Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 30, 2021

Somewhat Out Of The Mud

Thought of making another joke about the boat but that ship has now sailed.

Your host will, hopefully, be back by tomorrow.

Use as open thread ...


Posted by b on March 30, 2021 at 12:59 UTC | Permalink

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Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as
a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
"al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".
The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
the escalation in the War on Terror.
The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
of a war crime.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
Covering her butt by backdating a memo.
The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
is not official nor legal until it is published in the Federal Register.
An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had done the paperwork to make the killing legal?
The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
December 14, 2009, to somewhat cover her butt.
Obama's acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama's coverup saying it was their
own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:
"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she
believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the
of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
that must be our work here on Earth.
Thank you very much.
One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
and covered it up.
Here is ABC's Brian Ross using his most masculine voice to boast about Obama's attack:
Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)
Actual cable at Wikileaks:
More at ABC [12/18/2009]:">">">">

Posted by: librul | Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

Honestly, what was SpaceX thinking when there was so much fog? They should just wait until a clear day. SN11 is no more. Apparently it blew up while in the air. No word if FTS or something else.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 30 2021 13:22 utc | 2

The WHO report on the origin of the Coronavirus I very much look forward to hearing MoA's analysis of it. He does an excellent job on these type of stories.

CNN swooned over Josh Rogin's take. Didn't he repeat every Security WMD lie and throw in a few of his own in the run up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq? Yet the FOX alum Alisyn Camerota now on CNN, treated his condescending, dismissal of the WHO report as if it was the pinnacle of good science and honesty.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Mar 30 2021 13:25 utc | 3

I have to admit my pulse raced when i saw a new post indicator on my feed reader..
Great to hear you are on the way up now!

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Mar 30 2021 13:38 utc | 4

Your tilting against a hissing Leviathan is sorely missed!

Posted by: simjam | Mar 30 2021 13:52 utc | 5

I can never remember if we wait with baited or abated breath, but we wait with great anticipation of your re-charged return. In the meantime you've done a good job refreshing the open threads. Hasta pronto!

Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 30 2021 14:33 utc | 6

gottlieb @6

It is "bated breath", but agreed.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 30 2021 14:53 utc | 7

So glad your return is nigh--"mud" can sometimes be a fertile stimulus, eh?
In your absence, many of your reliable commenters offered insights and entertaining prose, e.g., "tilting against a hissing Leviathan."

Posted by: GloriousBach | Mar 30 2021 14:57 utc | 8

Thought of making another joke about the boat but that ship has now sailed.


Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 30 2021 15:04 utc | 9

@librul | Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

You can thank Thorbjørn Jagland for the Obama Nobel Price. He and Stoltenberg were buddies in the same party.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 30 2021 15:09 utc | 10

@Ian2 | Mar 30 2021 13:22 utc | 2

With or without fog, that 1950's cartoon rocket is a (bad) joke.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 30 2021 15:12 utc | 11

Millions might miss out on looming economic boom

Guys, guys, we were not lying, the economic boom is coming! In fact, it's more than coming, it's "looming"!

It's just that most of you won't see it or feel it.

By the way, I'm beginning to doubt the American vaccination program. It may be too little, too late:

New U.S. virus cases rise by 12% as nation braces for a fourth pandemic wave

The new CDC chief spoke about how she's afraid of an "impending doom" because of this "fourth wave" (which is actually the first one magnified, as the USA failed to fight the first one).

For people here who still don't know how vaccines work: you cannot vaccinate infected people, as it will be either useless or fatal. If the SARS-CoV-2 advances fast than the vaccination, it will outflank the target population and close the door on herd immunity. That's why China still enforces restrictions of movement and is prioritizing young people (who are more mobile and thus more prone to be the newly infected population).


U.S. Races to Vaccinate as Variants Threaten to Produce Surge in Cases

That's what happens when you block countries like Brazil from receiving the Sputnik V. You not only commit a genocide (more than 100,000+ "excess excess deaths" of Brazilians because of the vaccination delays), you also undo all the vaccination effort in your own country (95+ vaccines and millions of working hours of personnel thrown in the bin).


China becomes largest destination for FDI

People say that the only difference between a madman and a genius are the results.

We should also add location to the list: Trump would be a genius - if he was the Chinese president.

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 15:46 utc | 12

Blinken calls warmonger Madelaine Albright his “role model”

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 30 2021 15:58 utc | 13

Trump would be a genius - if he was the Chinese president.

Never make it-- one must be competent, and politically astute.

Being good a ripping people off, and grifting, would not suffice, even with connections.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Mar 30 2021 16:00 utc | 14

Well these aren't vaccines as much as flu-shots. Indeed they're already buzzing about combining the annual flu jab with the covid 'vaccine' for inoculation once or twice a year depending on the severity of variant season. Vaccines are supposed to offer protection against disease for long periods of time. The flu shot isn't a vaccine and neither are these Covid jabs. And contrary to a comment above these 'vaccines' have proven very effective to 'cure' serious Covid patients, much like the gene-therapies being used to great effect.

I certainly wouldn't take the experimental mRNA 'vaccines' until much more data is in. Is there a reason the mRNA rabies vaccine hasn't been approved after years of trying? And of course folks are quick the forget the Moderna/Pfizer medicines have not been approved either except for "emergency use."

And now finally there is out in the open debate about the origins of the 'novel' Corona virus of which so many react as if it is not novel at all. Not to say we'll ever know the truth - imagine the legal liability of setting off a global pandemic.

There is something rotten in the state of covid. Let's put on our gasmasks and get to the bottom of it.

Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 30 2021 16:10 utc | 15

Best wishes to Tom Feeley:
"Note to ICH community

On Wednesday I tested positive for Covid-19, my health since, has been a rollercoaster and has left me unable to update the website or newsletter. My apologies, I will return just as soon as possible..."

Posted by: bevin | Mar 30 2021 16:16 utc | 16

@15 gottlieb

Well these aren't vaccines as much as [seasonal] flu-shots.

That seems to be a very significant possibility.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 30 2021 16:21 utc | 17

it's what it looks like to me too... pfizer must be laughing all the way to the bank, or blackrock - whatever.. i guess the johnston vaccine or whatever will have to be pushed harder too..

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 16:25 utc | 18

it is hard not to be cynical..

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 16:25 utc | 19

psychohistorian linked to a Xinhuanet item on the previous thread about Hong Kong's new political matrix with the unanimous passing of the new electoral laws which is reflected in today's Global Times Editorial, "HK expected to turn from chaos to order:"

"The Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress on Tuesday voted unanimously to adopt the amended Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The two annexes regulate the methods for the selection of the HKSAR chief executive and for the formation of the HKSAR Legislative Council. China's top legislature has completed the legislation to revise and improve Hong Kong's election methods, making clearer the city's political road map of transitioning from chaos to governance. It is believed that Hong Kong's specific legislation concerning the implementation of the new Annex I and Annex II will also go smoothly.

"The two new annexes have ensured Hong Kong will be governed by patriots - the general principle of Hong Kong governance, and have plugged the previous loopholes. They, together with the national security law for Hong Kong, have formed two shields for Hong Kong's peace and prosperity, which not only eliminates major risks facing the city, but also provides a constructive opportunity for the city in the future. It is expected that Hong Kong's governance will turn over a new leaf.

"The current situation is that the national security law for Hong Kong and the amendments to the election methods have unleashed a powerful influence. They have changed the relationship between political forces inside and outside Hong Kong, and reshaped the city's prospects and people's mentality. Those who love the country and Hong Kong have been greatly inspired, while frustration is permeating among the radical opposition. If the moderate opposition still wants to play a role in Hong Kong politics, they might explore how to provide constructive suggestions to the city rather than engaging in the destructive actions in the future.

"The national security law for Hong Kong and the two amended annexes will deal a heavy blow to foreign hostile forces. The Hong Kong secessionists whom these forces have been supporting can hardly enter Hong Kong's system anymore. These secessionists would face legal risks if they collude with foreign forces. The influence of foreign forces in Hong Kong will be waning. They will launch more verbal attacks on Hong Kong affairs and engage in a bravado boycott, but these will be futile." [My Emphasis]

The Battle for Hong Kong IMO is now officially concluded and China won handily, just as it eventually will with Taiwan, which is where the destabilization front will now shift. The Outlaw US Empire is trying to paint China as an evil imperialist nation in a projection of itself to try and scare nations away from developing Win-Win solutions to their economic situation, while also promoting trade in local currencies. The Taiwan issue will become a factor in Japan's coming elections as Suga tries to employ it for domestic political gain at the expense of Japan's relations with China. The Japanese brand AISICS is the latest victim of the cotton war. At some point Japanese need to come to grips with the reality that China doesn't want any military confrontation with Japan as Japan has nothing China would want to gain from such folly; and the same goes for North Korea. Japan ought to return to being an independent Asian nation instead of a colonial vassal state to an Outlaw Empire. Where's Japanese pride? And the same could be asked of Australia.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 16:29 utc | 20

Take all the time you want b. We'll be here when you return.

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 30 2021 16:44 utc | 21

Quotes of the day, after Macron says he does not see why he should do a mea culpa for his covid policies (30,000 before summer 2020, 95,000 today):
"Le président a acquis une vraie expertise sur les sujets sanitaires, salue le ministre de l'Education. Ce n’est pas un sujet inaccessible pour une intelligence comme la sienne et au regard du temps important qu’il y consacre depuis plusieurs mois" (Blanquer, minister of education)
translation: The president has acquired real expertise on health issues... It is not an inaccessible subject for an intelligence like his and in view of the important time he has been devoting to it for several months.

Looks more and more like North Korea too me.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 16:47 utc | 22

Most people are not grasping the serious wrong-headedness of this mass vaccination effort. I transcribed a germane section of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche's interview so folks here can please read it until they understand what he's saying. (I inserted punctuation and paragraphs to make it more readable.)

"If you go to war, you better make sure you have the right weapon. The weapon in itself can be an excellent weapon, and that is what I’m saying about the current vaccines, I mean just brilliant people who have been making these vaccines in no time and with regulatory approval and everything, so the weapon in itself is excellent. The question is, is this the right weapon for the kind of war that is going on right now? And there, my answer is definitely no. Because these are prophylactic vaccines, and prophylactic vaccines should typically not be administered to people who are exposed to high infectious pressure. So don’t forget we are administering these vaccines in the heat of a pandemic.

"So in other words, while we are preparing our weapon, we are fully attacked by the virus – the virus is everywhere – so that is a very different scenario from using such vaccines in a setting where the vaccinee is barely or not exposed to the virus. And I’m saying this because if you have a high infectious pressure, it’s so easy for the virus to jump from one person to the other. So, if you’re immune response is just mounting, as we see right now with a number of people who get their first dose – they get their first dose, the antibodies are not fully mature, [inaudible] are not very high, so their immune response is sub-optimal. But they are in the midst of this war. While they are mounting an immune response they are fully attacked by the virus. And every single time – I mean, this is textbook knowledge – every time you have an immune response that is sub-optimal in the presence of an infection, in the presence of a virus that infects that person, you are at risk for immune escape. So that means that the virus can escape from the immune response.

"So I’m saying that these vaccines – I mean, in their own right of course, are excellent – but to use them in the midst of a pandemic and do mass vaccinations, because then you provide within a very short period of time with high antibody [types ?] [inaudible] … I mean, that wouldn’t matter if you could eradicate … if you could prevent infection. But these vaccines don’t prevent infection – they protect against disease.

"Because unfortunately, we look no further than the end of our nose, in the sense that hospitalization, that’s all that counts – you know, getting people away from the hospital. But in the meantime, you’re not realizing that we give, all the time during this pandemic, by our interventions the opportunity to escape the immune system. And that is of course a very, very dangerous thing, especially when we realize that these guys they only need 10 hours to replicate.

"So we think that by making new vaccines – new vaccines against the new infectious strains – we think we’re going to catch up. It’s impossible to catch up. The virus is not going to wait until we have those vaccines ready. I mean, this thing continues. As I was saying, the thing is, I mean, if you do this in the midst of a pandemic, that is an enormous problem. These vaccines are excellent, but they are not made for administration to millions of people in the midst, in the heat of a pandemic. So that is my point."

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 30 2021 16:53 utc | 23

@librul 1
Reading your post literally brought to mind the sort of sort of blue funk that b must surely have to deal with constantly and anyone who puts time and effort into researching and composing homegrown investigative journalism will be haunted by, if The Truth is his persistent overseer and editor. Just kinna fact-checking you, a hopeless "seething resentment in a closed vessel of prolonged impotence" (Shiller, I think) set in one minute into your first ABC link, when the dude dismisses the Yemen attack with the worn-out phrase "… an action which officials say was necessary to protect American interests". Anyone reality-based enough to recognize the odor of bullshit, seek out trace amounts of it and point them out in a coherent fashion in a web-blog (especially in the comments section) must deal with the fact that he can change nothing, that the sheeple who need to understand what he is talking about will never read his words and would be contemptuous if they did. Yet some persist in shouting "The King is NAKED!" in the land of the blind and deaf and naked – their words quickly washed away by the next wave of crashing yaddayadda. Inspiring. Admirable. I need a double shot, now and then, to keep my courage and anger up. Graffiti on the cyber time-tunnel hearkens the occasional weary voyager.

Posted by: defaultcitizen | Mar 30 2021 16:55 utc | 24

James @ 19

It's impossible to not be cynical.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Mar 30 2021 16:57 utc | 26

karlof1 @ 20

Prescient comment on the focus shifting now to Taiwan.


Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Mar 30 2021 17:05 utc | 27

Let's consider this headline for a moment: "Blinken Accuses China of Trying to Undermine US-Dominated World Order."

Blinken provides us with a definition of that "world order" in his own words cited in the article:

"'... preserve the rules-based international order, in which we have all invested so much over the past 75 years, and which has served our interests and values well'." [My Emphasis]

Clearly, he's referring to the rules put in place by the UN Charter. But as we at this bar all know, it's the Outlaw US Empire for whom Blinken works that's the #1 criminal when it comes to violating the UN Charter which is why it's "served our interests and values well." Now when we turn to reality, it become very clear that China seeks to uphold the UN Charter--it's one of the foundational members of the newly established Friends of the UN Charter Group that the Outlaw US Empire will certainly snub because of the reality of its actual relations to that Act and Organization. Indeed, what is being said by the very formation of that Group is a big NO!! to the Outlaw US Empire's attempt to say it abides by the system it's continuously violated for the past 75+ years. Yet, it's also clear that NO!! isn't being shouted out by global media enough, particularly when Outlaw US Empire officials give such an excellent opportunity to be rebuffed and ridiculed for their lies.

We have many good writers here who could take Blinken's words and turn them into an indictment of himself and the nation he represents. That implies that writers for global publications are just as good but need to examine the framing of their articles. Peace won't come to our planet unless the Outlaw Bully Nation is daily accused for what it is and does. NATO is a distinct minority yet it holds the world captive in a terroristic manner. It's well past time to stop groveling and kow-towing and to stand-up and call out the bullshitters for what they are since being nice isn't getting us anywhere.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 17:08 utc | 28

#12: "If the SARS-CoV-2 advances fast than the vaccination, it will outflank the target population and close the door on herd immunity."

No, the combination of people getting the actual virus + the vaccinated population will eventually result in herd immunity.

Though, if Covid acts like the common cold or flu, there may be enough variations where "herd immunity" will be a near-meaningless concept anyway.

Posted by: Caliman | Mar 30 2021 17:08 utc | 29

Mass vaccination apparently is accelerating the mutation of more dangerous variants. Do the experts not understand that the antigen-specific antibodies the vaccinations are eliciting, actually compromise people's innate broadly-based immune resistance to variants?

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 30 2021 17:16 utc | 30

@ defaultcitizen | Mar 30 2021 16:55 utc | 24 who wrote

.....Yet some persist in shouting "The King is NAKED!" in the land of the blind and deaf and naked – their words quickly washed away by the next wave of crashing yaddayadda. Inspiring. Admirable. I need a double shot, now and then, to keep my courage and anger up. Graffiti on the cyber time-tunnel hearkens the occasional weary voyager.

Thanks for that and the sentiments about what b has to go through to keep churning out the truth he finds within his bias like we all have.

We are an interesting species struggling to evolve or perish it seems and yet adding my textual white noise to yours feels positive in some way and so I do it. I think it is a small percentage that don't feel the impotent rage of our social system and that rage is causing it to lose trust.

I have been waiting over 50 years for the failure tipping point in the private finance based social system and I feel it is close. But I have to admit I felt more positive in the middle of the Occupy movement because their were people in the streets and it was focused on Wall Street....and it sure as heck isn't now.....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 30 2021 17:27 utc | 31

Mina @Mar30 16:56 #25

AstraZeneca has been plagued with problems that get lots of media attention (production problems, suspected health problems, etc.)

And the J&J vaccine is still hard to find. There are now dozens of places to get a vaccine in NYC but I could only find 4 or 5 that give the J&J vaccine (along with one of the mRNA shots) - at least two of which note that they are not giving "first dose" shots and another says (in a FAQ on their site) that they are only receiving Moderna vaccines "at this time".

IMO we are being herded into the mRNA vaccines.

But if you complain to others about that (as I have) you are treated as though you are "anti-vaxx / anti-science.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 30 2021 17:30 utc | 32

In regards to mine @28, I guess you might call it poking them in the eye type of provocation. And here we have an excellent example, "'Nasty Habits Die Hard': Iran's Zarif Digs Up Old Biden Tweet, Trolls POTUS as Nuclear Row Grows." Iran's Zarif does exactly what I suggest:

"'It's sadly ironic that the State Department is now calling on Iran to abide by the very deal the Trump administration abandoned', Zarif wrote, citing verbatim an excerpt from a tweet by then-presidential candidate Joe Biden from June 2019.

"'It's sadly ironic that the State Dept is now calling on Iran to abide by the very deal the Trump administration abandoned. "@POTUS, 2019

"Your admin follows Trump's footsteps while trying to use his unlawful sanctions as 'leverage'.

"Nasty habits die hard. Time to kick this one."

Zarif has decided to change his Twitter and other social media account as one follower explained:

"He intends to use various caricatures of himself going back to 2012 as profile picture on Twitter and Instagram until he leaves office later this year."

Here's today's, which I see as a friendly depiction.

But Zarif's point in his tweet is very clear--words mean zero to those from the Outlaw US Empire, which is why Iran stipulates Actions that can be verified are the only way forward. But I doubt anyone cares since Biden clearly isn't his own man.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 17:32 utc | 33

karlof1 – The "anti-vaxxer – anti-science" smear is analogous to "anti-American" if one criticizes U.S. foreign policy. Simplistic demonization is encouraged by the mainstream media with news delivered in sound bites in order to dumb down the populace and manufacture consent (or paranoia).

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 30 2021 17:46 utc | 34

Sorry, I meant to address my last comment to Jackrabbit

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 30 2021 17:48 utc | 35

norecovery @30--

That's why I see getting vaccinated now as a waste of time and medicine. My lifestyle hasn't changed much at all with the pandemic, although my employment of precautions has soared. That will change with our cross-country road trip during the month of April as we interact with many more people and visit their homes. Yes, aside from lodgings, they'll be kin--but--unprotected interactions with kin are often the source of infection. As we see cases soar once again, it's clear that the vaccine was seen as some sort of panacea when it's not that at all. People ought to wonder why they're prompted to get a new flu shot annually; it's because it mutates and a different formula's required. I've never had a flu shot and don't get the flu, mainly because of my lifestyle. What's most important for me is my preferred vaccine--Sputnik V--isn't available in my nation and may never be approved for use here. For me, the AIDS experience is my reference--Sex wasn't deadly until it suddenly was (All STDs were never considered in the same league) which prompted a change in behavior. Same with COVID, although flu is clearly a deadly virus for many.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 17:53 utc | 36

I posted this on the other open thread but I see that has now moved here.

There seems to be very little information about what is actually going on in Myanmar and virtually nothing on Moon.

Posted by: arby | Mar 30 2021 17:53 utc | 37

Looks more and more like North Korea too me.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 16:47 utc | 22

Whatever that has to do with North Korea, eh?!

Posted by: v | Mar 30 2021 17:54 utc | 38

Interesting perspective on the rescue of Ever Given from F24. Apparently, not one of the 370 waiting ships abandoned its spot in the queue at either end of the Suez Canal. If that's true then it suggests that the shipping companies were receiving much more optimistic info than the Fake News outfits were relaying to their Consumers?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 30 2021 18:27 utc | 39

Finninan Cunningham describes how China is doing what I suggest--call out the bullshitters for what they are:

"China is, however, not letting this Western hypocrisy pass. Beijing is hitting back to point out who the real culprits are. Its vast global economic power and increasing trade partnerships with over 100 nations through the Belt and Road Initiative all combine to give China’s words a tour de force that the Western states cannot handle. Hence, they are falling over in shock when China hits back."

There appears to be a Tag-Team effort here. China attacks the Outlaw US Empire while Russia concentrates on the EU part of the Bully.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 18:33 utc | 40

I was expecting this one. Do you have statistics on the number of people who move to North Korea for various reason each year (marriage, business, migration)?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 18:33 utc | 41

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 15:46 utc | 12
Dear VK, How do you know that those "brazilian more than 100,000+ excess excess deaths" are due to vaccination delays?
Did somebody run autopsies of each one of them?

did they die from or with covid?

Did the PCR run 25 Ct or more?

Etc, etc.

Posted by: Roberto | Mar 30 2021 18:47 utc | 42

gottlieb | 15

I'm not going to argue with you on the question of flu shots yes or no. It's a so-so situation. But at least it's a vaccine in the traditional sense: your body is presented with antigens, modified but ready-made antigens.

That's simply not the case with Covid vaccines. With those, you do not get the relevant antigens with the shot, and that's that. Instead, actual expression of the antigen is deferred to after the shot, for your body to do on its own, in vivo. That's a whole new layer added. Covid shots even defy our terminology, that's how not tried and true they are. IMO, this applies to all of them, be it AZ, BNT or Sputnik.

"There is something rotten in the state of covid. Let's put on our gasmasks and get to the bottom of it."

I had a good laugh, thank you for that. Something to shield against the hysteria growing around me.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 30 2021 19:01 utc | 43

@ Posted by: Roberto | Mar 30 2021 18:47 utc | 42

Those are the rough estimates I've been seeing circulating around the alternative Brazilian media: the Sputnik V already was ready by October last year and the Brazilian pharmaceutical União Química already has the ingredients to produce it since January this year, awaiting for Anvisa's (the Brazilian CDC) to authorize its emergence use (it already blocked the first request last week).

By some rough estimates deduced from daily deaths, some local experts calculate that this USA-induced delay caused 100,000 of the 300,000 COVID-19 deaths in Brazil. That's already assuming União Química wouldn't have the resources to vaccinate every Brazilian outright: if we assumed it already had all the Sputnik V vaccines necessary (an absurd extrapolation, but an useful one for scale purposes), then we could even claim 200,000 of Brazil's 300,000 COVID-19 deaths were caused by USA cock-blocking Brazil from access to Sputnik V (and others, as Bolsonaro has also been blocking the purchase of ingredients for the Brazilian-Chinese vaccine Coronavac sine October last year).

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 19:08 utc | 44

As james said; "it is hard not to be cynical". Here is one person who is either, a) totally cynical, b) stupid or c) lives in the same other-world dimension as Biden

Blinken, 29 March; As I underscored at the @UN today, the U.S. stands with the Syrian people and the international community in calling for a nationwide ceasefire and humanitarian access to Syrians in need. The U.S. is the single largest humanitarian donor to the Syrian people.

You never get that stealin' feelin' Blink?

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 30 2021 19:14 utc | 45

I'll bet barflies won't be surprised to learn that quite awhile ago Putin established a Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations that met today:

"I would like to start with a major topic, and it is about strengthening the nation’s civic identity. There is nothing more important for Russia, or for any other country, and we know what problems many countries are facing today in this key area – on the American continent as well as on the European one."

Fortunately, Putin was made well aware of what was once called the Nationalities Question that was seen as a potential tool to destabilize the USSR and was to some extent. The establishment of the Council and recent changes to Russia's Constitution are aimed at forestalling any future destabilization attempts. Putin elaborates:

"To successfully tackle the tasks facing the country we need not only an effective economy and competent management. For a huge multinational state such as Russia it is fundamentally, and even crucially important, to ensure public solidarity and a feeling of involvement in the life of the Fatherland and responsibility for its present and future, which is commonly referred to as Russian identity and civic consciousness.

"In some countries, civic identity and ethnic identity are seen as rival notions. I believe that this approach is absolutely incorrect, to put it mildly, and absolutely unacceptable in our country. Our people come from different ethnic groups, but they have a common country, Russia.

"This is also true for our national languages and customs. Our common state language and our common cultural and spiritual values and traditions, which developed over centuries, are strengthening Russia’s unity and might, and are ensuring our sovereignty and independence....

"We must prevent, and we will prevent any aggressive demonstration of one’s ethnic origin or disrespect for other ethnic groups in Russia, and we will not allow foreign conflicts of this kind to be brought to our country.

"At this moment, over 80 percent of Russian citizens have a positive view on interethnic relations in the country. However, this matter calls for constant, I would even say daily work. In addition, we understand that this issue has always been and still remains a deeply personal and an extremely sensitive sphere. This is why I would like to say once again: we must pay close and constant attention to the implementation of the national policy, especially in the regions, and our actions must be as delicate, tactful and accurate as possible....

"Dividing citizens into friends and foes is not the best example to show the younger generations. One’s civic identity, like patriotism, is not given at birth, rather these are formed later in life. They are fostered by the actions of adults, by models of their behaviour and images proliferated by the media, by our entire social environment: culture, science, and education. All this, along with the traditions in the family, contributes to the education of young people."

Putin then interjects what he feels is an important aspect of the upcoming census:

"This is also important [paying close attention] in connection with the upcoming nationwide Population Census, and I would like to give this a special mention. As a rule, the census takes place every ten years and it provides the most complete picture of the number and size of large and small ethnic groups, and this picture has to be absolutely objective. I am asking the Federal State Statistics Service as well as the Prosecutor General's Office to ensure people's constitutional right to freely express their will in defining their ethnicity during the census, and to strictly suppress any attempts at pressure and especially discrimination on ethnic grounds."

Putin also notes the many selfless acts of help provided nationally during the pandemic that promoted the solidarity of Russia's diverse peoples. There will be no Woke or Cancel garbage arising within Russia as that was already tried with Pussy Riot and others which the great mass of Russian's rejected as with Navalny. IMO, over the past 100+ years Russians have learned the need for solidarity on many occasions which have helped to reinforce its viability in such a way that it's become a national strength. And that has to be a comforting feeling capable of boosting confidence and self-assurance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 19:22 utc | 46

Below is a quote from a ZH piece quoting others about the US Ambassador to Palau going to Taiwan

Apparently undeterred, on Tuesday Hennessey-Niland was actually cited in regional media as provocatively referring to Taiwan as a recognized country.

"I know that here in Taiwan people describe the relationship between the United States and Taiwan as real friends, real progress and I believe that description applies to the three countries — the United States, Taiwan and Palau," he was cited in Reuters and AFP as saying.

Using the poor country of Palau for this conflict bait exercise is a sign of the sickness in failing empire. Do they not see other countries seeing this as a sign of weakness?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 30 2021 19:23 utc | 47

Stonebird @45--

Now that's a series of BigLies that really can't get much larger.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 19:24 utc | 48

This one; Capitol riots and the day after - Pelosi tries a coup

But unbeknownst to most Americans, there actually was an “insurrection” that took place at the Capitol — however, it didn’t happen on January 6th. It took place on January 8th and it was carried out by Nancy Pelosi.

Two days after the Capitol melee, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an ominous phone call that could change the entire game.

On January 8th, Nancy Pelosi picked up her phone and bypassed the military chain of command by making a jaw-dropping direct appeal to Army General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.

Nancy Pelosi asked General Mark Milley to take action against President Trump.

Think about that for a minute: a politician who has no place whatsoever within the national security chain of command went around the already-established chain of command channels and used her power and position to try and give direct orders to the nation’s top military officer.

What Nancy Pelosi did when she made that phone call was as close to an “insurrection” that you can get, and it was far more menacing and dangerous than anything “politically motivated” that went down at the Capitol on January 6th.

+ "Judicial Watch announced that it has filed a FOIA lawsuit against the DOD for records about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 8, 2021, telephone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley"

One of my favourite commentators, Simon Dolan, (KBF) has started legal proceedings against lockdown in the UK. First part has been struck down by the Supreme Court. So he is trying a crowd funded appeal. Waddya know, Twitter has silenced him. ..... are you surprised?

(Note KBF = Keep Britain Free)


To be watched for developments (Unconfirmed report);

From the Daily Express (which is a bit of a "lurid" newspaper, just another MSM (doubtful) source, but here is an extremely curious news "item" about MH17 AND MH370. Why it is interesting is the timing. If my memory serves me correctly, there were quite a few Chinese IT experts or scientists on the MH 370 plane (17 of them ?), plus a large item (Machine electronics?) in the cargo bay.
Even at the time of the "accident", one possibility was that the plane went to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
(Plane rose in air - passengers die from lack of oxygen (?), plane dives, turns and then flies back across Malaysia at low altitude and disappears.) Rather a vague summary I admit

The Chinese MUST know by now what that machine-cargo was.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 30 2021 19:46 utc | 49

VK 44, the real Brazilian question is, why Brazil do not have a vaccine.
Brazil has some history in the field, know how, personal, money and infrastructure to produce it.
What it do not have is a government.

The timeline for Sputnik is wrong. It was Pfizer who in AUGUST tried to make a deal with the government offering 5 million doses in 2020 and 20mi January to start.
The government did not responded the proposal.
I'm not joking when I say Brazil do not have a government.

I've stopped reading about this by personal option months ago but some news keep claiming attention. Brazil do have 15 vaccine projects decision to go ahead. Looks Bolsonaro is releasing money....just now...this start.
Everything available in Brazil was not made by the Government.
I mean the government, by Bolsonaro.
There are state sponsored organizations working pretty much independently.

Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Mar 30 2021 19:50 utc | 50

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 16:47 utc | 22

Could you provide a link? Hard to believe how low French MSM has fallen.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 30 2021 20:04 utc | 53

psychohistorian @ 47 —

Putin’s call for unity in Russia highlights for me the opposite promotion of division that is happening in the U.S., evidently as a means for elites to divide and rule, and people are falling for it. If more of us realized this, we might be able to focus on the structural iniquities that create the division in the first place, policies that are a direct result of deregulation of private finance.

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 30 2021 20:06 utc | 54

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 15:46 utc | 12

for a "dissident commie" to post and THEN tell us to take those cia buzzword articles and literal mockingbird narrative articles🧐 makes it VERY VERY VERY hard to take you seriously🤷‍♂️
How do you cope with that cognitive dissonans?


Jeg hadde nesten glemt jagland og hans rolle😳(i had almost forgot jagland and his role)

Posted by: Per/Norway | Mar 30 2021 20:07 utc | 55

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 16:25 utc | 18

Blackrock. Ultimately City of London.

Isn't it "funny" james that we little people have to adjust to a "new normal" of being industrial human cattle, but the "old normal" of intellectual property and patents still remains in force?

Posted by: tuesday | Mar 30 2021 20:15 utc | 56

@ Digital Spartacus | Mar 30 2021 16:57 utc | 26... thanks for saying that! ironically your response is not a cynical one!! nor is mine to you.. so, there is cause for optimism too... cheers james

easter weekend is this coming weekend i believe... i know b likes to acknowledge easter... it is a christian celebration of long tradition.. i don't know if it was celebrated before the christians imposed it onto a dominant culture.. i am sure it was... just like they took saturnalia and layered christmas on top of it... when we travelled to mexico - oaxaca area, i do recall seeing a religious site where the spanish had done just this - put their church on top of a previous holy site used by the aztecs, or whatever group it was - i can't remember.... it is funny how all righteous people, religions or cultures attempt to do this to others... well, maybe it is more sad then funny when you look at it more closely for what it says about so much of humanity, especially the part that likes to dominate others... none of this domination has anything to do with easter as i see it, or religion or much of any human trait that deserves acknowledgement...

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 20:20 utc | 57

@ 56 tuesday... that is the depressing thing... my use of the word funny is just ultimately a word that is truly conflicted!! i would like things to be funny right now, but they are mostly the exact opposite! i am coming off a 3 day high and feeling the opposite today for a number of reasons.. so, funny is a funny word to use.. human cattle... now that is a depressing thought!

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 20:23 utc | 58

Good to see your humor is still intact and sparking clean/mud-free, b!

Take a break when you have to take a break. If you aren't back by tomorrow, then you will be some other day (or maybe not; that's life after all!)

In my humble opinion: can't criticize anyone for getting all bogged-down and frustrated these days.

(A personal and therefore meaningless anecdote: the place in Germany I'm currently living in has some ~150 inhabitants; it's not remote, but rather uninteresting, and since there's a farmer in town, there's probably more cows living in this place than people. Recently I've seen the first police car pass the street in about ~5 years; I learned later through classical "rural hearsay" (small places here, and everybody knows everyone in some way) that the police was on it's way to a neighbouring municipality (where people too were surprised by seeing the police) where someone reported that his neighbor has been hosting a party with more than the one (1!) currently allowed "foreign" (as in: not from your family) visitor. I thought to myself "That's classical German precision for you!")

Posted by: pachinko | Mar 30 2021 20:29 utc | 59


Actually it was already a month ago that people said he was reading a lot of scientific literature about it and was asking sharp questions during the "defense councils" he holds every week or so, but only today do we have his panegyric by Blanquer. Basically all the LREM MPs and his ministers are mainly repeating the same "elements of language" provided to them except for the very close circle, like Blanquer, who give the tune to the rest of the sheeps.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 20:35 utc | 60

@ Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Mar 30 2021 19:50 utc | 50

If memory doesn't betray me, Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca are literally the only three vaccines authorized for use by Anvisa. By "coincidence", the three Anglo-Saxon ones.

The problem is none of these three pharmaceuticals have the industrial capacity to produce for everyone: they have to prioritize which nations they'll vaccinate first (it seems Israel is first, USA is second and the rest is being sold to the other First World countries; AstraZeneca is putting the USA first, UK second and they don't even have the capacity to produce to the EU nations, which would be the third on the line). Hence, they aren't washing Brazil with their doses.

Besides, Bolsonaro wants to create a rationale where the Brazilian vaccination program is privatized. Hence he's cockblocking the SUS, which already has a universal vaccination system ready for use. It's the good old neoliberal mantra of "create a problem in order to sell the solution": he's removing SUS from the game in order to force the states and cities to fend for themselves (engage in the free market for the leftovers). Then the Brazilian people will put the blame on the SUS and the conditions for the privatization of the entire vaccination program will be set.

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 20:39 utc | 61

The Germans have every reason to be furious: the Pfizer was invented by a German lab, and their good control of the 2020 first wave was made void by the EU dogma of free circulation. If not a German at the head of the commission, they would certainly have criticized, and rejected, the EU diktat that led them to be in this situation.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 20:39 utc | 62

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 20:20 utc | 57

Looks like you're talking about Mitla, but just like Neil Young -another Canadian that I enjoy listening to sometimes- sings about Cortez the Killer -that reminds me of Biden- I object to Anglo-saxons accusing the Spaniards of treacherous colonizing. Mitla has a couple of layers since one indigenous culture built on top of what a previous one had built, and then the Spaniards built a church on top of that but left a considerable part of the original buildings, not sure if it is Mixtecs on top of Zapotecs or the other way around. It has happened in many places around the world, here in Spain we have many monuments built upon many layers, Phoenicians, Carthaginian, Roman, Goths, Arabs, Christians. I do not excuse Spanish wrong doings in the colonies, but I think they’re not comparable with the Anglo-saxons crimes, they went for extermination instead of mixing.

Another little sample of bias, the Spanish flue that was originally from Kansas or Oklahoma, now they’re trying to pin it on the Chinese.

And by the way, what a fantastic place Mitla is.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 30 2021 20:47 utc | 63

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 19:08 utc | 44

Dear VK, I am ok with your figures. But figures's background are COVID is a fact and vaccines are needed. I cuold agree on correlation and just this. There is other issues like lockdown poverty induced. I have a couple of friend in Brazil. They told me that people are not ill but unemployed.
Mr. Bolsonaro is like Mr. Aleksandr Lukashenko on COVID. He want his country open asap. He refuses mask and jabs.

Posted by: Roberto | Mar 30 2021 20:51 utc | 64

Just a test post. I'm having issues with my proxy's IP address being banned at a couple of sites. Checking to see if MOA is using the same list of "bad" IPs and will switch if necessary. Here goes nothing...

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 30 2021 20:53 utc | 65

karlof1 @ 36 —

The best one can do is implement a regimen of healthy living, including optimal nutrition, exercise & sunlight, and let’s not forget mental health. If one becomes infected, there are effective early treatments available to avoid hospitalization.

When traveling, I suggest you have your ‘emergency treatment kit’ available, in case anyone develops symptoms. Bring along a supply of the best spring water you can get. Keep documentation with you, know what the symptoms are and what can be done. Never succumb to panic. There’s some useful information in the following guide (although I disagree with the statement that vaccines prevent infection) —

Also, I think it’s important to be able to counter misinformation that other people confront us with, even if we risk being branded “anti-vaxxer” or “covid denier” or some such label. If they refuse to listen, it’s best to stay away from them. If you’re stuck with an annoying person, prepare some jokes and funny quotes to ease the situation. Like this one from H.L. Mencken that I love:

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it — good and hard.”

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 30 2021 20:58 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Roberto | Mar 30 2021 20:51 utc | 64

Mr. Bolsonaro is like Mr. Aleksandr Lukashenko on COVID. He want his country open asap. He refuses mask and jabs.

Except for the fact that Lukashenko not only is pro-vaccination: he's starting to mass produce the Sputnik V as we speak.

And I don't know why Brazilians are whining so much about hunger and unemployment: Brazil was always the land of hunger and unemployment except for the brief PT era (2003-2016). It's not like middle class Brazilians didn't make a ton of jokes about their compatriots dying of hunger on the streets during the 1990s...

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 21:18 utc | 67

@ Paco | Mar 30 2021 20:47 utc | 63... thanks paco... i have been to mitla, but not sure if that was the only place that this happened that i visited... and i think i understand what you are saying - everyone does this to everyone else, so the spaniards are no different then the anglo saxons. i think that is some of what you are saying and i agree with you on this too.. i am noting that it happens and seems a part of a lot of human nature - maybe not all.. i would enjoy going back to oaxaca when i get my covid pass, lol...

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 21:21 utc | 68

Add this one, when Macron went live on tv from the Elysee at 22.20 pm to explain he did everything right

Ppl now ask openly if he suffers from narcissic perversion

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 21:23 utc | 69

Caliman @ 29

“...if Covid acts like the common cold..”

Common cold is a coronavirus. It would be expected that The Coronavirus will behave just like a coronavirus.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 30 2021 21:25 utc | 70

@ paco... i think this might have been the place i was thinking of -

the many places and villages extending out from oaxaca city in all the different directions are fascinating places to visit.. i have been to many of these places..

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 21:26 utc | 71

Excellent article asks those within the Outlaw US Empire and other Neoliberal nations the very relevant question: Do you really know your enemy?

The author is an American who did his undergrad work in China who makes this curious observation:

"'Know your enemy' is one of the 36 strategies from the Art of War. It was written by Sun Tzu 2600 years ago during the Warring States period in China. It was a treatise on dealing with war and conflict. I was almost entirely unaware of the writing during my first two years in China. That was 45 years ago when I was a foreign student at University in Beijing. I studied the language, the history and literature as a way to understand this fascinating and ancient culture. Doubtless the Art of War was not unknown in China, but I never recall it being quoted once in any modern context.

"I was first acquainted with the work in earnest, not in China but in America. In 1979 after leaving China, I attended a leading business school in America in pursuit of an M.B.A. It seems that the Art of War was enjoying a rise in popularity, and was required reading at all the major American business schools." [My Emphasis]

All of that is related to emphasize the following major point:

"Most of my classmates went on to be lawyers or worked on Wall Street. In many cases both. And they carried the lessons of the Art of War with them.

"And what were the lessons that they extracted from this ancient work?

"Business is war. Every deal has a winner and loser and for you to win, someone else had to lose.

"It is the Wall Street model. For every winning trade, there is a counterparty that loses. It is zero sum thinking. The pie is only so big, so when I want more, someone has to do with less.

"It fostered a mind-set, a callous one, one that has endured and intensified to where we find ourselves today." [My Emphasis]

Of course, Zero-sum thinking was already very imbedded within the Outlaw US Empire since it was brought here by its British colonizers, but it didn't become the core of business school ideology until after WW2 as it was delayed from being more deeply introduced by the Great Depression. Prior to post-WW2, most business schools patterned themselves on the Wharton School's American System devised by Simon Patten who championed an "Economics of Abundance," the precise opposite of Neoliberalism's Zero-sum.

In 1980, our author moved back to China and confesses:

"Only then did I begin to understand the diametrically different business philosophies between the two nations. Not once did I hear any reference to Sun Tzu or anything that suggested that the Chinese considered business to be about conflict and competition. When business was referred to via metaphor, it invoked Confucian or Taoist philosophies, based on mutual benefit and co-operation. At the time I considered this just Chinese 'business speak'. I was wrong, as I was to go on to learn in later years."

After a brief comparative set of paragraphs, our author admits:

"China has a unique political and economic system. It is based in Confucianism and it is unique to China- it’s challenges and it’s culture. It wouldn’t work elsewhere."

In other words, China's system isn't exportable as many accuse it of attempting. After further examining China's BRI goals and how it and its partners will benefit, our author offers the following conclusion:

"So back to America, where war is a business, and business is war.

"It wasn’t China that sold out generations of yet unborn Americans to feed the military Industrial complex to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars/year. It wasn’t China that bailed out the criminal bankers for trillions more dollars. Money taken from the tax-payers and given to the banks to lend back to the public at interest.

"Nor is China responsible for America’s crumbling infrastructure, or it’s failing school system. The culprit is a corporate culture that believes the world is full of winners and losers, and to that system, if you are not an greedy corporatist, you are just a loser."

Yes, you've read the same conclusion written by myself and others, but not in this manner. I do suggest reading the entire piece and sharing it as it's very well crafted. It does an excellent job of destroying the Establishment Narrative by providing a very logical replacement. For myself, I know I'll think of the following adage differently from now on: "The Business of America is Business" in the land where "business is war and war is business."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 21:30 utc | 72

‘Infinite Game’: US Army White Paper Reveals Plans for New Field of ‘Narrative Competition’

Other declassified documents have shown that while they publicly deny it, in private, US officials see it as another struggle between capitalism and socialism.

How I love to be right.

By the way, naming it "the infinite game" doesn't bode well of the capitalist side. I generally denotes one doesn't expect to ever defeat the other side decisively and definitely. Sounds like a mix of delusion with defeatism to me.


Explosion Heard From Landing Site of SpaceX Starship Test Flight

Elon Musk, the face of the new generation of American capitalists.

He'll continue to try forever. After all, it's not his money being thrown to the bin, but the taxpayers'.

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 21:36 utc | 73

A continuation of the article I posted here @73:

US State Department to Release ‘Kennan-Style’ Blueprint for Containing China

It lays out 10 ways this can be achieved, which are:

1) “preserving constitutional government” at home
2) maintaining the US military as the world’s strongest fighting force
3) fortifying the “rules-based international order” the US created after World War II
4) working to “reevaluate its alliance system and the panoply of international organizations in which it participates” to ensure they support this vision
5) strengthening existing alliance systems and creating new ones
6) cooperating with China when possible
7) inculcating in the US populace the reasons why China must be fought
8) training a new generation of public servants well-versed in Chinese language and culture, but who also support the vision of constraining China
9) reforming the US education system to support that goal
10) and championing “the principles of freedom” with rhetoric, sanctions and military force as necessary.

Hmm... I don't know... those sounds very totalitarian to me.

Posted by: vk | Mar 30 2021 21:46 utc | 74

Posted by: james | Mar 30 2021 21:26 utc | 71

The colors, you're able to drive down and get there, for me it is quite far but after such a long time of going nowhere... what a place to go!.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 30 2021 21:53 utc | 75

The current Brazil situation is simple.
The governing regime was installed by the USA.

Excess deaths are to be expected.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 30 2021 22:03 utc | 76

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 21:23 utc | 69

Thanks for the links, bureaucrats fawning over the boss is the norm.

Watched a few minutes of Macron at the Conseil Européen, a lot of talk about production but no specific type of vaccine. No unity at all, just hinting his dissatisfaction with the UK, but how about the SputnikV?

Posted by: Paco | Mar 30 2021 22:10 utc | 77

Mina #60

Thank you much laughter.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 30 2021 22:24 utc | 78

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30 2021 21:23 utc | 69

Le Monde is behind a paywall and generally not worth reading except for an outlook, i.e. headlines, Huffpost I do not read by principle, in any language. Overall the media universe in French is just as poor as in Spain. Europe is a digital colony, as far as I know there are no social media platforms or email providers or search engines. Russia beats us at that, but anybody will tell you that they do not have a free press, as if it would be possible without the tools.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 30 2021 22:25 utc | 79

James #71

Thank you for that link. Indonesia has great artisan textiles and people who have a strong collective to maintain traditional practices:

They organise tours for small groups of like-minded weavers and dyers with a focus on fair trade and celebration of the knowledge, skill and appreciation of beauty. I am sure the same pertains in Mexico. There is strength in the collective.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 30 2021 22:33 utc | 80

So the usual capitalist loving arseholes spouted their crap about Zimbabwe, forcing me to dig out this stuff for myself. Much of the original articles we posted here from the world bank and assorted newspapers have since been stuffed down the memory hole but I did find an academic paper by Gregory Elich entitled Zimbabwe under Siege" which gives the history of the once lauded ZANU-PF led Zimbabwean economy, then tells of the world bank's asinine Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP), which bought Zimbabwe to its knees and the necessary structural changes ZANU had to make to mollify its citizens.

Ditching ESAP

The government of Zimbabwe felt it could no longer endure this debacle, and by the end of the 1990's, started moving away from the neoliberal program. Finally, in October 2001, the abandonment of ESAP was officially announced. "Enough is enough," declared President Mugabe. "ESAP is no more." A press release issued by the governing ZANU-PF declared, "The termination of ESAP brings to an end the era of control of our economy by the IMF and the World Bank. While we must continue to work with these organizations on agreed projects, they will no longer dictate the direction of policy and the country." Price controls were implemented for basic commodities that soaring prices had made all but unattainable for many poor Zimbabweans, including bread, maize meal, flour, sugar, cooking oil, beef, chicken, pork, milk, soap and generic drugs. To counter the threat of companies closing in protest against price controls, President Mugabe announced, "The State will take over any businesses that are closed. We will reorganize them with workers, and at last that socialism we wanted can start again." Mugabe dismissed claims that government should not interfere with the market as "absolute nonsense," and stated that the nearly hourly price increases for goods and commodities had been unjustified. (9) The 1997 launch of a new phase in the land reform program, in which 1,471 farms were listed for compulsory purchase, triggered British intervention in Zimbabwe. The jettisoning of ESAP four years later, coupled with the statement that sectors of the economy would be placed on a socialist path, only increased the sense of outrage among Western leaders.

Not that I expect the neoliberidiots will be placated, but that is what happened despite their ill-informed protestations.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 30 2021 22:36 utc | 81

It is "bated breath", but agreed.
Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 30 2021 14:53 utc | 7

“Bated breath” is a phrase coined by Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice.

"the immortal idiom. We use it more in the sense of holding our breath than abating or slowing it down, but it basically amounts to [holding your breath,] the same thing."

Posted by: David G Horsman | Mar 30 2021 22:37 utc | 82

The current Brazil situation is simple.
The governing regime was installed by the USA.

Supported and admired by the Fat Boy, for sure.
But Biden appears to have issues.

We shall see what unwinds.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Mar 30 2021 22:42 utc | 83

Finnian Cunningham interviews Glenn Diesen about the current state of geopolitics. IMO, it's curious that a journalist like Cunningham only asks what the EU and/or the Outlaw US Empire will do toward Russia or China, not what Russia and China might do toward the EU and/or Outlaw US Empire. Consider what Diesen has to say relative to multipolarity:

"The multipolar system challenges the foundation for the internal cohesion of both Europe and the trans-Atlantic region. On one hand, the Europeans want to align their policies with the U.S. to preserve solidarity within Europe and the West. On the other hand, the Europeans desire 'strategic autonomy' as they recognize that U.S. and EU interests diverge in a multipolar world. Confronting Russia and China weakens the economic competitiveness of Europe and increases its dependence on the U.S....

"The sanctions are condemning Europe to reduced relevance in the multipolar world. A divided Europe creates systemic pressures for the EU to retreat under U.S. protection, and Russia must similarly diversify its economy away from Europe and instead align itself closer with China....

"What can the EU do? Suspending NATO expansion towards Russian borders or ending anti-Russian sanctions would undermine both EU and NATO solidarity as it is opposed by the U.S. and certain Central and Eastern European countries. The EU and the West were not designed for a multipolar world and so risk its internal cohesion no matter what is done." [My Emphasis]

Curious, that last sentence. "The EU and the West" (which is EU and NATO) "risk its" not their "internal cohesion", that seems to be an admission that the two are fused in a manner that doesn't allow any divergence of policy which is precisely what's now occurring that Stoltenberg's now howling about. IMO, it's all about upholding the UN Charter and what it established--the Genuine Rules Based System that the West is now breaking and the Outlaw US Empire's been violating since the UN's birth. Nowhere in the interview is that discussed, unfortunately.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 23:02 utc | 84

Duncan Idaho @83--

Bolsonaro was installed by Obama/Biden despite his being somewhat like Trump. All aimed at undermining BRICS and the reality of a Multipolar World. The policy accomplished neither.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30 2021 23:05 utc | 85

as far as I know there are no social media platforms or email providers or search engines.

Paco | Mar 30 2021 22:25 utc | 79: I believe Qwant is a French search engine.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 30 2021 23:13 utc | 86

Zico the Musketeer #50

I've stopped reading about this by personal option months ago but some news keep claiming attention. Brazil do have 15 vaccine projects decision to go ahead. Looks Bolsonaro is releasing money....just now...this start.
Everything available in Brazil was not made by the Government.
I mean the government, by Bolsonaro.
There are state sponsored organizations working pretty much independently.

Thank you for that. I share your avoidance of Brazil news as it is so distressing to see this transformation into a fascist economy and the daily, hourly assault on the people. Yes, under this system government, departments and sponsored agencies fragment into individual decision making autocracies - something like warlord-ism and they spend their day ensuring they are politically correct but mostly struggling to wrest elements of power from contenders. The people look on in growing anger at this travesty.

This is the USA formula for the entire South American nation and they have persisted in imposing this for far too long. Loud and aggressive push back is the only language they understand.

karlof1 #72 set out the underlying logic that drives this evil invasion. The link again.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 30 2021 23:16 utc | 87

Stonebird @ 49:

You are correct, there were 20 Chinese and Malaysian IT experts, all of them I believe employees of Texas-based chip-making company Freescale Semiconductor, on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The plane's destination was Beijing. Four of the Chinese IT guys on board were said to be potential patent holders of a new version of microchip, and their deaths supposedly enabled the company and its shareholders (who included the Carlyle Group of investors [yes, that investment fund connected to the Bush crime family and the bin Ladens] and the Blackstone Group) to become the sole patent holders when the patent was approved four days after the disaster by the US Patent Office.

Freescale Semiconductor merged with Dutch company NXP Semiconductors in March 2015, a year after the MH370 disaster.

There has also been an investigation done on items in the plane's cargo hold: the plane had 221 kg of lithium-ion batteries and nearly 5 tonnes of mangosteen in its cargo bay. There is still dispute as to whether the batteries underwent proper security checks before being loaded onto the plane.

I'd be a bit cautious about Max van der Werff's tweets about pieces of MH17 being found amongst MH370 debris: both jets were Boeing 777 200-ER models and both may have broken up along similar stress points when they exploded or hit the ground. I would not be surprised that bits of MH17 might slot in easily into spaces of MH370 if that were the case. I am no aerospace construction expert though so you are free to consider or reject my suggestion.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 30 2021 23:22 utc | 88

vk@74 uses "totalitarian," trying to jujitsu a fake idea against the reactionaries who use it, I suppose. I do not think this can be done, "totalitarian" will always mean a BS identification of fascism and socialism, which implies that capitalism is the golden mean...and insofar as it has political content beyond name-calling, it means an official two-party system with regular elections that don't, won't and can't challenge the market. The right has much more political correctness and cancel culture than the lifestyle left ever could, but nobody can ever make "PC" or "cancel culture" mean right-wingers, no matter what.

On a general note, the UN Charter is not what it's cracked up to be; a multipolar world is not a path to peace; a consensus of equal nations is an economic impossibility as a long-term program, just as a long-term collaboration between capitalists and workers is an impossibility; increasing the role of the market in determining social investment means undermining socialism.

If China can break the imperialist blockade of Iran, it can break the imperialist blockade of North Korea.

The rapprochement between China and Iran is not an endgame strategy against imperialism (as if anybody at all in Iran wants one or anybody in Xi's clique.)

The BRI/OBOR/New Silk Road will not remake the world economy nor is it very likely to make China a successful imperialist power (if that's what Xi is aiming at, who knows?) Nor is it likely to help build socialism of any kind, not even with "which Chinese characteristics."

By the way, since nationality is something like individuality, not really possible to abolish by mere laws, any kind of system in China will inevitably have Chinese characteristics. At this point, the tedious addition is something like an excuse, a kind of warning label meaning "not really socialism." If it means some sort of vague invocation of Confucian cvilizational values or something like that? Confucianism *is* a religion. No society based on religion is a modern society. Worse, none are just societies. And for what it's worth, vapid rhetoric about cultural values shades into dingbat reactionary ideas about race, especially the glossy versions for polite company that like to pretend they just want separate but equal cultures/races/religions/nations.

The dictionaries can sharply distinguish these things, but in real life, they all blend together...One God, One Folk, One Dominion. Ein Gott, Ein Volk, Ein Reich. (Ein Fuehrer or one Trump is optional I think.)

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 30 2021 23:35 utc | 89

Does anybody have any thoughts on Myanmar?

If the military in Hong Kong was killing protesters there would be lots of talk.

Even on the TV i have only seen the death count on a scroll at the bottom.

Posted by: arby | Mar 30 2021 23:50 utc | 90

@46 karlof1

That's an interesting report and it prompts a few thoughts.

Discussion of things like propaganda and indoctrination have been commonplace for many decades, certainly throughout the Cold War, when nations were accusing of "brainwashing" their citizens.

It was the unspoken premise that such "brainwashing" was a bad thing, the kind of thing a free country would not do - unlike the totalitarian, tyrannical...etc, etc.

But now we are in a different time of the world, where positions of West vs East have switched, and we are beginning to understand more clearly the soft power abuses wrought on the world by the US. We see, for example, that to defend against a color revolution mounted by an external force, a country has to take control of its internal communications, or at the least, block the bad actors embedded within that net.

Now comes Russia and your extensive quoting of Putin, saying that essentially, we must take care daily to see that our national narrative is a healthy one, and not infected by outside forces or corroding from within.

Essentially, we must do our own brainwashing, and make sure it's "good", to protect against the "bad" brainwashing that will otherwise dominate our society.

In other words, for what I think must be the first time in recent history, we are now beginning to understand that "brainwashing" as such was neither good nor bad in itself, but always actually depended on the motive of the actors shaping it, and the ends desired.

Yes, we are all susceptible to brainwashing, to manipulation, and wrong conclusions drawn from false information. Yes, propaganda works - all too easily. And yes, governments charged with the well being of their people must take a strong hand in this brainwashing, and make sure it is used for the good of the people.


I haven't said this very well, and it's the first time I've tried to put it into words. But there's a concept here that matches many other concepts we know of, wherein the thing itself is neither good nor bad, but only the usage of the thing. Many times we've seen the bad result of a system of activity and assumed that the cause was the system of activity itself, when it was only the malign intent of the operator of that system.

So this all seems like a major shift in paradigm being born in the world.

In the same way that totalitarianism is great when it's a "dictatorship of the proletariat", the nations of the world are waking up to the thought that propaganda is something that can be a cause for good - and not only that, but even that the government of a free society is obligated to take a strong hand in propaganda, for the furtherance of that freedom, and as a true thing that a nation can and should protect, and perfect.

Leaving freedom to the free market has not worked well. Leaving narrative to the unregulated dominance of the best funded voices, has wrought equally poor results.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 30 2021 23:52 utc | 91

Blinken is now sanctioning Germany and threatening its German client state to either stop Nord Stream 2 or be crippled financially.

Coward Merkel will surely comply because if she doesn't her german secret service will release her phone calls.
Richard Medhurst at utoob has a solid 16 minute look at the sabotage effort from the USA.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 30 2021 23:58 utc | 92

@91 more...

I should add that of course I haven't looked at what makes a government well intentioned, or true to the well being of the people. That's a whole different universe of discussion - one that I steered clear of.

I just wanted to make the point that the tool of narrative control could be used benignly by a benign government. We already know the opposite is true.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 31 2021 0:03 utc | 93

Jen #88

Stonebird #49

Perhaps it was this ?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 31 2021 0:08 utc | 94

Stonebird #49

Jen #88

Perhaps it was this ?

apologies if this appears twice but the first was swallowed by the internet league of decency ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 31 2021 0:13 utc | 95

Grieved #93

I should add that of course I haven't looked at what makes a government well intentioned, or true to the well being of the people. That's a whole different universe of discussion - one that I steered clear of.

I just wanted to make the point that the tool of narrative control could be used benignly by a benign government. We already know the opposite is true.

Thank you and I am inspired by that thought, so I suggest that over the past couple of decades Western Governments have found it convenient to privatise narrative control to social media knowing it is a convenient echo chamber as well as a handy short circuit for dissenters.

Decades ago when engaged in intensive social change making I had no social media other than the discourse in the streets and social meeting places. A small group of us managed a system we called 'rumour control' or 'merry pranksters yarning'. We did this to counter what the conservative political groups in our small community applied daily and continuously to shepherd the locals into adopting one version of their conservative reality/ideology. This was deliberately and methodically practiced by those conservative parties and I am sure it was no local phenomena. Myself and friends countered it vigorously and succeeded in breaking it.

Today I see the same semi organised method at play on f#book whenever a minor or controversial issue is posted for consideration. The gang of conservative attack dogs is instantly at the keyboard denigrating the poster. This not so much organised as it is pack dogs smelling the scent and seeing the lead and then attacking.

Government has delegated the propaganda/indoctrination process to the private sector's social media street gangs. A new form of crystal nacht awaits.

To transform this to a well intentioned discourse is a challenge. First introduce a counter discourse to the zero sum logic through a nucleus of good willed operatives. I guess the privatised censorship/cancel culture mania will defeat that though.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 31 2021 0:31 utc | 96

A GT treble:

Japan stands to surely lose by supporting US’ Taiwan stance

For sure. Japan cannot even dictate the rhythm in what was supposed to be its last overseas province (as per authorization of usage and blessing of its metropolis, the USA), Myanmar. What makes it think it can effectively intervene in Taiwan?


Virus origins unsolved in WHO report, ‘more states should be probed’

I agree. It's time for the WHO to have some balls and start to investigate other nations. It would not surprise me at all if the SARS-CoV-2 originated either in Italy or in West Coast USA.

Maybe, in the near future, it is China that will be suing for reparations from either the EU (on behalf of Italy) or the USA.


Scientific spirit of US media outlets is dead: Global Times editorial

The GT is merely stating the obvious here. Gone are the times of Seymour Hersh. It's all a big orwellian abomination that makes the old Pravda look like a peer-reviewed scientific publication.

Posted by: vk | Mar 31 2021 0:49 utc | 97

The Australian government has just announced it will throw A$100 billion on a missile building plant. This was announced today by a beaming prime minister, Pastor Morrison.

A gleeful Australian Financial Review article cites the Neocon warmongering Australian Strategic Policy Institute [partly funded by the Israeli embassy and assorted zionist front groups and billionaire zionist 'donors'] advocating for a further multi billion spend -a-thon for additional missile production in the future. BAE and the usual US manufactures look like doing the design work on the boondoggle.

What did Mel Gibson say about 'all wars' ?

One 'reason' is to supply our 'ally' in the event of a war, which will always be another war of choice.
Look at the history of the grotesque and criminal behaviour of our [once great and powerful] 'ally' in the last 100 years. as a pointer to the future.

It seems bizarre that this money can be so easily found at a moments notice while Australians are struggling with years of drought, devastating bushfires, virus, floods, massive unemployment, evictions and now economic meltdown. It looks like a catastrophic war will soon be added to the above list. Perhaps the Treasurer, Joshua Frydenberg, will come clean to the public with the answer?

When will they ever learn?

Posted by: Paul | Mar 31 2021 0:59 utc | 98

Grieved @ 91 ended with;

"Leaving freedom to the free market has not worked well. Leaving narrative to the unregulated dominance of the best funded voices, has wrought equally poor results."

Short, to the point, and true. Refreshing....

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 31 2021 1:00 utc | 99

@ Mina
France is now so ridiculous...
Could be probably harrowing for Putin or Lavrov just to have a phone call with Macron or LeDrian

"le pays des Lumières" appliying "le règlement du chef"

But not new [apologize for non french readers, old french remains accurate ]

La Boétie, Discours de la servitude volontaire

"Le laboureur ou l'artisan pour tant asservis qu'ils soient, en sont quittes en obéissant ; mais le tyran voit ceux qui l'entourent, coquinant et mendiant sa faveur. Il ne faut pas seulement qu'ils fassent ce qu'il ordonne, mais aussi qu'ils pensent ce qu'il veut, et souvent même, pour le satisfaire, qu'ils préviennent aussi ses propres désirs. Ce n'est pas tout de lui obéir, il faut lui complaire, il faut qu'ils se rompent, se tourmentent, se tuent à traiter ses affaires et puisqu'ils ne se plaisent que de son plaisir, qu'ils sacrifient leur goût au sien, forcent leur tempérament et le dépouillent de leur naturel. Il faut qu'ils soient continuellement attentifs à ses paroles, à sa voix, à ses regards, à ses moindres gestes : que leurs yeux, leurs pieds, leurs mains soient continuellement occupés à suivre ou imiter tous ses mouvements, épier et deviner ses volontés et découvrir ses plus secrètes pensées. Est-ce là vivre heureusement ? Est-ce même vivre ? Est-il rien au monde de plus insupportable que cet état, je ne dis pas pour tout homme bien né, mais encore pour celui qui n'a que le gros bon sens, ou même figure d'homme ? Quelle condition est plus misérable que celle de vivre ainsi n'ayant rien à soi et tenant d'un autre son aise, sa liberté, son corps et sa vie ! »

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 31 2021 1:03 utc | 100

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