Thursday, June 4, 2020

Today's Links

1--Gun sales surge 80% in May, says research firm


2-- The Roberts Rule on Churches 


3-- “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”.


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.


4--Fact #1: The Infection Fatality Rate for COVID-19 is somewhere between 0.07-0.20%, in line with seasonal flu


5--Millions Of Higher-Paying Jobs Targeted As Next Wave Of COVID Layoffs Begins


6--Tucker: Liberal activists now want to 'defund the police'


7--The Shocking Paper Predicting the End of Democracy

Human brains aren’t built for self-rule, says Shawn Rosenberg. That’s more evident than ever.

Today's links

Not surprisingly, public opinion is on the side of law enforcement and law and order, not insurrectionists. According to a recent poll, 58 percent of registered voters, including nearly half of Democrats and 37 percent of African-Americans, would support cities’ calling in the military to “address protests and demonstrations” that are in “response to the death of George Floyd.” That opinion may not appear often in chic salons, but widespread support for it is fact nonetheless.



1--To Establish Justice, America Must First Quell the Riot

Political games—quite often by Republicans—are dulling the country’s response to a reign of terror.

The killing of unarmed black men by police — one is too many — is a serious problem, and only one among many facing America’s poorest and most downtrodden demographic. But its extent is overstated, inflated by symbolic politics and exacerbated by the manifold other problems of our declining society. According to the Washington Post’s own statistics, there has actually been a 75% drop in such incidents over the past half decade, from 38 in 2015 to 9 in 2019.
Meanwhile, in a climate of disorder no doubt exacerbated by the riots, 84 people were shot and 23 killed in Chicago’s majority-black neighborhoods over Memorial Day weekend alone....

Both history and the present are replete with ghastly alternatives to adjudicate the disputes of men. To abandon the rule of law would be to give the benefit of the doubt to nihilism, which consumes everything and offers nothing.
Consider the future on offer from those who so glibly celebrate the destruction of our urban spaces. In this environment, who — exactly — is going to sign up to join law enforcement? Who — exactly — is going to start a small business in a city? 

Licking their chops in all this are amoral, multinational corporations. Far from opposition, they have offered studied silence on the violence. They can take the hit. In fact, for companies like Amazon and Netflix, social atomization helps their bottom line. ..

The only future the Republican Party will have in a further diversifying country will be one of standing shoulder to shoulder with those left behind: the cop putting it on the line in a collapsing American city, the minority business owner with squalid insurance, the young mother who wants to be able to walk with her kids at sundown. Begging for scraps from the table of depraved elite with a tendentious reading of this country’s history is not something that should be supported— and not something that will win. 

2--The NYTimes--Grist for the mill?

The Times op-ed section has published acres and acres of commentary favoring the protests from every conceivable angle. If you depended on the Times op-ed page as an accurate barometer of what Americans believed about the protests, you would be radically uninformed. In this one instance in which they published the opinion of a US Senator, calling for the military to stop the riots — a belief that most Americans share, including 37 percent of black Americans — Times staffers scream bloody murder. They retreat to that infuriating leftist claim that speech that makes certain people feel “unsafe” must be prohibited.

 3--Andrew McCarthy: 'Institutional racism' among police? Let's look at the numbers


About twice as many white people as black people are killed by police. In fact, in about 75 percent of police shootings, the decedent is not black. Of course, that is not what you would grasp from consuming media
Take the website, specifically its breathless focus on “Hate crime in the United States” — counterfactually insinuating that any shooting involving a black victim must be a “hate crime.” Here’s their big headline from Tuesday: “Black Americans 2.5X More Likely Than Whites to Be Killed By Police.”
It is fiction. It is sheer demagoguery, peddled as American cities are besieged by rioters in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police

 4--Lockdown vs No Lockdown?


In general, states that were still closed on May 9 had the highest average insured unemployment rates relative to the average for that same group on March 1. The unemployment rate of fully locked down states was at least double than states that had no formal lockdown. States that were fully or partially opened by May 9 fared better than fully locked down states, but as a group had almost double the average insured unemployment rate of states without a formal lockdown. 

If general quarantines damage the economy enough to send it into its worst depression since the Great One our grandparents lived through, but do not significantly reduce fatalities and infections in the long run, get us foreseeably closer to a workable vaccine, or protect the most vulnerable in particular, then lockdowns might maximize economic pain for minimal health gains. 
This is what the unemployment data seem to say at the moment.

5--The Lockdowns Created an Economic Disaster


The COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, business closures, and other forms of coerced social distancing have so far led to job losses for well over 30 million Americans. The unemployment rate has risen to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Food banks are under strain as Americans line up for free food. Thanks to government moratoria on evictions in many areas, it is still unknown to what extent homeowners and renters are unable to pay mortgages and rents, but a wave of delinquencies is almost certainly coming

The Lockdowns Destroyed Social Institutions

Another outcome of the lockdowns has been the destruction of American social institutions. These institutions include schools (both public and private), churches, coffee shops, bars, libraries, barbershops, and many others

 6--Rush to trash hydroxychloroquine driven by profits


As long as deadly diseases like Covid-19 are seen as profit sources first and human rights issues second (or third, or tenth…), treatments that aren’t profitable will always be marginalized in favor of costly and frequently less-effective pharmaceuticals. Drug industry profiteering has already killed hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people in the US alone. Taking the profit motive out of healthcare can help ensure its body count stays as low as possible.

 7--Tucker: Kneeling will never be enough for the mob

8--Millions Of Higher-Paying Jobs Targeted As Next Wave Of COVID Layoffs Begins

9--Anytime you have a government so far removed from its people as to ensure that they are never seen, heard or heeded by those elected to represent them, you’d better beware. 

What is unfolding before us is not a revolution.

The looting, the burning, the rioting, the violence: this is an anti-revolution.

The protesters are playing right into the government’s hands, because the powers-that-be want this. They want an excuse to lockdown the nation and throw the switch to all-out martial law. They want a reason to make the police state stronger.

10--The U.S. Economy Is Down By 50% - Where Are the Job Programs It Needs?


11--Economic effects of pandemic to last a decade

By Nick Beams
4 June 2020
The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan body, has put paid to claims by President Trump that the American economy will come “roaring back” once lockdowns and other restrictions to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted.

In a report issued earlier this week, it reduced its forecast for growth over the next decade by a cumulative $7.9 trillion, equivalent to 3 percent of gross domestic product, compared to the forecast it made in January. GDP growth will not catch up to its previous forecast until the last quarter of 2029, the CBO predicted.

The report was issued amid reports from organisations around the world that show that the impact of the pandemic will be long-lasting, even on the highly unlikely assumption that there are no further disruptions to the global economy.

Commenting on the CBO report, Michelle Meyer, chief US economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told the Wall Street Journal: “After you get the initial bounce of economic activity from simply removing the lockdowns, I think we’ll see an economy that is running at a level of activity notably below where we were prior to COVID. It’s going to take a long time to heal. There will be scars as a result of such a painful shock to the economy.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Today's Links



“There’s some sort of mob mentality here operating that they just insist that this has to be the end of the world, and it has to be that the sky is falling. It’s attacking studies with data based on speculation and science fiction. But dismissing real data in favor of mathematical speculation is mind-boggling.”


1--El Erian on fake markets

This notion that it doesn't matter what happens to fundamentals. It doesn't matter what happens to corporate earnings. It doesn't matter what happens to economic growth... because The Fed will buy what I want to buy... that's the mindset of the market right now."
"Why has the fed continuously conditioned markets to expect them to step in and repress any volatility... and isn't it time to stop doing that because you end up not only undermining the system itself but you undermine the credibility of an institution that is critical to the well being of this and future generations."

2--The Real Pandemic Danger Is Social Collapse


As the Global Economy Comes Apart, Societies May, Too
As of March 2020, the entire world is affected by an evil with which it is incapable of dealing effectively and regarding whose duration no one can make any serious predictions. The economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic must not be understood as an ordinary problem that macroeconomics can solve or alleviate. Rather, the world could be witnessing a fundamental shift in the very nature of the global economy.
The immediate crisis is one of both supply and demand...
The world faces the prospect of a profound shift: a return to natural—which is to say, self-sufficient—economy. That shift is the very opposite of globalization. While globalization entails a division of labor among disparate economies, a return to natural economy means that nations would move toward self-sufficiency. That movement is not inevitable. If national governments can control or overcome the current crisis within the next six months or a year, the world would likely return to the path of globalization, even if some of the assumptions that undergirded it (for example, very taut production chains with just-in-time deliveries) might have to be revised.
But if the crisis continues, globalization could unravel.  ...

Those who are left hopeless, jobless, and without assets could easily turn against those who are better off. Already, some 30 percent of Americans have zero or negative wealth. If more people emerge from the current crisis with neither money, nor jobs, nor access to health care, and if these people become desperate and angry, such scenes as the recent escape of prisoners in Italy or the looting that followed Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 might become commonplace. If governments have to resort to using paramilitary or military forces to quell, for example, riots or attacks on property, societies could begin to disintegrate.
 Thus the main (perhaps even the sole) objective of economic policy today should be to prevent social breakdown. Advanced societies must not allow economics, particularly the fortunes of financial markets, to blind them to the fact that the most important role economic policy can play now is to keep social bonds strong under this extraordinary pressure.

3--The Minneapolis Putsch

racism in America has been cynically instrumentalized, not by the Russians, but by the so-called Resistance, in order to delegitimize Trump and, more importantly, everyone who voted for him, as a bunch of white supremacists and racists.
Fomenting racial division has been the Resistance’s strategy from the beginning. A quote attributed to Joseph Goebbels, “accuse the other side of that which you are guilty,” is particularly apropos in this case. From the moment Trump won the Republican nomination, the corporate media and the rest of the Resistance have been telling us the man is literally Hitler, and that his plan is to foment racial hatred among his “white supremacist base,” and eventually stage some “Reichstag” event, declare martial law and pronounce himself dictator. They’ve been telling us this story over and over, on television, in the liberal press, on social media, in books, movies, and everywhere else they could possibly tell it.

So, before you go out and join the “uprising,” take a look at the headlines today, turn on CNN or MSNBC, and think about that for just a minute. I don’t mean to spoil the party, but they’ve preparing you for this for the last four years.

 4--Listen to the Doctors, End the Lockdowns


Since the lockdowns began, there have been increases in alcoholism, drug abuse, and domestic violence. There has also been an increase in calls to suicide hotlines. This is a direct result of the mass unemployment and limitations on people’s activities resulting from the lockdowns. As long as millions of Americans are sitting at home wondering how to survive until the government says they can go back to work — assuming the lockdowns did not drive their employers out of business, there will be more substance abuse and suicides.

At the start of the lockdowns, Americans were told to stay away from emergency rooms and doctors’ offices to avoid exposure to coronavirus. This has led Americans to neglect their health. US hospitals have seen a 40 percent decline in the number of patients admitted for severe heart attacks since March. Does anyone believe that the coronavirus panic just happened to coincide with a miraculous decline in heart attacks?
Physicians have also become unable to help many stroke victims who coronavirus lockdowns have kept from seeking medical assistance...
Postponing needed surgeries will have serious consequences. Many patients whose surgeries have been delayed will find that their once easily treatable conditions now require intensive and expensive care....
The lesson of the unnecessary lockdowns is clear: Government bureaucrats and politicians, even the media’s beloved Dr. Fauci, must be stripped of the ability to infringe on our liberty and prosperity.
Whether we realize it or not, we all have the same interest in drawing the correct lessons from the George Floyd protests. One is that Antifa violence is the logical outcome of Identity Politics.
Another is that a multicultural racially diverse society cannot exist if all injustice is blamed on racism. Blaming George Floyd’s murder on racism is an agenda-driven misrepresentation. It serves agendas and is endlessly asserted by the presstitutes, white liberals, and Democrats. But there are more important causes of police use of excessive force than racism. To realize that this is true, ask yourself: Is it racism when police murder and brutalize white people? If not, why is it racist when police commit violence against black people?

Police use of excessive force is not limited to black Americans. ...
As racism is not an important cause of police violence, the national, indeed international, preoccupation with racism does not adequately address the problem of police violence. Unfortunately, the racism explanation serves influential agendas, and this will make it difficult to dislodge the misleading racist explanation of police violence. Those who insist that racism is the cause of police violence should ask themselves this question: Is it racism when police murder and brutalize white people?
If black leaders were determined, they could achieve reforms in police training and performance. An effort to address the true causes of police violence would create enormous good will, and success would defuse racial tensions and produce a more united people.

6--Johan Giesecke: Why lockdowns are the wrong approach


“I think that in principle everyone in the world will be exposed to this virus sooner or later.
“The second thing is it’s mostly a very mild disease, some people don’t even realise that they have it and then there is a small percentage who get ill and an even smaller percentage who die. But the main pandemic is going on where we don’t see it, in people with very little symptoms who never approach healthcare.”

Because of this unseen pandemic, he believes projected death rates were over estimated. For example, he questions the modelling of Imperial College London which predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths in the UK.

“The main problem that the Imperial paper has is that it underestimates the number of cases that are light or not severe and that do not bring people to the healthcare system.


7--Carlson--Riots sweeps across country


8--George Floyd Endgame: Martial Law and a Police State


Rampaging “anarchists”—many undoubtedly agent provocateurs—are not interested in justice, fairness, nonviolence, and peaceful dialogue. They are providing a pretext to usher in a fascist police state. 
The George Floyd riots are problem-reaction-solution exemplified. After Ronald Reagan initiated his “zero tolerance” drug war, the Pentagon began the process of converting local police departments into “thin blue line” paramilitary gangs paid for by know-nothing taxpayers. 

Black-clad militarized American cops—many veterans of the illegal wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria—view citizens as the enemy. This is drilled into them at the academy and every day on the job. It is a gang mentality. 
The propaganda media focus exclusively on the murder of blacks. However, if we consider the statistics, far more victims of police overreaction and sadism are white. This fact, however, does not serve the agenda, which is the destruction of civil society through irrational political polarization, racism, tribalism, and escalating violence.

This state of affairs will be exploited to call for a clampdown on political dissent. COVID “contact tracing” is now being used to track down activists and those associated with them. Facial recognition is used to find targeted individuals in crowds. From the start, I said this supposed public safety gimmick would be used to isolate and destroy peaceful activism. 

Now that police are joining protesters, the state will turn up the heat. I believe we can expect a false flag event to justify martial law, primarily imposed in iron-fist fashion in the larger urban areas of America. In order to dovetail with rhetoric pushed out by the media elite, the false flag will be pinned on “white nationalists” and other “extremists” now pigeon-holed by the FBI as far worse than ISIS or al-Qaeda. 

COVID was the first act. It demonstrated that millions of Americans will follow the authoritarian orders of their “representatives” and elected officials. COVID was in part a test run to see how far citizens can be pushed before they react. 
The George Floyd riots represent act two of the COVID-spawned lockdowns. 24/7 propaganda media coverage of burning cities and looting of big box stores around the nation have frightened average Americans and pushed a bad seasonal flu to the sidelines.
If the chaos continues, there will be citizen demands for law and order. Either by design or ineptitude, local law enforcement has stood down during the riots, failing to protect lives and property. Officials will argue that the ongoing destruction and violence can only be contained by the military. So serious is the threat, local law enforcement is said to be overwhelmed. 

The state has planned this eventuality for decades. After the race riots of the late 1960s, the government established the ADEX list of “subversives,” that is to say activists opposed to the state while simultaneously operating the FBI’s COINTELPRO neutralization campaign against civil rights and antiwar activists. 

The ADEX list is the tiny ancestor of today’s Main Core, a database containing personal and financial data on more than a million people. REX-84, Garden Plot, Lantern Spike, and other military operations were put into place to round up activists and enemies of the state, as former congressman Jack Brooks pointed out during the Iran-Contra hearings. 

It is not clear what the state will do next as part of its latest and greatest psychological operation against the American people. However, as the COVID “plandemic” demonstrated,  all that is needed to keep the plebs in line is fear and division. 

Divide et impera—divide and conquer—has been used for centuries by various authoritarian states, long before Niccolò Machiavelli penned his The Art of War.

 9--"... Antifa Agent Caught Paying And Giving Orders To Rioters."


10--LOCKDOWN LUNACY: the thinking person's guide (Today's "must read")

our own Centers for Disease Control came out this week to announce that their ‘best estimate’ showed an IFR below 0.3%. In this article on the CDC’s new data, they also highlighted how the cascading declines in IFR has removed all the fears of doomsday:
That "best estimate" scenario also assumes that 35 percent of infections are asymptomatic, meaning the total number of infections is more than 50 percent larger than the number of symptomatic cases. It therefore implies that the IFR is between 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent. By contrast, the projections that the CDC made in March, which predicted that as many as 1.7 million Americans could die from COVID-19 without intervention, assumed an IFR of 0.8 percent. Around the same time, researchers at Imperial College produced a worst-case scenario in which 2.2 million Americans died, based on an IFR of 0.9 percent.

If you’re still unconvinced that the IFR of COVID-19 is roughly in line with a bad flu season, the most comprehensive analysis I have seen comes from Oxford University, who recently stated:

“Taking account of historical experience, trends in the data, increased number of infections in the population at largest, and potential impact of misclassification of deaths gives a presumed estimate for the COVID-19 IFR somewhere between 0.1% and 0.41%.”

Soon after the Stanford study released its data (he wasn’t a study author), Stanford’s Dr. Scott Atlas published an opinion piece in The Hill newspaper with the title, “The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation.” He wrote:
The recent Stanford University antibody study now estimates that the fatality rate if infected is likely 0.1 to 0.2 percent, a risk far lower than previous World Health Organization estimates that were 20 to 30 times higher and that motivated isolation policies…Let’s stop underemphasizing empirical evidence while instead doubling down on hypothetical models. Facts matter.

Italy reported three days ago that 96% of Italians who died from COVID-19 had “other illnesses” and were, on average, 80 years old. From Bloomberg:
“The latest numbers show that new cases and fatalities have a common profile: mostly elderly people with previous illnesses,” ISS chief Silvio Brusaferro said at a news conference Friday.
The best age stratification data I have seen comes from Here’s their chart estimating death rate by age group. Please note that death rate is MUCH higher than IFR because death rate uses confirmed COVID-19 cases as the denominator, but it shows you how different the fatality rates are by age:

as Dr. Atlas explains:
Of all fatal cases in New York state, two-thirds were in patients over 70 years of age; more than 95 percent were over 50 years of age; and about 90 percent of all fatal cases had an underlying illness. Of 6,570 confirmed COVID-19 deaths fully investigated for underlying conditions to date, 6,520, or 99.2 percent, had an underlying illness. If you do not already have an underlying chronic condition, your chances of dying are small, regardless of age. And young adults and children in normal health have almost no risk of any serious illness from COVID-19.

As one simple example: closing schools makes almost no sense given what we know about COVID-19, while protecting teachers over the age of 60—to pick a somewhat defensible age boundary—may well make sense. This is why so many countries who seem to respect data more than we do here in the U.S. have already re-opened their schools. In fact, Denmark’s schools have been open since mid-April!! And, for those keeping score, Reuters just reported yesterday that, “Reopening schools in Denmark did not worsen outbreak, data shows.” Here’s a quote:
“You cannot see any negative effects from the reopening of schools,” Peter Andersen, doctor of infectious disease epidemiology and prevention at the Danish Serum Institute said on Thursday told Reuters. In Finland, a top official announced similar findings on Wednesday, saying nothing so far suggested the coronavirus had spread faster since schools reopened in mid-May.
Another great article on schools, titled, “It is fear – not science – that is stopping our children being educated” in The Telegraph newspaper last week, here’s a quote:

 11--U.S. Economy Faces Long Recovery From Coronavirus Effects, Experts Say

Surveys of purchasing managers in U.S., Asia and Europe offer some hope that decline in factory activity is starting to bottom out

12--Surge in Deposits?

A record surge in bank deposits has given U.S. lenders more cash than they know what to do with. One thing they don’t need: help from the Federal Reserve to fund the government-backed loans they made to small businesses.

Banks had tapped only $49 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility by May 27 as they loaned $511 billion, according to the central bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration. That’s largely because lenders are sitting on $1.8 trillion of new deposits that have flooded in since March 11 -- a 13% increase, and the biggest two-month jump since at least 1973, when comparable data is available.
“It looks like this excess liquidity in the banking system is going to stick around much longer,” said Brian Klock, a bank analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. “So if you don’t really need it, why get the Fed loan?”

Surging Deposits

U.S. banks saw almost $2 trillion of cash inflow in last two months
Source: Federal Reserve

15-- Coronavirus sinks U.S. consumer spending; savings hit record high

 (Reuters) - U.S. consumers cut spending by the most on record for the second straight month in April while boosting savings to an all-time high, and the growing frugality reinforced expectations the economy could take years to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

16--There Is No Evidence Lockdowns Saved Lives. It Is Indisputable They Caused Great Harm


17--Swedish gov stats

19--  A McKinsey analysis last week estimated that 40% of workers in Los Angeles and 36% in San Francisco will lose jobs or income during the pandemic. The Southern California Association of Governments predicted the “pandemic’s economic impacts [on the region] will be severe and long lasting.” Unemployment in Southern California will average 12.2% in 2021, the outfit forecast, and sales will decline between 53% and 65% at restaurants over the next two years.

SPI-B produced a table which they entitled APEASE (Acceptability, Practicability, Effectiveness, Affordability, Spill-over effects, Equity). They describe it as an “evaluation grid for options to rapidly increase general social distancing.”
Here, they make clear how they see the role of the media: not to hold government to account, but to act as a conduit for the ‘behavioural’ message (propaganda).
They recommend that the media is used:
  • to increase sense of personal threat
  • to increase sense of responsibility to others
  • to promote positive messaging around actions
SPI-B methodology
The SPI-B report was “drafted by two members of the SPI-B panel and nine further members commented, following which the report was revised.”
They offer a caveat to that:
Much of the evidence that has been drawn on is very recent and has not been subject to peer review. In some cases, the source is a SPI-B paper that involves expert opinion. This report has been put together rapidly and been subject to limited scrutiny and review.
As a result of this level of work, the population of the UK has been kept in their homes and the whole of UK industry has been shut down, resulting in the worst economic decline in 300 years.
It is extremely difficult to see how this can be viewed as anything other than a direct psychological attack on the UK population.
In light of clear signs of increasing mental illness, resulting in suicide and failure to seek timely medical help, it is also difficult to see how this attack can be anything other than criminal.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Today's Links

"The lockdown is not only triggering an economic crisis, it is also undermining and destroying the very fabric of civil society not to mention the nature of government and the institutions of the state (crippled by mounting debts), which will eventually be privatized under the supervision of Big Money creditors." Michel Chossudovsky 

"It is simply staggering to see how so many people have not only come to accept the inevitable destruction of the economy and curtailment of civil liberties as a price worth paying to deal with an illness which is killing numbers on roughly the same levels as a bad flu season, but have actually become cheerleaders for the giant social experiment being done to them. It reminds me of the chilling and dispiriting line at the end of 1984: “He loved Big Brother.” Today, for reasons that are not at all clear to me, many appear to “Love Lockdown” — that is, they appear to be absolutely fine with having their liberties taken away from them; absolutely fine with having the right to do lawful work taken from them; and absolutely fine with having the right to do normal, healthy things taken away from them. If anyone has an explanation, do be sure to let me know." Blogmire

"The biggest issue we face, however, is the long-term psychological scars on our society, whereby the panic and fear created by the Government have meant that for many the idea of returning to something like normality is almost impossible. Many have been simply frozen with fear, not by the virus, as such, but by the panic created by the Government and media around the virus, and it seems that this is not going to go away anytime soon. They won’t send their children to school for fear of the virus, even though the number of school age children to have died from the virus is tiny. By contrast, I understand that the population of Sweden is still largely functioning." Blogmire

 "There's no chance of any "truth" about #COVIDー19 from the mainstream media. The MSM are the government's partners, not its critics. Excluding a tiny minority, their role is to convince you to imagine gov't policy is "led by the science." Patrick Henningsen

 As the western nations continue to hobble through the COVID ‘pandemic’ after a self-imposed lockdown of their national economies, it’s fast becoming clear that the propaganda construct of the the ‘New Normal’, is the hypochondriacs wonderland of eternal social distancing. It is panic and paranoia – in itself a preposterous false construct fashioned by technocrats and social engineers to tighten control of society. Lockdown gurus are claiming this new normal is necessary to ‘save lives’ during a follow-on “Second wave” and other subsequent waves, and with little regard for the mounting economic and social damage this is causing. The fall-out looks to be spectacularly complicated, and financially debilitating for many years to come. Why did government choose a path of self-destruction? Will society be able to regain its collective sanity?



1--Sweden's economy--No better than its neighbors

If we look at the economic expectations for Denmark and Sweden for 2020, we see that they do not differ (-5.9 and -6.1% respectively) [PDF]. This strong agreement is partly due to the nature of the small open economies, and partly to the current consumer spending of citizens in the various Scandinavian countries. The liberal Swedish approach has led to similar behaviour among citizens. Mobility data show that mobility in Stockholm has decreased by 70% compared to 85% in Copenhagen.

Only removing virus threat helps

It therefore seems that lifting a lockdown may not help an economy much. Providing security probably does. We can achieve this safety either by vaccination or by eliminating the virus. Achieving group immunity by circulating the virus takes several years and may ultimately cost 335 to 670 thousand lives in the UK. Elimination of the virus requires a long and rigorous detection policy in order to reduce the number of infections as much as possible. This policy has been implemented in various countries such as Australia, Finland, Japan, and Norway.


Although the UK economy has suffered an unprecedented blow over the past few months that coincided with the lockdown, it is not clear that the lockdown itself has had a major impact on the economy. To restore the economy, the UK should try to virtually eliminate the virus. In order to make that work economically, it should team up with its major trade partners.

2--Exclusive: Russia to roll out its first approved COVID-19 drug next week


3--New Poll Says a Majority of Americans Would Privilege Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 Over Restarting the Economy 


Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say the coronavirus outbreak has exacted a severe economic toll on their communities, but a majority of a divided country still says controlling the virus’s spread is more important than trying to restart the economy, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The nationwide survey finds that despite the shared disruption of their daily lives since stay-at-home orders began, partisans differ sharply on how the country should move forward.

In the starkest split, 57 percent of Americans overall and 81 percent of Democrats say trying to control the spread of the coronavirus is most important right now, even if it hurts the economy. A far smaller 27 percent of Republicans agree, while 66 percent of them say restarting the economy is more important, even if it hurts efforts to control the virus. Nearly 6 in 10 independents say their priority is trying to control the virus’s spread.
Again, relying on the Post’s account:
More broadly, nearly 7 in 10 say they are worried about the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus infections in the fall, a specter that Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has warned could coincide with the start of flu season. Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to say they are worried about a second wave of infections, 88 percent versus 44 percent.

 4--Sweden's economy: Not so hot

Sweden’s economy grew in the first quarter as many other countries sank into a deep recession, adding to a debate on how best to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Sweden has opted for a softer lockdown, but its approach has resulted in a higher death rate than in many other countries. What’s more, Sweden’s government recently acknowledged that for all of 2020, the economy is likely to suffer its worst decline since World War II.

The GDP data published on Friday, which show a 0.1% expansion from the fourth quarter, provide “yet another sign that less strict containment measures eased the initial blow to the economy from the pandemic,” Bloomberg economist Johanna Jeansson said.

But, there’s little chance that “Sweden will escape a recession in 2020,” even though “it is set to be smaller than elsewhere.”

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Sweden has had 41 deaths per 100,000. That compares with 31 in the U.S. and 10 in neighboring Denmark.
Sweden’s Economy Grew Last Quarter, Adding to Covid-19 Debate", Bloomberg

5--No proof lockdown worked


This phenomenological study assesses the impacts of full lockdown strategies applied in Italy, France, Spain and United Kingdom, on the slowdown of the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak. Comparing the trajectory of the epidemic before and after the lockdown, we find no evidence of any discontinuity in the growth rate, doubling time, and reproduction number trends. Extrapolating pre-lockdown growth rate trends, we provide estimates of the death toll in the absence of any lockdown policies, and show that these strategies might not have saved any life in western Europe. We also show that neighboring countries applying less restrictive social distancing measures (as opposed to police-enforced home containment) experience a very similar time evolution of the epidemic.

6-- American ruling class exploits the pandemic to escalate assault on jobs and wages


Another 2.1 million workers in the United States filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the US Labor Department. This brings the total number of workers filing for jobless benefits to 40.8 million in the ten weeks since the pandemic led to the closure of much of the country’s economic activity in mid-March.

This number, which substantially understates the real scale of joblessness, is still a shocking 24.7 percent of the country’s labor force of 164.5 million people. Economists expect that May’s official unemployment rate, which will be released next Friday, will hit 20 percent, up from 14.7 percent in April.

Estimates of the real jobless rate exceed the historic record of 24.9 percent set in 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression. Millions of jobless workers are not counted in the official toll because they are undocumented immigrants, self-employed or so-called gig workers. Others not counted include those working part-time jobs and those who have given up looking for non-existent jobs. In addition, millions are not counted as unemployed because overwhelmed state agencies have not processed their claims, depriving them of any jobless benefits...
Wage-cutting will hit every sector of workers, from nurses, grocery, delivery and other essential workers the corporate media has hailed as “heroes,” to office workers at Google, Facebook, Twitter, JPMorgan Chase, Walmart and other companies that are extending their work-from-home policies.
“Once people work from home, there will be an employment arbitrage,” Forbes recently noted, as companies “decide that a person working at home in Montana has the same skills as someone in Chicago, but will take a much lower salary. It will be hard for employees to negotiate for raises, as management will believe that they could easily find a replacement somewhere else within the United States or abroad.”

Since the unanimous passage by the Democrats and Republicans of the CARES Act in late March, which authorized the US Treasury to spend trillions of dollars to take over the bad debts of banks and corporations, stocks have shot up by more than 35 percent. They are now just 10 percent below the record highs before the pandemic.
Nevertheless, several states have staggering official jobless levels, including Washington (31.2 percent), Nevada (26.7), Florida (25.0), Hawaii (23.4), Michigan (23.1), California (20.6) and New York (19.9).
According to a University of Chicago report, 42 percent of the jobs that have been lost will never return. Major corporations are using the pandemic to accelerate restructuring plans drawn up long before the present crisis.


7--CDC--Lose the mask

The World Health Organization is recommending healthy people, including those who don't exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, only wear masks when taking care of someone infected with the contagion, a sharp contrast from the advice given by American public health officials who recommend everyone wear a mask in public.
"If you do not have any respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask," Dr. April Baller, a public health specialist for the WHO, says in a video on the world health body's website posted in March. "Masks should only be used by health care workers, caretakers or by people who are sick with symptoms of fever and cough."

  8--Is this World War III? Global capitalism is destroying national capitalism.

The pandemic constitutes an act of economic warfare against humanity which has resulted in global poverty and mass unemployment.
Politicians are lying. Neither the lockdown nor the closing down of national economies constitute a solution to the public health crisis.
Who Controls the Politicians?

Why are politicians lying?
They are the political instruments of the financial establishment including the “Ultra-rich philanthropists”. Their task is to carry out the global economic restructuring project which consists in freezing economic activity Worldwide.

In the case of the Democrats in the US, they are largely concerned in opposing the reopening of the US economy as part of the 2020 election campaign. This opposition to reopening the national and global economies is supported by “Big Money”.
Is it opportunism or stupidity. In all major regions of the World, politicians have been instructed by powerful financial interests to retain the lockdown and prevent the re-opening of the national economy.

The decision to close down the global economy with a view to “saving lives” has not only been accepted as a means to combating the virus, it has been sustained by media disinformation and the fear campaign.
People do not question the consensus, a consensus which borders on the absurd.

The lockdown triggers a process of disengagement of human and material resources from the productive process. The real economy is brought to a standstill. Curtailing economic activity undermines the “reproduction of real life”. This not only pertains to the actual production of the “necessities of life” (food, health, education, housing) it also pertains to the “reproduction” of  social relations, political institutions, culture, national identity. At the time of writing, the lockdown is not only triggering an economic crisis, it is also undermining and destroying the very fabric of civil society not to mention the nature of government and the institutions of the state (crippled by mounting debts), which will eventually be privatized under the supervision of Big Money creditors.

The big gush of bankruptcies will occur in the wake of the lockdown (“The New Normal”). And at the time of writing, the financial establishment is relentlessly pressuring (corrupt) national governments to postpone the lifting of the lockdown. And the governments are telling us that this is to “protect people against the virus

What is the future of humanity? The current corona crisis is a sophisticated imperial project, which consists in Worldwide domination by a handful of multibillion dollar conglomerates.

9--Trust in US institutions at all time low  2014

the documents available to us today suggest that the government was following ‘the science’ from the outset and that the policy only changed when ‘the science’ – and public opinion – changed. 
The founding myth of the lockdown is almost the opposite of the truth. Science did not triumph over politics on 23 March. It would be more accurate to say that the strategy which preceded the lockdown, unpopular though it now is, was based on science whereas the decision to go into lockdown was political

10--No proof lockdowns work

In the end, it does not come down to country- or even city-level statistics. It comes down to people. Each individual catches the bug or not, lives or dies. Not because of their country, but because of themselves, their health, their circumstances. Any given individual might have benefited from self-quarantine and loss of job. Just as any given individual might have come to a bad end from a lockdown. The only possible way to know is to measure each case. Which can never happen.

What should we conclude? Strike that. What can we conclude. Only one thing: we cannot conclude that lockdowns worked.
The only evidence for lockdowns is the desire that lockdowns worked. That, and the embarrassment (and worse) in admitting to error. What politician anywhere will cop to ruining their economy and the lives of millions of their citizens? Who can say “Ah, it was only a few trillion”? This will not happen. It just won’t. All politicians will and much go on repeating that their lockdowns “saved lives”

11--Coronavirus sinks U.S. consumer spending; savings hit record high


U.S. consumers cut spending by the most on record for the second straight month in April while boosting savings to an all-time high, and the growing frugality reinforced expectations the economy could take years to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Right now, the economy is totally dependent upon the largesse of the government,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economics in Holland, Pennsylvania. “Will the federal government keep sending out checks or will the household and business welfare payments dry up?”  


12--Embracing a new reality: Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine

There’s a good chance the coronavirus will never go away.
Even after a vaccine is discovered and deployed, the coronavirus will likely remain for decades to come, circulating among the world’s population.
Experts call such diseases endemic — stubbornly resisting efforts to stamp them out. Think measles, HIV, chickenpox.

It is a daunting proposition — a coronavirus-tinged world without a foreseeable end. But experts in epidemiology, disaster planning and vaccine development say embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response. The long-term nature of COVID-19, they say, should serve as a call to arms for the public, a road map for the trillions of dollars Congress is spending and a fixed navigational point for the nation’s current, chaotic state-by-state patchwork strategy.

With so much else uncertain, the persistence of the novel virus is one of the few things we can count on about the future. That doesn’t mean the situation will always be as dire. There are already four endemic coronaviruses that circulate continuously, causing the common cold. And many experts think this virus will become the fifth — its effects growing milder as immunity spreads and our bodies adapt to it over time.
For now, though, most people have not been infected and remain susceptible. And the highly transmissible disease has surged in recent weeks even in countries that initially succeeded in suppressing it. Left alone, experts say, it will simply keep burning through the world’s population.
“This virus is here to stay,” said Sarah Cobey, an epidemiologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. “The question is, how do we live with it safely?”

Americans have only started to wrap their heads around the idea, polls show. U.S. leaders and residents keep searching for a magic bullet to bring the pandemic to an abrupt end: Drugs that show even a hint of progress in the petri dish have sparked shortages. The White House continues to suggest summer’s heat will smother the virus or that it will mysteriously vanish. A vaccine — while crucial to our response — is not likely to eradicate the disease, experts say. Challenges to vaccination are already becoming clear, including limited supply, anti-vaccine opposition and significant logistical roadblocks.

13-- Rand Paul, Andy Biggs: Anthony Fauci wants America closed until there's nothing to reopen


14--Opioid Deaths Climb During COVID - Addicts Isolated & Without Treatment Dying on the Vine


15--Economic Reactions in 1957–58, and in 1918–19


The CDC estimates that as of May 18 this year approximately ninety thousand Americans have died of COVID-19. Adjusted for population size, that comes out to a mortality rate of 272 per million.
This is (so far) less than half the mortality rate for the 1957–58 flu pandemic. In that pandemic, it is estimated that as many as 116,000 Americans died. Yet, the US population was much smaller then, totaling only 175 million. Adjusted for population size, mortality as a result of the “Asian flu” pandemic of 1957–58 was more than 660 per million.
That’s the equivalent of 220,000 deaths in the United States today.
Yet, Americans in 1957 did not respond by shutting down commerce, forcing people into “lockdown,” or driving unemployment up to Depression-era levels. In fact, reports show that Americans took little action beyond the usual measures involved in trying to slow the spread of disease: hand washing, staying home when ill, etc.

Not surprisingly, then, we find relatively mild estimates in a 2009 World Bank report estimating the economic consequences of new pandemics. The authors concluded that moderate and severe pandemics would lead to GDP declines of 2–5 percent. Or, as a 2009 Reuters report summarized it:
If we get hit with something like the 1957 Asian flu, say goodbye to 2 percent of GDP. Something as bad as the 1918–19 Spanish flu would cut the world’s economic output by 4.8 percent and cost more than $3 trillion

The Reaction in 2020
Needless to say, the economy today appears to be in far worse shape in the wake of the 2020 pandemic than in the days following the 1957–58 outbreak, or even in 1919.
As of April 2020, the unemployment rate has ballooned to 14.4 percent, the highest rate recorded since the Great Depression. The Atlanta Federal Reserve, meanwhile, forecasts a drop in GDP of more than 40 percent. More mild estimates suggest drops of 8 to 15 percent. If the milder predictions prove true, then the current downtown is “only” the worst since the Great Depression. If the Atlanta Fed is right, then we’re in an unprecedented economic disaster.

Defenders of government-coerced “lockdowns” have insisted that fear of the virus would have destroyed the economy even without lockdowns, but there is no historical precedent for this claim, and no current evidence to support it. Although some survey data has been proffered to suggest that more than 60 percent of Americans say they plan to comply with stay-at-home orders, this merely tells us how people make plans when threatened with fines, police harassment, and other coercive measures.
In reality, the experience of the 1957–58 pandemic—or even the 1918–19 pandemic—gives us no reason to believe that joblessness should be increasing at unprecedented rates and that GDP would collapse by catastrophic levels. In a modern industrialized economy, that sort of economic damage is only achievable through government intervention, such as socialist coups, wars, and forced economic shutdowns in the name of combating disease.
The cost in terms of human life will be significant. One study contends that the current economic downturn could lead to seventy-five thousand “deaths of despair.” This is not shocking, however, since the fatal effects of unemployment and economic decline have been known for decades.
Defenders of lockdowns will likely continue to claim that “we have no choice” but to continue lockdowns for long periods of time. At the very least, many claim that the lockdowns until now have been “worth it.” Yet the efficacy of lockdowns remains an open question, and has hardly been proven. Meanwhile, the world faces the worst economic disaster experienced in centuries. It didn’t have to be this way.


Friday, May 29, 2020

Today's links

1--Masks Versus No-Masks: Is This The New Symbol Of Tribalism?


If you don’t wear a mask, you’re seen as a callous brute who doesn’t care whether you spread your germs and kill grandma. If you do wear a mask, you’re seen as a quivering sheep, someone who has been willingly muted by the government.


2--98.1% Of 'COVID-19 Deaths' In Massachusetts Had An Underlying Health Condition


One example is Massachusetts, which revealed yesterday that nearly every single coronavirus-related death had been a patient with an underlying condition or previous hospitalization, according to WHDH


"98.1 percent (1,289) of people who died after contracting the disease had an underlying condition, such as chronic lung disease, serious heart ailments, obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease," the report showed.
59% of the state's 3,003 total deaths have included people who spent time in the hospital prior to contracting the virus. 1,905, or 63% of the state's deaths, have been people aged 80 or older.


3--Did the Lockdowns Work? 


Effect of Mitigation Measures on the Spreading of COVID-19 in Hard-Hit States.” This paper looks at New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Louisiana, finding that their overall mitigation efforts worked to slow the virus.


Lockdowns Work in Other Countries
Do Lockdown and Testing Help in Curbing Covid-19 Transmission?” Looking at 69 countries, this paper finds that the use of shutdown measures, in the aggregate, “significantly affects the number of confirmed cases after 7 days.”

The End of Exponential Growth.” This brief study from last month argues that the exponential growth of COVID-19 burns out quickly no matter what policies countries pursue, and that “lockdown policy can be stopped within a few days and replaced by a policy of moderate social distancing.”
Lockdowns Don’t Work.” This is an online article for the public, not an academic study, but it’s
written by the economist Lyman Stone and reports some of his own modeling efforts. His results suggest that school closings and bans on large gatherings work, but stay-at-home orders do not.

There Is No Empirical Evidence for These Lockdowns.” Like the Stone piece, this is an informal article that reports some regressions. “The impact of state-response strategy on both my cases and deaths measures was utterly insignificant.”

Full Lockdown Policies in Western Europe Countries Have No Evident Impacts on the COVID-19 Epidemic.” This one looks at “full lockdown strategies applied in Italy, France, Spain and United Kingdom” and finds “no evidence of any discontinuity in the growth rate, doubling time, and reproduction number trends.”


4--Nomi Prins--COVID-19: The Great Depression & the Corona Shock


The Fed can electronically print money, but it can’t print jobs. It can buy bonds, but it can’t cure a virus. It can continue to try to stimulate the market, but it can’t banish fear. As it happens, the economy needs much more than Fed-style monetary support. As even Powell noted on May 13, “Additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery. This tradeoff is one for our elected representatives, who wield powers of taxation and spending.”  


5--South Korea Closes Schools Just Days After Reopening


South Korea has decided to return students to their remote learning routines after confirming 79 new cases - the highest daily total in two months - on Thursday (cases are reported with a 24-hour delay). A total of 251 schools in Bucheon have now been closed. And a further 117 schools in the capital Seoul have also postponed their re-opening after one student was found to be infected.

Most of these new cases have been linked to a distribution center outside Seoul, in the city of Bucheon, which is run by e-commerce giant Coupang, South Korea's Amazon (for lack of a better comparison)
According to the BBC, officials have said the facility was not strictly complying with infection control measures. During an inspection, health officials discovered traces of Covid-19 on workers' shoes and clothes.
The country is now bracing for potentially hundreds of more cases as it tests thousands of workers. Some 58 new cases were recorded on Friday, bringing the total number of cases nationwide to 11,402.

Public parks and museums across Seoul and the surrounding area have now once again been closed, businesses are once again being asked to allow workers to work from home, and people are once again being asked to avoid mass gatherings.


6--Is Sweden killing the elderly??


The directives are, essentially, asking me to get rid of anyone who is sick. Is it ethical to instruct doctors to first prescribe morphine, rather than oxygen? Is it ethical to deny elderly patients oxygen in most situations? How would you feel on finding out that your parent in a care home will not be given critical care, or curative care, or oxygen therapy, because they are deemed irrelevant? Why is this the case? As Sweden has five factories producing oxygen, supplying oxygen outside of a hospital setting should not be an issue.


Letting the elderly die

Horror stories have played out across the country. At Karolinska University hospital in Stockholm, one doctor told the Dagens Nyheter daily that triage has been made so difficult that “we are being forced to let patients die in front of our eyes.”
Another Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, saw official documents instructing that patients aged 60 and above with multiple conditions, and all those aged above 80, should be denied intensive care, even though Sweden apparently has plenty of ICU beds.
And there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of an unacceptable number of deaths occurring without medical attendance. What is the strategy behind this?

I interviewed Latifa Lofvenberg for a witness statement, which I shared on my Youtube channel. Latifa is a nurse who worked in a government-funded care home in Gavleborg, but is no longer employed there due to speaking out about what she witnessed.
She told of old people being left to choke to death for days on end, and of being instructed to administer morphine and a muscle relaxer, midazolam, which helps relieve anxiety while the patients slowly suffocate.
If an elderly patient eventually loses the fight with Covid-19, I believe it is far more humane to let them die of narcosis and carbon dioxide after we have done our best to save them, rather than resorting primarily to morphine and breathing complications, while denying them oxygen.
So when our politicians say they’ve done everything imaginable to decrease fatalities, it is a blatant lie.

On March 16, an independent organization of Somali physicians revealed that at least six out of 15 fatalities that occurred in Stockholm were of Somali origin.

7--Sweden’s economy actually grew in the first quarter after it opted against a full virus lockdown

The Swedish economy expanded at a far superior rate than many of its European counterparts over the first three months of the year, data published Friday showed, following the government’s decision not to impose a full lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The Nordic country’s statistics office reported gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic health, grew at an annual rate of 0.4% in the first quarter.
Sweden’s GDP increased by 0.1% in the first quarter, when seasonally adjusted and compared to the final three months of 2019. The median forecasters in a Reuters poll of economists had expected to see a 0.6% contraction on a quarterly basis....

Sweden has recorded more Covid-19 infections and fatalities than all its Nordic neighbors combined — Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland....

Data published by Our World in Data shows Sweden currently has the highest daily death rate per capita of any country across the globe. As of May 28, Sweden reported, on a rolling average over the last seven days, 5.5 deaths per million per day.

‘A year to forget’

Last month, Sweden’s central bank said the pandemic had damaged the country’s business and supply chains and warned many companies would be “hit hard,” with lots of people likely to lose their jobs over the coming months.
The National Institute of Economic Research, a respected think tank, said in a statement published April 29 that it believed Sweden’s economy would shrink 7% this year, with unemployment anticipated to rise to 10.2%.

 8--A half decade to return to normal economy--Zandi


The economy could take years to rebound as it faces longer-term challenges from the sharpest downturn in history, according to Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.
“The damage to the economy already has been too significant, there’s going to be too many business failures,” Zandi told CNBC. “Even as businesses reopen, a lot won’t, and so many of the people who’ve lost their jobs won’t be able to get back to work.”
All 50 states have reopened their economies to some degree following widespread lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Investors have been optimistic the economy will bounce back quickly despite record job losses, with the S&P 500 trading near its highest level since March.

“This is doing a lot of long-term damage to our fiscal health, to the process of globalization,” he said. “I don’t think we get back to anything we consider normal until perhaps mid-decade at earliest.”

9--Consumer Spending Fell a Record 13.6% in April


Personal income rose 10.5% as signs emerge that purchases are slowly starting to pick up


10--The Covid Political Earthquake

Subsidies will soon end. Americans will then feel the economic pain—and revolt


Much of economically vulnerable America has been insulated from economic reality. A recent Washington Post poll shows that 77% of those who lost their jobs believe they will be heading back to the same jobs following the health crisis. Pew Research reports that 68% of Americans who lost their jobs are concerned about reopening the economy too early, rather than too late.


In short, if your family hasn’t lost a loved one to Covid-19, your bank account probably looks basically the same, and you believe your job is awaiting your return, the past 10 weeks have been an extended inconvenience. Your political views are still informed by the same economic inputs that formed them in February.

That won’t hold for long. The direct payments won’t go on forever. The jobs may not come back soon. Businesses aren’t guaranteed to reopen, and the political bubble formed by this alternate reality could portend large political realignments.

The people who have lost their jobs but come to grips with a radically changed economy haven’t been silent. These are the people lining up at state capitols across the country demanding the economy reopen. So far this group has been marginalized and dismissed as kooks or reckless deniers of a deadly pandemic. But millions more may join them before the year’s end.

In many ways, this group resembles the tea party of 2009-10. That political movement started on the right but included a much larger disaffected voting bloc. The tea party voted in to Congress a class of disrupters who were more interested in breaking what they saw as a corrupt system than toeing the party line. This isn’t the same situation, but millions of Americans who aren’t ideological may drift into this sentiment as economic anxiety becomes acute. Particularly when Americans begin to feel like the trillions of federal tax dollars are being spent on someone else.

The coalition of service-industry workers who are affected by this economic downturn is larger than anything the country has experienced since the Great Depression. It would be naive to assume that the resulting political movement won’t be similar in scale.

Historically, American elections after a crisis have been decided on the question of who can more competently lead the country to better days. Yet unlike previous challenges, the true nature of America’s economic crisis hasn’t set in on the American people. When it does, the familiar political fault lines fused with millions unemployed could make 2020 the most explosive ideological election in modern history.

Contributing to the illusion that America’s economy hasn’t fundamentally changed is that most urban and suburban upper-class jobs remain insulated from this employment crisis. The new-economy employee has been working from home, where his biggest complaint may be an inability to conduct a Zoom call without a dog barking or child interrupting. America’s deep geographic, social and political divides will be pulled even further apart by this economic crisis.


11--"Fairness Doctrine" for the internet??


President Trump, personally piqued by a “fact check” that Twitter added to two of his tweets, now wants to pare back the liability protections that have helped the internet flourish for 24 years. This is a mistake, and it would drag the federal government into regulating online speech, aiming for some nebulous “neutrality.”


The executive order that Mr. Trump signed Thursday is aimed in particular at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That 1996 law lets websites moderate posts by users without risking liability for the content. Without this shield, a company like Yelp might be sued by every business that gets a bad review. The Journal might be sued for something in the comments section beneath this article.
Section 230 says internet platforms, acting in good faith, can nix anything they find “obscene,” “harassing,” or “otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” Mr. Trump’s order calls on regulators to clarify when content moderation might be considered in bad faith, such as if it’s “pretextual,” inconsistent with the terms of service, or performed without giving users “adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or a meaningful opportunity to be heard.”


 12--New Data Show The Coronavirus Is Less Lethal Than First Thought

Scientists have found evidence that the coronavirus is less deadly than it first appeared — for Americans infected with the coronavirus, the chance of dying appears to be less than 1 in 100.


HAMILTON: Still, it's much lower than earlier fatality estimates based on people who got sick. Some of those exceeded 5%. And the results in Indiana are similar to those of antibody studies in several other areas. New York, for example, appears to have a death rate between 0.5 and 0.8%. Caitlin Rivers is an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

CAITLIN RIVERS: The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between a half a percent and 1%.

HAMILTON: Studies suggest a healthy young person's chance of dying from an infection is less than 1 in 1000. For someone with health problems in their 90s, though, it can be greater than 1 in 10. And Juliette Unwin, a research fellow at Imperial College London, says that means different states in the U.S. should expect different infection fatality rates.

JULIETTE UNWIN: Places like Maine and Florida, we find that the infection fatality ratio is higher than in other places where the demographic is younger.
HAMILTON: Unwin is part of a large team in the U.K. that is monitoring both infection and mortality from coronavirus in the U.S. The team puts the infection fatality rate for the U.S. at somewhere between 0.7% and 1.2%.

13--Alfred McCoy – Surveillance State: The Making of the U.S. Internal Security Apparatus


14--Sunetra Gupta: Covid-19 is on the way out (text)

The author of the Oxford model defends her view that the virus has passed through the UK's population