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Tom Gara, BuzzfeedNews

 

More than 40 million people lost their jobs [in USA]) in the last few months, in the fastest and deepest economic slowdown ever recorded. More than half of all households with low incomes in the United States have experienced a loss of earnings, as have a quarter of all adults. The numbers are grim — but as bad as things look today, they’re on track to get much, much worse.

The US economy right now is like a jumbo jet that’s in a steady glide after both its engines flamed out. In about six weeks, it will likely crash into the side of a mountain.

What’s kept us in the air so far is an extraordinary government relief effort. In most states, evictions have been temporarily banned, preventing a mass homelessness crisis. Most federal student loan payments have been put on hold, removing one of the largest recurring monthly expenses that millions of people face. Banks were ordered to give their customers a six-month break on mortgage payments if requested.

Most importantly, and counterintuitively, household income sharply increased in April as hundreds of billions of dollars in lost wages were replaced by trillions in government spending. The government sent out more than 159 million stimulus payments of up to $1,200 per adult (more if you have kids), and more than 20 million unemployed people became eligible for an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. The result, according to Bloomberg, was the largest monthly increase in household income ever recorded.

This happened in April, when there were far fewer things to spend your money on; shops and restaurants were closed, nobody went to the ball game or took the kids to a theme park, and a shaggy nation longed for a haircut. Meanwhile, the prospect of a massive economic crash meant that Americans who were still on the job were more likely to tuck money away that they might otherwise have spent. So the national savings rate — the share of people’s income that is saved rather than spent — hit 33%, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, also the highest level ever recorded. In the same month that we reached the worst mass unemployment in living memory, Americans saved a total of $6.15 trillion — up by $4 trillion from the month prior.

The massive interventions that made all this possible will soon come to an end — but the unemployment won’t.

On July 31, the $600 federal unemployment payments going to unemployed people every week will end, and there’s no sign they’ll be replaced with anything nearly as generous. In fact, many Republicans want to replace them with nothing at all — and there’s also little sign that another round of one-time stimulus checks will get mailed out. So income for tens of millions of households is likely to nose-dive in August.

That will coincide with evictions returning after being put on hold for months. This month, about one-third of renters were unable to pay their rent in full or at all, despite all the stimulus money. A federal law that bans evictions in any properties financed by federally backed mortgages — more than a quarter of all households, according to one estimate — expires on July 25, just a week before millions of people’s main economic lifeline is pulled away. Unless they are extended, statewide orders banning all evictions in places that have been hardest hit by the unemployment crisis will also expire around then: Florida’s on July 1, California’s on July 28, and New York’s on Aug. 20.

As millions of people experience a sudden collapse of their income at the very moment their landlords are allowed to start kicking them out, other bills will also come due. Payments on millions of paused student loans will begin again at the beginning of October; the more than 4 million homeowners who received a six-month pause on their mortgage after April’s mass layoffs will need to start making payments again at the end of October.

Few seriously expect the US economy to recover as fast as those bills come due; the federal government’s own projections expect unemployment will remain frighteningly high well into next year, even as people return to work as the lockdowns are lifted. Many companies will only rehire workers as quickly as consumer demand returns, and in labor-heavy industries, such as restaurants, entertainment, and travel, nobody expects things to go back to normal anytime soon.

And across the economy, big employers will use this moment as a kind of workforce reset button — a chance to rethink how many workers they really want, outsource some jobs, offshore others, and eliminate some entirely. By some estimates, more than 40% of all the job losses of the last few months could be permanent, not temporary.

(mais…)

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Jim Rickards

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Artur Nunes

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Why are we seeing so much violence recently? One explanation is that people are sympathizing with those in the Minneapolis area who are upset at the death of George Floyd. They believe that a white cop used excessive force in subduing Floyd, leading to his death.

I believe that there is a much deeper story involved. As I wrote in my recent post, Understanding Our Pandemic – Economy Predicament, the problem we are facing is too many people relative to resources, particularly energy resources. This leads to a condition sometimes referred to as “overshoot and collapse.” The economy grows for a while, may stabilize for a time, and then heads in a downward direction, essentially because energy consumption per capita falls too low.

Strangely enough, this energy crisis looks like a crisis of affordability. The young and the poor, especially, cannot afford to buy goods and services that they need, such as a home in which to raise their children and a vehicle to drive. Trying to do so leaves them with excessive debt. If the affordability problem changes for the worse, the young and the poor are likely to protest. In fact, these protests may become violent. 

The pandemic tends to make the affordability problem worse for minorities and young people because they are disproportionately affected by job losses associated with lockdowns. In many cases, the poor catch COVID-19 more frequently because they live and/or work in crowded conditions where the disease spreads easily. In the US, blacks seem to be especially hard hit, both by COVID-19 and through the loss of jobs. These issues, plus the availability of guns, makes the situation particularly explosive in the US.

Let me explain these issues further.

[1] Energy is required for all aspects of the economy.

Energy is required by governments. Energy is required to operate police cars. Energy is required to build schools and to operate their heating and lighting. Energy is needed to build and maintain roads. Tax revenue represents available funds to buy energy products and goods and services made with energy products.

Energy is needed for any type of business. Operating a computer requires electricity, which is a form of energy. Heating or cooling a building requires energy. Growing food requires solar energy from the sun; liquid fuel is used to operate farm machinery and trucks that transport food to the locations where it is sold. Human energy is used for some of these processes. For example, human energy is used to operate computers and farm machinery. Human energy is sometimes used to pick the crops, as well.

Wages paid by governments and businesses indirectly go to buy energy products of many kinds. Food is, of course, an energy product. The heat to cook or bake the food is also an energy product. Metals of all kinds are made using energy products, and lumber is cut and transported using energy products. With sufficient wages, it is possible to buy or rent a home, and to purchase or lease an automobile.

Interest rates indirectly reflect the portion of goods and services produced by energy products that can be transferred to parts of the system that depend on interest earnings. For example, banks, insurance companies and those on pensions depend on interest earnings. If interest rates are high, benefits to pensioners can easily be paid and insurance companies can charge low rates for their products, because their interest earnings will help offset claim costs.

Interest rates are now about as low as they can go, indicating a likely shortage of energy for funding these interest rates. The last time interest rates were close to current levels was during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Figure 1. Ten-year and three-month US Treasury interest rates, in chart made by FRED.

[2] When there is not enough energy to go around, the result can be low commodity prices, low wages and layoffs.

This is not an intuitive result. Most people assume (low energy = high prices), but this is the opposite of what actually happens. The problem is that the amount workers can afford to pay for finished goods and services needs to be high enough to make to make production of the commodities used in making the finished products profitable. When affordability falls too low, the system tends to collapse.

We are really dealing with a two-sided problem. The prices of commodities such as oil, wholesale electricity, steel, copper and food tend to fluctuate widely. Consumers need these prices to be low, in order for the price of finished goods made with these commodities to be affordable; producers need the prices of these commodities to rise ever-higher, to cover the cost of deeper wells and more batteries, to try to partially offset the intermittency of solar and wind electricity.

Most people assume that the situation will be resolved in the direction of commodity prices rising ever higher. In fact, commodity prices did rise higher, until mid 2008. Then, something snapped; commodity prices have been falling ever-lower since mid 2008. In fact, ever-lower commodity prices have been a world-wide problem, causing huge problems for countries trying to support their economies with export revenues based on commodity production.

Figure 2. CRB Commodity Price Index from 1995 to June 2, 2020. Chart prepared by Trading Economics. Composition is 39% energy, 41% agriculture, 7% precious metals and 13% industrial metals.

Even before the lockdowns, low commodity prices were leading to low wages of those working in commodity industries around the world. These low prices also led to low tax revenue, and this low tax revenue led to an inability of governments to afford the services that citizens expect, such as bus service and subsidized prices for certain essential goods/services. For example, South Africa (an exporter of coal and minerals) was experiencing public protests in September 2019, for reasons such as these. Chile is a major exporter of copper and lithium. Low prices of those commodities led to violent protests in 2019 for similar reasons.

Now, in 2020, lockdowns have led to even lower commodity prices. At times, farmers have been plowing their crops under. Oil companies are laying off workers. The trend toward lower commodity prices had been occurring for a long time; the recent drop in prices was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” If prices stay this low, there is a danger of falling production of commodities that we depend on, including food, metals, electricity, and oil. Businesses producing these items will fail, and governments with falling tax revenue will be unable to support them.

[3] Historical energy consumption data shows that violence often accompanies periods when energy production is not growing fast enough to meet the needs of the growing population.

(mais…)

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The Purse-Seine

Poem by Robinson Jeffers (1937)

Our sardine fishermen work at night in the dark
of the moon; daylight or moonlight
They could not tell where to spread the net,
unable to see the phosphorescence of the
shoals of fish.
They work northward from Monterey, coasting
Santa Cruz; off New Year’s Point or off
Pigeon Point
The look-out man will see some lakes of milk-color
light on the sea’s night-purple; he points,
and the helmsman
Turns the dark prow, the motorboat circles the
gleaming shoal and drifts out her seine-net.
They close the circle
And purse the bottom of the net, then with great
labor haul it in.

I cannot tell you
How beautiful the scene is, and a little terrible,
then, when the crowded fish
know they are caught, and wildly beat from one wall
to the other of their closing destiny, the
phosphorescent
water to a pool of flame, each beautiful slender body
sheeted with flame, like a live rocket
A comet’s tail wake of clear yellow flame; while outside
the narrowing
floats and cordage of the net great sea-lions come up
to watch, sighing in the dark; the vast walls
of night
stand erect to the stars.

Lately I was looking from a night mountain-top
on a wide city, the colored splendor, galaxies of light:
how could I help but recall the seine-net
gathering the luminous fish? I cannot tell you how
beautiful the city appeared, and a little terrible.
I thought, We have geared the machines and locked all together
into inter-dependence; we have built the great cities; now
there is no escape. We have gathered vast populations incapable
of free survival, insulated
From the strong earth, each person in himself helpless, on all
dependent. The circle is closed, and the net
Is being hauled in. They hardly feel the cords drawing, yet
they shine already. The inevitable mass-disasters
will not come in our time nor in our children’s, but we
and our children
must watch the net draw narrower, government take all
powers–or revolution, and the new government
Take more than all, add to kept bodies kept souls–or anarchy,
the mass-disasters.
These things are Progress;
Do you marvel our verse is troubled or frowning, while it keeps
its reason? Or it lets go, lets the mood flow
In the manner of the recent young men into mere hysteria,
splintered gleams, crackled laughter. But they are
quite wrong.
There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew
that cultures decay, and life’s end is death

 

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[CENSURADO PARA SUA PROTECÇÃO]

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Strategic Culture

Germany’s federal government and mainstream media are engaged in damage control after a report that challenges the established Corona narrative leaked from the interior ministry.

Some of the report key passages are:

  • The dangerousness of Covid-19 was overestimated: probably at no point did the danger posed by the new virus go beyond the normal level.
  • The people who die from Corona are essentially those who would statistically die this year, because they have reached the end of their lives and their weakened bodies can no longer cope with any random everyday stress (including the approximately 150 viruses currently in circulation).
  • Worldwide, within a quarter of a year, there has been no more than 250,000 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 1.5 million deaths [25,100 in Germany] during the influenza wave 2017/18.
  • The danger is obviously no greater than that of many other viruses. There is no evidence that this was more than a false alarm.
  • A reproach could go along these lines: During the Corona crisis the State has proved itself as one of the biggest producers of Fake News.

So far, so bad. But it gets worse.

The report focuses on the “manifold and heavy consequences of the Corona measures” and warns that these are “grave”.

More people are dying because of state-imposed Corona-measures than they are being killed by the virus.

The reason is a scandal in the making:

A Corona-focused German healthcare system is postponing life-saving surgery and delaying or reducing treatment for non-Corona patients.

Berlin in Denial Mode. The scientists fight back.

Initially, the government tried to dismiss the report as “the work of one employee”, and its contents as “his own opinion” – while the journalists closed ranks, no questions asked, with the politicians.

But the 93-pages report titled “Analysis of the Crisis Management” has been drafted by a scientific panel appointed by the interior ministry and composed by external medical experts from several German universities.

The report was the initiative of a department of the interior ministry called Unit KM4 and in charge with the “Protection of critical infrastructures”.

This is also where the German official turned whistleblower, Stephen Kohn, work(ed), and from where he leaked it to the media.

The authors of the report issued a joint press release already on Mai 11th, berating the government for ignoring expert advise, and asking for the interior minister to officially comment upon the experts joint statement:

“Therapeutic and preventive measures should never bring more harm than the illness itself. Their aim should be to protect the risk groups, without endegearing the availibilty of medical care and the health of the whole population, as it is unfortunately occurring”

“We in the scientific and medical praxis are experiencing the secondary damages of the Corona-measures on our patients on a dialy basis.”

“We therefore ask the Federal Ministry of the Interior, to comment upon our press release, and we hope for a pertinent discussion regarding the [Corona] measures, one that leads to the best possible solution for the whole population”

At the time of writing, the German government had yet to react.

But the facts are – sadly – vindicating the medical experts’ worries.

On Mai 23 the German newspaper Das Bild titled: “Dramatic consequences of the Corona-Measures: 52,000 Cancer Ops delayed.”

Inside, a aeading medical doctor warns that “we will feel the side-effects of the Corona crisis for years”.

Shooting the Whistleblower. Ignoring the Message.

As Der Spiegel reported on Mai 15th: “Stephen Kohn [the whistleblower] has since been suspended from duty. He was advised to obtain a lawyer and his work laptop was confiscated.”

Kohn had originally leaked the report on May 9th to the liberal-conservative magazine Tichys Einblick one of Germany’s most popular alternative media outlets.

News of the report went mainstream in Germany during the second week of Mai – but already in the third week media and politicians alike stopped discussing the issue by refusing to comment upon it.

Emblematic was the approach taken by Günter Krings, the representative for Interior Minister Horst Seehofer – the whistleblower’s boss:

Asked it he would treat the document seriously, Krings replied:

“If you start analyzing papers like that, then pretty soon you’ll be inviting the guys with the tin foil hats to parliamentary hearings.”

Men in tin foil hats – Aluhut in German – is a term used to describe people who believe in conspiracy theories.

Indeed one article by Der Spiegel adressing the Corona protest movement and the consequences of the leaked report contained the word “conspiracy” no fewer than 17 times!

And no discussions of the issues raised by the report itself.

Outside Germany the news has virtually gone unreported.

The Protest Movement – or “Corona-Rebellen”.

Germans begun demonstrating against Lockdowns as early as April.

And thousands of citizens keep showing up at demos every week-end, even as the government is easing the restrictions.

The demos are not merely against restrictions, which have actually been comparatively mild compared to many other Western countries.

The demos question the entire Corona Narrative, and even more its principals, especially the role Bill Gates is playing, as the WHO second biggest donor (the first one since Trump suspended U.S. contribution).

Indeed the biggest such demos took place in Stuttgart on May 9th, where tens of thousands people assempled to say no – to the NWO.

Germans are saying no to any orwellian solution the government might one day impose out of a questionable “emergency status”, from mass surveillance Apps to mandatory vaccinations.

The leaked report has proved their fears to be well founded.

At least as far as the fake nature of the “Corona pandemic” is concerned.

The rest might soon follow.

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“While attention in developed countries has been focused inward on the effects of the pandemic at home and the anticipated exit from lockdown, an economic and health disaster is emerging in developing counties that make up 85% of the world’s population…

“Even more worrying is the massive economic damage that has already been caused by both the pandemic and the widespread lockdowns that most developing countries have imposed. UN agencies estimate that 1.5 billion people – half the global labour force – will become unemployed, with 500 million thrust back into poverty while 250 million could face famine, reversing all the gains of the past two decades.

“The collapse of the global economy will seriously damage our chances of recovery, hurting exports, disrupting supply chains and threatening the global financial system. The failure to contain the global spread of virus will also ensure that a reservoir of infection remains that could jump back to developed countries.”

https://theconversation.com/developing-countries-are-facing-economic-disaster-four-ways-western-nations-can-support-them-to-shore-up-the-global-economy-139083

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The Saker

 

It is now plainly evident that science has become the religion of our times, the one that humans believe they believe in. In the modern west, three great systems of faith have coexisted, and to some extent continue to coexist—Christianity, capitalism, and science. In the history of modernity, these three “religions” have intersected a number of times, occasionally coming into conflict before reconciling in one way or another, gradually finding a kind of peaceable and sensible coexistence, if not a real and proper alliance in the name of common interest.

What is new is, that without us noticing, an underlying and implacable conflict has been reignited between science and the other two religions. The victorious outcomes of this conflict for science are today right under our eyes and noses, conditioning every aspect of our existence in unprecedented fashion. Unlike previous conflicts, this one does not concern theory and general principles, but rather religious practice, so to speak. In fact, like every religion, science organizes itself in different forms and levels to establish a structured order. At the theoretical level, science features a subtle and rigorous dogma, while at the practical level there is a corresponding religious sphere that is extremely broad and detailed. This sphere coincides with what we call “technology.”

It is unsurprising that the central role in this new religious war is played by medicine, a field of science that is relatively undogmatic and strongly pragmatic, concerned directly with the living body of human beings. Let’s try to define the essential characteristics of this triumphant religious faith, with which we must increasingly come to terms.

  1. The first characteristic is that medicine, like capitalism, has no need of any special dogma; it limits itself to borrowing its fundamental concepts from biology. Unlike biology, however, it organizes these concepts in a gnostic-manichean sense, i.e., in accordance with an exaggerated dualistic opposition. There exists an “evil” power or principle, which is disease, whose specific agents are bacteria and viruses. At the same time, there exists a “good” force or principle. But this opposing principle is not health, but rather healing, delivered by doctors through medical treatment. As in every gnostic faith, the two principles are clearly separate, but in the real world they can contaminate each other. The power of good, or a doctor that wields that power, can make mistakes and conspire unwittingly with the enemy, without invalidating the dualism and the necessity of the religious practice by means of which the principle of good battles that of evil. Significantly, the “theologians” that are defining the battle strategy are the representatives of a branch of science, virology, that does not occupy a clear space of its own, instead sitting at the boundary between biology and medicine.
  2. Up to now, the religious practice of medicine has been episodic and of limited duration, like other forms of religious worship, but unexpectedly the current phenomenon has become permanent and omnipresent. It is no longer just a matter of taking some medication or undergoing a medical examination or surgical procedure whenever necessary. Our whole lives must become the objects of an uninterrupted religious observance. The enemy, the virus, is ever-present. It must be combated incessantly, without any prospect of a ceasefire. Although similar totalitarian tendencies have marked the Christian religion, these affected limited individuals, most notably monks who opted to devote their whole lives to prayer. The religion of medicine takes this Pauline principle and completely inverts it, however. Whereas monks would assemble to pray in their monasteries, our new religion must be practiced apart, at a distance, though just as earnestly.
  3. Religious practice is no longer voluntary, subject solely to sanctions of a spiritual nature. It must be rendered obligatory by laws and decrees. The collusion between religion and secular power is nothing new, of course. What is totally new, though, is the exclusive concern with the observance of religious practice rather than the profession of dogmas, as was the case with Christian heretics. The secular power must be vigilant to ensure that the religion of medicine, at this point in time a lifelong faith, is promptly observed in every detail. It is immediately evident that we are dealing with a religious practice and not a scientific, rational need. The most frequent cause of death in this country by far is cardiovascular disease. It is well known that its mortality can be easily reduced by healthier living and eating. Yet, no doctor ever considered it necessary to resort to legal measures to compel patients to follow a prescribed lifestyle and diet, to decree what people eat and how they should live, transforming the whole of existence into a set of mandatory healthcare requirements. But it is precisely this that has been done, and at least for now, people have accepted it, as if it were an obvious thing to renounce one’s freedom of movement, work, friendships, loves, social relations, religious faith, and political creeds.

Here, we see how the other great religions of the west, the religion of Christ and the religion of money, have ceded their supremacy to medicine and science, seemingly without resistance. The Catholic Church has disavowed its principles, pure and simple, forgetting that the saint from which the current pontiff takes his name embraced lepers, that an essential element of compassion is to minister to the sick, and that the holy sacraments can only be administered in person. For its part, capitalism, even if with some reluctance, has accepted previously unimaginable losses of productivity, likely hoping to eventually find some accord with the new dominant religion, which seems open to some compromise on this point. XXX

  1. The religion of medicine appears to have unreservedly taken over the function of eschatology, a field of theology that Christianity abandoned long ago. Capitalism had already secularized the theological paradigm of salvation to eliminate the idea of “end time,” substituting it with a permanent state of crisis, without redemption or end. The concept of “crisis” originates with medicine. In the Hippocratic Corpus, krisis indicated the moment when the physician decided if the patient would survive the illness. Theologians later appropriated the term to refer to the Final Judgement on the final day of the world. Reflecting on the extraordinary situation we now face, we might conclude that the medical religion has merged the perpetual crisis of capitalism with the Christian idea of end time. The result is a sense of apocalypse and an unremitting urgency to make extreme decisions. The end is hastened and deferred in turns, in an unrelenting attempt to manage the crisis, without ever resolving it once and for all. It is the religion of a world that feels that it is nearing the end, yet that remains incapable, like the Hippocratic physician, of deciding if it will survive or die.
  2. Like capitalism (but unlike Christianity), the religion of medicine offers no prospect of salvation or redemption. In contrast, the healing at which it aims can only ever be temporary, since the force of evil, the virus, can never be completely eliminated. It mutates continually, assuming new forms, ever more risky it is presumed. As its etymology suggests, “epidemic” is above all a political concept (in Greek demos means people or population; polemos epidemios in Homer refers to civil war), which fits with the fact that it has become the new landscape of global politics, or perhaps “non-politics.” Indeed, the current epidemic may represent that global civil war that some astute political scientists have claimed has taken the place of traditional world wars. Are all the nations and peoples of the world in a protracted war with themselves, because the invisible and elusive enemy they are grappling with lies within them?

Just as at other critical junctures in history, philosophers will need to engage in debate and dispute with religion; this time not with Christianity, but rather with science, or at least that part of it that has assumed the guise of a religion. I’m not sure if we will see a return to the burning and blacklisting, but as already evident, the views of those who seek the truth and refuse to accept the dominant fictions will undoubtedly be excluded from public discourse, or met with accusations of purveying fake news (news, not ideas, because news is more important than reality). As in every emergency, real or simulated, the ignorant will smear the sages and scoundrels will seek to profit from the misfortunes that they themselves have provoked. All this has already happened and will go on happening, but those who bear witness to the truth will continue to do so, since no one can bear witness for the witness.

Giorgio Agamben
May 2, 2020

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Mike Whitney

In a pandemic, there is no substitute for immunity, because immunity provides the best protection against reinfection. That’s why Sweden set its sights on immunity from the very beginning. They crafted a policy that was designed to protect the old and vulnerable, prevent the public health system from being overwhelmed, and, most important, allow younger, low-risk people to interact freely so they’d contract the virus and develop the antibodies they’d need to fight future infections. That was the plan and it worked like a charm. Now Sweden is just weeks away from achieving herd immunity (which means that future outbreaks will not be nearly as severe) while the lockdown nations– that are just now easing restrictions– face an excruciating uphill slog that may or may not succeed. Bottom line: Sweden analyzed the problem, figured out what to do, and did it. That’s why they are closing in on the finish line while most of the lockdown states are still stuck at Square 1.

As of this writing, none of the other nations have identified immunity as their primary objective which is why their orientation has been wrong from the get-go. You cannot achieve a goal that you have not identified. The current US strategy focuses on stringent containment procedures (shelter-in-place, self-isolation) most of which have little historical or scientific basis. The truth is, the Trump administration responded precipitously when the number of Covid-positive cases began to increase exponentially in the US. That paved the way for a lockdown policy that’s more the result of groupthink and flawed computer models than data-based analysis and nimble strategic planning. And the results speak for themselves. The 8-week lockdown is probably the biggest policy disaster in US history. Millions of jobs have been lost, thousands of small and mid-sized businesses will now face bankruptcy, and the future prospects for an entire generation of young people have been obliterated. The administration could have detonated multiple nuclear bombs in the country and done less damage than they have with their lunatic lockdown policy.

At present, 24 states have begun the process of reopening their economies. There is no uniform criteria for lifting restrictions, no standardized approach to opening one sector over the other, and no plan for dealing with the inevitable surge of new cases and deaths. It all looks like another disaster in the making but we’ll reserve judgement until the results are in. What we know for certain is that no one in the Trump administration gave the slightest thought to the problems that might arise from eventually lifting the restrictions. We know that because we know that there was no “exit strategy”, just make-it-up-on-the-fly and hope for the best.

In contrast, Sweden won’t need an exit strategy because it never shut down its economy or quarantined its people to begin with. So the transition to normal life and stepped-up economic activity is not going to be as difficult. That’s the benefit of strategic planning, it anticipates the problems one might encounter on the path one’s goal. Here’s a clip from an interview with Swedish an infectious disease clinician, Johan Giesecke, , who served as state epidemiologist of Sweden as well as Chief Scientist at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Giesecke helps explain why the Swedish approach is different. It’s a matter of perception as well as analysis:

“What we are seeing is a rather mild infection spreading around the globe. I think there is relatively little chance of stopping this whatever measures we take. Most people will become infected by this and most people won’t even notice. We have data now from Sweden that between 98 and 99% of the cases have had a very mild infection or didn’t even realize they were infected. So we have the spread of this mild disease around the globe and most of it is happening where we don’t see it because it happens among people who don’t get very sick and , spread it to someone else who doesn’t get very sick… What we looking at (with the official number of cases and deaths) is a thin layer at the top of people who do develop the disease and an even thinner layer of people who go into intensive care and an even thinner layer of people who die. But the real outbreak is happening where we don’t see it.” (“Swedish scientist Johan Giesecke asks Australia how it plans to lift its lockdown without deaths”, you tube…52 second mark to 1:48)

Giesecke’s analysis veers from the conventional view of the virus which explains why the Swedish response has been so different. For example, he says: “I think there is relatively little chance of stopping this whatever measures we take.”

This gets to the root of the Swedish approach. Sweden is not trying to suppress the infection which they see as a force of nature (like a tsunami) that cannot be contained but only mitigated. From the beginning, the Swedish approach has been to “control the spread of the virus”, not to suppress it through containment strategies. There’s a fundamental difference here, and that difference is expressed in the policy.

Second, “We have data now from Sweden that between 98 and 99% of the cases have had a very mild infection or didn’t even realize they were infected.” In other words, this is highly-contagious infection that poses little or no threat to most people. That suggests the economy can be kept open without endangering the lives of low-risk groups. The added benefit of allowing certain businesses to remain open, is that it creates a controlled environment in which the infection can spread rapidly through the healthy population who, in turn, develop the antibodies they need for future outbreaks. This all fits within Sweden’s plan for managing, rather than avoiding, the virus.

Finally, “What we looking at is a thin layer at the top of people who do develop the disease and an even thinner layer of people who go into intensive care and an even thinner layer of people who die.” The vast majority of people who die from Covid are over 65 with multiple underlying conditions. It’s a terrible tragedy that they should die, but destroying the lives and livelihoods of millions of working people in a futile attempt to stop an unstoppable force like Covid, is foolish and unforgivable. The appropriate response is to protect the old and infirm as much as possible, carefully monitor the rise in cases to prevent the public health system from cratering, and keep the economy operating at a lower level. And that’s exactly what Sweden has done.

FAUCI vs. PAUL: Operation “Obfuscate Immunity”

Not surprisingly, the issue of immunity came up during Dr Anthony Fauci’s testimony on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. There was a heated exchange between Fauci and Senator Rand Paul who challenged the infectious disease expert on the misleading information that the WHO has been spreading in the media. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

Senator Rand Paul: “Dr. Fauci, Studies show that the recovering COVID-19 patients from the asymptomatic to the very sick are showing significant antibody response. Studies show that SARS and MERS, also coronaviruses, induce immunity for at least 2 to 3 years, and yet the media continues to report that we have no evidence that patients who survive coronavirus have immunity. I think actually the truth is the opposite. We have no evidence that survivors of coronavirus don’t have immunity and a great deal of evidence to suggest that they do….

You’ve stated publicly that you’d bet it at all that survivors of coronavirus have some form of immunity. Can you help set the record straight that the scientific record, as it is being accumulated, is supportive that infection with coronavirus likely leads to some form of immunity, Dr. Fauci?”

Dr. Anthony Fauci: “Thank you for the question, Senator Paul. Yes, you’re correct that I have said that, given what we know about the recovery from viruses such as coronaviruses in general, or even any infectious disease with very few exceptions, that when you have antibody present it very likely indicates a degree of protection.

I think it’s in the semantics of how this is expressed. When you say has it been formally proven by long-term natural history studies, which is the only way that you can prove, one, is it protective, which I said and will repeat, it’s likely that it is, but also what is the degree or titer of antibody that gives you that critical level of protection and what is the durability. As I’ve often said and again repeat, you can make a reasonable assumption that it would be protective, but natural history studies over a period of months to years will then tell you definitively if that’s the case.” (Real Clear Politics)

This is a critical exchange that helps to underscore what an elusive and calculating political character Fauci really is. You will notice that his answer is completely scripted, completely circuitous and carefully avoids any mention of the word “immunity”.

Rand Paul’s question couldn’t be more straightforward: Do Covid survivors have immunity or not? Yes or no?

And, the answer is: “Yes, they do. Covid survivors do have immunity.”

But Fauci doesn’t deliver that answer, after a long-winded rumination, Fauci finally offers the most opaque response he can conjure up, he says, “you can make a reasonable assumption that it would be protective.” In other words, he carefully avoids a definitive answer. But, of course, that’s understandable since the WHO has been spreading false rumors about herd immunity trying to muddy the science since it doesn’t jibe with their pro-vaccine agenda. That’s what this is all about, bashing natural immunity to clear the way for a vaccine. Check out this clip from an article at Business Insider:

“…leaders at the World Health Organization Monday expressed outrage at the idea that some people might have to die in pursuit of a far-fetched virus-fighting strategy called herd immunity.

This idea that, ‘well, maybe countries who had lax measures and haven’t done anything will all of a sudden magically reach some herd immunity, and so what if we lose a few old people along the way?’ This is a really dangerous, dangerous calculation,” the WHO’s Executive Director of Health Emergencies Mike Ryan said on a call with reporters.

Ryan didn’t mention any specific countries by name, but it was hard not to think about the high death rate in Swedish nursing homes as he mentioned that “in some countries, over half of the cases have occurred in longterm care facilities,” where people haven’t been “properly shielded.”…

“Humans are not herds,” Ryan said. “I think we need to be really careful when we use terms in this way around natural infections in humans, because it can lead to a very brutal arithmetic which does not put people, and life, and suffering at the center of that equation.”

Ryan was audibly troubled by the idea that the world would accept an infection spreading through a population, and even killing some people, to provide a kind of herd protection, especially one which scientists don’t even know exists. He said that’s not a calculus that any “responsible” country should be willing to take.” (“Humans are not Herds”, Business Insider)

As you can see, the Gates Vaccine Gestapo has launched a propaganda campaign aimed at discrediting, obfuscating and ridiculing other methods for achieving immunity that don’t coincide with their grandiose ambitions to use vaccines as an entry-point for enhanced global tracking, surveillance and social control. Is anyone surprised by this?

But the fact remains that–as Paul says, “recovering COVID-19 patients …show significant antibody response (and will likely have) immunity for at least 2 to 3 years.” Here’s more from Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell who made this comment in an interview last week:

“It is quite certain that immunity does exist…. For all the cases we have had in Sweden, there has not been one single person who had this disease twice. And we have a very strict identification system. So there is no way we would miss a person who had it twice. I haven’t heard any reports from any countries where there has been a certified case who has actually had this twice. There’s been rumors about it. But in the end, they have been disclaimed.” (“Key quotes: Sweden’s top epidemiologist challenges conventional wisdom on COVID-19” ijnet)

Repeat: “there has not been one single person who had this disease twice.”

The science is clear, immunity is real and Sweden is on its way to achieving herd immunity within the month.

Sweden’s public health experts have loosened the grip of a vicious pandemic and delivered the Swedish people to a place of safety and security where they can get on with their lives without fear of contracting a lethal infection.

Hurrah for Sweden!

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https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/15/europe/german-cafe-noodle-distancing-scli-intl-grm/index.html

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Se és contra o confinamento, só pode ser porque és “covidiota” (TM) ou de “extrema-direita”.

Vem no Guardian, o pasquim dos “progressistas do caralho da revolução que os foda a todos” (JMB) e portanto deve ser verdade.

Police vow to break up planned anti-lockdown protests in UK cities

“Identity of organisers is unclear, but experts warn of cross-pollination with far-right ideas”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/14/police-vow-to-break-up-planned-anti-lockdown-protests-in-uk-cities

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