Saturday, March 21, 2020

From:  ProPublica


A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients

“It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube.”  MORE

Monday, March 16, 2020

Breaking/Exclusive: US Brought COVID-19 to China with Fake Army Team for Military Games, Evidence Mounting

From: Veterans Today 








In October 2019, the US brought 172 (really 369) military athletes to Wuhan for the World Military Games.  Despite having the largest military in the world, tenfold, the US came in 35th behind nations like Iran, Finland and Slovenia. No video or photos exist of the US team, no records were kept, a huge team but a pitiful performance for the best military in the world.



The US team did so badly that they were called “Soy Sauce Soldiers” by the Chinese. In fact, many never participated in any event and stayed near the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where the disease is said to have originated only days after the US left the area.



The US team went home on October 28, 2019, and within 2 weeks, the first human contact cases of COVID 19 were seen in Wuhan. The Chinese have not been able to find “patient zero” and believe he was a member of the US team. MORE



Friday, January 17, 2020

Capitalism in America: How a Dismal Decimal is Robbing Americans Blind

Capitalism in America

January 16, 2020
 

by Jon Hellevig for The Saker Blog
There is no hiding anymore, the United States has become an oligarch owned banana republic with nukes, and with a monopoly currency which has allowed it to rig the markets for half a century. But now we are only a couple of hours from curtain – Midnight in America.
With the stock market at all-time highs, virtually no unemployment (or so they say), and brisk GDP growth (supposedly) in the last decade, economic analysts would declare that the US economy is in excellent shape. But, it isn’t. The stock market is a central bank inflated asset bubble, and what GDP growth there has been, is an illusion brought about by the very same financial bubble and by pumping the economy up with record federal borrowings to finance the deficits that America cannot afford. Rigged statistics showing artificially low inflation serve to hold together the Trumped-up American economic narrative. (About the rigged inflation statistics, see this report https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/the-inflation-measurement-scam/?fbclid=IwAR0qmpe4i0sp5Uce9UlyEDt0_NkIv-aiDTSgvzHh5EMfZn5WQboZz_mB-XU
And the low unemployment figure is nothing but a chimera based on misleading statistics.
In reality, the US economy is failing – and the country with it. At least two-thirds of the population has seen dramatic declines in living standards and half are back to levels of developing nations – without the development.
The big story covered up by all the happy macroeconomic figures repeated by rote by the US establishment – everybody from the president to cable television pundits and Trump fanboys – is the gradual impoverishment of the American worker. That’s an inconvenient truth increasingly difficult to hide as the American dream has turned into a nightmare for huge swathes of the population. As the figures we present below show, the rich are really getting richer, the middle class has been decimated, and half of Americans are poor and destitute of any financial wealth. The super-rich are gobbling up an ever-increasing slice of the American pie at the cost of all the rest who get nothing but table scraps on one side and leftover crumbs on the other, if anything. The resulting stratification of society has brought back a medieval servant economy, where the have-nots are doing odd jobs, cleaning houses, fetching groceries, running errands and deliveries for the feudal rich and the remaining shrinking middle class.
Thanks to the Fed (the American oligarch owned central bank) pushing easy money into the hands of the privileged elite, the super-rich Dismal Decimal – the top 0.1% – have by now amassed as much wealth as they had just before the Great Depression that started with the stock market crash in 1929. A lesson not learned. Back to square one. How will it end this time?
This article is based on an Awara Accounting https://www.awaragroup.com/ study titled “Widening Income and Wealth Gap and Stagnating Wages in America.” https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/widening-income-and-wealth-gap-and-stagnating-wages-in-america/ Links and source references to all the facts presented here can be found in said study.
BTW all the data in this report is derived from official US government sources and American experts analyzing them.
During the last decades, the financial rewards from the rigged markets first flew exclusively into the pockets of Top 10%, but later it was increasingly Top 1%, which pocketed most, perfectly illustrated by below charts.   MORE

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Tail is Wagging an Enormous Rottweiler as Iowa Approaches, February 3rd



by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster 


As the Iowa Caucuses approach, March 3rd, the 30 MSM ‘Presidential Hopefuls’ continue to drop, the number of candidates crowded onto stages to exchange sound-bites diminished.  And Americans are still left ignorant that there are 1,013 more candidates, for a total of 1,043! 

Think of this as a poll on the accumulating anger and frustrations Americans are, today, experiencing.

Does the MSM 30 know they have been thrust into the limelight for another Wag the Dog Moment orchestrated by the MSM, party bosses & “reporters”, and those who own the six corporations who own the MSM?  Maybe, and maybe not.  They do know that the Critical Factor for Winning is name identification.  This is what the failure to accurately report the facts makes possible to them.  It is the most important factor if you want to be elected President of the United States.  Because of the way the Mainstream Media decides for you who is a 'serious' candidate, you don’t even know the names of most candidates - and you know nothing about their qualifications for the job of President. With Debatetourney.com, we provide some useful tools for this purpose. 

Clearly, the general public remains ignorant.  At DebateTourney.com we know this from the expressions of shock as those contacting us read THE CANDIDATE LIST, which we have continued to update for the All Presidential Candidates’ 1:1 Debate Tourney. We have invited them all, 51 have responded to date.  But it is very possible the MSM 30 knew they were ‘the chosen ones’, anointed to vie for the privilege of being hired by the American people for public housing and other benefits next November. 

During the early election season, this became more obvious to the discerning onlooker.  Remember the tumult of rejection from the shrilling nasties when Howard Schultz of Starbucks declared?  Remember the outrage when Tom Steyer announced he would spend half his fortune to ensure Climate Change was taken seriously? 

Both men are billionaires.  But others who are wealthy and should have been noted, starting in 2016, are also running.  One of these is Roque de la Fuente, a billionaire from California.  Roque did not just declare in 2016; he pursued ballot status, spending millions of his own money.  In 2016, Roque came in 2nd or 3rd to Hillary Clinton in 28 states; in six states he won nomination through the Reform Party.  You can think of this as the ‘Anybody But Hillary’ Movement which delivered Donald Trump the White House. 

The question of pretending candidates don’t exist, or attacking them when they announce, provides its own answer.  Actions speak louder than words. 

Roque’s platform was clearer than is usual for a presidential candidate.  He is a candidate of color, Hispanic, with a long history of helping others with his own money.  Ask most Americans if they’ve ever even heard of Rocky.  The answer is a resounding NO.
Roque is now suing Donald Trump manipulating the Republican National Committee and its field teams to align only with the Trump field teams to pressure others registered as Republican from running against him. The MSM hasn’t told you there are 157 GOP candidates running, not Fox, not CNN, not NBC. The first line of the lawsuit reads, “1. Joseph Stalin once told his private secretary, “I regard it as completely unimportant who in the party will vote and how, but it is extremely important who will count the votes and how.”  Roque appears to be determined on election and is as willing as Tom Steyer to spend his own money to achieve his goal. 

But you have likely never heard of Rocky.  Why? While you’re asking, find those who offer a welcome to all comers at DebateTourney.com

Monday, January 6, 2020

Almost like a death in the family: Should I let my little red car die peacefully?

Jane Stillwater

4:39 PM (2 hours ago)
to Janewall-street-and-war-street@racket.con
Almost like a death in the family: Should I let my little red car die peacefully?

     "You gotta pass the smog test!" the department of motor vehicles screams at me.  So I obediently drive my sweet little red 1990 Toyota Tercel down to the local gas station -- and it passes the emissions test with flying colors.

     Good job, little car!

     But then the "check engine" light won't turn off.  Defective part.  "Sorry but they don't make that part any more," sez my mechanic.  So my car fails the smog test after all.  But am I really ready to let my little red car die?  Just like that?  After 30 long loyal years of faithful service?  What would Greta Thunberg do?

     Of course the right thing to do is to give up my little red car -- and help save the human race.  But then I look around me.  No one else is giving up any of their cars.

     And no one else is giving up their pollution-causing "wars" either.  War is the number-one polluter and cause of climate crisis on the planet today -- but I don't see anyone in Washington DC offering to give up their F-35s.  https://www.globalresearch.ca/battle-liberate-idlib-province-us-supported-terrorists/5699039

    Perhaps we should make it a mandatory requirement that all those thousands and thousands of gas-guzzling toxin-emitting made-in-America tanks, bomber jets, aircraft carriers, drones, Blackhawks, Tomahawks, space-force launchers, nuclear missiles, etc. be forced to take a smog test too!  http://www.currentinvective.com/issue.php

     And speaking of whether or not to die peacefully, we Americans are not being given that choice -- but Medicare-for-all would go a long way toward solving that problem, right? 

     And speaking of all those toxic, smog-emitting tanks, bomber jets, nuclear missiles and other gross weapons of death?  They have all been out there on the front lines both here and abroad, faithfully winning all sorts of "wars".  They have won various "wars" on Afghans, Vietnamese, Iraqis, Central Americans, Syrians, Americans, Palestinians and Yemenis -- just to name a few.  The only catch to all these victories is that the winners have only been the greedy and shameless war-profiteers who started them for fun and profit in the first place.  https://resistancenews.org/2020/01/04/nasrallahs-statement-about-qasem-soleimanis-murder/

     It's only average Americans like you and me who have lost all these wars.


*************************************

Monday, December 30, 2019

The External Costs of Human Activity Are Killing the Planet

The External Costs of Human Activity Are Killing the Planet

by Paul Craig Roberts
Humans are exterminating themselves by exterminating other life forms. As a person committed to free thought, I sometimes catch myself wondering if what is really needed is a form of Borg Star Trek mind control to stop us from destroying the planet for the sake of profits for the few.
External costs are neglected by economists, and the unintended consequences of laws and political decisions—indeed, any decision, even those that seem highly rational—can be surprising. I am convinced that the external costs of capitalist production exceed the profits and in instances exceed the value of the output. The most carefully considered law and the most carefully planned corporate undertaking can result in disastrous consequences. Essentially, when humans make decisions, they seldom have any idea of what they are doing.
The situation worsens when a financialized, jobs offshored economy multiplied by other economies doing the same thing finds that it is more profitable for public corporations to buy back their own stock, even indebting the corporations for the purpose of decapitalizing the corporations, than to invest in new plant, equipment, and labor. Buy-backs are the main use of corporate investment today in the US. In recent years, the entirety of corporate profits and borrowing has been used for stock buy-backs, which reward executives and shareholders. Central banks in Japan and the European Union now support equity prices by stock purchases. The Japanese central bank is the largest holder of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). I am convinced that the Federal Reserve prevents crashes of the US stock market by purchasing S&P futures.
The loss of jobs destroys the ladders of upward mobility, thus increasing social and political instability, and the concentration of all wealth and income gains in corporate executives and shareholders skews the income distribution to that of the aristocracy and serfs in pre-modern times. The elevation of stock and bond prices from central banks injecting liquidity creates asset bubbles that are accidents waiting to happen.
As little attention as the external costs of production receives from economists, the external costs of human activity on the planet gets even less.
I was reminded of this when I received as a Christmas gift a copy of Joel Sartore’s magnificent photographs of Earth’s vanishing species. It is heartbreaking, and it makes one wonder why God gave dominion to humans who have no regard for the disastrous consequences of their actions. Consider the extinct and vanishing species of animals, insects, reptiles, birds. Why did we do this? For no other reason than a few rich people could be a bit richer. They didn’t need the money that erased animals, plants, forests, clean water, fish and marine life, birds, butterflies, bees and large numbers of insects.
Ever since Dick Cheney was US Vice President, effectively President, the Environmental Protection Agency has been an agent for mining, timber, and energy interests. Most other environmental and wildlife protections have also been set aside. National forests are being cut down, national monuments are being defaced, wolves are being slaughtered, and rare species are being poached and trophy hunted. It seems humans won’t be happy until every species is exterminated.
The private environmental organizations are now so dependent on corporate money and corporate trustees that they are largely ineffectual. They can’t effectively lobby against their corporate donors’ interests in Washington.
Consider the Pebble Mine. A Canadian mining company, Constantine Metal Resources, has, with US EPA approval, received a permit to begin a mining operation at the headquarters of Bristol Bay in Alaska, an American state. These waters are the place of salmon spawning and where Eagles and Grizzlies that exist on the salmon find their food. As the clothier, Orvis, makes clear in its ads, what is to be gained from the Pebble Mine is foreign company profits, 2,000 temporary jobs, and a measly 1,000 full-time jobs during operation. What is to be lost is a $1.5 billion fishing industry and the 14,000 associated jobs, 417 square miles of pristine habitat, 4 world-class fishing rivers, 60 lineal miles of prime salmon spawning habitat, and the destruction of pristine waters by 360,000 gallons of toxic effluent daily passing into the Chilkat River, bringing with it the destruction of salmon, eagle, and grizzly life along with that of 14,000 people.
This is the way capitalism makes decisions. Those who count for the life of the planet do not count. Those who count for profits are massive corporations who can lobby their will and their profits through the Congress and the regulatory agencies that are supposed to protect the environment and the life that depends on a protected environment.
When capitalism is seen in the real light of its operation and not in the romanticism that free market economics paints it, it is seen as a destructive force. The less regulated it is, the more destructive force it is. But can it be regulated? All efforts have failed. University of Chicago economist George Stigler said that all regulatory agencies become the captives of those they are supposed to regulate, and, thereby, the regulatory agencies become the agents of those they are supposed to control.
The Amazon rain forest is being destroyed by people who, in effect, are criminals destroying a world resource and only get in exchange one or two crops from the denuded land. The corrupt Brazilian government put into office by Washington to serve American interests is a party to the crime against life on earth. The same thing is happening in Indonesian forests thanks to Chinese timber corporations. Good-bye Sumatran Tiger. Good-bye native populations dependent on the forests.
In the Foreword to Santore’s Vanishing Animals Elizabeth Kolbert makes the point that humans today are the equivalent of the asteroid 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs, only we are wiping out everything, ourselves included.
When we wipe out an animal or an insect, a species’ genome is lost. In effect, we are wiping out libraries, making ourselves more ignorant.
It seems to me that the advocates of diversity could do much more good if they redirected their emphasis on replacing white people to saving the life of diversity on planet Earth. But this would require intelligence and empathy for all life, traits that are not abundant in the human population.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Privatization Is Resurrecting Feudalism

by Paul Craig Roberts
America is a country of scandals. The latest scandal is the Jewish multi-billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s use of prison labor call centers to spread the message of his presidential campaign. https://theintercept.com/2019/12/24/mike-bloomberg-2020-prison-labor/https://theintercept.com/2019/12/24/mike-bloomberg-2020-prison-labor/
It seems to me that Bloomberg’s attack on the American Constitution is the scandal, not his use of prison labor. Bloomberg wants to repeal the Second Amendment and disarm the American people right at the time that the country is falling apart spiritually, morally, economically, and politically.
In the not distant past, I reported on the widespread use by major US corporations and the Department of Defense of prison labor. Apple is one such company, and boots and clothing for the military are made by prison labor. Clearly, authorities have legitimized private prisons and the contracting out of cheap prison labor to private profit-making entities.
Bloomberg is worth $54 billion according to The Intercept, and Apple is worth much more according to the stock market. If Apple can use prison labor, why can’t Bloomberg?
The contractors who lease prison labor to Bloomberg, to Apple, to the Department of Defense, are the ones who make the money. They are paid the state minimum wage for the prison labor, and the prisioners are paid a few dollars a month.
In previous times, and perhaps still today in some locals, prison labor worked on public roads and were not paid. So, the argument goes, there is nothing new about using prisoners for work. This rationale overlooks that previously prisoners worked for the public that paid for their incarceration. Today they work for private firms to make profits for private firms.
What we are experiencing is the return of feudalism. Here’s how the private prison scheme works: The state captures people and incarcerates them in private prisons. The state uses taxpayers’ money to pay private companies to run the prisons. The private prison leases the labor of the prisoners to private companies who then sell it to corporations and government entities for the minimum wage.
This absolute exploitation of labor has a legal appearance. But it is not different from feudal lords enserfing freemen and appropriating their labor. About 96% of the incarcerated did not get a trial. They were forced to self-incriminate by agreeing to a “plea bargain” in order to avoid harsher punishment. The remaining 4%, if they got a trial, did not get a fair trial, because a fair trial interferes with maximum conviction rates, and the careers of police, prosecutors, and judges come before justice.
Today a prison sentence is best understood as enserfment, one more total than in the feudal era. At the beginning of the feudal period there was some reciprocity. Freemen tilling their soil had no protection against marauding raiders—Vikings, Saracens, Magyars—and entered the service of a lord who could provide the protection of a fortress and armored knights. Reciprocity ended with the raids, leaving former freemen enserfed and owing one-third of their labor to the lord. Today’s enserfed owe all of their labor to the private prison.
Privatization is a siren song of free market libertarians. It needs a closer look than libertarians have given it as in most cases privatizations benefit private interests at the expense of taxpayers. In the case of privatized prisons, taxpayers provide profits to private companies to operate the prisons. The companies make additional money by leasing the prisoners’ labor. Large companies benefit from the low cost of the labor. Perhaps this is a reason the US has not only the highest percentage of its population in prisons but also the highest absolute number of prisoners. America has more people in prisons than China, a country whose population if four times greater.
Privatization of the public sector is well underway. Consider the US military. Many functions formerly performed by the military itself are now contracted out to private companies. Army cooks and KP are gone. The supply function is also contracted out. I have read that even guards on military bases are provided by private companies. All of these examples are the use of public money to create private profits by outsourcing government functions. The privatizations of military services is one reason that the cost of the US military is so high.
In Florida about three years ago the Division of Motor Vehicles stopped sending out the license tag renewals. Instead, the state government contracted it out to a private company. I remember it well as my renewal came on a Friday and my tag expired on Monday. I inquired of DMV why the renewal came so tardy. The answer was that the politicians have outsourced the renewals to their big donor friends.
Also in Florida, it used to be the case that if you got a traffic ticket, you could go to court to dispute it or send in a check. Today you can still go to court—or to a private traffic school—but you cannot send in a check. You have to get a certified check from a bank or a money order. To avoid the time and trouble, you can pay by credit card, but that service has been privatized and there is a sizable fee for the convience of using a credit card. In other words, the politicians created another private company into which to funnel state funds that are then funneled to the state after the private company collects a credit card fee.
Privatizations of public corporations, spurred perhaps by the reporting burdens that Sarbanes-Oxley imposes on public companies, together with mergers, have reduced the number of private companies by more than half between 1997 and 2017. There are still enough companies for a diversified retirement stock portfolio. Nevertheless, the choices are narrowing. If this process continues, people seeking investments will bid P/E ratios higher rather than have an empty retirement portfolio.
Essentially, privatizations of public functions are a way to turn tax payments into profits for favored private interests. The claim that privatization reduces cost is false. By building in layers of private profits, privatization raises costs. In most cases, privatizations are ways of favoring those with inside access.
Privatizations, in addition to creating income streams for private interests, also create private wealth by transferring public assets into private hands at prices substantially below their value. This was certainly the case in the British and French privatizations of state companies and the British postal service. The privatizations forced on Greece by the EU created wealth for northern Europeans at the expense of the Greek population.
In a word, privatizations are a method of looting. As opportunities for honest profit-making decline, looting comes into its own. Expect more of it.