Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 10, 2021

Open Thread 2021-96

@all - I am back at home and relatively fine. 

The preplanned medical procedure that had kept me away this week turned out to be a bit more complicate, painful and exhausting than expected. Anyway, its done. In a few weeks everything will have healed and I will be totally fine again.

I'll take another day or two off and leave the site to you, the readers and commentators.

Please behave.

- b.

 

Posted by b on December 10, 2021 at 11:58 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Good to see you back, b. Take care.

Posted by: Billb | Dec 10 2021 12:14 utc | 1

Get better soon, B. We miss your inimitable insights

Posted by: SukhoiSu75 | Dec 10 2021 12:30 utc | 2

glad to know you are alright! keep strong

Posted by: Leo | Dec 10 2021 12:40 utc | 3

Get well soon.

Posted by: Dominic Tweedie | Dec 10 2021 12:45 utc | 4

Assange to be extradited to US. Once again, the US and UK demonstrate their real regard for free speech and human rights. Hope you’re feeling better, B.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Dec 10 2021 12:57 utc | 5

Good to hear you’re on the healing track. Take your time to rest and get better… Have a walk in the forest or so.

Posted by: phiw13 | Dec 10 2021 12:57 utc | 6

Have a restful convalescence, b . Hope you have helpers at hand to make you comfortable.

————

Julian Assange’s crucifixion continues at the hands of the rusty clawed ravenous psychos of Empire - the self styled ‘free MSM of the west’, the scabby poisonous presstitutes , who cover themselves in perfume and powder to hide their pustules and stink with ever more prizes and titles for their cowardly ‘journalism’.

I’m sure their names are added to the list of bastards and liars and killers of innocents. They and their inheritors will PAY. Yes including ‘their’ innocent children - why should they benefit while Julian’s children are deprived?

The Empires praetorians too will be punished as they squirm and think they escape daily from their crimes by ‘following orders’ .

Bless and best wishes to Julian, his children and their mother today.

Posted by: D.G. | Dec 10 2021 13:07 utc | 7

Heal up and feel better soon!

Posted by: 4 Corners Bill | Dec 10 2021 13:26 utc | 8

Terrible news from quiet, neutral Finland:

"Prime minister accused of clubbing maskless"

The attached photo shows a robust Finnish woman with covered face, quite similar to the photo for the next article about women in KSA, except the Finnish woman has uncovered hair. Horrible vision: other government are quite irate with citizens breaking COVID rules, but to grab a club and bash the violators, that seems too much.

The article explains something less shocking: clubbing also means dancing, and it was she who had no mask. Which was allowed at the time, but not for people with a recent "contact".

Incidentally, while the photo for the next article showed a woman in a black niqab, now the Kingdom became more liberal and colored niqabs are allowed too. Incidentally, at Amazon.com you can order niqabs that are black, white, gray, pale pink, peach etc., great to live in free USA.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 10 2021 13:30 utc | 9

Best wishes for a speedy recovery B.

I'm sure with the Democracy Summit being a democracy summit, we plebs will have the opportunity to raise the Assange issue with our leaders?

Posted by: bobzibub | Dec 10 2021 13:30 utc | 10

Addendum to @ 7 above - the Great Knight Dope ‘NuLabour’ warmonger has a few questions to answer via the Grayzone.
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/05/five-questions-for-new-labour-leader-sir-keir-starmer-about-his-uk-and-us-national-security-establishment-links/

The Official Opposition - officially does not oppose.

Just like US Democrats are the same neocons and Nulander Nazis, busy selling Afghan cast off weapons to the Ukrainians.

These people are humanity’s enemies and killers of innocents - shall we fight them?

Posted by: D.G. | Dec 10 2021 13:34 utc | 11

Thanks for the good news and take all the time you need.

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 10 2021 13:38 utc | 12

Heal well, b.

karlof1 #401 from previous thread:

"I don't watch or read MSM junk, but occasionally they actually mention things said by someone like Gabbard; anyone read or hear what she said before now?"

I haven't seen other Gabbard references to Ukraine recently. I voted for her, but she's gone a bit off the rails since leaving Congress:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6aS8g7PZ54

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

Posted by: Gulo | Dec 10 2021 13:43 utc | 13

BTW, with restrictions back, I was wondering: does a niqab satisfies masking requirements? And how about "100% Cotton Keffiyeh Scarf Wrap ", which is unisex and " Protects Your Head, Face And Neck From Sun, Wind, Dust And Sand Efficiently When Outdoor Activities." and "Is Perfect Used For Missions, Desert, Camping, Cycling, Fishing, Jungle, Mountaineering, Traveling, Working, Daily And So On", perhaps even for clubbing -- a choice of colors!

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 10 2021 13:44 utc | 14

On 9th of December 2021, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC delivered the Uyghur Tribunal’s judgment.

If you like laughing out loud, find a clip of Sir Geoffrey delivering the Star Chamber/Tribunal's verdict. The silly old fart is so weary from skulking in the lavatory with a pile of Mighty Mouse comics that he can hardly keep his eyes open and has to prop his head up on his spare arm.

You know the 'forgetful' Colonial Christian perpetrators of the Opium Wars have lost the plot when they have to resort to imagining that the CPC's attitude to the Human Rights of Chinese citizens is worse than their own.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 10 2021 13:48 utc | 15

Piotr Berman | Dec 10 2021 13:44 utc | 14

Incidentally, Niqabs have become de rigeur wear for Saudis fleeing Houthi rebels after certain outdoor activities. One does not know whether they were riding "botoxed camels", but the pouty red Pelosi lips (of the camels) and pink "thobes" (of the saudis) must have been just too mismatched, when shown to unwoken and seriously unshaven rebels.

**
PS: The clubbing instinct is just a throwback to the Neanderthal instinct to grab a buch of hair, and club the rest of the electorate into submission.

Posted by: Stonebird | Dec 10 2021 14:03 utc | 16

Feel better soon

Posted by: Amber Carey | Dec 10 2021 14:08 utc | 17

"..You know the 'forgetful' Colonial Christian perpetrators of the Opium Wars have lost the plot when they have to resort to imagining that the CPC's attitude to the Human Rights of Chinese citizens is worse than their own."
Hoarsewhisperer@15
No, that is quite consistent. Imperialists have always bombed villages to save them. They exterminated the indigenous, 'for their own good'; they emptied Palestine's villages in order to produce 'flowers in the desert'. There was always a laughably transparent Christian excuse for every evil thing they ever did: they enclosed the commons in England in order to produce more food-it was all for the good of their victims. They hanged poachers to preserve the poor rabbits.
And now the full majesty of the be-wigged Justice system in England has decided, after much deliberation and considering mountains of common law precedent and the most delicate principles of equity, sold Julian Assange to the highest bidder, with the biggest prison system and the current lead in torture techniques and punishment without trial.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 10 2021 14:27 utc | 18

i'm so sorry to hear that b, the painful part. just get lots of rest. wish i could serve you some warm soup. sending love.

Posted by: annie | Dec 10 2021 14:34 utc | 19

Yes, wait til you're feeling 100%, b. I've yet to experience the Biopsy Blues and, fingers crossed, hope I never do.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 10 2021 14:47 utc | 20

Is there a Dead Man's Switch that gets triggered when Julian Assanage is extradited?

Posted by: librul | Dec 10 2021 14:53 utc | 21

@librul | Dec 10 2021 14:53 utc | 21

Is there a Dead Man's Switch that gets triggered when Julian Assanage is extradited?

I don't know, but I hope Johnson and Biden drop dead in shame because of what they have done.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 10 2021 15:14 utc | 22

re: Gulo | Dec 10 2021 13:43 utc | 13

I watched the videos criticizing Gabbard; the Krystal Ball link is clearly a hit piece, the other is more of a requirement for ideological purity coming from the left. Gabbard remains in the military and if she hopes to have any chance in remaining in politics she cannot uniformly condemn the use of drones. The fact that during the last US presidential csampaign she was clear on the need to end the endless US regime-change wars and redirect the trillion dollar military budget to rebuild the US made her anathema to the powers-that-be. Hence, expect continued denigration of Gabbard.

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 10 2021 15:54 utc | 23

November inflation data about to come out - anyone think it is going to show inflation getting tamed?

More importantly, the St. Louis Fed shows CPI change at 16.26%:
St Louis Fed CPI change via Confounded Interest

I referenced disco many times before - it is now official: inflation is at rates not seen since Jimmy Carter.

Ah Ah Ah Ah Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive!

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 15:56 utc | 24

Facebook says

fact-check articles written by Climate Feedback, not the labels affixed through the Facebook platform. The labels are themselves neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.

PDF of Facebook filing

This is interesting - if "fact checks" are really just opinions, then why exactly are they given any more precedence over other opinions? via Facebook labels or any other form of "positive discrimination"?

Clearly this is Facebook trying to evade libel, but the consequence is going to be an immediate following lawsuit as to why Facebook is prejudicing one opinion over another.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 16:08 utc | 25

We all need to pee more:

Surging urea prices idle trucks in South Korea and make farmers in India desperate - NY Times

Urea is made from ammonia, which in turn is made from coal or natural gas via the Haber-Tropsch process. I have posted numerous articles talking about how ammonia prices have surged literally 10x in the past year.

Fun fact: Urea is used to suppress NOx output from diesel engines. They're why some diesel cars are called "green".

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 16:14 utc | 26

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 15:56 utc | 24 high inflation in USA

On my end, the rent is unchanged for two years, although it is a bit high for my area, so perhaps the threshold of affordability went down on the income side.

Among products I actually purchase, cigarettes go up steadily, the state government has to balance the budget and most of vehicles are driven by sacred cows -- taxing them more is unthinkable (in those parts, you must buy cigarettes at a gas station). But fueling my bike is significantly more expensive, most biofuels are up, tofu most of all.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 10 2021 16:28 utc | 27

Pandemic of the Vaccinated via The Atlantic

When the Atlantic starts admitting vaccinated get COVID - get ready for lockdowns.

Will the idiots in the CDC, blue states and Federal government admit their blunders? Hah.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 16:28 utc | 28

I hope you are in good health.

Julian Assange has been in detention (Arbitrary) and prison since around 2010, he has committed no crime other than reporting the machinations of US, and other governments, which we the public would not have had a clue were going on without Assange and his brave team at Wikileaks, even now Assange is being held without charge in the UK at the behest of the US.

I can’t understand why the journalistic community isn’t up in arms about this travesty of justice, for if Assange is extradited to the US, it will surely set a precedent on journalists and journalism that will affect them as well, but then again many of these so called journalists, are already bought and paid for by government agencies.

On Assange’s terrible unjust plight, the ECHR and the UN appear to be either toothless or reticent to help the man, which I find disgraceful.

Nils Melzer a UN Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention pointed out Assange’s unjust plight years ago yet nothing has been done, the UN and the ECHR appear reticent to do anything meaningful, if Assange were an American held like this in say Iran or China or Russia, the Western media and the UN and the EU would be screaming blue murder, it all stinks to high heaven.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Dec 10 2021 16:34 utc | 29


b, do please keep a backup of your self just in case something happens to the original copy!

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 10 2021 16:37 utc | 30

On the Omicron variant.


As of the 8th of December two days ago, more than 40,000 South Africans have been confirmed to have the Omicron variant, the real figure will be much higher, yet according to reports no one has died from the variant yet.

“Scientists and policy makers in South Africa and across the region are cautiously optimistic that the rapidly spreading Omicron variant is not going to cause a bloodbath as, so far, no deaths have been linked to the new Covid mutation.”

“Despite a record number of new infections – more than 40,000 people tested positive in the last five days – a new study reported in South Africa media this morning further confirms Omicron is a relatively mild variant.”

“The research, conducted by the Steve Biko/Tshwane District Hospital in Pretoria, found that Omicron-linked patients merely experience mild symptoms, with Dr Fareed Abdullah, who led the study, explaining to several media, including the New York Times, that by far most patients did not need supplemental oxygen.”


https://www.cityam.com/anxiously-optimistic-south-africa-holds-its-breath-as-battle-of-the-covid-mutations-rages-omicron-deaths-still-zero-despite-new-coronavirus-variant-spreading-twice-as-fast-as-deadly-delta/#:~:text=Scientists%20and%20policy%20makers%20in%20South%20Africa%20and,have%20been%20linked%20to%20the%20new%20Covid%20mutation.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Dec 10 2021 16:37 utc | 31

b, take good care. Best wishes for a good recovery.

Posted by: Tiger Lily | Dec 10 2021 16:47 utc | 32

Heal well soon. Best wishes for you, b.

Posted by: Arata | Dec 10 2021 16:54 utc | 33

Re: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 16:14 utc | 26

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~//
Australia is just weeks away from a major crisis
-- which could see tens of thousands of vehicles pulled off the road and supplies of key items dwindle.
From: Nationwide News Pty Ltd (News Com AU) --

Urea shortage puts supply chain under ‘extreme pressure’ with supplies at risk and prices to soar

[....]

A major factor in the supply disruption is the fact China – which previously supplied 80 per cent of Australia’s urea supplies -- has recently banned the export of the product, in order to lower fertiliser prices domestically
//~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The simple nitrogen-loaded chemical 'urea' {CO(NH2)2} is absolutely vital for everything from diesel trucks to plant fertilizer The Aussies are looking at potential severe hunger within a month or two. But so is everybody else!

The Big China has begun to do just what I always predicted.

Posted by: blues | Dec 10 2021 17:04 utc | 34

re: Republicofscotland | Dec 10 2021 16:37 utc | 31

"As of the 8th of December two days ago, more than 40,000 South Africans have been confirmed to have the Omicron variant\"

I made my living working in clinical labs, running lab tests; I also directed a clinical training program at the university level to train clinical lab scientists. As far as I know, there are NO ROUTINE LAB TESTS AVAILABLE for COVID variants.

In other words, how is it that they can make such statements about the precise numbers/percentages of cases involving the "Delta Variant" the "Omicron Variant", etc etc, when the only lab tests being routinely done in clinical labs are simply for the presence of absence of COVID antigens and antibodies. Anyone here care to comment? After all the BS that has come out of the CDC, FDA, NIH, etc, I no longer trust official pronouncements of this sort.

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 10 2021 17:04 utc | 35

Thanks to c1ue @ 28 for the Atlantic article on omicron, and to Republicofscotland @ 31 for the article about South Africa's response. First up in the Atlantic article comes an assertion that the virus is 'evading immunity'. No discussion on what that might mean, other than if you encounter the virus you suffer its effects.

The second article by RoS is encouraging.

Take it slow, b. After even only a few days hospitalization, as I have discovered, muscular atrophy is very evident. Walking, a bit at a time, was the very best therapy for me. And it was hard at first, but a necessary routine helped -- if I didn't walk I didn't eat!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 10 2021 17:05 utc | 36

Nice to read of your return b and sorry about the associated discomfort

Will our species turn away from violence and domination by a few seems to be the underlying meme still? One would like to think a turning from violence could deprecate its value entirely but I think the best we can hope for is its management as an outlet for our aggression.

A friend sent me the link below that documents yet another misdirection of attempts to demilitarize our species.

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/12/09/2021-nobel-peace-prize-freedom-for-the-press-or-the-us/

I am saddened to read about the latest Julian Assange "legal" movement and shudder at the hypocrisy of folks at the US sham Democracy gathering that think Assange guilty.

The shit show goes on until it changes, stops, hits a wall, or overwhelms the opposition.......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 10 2021 17:05 utc | 37

republicofscotland

The outrage grinders stir the pot
with lies and obfuscation
the purpose of this psyop
is to manipulate the nation
The manufacture of consent
for plunders foreign and domestic
the media serve the one percent
they keep in line or get arrested

They enrage so you'll engage
pick a side, it's good for hating
god forbid you disengage
this dissent is good for ratings
The fourth estate is dead and gone
it rots in Belmarsh with Assange
the Hegemon has grown too strong
they sing the Uniparty's song-

Posted by: ld | Dec 10 2021 17:09 utc | 38

Welcome back B!!!!!!

December 8th was the anniversary of the cold blooded murder of John Lennon. And now he shares that day with the passing of reggae giant Robbie Shakespeare, a bass player's bass player.

https://fivegunswest.blogspot.com/2021/12/john-lennon-concept-with-which-to.html

Posted by: FiveGunsWest | Dec 10 2021 17:11 utc | 39

I'm humbled that Pepe Escobar posted my article "Putin Agrees it's Genocide in Donbass" to his VK Wall where it will reach a much wider readership. Given BigLie Media refuses to report anything regarding RFK Jr's book, I very much doubt it will have any comment about Putin agreeing that Genocide is occurring in Donbass. The English transcript of the Meeting of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights is still incomplete, so one must visit the Russian language transcript where the testimony and Putin's agreement with it is at about the midway point.

Indeed, this meeting covers a very wide number of topics given the vastness of the Council's oversight and contains a great load of information about Russia and some of the problems it faces. IMO, just reading the entire transcript is an education in itself. Putin though so highly of the importance of the discourse that he apologized for the need to excuse himself to perform a protocol appearance before returning so the discussion could continue. And today the topic shifts for the Meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and Putin's speech to that body.

I see that what ought to be headline news--Genocide in Donbass--is obscured by the infamous decision to extradite Assange:

"The decision of the High Court in London to allow the extradition of the journalist Julian Assange to the US is 'shameful,' Moscow said on Friday.

"Writing on her Telegram channel, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova blasted the judgement, noting that it happened on International Human Rights Day.

"'This shameful verdict in this political case against a journalist and public figure is another manifestation of the cannibalistic worldview of the Anglo-Saxon tandem,' she said." [Emphasis Original]

Yes indeed, cannibalistic Anti-Human Neoliberal Genocidal maniacs.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 17:22 utc | 40

@35 I run a testing lab and I can confirm that there are strain specific tests commercially available and I had been talking to one vendor who was developing these over a year ago. Back in spring of last year a DNA microarray kit was available to distinguish between influenza strains and several coronaviruses in a single assay. It wouldn’t surprise me if larger medical labs use archaic kits and aren’t nimble enough to pivot to the latest offerings and don’t want to commit to validation studies.

I’m not familiar with lab testing in South Africa, but they could absolutely have gotten their hands on strain typing assays.

Posted by: Krungle | Dec 10 2021 17:44 utc | 41


This is an interesting development, just as the US does its 'democracy' stunt, Nicaragua flips to China:

Nicaragua Ends Diplomatic Relations With Taiwan, Recognizes 'There Is Only One China'

"The government of the Republic of Nicaragua declares that it recognizes there is only one China existing in the world," Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said on Thursday.

"The People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government, which represents all of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory," he added. "Today, the government of the Republic of Nicaragua breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan and will cease all official contact or relations."

So maybe they will now build the Nicaragua canal and make the Panama canal obsolete?

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 10 2021 17:48 utc | 42

Posted by: D.G. @ 11
who posted:

"https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/05/five-questions-for-new-labour-leader-sir-keir-starmer-about-his-uk-and-us-national-security-establishment-links/

The Official Opposition - officially does not oppose.
These people are humanity’s enemies and killers of innocents - shall we fight them?"

Great stuff, well worth reading, thanks.

Re Assange, the whole body politic in the UK and Australia stand condemned. Get rid of them. Assange and Palestine are obvious litmus tests for political credibility.

Does anyone know why the US military presence it still tolerated in Guantanamo Bay? Is there a mechanism to get rid of them short of a full scale war?

China got rid of the UK from Hong Kong.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 10 2021 17:50 utc | 43

all the best b...

same bullshit from the uk with regard to assange... one dying empire teaching another dying empire how to do empire... quite sick really...

Posted by: james | Dec 10 2021 17:51 utc | 44

i like the RT article headline - imagine if assange had exposed chinese crimes instead of usa ones...

Posted by: james | Dec 10 2021 17:53 utc | 45

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 17:22 utc | 40

I just watched the part where the film maker Sakurov talks about Russia feeding Belarus, Abkhazia and Osetia, plus the youth in the Caucasus republics supposedly alienated from the Federation. It was a long address by a film maker that IMO over estimates himself, true that he has done some innovative work like the one shot film "The Russian Ark" in the Hermitage Museum in Piter, but his proposal of letting go from the Federation anyone who wishes to do so was truly a disturbing suggestion and after the approval of the new constitution illegal, thus Putin's response was strong, reminding the illustrious film maker about the fall of the Soviet Union and its consequences. Putin talked about two thousand posible pieces into which the Federation could be taken apart, a Yugoslavia on steroids. There are better Russian language films than Sakurov's that's for sure, I'll go for Balabanov anytime and he was very critical but true and most of all Russian, Sakurov comes across like an aspiring western indy style film maker, he was harshly reprimanded for suggesting that Belarus is fed by Russia and Putin asked him to apologize before the Belarus people.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 10 2021 17:56 utc | 46

Get well soon!

Posted by: Masked Marvel | Dec 10 2021 17:57 utc | 47

Pretty interesting and balanced article concerning social media. advertising and supposed influence on the public

Bad News - via Harpers

Net net:

There is a lot of bullshit floating around regarding the efficacy of social media and online advertising. This directly benefits the social media companies.

Take this basic lie and combine with ongoing discrediting (largely self made) of American institutions ranging from universities to NGOs to MSM - voila! Disinformation research.
Bullshit piled on top of bullshit.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 18:00 utc | 48

re: Krungle | Dec 10 2021 17:44 utc | 41

thanks. the mid-size hospitals in our area are not doing any send-outs for variants; perhaps larger hospitals are?

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 10 2021 18:01 utc | 49

@ Perimetr | Dec 10 2021 17:04 utc |

Sequencing is now the only way to determine the presence of Omicron 2 since it does not have the S-gene deletion which Omicron 1 had which was interpreted as a signal (through absence) of the new VOC in existing PCR tests which search for and identify three gene targets, the S-gene being one.

Some countries do diligent and expansive genomic testing, like Danmark. Others are negligent but I assume some genomic testing is being done in those places as well. Then extrapolations are made to approximate the prevalence in a given population.

Re virulence:

That the new VOC so far seems to be less virulent may be attributable to several causes. It may not be attributable solely to the properties of the mutational configuration of Omicron itself.


...the severity profile of Omicron cases must be interpreted along with an understanding of its capacity to re-infect (and infect the vaccinated). I haven't talked about vaccines, but the relationships are similar. We expect a rise in milder cases in the vaccinated...

[Here is] a sketch to explain how a new variant may appear milder even with no change in underlying virulence. This can occur because, when calculating the fraction of cases that are severe, the denominator now includes many re-infections that had previously been averted.
https://twitter.com/nataliexdean

Posted by: suzan | Dec 10 2021 18:08 utc | 50

Get well soon!

Posted by: Erast Fandorin | Dec 10 2021 18:12 utc | 51

8 things US pandemic communicators got wrong

1. Overconfidence and failure to proclaim uncertainty

It is not easy to communicate uncertainty. The public doesn't want to hear it, so to truly get it across, you have to proclaim it, not just acknowledge it.

Doing so goes against the grain for most public health agency spokespersons. They rightly think the public prefers confident-sounding officials.

But the public can tolerate official uncertainty, if it's confidently and matter-of-factly stated: "We're building our boat and sailing it at the same time." Among the many benefits: The damage done when you turn out wrong is a lot lower.

Officials' overconfidence re COVID has been too obvious to belabor. Among the early mistakes confidently asserted: There's no reason to think the virus is spreading significantly in the US; masks are useless; the most important thing you can do is wash your hands; it's not airborne; etc. I had dinner recently with a friend who told me, "I just don't trust what they say anymore. They've been so sure and so wrong so often."

...

2. Failure to do anticipatory guidance

Anticipatory guidance is the risk communication term-of-art for telling people what to expect. It is a linchpin of crisis communication. Knowing what to expect helps people prepare, emotionally as well as logistically. It also inoculates them against false rumors.

I realize that it's hard to do anticipatory guidance about novel pathogens. You don't know what to expect. At least you can help people expect that! One of my favorite good examples is from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) head Jeff Koplan in the early days of the 2001 anthrax attacks: "We will learn things in the coming weeks that we will then wish we had known when we started." That's an elegant way of saying, "We expect to make mistakes, find out about them, tell you about them, and correct them."

You can also help people know what to expect by offering them algorithms. "If the test positivity rate goes up to X, we will probably reinstate our mask mandate." That not only tells them what to expect if X happens. It tells them that you don't know whether X will happen. It tells them that you're preparing for X in case it happens. It tells them that your algorithm is tentative, not a promise (that's why you said "probably"). And it tells them that if they don't like wearing masks, they should do what they can to keep X from happening.

I think such algorithms are good risk management as well as good risk communication. Before you remove your mask mandate, figure out under what circumstances you're likely to want to reinstate it. And tell us your algorithm when you remove the mandate, rather than belatedly trying to explain why you're making people put their masks back on after having given the impression that mask wearing is over forever.

Worst-case scenarios are a particularly important and particularly neglected type of anticipatory guidance. It's an axiom of risk communication that any scenario that's likely enough to be worth planning for is also likely enough that you ought to tell the public about it (so the rest of us can plan for it too—or at least prepare emotionally for it).

...

3. Fake consensus

Like most professions, public health is a guild, and guild members are deterred from deviating publicly from mainstream guild opinion. It can sometimes work like this: A 20% minority of the experts believe something. The 80% prevail. Most of the 20% go silent. The 2% who speak up look like cranks. And journalists and other non-experts (even non-experts within public health) get a misimpression of expert consensus.

In highly uncertain crisis situations like the COVID pandemic, fake consensus can be very harmful. Policymakers are deterred from giving the minority position the consideration it deserves. Researchers are deterred from studying the minority position; granting agencies are deterred from funding research that explores it; journals are deterred from publishing evidence that supports it. In the worst cases, the majority position becomes reified not just as the expert consensus but as inviolate scientific truth that only an anti-science denialist would dare to question.

Under these conditions, discovering that the majority position is mistaken, if it is, takes much longer. And when the news finally reaches the public that the (former) majority position was mistaken, not inviolate scientific truth after all, the loss in trust can be deep and long-lasting.

...

4. Prioritizing health over other values

The vaccination mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is fundamentally about health versus liberty. CDC's eviction moratorium was fundamentally about health versus property rights. School closures were fundamentally about health versus education. Lockdowns were fundamentally about health versus economics and psychological wellbeing.

In each instance public health officials are entitled to make their case that health should prevail. But they're not entitled to pretend that there is nothing of value on the other side of the debate.

Acknowledging that there is something of value on the other side of the debate is what I call "even-though risk communication." Here's a hypothetical example:

Even though mandatory vaccination is a real infringement on people's liberty and bodily integrity, we have come sadly and reluctantly to the conclusion that voluntary compliance isn't enough against Delta, and that mandates are the irreplaceable key to finally putting this pandemic behind us.

...

Fauci was for decades a genuine public health hero. His contributions to our country and our world are undeniable. Sadly, his contributions to the deadly polarization of COVID precautions and widespread mistrust of public health messaging are also undeniable.

I have argued for decades that prioritizing health over truth risked undermining the credibility of the entire public health enterprise. I didn't have a lot of examples. (In recent years the Dengvaxia vaccine rollout in the Philippines was one.) Even when my public health clients reluctantly conceded that, yes, they do sometimes say not-quite-honest things in order to save lives, they invariably pointed out that their dishonesty did indeed save lives, lives they could document, whereas I had little evidence for my claim that they were eroding trust in the process.

Sadly, COVID has given me a lot of new ammunition.

6. Failure to own your mistakes

When the World Health Organization (WHO) was developing its Outbreak Communication Guidelines after SARS-1, it hired my wife and colleague Jody Lanard to produce a rationale and a draft. Jody submitted six overarching guidelines. WHO adopted five of them. The one it couldn't stomach: "Admit and apologize for errors."

...

7. Failure to address misinformation credibly and empathetically

The topic of how to tell people they're wrong about something is even more complicated than some of the other points I've been making today. I want to focus on just two aspects: credibility and empathy.

Vis-à-vis credibility: It's virtually impossible to address other people's misinformation to an audience that fervently believes (often accurately, in my judgment) that you yourself are guilty of misinformation. I similarly used to urge my corporate clients to stop calling out activists on their lies when the company itself was widely thought to be lying. It's a long-term project to earn a reputation for trustworthiness. In the meantime it is self-deceptive to imagine that your own credibility problems aren't at the core of your difficulty rebutting the misinformation promulgated by others.

One step in the right direction: Distinguish three different kinds of content. Public health professionals understandably (even rightly) hate all three, and tend to call all three misinformation. But only one truly is:

Demonstrable falsehoods. That's the one that really is misinformation.

Opinions you disagree with—even if most of the data and most of the experts are on your side. I'm tempted to stick with an example that most public health professionals would acknowledge (however reluctantly) is at least debatable. Example: Masks on schoolchildren do more harm than good. But I also want to include here opinions so far-fetched that you're sorely tempted to consider them flat-out falsehoods. Example: Ivermectin works.

Factoids that are technically true but literally misleading—that is, they are likely to lead people to mismanage their own health. Example one: COVID vaccines were granted Emergency Use Authorizations even though the phase 3 trials failed to yield any statistically significant evidence that they reduced the COVID death rate. (Studies big enough and long-lasting enough to yield enough deaths in the placebo groups would have delayed the vaccine rollouts unconscionably.) Example two, an oldie: Not every vaccine dose recommended by the CDC is necessary or even useful. (The CDC states that "one dose of vaccine confers long-term, probably lifelong, protection against rubella." The second rubella dose is administered only because it's part of the MMR [measles, mumps, and rubella] combo shot.)

...

8. Politicization

The politicization of COVID is one of the main reasons for the pandemic's horrific death toll in America. Public health professionals usually blame it on former President Donald Trump and his allies. Trump deserves a good deal of the blame. But so does public health, I think.

The author (Peter Sandman) is one of the most reasonable people in the PMC medical establishment. Note that even so, he largely overlooks the discomfort and unquantified risks associated with mRNA technology.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 18:12 utc | 52

best comments on the web covering a wide range current subjects. thank you b for providing this site.

Posted by: slippery | Dec 10 2021 18:15 utc | 53

More interesting stuff:

Right to Nullification - this article speaks to it in terms of state National Guard troops being deployed abroad but talks about the same usage against federal gun control, federal cannabis criminalization, etc etc.

Congress Won't End The War, So States Must

I definitely need to look deeper into this subject. I have stated many times that if California can ignore federal immigration and cannabis laws, Texas and Florida can equally ignore federal COVID mandates, but I never looked in detail into the constitutional basis.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 18:19 utc | 54

The “Jab” is population control in every sense of the term. It has two functions – to reduce the subject population and to tag every member of that subject population. With the first injection, the subject is permanently sterilized – so no more children for the “vaccinated”. With the first injection and with every subsequent booster (of a never ending series), the subject’s immune system is eventually degraded to the point that even minor illnesses become fatal. With the first injection, a microchip is inserted into the subject that, with the use of 5G technology, the subject’s identity, location, and vital signs are tracked in real time. In other words, people are digitally tagged like cattle.

Thus, the ultimate purpose of the “vaccination” in Western countries is genocide. Those members of the subject population who refuse “vaccination” are to be blamed for the rapidly increasing mortality of the “vaccinated” population and shall be forcibly put into “quarantine” camps where, at best, they’ll be “reeducated” until they voluntarily accept the “jab”. At worse, they’ll be forcibly injected with the “vaccine”. Genocide is nothing new to our cultural Marxist/Globalist (rebranded Communist) elite. Indeed, they would make their heroes Lenin, Stalin, Mao, et al (who together, murdered an estimated 120 million people during the 20th Century) very proud!

Posted by: Karl Schulze | Dec 10 2021 18:20 utc | 55

Paco @46--

Thanks for your reply and addition! In that discussion, Putin again alluded to the CIA's running Russia during the Yeltsin era. So, it's really little surprise that Ms. Zakharova correctly called the Anglos "cannibals" as IMO many Russians would agree. One thing we don't discuss much is the amount of enmity being built within China and Russian civil society aimed at the Outlaw US Empire in response to its aggressive acts aimed at their nations, particularly Russia. Generally, most Chinese and Russians understand the Outlaw US Empire is an autocratic state where the people have little sway over anything of importance; but such patience and understanding won't last forever, and IMO is already waning. I await RT or Global Times and native language media to begin running articles asking why the USA's citizenry is so cowardly and meek in the face of such obvious violations of their rights. There ought to be many articles linking the Assange Crusade to the farcical democracy summit given the attack being made on one of the so-called values it endlessly touts. I have a title for a longish essay--Uncle Sam's Hidden Fascism--covering the 1900-present time period I'd like to write someday.

Norwegian @42--

Thanks for providing that item! Here's another by RT's China Watcher Tom Fowdy, "Beware: China’s taking the gloves off over Taiwan":

"Beijing’s had enough of Taipei’s posturing and the stream of support being drummed up for Taiwan across the West. Military action’s unlikely, but it will use its economic and diplomatic muscle to punish the island’s supporters.

"It’s been another busy week on China-related matters. Unsurprisingly, in line to manufacture consent for America’s and the Anglosphere world’s diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics, there’s been a coordinated frontloading of anti-China content from various US affiliated groups and organizations. In addition, the US Congress has sought to advance a number of anti-China bills and resolutions.

"Most seriously, tensions over Taiwan are ratcheting up yet again. Just as President Joe Biden undertakes his self-proclaimed “democracy summit,” which Taipei has been invited to, Beijing has been making its furious opposition known, not just in words, but with actions, too."

As Fowdy details, Lithuania is the first nation to be subjected to China's escalated wrath.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 18:32 utc | 56

c1ue @54--

Nullification became a major issue during the first half of the 19th century over the slavery issue. I suggest you start here, "Nullification Crisis:

"Thirty years before the Civil War broke out, disunion appeared to be on the horizon with the Nullification Crisis. What started as a debate over the Tariff of Abominations soon morphed into debates over state and federal sovereignty and liberty and disunion. These debates transformed into a national crisis when South Carolina threatened secession, an explicit threat of disunion. However, the United States narrowly avoided a civil war through compromise and the reaffirmation of executive authority."

This was a major event in US History and there are many more sources one can explore. As you can probably see already, it continues to have an impact on how federalism functions and why many see the federal government's actions as tyranny.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 18:42 utc | 57

It is may be not an ideal day for levity, although I personally don’t believe Julian Assange’s cause is lost and I wish him well with his appeal to the Supreme Court. The aim seems to keep him out of circulation for the time being.
I saw with some amusement that my post in the last open thread about music and poetry had so provoked a reader that he wrote to complain about MoA being taken over by hippies - what next, chakras and beads? But on reflection, it seems to me that this poster may well be an official of 77th Brigade, posted to keep an eye on MoA, his eyes swivelling with boredom at having to wade through the new flood of Covid posts, and was maybe just seeking distraction. In which case - nice one.

Posted by: Montreal | Dec 10 2021 18:44 utc | 58

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 18:32 utc | 56

"Uncle Sam's Hidden Fascism", the mask is falling and it is not that well hidden anymore, excellent title. The Assange case is a tragedy, not only for the torture of a valiant human being that truly did something positive for the world but the definite castration of journalism, from now on who is going to dare telling the truth to power, that is to say doing their job.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 10 2021 18:45 utc | 59

Assange decision today merely another confirmation the Anglo countries are ruled by the very worst most mediocre people. This will be a decision which will later serve as a historic marker for the normalization of a perverse repudiation of anything just or noble. That it occur in conjunction with an absurd “democracy” public relations ritual and the
announcement of public funding initiatives for state-sponsored “independent journalism” highlights an utter lack of self-awareness and a ridiculous confidence that any outrage can be neatly laundered to the public.

Posted by: jayc | Dec 10 2021 18:46 utc | 60

RE: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 18:32 utc | 56

I have always been astounded by the idea that the US could "win a trade war" against China. After all, we have offshore most of our industrial base there and 70% to 80% of what you find on WalMart shelves comes from China. Virtually all our medications come from China. In other words, how in hell do you win a trade war when all the manufacturing is coming from the "enemy"(lol)? Obviously with sanctions and threats to stop paying for goods with digital fiat currency created by typing in more zeros on the keyboards at the banks.

How hard would it be for China to suddenly nationalize all the factories that US corporations have kindly built there in China?

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 10 2021 18:50 utc | 61

Paco @59--

Thanks for your reply! You ask, "from now on who is going to dare telling the truth to power?" That's one of the main reasons I rely on Russian and Chinese Media as they have far more credibility as does their leadership than anything in the West. Although, in relation to Biden's propaganda summit, this item by Medea Benjamin is useful, "10 Contradictions That Plague Biden’s Democracy Summit":

"A broad global ranking of countries by various measures of democracy puts the U.S. at # 33, while the U.S. government-funded Freedom House ranks the United States a miserable # 61 in the world for political freedom and civil liberties, on a par with Mongolia, Panama and Romania."

And that's merely one aspect of the first main contradiction.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 18:56 utc | 62

B, Sorry to hear of complications, best.

5, sorry to hear that Assange faces further debasement by the security state [SS]. SS members, the Bush-Cheney-R's/Clinton-Obombs-D's and their synthesis, the anti-Trump resistance will be high-fiving at some DC cocktail party tonight.

To answer the query above "why the journalistic community isn’t up in arms?". Their isn't a "journalistic community" anymore, just courtiers making a good living as dutiful scribes.

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 10 2021 19:09 utc | 63

Perimetr @61--

Thanks for your reply and your detailing the resons behind the utter folly of Trump's Trade War and attempts to disconnect from China--the irrationality is stunning! The tariffs alone are one of the main causes for our domestic inflation going through the roof that myself and others predicted at the time. As Diesen has proven, the Outlaw US Empire is now geoeconomically dependent on China and that condition will continue until the USA restores its manufacturing base, so China needn't nationalize any of the foreign owned factories operating there; although, truthfully there aren't that many as most have majority Chinese ownership. However, even if the manufacturing base was to be rebuilt, the USA would still need to enact a major series of economic reforms that aid the working class and thus make it competitive globally--reforms the Financial Parasites will fight tooth and nail. In other words, the reality is for the USA to return to anything like its former self in the domestic economic realm of the 1950-60s, a major revolution would be required that utterly ousts all the Neoliberals and negates/neuters the power of Wall Street. And that means trampling the Duopoly under foot so it never again arises.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 19:11 utc | 64

The OPCW Douma Investigation: Manipulation of Key Toxicology and Related Information Regarding Alleged Victims between the Original Interim Report and the Final Report (Dr. Piers Robinson, December 2021)

This report is extracted from a larger report, in progress, which systematically documents the alterations and redactions observed across the OPCW Fact Finding Mission reports- The Original Interim Report, the Secretly Redacted Interim Report, the Published Interim Report and the Final Report. The focus of this report is on critical information regarding the 43 victims at Douma who are reported to have been killed as a result of the alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma, 7 April 2018. No traces of any nerve agent such as sarin were found. As is now known, the Final OPCW report, which reported there were reasonable grounds to conclude chlorine gas was used as a weapon, has been challenged by a significant number of experts whilst two former OPCW scientists involved with the investigation have reported what amounts to malpractice and fraud during the OPCW investigation.

This report shows how significant information relating to the Douma victims has been manipulated, with no apparent justification, through alterations or redactions between the Original Interim Report and the Final Report. At the very least this manipulation of information indicates that the circumstances surrounding the deaths are far from clear. At worst the manipulations indicate an attempt to conceal the truth about what happened to the civilians. Key findings are as follows:

  • A toxicology assessment by four NATO toxicologists/pharmacologists from Germany with expertise in chemical weapons poisoning which ruled out chlorine gas as a cause of death was reported in the Original Interim Report but omitted from the Final Report.
  • Information questioning the feasibility of a fatal build-up of gas, especially in the basement of the alleged attack site at Location 2, although clearly set out in the Original Interim Report, was omitted from the Final Report.
  • Contradicting witness testimonies regarding deceased victims at the alleged attack site ‘Location 2’, although detailed in the Original Interim Report, are excluded from or obfuscated in the Final Report.
  • Witness accounts indicating contradictory information regarding casualty numbers and who was responsible for burying them have been obfuscated come the Final Report.
  • Divergent witness testimony between ‘Damascus’ witnesses and ‘Country X’ witnesses, with only the latter reporting symptoms associated with a chemical attack, is clearly demarcated in the Original Interim Report but obfuscated and unresolved in the Final Report.
  • Information regarding the ‘repositioning’ of bodies through the course of the night 7-8 April 2018, evident in open-source images circulated by activists, is clearly stated in the Original Interim Report but downplayed in the Final Report.
  • Information raising question marks over the authenticity of foam-like material observed on some of the victims, whilst mentioned in the Final Report, is left unexplored and unresolved.

Read the report for details.

Posted by: S | Dec 10 2021 19:16 utc | 65

a. With the first injection and with every subsequent booster (of a never ending series), the subject’s immune system is eventually degraded to the point that even minor illnesses become fatal.
b. With the first injection, a microchip is inserted into the subject that, with the use of 5G technology, the subject’s identity, location, and vital signs are tracked in real time.
Posted by: Karl Schulze | Dec 10 2021 18:20 utc | 55

I am not aware of good arguments for either of the two statements.

The second statement may be inspired by ultra-small passive tags that could be read by an active reader from a small distance. E.g. tagged book can be detected and identified as you cross the library door. That precludes "use of 5G" technology. However, the energy needed to read the tag may be too large to be applied without health risks, and if the tag is that minute, 22 micron, it can be simply excreted: if it can flow in body fluids, it can get out. Lastly, they are still experimental.

Ordinary small passive takes are larger than syringe needle cross section.

Concerning the second statement, a vaccination mimics an infection. Exposure to infection is normally a boost for the immune system. Among the explanation of small incidence of COVID-19 is that sub-Saharan Africans have a huge exposure to infections, as a cradle of humanity and home of many primate species, Africa has a much larger variety of pathogens that thrive on humans, plus mostly rural population have huge exposure. (Other explanation were outdoor lifestyle with hot weather and no air-conditioning, exposure to intense light that is deadly to viruses.)

Antibiotics clear infections, including innocent bacteria, that can de-mobilize the immune system. There are medications that interfere with hormonal balance and thus which immunity. Are vaccine blamed "by association"?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 10 2021 19:18 utc | 66

Robert Bridge asks a question that ought to make everyone stop for a moment and think hmmmm, "Have Professional Athletes Become the Canary in the Covid Coalmine?" IMO, there's a good number of reasons to be suspicious beyond RFK Jr's book:

"Meanwhile, the first glimpse of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine trial data – which is being released at the excruciatingly slow rate of 500 pages per month, meaning that full disclosure will not occur until the year 2076 – does little to instill confidence."

IMO, there's a motive for what appears to be unprecedented foot dragging. But I must also agree with Bridge's conclusion:

"Again, none of this proves that the vaccines are to blame for the apparent rise in collapses now happening in various sporting events. Indeed, it has been suggested that Covid-19 itself may be to blame for increasing the frequency of cardiac arrest through 'some inflammatory response,' Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told WebMD.

"The point is we just don’t know. As the world navigates its way painstakingly through this period of impenetrable darkness, along a coastline riddled with dangerous rock formations, it would seem wise not to discount any possibilities, no matter how unsettling. That is the only way of allowing the science to indiscriminately determine the facts. Ignoring the other side of the debate as ‘conspiracy theorists,’ however, will prevent the necessary discussion from happening in the first place, which may very well be the goal behind such a risky game." [My Emphasis]

The fact that we at MoA know BigPharma is a parasitic greed-driven cannibalistic organization is more than enough to doubt its self-proclaimed accolades and to wait for multiple independent analyses, for the greatest indictment IMO is the very obvious politicization of the pandemic and attempt to suborn a legal standard as important as the Nuremberg Code.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 19:32 utc | 67

Posted by: c1ue @ 48

Who wrote:

"Pretty interesting and balanced article concerning social media. advertising and supposed influence on the public. Bad News - via Harpers There is a lot of bullshit floating around regarding the efficacy of social media and online advertising. This directly benefits the social media companies."
Here is some more on that, Radio NZ interviewed filmmaker David Carroll in 2019 on 'Cambridge Analytica and ‘The Great Hack’. Sorry, I cant make the link work: RNZ Audio Player.webarchive

(707K) [good interview]

Here is some more on that:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/07/the-great-hack-facebook-cambridge-analytica/

A good reason to get rid of Fakebook. I eschew any group that uses it as naive, unreliable and unaware. Why give out your data to the enemy?

Posted by: Paul | Dec 10 2021 19:38 utc | 68

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Dec 10 2021 12:57 utc | 5 and others

One can only hope/pray that Assange's legal team's appeal is successful. This is such a travesty of justice and a major blow to true investigative reporting and the major corporate media outlets of both R and D variety are silent on it other than to report the decision to allow for extradition. I personally will fly to D.C. and picket the DOJ if others are willing to do so.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2021 19:39 utc | 69

Posted by: Paul | Dec 10 2021 19:38 utc | 68

"The Great Hack" only furthers the bullshit Russia-did-it narrative. I had the displeasure of watching it when it came out in 2019. There were a few interesting tidbits revealed, but otherwise it was fully on board with the Putin-as-evil-mastermind story.

That said, yes, fuck Facebook. They are the enemy no matter what your political persuasion or economic status (unless you're a majority shareholder I guess).

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2021 19:42 utc | 70

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 18:56 utc | 62

Your links are so good that I became lazy searching on my own (especially in English -:) )

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 10 2021 19:48 utc | 71

@perimetr 35 et al.

Interesting question, which seems rather nebulous from the very beginning. A tiny virus of some 120 nm size isn't easy to pick up. Things would be much easier if one could cultivate it to make a larger amount of only one of it's kind (among others, to fulfil Koch's rules). Which, as far as I see, hasn't been done. Usually you will have a sample with a number of different microbes, including several well known out of the corona family. The procedure to get a full sequencing is anything but straight forward. Including a lot of black box operations and educated guesses. With PCR and markers/primers for known segments one can get certain areas. And then other areas. And then try to create a full RNA out of these segments.

I see here a lot of "The imperor's new clothes" - wow, they have sequenced that stuff, so should do we, at least claim so ... Typical stuff of reproducibility crisis.

Another strange thing. Whenever you find in biology a new species - "new" means "not described until now". No one would claim it is "new" as in "don't have existed bevor", except it's a newly created variety of apple or rose. There is no checklist of all existing "viruses in the world", where one looks and find out, o, this virus is a new one.

Finally, by accident I found a new species of funga in my court. Confirmed by macroscopic and microscopic property. To make it a well rounded publication, we asked a laboraty with experience with this genus for sequencing. No result so far. Despite the fact that the sample is a big (70 mm ~ 3") and healthy one, the relevant, very small part of te DNA can't be obtained ...


Regards
und gute Besserung an b

Posted by: BG13 | Dec 10 2021 19:49 utc | 72

The works of Michael Hudson describe the reasons why the rentier economy in the US precludes the reindustrialization of the US. One can listen to very good discussions by Hudson at TUC radio interviews Prof. Michael Hudson and Paul Jay and Prof. Michael Hudson on the Rentier Economy

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 10 2021 19:59 utc | 73

re. Assange:
I am stunned at the reality of it.
Let the record show, that revealing facts is punishable in the free world. Whatever the US and its allies may be, they do not respect to any priciples of liberty.

re. Ukraine:
Appears Biden is blinken. But does that really fix anything? Seems a hollow victory.

Posted by: jared | Dec 10 2021 20:06 utc | 74

re: BG13 | Dec 10 2021 19:49 utc | 72

hello, thank you for your comments. You wrote, "There is no checklist of all existing "viruses in the world", where one looks and find out, o, this virus is a new one."

Please consider reading The Fauci/COVID-19 Dossier and listening to DR. DAVID MARTIN & REINER FUELLMICH INTERVIEW. At the 9-10 minute mark: “We [the US] made SARS and we patented it on April 19 2002.” Martin provides the patent numbers.

All of the elements of Covid were patented in 73 patents prior to the outbreak of the alleged pandemic, that is, prior to acknowledged awareness of the virus. Go to the 29-30 minute point and listen to the quote: “We need to increase public understanding of the need for medical countermeasures such as a pan-coronavirus vaccine. A key driver is the media, and the economics will follow the hype. We need to use that hype to our advantage to get to the real issues. Investors will respond if they see profit at the end of the process.” This was said by the man whose Coronavirus gain-of-function research was financed by Fauci at NIH.

Note also that UNC, NIAID, and Moderna began making the spike protein “vaccine” prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.
The documented information in this video interview makes it clear that Covid was an intentional release serving agendas arrayed against public health and civil liberty.

Also available is KunstlerCast 347 — Chatting with David E. Martin About Covid-19, Vaccinations, and Other Mass Casualty Events.

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 10 2021 20:16 utc | 75

Real, live happening now nullification issue happening in Oroville, California, as reported by VICE News, "Pentagon Blames Biden, Newsom for US Inaction in Breakaway Republic Crisis". It sure does sound like The Onion, but it's genuine:

"UNITED STATES—As the escalating crisis over the Constitutional Republic City of Oroville enters its second month, U.S. military leaders have refused to rule out an invasion, telling Motherboard that civilian leaders are responsible for inaction to date. For their part, those leaders have articulated no plans to protect both the territorial integrity and the people of their once-proud nation—but have also pointedly refused to deny that military force remains an option."

Other examples of nullification are cited in the article's text. I believe Oroville is where PavewayIV is located, and Walter also lives not too far away.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 20:16 utc | 76

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins @ 70
Who wrote:

"The Great Hack" only furthers the bullshit Russia-did-it narrative. I had the displeasure of watching it when it came out in 2019. There were a few interesting tidbits revealed, but otherwise it was fully on board with the Putin-as-evil-mastermind story..."

I would have imagined from listening to the interview it exposed Cambridge Analytica as the real 'Russians.'

I agree Fakebook, who supplied CA with the data, is the real enemy.


Criticism of the criminal behavior of the bandit state tyranny is painted as 'incitement' and banned from Fakebook. Similarly, Palestinian children learning their own history in school is called 'incitement.' Those helping the families of prisoners [routinely imprisoned without trial or legal representation] or those documenting and exposing zionist war crimes are described as 'terrorists.'

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/12/facebook-is-collaborating-with-the-israeli-government-to-determine-what-should-be-censored/

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2014/01/palestinian-authority-incitement-against-israel.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/10/22/israel/palestine-designation-palestinian-rights-groups-terrorists

It is blatant intellectual dishonesty to blame the victim, but that's the last card in the pack for the alien invaders. I call it pseudo semitic semantics by the khazars.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 10 2021 20:52 utc | 77

All the best from the Antipodes, wishing you a speedy recovery. This blog is certainly the best researched and least hysterical when compared to others. It's nice to see rational analyses with attributions, without the all religious conservativism and anti-semitism of The Saker...and his attendant coterie of Trump supporters... :)

Posted by: AndyT | Dec 10 2021 20:54 utc | 78

Various updates that might be linked together, but if taken seperately could also be "business as usual for the area"

UPDATE: Ukrainian Navy: The Russian Federation has announced restrictions on navigation in about 70% of the Sea of Azov and announced artillery fire in areas near Mariupol, Berdyansk and Henichesk. Such actions are an open provocation.

Is Zelensky getting orders from somewhere? (Someone elses caps -sorry)

"UKRAINE'S PRESIDENT ZELENSKIY SAYS DOES NOT EXCLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF DIRECT NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN DONBASS, THIS IS SUPPORTED BY EUROPE AND THE US - IFAX -rtrs"

*
Then there is this under-reported visit. Israel might want to set up Elbit manifacturing plants for weapons in Ukraine as this is cheaper than in Israel, and there have been demonstrations against them in the UK.

"The recent visit of Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov to Israel took place with sparse media coverage at the request of the host country. Official statements only noted that Reznikov and Eyal Khulata, Israel's National Security Council head, discussed urgent security issues.

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/12/kremlin-keeping-close-eye-israel-ukraine-rapprochement
*

BUT, is this the result of the Israel-Ukraine meeting or something else?

"Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who was set to arrive in Israel on Sunday, has postponed his trip. He is reported to have cancelled his entire trip to the Middle East. It would have been Lavrov's first visit to Jerusalem since 2018."

Posted by: Stonebird | Dec 10 2021 21:04 utc | 79

Posted by: librul | Dec 10 2021 14:53 utc | 21
... Is there a Dead Man's Switch that gets triggered when Julian Assanage is extradited?

Yes! A DMS is an automatic action meant to handle a threat to safety. Might be workable in this manner:

Everyone announces they will do something if Julian Assange is not released... for his actions of speaking truth to power. Just announce you will do something WITHOUT saying what. I.e., let 'em guess!

Like give up sugar for a week. Or lose 5 pounds. Or ANYTHING...and really intend to do it...just not say what the act will be.

Tyrants will automatically worry on what might happen but have no clue to the mystery. They will be stuck in an endless loop. Consider that 50 million citizens speak of protesting but NOT say how. Interesting!

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 10 2021 21:06 utc | 80

Wish you a good recovery b. Do not return to work until you have fully recovered. Do not feel any obligation to us, who take it for granted to have a present at the foot of our bed three times a week. Do not hurry your return, or you will drag your fatigue longer.

Posted by: Leuk | Dec 10 2021 21:19 utc | 81

Julian should be a trigger but most of the people he suffers for do not even respect him.

The jabbing of kids has triggered some people i know irl.

Posted by: Rae | Dec 10 2021 21:23 utc | 82

Nice one, Montreal @ 58, but my offense on both counts seemed to have been the trigger. Some hidden threat of officialdom it may have been when previously my cover was blown as I expressed my ignorance of some sort of honeypot, thereby proving I was a fake. (At least I was not accused of being Bullwinkle...does that reference restore me to American citizenship? I promise I did not go near my duckduckgo button.) Ah well, I console us both by means of the following further extract from Four Quartets:

Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them. The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.

[Fully expecting to be rapped on the knuckles by Eliot in the Afterlife]

Posted by: juliania | Dec 10 2021 21:50 utc | 83

Be well b, hope the health system you exist in, works better than here in the U$A.

Posted by: vetinLA | Dec 10 2021 22:01 utc | 84

Here is an email I sent to a number of friends and the exchanges below provide a snapshot of polarized opinion on the subject:

https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/operation-extermination-the-plan-to-decimate-the-human-immune-system-with-a-lab-generated-pathogen/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR-pqrMWu3E

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s new book, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health is not the book of a politician seeking attention. It is the book of a man determined to stake his own life in the resistance against the unfolding bio-terrorist assault on humankind by governments captive of the pharmaceutical industry. He is calling for mass insurrection, and his last word is: “I’ll see you on the barricades.” The book begins like this:

https://www.unz.com/article/fauci-and-the-great-aids-swindle/

Comment at MoA, 'Grieved':
"The dog that didn't bark.
Ron Unz wrote his own review of the Kennedy book on Fauci. To my mind it was not as useful as Laurent Guyénot's excellent "partial review", summarizing Kennedy's expose of Fauci's earlier corruption during the AIDS crisis - also published at the Unz Review.

But Ron made one excellent point, regarding the fact that Kennedy's book was/is the Amazon #1 seller, with an almost unprecedented percentage of 5-star reviews by buyers of the book. In other words, a very large and positive reception of the book at the grass roots level. All this, said Unz, and yet not one word about even the existence of the book throughout the entire mainstream, corporate media.

The logic is compelling that if Kennedy had presented a thesis that could be ridiculed, all the media would have jumped on him with scorn and poured that ridicule over his book. But not one word, not one.

Which of course speaks volumes about the integrity of Kennedy's very alarming claims.

It also shows an appalling hegemony in the media and the government and Big Pharma - an almost incomprehensible solidity of this bloc."

One friend replies:

"See Paul old mate, your biggest problem is, which is going to do you the most harm, the virus or the vaccine. See as how you refuse to take the vaccine, I am betting on the virus, hands down. You would do well to spend more time researching the effects and consequences of catching the virus.I don"t read any of this vaccine conspiracy clap trap, so I ask that you stop sending it to me"

I reply:

"OK, you don't read it, no problem, knowledge is no burden. I'll take you off the covid information list. I am happy to stay at home, if I don't mingle I'll be right. No virus here yet but 'vaccine' problems are here."

Another friend replies:

"Yes Paul big pharma has way too much influence on western govt pfizer for example as does big oil exxon for example car companies gen motors etc big computer apple and Microsoft etc. However one still has the choice to use or not use their products however in the spoiled western world the choice not to use can make life more difficult in the modern world. PS the modern Kennedys have no more influence than most elected people or ones with a famous name on me. Have a good one...."

I reply:

"I agree entirely. I am pro-choice with all of these products".

Posted by: Paul | Dec 10 2021 22:09 utc | 85

@ Paul | Dec 10 2021 22:09 utc | 85 with the personal stories about the Covid experience

Thanks for sharing what many of us here experience ourselves with US zombies.

I trust you have an Ivermectin protocol handy if the Covid virus does make it through your strategy of defense. I had a flu last week and seem to almost be over it and will go get tested tomorrow and see if it comes up negative for Covid again.....and I am back on prophylaxis dose of Ivermectin again and until the Covid experience is under control.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 10 2021 22:20 utc | 86

Juliania


@Juliania 83

Towards the door we never opened into the rose garden!

I paid a visit to East Coker the other day, just to sniff the air. Probably hasn’t changed much.

But the lines that come back to me, and are relevant to the Ukraine thread, are Akhmatova’s: This door that you half-opened for me, I don’t have the strength to push it shut. (About her meeting with Isaiah Berlin).

Posted by: Montreal | Dec 10 2021 22:34 utc | 87

Below is a quote of the last line in a ZH piece about the latest empire propaganda about Iran.....don't want to provide link and make everyone sick....grin

"
A Biden admin official was cited this week as saying: "We're in this pickle because Iran's nuclear program is advancing to a point beyond which it has any conventional rationale," which echoes Israeli's position.
"

Its always someone else's perceived aggression. Never their own....its called projection.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 10 2021 22:53 utc | 88

Before chatting with Dr. Hudson, the Keisers come down on Janet Yellen's head for blaming consumers for the current rapid inflationary rise. They they review how we got here and say we have a "Saudi System" here, which is an apt analogy.

Wow! The discussion between Max and Dr. Hudson on bitcoin is something all will want to view! And their discussion is so intense it will be continued in the next show. I'm now going to watch that one and post this comment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 22:56 utc | 89

@ karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 22:56 utc | 89 with the link to Max and Hudson

I am watching them spin from yelling at Yellen calling the American public the problem for inflation to them call 250 million of American's Saudi type prince and princes because we are lazy, don't work and live off printing money...WRONG.

Max links communism/socialism with China and what as seen as the failure of socialism in America....WRONG

I will do another on the Michael Hudson part

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 10 2021 23:17 utc | 90

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 10 2021 22:20 utc | 86

who wrote:
"...I trust you have an Ivermectin protocol handy if the Covid virus does make it through your strategy of defence...."

Thanks for your reply, I thought the exchange was interesting.

I regularly use vitamins and often order them online. I sometimes have trouble sleeping so I was advised to take GABA [a mere amino acid] and Melatonin. Now, where I live the government prohibited GABA and bureaucratised Melatonin [a naturally occurring substance normally produced by the human body through sunlight]. Now I need to upload a doctors prescription to order it online. It is prohibitively expensive to buy from the pharmacy. No doubt some government stooge was take out to lunch by big Pharma.

Therefore I shudder to think of the hassle to get Ivermectin through customs.

Good luck getting over the flu.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 10 2021 23:20 utc | 91

B: Hope you recover soon.

Posted by: Almayer | Dec 10 2021 23:25 utc | 92

Hi everyone. (Posted this to the previous open thread.)
Unfortunately, it seems like something just went off in Lebanon. I pray for them and wish a quick recovery to our host, b.

Lebanon blasts - from ZH


Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 10 2021 23:27 utc | 93

More on Max Kaiser interview of Michael Hudson about Bitcoin and money/debt

Gold is path of least resistance for global investment of savings....Michael

Empire wants all to hold US paper which is nothing

Super Imperialism as a How To book

Michael says Bitcoin doesn't scale but not addressed

Bitcoin is the colonial acceptable of savings for empire underlings but gold is not.

Max is delusional about the BS around Bitcoin and keeps saying it will solve the world's problem....and is a threat because it is being used to get around the US dollar.

Folks need to separate what Bitcoin is doing in its current state to destabalize the US dollar from its ability to replace the US dollar as some sort of "neutral" money source which is ecologically sound in its design and underpinnings.

Bitcoin doesn't scale and never will

Someone owns the base bitcoin and that is not a sovereign nation to the best of my knowledge so we would be replacing a private global money source with another private global money source.

Permissionless crypto currencies will never work because they do not scale and are not an ecological solution to our public/private finance/money problems.

Max is trying to play Michael and I expect Michael to have both barrels loaded for the next installment....don't fuck with Michael....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 10 2021 23:38 utc | 94

Okay! Link to next episode of Keiser Report where Max calls those running the Fed and its ilk "serial killers" since all the money they've printed is acting like poison in the economy because it's not moving, just like the winds aren't blowing to actuate the wind machines built to replace hydrocarbon fueled energy production. In fact, at the show's outset, there's some outstanding repartee between Max and Stacey over the Outlaw US Empire's blaming of OPEC for high oil prices when just two--2--years ago the same people were boasting "We're #1 in oil extraction!"

In the second half, Hudson explains how Erdogan is committing financial suicide in Turkey through his total ineptness and ignorance. Michael explains why people ought to buy Super Imperialism's third edition: the new chapters closing the book deal with de-dollarization and how to get out from under the "Debt Bomb." Max askes: Isn't that same Debt Bomb coming to the USA? Hudson says yes; it'll come when the various debt moratoriums expire next year; for New York, that means February 2022.

I should note that a new audio interview is available at Hudson's website, "The Greatest Rip-off":

"An interview with one of Australia’s most respected economists, Alan Kohler. Why are Australia’s house prices almost double the US’s? With detail on geo-political issues re Belt n Road."

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 23:43 utc | 95

@psychohistorian #94
The issues with the bitcoin scaling have nothing to do with “ownership of the base bitcoin”.
They include: massive power consumption, inherent slowness of network, opacity of ownership, inability to be reversed should crime or mistakes occur, etc etc
A base bitcoin is no more owned by anyone than the base dollar from which various cents are derived is owned by anyone.
Max is confused too about the legal nature of money. Outside of El Salvador, bitcoin is not legal tender anywhere.
Nor am I particularly impressed with the utterly erroneous notion that bitcoin challenges the dollar. New York City and Miami mayors are both pushing bitcoin/cryptocurrency hard - how is that challenging banisters, much less the dollar standard?

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 23:49 utc | 96

As for never scaling: ultimately bitcoin is just the brand. Actual use requires fiat, and fiat is represented by literally infinite divisibility/fractionalization. This doesn’t fix the power issue although secondary networks like Lightning do.
But these technological fixes don’t resolve the other issues: legal tender status, opacity, irreversibility.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 10 2021 23:52 utc | 97

psychohistorian @94--

The bitcoin discussion was only during the first half. Max often gets his lines confused, which was the case in the first half regrading the ratio of princes to deplorables within the Outlaw US Empire. I'll need to ask Hudson for further clarification through his Patreon portal about the ability of El Salvador to use bitcoin to escape its dollar capture since it does seem hypothetically possible.

The really big fact people need to get from Dr. Hudson is the era known as Dollar Diplomacy that began before WW1 and lasted until the Great Depression was the dress rehearsal for the mechanisms used in Super Imperialism. Smedley Butler admits he was then the enforcer for the Banksters just as the CIA and Outlaw US Empire's military is today. And that's THE clue as to when neoliberalism's US methods were first introduced to the world. What ought to be examined next is when the UK/British Empire began using such methods so we can further pinpoint when Neoliberalism began.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 10 2021 23:57 utc | 98

Take Care, B.

Posted by: IronForge | Dec 10 2021 23:59 utc | 99

Has there been conservation of CD4 and CD8T cell epitopes in SarsCov2 viral evolution so far? Apparently yes. Good news.
Antibodies aren’t the whole story.

There has been a lot of anticipation about Omicron and T cell responses. T cells epitopes are largely conserved and this suggest that most of the T cell response might still be on hand to fight the virus...

In general the vast majority of T cell epitopes are totally conserved and is not different when we consider the early (alpha, beta, gamma, epsilon), or late variants (kappa, eta, lambda, iota, Mu etc…) such as delta.

T cell epitopes in natural infection? The analysis of the full proteome ( see diagram ) here show that on average 98% of CD8 and 95% of CD4 epitopes are totally conserved.

When we get to Omicron presumably because of the higher number of mutations, the fraction of CD8 epitopes that are 100% conserved drops significantly to 95% for CD8 and 88% for CD4 whole proteome. Still very high conservation.

For spike and Omicron the fraction of conserved epitopes is 86% for CD8 and 72% for CD4. Still a majority of epitopes are conserved. Bear in mind that a mutation in an epitope does not preclude cross reactive recognition, so these are conservative estimates.

Bottom line; the fraction of 100% conserved epitopes drops in omicron compared to other variants BUT still the majority of the epitopes are conserved.

An important caveat is that we do not know what level of conservation is likely to preserve functional T cell responses, but from the data available it seems likely that T cell activity will be far less impacted that neutralizing antibody responses.
Alessandro Sette

https://twitter.com/SetteLab

Posted by: suzan | Dec 11 2021 0:24 utc | 100

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