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Messages - Neven

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Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: August 05, 2020, 11:56:00 PM »
Herman Daly is an absolute legend, still living. I've learned so much from that man.

The rest / Re: Port of Beirut Explosion
« on: August 05, 2020, 03:01:13 PM »
Bellingcat has some additional details, disagrees with the quantity of Ammonium nitrate by a factor of ten.

Have they tied it to the KGB yet?  ;)

1) This content is already on the forum. Look at all the stuff that has been written about Russiagate, which was a prime example of a conspiracy/collusion myth. There's the Solar Roads thread, and lots of other stuff, like crazy solutions to Arctic sea ice loss.

2) Why would you want more of it on this Forum, when all of the Internet is already full of that s**t? It takes huge amounts of time and energy, and usually leads nowhere. Wikipedia, unfortunately, cannot be the arbiter, as it has become heavily compromised over the years.

3) Nevertheless, I voted 'yes'

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 04, 2020, 12:47:51 PM »
But the assumption that they're all the same is racist in a way, no?

The Dutch government announced a travel warning to Croatia two weeks ago, with apparantly no good reason, except perhaps that number of cases were rising exponentially in neighbouring Bosnia and Serbia. You know, all those Balkan Yugo countries are all the same.

Norway, Finland, Sweden, they're all the same. Just like Asian and African countries. All the same.  ;D

In the interview with Anders Tegnell I posted last week, he explains that you can't compare countries one-on-one, and that Norway and Denmark are different from Sweden in many ways.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 04, 2020, 11:22:23 AM »
Norway and Finland are not Sweden-like environments. Don't be racist, as BK would say.  ;)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 02, 2020, 10:49:53 PM »
I'm curious. If I say that I believe that the IFR for SARS-CoV-2 is at the most 0.2%, unless there are factors like pollution and low population health at play, does that make me a 'virus denier'?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 02, 2020, 12:43:43 AM »
Trump, Bolsonaro and most C19 denying groups are making claims about C19 that they have no scientific right to say, because there is no evidence.

And because they're saying it, the opposite must be true! QED!

How much does remdesivir cost again? How much money do PR people make?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 02, 2020, 12:41:28 AM »
Neven, I gave you this example of blatant disinformation, presenting as medical fact something which is clearly the opposite of a fact.

Yes, but you obviously have trouble reading it correctly because of bias.

You said: 'Why would anyone think or claim there is no transmission in children?'

Whereas it clearly says in the text you quoted: 'the risk of disease and transmission in children is extremely low'.

The reason someone would claim the risk of transmission in children is extremely low, is because there are scientific studies showing this (such as this one). Of course, you can brush this aside with more anecdotal evidence from Israel (no links), and if you'd make more of an effort, you'd find scientific studies that show the opposite. That's because it's far from clear.

My problem with your argument is that you latch onto something, call it an 'example of blatant disinformation', and then simply brush everything aside. That's just too easy, and shows you have already decided what reality is, simply based on media narratives that people have been bombarded with for more than 100 days straight.

And then you arrogantly state that you 'shudder to think this is someone's primary source'. Well, show me a perfect primary source then! You can't, because it doesn't exist. The easiest thing to do in the world, is to find one sentence, declare it 'blatant disinformation' (true or not) and dismiss the whole thing.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 09:36:36 PM »
Hydroxychloroquine. Why is Trump and most coronavirus risk deniers selling this pill as a magic pill while every reputable study out there says it isn't?

Hydroxychloroquine is cheap.
Hydroxychloroquine is widely available.
Hydroxychloroquine is proven relatively safe. Safe enough for prophylactic treatment against malaria.

It seems to me Hydroxychloroquine is the perfect placebo.
Almost as cheap and widely availble as a sugar pill, almost as harmless. Good enough to give confidence to the cultists that may get cold feet.

That's why Hydroxychloroquine.

How about this one? Cheap, generic medication is very much unwanted in this situation, as there is billions to be made off of expensive medication and vaccines. I believe the Trump administration is very much linked to the remdisivir people. So, here's what PR people propose should be done: Let Trump say that Hydroxychloroquine is fantastic. Trump Derangement Syndrome will then make sure that people go nuts and start screaming the opposite.

That would be very mean of those PR people, wouldn't it? Well, that's what PR people do. And that's how Trump became president and makes sure he is the centre of attention.

Here's what SwPR has on Hydroxychloroquine (links can be found on the page itself):

On the treatment of Covid-19
Note: Patients are asked to consult a doctor.

Several studies have now confirmed what some front-line physicians have been saying since March: Early treatment of Covid patients with zinc and the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is indeed effective. US doctors have reported a reduction in hospitalisation rates of up to 84% and a stabilisation of the health condition often within a few hours.

Zinc has antiviral properties, HCQ supports zinc absorption and has additional antiviral properties. These drugs are supplemented by doctors if necessary with an antibiotic (to prevent a bacterial superinfection) and a blood thinner (to prevent infection-related thromboses and embolisms).

The alleged or actual negative results with HCQ in some studies were based, according to the current state of knowledge, on delayed use (intensive care patients), excessive doses (up to 2400mg per day), manipulated data sets, or ignored contraindications (e.g., favism or heart problems).

Sadly, the WHO, many media and some authorities may have caused considerable and unnecessary damage to public health in recent months through their negative stance, which may have been politically motivated or influenced by pharmaceutical interests.

French professor of medicine Jaouad Zemmouri, for example, estimates that Europe could have avoided up to 78% of Covid deaths by adopting a consistent HCQ treatment strategy.

HCQ contraindications such as favism or heart problems need to be considered, but the recent Ford Medical Center study achieved a reduction in hospital deaths of around 50% even with 56% African-American patients (who more often have favism).

However, the crucial point in the treatment of high-risk patients is early intervention as soon as the first typical symptoms develop and even without a PCR test in order to prevent progression of the disease and avoid intensive care hospitalization.

Most countries did the exact opposite: after the infection wave in March, they imposed a lockdown, so that infected and frightened people were locked up in their homes without treatment and often waited until they developed severe respiratory distress and had to be taken directly to the intensive care unit, where they were often sedated and intubated and were likely to die.

It is conceivable that a zinc HCQ combination protocol, which is simple, safe and inexpensive, could make more complex drugs, vaccinations and measures largely obsolete.

More recently, a case study from France showed that in four of the first five patients treated with the much more expensive drug Remdesivir from the pharmaceutical company Gilead, treatment had to be discontinued due to liver issues and kidney failure.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 09:29:06 PM »
Oren, SwPR says 'In many/most countries', and then you 'debunk' that by using Israel as an example. Is it possible that Israel isn't one of 'many/most countries'?

As for keeping schools open or closed, this is very much open for scientific debate. Don't act as if it is some law of nature that keeping schools closed is a fantastic measure for keeping a virus confined. And don't act as if the advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages. Again, this is open for debate.

You disagree with SwPR, fine. Why do you have to immediately define it as a 'shady website' that 'mixes facts with blatant nonsense'? Are you that insecure? Do you crave so much some agreed upon reality that everybody must believe in?

You guys can dump on SwPR as much as you like, finding some faults in an extensive list so all of it can be dismissed, it is still 10 times better than 90% of the links posted in this thread, and 100 times better than mainstream media all over the world. It is an excellent overview that is updated and corrected non-stop, which doesn't make it perfect, but much better and much more independent than anything else I've seen so far.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 07:09:46 PM »
as hysterical lockdowns and overreactions have prevented an inoculating summertime wave

I'm tending to this opinion more and more. On the Austrian news they try to stoke panic based on rising numbers, stressing that it's those irresponsible young people who are responsible (cue images of young people eating, drinking and socializing). But then they say that despite more infections, there are less sick people, less hospitalisations, and so on. This is a good thing, FCOL!

Good things unwanted. Must be bad or worse.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: August 01, 2020, 06:22:44 PM »


You are obviously not following mainstream media, or read what 80% of Vox Mundi's links in the COVID thread are about. Never has a disease received so much attention, with so little context or perspective. Not even Al Qaeda has had so much terror associated with it as this 'silent, invisible serial killer'.

If I'm agitating against that, and people automatically infer that I believe vulnerable people deserve to die, it just shows how succesful the relentless brainwashing has been.

Why not add a poll?

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: August 01, 2020, 05:26:25 PM »
Feels really strange, but I had to put Neven on my ignore list after the really really bad comment about Herman Cain and his cancer. I had cancer myself two years ago and according to Neven it is OK if I die in case I get Covid 19 - as I will die with Covid and not of Covid.
Somehow I have a different opinion.

This is entirely your (mis)interpretation of what I wrote, as I just quoted some parts from a news site.

My point was that old people with pre-conditions die from COVID-19, as they do from many other diseases, because people simply die. This kind of context is structurally lacking from most news reporting (for more than 100 days now), because the only way one is allowed to view SARS-CoV-2 is as some alien zombie virus that causes a Hollywood blockbuster-level plague.

Of course, you are entirely free to put me on your ignore list. Just don't slander me.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 04:00:00 PM »
This is something very important that gets zero attention and/or traction in the media:

Pre-existing immunity against the new coronavirus

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was assumed that no immunity against the new coronavirus existed in the population. This was one of the main reasons behind the initial strategy of “flattening the curve” by introducing stay-at-home orders.

From March and April onwards, however, the first studies showed that a considerable part of the population already had a certain immunity to the new virus, acquired through contact with earlier coronaviruses (common cold viruses).

Further important studies on this topic were published in July:

  • A new study from Germany came to the conclusion that up to 81% of people who have not yet had contact with the new coronavirus already have cross-reactive T-cells and thus a certain background immunity. This confirms earlier studies on T-cell immunity.
  • In addition, a British study found that up to 60% of children and adolescents and about 6% of adults already have cross-reactive antibodies against the new coronavirus, which were created by contact with previous coronaviruses. This is probably another important aspect in explaining the very low rate of disease in children and adolescents.
  • In the case of Singapore, a study published in the scientific journal Nature concluded that people who contracted SARS-1 in 2002/2003 still had T-cells that were reactive against the new SARS-2 coronavirus 17 years later. In addition, the researchers found cross-reactive T-cells, which were produced by contact with other, partly unknown coronaviruses, in about half of the people who had neither contracted SARS-1 nor SARS-2. The researchers suspect that the different distribution of such coronaviruses and T-cells may help explain why some countries are less affected than others by the new corona virus, regardless of the political and medical measures taken.
  • Analysts have previously pointed out that many Pacific countries, and especially China’s neighbouring countries, have so far had very low Covid death rates, regardless of their population structure (young or old) and the measures taken (with or without lockdown, mass tests, masks, etc.). A possible explanation for this could be the spread of earlier coronaviruses.
  • Harvard immunologist Michael Mina explained that the “drop in antibody concentration” after Covid disease, dramatized by some media, was “perfectly normal” and “textbook”. The body ensures long-term immunity through T-cells and memory cells in the bone marrow, which can quickly produce new antibodies when needed.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 01:44:12 PM »
And now for the quotes that offer context and perspective, as an antidote to the dismal, manipulative and fear-mongering reporting by mainstream media (links can be found on the page itself):

1. According to the latest immunological studies, the overall lethality of Covid-19 (IFR) is about 0.1% to 0.3% and thus in the range of a severe influenza (flu).

5. Up to 80% of all test-positive persons remain symptom-free. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% remain symptom-free. About 95% of all people develop at most moderate symptoms.

6. Up to 60% of all persons may already have a certain cellular background immunity to the new coronavirus due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. cold viruses). The initial assumption that there was no immunity against the new coronavirus was not correct.

7. The median age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years (e.g. 86 years in Sweden) and only about 4% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.

8. In many countries, up to two thirds of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid-19 or from weeks of extreme stress and isolation.

9. Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid-19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.

10. Even in so-called “Covid-19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction.

14. In countries such as Italy and Spain, and to some extent the UK and the US, hospital overloads due to strong flu waves are not unusual. Moreover, this year up to 15% of health care workers were put into quarantine, even if they developed no symptoms.

15. The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positivity rate) remained constant at 5% to 20% or increased only slightly. In many countries, the peak of the spread was already reached well before the lockdown.

16. Countries without lockdowns, such as Japan, South Korea, Belarus and Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than many other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries. 75% of Swedish deaths happened in nursing facilities that weren’t protected fast enough.

17. The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid-19 patients, which is partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs.

19. There is still little to no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in healthy and asymptomatic individuals. Experts warn that such masks may interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers” if used repeatedly.

24. At no time was there a medical reason for the closure of schools, as the risk of disease and transmission in children is extremely low. There is also no medical reason for small classes, masks or ‘social distancing’ rules in schools.

28. The number of people suffering from unemployment, depression and domestic violence as a result of the measures has reached historic record levels. Several experts predict that the measures will claim far more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN 1.6 billion people around the world are at immediate risk of losing their livelihood.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 01:37:17 PM »
For more context and perspective - that I certainly will not get watching or reading mainstream media - I follow the Swiss Policy Research website on COVID-19. I know that this information has already been labeled m/disinformation by 'fact-checkers', so here are a few quotes to show how wacky and conspiratorial the site is:

For people at high risk or high exposure (including health care workers), early or prophylactic treatment is essential to prevent progression of the disease.


On the other hand, Professor Karin Mölling, the former head of the Department of Virology at the University of Zurich and one of the earliest critical voices on corona measures, has now partly changed her opinion: Due to the sometimes serious lung damage, the virus should not be underestimated and containment measures are important.


The lower-than-expected lethality of Covid-19 should not hide the fact that the new coronavirus, due to its efficient use of the human ACE2 cell receptor, in some cases can lead to severe disease with complications in the lung, the vascular and nervous systems and other organs, some of which can persist for months.

While it is true that most of these symptoms can also occur in severe influenza (including thrombosis the temporary loss of the sense of smell), they are indeed more frequent and more pronounced in the novel Covid-19 disease.


In addition, even apparently “mild” disease (without hospitalization) can in some cases lead to protracted complications with breathing problems, fatigue or other symptoms. The US CDC came to the conclusion that after one month, about one third of the “mild” cases still showed such symptoms. Even in the 18 to 34-year-olds without preconditions, about 20% still had after-effects.

On the positive side, researchers at a German clinic recently reported good chances of recovery: “We can see that the lungs can heal well, even in patients who have had three weeks of intensive care”. After three months, 20% of the intensive care patients had healthy lungs again, and in the remaining patients a clear regeneration was visible.

Nevertheless, the primary goal should be to avoid a progression of the disease.


Note: Patients are asked to consult a doctor.


Some particularly skeptical observers still seem to perceive Covid predominantly as a “test epidemic”. However, this position has been untenable for months already.

The best known “test epidemic” is the so-called swine flu of 2009/2010, a rather mild influenza virus that only caused worldwide anxiety due to mass testing and media panic. A commission of the Council of Europe later called the swine flu a “fake pandemic” and a “big pharma fraud”.

What was noteworthy at the time was that a few months earlier, the WHO changed its pandemic guidelines and removed the criterion of increased lethality. In addition, pharmaceutical companies signed secret contracts worth billions with governments for a vaccine that later led to sometimes serious neurological damage and had to be disposed of for the most part.

Finally, researchers discovered that the swine flu virus itself probably originated from vaccine research and was released through a leak (or worse).

On the other hand, due to its special characteristics – in particular the very efficient use of the ACE2 cell receptor – the new coronavirus is a dangerous and easily transmissible SARS virus which can cause severe damage to the lungs, blood vessels and other organs. The good fortune is that many people already have a certain immunity to the new virus or at least are able to neutralize it on the mucosal membrane.

Covid-19 is therefore a real and serious pandemic and comparable to the flu pandemics of 1957 (Asian flu) and 1968 to 1970 (Hong Kong flu). The comparison with the swine flu of 2009 is only possible because the deaths caused by swine flu were greatly exaggerated (and still are today).

(On the other hand, it should be remembered that during the 1968/1970 flu pandemic – or rather in the summer between the two main waves – the famous Woodstock festival was held and social life mostly went on as usual).

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 01:22:35 PM »
Obesity is above average compared to the world, general health is good, diabetes is normal for a first world city. We are healthier than the average person from the USA but not as healthy as Europeans, on average.

The deaths to date are mostly over 50 with some in their 40s (he was a healthy police officer who caught it while on duty). In the last week the demongraphic of people catching it is getting younger and the people going severe is getting younger as are those going to ICU.

Am I right to surmise that those younger people are mostly obese or have other medical issues?

At the moment, young people are getting through it without death but (I cant find the article right now) there are signs CV19 is causing issues with lungs etc in young people.

CV19 is weird, it doesn't seem to harm most people much, but if it hits you hard it seems to go really hard.

Yes, that's what diseases do, and it sucks. But it's not something new or extraordinary. It just seems that way because COVID-19 gets an inordinate amount of attention (for various reasons), and almost no context is offered to put things in perspective.

Take for instance those handful of studies on long-term effects of COVID-19 that get extremely wide circulation in a very short time (just the other day they had the ORF science editor on the Austrian news saying how this research showed that COVID-19 was a 'serial killer', all the while using a host of similar fear-inducing terms to keep those pesky young people obedient). But almost all diseases have nasty long-term effects for some people. Take, for instance the flu (that was always considered to be 'just the flu' and hardly received any extra news coverage, even when hospitals got overwhelmed regionally and hundreds of thousands of people were killed annually):

The flu isn’t just a health risk for the seven days or so that you’re physically sick with the virus—it can also have some lasting effects that could affect your health for weeks, months, or even permanently. Here are some of the ways the flu can be a risk factor for health issues, even after you’re feeling better.

Heart attack and stroke risk
A number of studies have linked influenza to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and scientists have theorized that the inflammatory response triggered by the flu can fuel the development of atherosclerosis, a contributor to heart and artery disease. In a study published this year in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Canadian researchers found that the risk of having a heart attack was six times higher during the week after being diagnosed with the flu, compared to the year before or after a flu infection.

Other research has suggested that this association persists past those initial seven days of infection: A 2004 NEJM study found that while the increased risks of heart attack and stroke were both highest in the first three days after diagnosis, the dangers only “gradually fell during the following weeks.” And in 2008, researchers reported in the European Heart Journal that the risk of stroke after a flu diagnosis remained elevated up to three months.

“Most people who have studied this agree that two to four weeks, and maybe even into that second month, there is an increased risk of heart attack and stroke,” says William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University. But the message hasn’t yet reached the general public, he adds, or even a lot of physicians. “When I mention this to doctors during continuing education classes, they sit up in their chairs; they’ve never heard this before.”

Secondary infections
The flu can also do a number on the immune system, which can leave people vulnerable to other illnesses and infections—like pneumonia, for example. And while pneumonia is often referred to as a complication of the flu, it’s also not unusual for a person to come down with it once their initial flu symptoms have passed.

“It happens quite often,” says Sharon Nachman, MD, chief of the division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “People feel poorly, then they start to feel better, and all of a sudden they feel poorly again and they wonder why they’re not getting better. And actually it’s because you don’t still have the flu; you have a new, secondary infection.”

Those infections are sometimes bacterial, says Dr. Nachman, which means that antibiotics are likely needed to treat them. It can be normal to feel like you’re not at 100% following a bad case of the flu, says Dr. Schaffner—but if you don’t feel better after a few weeks, talk to your doctor to rule out something more serious.

Out-of-whack test results
The body has to work hard to fight the flu virus, and it can take time to recover to its pre-flu state. So it shouldn’t be surprising that a recent case of influenza can affect the results of blood tests and medical screenings, says Dr. Nachman.

“After most viral illnesses, your white blood cell count is going to be low,” she says. Other measurements, like cholesterol levels, could also be outside of their normal ranges. If you’re scheduled for any routine testing after a bout with the flu, be sure to mention it to your doctor so he or she knows that it could be a factor in your results.

A slide into disability
For elderly patients, getting the flu could be the first step in a continual downward spiral when it comes to their health and their ability to take care of themselves. Not only do older adults face a higher risk of serious complications and death while they have the flu, but they’re also at greater risk of a reduced quality of life afterward, says Dr. Schaffner.

Studies have shown that a significant percentage of nursing home residents experience major physical decline following flu-like illnesses, and that heart disease patients hospitalized for the flu required more follow-up care after they were discharged. “When we talk to geriatricians, they all nod their heads and say they’ve known this for years,” says Dr. Schaffner.

“When an infection like the flu puts you in a bed, it’s remarkable how much muscle tone you lose every day,” he adds. “And if you’re already on the edge of frailty, it can send you on the downhill slide, and it’s very difficult to get your strength and your confidence back completely.”

For this reason, he says, doctors and loved ones should pay close attention to elderly patients after a flu diagnosis. “Make sure they’re getting the help they need to get back to their normal routine,” he says. “In some cases, they may even need some physical therapy to help them do that.”

And so on...

Because the flu was 'just the flu', it was never really hyped up much. But now there's this novel respiratory disease that can be milked for all kinds of reasons by all kinds of people, and with social media around, mass delusions are easily created. In this case, a blockbuster reality is created in which a zombie alien 'serial killer' virus is causing a global plague (whereas epidemiologically speaking, it is very similar to a bad influenza season). The consequences of this delusion will be much larger than the damage caused by the disease itself. But of course, that will be ascribed to the disease as well.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 31, 2020, 08:38:16 PM »
I am unsure as to why people think CV19 isn't a big deal, or play it down or undermine the severity. Just look at Melbourne, well tested, resourced etc, we know fairly well how many cases we have and the numbers are not all that big, yet we are in trouble in the health services already. If we keep up this 600 plus day stuff for a few more days things are going to start breaking down and the death toll will begin to include people of all ages, not just the over 50s. Younger very sick CV cases do well because of the hospitals, not because the disease isn't all that bad for younger people.

Could you provide some more context wrt Melbourne? How are environmental conditions, air quality, etc? What about demographics? And what about general health, things like obesity, diabetes, metabolic health?

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: July 31, 2020, 09:51:19 AM »
If you think lefties calling the POTUS a fascist is an exaggeration, you are either not familiar with what the word means, or you are not familiar with the history.

It's not lefties calling him that. It's everyone rooted in reality.

Read it again:

I’ve been repeating it my columns for the last four years, and I’m going to repeat it once again. What we are experiencing is not the “return of fascism.” It is the global capitalist empire restoring order, putting down the populist insurgency that took them by surprise in 2016. The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution, the fake apocalyptic plague, all the insanity of 2020 … it has been in the pipeline all along. It has been since the moment Trump won the election. No, it is not about Trump, the man. It has never been about Trump, the man, no more than the Obama presidency was ever about Obama, the man. GloboCap needs to crush Donald Trump (and moreover, to make an example of him) not because he is a threat to the empire (he isn’t), but because he became a symbol of populist resistance to global capitalism and its increasingly aggressive “woke” ideology. It is this populist resistance to its ideology that GloboCap is determined to crush, no matter how much social chaos and destruction it unleashes in the process.

The politics / Re: US intervention in foreign lands
« on: July 31, 2020, 01:06:28 AM »
Yet another excellent overview by Aaron Maté of the fake gas attack in Douma, The Nation:

Did Trump Bomb Syria on False Grounds?

The American media is ignoring leaks from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that suggest a whitewash.

A series of leaked documents from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) raise the possibility that the Trump administration bombed Syria on false grounds and pressured officials at the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog to cover it up. Two OPCW officials, highly regarded scientists with more than 25 years of combined experience at the organization, challenged the whitewash from inside. Yet unlike many whistle-blowers of the Trump era, they have found no champion, or even an audience, within establishment circles in the United States.

The Trump administration’s April 13, 2018, bombing of Syria came days after it accused Syrian forces of killing nearly 50 people in a chemical weapons attack on Douma, a Damascus suburb. Widely circulated video footage showed scores of dead bodies inside an apartment complex and another group of alleged gas attack victims treated at a hospital. Although the White House did not provide evidence for its allegations against Syria, the harrowing images convinced Congress and the media to cheer on military strikes (as they did under similar circumstances the year prior).

Yet there were early grounds for skepticism. The Syrian government was on the verge of retaking the last Douma holdouts of Jaysh-al-Islam, a Saudi-backed militia that was relentlessly shelling the Syrian capital. To suddenly deploy chemical weapons would mean that Syrian forces knowingly crossed the “red line” that would trigger US military intervention. Subsequent reporting from British journalists Robert Fisk of The Independent, BBC producer Riam Dalati, and James Harkin’s investigation for The Intercept found evidence that the civilians filmed in the hospital were not exposed to toxic gas.

The US government narrative received a boost in March 2019 when the OPCW issued a long-awaited final report. It concluded that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that a chemical weapons attack occurred in Douma and that “the toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

The report, however, was not the OPCW’s last word. Since May 2019, internal OPCW documents, including a trove published by WikiLeaks, reveal that the Douma investigators’ initial report reached different conclusions than their organization’s published version. They were overruled by senior officials who kept evidence from the public.

The leaks’ key revelations include:

- Senior OPCW officials reedited the Douma investigators’ initial report to produce a version that sharply deviated from the original. Key facts were removed or misrepresented and conclusions were rewritten to support the allegation that a chlorine gas attack had occurred in Douma. Yet the team’s initial report did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred, and left open the possibility that victims were killed in a “non-chemical related” incident.
- Four experts from a OPCW and NATO-member state conducted a toxicology review at the OPCW team’s request. They concluded that observed symptoms of the civilians in Douma, particularly the rapid onset of excessive frothing, as well as the concentration of victims filmed in the apartment building so close to fresh air, “were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine, and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified.”
- Chemical tests of the samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were, in most cases, detected at what amounted to trace quantities in the parts-per-billion range. Yet this finding was not disclosed publicly. Furthermore, it later emerged that the chemicals themselves did not stand out as unique: According to the author of the initial report, the OPCW’s top expert in chemical weapons chemistry, they could have resulted from contact with household products such as bleach or come from chlorinated water or wood preservatives.
- The author of the initial report protested the revisions in an e-mail expressing his “gravest concern.” The altered version “misrepresents the facts,” he wrote, thereby “undermining its credibility.”
- Following the e-mail of protest over the manipulation of the team’s findings, the OPCW published a watered-down interim report in July 2018. Around that time, OPCW executives decreed that the probe would be handled by a so-called “core team,” which excluded all of the Douma investigators who had traveled to Syria, except for one paramedic. It was this core team—not the inspectors who had been deployed to Douma and signed off on the original document—that produced the final report of March 2019.
- After the e-mail of protest, and just days before the interim report was published on July 6, a US government delegation met with members of the investigation team to try to convince them that the Syrian government had committed a chemical attack with chlorine. According to veteran reporter Jonathan Steele, who interviewed one of the whistle-blowers, the Douma team saw the meeting as “unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.” Interference by state parties is explicitly prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
- The inference drawn from the OPCW’s final report—widely disseminated, including by the Trump administration—was that gas cylinders found in Douma likely came from Syrian military aircraft. An unpublished engineering study reached the opposite conclusion. The study evaluated competing hypotheses: Either the cylinders were dropped from the sky or they were manually placed. There is “a higher probability,” it concluded, “that both cylinders were manually placed…rather than being delivered from aircraft.” At “Location 4,” where a cylinder was found on a bed, the study determined that the cylinder was too large to have penetrated the hole in the roof above; at the other site, “Location 2,” the observed damage to the cylinder and to the roof it allegedly penetrated were incompatible with an aircraft bombing. Ballistics experts also said it was more likely that the crater had been made by an explosion, probably from an artillery round, a rocket, or a mortar. With both cylinders, the study concluded, “the alternative hypothesis”—that the cylinders were manually placed and that the craters were caused by other means—”produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

The OPCW leadership has yet to offer a substantive explanation for why they excluded critical findings and radically altered the original report. Instead, it has denigrated the two members of the Douma fact-finding mission team who challenged the manipulation of their investigation.

The first dissenting inspector is known only as Inspector B (his identity is publicly unconfirmed). B was the Douma mission’s scientific coordinator, the primary author of the draft report, and subsequent author of the e-mail of protest about the unwelcome editing.

The second inspector, described by the OPCW as Inspector A, is Ian Henderson, a chemical engineering and ballistics expert who authored the study that concluded that the cylinders were likely manually placed. Henderson went to Douma and took detailed measurements at one of the cylinder locations.

In public comments, OPCW Director General Fernando Arias has claimed that the pair committed “deliberate and premeditated breaches of confidentiality,” but has not accused them of leaking the OPCW material. Arias maintains that Inspector B’s “concerns were taken seriously,” without meaningfully accounting for why findings in B’s original report were left out of the final version. He has also dismissed the pair as minor players who refused to accept that their conclusions were “erroneous, uninformed, and wrong.”

Yet the two inspectors are unlikely candidates to go rogue. Henderson and Inspector B had served with the OPCW for 11 and 16 years, respectively. Internal OPCW appraisals of their job performance offer effusive praise. In 2005, a senior OPCW official wrote that Henderson has consistently received “the highest rating possible.… I consider [him] one of the best of our Inspection Team Leaders.” Inspector B, an OPCW superior wrote in 2018, “has contributed the most to the knowledge and understanding of CW [Chemical Weapons] chemistry applied to inspections.” In a different evaluation, another manager described B as “one of the most well regarded” team leaders, whose “experience of the organisation, its verification regime, and judgment are unmatched.”

The internal praise for the inspectors contrasts with what the OPCW leadership now says about them in public. This includes making untrue statements. Arias has said that Henderson “was not a member of the FFM [fact-finding mission]” in Douma, but leaks that I obtained show that claim to be false. Contemporaneous OPCW documents describe Henderson as an FFM member and list him among the “Mission Personnel” and the group of inspectors on the Douma mission.

The two inspectors are also not the only ones to raise concerns. Earlier this year, another OPCW official told me, on the condition of anonymity, that they were “horrified” by the “abhorrent…mistreatment” of the pair. “I fully support their endeavours,” the official wrote. “They are in fact trying to protect the integrity of the organisation which has been hijacked and brought into shameful disrepute.”

The treatment of the whistle-blowers by Western media is also due for criticism. Despite the story’s explosive nature, it has elicited a collective yawn. Whereas previous WikiLeaks disclosures fueled entire news cycles, no major US media outlets have reported on the organization’s Douma archive. CNN and MSNBC, which both supported Trump’s decision to bomb Syria, have ignored the OPCW story. The only time a New York Times reporter has mentioned the Douma scandal was in passing. The Times downgraded the extensive OPCW leaks into a mere “email from an investigator.” (It also deferred to assurances of Syria’s culpability from Bellingcat, an open source investigative outlet, without mentioning its Western government funding, including from the United States via the National Endowment for Democracy.) Even progressive, adversarial outlets that have traditionally defended whistle-blowers and challenged US wars have shunned this story. The Guardian described the whistle-blowers’ claims as “a Russia-led campaign,” rather than as an effort by two veteran inspectors to defend their investigation.

What explains the prevailing silence? It is certainly true that the Syrian government and its Russian ally have vigorously denied allegations of chemical weapons use, including in Douma. But just as was the case when Iraq was falsely accused of possessing weapons of mass destruction, skepticism of Western claims should not be equated with support for the targeted regime. If anything, the Iraq case reminds us that such allegations should not be politicized and are worthy of scrutiny, especially if used to justify military action and other aggressive measures, including crippling sanctions.

The possibility that the United States may have bombed Syria based on falsehoods—and pressured a global investigative body to grant that intervention legitimacy after the fact—should break the media blockade. So too should the fact that it was exposed by whistle-blowers who face risk for speaking out.

The US government’s own recent past with the OPCW offers a stark reminder. In 2002, the Bush administration forced out the organization’s first director general, José Bustani. The veteran Brazilian diplomat was negotiating weapons inspections with Baghdad that potentially impeded the Bush administration’s drive to launch a war. Bustani has since revealed that John Bolton, then serving as an undersecretary of state, personally threatened him and his family to force him to resign.

Bustani once again finds himself on Bolton’s opposing side. In his new memoir about his tenure as Trump’s national security adviser, Bolton recounts that he oversaw the US strikes on Syria over the Douma allegations, lamenting only that Trump did not authorize a larger attack. Bustani, meanwhile, took part in an October 2019 panel that heard an extensive presentation from one of the Douma whistle-blowers.

“The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had,” Bustani wrote. “The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing.” His hope, he added, is that the outcry over the Douma leaks “will catalyse a process by which the [OPCW] can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

Bustani is among the prominent signatories of a letter urging the OPCW to let the Douma inspectors discuss their investigation freely. Henderson delivered a statement at a UN session in January, but the United States has thwarted other attempts. (According to Russia’s envoy to the OPCW, a US representative objected on the grounds that a Douma hearing “would encourage the Russian [side] to replicate Stalinist trials, with cross-examinations and intimidations of witnesses.”)

The inspectors just want to be heard. In statements this year to Arias, both whistle-blowers requested an opportunity to air the Douma evidence in a transparent, scientific manner. “Our sole duty is to be true to the facts and the science, and once that has been achieved, we will gladly accept the proven and agreed scientific outcomes,” Henderson wrote.

“Something had gone wrong inside the OPCW sir,” B told Arias. “And we wanted you to know. It’s that simple.”

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: July 31, 2020, 12:54:34 AM »
I particularly like the second halves of CJ Hopkins' columns:

No, credit where credit is due to GloboCap. At this point, not only the United States, but countries throughout the global capitalist empire, are in such a state of mass hysteria, and so hopelessly politically polarized, that hardly anyone can see the textbook color revolution that is being executed, openly, right in front of our faces.

Or … OK, actually, most Trump supporters see it, but most of them, like Trump himself, have mistaken Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the Democratic Party and their voters for the enemy, when they are merely pawns in GloboCap’s game. Most liberals and leftists cannot see it at all … literally, as in they cannot perceive it. Like Dolores in the HBO Westworld series, “it doesn’t look like anything” to them. They actually believe they are fighting fascism, that Donald Trump, a narcissistic, word-salad-spewing, former game show host, is literally the Return of Adolf Hitler, and that somehow (presumably with the help of Putin) he has staged the current civil unrest, like the Nazis staged the Reichstag fire! (The New York Times will never tire of that one, nor will their liberal and leftist readers, who have been doing battle with an endless series of imaginary Hitlers since … well, since Hitler.)

I’ve been repeating it my columns for the last four years, and I’m going to repeat it once again. What we are experiencing is not the “return of fascism.” It is the global capitalist empire restoring order, putting down the populist insurgency that took them by surprise in 2016. The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution, the fake apocalyptic plague, all the insanity of 2020 … it has been in the pipeline all along. It has been since the moment Trump won the election. No, it is not about Trump, the man. It has never been about Trump, the man, no more than the Obama presidency was ever about Obama, the man. GloboCap needs to crush Donald Trump (and moreover, to make an example of him) not because he is a threat to the empire (he isn’t), but because he became a symbol of populist resistance to global capitalism and its increasingly aggressive “woke” ideology. It is this populist resistance to its ideology that GloboCap is determined to crush, no matter how much social chaos and destruction it unleashes in the process.

In one of my essays from last October, Trumpenstein Must Be Destroyed, I made this prediction about the year ahead:

“2020 is for all the marbles. The global capitalist ruling classes either crush this ongoing populist insurgency or God knows where we go from here. Try to see it through their eyes for a moment. Picture four more years of Trump … second-term Trump … Trump unleashed. Do you really believe they’re going to let that happen, that they are going to permit this populist insurgency to continue for another four years? They are not. What they are going to do is use all their power to destroy the monster, not Trump the man, but Trump the symbol. They are going to drown us in impeachment minutiae, drip, drip, drip, for the next twelve months. The liberal corporate media are going to go full-Goebbels. They are going to whip up so much mass hysteria that people won’t be able to think. They are going to pit us one against the other, and force us onto one or the other side of a simulated conflict (Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis) to keep us from perceiving the actual conflict (Global Capitalism versus Populism). They are going to bring us to the brink of civil war …”

OK, I didn’t see the fake plague coming, but, otherwise, how’s my prediction holding up?

First half can be read here: The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 31, 2020, 12:17:39 AM »
Herman Cain dies at 74


Calabrese said doctors were hopeful as recently as five days before his death that Cain would make a recovery. However, because Cain previously beat liver cancer, he was considered at high-risk for complications related to COVID-19.


On the campaign trail, he spoke about being diagnosed in 2006 with stage 4 liver cancer and his doctors giving him slim hope for long-term survival.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 31, 2020, 12:05:15 AM »
I started with mentioning that extra ice in Atlantic last year looked roughly equivalent to extra ice in Beaufort this year and then decided to go for simplicity and deleted that part.

And then you decided to go for even more simplicity and not mention the weather.  ::)

But of course, it's always possible that 2020 still comes in third. It's just going to take exceptionally cold and windless weather.

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: July 29, 2020, 10:31:26 AM »
I'd say chances are already 25% right now if COVID-19 continues to get hyped the way it has been so far. And it probably will, as Trump is still in the WH.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 25, 2020, 11:26:15 PM »
Another good Unherd interview:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 20, 2020, 10:18:30 PM »
I hope that in all countries with a functional free press, there will always be people around to provide data from low levels to journalists and others who can aggregate them - and discover misty spots.


I noticed Wip updated this graph, showing JAXA thickness (unreliable, but still interesting):

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 18, 2020, 11:11:34 PM »
With coronavirus antibodies fading fast, vaccine hopes fade, too
Disturbing new revelations that permanent immunity to the coronavirus may not be possible have jeopardized vaccine development and reinforced a decision by scientists at UCSF and affiliated laboratories to focus exclusively on treatments.

Several recent studies conducted around the world indicate that the human body does not retain the antibodies that build up during infections, meaning there may be no lasting immunity to COVID-19 after people recover.

I believe the reverse is true: If there was medium- to long-lasting immunity against COVID-19, this would actually be bad for vaccine development. Now there's an argument for mandatory vaccinations, for everybody, every three months!

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 15, 2020, 01:08:24 PM »
David Schröder sent me the following:

Just submitted our prediciton based on June data: 4.3 (3.8-4.8 ) mill. km2.
This is just on the observed September trend line and larger than our May prediction (3.3-4.3 mill km2).
In spite of strong melt at the sea ice edge (current sea ice extent is lowest on record for this time of the year), pond formation slowed down during first half of June with air temperature not much above average in comparison to last 15 years.

Note: The accucary of our predictions based on May data has been higher then that based on June data over last 8 years.

Our prediction based on May data (3.8 ) was third lowest:

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 14, 2020, 06:20:20 PM »
We're entering uncharted waters.

Uncharted and free of ice...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 06:26:46 PM »
I will respect everyone's wishes here and stop posting things that go against the established facts. I'm going to lay low and wait for more information.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 06:25:27 PM »
In the US, covid is killing a far larger percentage of Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans than of Whites.

Is the reason genetic or socio-economic? I'm asking out of curiosity.

Are those groups also guilty of excessive fear for this virus?

No, the reason could simply be that they are exploited more by a system that seeks to profit off of people's health. As minorities are structurally kept in a position of unequal opportunities, their health is probably less than that of most Whites. And then, when a virus comes along, even if it's similar to influenza...

The problem is the system, not the virus.

Most of the most public voices in the US who are saying not to worry much about this virus are also famous as racists.

I'm not saying not to worry, I'm railing against the hype and propaganda that is used to distract from the real causes, and to transfer, grow and concentrate even more wealth even faster.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 05:47:53 PM »
The consensus is not "IFR at least 1%", it is 0.5%-1%.

Say it to El Cid.  ;D

About the 1 in 5 or 1 in 2 thing, do you realize there was no research that showed that? Only a piece of misinformation twisted by SPR? The actual research they cited did not give such numbers and did not make such claims.

Yes, it did. The lead author said that exact thing in an interview. I posted the quote here.

The science may be wrong, but you're dismissing it out of hand. Everything that doesn't fall in line with the official narrative, is dismissed out of hand. On the other hand, if it's bad and scary, it is immediately accepted as almost certainly true, even if only anecdotal.

In the past two days, I've posted a video and an article from The Conversation about T cell immunity. No reaction.

Everything is set in stone. IFR simply cannot be lower than 0.5%. That's as far as we're willing to go.

If such science comes along I will happily accept it.

I hope so. I hope you don't wait until peer pressure subsides.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 05:37:08 PM »
But just saying the right thing on the internet all the time has no bearing on what actually goes on in Florida.

Why should it have bearing on what actually goes on in Florida? Because Archimid barges in with it? Is he the conference moderator here who decides what the subject is?

What happens in Florida, doesn't change the big picture one iota. And I'm not going to pretend I'm some rightous, caring person by shouting 'WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA, YOU ASSHOLE?!' down to people to shut them up.

You overfocus on something which is not bound to happen in real life. World peace and wasting no money on fancy weapons would be cool too but we don´t get them either.

So, basically, you're saying it's all hopeless. I think I agree.

But if all wasn't hopeless, it would be because the occurrence of bad things potentially increases awareness of the reasons that caused those bad things to happen. If one would read this thread only, one would think that the reason is 'bad, bad virus' and 'Trump!'. Which explains why the focus is entirely on vaccines and replacing the orange clown with whatever neoliberal fascist. Which won't solve anything at a systemic level.

Al Qaeda and the Taliban have been replaced with viruses. Neoliberal crony capitalism has hit the jackpot with this one.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 05:23:06 PM »
Neven you know I can handle it. But at least my "emotions" are honest and open for all to see and judge me. Your answer isn't. Your answer avoids the issue altogether, an issue that apparently you feel very confident about. Ask yourself why.

I don't know what Florida should do.

I think you know that Florida needs to shutdown, bring the number of new cases down and then reopen following sanitary precautions. That is PROVEN to work. You just can't say it without losing breaking your misinformation bubble. So you just deflect the question.

I honestly don't know what they should do. I'm not following the news there that closely. I don't know where the hot spots are, what the demographics are, hospitalisation rates. And either way, Florida isn't the whole world, or representative of it. I know what they have to do after everything is over, though. If that ever happens.

If the IFR there turns out to be higher than 0.2%, it's because there are a lot of old people, probably a lot of obese people with diabetes, who knows what the health care system is like, given that the US is a third world country.

I talk in general about the disease, its causes and consequences, and what it means for the world. And then you come barging in with your Florida shutdown, which is a deflection tactic, not unsimilar to what climate risk deniers do ('how about the sun, huh?').

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 04:20:00 PM »
Neven help us understand your point. What should Florida do right now?

Florida has a record number of new cases with the number of deaths climbing, a positivity rate of 19%, and not reporting hospitalization levels since it hit almost 100%.

C'mon Neven stop concern trolling, misinforming and cherry-picking, and take a stand.

I don't know what Florida should do. I don't think there's enough time to reduce obesity and diabetes. There's no time to change demographics and reduce the high concentration of elderly people, most of whom are probably overmedicated. It's too late to introduce Medicare4All and reduce cost- and corner-cutting in the health sector.

Florida, as well as many other places in the western world (especially the US of A, which is sick beyond belief), pays the price for decades of neoliberal globalist policies, for rising inequality, for the hollowing out of culture and society, for turning people into stressed, unhappy consumption addicts.

One can either accept this and take it like a (wo)man who knows that in life everything has its price. Or one can be a pouting child and whine about how unfair it is that the cake can't be had and eaten too.

If you are honest, allow us to understand you, because right now you are coming across as a dishonest troll.

And you're coming across as an emotional little authoritarian who only knows how to shame and shout down people, because his lack of any real vision, based on years of study and life experience, makes him react out of his conditioned gut only.

Can you handle this, or can you only dish out? Because if it's the latter I'll be more soft on you and let your insults wash off my back.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 04:05:36 PM »
Neven, as it has often been noted here, very low percentages of antibody test results within a population are always suspect due to accuracy. If you measure 1% or 2% that can very easily be 0% as there are very many false positives.

Sure, but that knife cuts both ways. There are problems with all data, which allow for different interpretations, but one wouldn't know it if one followed media reports only.

And again, I don't know the details of the Croatian serological study. I know that for the Ischgl study they took a lot of precautions to exclude false positives/negatives.

We need to concentrate on those measurements that have a fairly high percentage of positives in the population. Also, if you have many data points then you should probably consider the outliers false. If almost all data point to the same direction and some are outliers then the outliers are likely false.

Could the outliers be right too, but for different reasons, as the global population isn't homogeneous? My point is that circumstances count, and not everything can be ascribed to 'the worst terror-virus evah'.

This is important to keep in mind when thinking about the causes of this crisis, how it could have come to this, and whether to solve the symptom (vaccines) or whether the cause (system geared towards increasing concentrated wealth) must be eliminated.

I am still waiting for your explanation though to the excess dead/serology data for the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Italy, NYC and numerous others which all point to cca 1%. How can you disregard those????

I'm not disregarding them. I'm saying that if IFR is more than 0.2%, it's because of various reasons, like low population health, demographics, genetics, environmental conditions, etc.

also, how can you believe that only 1 in 5 people have antibodies when there are many places where serology shows 25-60% of people have antibodies???

I don't believe it's necessarily 1 in 5. It could be 1 in 3, or 1 in 2. I think there is enough scientific evidence already that shows it isn't zero, or negligible even. It's a serious factor that has consequences for the official narrative.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 12:25:02 PM »
You would have to quadruple the cases just to get it to 1% and we all know there are more deaths than are reflected in the numbers.

This is not known, but rather surmised/suspected/assumed. It could well be that the number of deaths is correct as it is or even lower, because there might be overcounting at play as well. In many places the rules for filling in death certitifcates were altered, and given the hype, people may have felt a (subconscious) need to maximize COVID deaths. We simply don't know.

Cherry picking is lovely.... it is like comparing the weather to the climate.

Global numbers as per Worldometer
13 million
570K dead

Thanks for the accusation, confirming what I've said before about the way people are treated who do not subscribe to every single aspect of the official narrative (conspiracy loons, all of them, including scientists and experts who dare question anything).

I was just reporting news from one country and extrapolating the numbers, as the number of cases don't tell us much and are mostly used to mislead people through omission of context. It is your comparison that is like comparing the weather to the climate, as you don't post the amount of people that aren't counted as active cases, but have antibodies nonetheless (as shown by serological studies). In short, you are comparing global CFR to Croatia's potential IFR.

You say cases would have to be quadrupled to get global CFR to 1%. If one extrapolates the results from the serological study in Croatia, 97,824 people in the population have antibodies. Number of cases so far is 3,722. That's 26 times more.

But it's not possible to make such comparisons, as we don't have complete data (compounded by the fact that there's a mass media-fueled hype), and not enough is known about the serological study done in Croatia.

However, if it had shown the IFR to be 1% or higher, it would already have been quoted by someone here. We can be sure of that.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 11:00:39 AM »
It is interesting, even quite shocking, that they used a ratio of 44 actual infections to each confirmed infection, and still calculated 0.6% IFR even without taking into account excess unconfirmed mortality.

Whoever thinks IFR is 0.05% needs to read this study in detail and find any weak spots. This is science, not CNN, not Fox News, not websites with hidden agendas, science.

Do you also have a message to those who think IFR is at least 1.0%, which seems to be the consensus around here?

And you clearly don't think that only 1 in 5 persons who come into contact with SARS-CoV-2 develop anti-bodies (the rest have some form of T-Cell immunity or anti-bodies in their mucous membrane). Could it be 1 in 4, 1 in 3, 1 in 2? If it's 1 in 2, how does that change the IFR story? I guess this science is disregarded/debunked/deligitimized because it doesn't get as much media attention.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 10:52:40 AM »
Meanwhile, in my neck of the woods:

Capak: 2.4% of people tested in Croatia have coronavirus antibodies

ZAGREB, July 13 (Hina) – Serological tests have shown that 2.4% of the people tested in Croatia have antibodies to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health and member of the national COVID-19 response team, Krunoslav Capak, said in an interview with RTL television on Sunday evening.

“2.4% of the people tested, or 1,054, have developed antibodies, which proves that they were in contact with the coronavirus. This is a lot more than the recorded number of cases. That means that among us there are a lot more people who came into contact with the infection than we know. Only a few of them have neutralising antibodies, which means they are not protected from reinfection,” Capak said, adding that only 2% of those with igG (immunoglobulin G) antibodies had coronavirus-neutralising antibodies.

He said that the results of the serological testing would be made public in the coming days.

I've seen some extrapolations. Population: 4.076 million x 2.4% = 97,824. COVID-19 deaths: 119. IFR: 0.12% ?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 10:32:21 AM »
If the Powers That Be are manufacturing an extreme reaction to disasters like C-19, why aren't they manufacturing extreme reactions to disasters like AGW?

Because AGW is a long-term problem, and profits need to be maximized short-term (to increase concentrated wealth). Nevertheless, the reaction to AGW is also co-opted in many ways, as can be seen on this Forum alone, where some cheer on the idea of Green BAU, and others say that BAU is still BAU, and greenifying it will not be a sustainable solution.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 10:06:51 AM »
You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that shock doctrine / disaster capitalism style crisis profiteering requires that the disasters are manufactured. This is not the case, they are glad to profit off of actual disasters as well, as is the case with COVID-19.

Perhaps the disaster isn't manufactured, but the reaction to it certainly is. This is Muslim terrorism on steroids.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 07:25:08 PM »
This is unfair.

How could doctors have known how to treat a new disease? They responded with standard treatment to symptoms.

I don't know whether it's unfair or not, nor what I should think about it, because this is one of these things that aren't allowed to be discussed. Context is not wanted.

The only thing one is allowed to do, is endlessly repeat how horrible and terrifiyingly dangerous this virus is, watch the news all day, and pray for the advent of a vaccine. As soon as one crosses one of these narrow limits, one is immediately castigated.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 07:16:26 PM »
So the population of NYC is so unhealthy as to have a 5-14 higher death rate than the average/typical population? I guess the same applies to all the locations where total death rates were 0.3%?
Very convenient, but personally I find that hard to believe.

Perhaps in New York, for some reason or other, it's not 1 in 5 people who actually get infected (ie the virus isn't fended off by antibodies in the mucous membrane), but 1 in 3, or 1 in 2. The rest might be explained by things like obesity, air pollution, demographics (age, race) and huge logistical mistakes.

But if you find it more convenient, we can just keep it simple and say it's due to an invisible mass murdering virus that jumped out of a Chinese bowl of bat soup, and it will cause tens of millions of deaths unless we listen to mainstream media and do X (fill in whatever is good for wealth concentration).

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 05:24:30 PM »

Thanks, this is interesting.

Oren, the bald guy in this video explains that a lot of people needlessly died in NYC because Cuomo signed some order that sent infected people back to nursing homes so that hospitals would be empty in face of the approaching tsunami of death (same was done in Bergamo and the UK). That tsunami came all right, but not necessarily in the hospitals.

Huge mistakes were made because of unpreparedness (because of cost-cutting to increase concentrated wealth), but a vaccine will make everything all right. Stand together, everyone.

And what greylib said about intubations and the panic-based outcry for more ventilators. That also caused a lot of unnecessary deaths. But all doctors are perfect and all they care about is helping people, so let's not go into that. Unity, everyone. Don't listen to the loons.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 05:05:28 PM »
Something else, from The Conversation:

Coronavirus: could it be burning out after 20% of a population is infected?

More than half a million people have died from COVID-19 globally. It is a major tragedy, but perhaps not on the scale some initially feared. And there are finally signs that the pandemic is shuddering in places, as if its engine is running out of fuel. This has encouraged many governments to relinquish lockdowns and allow everyday life to restart, albeit gingerly.

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 has been difficult to predict and understand. On the Diamond Princess cruise ship, for example, where the virus is likely to have spread relatively freely through the air-conditioning system linking cabins, only 20% of passengers and crew were infected. Data from military ships and cities such as Stockholm, New York and London also suggest that infections have been around 20% – much lower than earlier mathematical models suggested.

This has led to speculation about whether a population can achieve some sort of immunity to the virus with as little as 20% infected – a proportion well below the widely accepted herd immunity threshold (60-70%).

The Swedish public health authority announced in late April that the capital city, Stockholm, was “showing signs of herd immunity” – estimating that about half its population had been infected. The authority had to backtrack two weeks later, however, when the results of their own antibody study revealed just 7.3% had been infected. But the number of deaths and infections in Stockholm is falling rather than increasing – despite the fact that Sweden hasn’t enforced a lockdown.

Hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic may end sooner than initially feared have been fuelled by speculation about “immunological dark matter”, a type of pre-existing immunity that can’t be detected with SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests.

Antibodies are produced by the body’s B-cells in response to a specific virus. Dark matter, however, involves a feature of the innate immune system termed “T-cell mediated immunity”. T-cells are produced by the thymus and when they encounter the molecules that combat viruses, known as antigens, they become programmed to fight the same or similar viruses in the future.

Studies show that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 indeed have T-cells that are programmed to fight this virus. Surprisingly, people never infected also harbour protective T-cells, probably because they have been exposed to other coronaviruses. This may lead to some level of protection against the virus – potentially explaining why some outbreaks seem to burn out well below the anticipated herd immunity threshold.

Young people and those with mild infections are more likely to have a T-cell response than old people – we know that the reservoir of programmable T-cells declines with age.

In many countries and regions that have had very few COVID-19 cases, hotspots are now cropping up. Take Germany, which quickly and efficiently battled the virus and has had one of the lowest death rates among the large northern European countries.

Here, the R number – reflecting the average transmission rate – has risen again, below 1 until June 18, but rocketing to 2.88 just days later, only to drop again a few days later. It may be tempting to argue that this could be because the hotspots never got close to the 20% infection that was seen in other regions.

But there are counter examples, albeit particularly in older and immunocompromised populations. In the Italian COVID-19 epicenter in Bergamo, a town where one in four residents are pensioners, 60% of the population had antibodies by early June.

The same is true in some prisons: at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville, US, 54% of inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 by early May. And more than half of the residents in some long-term care facilities have also been infected.

Genes and environment
So how do we explain this? Could people in places with higher rates of positive antibodies have a different genetic make-up?

Early in the pandemic, there was much speculation about whether specific genetic receptors affected susceptibility to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Geneticists thought that DNA variation in the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 genes might affect susceptibility to, and severity of, infection. But studies so far have shown no compelling evidence supporting this hypothesis.

Early reports from China also suggested that blood types may play a role, with blood type A raising risk. This was recently confirmed in studies of Spanish and Italian patients, which also discovered a new genetic risk marker termed “3p21.31”.

While genetics may be important, the environment also matters. It is well known that airborne transmission of droplets is enhanced in colder climates. Super-spreading events in several meat production facilities where the indoor climate is cold suggest this has enhanced contagion. People also tend to spend more time indoors and in close proximity during inclement weather.

Warm weather, however, brings people together, albeit outdoors. Indeed, June has been uncharacteristically hot and sunny in many northern European countries, causing parks and beaches to be overrun and social distancing rules flouted. This will likely drive contagion and cause new COVID-19 outbreaks in the weeks to come.

Yet another factor is how interpersonal interactions affect contagion. Some previous models have assumed that people interact in the same way regardless of age, well-being, social status and so forth. But this isn’t likely to be the case – young people, for example, are likely to have more acquaintances than the elderly. Accounting for this reduces the herd immunity threshold to around 40%.

Will COVID-19 disappear?
The lockdowns enforced far and wide, combined with the responsible actions of many citizens, have undoubtedly mitigated the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and saved lives. Indeed, in cases such as Sweden – where lockdown was eschewed and social distancing rules were relatively relaxed – the virus has claimed an order of magnitude more lives than in its pro-lockdown neighbours, Norway and Finland.

But it is unlikely that lockdowns alone can explain the fact that infections have fallen in many regions after 20% of a population has been infected – something that, after all, happened in Stockholm and on cruise ships.

That said, the fact that more than 20% of people have been infected in other places means that the T-cell hypothesis is unlikely to be the sole explanation either. Indeed, if a 20% threshold does exist, it applies to only some communities, depending on interactions between many genetic, immunological, behavioural and environmental factors, as well as the prevalence of pre-existing diseases.

Understanding these complex interactions is going to be necessary if one is to meaningfully estimate when SARS-CoV-2 will burn itself out. Ascribing any apparent public health successes or failures to a single factor is appealing – but it is unlikely to provide sufficient insight into how COVID-19, or whatever comes next, can be defeated.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 04:53:31 PM »
Neven or anyone - how does the above fit with the total deaths recorded in New York City? The official number is 23000 dead, with excess mortality higher than that. With a population of 8.4 million, we get about 0.275% total death rate even if we ignore excess mortality. This is about 4.5-14 times more than the rates claimed in the quote:
20% infection rate x 0.1%-0.3% IFR = 0.02%-0.06%, or "significantly below 0.1%" as the claim goes.
Explain away.

Note: I wonder, with all the numbers cited from the NYC "hotspot", that the total deaths were somehow not mentioned.

Assuming the COVID-hype had zero influence on the numbers, it might have to do with general population health, environmental factors, demographics (age, gender, ethnicity). As for general population health, the CDC has this:

Community Overview
New York City, New York, is tackling obesity and tobacco use throughout the community of 8.4 million residents. More than half (57%) of the adults in New York City are overweight or obese, and 27.3% of adults reported no regular physical activity in the past 30 days. Further, approximately 39% of New York City Public School children in kindergarten through eighth grade are overweight or obese, compared to 35.5% of children aged 6-11 nationally.

Tobacco use is also a serious health concern in New York City—smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the city and the nation. While New York City has implemented successful tobacco prevention interventions and adult smoking rates have dropped in recent years, approximately 14% of adults in New York City still smoke, and the smoking rate of New York City teens is 7%. Obesity and tobacco use are disproportionately prevalent among certain populations. For example, 15% of white elementary school students in New York City are obese, compared with 26% of Hispanics and 21% of blacks. In addition to obesity and tobacco use prevention efforts aimed at New York City’s entire population, certain initiatives target high-risk groups.

This is from Business Insider:

Obesity is the biggest factor driving New York City's coronavirus hospitalizations after age

Since the coronavirus pandemic touched down in the US, health experts warned that the virus would hit some populations hardest — namely, older adults and those with underlying conditions like heart and lung disease.

But now, it appears a different population, people with obesity, may be even more at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 than those with heart and lung disease.   

In the largest study so far of US hospital admissions for the virus, researchers in New York City found that having a body mass index over 30, which is considered obese, was the single biggest factor for admission aside from age.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 12:35:11 PM »
This part of the Swiss Policy Research COVID-19 page is more conspiratorial, but I don't see why it shouldn't be discussed:

On the origin of the new coronavirus

In the June update it was shown that renowned virologists consider a laboratory origin of the new coronavirus to be “at least as plausible” as a natural origin. This is due to some genetic peculiarities of the virus in the area of receptor binding, which lead to particularly high transmissibility and infectivity in humans.

In the meantime, further evidence for this hypothesis has emerged. It was already known that the virus most closely related to SARS-CoV-2 was found in 2013 in southwest China. This bat corona virus was discovered by researchers from the Wuhan Virological Institute and is known as RaTG13.

However, researchers with access to Chinese papers have since found out that the Wuhan scientists did not reveal the whole story. In fact, RaTG13 was found in a former copper mine with a lot of bat feces after six miners fell ill with pneumonia during clean-up work. Three of the miners died.

According to the original Chinese papers, the medical assessment at the time was that these pneumonia cases were caused by a SARS-like virus. But the head of the Wuhan Laboratory strangely said in an interview with the Scientific American in April 2020 that the cause was allegedly a fungus. The institute didn’t disclose that RaTG13 came from that fateful mine, either.

The head of the US “Eco Health Alliance”, which worked together with the Wuhan Institute on virological “gain of function” research (which produces potentially pandemic viruses), claimed that RaTG13 was partially sequenced at the time and then put in a freezer and “not used again until 2020” (when it was compared to SARS-CoV-2).

However, virological database entries found in the meantime show that this is not true either: the virus – then known under the internal code 4991 – was already used for research purposes in the Wuhan laboratory in 2017 and 2018. Moreover, various Chinese virus databases have since been strangely deleted.

Virologists agree that SARS-CoV-2 cannot be a direct, natural successor to RaTG13 – the necessary mutations would take several decades at least, despite a 96 percent genetic match. However, it is theoretically possible that SARS-CoV-2 was generated, based on RaTG13, by virological “gain of function” research in a laboratory, or was itself present in the 2013 mine.

In this sense, it would be conceivable that SARS-CoV-2 could have escaped from the laboratory in Wuhan in September or October 2019 – during a laboratory inspection at that time or during preparations for it. Such laboratory accidents are unfortunately nothing unusual and have already occurred in the past in China, the US, Russia and other countries.

(Spanish researchers reported a single positive PCR wastewater sample from March 2019, but this is likely to be a false positive result or contamination).

Read more: Seven year coronavirus trail from bat cave via Wuhan lab (Times, July 4, 2020)

Besides the Chinese aspect there is, however, also an American aspect.

It has long been known that US researchers at the University of North Carolina are world leaders in the analysis and synthesis of SARS-like, potentially pandemic viruses. Due to a temporary moratorium in the US, this research was partially transferred to China (i.e. Wuhan) a few years ago.

In April, the Bulgarian investigative journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva published information and documents that show that the US Department of Defense, together with the US health authority CDC, was also conducting research on potentially pandemic SARS-like corona viruses.

This corona virus research was carried out in a Pentagon biological laboratory in Georgia (near Russia), among other places, and was also coordinated by the above-mentioned US “Eco Health Alliance”, which cooperated with the Institute of Virology in Wuhan, too. In this respect, the “Eco Health Alliance” may be seen as a military research service provider or contractor.

Thus, apart from its own SARS corona virus research, the US military must have been very familiar with Chinese research in Wuhan, due to its partnership with “Eco Health Alliance”.

Read more: Pentagon biolab discovered MERS and SARS-like coronaviruses in bats (DG)

US investigative journalist Whitney Webb already pointed out that the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security – which organized the well-known coronavirus pandemic exercise “Event 201” in October 2019 together with the Gates Foundation and the WEF Davos – had also organized the anthrax exercise “Dark Winter” in 2001.

This exercise took place a few months before the actual anthrax attacks in September 2001, whose origin could later be traced back to a Pentagon laboratory. Some of the participants of “Dark Winter” are also involved in the current management of the Corona pandemic.

Developments since the beginning of 2020 show that the new corona virus cannot be seen as a “bioweapon” in the strict sense of the term, as it is not deadly enough and not targeted enough. However, it may well – similar to “terrorists” and amplified by the media – cause fear and terror among the global population and be exploited politically.

In this context, it is noteworthy that vaccine investor and Event 201 cosponsor Bill Gates repeatedly spoke of seeing the current corona virus as “pandemic one”, while “pandemic two” would be a genuine bioterrorist attack for which one must be prepared against.

Nevertheless, besides a potential lab origin, a natural origin continues to be a realistic possibility, even though the “Wuhan wet market” hypothesis and more recently the pangolin hypothesis have already been ruled out by experts.

Regardless of how much is true, I believe that any research and facility that could lead to the production of bioweapons (to increase concentrated wealth) should be shut down.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 11:36:23 AM »
I looked up  "Swiss Policy Research"   in google and google classifies the group as:

Types of site: Propaganda, Conspiracy theory

Even then, I wanted to trust the source so I clicked deeper.

I stop clicking soon after.

First of all, Google itself is propaganda and part of large-scale conspiracies. Second, you're lying when you say you wanted to trust. You don't want to trust because the story has been fixly set in your mind from day 1, and so you look for one or two things you disagree with, as this allows you to say: Conspiracy theories, I'm out of here, back to CNN.

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