcohol in the sauna though...

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 21 2020 4:21 utc | 61

58 Tom - Brest Fortress movie of Great Patriotic War

I wholeheartedly recommend that film to anyone. It's brilliantly made, and compelling throughout, telling a story that is beyond awe.

But be warned, it's not just something you watch, and remain unaffected in the dark in your reclining chair. You will live with pain in your heart. You will come to understand the Russians.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 4:33 utc | 62

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 21 2020 4:21 utc | 59
I to have sauna and love it.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 4:33 utc | 60

Yes a great movie. Like Come and see directed by Klimov, both movies disturb your peaceful life. One scene from the movie has the defenders in a counter attack wielding chairs and shovels. The Germans should have figured at that point it may not have been very bright to pick a fight with "Untermenschen".

Posted by: Tom | Dec 21 2020 4:58 utc | 63

@ psychohistorian | Dec 21 2020 4:21 utc | 59
"When I got sideswiped by a SUV riding my bicycle in 2006 . . ."

Forgive me for asking, but what was an SUV doing riding your bicycle?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 21 2020 5:14 utc | 64

James @ 52 - thank you! And do please put a footnote that the title of the foreword is "From the Author". That is what the Russian says, as it also says for the epigraph "from the evangelist John". These are important notations, since what is being alluded to in the novel is the transmission of knowledge being passed from one to another, elder to youth -- Dostoievski used to go to Russian universities and read chapters of this novel to the students, and it is the last book he wrote.

When we were reading and discussing, I really for the first time saw the apostle John not as just a so-called follower of Christ who had things to say about that experience, but as a flesh and blood young person in his own right. He's different from the other evangelists that way. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved - in Orthodoxy he is called the Theologian, and unlike other disciples he did not suffer martyrdom. Orthodoxy impresses me as an ongoing chain of relationships of this sort, so the "from" is a link in that chain; it's vital.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2020 5:16 utc | 65

Posted by: Tom | Dec 21 2020 3:46 utc | 58

Really hate how the article really disingenuous. The problem isn't with lockdown per-se but rather how one's handling of the pandemic as a whole. Belarus, Vietnam, and Cuba managed to do just fine without lockdown because of their aggressive use of testing, measuring, and tracing. You don't have to lockdown the whole society if you managed to isolate the cases instead. Lockdown is just brute forcing method in controlling the spread by making isolating society from each other, but even then it wouldn't work without compliance from the populace (another factor of success from the aforementioned countries because their people just don't disobey the government to exercise 'freedom'). Despite all of the glaring fact the writer still trying to insinuate that the problem is with the lockdown itself! Stupidity!

Another note, China's lockdown a year ago need to be seen as an unique case and not a precedent for another. Being the first to suffer from the pandemic they need to know first the nature of the virus. Moreover the timing happened just right at the start of Lunar New Year vacation seasons. Had it not for those factor, China will used non-lockdown measure in controlling the pandemic just like Belarus, Cuba, and Vietnam.

Posted by: Hangar | Dec 21 2020 5:27 utc | 66

@karlof1 #46 re: Marsalis

About a quarter century ago it was his Blood on the Fields that shone. He has a wry and soft wit, like Twain or Steinbeck. Thanks for the interview link!

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Dec 21 2020 5:30 utc | 67

The Nova program about entangled particles was really interesting - I liked it better than "string theory" which I never could make sense of. I'd think if a Christian of Saint Paul's imagination tried to understand it, he would probably say something like "We are God's holograms" instead of getting tied up in knots as some do, wondering how to be godlike in other ways.

Einstein was a bit bold when asked what he would most like to have discovered, when he said something like "I would just like to know what God was thinking when he made the universe." I'm happy with the two theories not matching up. But one attempt in the PBS program that envisions a sphere outside the entire universe from which reality is projected did remind me of the Lord's prayer :- "...Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..." Quantum-wise, reality is somewhere out there, not here. Wow.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 21 2020 5:36 utc | 68

"When I got sideswiped by a SUV riding my bicycle in 2006 . . ."

Forgive me for asking, but what was an SUV doing riding your bicycle?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 21 2020 5:14 utc | 62

The ability to pars an ambiguous sentence allows to tell humans from bots. Still, humans may hide their skills...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 21 2020 5:47 utc | 69

@57 uncle tungsten

Briahna was not totally impressive here either. And right at the end in the final seconds you could see Jimmy not really caring about ever having her back again, but he was cajoled into politeness by his co-host in the background. can hear the story from Briahna about how you start with ideas and then you get to Congress and you see the things you could accomplish, over the longer term, working with various people..etc, etc. And she calls it what it is, she calls it capture.

And you can intuit that Jimmy is reading this the same way we are, namely, these are the hooks being fed to you you to make you be compliant, Alexandria, to make you dampen your own fires, make you think that a few terms in this seat would be useful. You are being gamed, Alexandria, and Briahna just explained how that works - and I know Jimmy understood that in the last few minutes or so, and understood that some of that contagion had come to touch Briahna also.


Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 5:48 utc | 70

@Piotr Berman #9
The pharma costs get attention, but the real reason why health care in the US is so costly is due to health insurance.

I agree with a caveat. In the country of my birth there is a saying "When a tree is leaning, every goats will climb it." With pharma, it is easy to compare American prices with normal prices, but the same experience with buying ointment illustrated the impact of the crazy insurance systems. There are many different companies each with a few programs to cover -- partially -- prescription costs. There are also intermediaries who make deals with pharmacy chains and with suppliers. To tell the price (to pay in cash) to a customer, the pharmacist has to key in his program, and apparently it is not so obvious how to key in "none". So it takes time and prevents quick simple answer that you get in any other type of retail. And since the entire healthcare is riddled with this bureaucracy that takes its cut in a very opaque manner, some 15-20% of the cost is for that. But hospitals and doctors inflate their bills too, "every goat climbs this tree".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 21 2020 6:00 utc | 71

@ AntiSpin with the critique of my conjunctive writing...sigh

I took the side mirror off the Chevy Avalanche with the back of my helmeted head and am happy to not be experiencing any negative mental health symptoms at this time because of my neuromodulation healing.

M4A would be good for bringing neuromodulation (bio-electric) therapies into mainstream faster than currently because of obfuscation by Big Pharma (bio-chemical) folks.....profit for a few instead of the right thing for humanity

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 21 2020 6:53 utc | 72

@lysias 32

Evolution should favor variants of a virus that are more transmissible. It should also favor variants that are less fatal.

Makes sense. Presumably, viruses have to conform to the natutal selection/evolution rules like every other organism (I know, a viruses 'life' status is controversial.) When a virus infects an organism - a human - if it wants to remain active and spread, its best strategy is to not kill its host quickly. Killing your host is like burning your lifeboat. Becoming benign is perfect, because then it's not a nuisance and is ignored by the host, and no vaccine is required.

Posted by: batts | Dec 21 2020 6:55 utc | 73

@42 Jason
You completely misjudge Turkish imperialism. From the perspective of Erdogan and his likes Turkeys "strategic depth" stems to a large degree from it's central geographic position. The more the net of international trade routes is centered on Turkey the more all others need Turkey and the more aggressive behavior the Turkish government can afford without suffering consequences.

Posted by: m | Dec 21 2020 7:46 utc | 74

Increasingly alarmed about the new strain. Seems it’s a bit of an anti-miracle. The extent of the mutations is called extraordinary by researchers in Britain. Almost unprecedented. It’s frightening stalin because, the researchers argue plausibly, it probably emerged in someone who had had the disease for a long, long time. A long-hauler. We can be sure it’s much more contagious, but we also know it’s potentially more deadly, because of other sets of mutations, and, what’s worse, probably revoking in the direction of circumventing the vaccine.

The German government is lying when it claims it knows the new strain can be vaccinated against. No government is telling the truth. Watch what they do. Sealing off the Chunnel. Cancelling flights and trade.

Posted by: Line Islands | Dec 21 2020 8:17 utc | 75

Like Uncle Tungsten, I've been watching Jimmy Dore push his plan for the alleged
'lefty Dems' to force a vote on Medicare for all for the last 3 weeks or so.

Dore's argument is rational, his logic impeccable as he harangues amerikans to
push lefty congresspersons such as 'the squad', to instruct Pelosi that unless
she publicly announces she will bring a medicare for all bill to the floor to be voted

Dore reckons that in the current circumstances (a pandemic where more than 15
million amerikans have lost their jobs therefore their healthcare) the bill could
pass as too many sleazy pols will worry about how voting down medicare for all
during a pandemic will seem to voters.

I'm much less optimistic as the harsh reality is that the introduction of 'M4A'
will cost the elites tens of billions of dollars a year. Not only will it
destroy the raison d'etre for health insurance companies, pharmaceutical
corporations will take a bath, so will for profit hospitals, ambulances,
'emergency' helicopters, 24 hr medical centers and all the rest of the parasites
who have leeched off ordinary amerikans foolish enough to fall ill. There is also
the really big one - employment/wages!

If anyone gets healthcare free - employed or unemployed, exploiters of labour will
have to pay much better wages, given that even the most grasping, worst & useless "give a human
SFA" health insurance scheme, currently forces too many amerikans into wage

So if M4A does reach the floor there will be a vast consortium of self-
interested, amoral scumbags offering huge wads of cash to any congressperson who
votes against this bill.

That should not deter those who demand that Pelosi be told the M4A bill must be
put to the house or else they will not support Pelosi's bid to retain the
speakership. The speakership vote will be close since amerikans already appalled
at the dems 2018 to 2020 neolib stunts sliced a chunk of congress-types off the
dem rump and handed the bacon to rethugs.
It would only take 4 or 5 of the so-called 'left' congress people to go against
Pelosi and picking a speaker would be handed back to the dem caucus to settle
upon a speaker more supported. Pelosi's corrupt & cruel reign would be over.

I doubt Pelosi would allow that to occur; indeed she caved when 1 (one!) rightist
dem congress creep told her that unless a committee chair were given to her, the corporate dem,
instead of AOC, she (the rightist) wouldn't support Pelosi for speaker.

This is vital because right now there are 103 dem congress creeps who have co-
sponsored this M4A bill but as Dore has pointed out that means nothing because at
one stahe both Bernie & Kamala Harris spouted there support for the bill (back
during the prez 2020 primary) but when creepy joe said No! they withdrew support.

Getting all dems votes out there in public is essential to be certain there is a
minimum of 'talk left, walk right' dem pols in DC.

Those who vote against M4A need to be held accountable in their next primary.

Polls have demonstrated that medicare for all transcends the usual partisan divide
and at least 72% of amerikans of whatever stripe want it now.

Yet as much as dims say they support it they do nothing to advance M4A
politically because virtually every dim subscribes to the neolib belief that
people cannot 'be given' anything cos they will never stop demanding a return for
the trillions they pay in tax each year. This is exactly the twisted mindset
that got Dims like AOC supporting a covid 'support' package much worse than the
one which they knocked back before the election.

The old "give 'em nothing, take them nowhere" chant which has kept citizens
snouts well outta the trough whilst all corporations especially defense
corporations gorge away 24/7/365.

AOC is no more radical than hundreds of other somewhat photogenic wannabe's who
have sold the people down the river since my arse first pointed to the ground.

She and the rest of 'the squad' are beginning to panic since Dore's campaign is
really cranking the citizens.

Up until now I have onlt followed it via JD's daily youtube yarns, but today I
went on that corporate tool site twitter,i did a search for #ForceTheVote and was
pissed but completely unsuprised to note that altho Dore's position had most
support, a lot of post were made opposing #ForceTheVote whose only rationale was
a weak attempt to throw shade on Dore.

That is that none of the hacks had a valid argument against forcing a vote, all
they had was calling Jimmy Dore rude names for the crime of asserting that what a
politician does is more important than what a pol says.

If as many suspect 'the squad' is little more than a gang of pseudo pretenders,
surely it is much better to show that now rather than later when even more
crucial calls are undermined by their ersatz leftness.

Nothing will change in amerika until pol;political leaders are made to display
their true colours.

For the rest of us 'out here in the world' who have state funded healthcare,
amerika joining the club is important, as right now amerikan pols of both
persuasions (empire A or empire B) continue to leans on all other countries
forcing aspects of healthcare to be privatised in return for access to amerikan
markets. eg the englanders are copping that right now as they try to get a post EU trade deal with amerika,

That undermines the much vaunted 'free market' in so many countries and
demonstrates the hypocrisy of amerika every day.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 21 2020 8:38 utc | 76

@71 m
In the emerging multi-polar world, Turkey views itself as a center to one of the poles, rather then an addition to someone else's pole. It may seem like delusions of grandeur, but with their geographic location, influence throughout central Asia, and military clout, i think they could pull it off.

Don't worry, though, China will benefit too. There will be some friction with Russia, but if Russia plays its cards correctly, as they have been, it will be win-win for them also.

Posted by: jason | Dec 21 2020 8:41 utc | 77

Another Jimmy Sore YT (~28 min) from 12/20, with him and Briahna Joy Gay mostly analysing AOC's squirming/floundering flip-flops on M4A and 'Force the Vote' heat AOC is getting right now from voters.

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 8:55 utc | 78

Err-- Dore (auto-spellcheck being funny but true...)

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 8:59 utc | 79

The US war against anything Russian is never ending
The Doping Scandal Against Russia Explained (ft Dmitry Babich)

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 21 2020 9:20 utc | 80

Wow! Amazing if true.

"Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne blasted President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House lawyers in comments posted online Sunday about a meeting at the White House Friday night with Trump about the contested presidential election that Byrne attended with attorney Sydney Powell and former Trump national security advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (U.S. Army ret.), saying that Trump is being “betrayed from within.” Byrne also denied the reporting that a military coup or martial law were discussed.

“My involvement is I was in the room when it happened. The raised voices included my own. I can promise you: President Trump is being terribly served by his advisers. They want him to lose and are lying to him. He is surrounding by mendacious mediocrities.”..In addition, any suggestion if there was talk of a military coup or martial law is also a flat lie. 100% false. I was there for 4 1/2 hours, I heard the entire conversation, that is a complete fabrication.

Byrne called out White House Counsel Pat Cipollone as the leaker to the New York Times about the meeting and accused Meadows and White House staffers of lying to Trump to get him to concede, “I was there for the full 4.5 hour meeting. Claims military coup/martial law were discussed is 100% fabrication. Trump is lied to by his own advisers, who tell staff “get the president to concede“ while they stall Trump. Meadows + Lawyers Eric, Derek, GC Pat Cippollone (leaker).”

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 9:37 utc | 81

WH Gen. Counsel Pat Cippolone was Wm Barr's assistant in 1992-1993, when Barr was GHWB 41's AG,

AND Pat Cippolone was a parner at Kirland & Ellis, same law firm as Barr-nedict Arnold worked at right before becoming Trump's AG.

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 10:05 utc | 82

@74 jason
Yes, everybody seems to think they deflect the Turkish aggression and re-direct to somebody else. That's how Erdogan get's through with it for so long in the first place.

Posted by: m | Dec 21 2020 10:07 utc | 83

Grieved #68

And you can intuit that Jimmy is reading this the same way we are, namely, these are the hooks being fed to you you to make you be compliant, Alexandria, to make you dampen your own fires, make you think that a few terms in this seat would be useful. You are being gamed, Alexandria, and Briahna just explained how that works - and I know Jimmy understood that in the last few minutes or so, and understood that some of that contagion had come to touch Briahna also.

Indeed. I did see that subtlety of position. AND Jimmy kept the explosions to a low level. Polite as well. Perhaps he is more moderate with women than men.?. IMO the ploy is to prise the squad free from AOC or at least those that can be prised free. Keeping the heat on the one gives the remainder scope to find redemption.

I guess if just one stands up now and says loud and clear that 'I am with M4A and to hell with Pelosi' others will follow. I read it as only four need to stand up and then the SHTF and there will be a scramble to propose a new speaker and if there is still no M4A floor vote promised then there will be threats and blandishments. AFAIK each of them has had to accept staffers that the DNC installed rather than entirely their own choices so there will be fully paid agents of health industry within. I would be pleased to be wrong on that.

Primarily though the game is to crack hard on the AOC duplicity and her turncoat decisions as it is clear she will not desert Pelosi for whatever reason. AOC is a lost cause already when it comes to tactical nous and so she will become a pawn for her career unless she can wake up fast.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 10:38 utc | 84

Debsisdead #73

Thank you. I see there is a huge wealth generator in dire peril if medicare for all gets passed in a rational form.

There will be intense struggles before and after every committee and that is why Pelosi has excluded the squad at every appointment. M4A will be the toughest, bloodiest fight for legislation in decades. The industry will throw every dollar, every dirty trick, every lie and threat they can muster.

THAT is what Pelosi and the thugs are desperate to avoid. It will cripple the Biden Harris presidency just as russiagate crippled Trump. A deadly congressional brawl followed by a deadly senate struggle will rob all oxygen from the Democrats capacity to dictate the headlines and the distractions. And it will drag on through the pandemic leaving the Dems in tatters and smelling like garlic turds.

That is the reality. Their smartarsed tolerance and simultaneous destruction of Bernie Sanders just to rub the left noses in the dirt might have backfired in their face. Just FIVE or FOUR squad members could topple the entire status quo.

I would like to see that.

Jimmy Dore just needs to keep the focus on AOC as she is lost for now, but there needs to be strong voices behind the doors to get a hadfull of the others to trigger the avalanch.

I would not be surprised if Pelosi goes soon. The Dems either stop this or it will stop them if played right.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 11:22 utc | 85

Joint work launched by Center Gamaley and AstraZeneca to complement their efforts for an effective vaccine, following the advice for collaboration by the WHO. Belarus and Kazakhstan approve and start producing SputnikV. Production facilities will be used in Brazil, India and other countries for the production of the vaccine.

Announced personally by VVPutin, and AstraZeneca CEO Soriot together with the Russian producers of the vaccine, at the same it was announced that SputnikV is effective against the new variant of the virus. For the time being in Russian, soon in English I imagine, as usual.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 21 2020 11:51 utc | 86

I think I just had an epiphany of what may soon be coming from Prez "keep-your-friends-close-and-your-enemies-closer" Trump.

And it would explain just *why* he appeared so serene-looking during his address a day or two following the obvious/blatant Nov 3 election steal, while his world and fruits of hard work were all melting away (at least according to the mockingbird media) in front of his eyes.

This simple, masterful, BEAUTIFUL plan, should he pull the trigger on it, will in one fell swoop:

- get the entire country--hell the entire planet (including even China I daresay), 100% in support behind Trump's actions going forward

- substantially wrap up/destroy the power of Deepstate as we know it, including its agents, assets, tools, allies and some of the Overlords that can be tied to the election coup plot

- cut off at the knees the corrupted/compromised UNIPARTY dims & repugs, their lobbyists, law firms and bribers, who gave material support to the election coup plot.

That's all to say for now (and no, this is NOT an agent-Q thing)

Can you guess what the key step in that plan would be?

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 11:52 utc | 87

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 20 2020 21:44 utc | 27

Mick (not Mike) Wallace is, as his accent attests, an Irish member of the European Parliament, and so will continue to sit there after Brexit. He is, indeed, a rare voice. A frequent speaker in support of the oppressed and against military adventurism and particularly against the hypocrisy of the West. I would not be surprised if he reads MoA. Here is a tweet by him today/yesterday:
"EU gives prizes to opposition in #Belarus because it borders #Russia - we love #HumanRights when we can kick #China + #Iran - but can't get debate in Parliament on #Yemen because we're complicit in #Saudi #UAE Genocide that's killed hundreds of thousands, and millions starving..." A rare voice.

Posted by: dynkyd | Dec 21 2020 11:58 utc | 88

China releases a white paper on energy. Highly recommend reading it:

China unveils new-era energy policy, pivoting to clean, renewable energy development

It will also release a white paper on transport later today, which I also recommend.


One more scalp to the SARS-CoV-2's collection:

Japan COVID-19 cases top 200,000 as governors brace for year-end spike

It took more than nine months, and two waves of the novel coronavirus, for the number of infections reported in the nation to reach 100,000. But it took less than two months for that figure to double, in a sign that the outbreak is gaining momentum.

Japan never fooled me. Now it reveals to be the farce it really is.

I'm also sure there are a lot more than those 2,500 deaths in the country. Japan is known for its blatant censorship when it comes to protect the country's reputation.


Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine effective against new mutation of Covid-19 first observed in UK, says RDIF CEO Dmitriev

Don't need mRNA for that. Just sayin'.


@ Posted by: Roberto | Dec 21 2020 3:03 utc | 56

Yeah... no.

Sweden imposes partial lockdown on bars and restaurants for the first time since pandemic started

This is from November, so you're a little bit late.

Schools for 16-19 years-old ("high school" in the USA) were shut down on December 7th:

SCHOOLS OUT: Sweden to shut schools for over-16s until January after Anders Tegnell previously warned ‘it’d be disastrous’

Well, it seems this Anders Tegnell will have to swallow a big fat L here, because the SARS-CoV-2 seems to disagree with him.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 12:03 utc | 89

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 21 2020 6:00 utc | 69

In the US, 90 tabs of 10mg generic Amitriptyline costs $27 on average.

In Singapore, the 90 tabs of 10mg of the same drug costs *insert drum roll* US$4, and that's also with NO health insurance whatsoever. So even when it comes to ancient generic drugs somewhere around 80% of the sticker price already goes straight to the middlemen parasite class in Freedumland.

Posted by: J W | Dec 21 2020 12:08 utc | 90

On American politics:

Stimulus Deal Provides Economic Relief, for Now

They'll obviously never stop with the "stimulus checks" (an euphemism for beneficia) - those are extremely popular among the American people - Democrat or Republican or Independent - and it would be a collective political suicide to keep the free lunch from flowing down.

What's interesting are the fine print conditions they are inserting with the stimulus checks. For example:

White House secures ‘three martini lunch’ tax deduction in draft of coronavirus relief package

During negotiations, however, Democratic leaders agreed to the provision in exchange for Republicans agreeing to expand tax credits for low income families and the working poor in the final package, according to a Democratic aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of internal negotiations.

“Republicans are nickel-and-diming benefits for jobless workers, while at the same time pushing for tax breaks for three-martini power lunches. It’s unconscionable,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 12:19 utc | 91

gm @84

If the Trump administration has sufficient concrete, smoking-gun proof that the CIA cooked the election, and more importantly can use that proof to enlist a power base within the government (such as the military) that has the strength to neutralize/decapitate the CIA, then the Deep State as we know it will be finished. Without the CIA serving as the nervous system that gives the Deep State coordination and direction then the Deep State would devolve to a formless jellyfish blob. It would still be an annoying bureaucracy, but it would go back to taking its direction from the Administrative Branch rather than vice versa.

Kicking the CIA out of power would be a huge coup that would reverberate though society for years. The impact would be felt in newsrooms and college campuses from coast to coast. CIA "assets" and collaborators would still be being tracked down, tried, and imprisoned for decades to come.

I won't hold my breath for it but that would be a very positive change for America.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 21 2020 12:26 utc | 92

I don't know you about vk, but one has to be Stockholmed really, really hard by late-stage predatory capitalism to even suggest these paltry stimulus checks to Joe Average are "free lunch".

Posted by: J W | Dec 21 2020 12:31 utc | 93

gm@78 has no reason for thinking Byrne is more honest, though everyone has reason for thinking people urging a coup would lie about it. What is Byrne's position in the administration by the way?

Of course, gm doesn't commit to Byrne's veracity *and* correct understanding. But let's pretend for a moment that Byrne was both. Byrne complains Trump is being betrayed by his advisers. I can only point out that Trump is responsible for his friends. His friends, who know him, have made their judgment. They are the authorities and well-disposed to him, so who are we to dispute their personal experience of Trump.

Besides, dude, even if you wanted to, you can help a man against his enemies, but you can't ever help him against his friends. Byrne is telling you Trump has lost. Man up, and swallow the truth like the red pill it is.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 21 2020 13:15 utc | 94

@ vk | Dec 21 2020 12:03 utc | 86

Sweden Mortality 2010 - 2020 /

Oh well. Numbers: Why bother with these?

Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 21 2020 13:20 utc | 95

@ Posted by: J W | Dec 21 2020 12:31 utc | 93

By American ideological standards of the time, it is. I'm a historian, not a philosopher.


@ Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 21 2020 13:20 utc | 95

From the very same link you posted:

The number of deaths in Sweden in 2020 amounted to about 89.5 thousand as of December 11. A share of the deaths in 2020 were related to the coronavirus epidemic. The highest number of coronavirus deaths were among individuals age 70 and older. Sweden was the Nordic country that reported the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in 2020.

Which means the number of deaths in Sweden in 2020 should be even lower. That is, the pandemic stopped a downward trend of mortality in Sweden, not that it caused redundant deaths. That is, everybody dies but how they die and in which historical era they die matter (otherwise, why care about the Black Plague wiping out one third of the European population, if they were going to die regardless?).

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 13:45 utc | 96

It's interesting that the media are using the word "cyberattack" to describe the hack. It was espionage, not an attack. This is the first time I've heard the term used to describe an incident that was only observational and did not cause any direct damage. (By contrast, knocking out the Venezuelan power grid was unambiguously an attack.) One must wonder if they are using the term "cyberattack" to build support for taking action that is genuinely offensive in nature.

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Dec 21 2020 13:49 utc | 97

Yep, and in the not so distant future nobody's going to die any more, ever?
70+, average 80+. FYI, 70+ have an increased tendency to leave for greener pastures, just in case you haven't realized yet. Some call this the cycle of life.

Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 21 2020 13:54 utc | 98

A commenter: I think I just had an epiphany of what may soon be coming from Prez "keep-your-friends-close-and-your-enemies-closer" Trump.

Epiphany as a prediction method did not gain promising statistics of efficacy.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 21 2020 14:07 utc | 99

@ Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 21 2020 13:54 utc | 98

You can't tell that for sure, even in objective terms.

A retired elder who's not working anymore may be considered a spent force, her death considered an unburdening of society.

But let's say there's a scientist with a relevant life's work of considerable relevance. In this case, his/her death - even at 70s or even 80s - is directly prejudicial to society. We just witnessed an episode like this with dr. Efremov, who was awarded a medal by Putin for his hypersonic weapons, which essentially saved Russia. He received the award at 88-years old, and the hypersonic weapons were inaugurated/announced at circa 2013. Would his death at, say, 75, be considered beneficial? Imagine if this pandemic had arrived some ten years earlier and claimed his life: would you still consider his death redundant ("cycle of life")?

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 14:09 utc | 100

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