Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 27, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2020-102

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> What certainly has not come over is that Brussels has secreted into the system a complex and interesting treaty, one full of subtleties which is a long way from the basic "skinny treaty" that many of us originally expected.

It is one, also, which keeps the UK closer to the EU globally-based trading system than anyone could possibly have imagined at the outset of negotiations. It is one of considerable depth which creates a framework for a relationship which, if explored by people of far more diligence than Johnson and his cronies, could eventually be turned into a useful working agreement, albeit at savage cost to the UK in the interim.
...
To enable that trade, and much else, requires a working framework, which is set out in the first chapter of the treaty. One of the greatest misnomers of this modern world is the term "free trade". We have managed trade. The greater the degree of state involvement, the more freely goods (and services) flow.

In creating a framework, the first thing of this treaty that must be understood is that it is not the end of a process, but the start – where detailed sectoral negotiations will be conducted over term, to knock the basic agreement into some sort of shape which will enable the UK to re-establish a functioning relationship with the EU.

  • December 21 - Happy Christmas
    Related:
    Christmas in the grip of the Spanish Flu - Daily Mail
    As shops removed blackout curtains for the first time in four years in 1918, war-weary Britons faced the difficult decision over whether to see family during global pandemic that killed 50 million

---
Other issues:

Covid-19: An example for irresponsible reporting:

After nine paragraphs of scare mongering, about a doctor with known food allergies who had an allergic reaction after getting the Moderna mRNA vaccine, there is this:

> With more than 1.1 million injections already delivered to arms across the country, severe allergic reactions remain a rarity, and should not prompt concern in most people, said Dr. Merin Kuruvilla, an allergist and immunologist at Emory University. <

That should have been in the first paragraph. There were so far less than ten severe allergic reactions,no death, with more than 1 million vaccinated. That is 1 in 100,000 cases. About the same rate that allergic reactions to penicillin are reported. Meanwhile the U.S. has seen 100 deaths per 100,000 from Covid-19.

Also:

While I have programmed in about a dozen languages I missed out on programming in RNA. To bad as it looks very interesting:

Updated excess death numbers for different countries:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on December 27, 2020 at 14:33 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

It is depressing news to discover that the Chinese economy is so starved of physical capital that it needs a stronger yuan to attract foreign capital. I had hoped that the issue now facing China was increasing production/consumption despite the world depression. I suppose it could be worse, that Chinese financiers are hawking ownership of parts of Chinese economy and promising shares in future income for foreign money, because foreign money is safe from the CPC.

Have economist's decided that Gresham's Law is just an out of date fashion, like double predestination in Calvinism? That the dollar will tend to drive stronger currencies out of circulation precisely because they are stronger and therefore desirable for hoarding, while you dispose of the trash as quickly as possible?

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 28 2020 14:54 utc | 101

Posted by: dan of steele | Dec 28 2020 12:56 utc | 100

Yes, I agree, 5G looks to me like another stupid idea to come out of the IT business. Just because you can connect everything to everything else, that doesn't mean it's good idea. But boy, think of all the hardware involved, somebody is going to make a big pile off money of it. And all the apps and subscriptions etc. We can all sit around and watch each others hilarious antics, how sophisticated.

I have a dumb phone, I would not take a smartphone if it was free. I think I'll start protecting myself by covering my house with wet leaves.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 28 2020 14:59 utc | 102

@dan of steele | Dec 28 2020 12:56 utc | 100

Re: Read somewhere the primary suspect is an anti-5G wacko who died in the explosion

I will agree the statement needs qualifying, but it could be understood that the guy himself was anti-5G *and* a wacko. Assuming the statement was about 5G is stretching it a little...

Posted by: Idiocrates | Dec 28 2020 15:01 utc | 103

As an object lesson in effective use of bombs against police communications, the Christmas bombing was an outstanding success. It takes a kind of courage and self-sacrifice to do this sort of thing, so it's not at all certain the Proud Boys or any other of the multitude of right-wing paramilitaries (death squads, in the their dreams) could take the lessons to heart.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 28 2020 15:02 utc | 104

I’ve got the-end-of-the-year-itus. As such, I’d like to nominate “Navalny got Skripalled” as the best title of the year for b’s posts here. I was smiling for days.

What was your favorite?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Dec 28 2020 15:04 utc | 105

Old Joe wasn't know as the Senator from MBNA for nothing. I think it is Biden's, and Harris', interest to have the GOP win the Georgia senate election. McConnell led Senate gives them the cover to protect Biden/ Harris corporate interests, while also giving an enemy to divert the attention of the democrat socialist members. We'll be back to the old order of things in no time. And with a heavy side order of "Russia, Russia, Russia" to negate Trump's blame China. Trump might be a craven MAGAsshole, but at least the corporatocracy hated him. Tell me again why you rejected Tulsi Gabbard?

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Dec 28 2020 15:09 utc | 106

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 28 2020 14:54 utc | 103

The Yuan didn't become stronger because the Chinese government decided for it. It became stronger because there's a global race to the Yuan because the Dollar is losing its luster.

The Yuan (Renminbi) becoming stronger has nothing to do with the Chinese monetary authorities. It's the weakening of the USD that's the true story here.

--//--

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 28 2020 14:39 utc | 102

5G is still much better than 4G. It is "strong" enough to automate stuff at a distance that wasn't imaginable before, in places that weren't imaginable before.

5G will be a significant increment in reach and productivity of labor. Don't be fooled, it isn't vaporware.

Posted by: vk | Dec 28 2020 15:13 utc | 107

Thanks very much, teri @ 92. That is sort of what I was thinking, and certainly to divide those bills was a good thing, leaving in place the governmental issues Trump specified to be handled now. It will be the new regime that has to deal with the many aspects of the funding that were set aside, and I think that's appropriate. How it will affect the coming Georgia votes remains to be seen. Certainly attention will be paid, given the incalcitrance of current Senate leadership. As to whether unseating the balance of power will change how the issue is dealt with better minds than mine can argue, as also they can set forth arguments pro and con on the outstanding budgetary issues.

I will simply underline here that what will be in play in a few days is one of those peculiarities of Constitutional law that some here were castigating in a rush to support simple majority rule. Each state has two Senators, and that gives each state an equal voice in government decisions, equal that is,to majority rule as represented in the House.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 28 2020 15:21 utc | 108

Discord to discuss the Covid hoax, https://discord.gg/CnCDAm7

Posted by: darren | Dec 28 2020 15:48 utc | 109

Re: Jimmy Dore "Ludicrous" YT

-uncle tungsten | Dec 28 2020 8:50 utc | 91

I thought Dore (and Ron Placone too) were devastatingly effective, not to mention extremely funny and perceptive in that clip.

Posted by: gm | Dec 28 2020 15:53 utc | 110

@ uncle tungsten | Dec 28 2020 10:31 utc | 93

Aaron Mate also did a very thoughtful, objective and well-presented analysis of the Navalny business in a 9:40 min YT yesterday:

"Navalny poisoning: CIA, MI6, 'discredited' state-funded Bellingcat play key role in accusing Russia"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLsq1W-F4y4&feature=youtu.be

Mate is one of the best investigator-presenters out there IMO; I'm a huge fan of his work.

Posted by: gm | Dec 28 2020 16:05 utc | 111

First up for me this morning was a catchup on the second page of the last open thread. Thanks to Suzan @ 159 there for an excellent interview at The Analysis with Michael Hudson. I've not yet finished, but here are some quotes:

"...So, if you look at what Adam Smith wrote, John Stuart Mill, all of the classical economists said: this is how capitalism is going to evolve. Because if the government doesn’t have to levy an income and profits tax and just the rent tax, then it’s going to be a low-cost economy. And the more socialized and the more mixed an economy is the lower the cost structure is going to be and the more competitive it will be. And so it will force other countries to de-financialize and to free themselves from their rentier class. Free themselves from their absentee landlord class, free themselves from, you know, the foreign mining class and essentially be low cost economies, low tax economies as a result. Well, that was their idea of a free market..."

"...America has the highest cost of production in the world...."[costs paid by laborers and employers that are government costs in other countries]

"...a financial death star has hit America..."

The beauty of Professor Hudson's interviews is the manner in which he rephrases economic truths so that if one doesn't quite get what he's saying the first time, he finds new ways to make essential points. Always a profitable exercise to read his thoughts --thank you, Suzan!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 28 2020 16:56 utc | 112

To Paco's question as to which of the characters in 'The First Circle' I was most attracted to, I can answer that it was Rubin, this being my second read of the novel. I think when I read it back near when it was published in English, my interest would have been more the character of the official caught in the moral dilemma of his phonecall, the investigation of which is the underlying thread.

There's a similar underlying thread in 'Children of the Arabat' but again it is the idealism of those who continue to believe while being persecuted that is of interest. Those characters become tragic figures in ways I don't remember the main characters of "Dr. Zhivago" are -- the latter seem more self aware (except for Strelnikov of course.)

I think it's what makes these works great literature, that the moral challenge is up front and personal in each, with the three moving through the timeline of Russia's revolutionary history. I wish we had something like this depth of character in American fiction- maybe Faulkner? I don't know his writing very well. I'm afraid we've taken 'democracy' too much for granted to be enough outside it as these authors were.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 28 2020 17:13 utc | 113

Sorry, that was Paco @149 on the previous open thread. Also thanks to c-ue@153 for responding to me that the Founders were mostly wealthy. I would claim it is still to their credit that they were thinking about all the people and all who would become...not wealthy, but educated as future citizens of the country, among them me. My family was middle class, most certainly not wealthy. It's sad that wealth has become such a pejorative now, though very much as it should be.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 28 2020 17:19 utc | 114

Here's that Michael Hudson interview again:

https://theanalysis.news/interviews/polarization-then-a-crash-michael-hudson-on-the-rentier-economy/

Posted by: juliania | Dec 28 2020 17:32 utc | 116

@Sakineh Bagoom | Dec 28 2020 15:04 utc | 107

I’ve got the-end-of-the-year-itus. As such, I’d like to nominate “Navalny got Skripalled” as the best title of the year for b’s posts here. I was smiling for days.

What was your favorite?

The Coronavirus - No Need To Panic

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 28 2020 17:35 utc | 117

Remember that "China is growing only 4% per year based on its electricity consumption" fallacy that was extremely common in the West at the turn of the 2010s?

Here's the debunking:

Full Text: Energy in China's New Era

Page 9, first paragraph:

Significant improvement has been made in energy efficiency. Since 2012, energy consumption per unit of GDP has been reduced by 24.4 percent, equivalent to 1.27 billion tons of standard coal. From 2012 to 2019, China saw an average annual growth of 7 percent in the economy, while annual energy consumption rose by only 2.8 percent.

As with its people's, the West's quality of its intellectuals is also falling.

Posted by: vk | Dec 28 2020 18:30 utc | 118

Re: post 49. “Wake me up when the MSM gives the *explanation* how/why the alleged 63yr old 'lone bomber' knew *exactly* the location to park [allegedly] his RV bomb to take out AT&T internet services for big chunks of *4-5* US States...“

It’s simple, the Russians and Chinese provided the information!

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 28 2020 18:40 utc | 119

Nashville "bombing": I haven't seen any mention describing what kind of bomb was used. Lots of reporting on the gunshots heard, the get-outta-here warnings, Petula Clark's "Downtown", and the supposed lone-wolf anti-5G perpetrator, but absolutely nothing that I'm aware of concerning facts or speculation as to what the "bomb" was made of. Seems weird. Is it just assumed by reporters that everyone will just assume it was a fertilizer bomb, like McVeigh's or Beirut's?

Posted by: pokums | Dec 28 2020 19:42 utc | 120

paco #95

Thank you for that link to the Grayzone. Good interview.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 28 2020 20:09 utc | 121

@ pogohere | Dec 28 2020 7:06 utc | 85... thanks... i am on page 17 at the moment and stopping for a break... you're right.. it is pretty easy to read.. it is discouraging to read it too!

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2020 20:14 utc | 122

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 28 2020 20:09 utc | 123

I watched the Chas Freeman interview, I wonder where are nowadays in the USA representatives of that caliber, never saw Freeman before but the experience and knowledge are obvious, by the way he talks.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 28 2020 17:13 utc | 115

Thanks for your well argued choice. I read that book at least a couple of times too, the Sharashka itself is something that would be interesting to whomever has spent long periods of time isolated with a working group of men. The TV serial was closer to the book than the one of Children of The Arbat, the author, that is Solzhenitsyn, was still alive and does voice-over.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 28 2020 20:49 utc | 123

thanks vk and others for following up on my question about 5G wackos.

I think it is rather bold to say that microwaves are harmless and I too worry about the internet of things and how that will change our lives. I long for the days of flip phones but have to admit that my cheapie smart phone has been quite useful for video chats with my children spread around on three different continents and of late seeing their children too.

I guess I didn't expect 5G to push the same buttons as VAX and anti VAX has.

Posted by: dan of steele | Dec 28 2020 22:11 utc | 124

Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China (Nature Research)

"ABSTRACT: Stringent COVID-19 control measures were imposed in Wuhan between January 23 and April 8, 2020. Estimates of the prevalence of infection following the release of restrictions could inform post-lockdown pandemic management. Here, we describe a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening programme between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan. All city residents aged six years or older were eligible and 9,899,828 (92.9%) participated. No new symptomatic cases and 300 asymptomatic cases (detection rate 0.303/10,000, 95% CI 0.270–0.339/10,000) were identified. There were no positive tests amongst 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases. 107 of 34,424 previously recovered COVID-19 patients tested positive again (re-positive rate 0.31%, 95% CI 0.423–0.574%). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan was therefore very low five to eight weeks after the end of lockdown."

The above study, published by the scientific journal/website "Nature", was compiled by 19 scientists, mainly from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, but also from scientific institutions across China as well as in the U.K. and Australia.

The paper focussed on Wuhan where 9,899,828 people took part in a screening program between May 14 and June 1, which provided clear results that found that asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 did not occur at all thus undermining the need for lockdowns, which are built on the premise of the virus being unwittingly spread by infectious, asymptomatic people.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 28 2020 22:36 utc | 125

@127 ADKC

Thank you for the bold part of your comment. I hadn't quite put that together yet, although it has been mentioned here already.

I didn't quite understand until now that the absence of asymptomatic infection means - as you say - that no lockdowns are necessary, compared with diagnosis and treatment of the already infected. As it seemed from the very beginning, and continues to seem, testing has always been the silver bullet.

In other words, lockdowns are what you do only after you fail to implement the correct procedures.

But, as we have long understood, everything the US did was inadequate, focusing on inessentials while ignoring the truly crucial things such as testing, followed by individual quarantine/treatment

How tragic that the US chose to spend the least amount of intelligence and honesty to deal with its epidemic, and ended up paying the greatest national cost because of this.

It essentially failed to generate any gumption for the reality it found itself in.

It was the willful embrace of ignorance.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 29 2020 1:02 utc | 126

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 28 2020 18:40 utc | 121

Clearly it was Iran responding to the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. Last year a set of industrial explosions in the US happened suspiciously near similar explosions in Ran ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 29 2020 1:04 utc | 127

paco @ 125, that series sounds very interesting - it would be fascinating to see what the sharashka looked like - I'm remembering that it was in a redesigned manor house of sorts, and that many of the conversations take place in the dome of the household chapel where the bunks were arrayed in a circle. "Children" drags a bit for me when describing the Moscow 'scene', though the parts in the taiga are again fascinating, and some names of places I am now more familiar with due to recent events - even Omsk and Tomsk are mentioned!

I did find some time back, a very good Russian series (with captions) of 'The Brothers Karamazov'. Unfortunately I was unable to find and follow the final episodes.(I think it was early youtube days.)

Posted by: juliania | Dec 29 2020 1:22 utc | 128

Mr. ADKC

In Iran, partial lockdowns have reduced the number of the COVID-19 deaths.

Posted by: Fyi | Dec 29 2020 1:23 utc | 129

The reality behind the Chinese "ghost towns":

China's 'ghost towns' come to life thanks to urbanization and policies

Westerners should stop projecting the problems of their own countries to China. China is a socialist country, which means it has something called long term planning. Concrete structures are very resistant to time, so they can wait a little before the rest falls into place.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 2:03 utc | 130

@127 ADKC

Thank you for debunking myth about asymptomatic transmission, used as pretext for lockdowns.

Even if healthy people could infect others, the fact is only very old and very sick succumb to the virus. We al agree that lockdowns are damaging, for children and young people - no schooling for 12-13 generations of youth, due to lockdowns young have no chance to get a meaningful job paying enough for survival. But, we could prolong life for a few 80+ old (baby boomers?)

It seems we (they, politicians and some doctors) have sacrificed young to save old. That is unnatural. In any society and culture in last 200,000 years it was opposite - parents sacrifice themselves for youngsters. What have we done?

To be clear, I am hardly biased about the virus. I am 62 years old, my kids are in their late twenties, school finished, leading independent lives. Lockdown does not affect me personally badly. If nothing, no commute for work and boss cannot see me at all.

As for virus harvesting old generations, I can give example: my father is still alive. At age of 92, a month ago he fell ill and of course diagnosed with COVID. He was sent to COVID hospital, received some oxygen just in case, and after 10 days was sent home as recovered. At the same time, same hospital, a woman 107 years old was another survivor. OK, two cases do not make enough statistics, so it stays as anecdotal. Still, there is no explanation why did we decided to sacrifice young to save old and frail?

It is very noble to take care of old and sick. But at what price? We will see the consequences of raising non-socialized generations with crippled education. I am not sure how much mercy they will show to us once they realize what happened to them. I am ashamed of my generation (and B is about that age) We are unlikely to suffer mentioned consequences, we will die before youngsters wake up. That means that generation of my children will bear the brunt of revolting youth.

My fellow baby boomers, we did a good job. We screwed future of our children and grandchildren. Good job, the most selfish generation in history. God have mercy on our souls, kids won't have any mercy once they realize what we did to them.

That is next great divide - young against old. I hope that once baby boomer evil is gone, next generations will be able to build better world.

Posted by: Zidar | Dec 29 2020 2:09 utc | 131

@39 Crazy Uncle T will be gnashing his teeth when he finally gets the news that Nancy Pelosi brought the $2000 stimulus to the floor of the House today for a full vote and it passed resoundingly, with Democrats voting Yea while most Republicans voted Nay!

So tomorrow the Senate will get to vote on it. After a speech he delivered today, Joe Biden was asked if he supports the $2000 stimulus and his answer was a definitive YES.

joe-biden-supports-2000-direct-payments-for-covid-19-relief

Awwwh shucks, Crazy Uncle's running out anti-Biden propaganda bullshit to spread around!

We'll see what Republicans in the Senate do.

This is my big FU to Uncle T. for today.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2020 2:14 utc | 132

ADKC @127,

I am not sure if you can look at lockdown in isolation. It seems to me it is a measure in a comprehensive approach to handle the COVID-19 situation. Wuhan's lockdown is an extreme in an urgent foggy situation. It stopped a 10-million city, examined, tested, then gradually cleared areas by areas. When Wuhan was in lockdown, there was a system that effectively supported the city, including locally and nationally. There is a Chinese saying "一方有難,八方來援" (When one is in danger, all come to help). In general, I don't see report/news that people were starved or died due to lack of medicine during that period as a widespread problem. If it did, you can bet how the western would use that to demonize China. If one objectively looked at what happened in Wuhan then and now, the measures taken then worked well for people in Wuhan. As for the freedom bs, it is just bs. When one lost his/her life or well being, there is no freedom to talk about.

Even today, China still applies area lockdown when confirmed cases show up locally. It could be a few neighborhoods, a few bigger areas, even a county (like in Xinjiang a while ago). Then they do contact tracing, isolate people as needed, and test people in the lockdown area. How many cases would make China do that? Not that many as far as I see, maybe 3 or 5. In the US, if a city with a good size of population only has 3 or 5 cases a day now, that would be close to miracle.

This is a multi-facet situation, one can't just look only one or two aspects on this, in my opinion.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Dec 29 2020 2:21 utc | 133

USAi Congress passes $2000 stimulus check payment - Kyle Kulinski reports. Two deplorable D's voted against it and 40 Repugnants voted for it. Senate troglodyte Mitch McConnell says it won't go forward for a Senate vote and well known class enemy Bernie Sanders says he will hold up Defense Bill if it doesn't go forward.

Looks like the #Forcethevote ruckus is driving the D's to buy their way out of their terminal embarrassment and look good again which is not possible IMO.

Time will tell but if this was a backroom trade of Medicare 4 All for Pelosivskaya to get re-elected then it won't end well.

Watch that space.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 29 2020 2:30 utc | 134

Jimmy Dore is sponsoring a virtual Town Hall meet and yarn for #forcethevote on 30 December.

Will the sane members of the squad commit to dump Pelovskaya if she refuses to do the right thing? - put the Medicare For All proposition to the Congress to discuss and make resolutions on.

Will the squaddies walk with the people or will they do the Bernie Sanders craven betrayal and support the class enemy?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 29 2020 2:42 utc | 135

For years Pelosi and the D's and Mitch and the Repugnants could have introduced electoral fairness by multiple means. Yet they fail, and fail, and fail. Led by donkeys, talk like donkeys, refuse like donkeys.

Biden (better known a Xerxes 2020) remains silent, silent, silent. His defeat awaits him.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 29 2020 2:51 utc | 136

Regarding that strange Christmas morning downtown Nashville bombing that disrupted internet and data/cloud storage services:

Here is a 15 min YT from Beyond the Noise with DAVID ZHANG that hangs together and makes a lot more sense that the wacky "hikikomori 5G-fearing lone bomber" narrative the FBI and mockingbird MSM are throwing against the wall right now.

Note that David Zhang voices an *anti-mainland China government position*, and is likely funded by Falun Gong, Taiwan and certain Hong Kong factions. These groups interests are aligned with those of Trump presently,

and are opposed to the current de facto coalition of US deepstate 3-letter agencies, the ruling faction in the driver's seat in China, and many bought/owned/compromised Uniparty class of US politicos and judges.

Here is the location of the Sungard Data center and cloud services Nashville, one of the cloud infrastructure sites, along with adjacent vXchnge data center, that Zhang briefly mentioned during the clip.

Posted by: gm | Dec 29 2020 2:55 utc | 137

@135 LuRenJia

Yes, I agree this is a multifaceted situation with some nuanced components. Let me take this moment to amplify my own response earlier at #128.

Beijing only locked Wuhan down in order to find the infected people and to contain the spread of contagion. As soon as authorities had the viral spread mapped, treated and contained, the lockdown was lifted.

In Wuhan, the CPC was already "late" - so to speak - arriving on the scene when Beijing finally understood what it was dealing with. This is NOT a criticism. When Beijing got to the scene the contagion had already had some time to spread - and so Beijing calculated the widest possible extent of the spread, and locked down that area. What Beijing did was superb, in my view, and actually the perfect response.

Lockdowns only exist in order to perform other actions. On their own, they serve only to compensate for the lack of other measures, and in this sense they can last indefinitely. It's a way of freezing time, but it doesn't solve anything. It destroys anything that depends on the movement of time, such as life and money.

The problem in the west is that authorities saw the lockdown and knew that they could perform such actions. But they didn't see - or couldn't acknowledge - the real, multifaceted response inside the lockdown, which comprised testing, diagnosis, quarantine (with compensation for the use of the state's police power to enforce quarantine), treatment, and release back into society.

In the west they couldn't take any of these necessary measures. All they could do was mimic the lockdowns. History will call it a "monkey see, monkey do" response, for which the west must be forever ashamed.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 29 2020 3:07 utc | 138

Already showing problems with logistics due to cold storage:

Eight German care home employees jabbed with 5 TIMES Pfizer vaccine dose, 4 hospitalized with Covid-like symptoms

Nearly 500 doses of Moderna vaccine thrown out after improper storage at Wisconsin health clinic

The Wisconsin case was due to an error by a random employee - probably a worker on a minimum wage of not much above that.

In the Bavaria case, there was a bizarre logistics error where vials that should include exactly the equivalent of five doses came with the equivalent of six: the problem here is that you can't use the leftovers of one vial with the content from another vial, they must be discarded, thus creating a significant waste.

Morale is getting dangerously low among healthcare workers in the USA and maybe in other countries, too. The question is if these are merely growing pains of an adaptation process in logistics or a sign of worse things to come.

There are also worries about the West's true manufacturing capacity. Novavax Inc. (one of the pharmaceuticals that received USD 1.6 billion from the American government) had to delay its final trial phases for like forever because it couldn't produce enough of its vaccine. It promises to produce 160 million doses at its apex: 60 million for the UK and 100 million for the USA.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 3:26 utc | 139

@ uncle tungsten | Dec 29 2020 2:51 utc | 138

The Greg Palast link seems to be a non-sequitur with with gist of your comment. Are you sure that is the coorect link?


[Speaking parenthetically, I thought highly of Palast's work and exposes (ie 2000 election vote fraud, Big OIL/Cheney in run-up to Iraq destruction, CHAVEZ/Venezuela support etc) (all largely shunned/blacklisted by the MSM at the time) during the GWB/Iraq War period,

but then when Palast came out after the 2017 Las Vegas '63 yr old lone gunman' mass-shooting event with the curious "I knew Stephen Paddock (FBI's designated lone gunman/patsy) back in high school in Sun Valley and he was a strange weirdo even then" stories he all of a sudden, incongruously started getting a lot of MSM and 'sheepdog' progressive media coverage.

After that, I started worrying perhaps Palast might have been pulled over to the Dark deepstate Side of the Force.]

Posted by: gm | Dec 29 2020 4:19 utc | 140

Uncle T. for tool

By the end of Biden's Presidency I will have made you reflux all the bile that churns out such malicious perversion of the truth.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2020 4:35 utc | 141

gm #142


My link re Palast was an attempt to exemplify the persistent obstruction of the right to vote. In this case it is the closure of voting places that were available in October/November and are simply unavailable now. Especially in non-white zones according to that vid. Elections should be made easier, registration simpler and purging much more difficult and the National Government should be forging agreements to minimum standards across the states. Its either a nation of the USA or it is a gaggle of turkeys. I get annoyed at the almost deliberate hiding behind the constitution as a ploy to do nothing.

I saw that odd Palast position re the Las Vegas 'lone shooter' story line but did not have the time or focus to figure it.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 29 2020 5:42 utc | 142

Below is a fairly comprehensive report on the recent digital yuan trial from Xinhuanet

Digital yuan parades its strengths during trial

Read the part about how the PBOC plans to influence control over M0 (money supply) using this tool.....then think about how the private bankers will increase financial slavery in the West if adopted under private finance ownership/control.....this is what this Reset, that is being discussed, will be all about.

Only China's ongoing example of what a public finance driven economy can provide for its populace will convince people to change and that public awareness is not there yet in much of the West and India, etc. That is why the push for a big crash/war crisis so that advantage can be taken of the traumatized public....make that continue to take advantage of a traumatized and delusional/faithful public.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 29 2020 6:47 utc | 143

Posted by: juliania | Dec 29 2020 1:22 utc | 130

Yes the Sharashka was located in a classic building, with bunks in a semicircle. Here you have a look at it with the author's voice introducing the long serial:

https://youtu.be/Df8vHYgo_tY?t=120

The whole ten chapters are posted on youTube but without english subtitles, you would need to dl the movies first -you can do it chapter by chapter- with a youTube dl programme and dl the subtitles, then the worst part, making sure that they are synchronized and watch it in a player like VLC:

Subtitles

It's going to be a bit of a hassle, if you are not too techie inclined look for help, any kid will know how to handle the problem and you’ll have six hours of real good entertainment. Overall it is quite faithful to the original and the serial is played by really good actors.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 29 2020 7:10 utc | 144

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 29 2020 2:30 utc | 136

RE the two thousand dollar checks: I think the kabuki is about restoring some credibility to Bernie and the so-called "left" here. Those checks with Trump's name on them worked for Trump. And lets face it, the "left" here has beshit itself in this election, one embarassment after another. Biden has no political capital at all, no honeymoon, no nothing.

And of course, they better get us some money fast if they know what's good for them. We may well see more "gestures of concern" from our overlords in the months ahead.

Judging by the size of the checks and the wide distribution I would say they have started to grapple with a realistic appraisal of the situation here.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 29 2020 10:15 utc | 145

@librul , I am familiar with Girard's work and it has inspired my own thoughts. It led me to read Thorsten Veblen who inspired Girard but used status instead. I ended up basing my models on reputation. The end result resembles Girard in quite some aspects but where with Girard mimetism is a basic mechanism with me it is merely an emergent property of a complex process. My view of the Propaganda Model can be reduced to large extent to Chomsky's ideas about intellectuals , but interpreted as reputation networks: the mainstream is defined by whom they take seriously and consider trustworthy and whom they disdain.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 29 2020 11:23 utc | 146

My god, it hurt my eyes to read those two pieces:

The cost of victory – Chinese interest rates

Which Developing Economies Will Rise After the Pandemic?

Ladies and gentlemen, bourgeois economics in all its splendor.

Competition for the Joke of the Week (of the decade is already awarded to Pompeo) is fierce...

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 11:56 utc | 148

Something for people who hate lockdowns. Russia acknowledges that is has the Coronavirus statistics of a "Western" country:

Russia reveals it has world’s third-highest overall Covid-19 deaths but per capita numbers similar to European states

---

This is a Trump fan here, Kirby makes an interesting point about the Russians air defenses:

Has the S-400 System Made Trump a President of Peace?

I think it's been clear since WWII that unmanned "platforms" were the future of war, if there was one at all, and in particular missiles, guided missiles. Just as with firearms, the ability to fight and kill at longer range changes everything, nobody is immune anymore. Capital cities will be destroyed, lots of them. Military people here don't like this, much too clinical. Not much room for baroque expensive weapons systems that provide lots of graft and ego gratification. No hordes of underlings to suck up all the time.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 29 2020 12:19 utc | 149

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 11:56 utc | 150

Sisci's sudden interest in the needs of foreign investors is indeed amusing.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 29 2020 13:32 utc | 150

this is huge: https://swprs.org/russian-hacking-nato-psyop-revealed/

"In early November, however, British researcher David J. Blake essentially solved the “Russian hacking” psyop, down to the operational level, as described in his new book “Loaded for Guccifer 2.0”."

Posted by: Elon | Dec 29 2020 13:52 utc | 151

Bernie Sanders is going to block the Senate override on Trump's veto of the Defense Bill to force a vote on the $2000 direct stimulus payments now.

bernie-sanders-filibuster-delay-defense-veto-override

I think this is a brilliant move.

One, it will keep the 2 Georgia Republican Senators in D.C. and off the campaign trail in the final days before the Election.

Two it will expose Republicans as being against helping Americans in hard times brought on by Covid and Trump's mismanagement of the situation.

It will expose Perdue and Loeffler as being against the increase in direct payments and hurt them in the runoff in Georgia.

Win-win move by Bernie!

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2020 14:33 utc | 152

Circe @Dec29 14:33 #154

Meaningless grandstanding from Sanders. Similar to his pretended concern for Yemen.

From the linked Politico article:

The Vermont independent can’t ultimately stop the veto override vote, but he can delay it until New Year’s Day [only three days!] and make things [slightly] more difficult for the GOP...

A source close to Sanders said the Senate races were a factor in his decision ...


What Sanders move really does is attempt to reinforce Sanders' populist progressive persona after his sheepdogging for the Democratic Party.

Sanders' feeble prankster maneuvers and his silence about Biden's Centrist politics is predictable. All part of the kayfabe.

Enjoy the show.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2020 15:11 utc | 153

@ Elon | Dec 29 2020 13:52 utc | 153

Wow! Great find!

That ties a lot of disparate smelly events together into an understandable picture.

Just my tingling Spider-Sense here, butis it possible that *swpr.org* (which I have not been paying attention to until now) could be a pro-Putin outlet and conduit for Russian Intel agency information from time to time...?

Posted by: gm | Dec 29 2020 16:24 utc | 154

@155 Jackrabbit

Who caaaares how you spin. You're a perennially-biased, irrational Sanders hater, who blew it in a staggering fail by predicting a landslide victory for Trump and who does nothing but peddle delusionary pirate party alternatives and far-out conspiracy.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2020 16:24 utc | 155

@Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2020 14:33 utc | 154

Yayy Bernie!

It's about time he stopped (hopefully[?]) being just another CUCK of the deepstate demorats, and climb onto the Jimmy Dore Force-theVote/M4A train, with some effective actions for a change, instead of more of the same old lofty platitudes.

Posted by: gm | Dec 29 2020 16:50 utc | 156

@juliania #114
Re: Hudson interview

Note he spells out that land tax is specifically anti-rentier. Having a moderate to high tax on land owners forces them to put property to work: in Texas, home and rent prices are far lower despite the 3%, annually assessed property tax rate. In contrast, California and Proposition 13 - where land tax starts at 1.1x% and falls every year after, has the highest average home and rent prices in the entire country. SF is more expensive than New York; Fresno is far more expensive than El Paso, etc.

He notes the backward-ization of "economic progress" - the return of rentier/free lunch payment extraction into economies worldwide, but particularly the US.

The only off note is health care.

Dr. Hudson says health care is free in other countries; it is not.

Health care in other countries is paid for by the high VAT taxes there. However, the costs are lower because the national health care systems both bargain better vs. providers/suppliers and force private supplies to keep honest.

But the biggest problem is: how to reverse this trend? Specifically the rentier class successfully buying out the political class to support its rentier agenda.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 29 2020 16:59 utc | 157

Circe @Dec29 16:24 #157

Who caaaares how you spin.

This initial remark is ironic given your shameless shilling for Bernie, the Democrats, and the corrupt political system.

=
... You're a perennially-biased, irrational Sanders hater ...

Yes, I hate the Democratic Party controlled opposition psyop aka 'sheepdog'.

=
... who blew it in a staggering fail by predicting a landslide victory for Trump ...

President's are tools of the Deep State - I predicted that if the Deep State wanted to prepare for war then they would arrange a landslide victory for Trump. I was half right as Trump supporters (notably Sidney Powell) have claimed that Trump won in a landslide and Trump (supposedly) got millions more votes than he did in 2016.

We still have to see how things play out on January 6. Trump compatriots are trying hard to portray Biden's win as fraudulent and Biden himself as a corrupt national security risk.

=
... and who does nothing but peddle delusionary pirate party alternatives and far-out conspiracy.

What's delusional is the belief that Sanders could take over the Democratic Party along with the belief that a money-driven, Deep State-controlled political system will allow the sheep to vote for a "populist outsider" (Trump, Obama) that will bring real change.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2020 17:24 utc | 158

debs mentioned how if we ignore the twat it would help... i tend to agree...

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2020 17:28 utc | 159

Answering myself@122:

The only mention/speculation as to bomb type that I've seen is that it had attributes of a propane bomb.

Posted by: pokums | Dec 29 2020 20:18 utc | 160

CIue says re: Hudson

"Note he spells out that land tax is specifically anti-rentier. Having a moderate to high tax on land owners forces them to put property to work:"


Land Tax: something that perhaps "sounds" good to some, but clearly isn't!

Land Tax??? Why is it a "good thing" to "force land owners to put property to work"???

I don't see it.

I also see Land Tax, as typically practiced, to be "confiscatory" in nature for the average citizen who generally does not own land for profit and production, but rather shelter and security. It gives the lie to the idea of private property and what that means to most folks. (Such taxes force compliance [extraction] - and wage slavery - through the threat/reality of forfeiture of something purchased as an expression of a right to private property.) Add to that the fiction of the "value" of same as an easily manipulable quantity (fiction of a "market value" when not for sale at all) which is then used to extract ever greater wealth from the holders.

Land, as it is, undeveloped and natural, supports our ecosphere. The more it is forced to "work", the more our ecosphere is degraded. That ecosphere would be the matrix of life we depend upon ourselves for our own existence, as does all of "life" on our planet. Seems to me that those who hold land in its natural state without "forcing it to work" are already making a giant contribution to the wellbeing of the Community without taxing them further especially on an escalating basis, as Land Taxes are now practiced.

How does Land Tax contribute to sustainability (balance)?

It seems to me that the premise behind Capitalism: ever growth; when we exist in an obviously limited ecosphere makes the entire idea of Land Tax simply another tool to further the fantasy behind the system.

I find sustainability (true stewardship) to be the proper focus, not "forcing property to work".

Exclusion of "Religions" from the obligation to pay taxes, in general, land and otherwise, for the good of the entire community seems to me entirely counter as well.

Taxing the production from land is one thing, Taxing as a strategy to "force land to produce" appears to me self-defeating for Humanity and quite insane.

However "Financial Capitalism" and ALL that it produces in paper wealth should be taxed at 99% or greater, if even permitted. The reality is Financial (Rentier) Capitalism produces nothing of real value for the Community and is effectively nothing more than a tool to strip wealth from the biosphere and those who actually do productive work; in no way contributing to the Community in the process.


Another So&So

Posted by: Another So&So | Dec 29 2020 20:31 utc | 161

That dirty snake Mitch McConnell has just introduced his own bill that would include the $2000 stimulus BUT also include Trump's unmet toxic demands, the reason for his veto of the Defense Bill: a repeal of online liability protections under Sec. 230 and a commission to study voter fraud in the election. This bill will go down like a lead balloon and that's why McConnell introduced it; so stimulus has no chance of passing!

But according to Dkos, Dems may have a way of getting around McConnell's trap.

McConnell-blocks-2-000-survival-checks-for-struggling-Americans

Sanders intends for the bill on the $2000 stimulus that passed in the House to be the one that is voted on. McConnell blocked that bill and immediately after Sanders blocked McConnell's effort to get unanimous consent to override Trump's veto of the defense bill. So Sanders will force the Senate to work through New Year's if the House Bill on stimulus isn't put to a vote.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2020 23:20 utc | 162

China is not the reason why the US’ ‘luck’ is running out

--//--

Wuhan to release information on emergencies within 5 hrs, reserve 20,000 beds for infectious diseases in post-epidemic era

With the pandemic defeated, Wuhan perfects its emergency system on the lessons learned.

--//--

West fools and ruthlessly exploits so-called ‘citizen journalist’ Zhang Zhan

The question we should all ask ourselves is: what will the Western peoples do with this lie? Will they enlist en masse for an all-out war against China? Will they press the nuclear buttons?

--//--

Russia hopes Putin is 1st leader to visit China when pandemic subdued: Ambassador

I don't expect Putin to give up his Occidentalist roots. But I expect him to govern for the well-being of the Russian people and nation.

Do the right thing, Mr. Putin, gravitate east.

--//--

China Forces Drugmakers to Slash Prices 51% to Get on Insurance List

Disaster capitalism, meet your foe: disaster socialism.

There are a lot of obstacles in the long path, but China is steadily and inexorably marching towards a public universal healthcare system.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 23:35 utc | 163

Thanks, Circe @ 164. I can't think McConnell is doing himself or the Republicans any favors. Dare we hope for a change of leadership in both Houses?

Posted by: juliania | Dec 30 2020 3:21 utc | 164

Also thanks, c1ue @ 159, for pointing to a needed tax increase on land. However, the situation he describes isn't what we'd normally suppose that to be:

"...the city let the landlords keep all of the gains in land value. And they just raised the income taxes and went into debt to pay for the subway..."

It's a specific case of clear vampire capiltalism without penalty in the New York City example, so I don't see a blanket call for a general land tax in the interview.

I would also say that folk are not taxed beyond their normal social costs in countries with government funded medical care, but they are losing their homes and livelihoods,even their lives, because of privatized medicine costs in the US.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 30 2020 3:50 utc | 165

Thanks very much, Paco @ 146 - I've bookmarked your link, went to youtube and yay, I see the dome! Boy, even if I can't understand the Russian too well, I will watch. (And I have a techie son who can help me with the subtitles.) Good way to learn Russian (I can translate from print a bit,having taken classical Greek in college,so the lettering isn't too difficult -with a dictionary!)

Very kind of you.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 30 2020 4:05 utc | 166

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