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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Pre Fireworks Considerations


So, what? 
  It's the serious question regarding the end of the postwar western capitalist economic world, which gradually corrupted into neoliberal financial capitalism, which showed "GDP growth", while real economy was hollowed out, and pension contracts were invisibly looted to become overt lies.
  The power elites are not in one camp. They are in several conflicting camps, none of them willing to give up any power or prerogative, as current economy shrinks, and future economy is in massive negative numbers compared to obligations of debt-service and retirements/pensions.
Somebody, some large group of people needs to be dispossessed, and it can't be the actual elites. 
This is not going to work. That's obvious, but not necessarily so to billionaires.
  We can see that this systemic crisis has been pushed into the present by coronavirus, and a response by the system, which includes lies, lack of material resources, denial, and failures of serial retreats of public policy in a variety of directions. "Nobody is in charge."
  The economic model of neoliberal capitalism has a fatal flaw. It says that "money can replace anything". An implication of the money-is-enough principle is that "if it doesn't cost much, it is not very important to the economy". Provision of food is an example, and so is the provision of power. They are cheap, which allows the rest of the economy to boom and get big numbers, but everybody dies without food...
  We can't really ignore the rioting and destruction of historical symbols taking place in the US. It is anti-system, but it is also funded by certain financial elites. 
  If it continues on its' current trajectory, America gets left-totalitarianism, and certain people will be dispossessed, due to their sins. That group will need to keep growing, as it did in France, Russia, China and Cambodia.
  If there is a big enough backlash, then America will get more of a right totalitarianism, dispossessing "socialists", who already don't have much at ground level. 
  People feel the fracture in the world, but things are not actually, physically bad yet. There is food, air-conditioning, TV and internet service. Facebook works. 
  There is not yet widespread visceral desperation. The elites are trying out some models and seeing what "we" resonate with, what tools may manipulate "us" most readily to kill each other until we are worn out, and they present us with some slave deal with an end to the mass murders. Everybody accepts those deals.
  Let's not let ourselves be driven into that chute, OK?

Charles Hugh Smith, who is also the source of some other links today:
​  ​Globalization has optimized profits at the expense of everything else: ecological sustainability, the security of food and energy sources, etc., while financialization has gutted the real economy in an extraction process that concentrates all the gains into the hands of the few at the top of the financialization/globalization pyramid: a winners-take-most economy that has corrupted and distorted the political and social orders.
​  ​All the critical dynamics--energy, currencies, globalization, debt and financialization--have reached extremes that made destabilization--i.e. a tumble into collapse--inevitable.
​  ​What happens when the naive hope that the brittle, fragile extremes of the global economy could be completely restored to mid-2019 levels dissipates and is replaced by the sober realization there not only will there not be a recovery, but there can't be a recovery, as those brittle extremes have been lost for good?
​  ​Since the authorities have no Plan B, uncertainty, risk and volatility could reach extremes few anticipate as Plan A--push extremes to even riskier extremes--generates increasingly consequential unintended consequences.
​  ​The unstable, brittle edge of the precipice is giving way, and there is nothing but air below.

​CHS sent this story: Can The World Get Along Without Natural Resources? 
The neoliberal ideological answer is "yes".
The definition of "property" is also explored in depth. Take heed!​
Property, Nitzan and Bichler observe, is an act of exclusion. If I own something, that means that I have the right to exclude others from using it. It’s this exclusionary power that defines private property. Here are Nitzan and Bichler describing this act:
​  ​The most important feature of private ownership is not that it enables those who own, but that it disables those who do not. Technically, anyone can get into someone else’s car and drive away, or give an order to sell all of Warren Buffet’s shares in Berkshire Hathaway. The sole purpose of private ownership is to prevent us from doing so. In this sense, private ownership is wholly and only an institution of exclusion, and institutional exclusion is a matter of organized power.

​About various climatic-economic models, and the assumptions mentioned above, and the "conclusions". Thanks Ilargi.
The Stakes of Losing this "DICE" Game are Enormous:
​  ​My favorite example of an early predictive climate model comes courtesy of scientists at ExxonMobil who published a paper in 1980 that forecast temperature increases caused by increasing CO2 concentrations that are amazingly accurate compared to actual temperature increases in the intervening 40 years and current state-of-the-art climate models.
​ Here is a quote from that report:
​  ​“The most widely accepted calculations carried on thusfar on the potential impact of a doubling of carbon dioxide on climate indicate that an increase in the global average temperature of 3+1.50C is most likely. Such changes in temperature are expected to occur with uneven geographic distribution, with greater warming occuring [ sic] at the higher latitudes i.e., the polar regions. This is due to the presumed change in the reflectivity of the Earth due to melting of the ice and snow cover (See Figure 3). There have been other calculations on a more limited scale by a number of climatologists which project average temperature increases on the order of 0.25oC for a doubling of C02. These calculations are not held in high regard by the scientific community.

​Renewable energy comes when the sun shines or wind blows, or rain fills the reservoir, and takes oil, coal, copper and iron, among other inputs, to create. The industrial society we know can not be modified to run on it, nor can enough ever be created. What else would we give up to do so? It's nobody's decision to make, now.
​  ​For all the guff about a faster switch to renewable energy, the BP announcement is more grounded in the realities of the post-pandemic economy than the nonsense being spouted in the establishment media.  What BP is actually saying is that the collapse in discretionary spending which is only now beginning will lead to a crisis of affordability across the economy which will render oil deposits which require a return of more than $50 per barrel uneconomical.  This does not preclude prices occasionally spiking into triple digits when post-pandemic supply shortages hit.  Rather, it is an acknowledgement that such spikes will be short-lived because the economy as a whole cannot bear the cost.
​  ​If oil was just another consumer product that we could take or leave, the BP announcement would be no more troubling than various airlines claiming to be on the verge of bankruptcy – the world would be largely better off without them.  But oil is still the life-blood of the economy; powering 90 percent of the world’s transport, including all of the heavy machinery used in agriculture and the extractive industries.  Wind and solar – the great green hope of the metropolitan liberal class – meanwhile provide just four percent of the global energy mix; all of it as electricity which is next to useless for replacing most of the essential primary sectors of the economy (the parts that kept going while everyone else was in lockdown).
​  ​Forget about your dreams of a green new deal or the establishment media versions of the happy-clappy “new normal” and think instead about an energy-constrained future; a bit like the oil shock in 1973 or the fuel protests in 2000 but with no “normal” to go back to.  What the BP announcement actually means is that in the course of the next decade a large part of the discretionary economic activity that occurred prior to 2020 will not be coming back. Instead far more of our efforts will have to go to maintaining essential goods and services.​ ​​ 
(Can we? Who decides?)

​I surely did not expect this high correlation between flu-vaccination and COVID deaths in the elderly, but it appears that vaccination against influenza actually makes people more susceptible to coronavirus infection. 
This was "known", but not by me. Thanks Ilargi and friends at The Automatic Earth blog..

​  ​A randomized placebo-controlled trial in children showed that the influenza vaccine increased fivefold the risk of acute respiratory infections caused by a group of non-influenza viruses, including coronaviruses. 1, 2
​  ​A study of US military personnel confirms that those who received an influenza vaccine had an increased susceptibility to coronavirus infection. The study concluded “Vaccine derived virus interference was significantly associated with coronavirus.” 3, 4, 5

​1918 Influenza,The Mother of All Pandemics​:
(Look, we're tracking that curve, but nobody knows how it turned out that way!)
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Compared to $3000 remdesivir that saves ZERO lives and has 10 times the adverse side effects. 
Take Zinc, too, please.
  Hydroxychloroquine alone decreased the mortality hazard ratio by 66 percent and the anti-malarial with the antibiotic decreased the ratio by 71 percent, researchers said.
The vast majority of patients were given the drug within 48 hours of admission.  

Widespread Use Of Face Masks Could Save Tens Of Thousands Of Lives, Models Project
​  ​But public health professionals lament that trust in face masks is hampered by the government's earlier recommendation against them.
​  ​Fauci told TheStreet mid-June that he did not recommend face masks at the beginning of the outbreak to conserve supplies for healthcare workers. On Thursday Fauci told NPR that the administration's initial ambivalence towards face masks was 'detrimental in getting the message across.'

​Take a minute and a half to review what Anthony Fauci MD actually DID say in March about delusional people wearing face masks in public, and how he derided them with an air of smug superiority. 
Impressive Acting!​  
We now know he was just worried for vulnerable healthcare workers and patients who really needed them. 
He hid it so well, so convincingly.

Hmm, "Implicit Bias" can actually be studied pretty well with left-right paired-response time, which tests separate what's mentally easy, from what takes a little longer. It's not universal. It is common. It varies by ethnicity in the US. 
Thanks again, Charles.
How widespread is implicit bias?
  That particular implicit bias, the one involving black-white race, shows up in about 70 percent to 75 percent of all Americans who try the test. It shows up more strongly in white Americans and Asian Americans than in mixed-race or African Americans. African Americans, you’d think, might show just the reverse effect — that it would be easy for them to put African American together with pleasant and white American together with unpleasant. But no, African Americans show, on average, neither direction of bias on that task.
Most people have multiple implicit biases they aren’t aware of. It is much more widespread than is generally assumed.

Here is a historical reminder about what happens when totalitarian/identitarian regimes have to make some examples and nationalize some farms. Peasants take the brunt of it, because there are lots of peasants. Thanks again CHS.
​  ​In an important note appended to the first chapter of volume 2 of The Gulag Archipelago (“The Fingers of Aurora”), Natalia Solzhenitsyn pays tribute to the seven-volume History of the Stalinist Gulag, published by the Moscow publisher Rosspen in 2004 and 2005.  Prefaced by Solzhenitsyn and Robert Conquest, this work shows precisely what the official documents revealed about the camps during the Stalin period: between 1930 and 1952, 800,000 people were shot, twenty million people passed through camps, colonies and prisons during this period, “special populations” (kulaks and deported peoples) constituted not less than six million people. Over five million people were detained in camps or “special villages” under the surveillance of the MVD at the time of Stalin’s death in 1953. But this does not begin to tell the full truth about the extent of Soviet repression after 1917. As Oleg Khlevniuk documents in Stalin: New Biography of  Dictator (Yale University Press, 2015), eight million people died in the Russian civil war. Five million people died in a famine largely caused by Lenin’s draconian policy of “War Communism.” Whole peoples like the Don Cossacks were subjected to what can only be called genocide. At least five to seven million peasants perished in southern Russia, the north Caucasus and the Ukraine (a war against the independent peasantry and not just ethnic Ukrainians) in 1932 and 1933. Another million or two starved to death in 1946 and 1947. And during the great Patriotic War, millions perished or were punished for retreating from the advancing German army. Khlevniuk writes that “On average, over the more than twenty-year span of Stalin’s rule, 1 million people were shot, incarcerated, or deported to barely habitable areas of the Soviet Union every year.”  

Somewhat Biased

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