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Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

Biden: “I Would Shut Country Down Again If Recommended By Scientists” | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2020

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/biden-i-would-shut-country-down-again-if-recommended-scientists

Throughout the Democratic National Convention there was a common, if contradictory, theme: on one hand, the Democrats bashed Trump for his response to the covid pandemic while at the same time they lamented the dismal state of the economy, where millions have lost their jobs and countless corporations have gone bankrupt. Well, which one is it, because you can’t have both: if Trump had enacted a more forceful response to the pandemic, the US economy would have been shut down for longer (as Neel Kashkari now urges, seeking another 6 weeks of shutdowns and setting the stage for the next crisis); alternatively the economy would be firing on all cylinders but the fallout from covid would be much more widespread.

On Friday afternoon, in an exclusive interview with ABC “World News Tonight”, Biden revealed on which side of the fence he is saying that as president, he would shut the country down to stop the spread of COVID-19 if the move was recommended to him by scientists.

“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” Biden told Muir Friday, alongside his running mate, Kamala Harris, during their first joint interview since officially becoming the Democratic Party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees.

Biden also criticized what he argued is the “fundamental flaw” of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, that the nation cannot begin to recover economically until the virus and public health emergency is under control, which is strange considering that in isolated cases such as Sweden which did not succumb to the media panic and did not enforce a uniform shutdown – while at the same time not forcing the population to take draconian measures to limit the spread of covid – the economy hit was far less than most of its European counterparts, while the Covid breakout has almost completely faded.

“I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving, until we control the virus,” Biden added. “That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.”

Biden’s statement brings up one immediate question: which scientists would he listen to? The WHO which, under heavy influence from China, pretended for well over a month that covid was innocuous as the following Feb 23 soundbite from WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus confirms:

I have spoken consistently about the need for facts, not fear. Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear. This is not the time to focus on what word we use. That will not prevent a single infection today or save a single life today.

… and only on March 11 – just days before the US announced economic shutdowns – declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic (apparently succumbing to “causing fear”). Or perhaps Biden should have listened to scientists like the US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who on February 29 tweeted “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus.”

Or perhaps he meant listening to scientists like Anthony Fauci who on June 12 said “we know that you don’t need an N95 [mask] if you’re an ordinary person in the street” adding that “masks are not 100% protective.” When confronted with this contradiction in the government’s public-health advice, Fauci said “actually the circumstances have changed,” he said. “That’s the reason why.”

So will Biden shutdown the entire economy, leading to tens of millions more in job losses, just because it is the prevailing opinion circumstance at the time that he should do so?

Or perhaps what Biden meant to say is that as a leader it is his job to weigh costs and benefits of all policy options, as the catastrophic consequences of another economic shutdown could and likely would outweigh the benefits from a draconian response to a disease which as we showed recently has led to virtually no outsized under-40 fatalities, and yet as Jim Reid said in July, it is the “younger people will be suffering most from the economic impact of Covid-19 for many years to come, we wonder how history will judge the global response.”

We wonder too, especially now that we know that if there is another wave of covid in the US – whether domestic, or imported from China again or some other country – the US will have another full-blown economic shutdown, just as Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari has been urging (we also know who Fed chair would be in a Biden administration).

One final point about science, best laid out on twitter, is that “Science is NOT a magic wand. Especially “science” as it’s practiced today. Bureaucratic science is ALL about consensus. What gets funded is political. What gets published is political.”

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Lockdown Evil – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2020

Now, from the Centers for Disease Control, we find that percentage (for the 18-24 group) has leaped to 25.5 percent — and this survey asks not about the previous 12 months, but whether they’ve considered suicide just in the past 30 days:

The virus does what it will do, despite the ad hoc destructionism of our control freaks with their white coats and clipboards.

There’s a sickness out there, all right, but I’m not talking about COVID-19.

I’m talking about the irrational, fact-free response.

Demand your life back.

Take your life back.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/08/thomas-woods/762915-2/

By

By now we’ve all gotten the message: you’re selfish if you’d like to do the kinds of things that once gave your life meaning.

For these people, life is about nothing but the avoidance of death.

Virtually everything you’ve looked forward to has been canceled, and nobody will tell you when you can have those things back. “When we have a vaccine,” comes the raving lunatic’s answer.

Nobody was giving you that answer when they were pushing “15 days to flatten the curve.” They didn’t dare.

Instead, they kept us in our homes for those 15 days, and then 15 days after that, and 15 days after that. Each time they pushed the date back we grew more demoralized, more resigned to a barren life without “large gatherings” – i.e., everything that makes life fun – and “virtual” events over Zoom.

Oh, and no hugs, no weddings, 10 people at your father’s funeral, and a long list of other grotesque demands.

What metrics were they using to decide when we’d be allowed back out again, when our businesses could open (and when they could operate at a level that made profit even a remote possibility), and when those life-giving pleasures that bring us meaning and fulfillment could be resumed? Who knows?

All we heard was: everything is canceled.

Maybe you can have it in 2021.

Maybe you can have it when there’s a vaccine – as if there’s a guarantee of that.

Well, a terrifying statistic came out last week showing the grim – if entirely predictable – effects all this inhuman regimentation has been having on the young, particularly those between 18 and 24.

Here are some figures from the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They are percentages of people who have considered suicide within the previous 12 months, organized by age.

Note that the 18 to 25 group fluctuates between 6.8 percent and 11 percent:

Now, from the Centers for Disease Control, we find that percentage (for the 18-24 group) has leaped to 25.5 percent — and this survey asks not about the previous 12 months, but whether they’ve considered suicide just in the past 30 days:

(Note also the huge jump in the numbers for people in their mid-20s through their 40s.)

We’ve taken away everything they love, deprived them of the opportunity to socialize and to experience those irreplaceable moments of youth, and demanded they accept this dystopia as the “new normal.”

Now that’s selfish.

Part of the natural order is that parents make sacrifices for their children, not the other way around. If vulnerable people wish to isolate themselves – a perfectly sensible course of action for some individuals – then they should isolate themselves, not demand that young people sacrifice everything dear to them and live atomized existences for a period of time that our overlords refuse to specify.

As I pass through middle age, the thought would never occur to me to make these demands of younger people. Am I prepared to tell them that while I enjoyed these pleasures when I was young, for the sake of my comfort they cannot have them? Who thinks like that?

Some of us – yes, even many of us in middle age and beyond – are prepared to say: this is no way for anyone, young or old, to live.

We want a life that includes weddings, family celebrations, hugs, live concerts, drinks with friends, thriving businesses, the arts, school dances, theater, and friendship from less than six feet away – and we’re willing to accept whatever risk accompanies these things, because no other kind of life is worthy of a human being.

And it’s not just the deprivation of basic, non-negotiable joys that the lockdowns cause. Even the New York Times admitted that lockdowns will lead to 1.4 million excess TB deaths, 500,000 excess HIV deaths, and 385,000 excess malaria deaths.

That’s on top of the 1.2 million children UNICEF expects to die as a result of the lockdowns.

Not to mention how many people have been prevented – by deadly regulations driven by irrational fear, or by irrational fear itself, drummed into them by a grossly irresponsible news media – from receiving major medical care they need. In the UK they’ve been predicting more avoidable cancer deaths than COVID deaths because of this problem.

Meanwhile, Doomers have been peddling a comic-book version of the virus. When Wisconsin courts said bars could reopen, this was supposed to lead to a massive spike in deaths there. All the social-media scolds said so. No such thing happened. Did this cause them to rethink their comic-book approach? You can guess the answer.

They practically cheered when spikes hit Arizona, Texas, and Florida, and they blamed those states’ reopenings – even though those states had been open for eight weeks before the spikes occurred.

Those spikes are over now, and they were brought down without lockdowns. Yes, some bars were closed, but what really happened, as Alex Berenson put it, is that they simply pretended they were restaurants.

South Dakota never closed at all. They had an outbreak at a meatpacking plant, but those are unrepresentative of society at large when it comes to the virus. The state is doing great – just 17 deaths per 100,000. Oh, they have low population density, you say. Well, Rachel Maddow insisted that disaster was bound to strike there, even mocking the governor: “You realize it’s an infectious disease?”

In fact, Governor Kristi Noem is now using her sensible approach as a selling point to recruit new South Dakota residents.

Everybody wants to criticize Sweden for not locking down – and no wonder: if a country can have good results without locking down, it makes the lockdowners look like the crazed sociopaths they are.

Oh, Sweden had a high death rate! That’s what they say. Well, around three-quarters of the deaths in Sweden occurred in some kind of long-term care facility, and the Swedes admit their failure there.

But that has nothing to do with the overall soundness of Sweden’s approach, since those facilities are isolated from society. How did society at large do? Extremely well. Number of people under 50 who died, out of a country of 10 million? Seventy.

These days there are barely any deaths at all in Sweden.

The virus does what it will do, despite the ad hoc destructionism of our control freaks with their white coats and clipboards.

There’s a sickness out there, all right, but I’m not talking about COVID-19.

I’m talking about the irrational, fact-free response.

Demand your life back.

Take your life back.

That isn’t selfish. You get one life. You want to live it. That’s normal.

What’s selfish and abnormal is the presumption that other people are entitled to your life.

If they want to live as prisoners in their own homes and experience life over Zoom, they can be our guest.

The rest of us intend to live.

For more:

http://www.WrongAboutLockdown.com

 

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Good News: Fauci’s Out and Common Sense Might Be Returning

Posted by M. C. on August 17, 2020

Recall, Fauci was the “expert” who told us a few months ago that we would never be able to shake hands again.

Fauci’s advice, forecasts, and assessments proved to be wildly wrong, contradictory, and just plain bizarre: Don’t wear a mask! You must wear a mask. Masks are important as symbols. Put on goggles. Stay home! Churches must be severely restricted but Black Lives Matter marches and encounters with strangers met over the Internet are perfectly fine.
Imagine how many thousands of lives could have been saved had the Administration listened to Dr. Atlas back in April. CDC Director Robert Redfield admitted last month that lockdowns were killing more Americans than Covid.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/17/good-news-fauci-s-out-and-common-sense-might-be-returning/?mc_cid=edd08212fb

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These days it seems there is not much good news out there. People are still panicked over the coronavirus, governments are still trampling civil liberties in the name of fighting the virus, the economy –already teetering on the edge of collapse – has been kicked to the ground by what history may record as one of the worst man-made disasters of all time: shutting down the country to fight a cold virus.

That’s why we’ll take good news wherever we can get it, and President Trump’s hiring of Dr. Scott Atlas to his coronavirus task force may just be that good news we need. As the media has reported, President Trump has sidelined headline-hogging Anthony Fauci in favor of Atlas, the former Stanford University Medical Center chief of neuroradiology.

Recall, Fauci was the “expert” who told us a few months ago that we would never be able to shake hands again.

Fauci’s advice, forecasts, and assessments proved to be wildly wrong, contradictory, and just plain bizarre: Don’t wear a mask! You must wear a mask. Masks are important as symbols. Put on goggles. Stay home! Churches must be severely restricted but Black Lives Matter marches and encounters with strangers met over the Internet are perfectly fine.

When Anthony Fauci demanded a lockdown of the economy for an indefinite period he actually seemed oblivious to the havoc it would wreak on the economy and on people’s lives. People like Fauci and others who demanded lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were still collecting their paychecks, so what did they care about anyone else?

Dr. Scott Atlas is not only a former top physician and hospital administrator: as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution he also understands the policy implications of locking a country down.

On April 22, Dr. Atlas wrote an op-ed in The Hill titled, “The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation.” In the article he made five main points that are as true today as when he wrote them: an overwhelming majority of people are at no risk of dying from Covid; protecting older people prevents hospital overcrowding; locking down a population actually prevents the herd immunity necessary to defeat the virus; people are dying because they are not being treated for non-Covid illnesses; we know what part of the population is at risk and we can protect them.

Imagine how many thousands of lives could have been saved had the Administration listened to Dr. Atlas back in April. CDC Director Robert Redfield admitted last month that lockdowns were killing more Americans than Covid. “First do no harm” was thrown out the window and nearly six months of wrong-headed policy has done perhaps irreparable harm to the country.

South Dakota and Sweden did virtually nothing to lock down or restrict their populations and they actually fared better than lockdown states in the US. They had lower death rates, their hospitals were never over-run with Covid patients, and they have an economy to go back to.

We very much hope that Dr. Atlas will not “moderate” his message to please the blob in Washington. Trump’s Covid policies to this point have caused more harm than good. With Fauci out of the driver’s seat we finally have a chance of turning things around.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Watch “Herd Immunity Deniers Can’t Bear Sweden’s Truth” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on August 13, 2020

Across the United States authoritarians are clamoring for a return to lockdown over what they claim is a resurgence of coronavirus infections. Despite the data not supporting that conclusion, they want to shut the economy down and further destroy life in the US. They point to Europe’s success with lockdowns – even as there appears to be a resurgence of cases in Europe. What is most shocking and striking is that no one in authority in the US is calling for us to emulate the one country that appears to have beat the virus thus far: Sweden. Why can’t they even utter the word “Sweden”?
Please help the Liberty Report to keep holding their feet to the fire by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Ron Paul Institute: http://www.RonPaulInstitute.org/support

 

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The Biggest Threats to Your Personal and Financial Freedom Today

Posted by M. C. on August 13, 2020

International Man: In the US, and much of the West, most people are willingly handing over their dwindling freedoms for the promise of safety or security.

Is there any hope that something will reverse this trend?

Doug Casey: Again, trends in motion tend to stay in motion. Until they stop.

But what generally stops them? Something big. Usually, a crisis or a collapse.

https://internationalman.com/articles/the-biggest-threats-to-personal-and-financial-freedom/

International Man: The world has become increasingly unfree. Recently, the global pandemic has justified all kinds of draconian measures by governments.

How do you see this trend evolving?

Doug Casey: It’s clearly a worldwide trend. The only exceptions are obscure places like North Macedonia, Belarus, and Nicaragua—and they have plenty of other, much more serious problems—and of course, Sweden, which is almost unique among advanced countries in not falling victim to the mass hysteria. Life there has gone on more-or-less normally since March as a result.

It’s not just the national governments, which are bad enough. States, provinces, cities, and counties have taken advantage of the hysteria to “do something” and lock down. For example, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is putting armed guards around main entrances to New York to keep people out.

Numerous cities around the world, like Melbourne, Australia, have actually turned themselves into police states. This virus scare has gotten quite out of control. The average person thinks we’re living in a Steven King novel.

If it were just a matter of politics, people would be more apt to resist because people recognize the arbitrariness of political opinions. Interestingly, the hysteria also breaks along political lines. Conservatives tend to view it as overblown or even a scam. Liberals tend to see it as a crime if you aren’t masked up and locked down. The virus is a psychological litmus test.

Power mongers are using biology and medicine as excuses to take charge in the name of science. They’re saying that you don’t have a choice because you are affecting the health of others, not just yourself. Minor bureaucrats like Fauci and second string politicians like de Blasio have jumped on it, fanning the flames of a panic. It’s made them into “big men.”

Like the global warming scare, the COVID hysteria is corrupting the idea of science and the credibility of scientific methodology in the eyes of the average man. And incidentally, the overlap between those who want the State to “do something” about global warming, and “do something” about the virus is extremely high.

It’s actually quite insane. COVID as a disease is only serious if you’re elderly or obese or have other serious conditions, which is why the average age of a COVID victim is about 80.

In fact, the deaths from COVID are probably not going to be much greater than they are from a bad annual flu, especially accounting for the fact that many deaths from things like motor accidents are often counted as COVID if the victim also had COVID. Like most things that become politicized, it’s hard to believe anything. The statistics are completely unreliable. What we’re dealing with is mass hysteria, similar to what happened in Salem in the late 17th century.

The matter should be just between you and your doctor. This is how the vastly more serious flu epidemics of the late 1960s and the late 1950s were dealt with. In the big scheme of things, they were non-events, as COVID should be.

This time is different. Your doctor doesn’t count. It’s the doctor with political connections, that counts.

How do I see this trend evolving?

Toward more centralized power, of course. The trend has been in motion for over 100 years, starting with World War I. It’s been in motion for a long time, and it’s accelerating at this point. Trends in motion tend to stay in motion until they reach a crisis point.

The powers that be have discovered that a medical emergency is almost as effective as an actual war to get people used to doing as they’re told. It’s quite amazing how anxious the average American is to act like a whipped dog, roll over on his back, and wet himself. Those who don’t wear their masks—which serve little or no medical purpose; they’re basically virtue-signaling devices—are bullied and shamed. It’s gotten quite out of hand. The woke SJWs are in charge.

International Man: Let’s talk about one of the biggest threats to financial freedom—the Federal Reserve and every other central bank.

The currency printed by these institutions isn’t real money. That is to say, it wasn’t a result of a market process of people voluntarily coming to the conclusion to use a specific good as money. Government decrees, laws, and regulations made central bank currency money.

How can individuals protect themselves from this enormous swindle?

Doug Casey: It’s not just the US government. Every central bank in the world is printing up currency units not just by the billions, but by the trillions.

What you have to do is figure out where that money is going to go, and try to get there first. In this environment, rational investing is becoming increasingly impossible. The economy and society will become more chaotic. It has become foolish to have a long-term horizon, and to make other than hit-and-run-style investments. You’re forced to be a speculator.

I would point out that in a normal free market society, speculators would be chronically unemployed. Why? Speculating, more than anything else, is capitalizing on politically caused distortions in the market. There would be very few in a true free market.

But now, as powerful as governments are, distortions and politically caused misallocations of capital are everywhere. With regulations and tons of money being thrown at the markets, you’re forced to speculate. It’s too bad because speculation is not productive in itself; it’s a zero sum game. It’s very different from investing, which is allocating capital to create more wealth through innovation and production.

However, we don’t make the rules. That, unfortunately, is something our betters have arrogated to themselves. We’re just playing the game. If you don’t want to get hurt, it’s important to learn to play the game successfully.

That means orienting your mindset to that of a speculator. Most people will confuse speculating with gambling, however, and they’ll wind up losing everything. They’ll wind up much worse off by treating the stock market like a casino.

The simplest thing you can do at this point—other than watching where the money is going and getting there first—is continuing to buy gold and silver and setting them aside. At a minimum, that will preserve your capital.

Unfortunately, neither metal is no longer a giveaway bargain. On the other hand, the trend is clearly in motion, and it’s accelerating. They’re going much higher. Gold would have to go to about $3000 to equal—in real terms—it’s peak of $800 back in 1980. And the situation is vastly more precarious now than it was then. I expect the current bull market to take it much higher.

Right now, the best speculations are mining companies. They have done extremely well, but relative to the gains in the underlying metals, they’re lagging.

That’s true because none of the big fund managers own gold stocks. Why not? They don’t understand gold. They think that it’s a pet rock.

But at some point, soon, they’re going to pile into these mining stocks. They’re now hugely profitable and becoming more so. Even the biggest ones are relatively small-cap companies in today’s world. Most miners are not just small-cap, and they’re not even micro caps. They’re nano caps. The market caps of every gold producer in the world adds up to around $200 billion. That’s only a bit more than the cash that Apple alone has in its treasury.

These things could be more explosive than they have ever been in the past. To use a phrase, I coined to describe past gold-stock bull markets: It’s going to be like trying to funnel the contents of Hoover Dam through a garden hose.

It’s really a pity that the average American is being swindled by the Fed, and the government in DC, and a pity that almost nobody owns gold or silver physically, and many fewer own mining stocks. But let’s try to take advantage of the unfortunate reality.

International Man: In the US, and much of the West, most people are willingly handing over their dwindling freedoms for the promise of safety or security.

Is there any hope that something will reverse this trend?

Doug Casey: Again, trends in motion tend to stay in motion. Until they stop.

But what generally stops them? Something big. Usually, a crisis or a collapse.

Here’s an example. You would have thought that the trends in Venezuela and Zimbabwe would have stopped years ago. You’d think those people could see how bad things were getting and say, “Wait a minute, we’re going down the wrong path.” But that’s not the case.

Neither Venezuela nor Zimbabwe is going to turn around until there’s a complete and utter collapse followed by serious violence. That’s the case almost everywhere—trends in motion stay in motion until they reach a crisis. I don’t think you can reverse the trend with half measures, like voting.

Why don’t I think you can reverse the trend?

It’s because, over the last roughly three generations, almost everybody has gone to college. Meanwhile, colleges have been transformed from places where you received an education, something useful, to institutions of mass indoctrination. The tenets of cultural Marxism, socialism, and statism have filtered down to high schools and even grade schools.

When people are at a crucial time in their life, late teens and early twenties, and they’re taught something. It’s very hard for them to unlearn it. It’s very much like when I started playing polo. I thought I knew how to ride a horse because I could stay on when it went faster than a walk.

As a result, I picked up all kinds of bad habits and cost myself years, having to unlearn bad habits. Whereas, if I just learned the proper way to do things to start with, I would have been far ahead in the game.

That’s the problem with kids going to college and high schools, and even grade schools, today. They’re hit with instruction that’s often not just wrong, but the opposite of the truth. It’s very hard for them to unlearn it.

As Will Rogers liked to say, the problem isn’t even what people don’t know. It’s what they think they know that just ain’t so.

It’s reinforced by ads that corporations put on television, and the huge amounts of money they give to left-wing organizations. You’d think they’d be interested in defending capitalism—but that’s incorrect. Lenin was correct when he commented that the capitalists were so stupid that they’d sell him the rope he’d use to hang them.

That’s on top of Hollywood, the propaganda coming out of thousands of NGOs, and mostly everything that politicians say.

I don’t think the trend is going to turn around. In fact, it’s accelerating, and it’s going to continue accelerating until we reach a nasty crisis.

Editor’s Note: As these trends continue to accelerate, what you do right now can mean the difference between coming out ahead or suffering crippling losses.

That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released a free report with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse.

It will help you understand what is unfolding right before our eyes and what you should do so you don’t get caught in the crosshairs.

Click here to download the PDF now.

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Sad! Cuomo Begs The Rich To Return To State He Ruined!

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is desperately begging rich people to return to the state and to New York City. He’s killed off the old people by sending Covid patients into nursing homes and he’s killed off the economy by shutting down, but he’s offered to cook a meal for any rich person who returns to the burned out shell of the former great city. Any takers? Plus in today’s Report: LA Mayor: “Want to party? Try it without any electricity or water!” Houston begs people to get Covid tested after new “cases” continue to fall. And Sweden has advice on how to open schools. Should we listen to success?

 

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: WAKE-UP, Donald! Your Malpracticing Doctors Are The Real Killers

Posted by M. C. on May 17, 2020

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/05/wake-up-donald-your-malpracticing.html

By David Stockman

If you don’t think the fix is in, please take note of the big news of the morning. Namely, that the allegedly ultra-busy Dr. Fauci had time last evening to ping Sheryl Gay Stolberg, correspondent for the “failing New York Times”, in order to dump a VLCC size tanker- load of cold water on the urgent need to end Lockdown Nation, now.

In a nanosecond, of course, Stolberg was on Twitter and on-line with Fauci’s stern admonition to the restless natives of Flyover America to shut-up and stay put. That way the entire MSM had plenty of time to crank-up a feverish barrage of messaging during Fauci’s actual Senate appearance as to how Red State governors are jumping the gun and putting life and limp in danger throughout the country:

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Fauci wrote in the email, which Stolberg posted on Twitter.

“If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal,” wrote Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

For god’s sake, WAKE UP, Donald!

The mad doctor’s plot against you (and the American people) is being played out right in public by a camarilla of wanna be public health rulers and their compliant media megaphones, who presume to control all that moves and all that stands still in America.

But for crying out loud, where does this supercilious old geezer come up with “needless suffering and death” if American workers, students, shoppers and consumers are let out of house arrest?

Were not Friday’s catastrophic employment numbers a sufficient wake-up call?

The chart below shows 70 years of monthly change in total US employment. How damn stupid does someone have to be to not recognize that Lockdown Nation has caused the US economy to plunge into such unfathomably deep waters that they have never before even been imagined.

The deepest monthly drop we can find over seven decades is the 1.2 million job loss at the very darkest bottom of the Great Recession in January 2009. But what the Donald’s malpracticing doctors triggered last month was 19X deeper at 22. 4 million.

And they caused this to happen in the context of a wizened business cycle that is off-the- charts 130 months old, and barnacled with debt, malinvestment and speculative excess like never before.

For instance, the current $75 trillion of debt weighing down the US economy is up from an already crushing $52 trillion on the eve of the 2008 finical crisis, and now the butcher’s bill is coming due.

Source: Guggenheim Investments, Haver Analytics. Data as of 12.31.2019.

So what Fauci and the Virus Patrol have decided to stop dead in the water is a badly crippled, hand-to-mouth economy in which the overwhelming share of households and small businesses have no material rainy day funds, no cash reserves and no balance sheet resilience.

In medical terms, the US economy has virtually no antibodies to fight back. Infect it with a massive, sudden loss of incomes and cash flow and you are virtually inviting a pandemic of cancelled orders, ballooning payables, missed rents, credit delinquencies and soaring defaults that will surely ravage America’s body economic in the weeks and months ahead.

So, perforce, we must ask again, for what?

But at least at today’s Senate hearing, the one man in Washington who still has his head screwed on right, Senator Rand Paul, put it right in Fauci semi-quarantined face.

In a word, said the intrepid Senator from Kentucky, where’s the Bubonic Plague?

“The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction…

As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end all, I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision,” said Paul – who added that we need to “observe with an open eye what happened in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school.”

“The mortality per capita in Sweden is actually less than France, less than Italy, less than Spain, less than Belgium, less than the Netherlands, about the same as Switzerland. But basically I don’t think there’s anybody arguing that what happened in Sweden is an unacceptable result. I think people are intrigued by it, and we should be.”

“I don’t think any of us are certain when we do all these modelings – there have been more people wrong with modeling than right. We’re opening up a lot of economies around the US, and I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying ‘oh, we can’t do this, there’s going to be a surge’ – will admit when there isn’t a surge.”

Bravo!

Yet with what mendacious malarkey did Fauci counter Senator Paul’s truth?

Why, with an absolute red herring about an ultra-rare childhood disease called Kawasaki Syndrome, which been around since 1968 and that has been mooted as potentially present in a handful of Covid cases in, well, New York (where else?).

Said Fauci,

For example, right now children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome. I think we better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are not immune to the deleterious effects.

Oh, really? Read the rest of this entry »

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Cash is Trash, Especially for the Post-COVID World — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2020

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/05/06/cash-is-trash-especially-for-the-post-covid-world/

 Tom Luongo

There’s been a concerted effort recently among the oligarchs I like to call The Davos Crowd to demonize cash. From hedge fund manager Ray Dalio pronouncing ‘Cash is trash’ earlier this year to the fear-mongering surrounding COVID-19 making people fearful of dealing in cash because it might be tainted the anti-cash rhetoric has been amped up to eleven.

And it’s been no secret that the elite of the world want us to stop transacting in cash because it is something they can’t track. Sweden has flirted with the cashless society while the European Union did away with large denomination bills the same way the U.S. has been phasing them out.

A few years ago, India created a huge stir removing the 500 and 1000 rupee note from circulation. All of these moves have been, nominally, in service of stamping out corruption. They are sold to the public as a way to punish criminals and money launderers.

But the reality is that the push for removing cash from society is to put all of our financial dealings in databases which gives authorities a record of everything you do. As governments around the world become increasingly bankrupt they naturally look for ways to improve tax compliance as well as create profiles of anyone they deem a threat to their continued existence.

That’s the real reason for why ‘cash is trash’ to authorities. And the moves towards digital only versions of national currencies is an extension of the power grab currently underway as a response to the crisis of COVID-19.

But, more than that, the reason for this demonization of cash has as much to do with the understanding that the current global financial system is broken and will need a global coordinated bailout.

The easiest way to effect that is to be able to create digital money at the stroke of a keyboard.

The crisis of 2008 was bigger than the Federal Reserve. To survive it required the coordinated effort of all the major central banks along with support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

So, color me not shocked when I see this report from Sputnik that the head of the Shanghai Gold Exchange publicly make the case in favor of a transnational digital currency to replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s trade settlement currency.

According to Wang Zhenying, quoted by Reuters, the dollar, as a weapon of US pressure and a source of vulnerability for other countries, can no longer be the standard global currency. He admits that gold is also not an ideal means of exchange, as its quantity is limited and it cannot meet the needs of growing international trade. Therefore, a supranational currency for settlements independent of any country is needed.

This idea is not something new and was already promoted by China during the last financial crisis of 2008-2009. Then Chinese central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan proposed to reform the system of international settlements through special drawing rights (SDR).

Author and commentator Jim Rickards has been making this point for more than a decade. He’s talked openly in his previous books The Death of Money and Currency Wars about the plans for the IMF to assume the role as the world’s central bank because the crisis in process will be greater than all the central banks.

I agree with Jim on this and have for years. The world’s elite have discussed these things openly. They’ve written white papers on this.

But what is interesting now is that Mr. Wang is modifying this idea slightly, talking in terms of a hard currency of some form to replace the U.S. dollar. But, look at his argument closely and you’ll see the bait and switch for while he doesn’t believe we’ll get consensus on using IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDR) as a way to settle accounts he doesn’t believe gold is viable either.

So what will it be, then?

Countries, like China, are already working on digital versions of their national currencies. The U.S. Congress tried to slip this language into the recently-passed first CARES Act authorizing trillions in bailouts and stimulus money.

Russia has been working on a digital as well as a cryptocurrency version of the ruble. The EU desperately wants member states to agree to debt mutualization and fiscal integration under the auspice of the European Central Bank to create digital only euros and end physical euros once and for all.

Gold ownership in Germany is now highly suspect with the German government openly tracking all gold sales greater than 1000 euros, less than one ounce.

Financial privacy is, effectively, already a thing of the past. Even the cryptocurrency markets in the so-called first world have to be AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) compliant to get the ability to operate with the existing financial infrastructure.

The push for the end of cash is a real thing. It’s a dangerous and worrying trend because it assumes all taxes and fees demanded by governments are legitimate. It assumes that if you want to remain private you are a money launderer and a cheat.

And what’s most worrying is that opposition to U.S. hegemonic behavior, weaponizing the dollar the way the Trump administration has, will be used as the rallying cry for an even worse system of social and financial control.

I’m all for the multi-polar world but we don’t need a global trade settlement currency as administered by governments. Do you really think that any other country wouldn’t eventually come to look like the U.S. after nearly a century of dominating the world’s financial landscape?

If you do then I assert you are either terminally naïve or a shill.

That’s what this story is really all about. The Davos Crowd never sets up a dynamic like this which leaves people with anything other than a Hobson’s Choice. You can either suffer under the tyranny of the U.S.’s rapacious banking oligarchy or you can choose an equally bad one administered as a global one.

But that isn’t the only choice. Mr. Wang isn’t wrong that something new is needed but it needs to be a real hard currency based on antecedent value, not birthed out of thin air or backed by future labor (debt).

The dollar reserve standard is in the process of dying. The great financialization of the world and the multiple levels of credit bubbles its engendered are bursting. People are open to alternatives. And in the great game of global capital a country only has to be slightly better than the current dominant player to attract the lion’s share once the outflows begin.

China is positioning itself to be a bigger player here but the IMF, governed and controlled by the U.S., is not the solution. That’s a ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ scenario.

Right now gold is seeing a strong bid the world over and Bitcoin is rising into the halving of its reward pool which occurs every four years. There has never been a better opportunity for people to reject the pronouncements and solutions of the very people who have so thoroughly destroyed our ability to assess risk and value.

And it will be the discipline of cash tied to real assets, birthed from human toil but free from human manipulation that will return sanity to our markets and local economies. That’s what a hard currency is. That’s what Mr. Wang administers at the SGE and that’s what needs to come back.

 

Be seeing you

 

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Can we trust Covid modelling? More evidence from Sweden | The Spectator

Posted by M. C. on May 12, 2020

In Britain, it’s argued that if the number of Covid deaths is far lower than the models predicted, well, this is the result of lockdown! Some even argue that the difference between the predicted and the actual is the lockdown effect. But you can’t say that for Sweden. We banned gatherings of more than 50 people, but that was about it. All other behavioural change was voluntary: something the models did not properly understand.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/can-we-trust-covid-modelling-more-evidence-from-sweden

Johan Norberg

At last we’re getting a debate about Covid-19 modelling. When people finally got to look under the hood of the famous Imperial College study, they found twisted and tangled code. And most of the model’s predictions bear little resemblance to what is actually happening. Some defend the models by saying that their predictions turned out to be wrong only because governments imposed harsher restrictions than the coders expected.

If so, we have a perfect experiment. Sweden did not close borders, shut down schools, businesses, restaurants, gyms or shopping centres and did not issue stay at home orders. So it should be the one country where the models fit. Let’s see.

Maria Gunther and Maria Westholm at Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s biggest daily, just took a look at two of the most influential models in Sweden, both were inspired by the Imperial College study and published on the preprint server MedRxiv in April. Both were used by critics to argue that the Swedish model would quickly break our health care system – and that we had to make a U-turn into lockdown, as Britain did.

Here are the models’ prediction of the number of Covid-19 patients in Swedish intensive care units, ICU (the highest curve is a model without lockdown):

H. Sjödin et al: ‘Covid-19 health care demand and mortality in Sweden in response to non-pharmaceutical (NPIs) mitigation and suppression scenarios’, 7 April. The graph suggests critical care demand would peak above 16,000 patients per day by early May, and pre-pandemic intensive care unit capacity would be exceeded 30-fold.

<img class="ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image–fit-bounds ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image–loaded" src="data:;base64,” />

Then came J. Gardner et al, ‘Intervention strategies against Covid-19 and their estimated impact on Swedish healthcare capacity’, 15 April.  It was an even more pessimistic assessment, showing a peak of over 20,000 patients by early May – with an ICU requirement around 40 times the actual capacity.

<img class="ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image–fit-bounds ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image–loaded" src="data:;base64,” />

Sweden’s Public Health Agency rejected the models. It instead planned for a worst-case scenario that was much less pessimistic, suggesting a peak around 1,700 ICU patients in the middle of May. Still more than three times more than the pre-pandemic capacity. Sweden, almost alone in the world, refused to lock down. And here is how things eventually worked out.

<img class="ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image–fit-bounds ResponsiveImage2-module__real-image–loaded" src="data:;base64,” />

The number of patients in ICU has been fairly stable around 500-550 since mid-April. This means that capacity was never exceeded. At this moment, when the models suggested that Sweden would have 30 to 40 patients fighting over every available ICU bed, there is spare capacity in beds, equipment and personnel of around 30 percent (partly as a result of a doubling of the pre-pandemic capacity).

Gardner et al predicted that Sweden would have 82,000 Covid-19 deaths by 1 July. That implies around 1,000 deaths every day since the paper was published in mid-April. However, the total number of Swedish Covid-19 deaths at the time of writing is 3,313.

One reason why the models failed is that they – just like most countries’ politicians – underestimated how millions of people spontaneously adapt to new circumstances. They only thought in terms of lockdowns vs business as usual, but failed to consider a third option: that people engage in social distancing voluntarily when they realise lives are at stake and when authorities recommend them to do so.

And obviously, there is an argument that these models scared us into changing our behaviour and ramping up capacity, and so helped us to avoid a disaster. But they were also clearly based on faulty assumptions that would always result in absurd predictions. We know this, because both models actually assumed that it was already too late, and estimated that ICU capacity would be exceeded by around 10 times even if Sweden switched to strong mitigation.

The need for ICU beds in Sweden will be ‘at least 10-fold greater [than capacity] if strategies approximating the most stringent in Europe are introduced by 10 April’, wrote Gardner et al.

Those strategies were never introduced in Sweden, and yet, additional ICU capacity is 30 percent and the number of patients in intensive care has been declining for two weeks. The newly constructed field hospital in Stockholm, with room for hundreds of patients, has still not received any patients. It will probably never have to open. Here’s a zoomed-in graph of eventual ICU: numbering in the hundreds, not the predicted thousands.

In Britain, it’s argued that if the number of Covid deaths is far lower than the models predicted, well, this is the result of lockdown! Some even argue that the difference between the predicted and the actual is the lockdown effect. But you can’t say that for Sweden. We banned gatherings of more than 50 people, but that was about it. All other behavioural change was voluntary: something the models did not properly understand.

As countries plan how to leave lockdown, they can look at Sweden and ask: what happens if you don’t involve the police, if you don’t issue edicts about how many of your relatives or neighbours you can visit, and just ask people to be careful? Might that work? The Swedish experiment casts huge doubts on the models, and makes the case for trusting the public.

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Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Will Soon Be the World’s | Foreign Affairs

Posted by M. C. on May 12, 2020

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/sweden/2020-05-12/swedens-coronavirus-strategy-will-soon-be-worlds

By

China placed 50 million people under quarantine in Wuhan Province in January. Since then, many liberal democracies have taken aggressive authoritarian measures of their own to fight the novel coronavirus. By mid-March, almost all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries had implemented some combination of school, university, workplace, and public transportation closures; restrictions on public events; and limits on domestic and international travel. One country, however, stands out as an exception in the West.

Rather than declare a lockdown or a state of emergency, Sweden asked its citizens to practice social distancing on a mostly voluntary basis. Swedish authorities imposed some restrictions designed to flatten the curve: no public gatherings of more than 50 people, no bar service, distance learning in high schools and universities, and so on. But they eschewed harsh controls, fines, and policing. Swedes have changed their behavior, but not as profoundly as the citizens of other Western democracies. Many restaurants remain open, although they are lightly trafficked; young children are still in school. And in contrast to neighboring Norway (and some Asian countries), Sweden has not introduced location-tracing technologies or apps, thus avoiding threats to privacy and personal autonomy.

Swedish authorities have not officially declared a goal of reaching herd immunity, which most scientists believe is achieved when more than 60 percent of the population has had the virus. But augmenting immunity is no doubt part of the government’s broader strategy—or at least a likely consequence of keeping schools, restaurants, and most businesses open. Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, has projected that the city of Stockholm could reach herd immunity as early as this month. Based on updated behavioral assumptions (social-distancing norms are changing how Swedes behave), the Stockholm University mathematician Tom Britton has calculated that 40 percent immunity in the capital could be enough to stop the virus’s spread there and that this could happen by mid-June.

Sweden has won praise in some quarters for preserving at least some semblance of economic normalcy and keeping its per capita death rate lower than those of Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. But it has come in for criticism in other quarters for exceeding the per capita death rates of other Nordic countries and in particular, for failing to protect its elderly and immigrant populations. People receiving nursing and elder-care services account for upward of 50 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Sweden, according to Tegnell, in part because many facilities were grievously slow to implement basic protective measures such as mask wearing. Immigrants have also suffered disproportionately, mainly because they are poorer on average and tend to work in the service sector, where working remotely is usually impossible. But Swedish authorities have argued that the country’s higher death rate will appear comparatively lower in hindsight. Efforts to contain the virus are doomed to fail in many countries, and a large percentage of people will be infected in the end. When much of the world experiences a deadly second wave, Sweden will have the worst of the pandemic behind it….

The rest here

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